We arrived home around 4:00 pm yesterday from our Branson vacation. It was very nice to just to get away for a weekend and do something different and together as a family. It's made me realize that I need to shift some of my priorities. This was our first family vaction -- and Alexia is 5 now!!! It's pretty bad when you call two nights away a vacation. We're just so focused on our immediate lives that whenever we come into money -- be it tax time, bonus, etc; we always spend it on what *needs* done, what *needs* fixed, or what we *should* do with it. It's not that we don't have time or money for a vacation, it's that we don't ever spend the money on it. Well this obviously needs to change! My husband and I both agreed that a yearly family vacation is in order, and from here on out we will make it one of our priorities.
We had a good time in Branson. I didn't get the pictures loaded yet, but when I get those I'll post some and write some more about the trip. I can say that 3 days didn't even put a dent in all Branson has to offer. I feel like we touched the tip of the iceberg. Branson is for sure an on-the-go destination! If you want a trip packed with things to do to keep everyone busy and happy then this is the place for you. If you'd rather quiet time spent together as a family, then camp out at the Ozarks instead.
My only complaint about Branson was the traffic. It was HORRIBLE. Bad, long, terrible, no excuse. The main strip was one lane each way, and that strip, along with any connecting points to it, were consistently backed up. We literally spent hours in the car fighting traffic in Branson itself. There was more than one occassion where it took as an hour to travel a single mile. So my advice is come prepared with a detailed map -- the ones they give you only show the main routes. You'll want to find the back way around the place. Also, make sure you fill up as soon as you get there, because you don't want to be stuck in that traffic on a low gas tank. The gas stations aren't as close as they should be, that's for sure. My gas was getting low, then finally the gas light came on, before I could ever get to the gas station. Finally I found one and got in (thankfully) on time. I was afraid I'd be pushing my car to the nearest gas station. But hey, at least if you have to push it in, you won't be holding up traffic!
The scenery around Branson is pretty. It wasn't *that* impressive to me, but I've lived over a lot of Missouri anyway, so I'm used to this endangered thing they call scenery. Guess I'm spoiled when it comes to that! The prices for things weren't too horrible, considering it's a tourist town. The buffets were about $12, which is about $3 more than the average buffet in these parts, but $8 - $18 less than the buffets you'll find in other tourist spots, such as Vegas.
Once I get the pictures loaded I'll do my reviews and suggestions for the (very little) part of Branson I got to visit!