Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Morning

Our plan this morning was to get up and go to Silver Dollar City for breakfast and a morning of fun.  Good thing we checked things before telling the kids.... turns out this is the ONE Sunday during the season they are closed to decorate for Christmas.  Ugh!  Ok, plan B..... first stop.... back to Billy Gail's for breakfast!  This time all 3 kids loaded up in our single stroller for the walk there!  See, you don't have to invest in a HUGE double stroller (and haul that big monster around).... just lay your back down in your single and you have room for multiple kids!!! : )
After breakfast we weren't really sure what to do.  Several things came up but we ended up driving down the road from our campground and stopping the dam!
Table Rock Dam is operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  It was created to provide flood control for the White and lower Mississippi Rivers and to generate hydro-electric power. They have a great visitor center that is full of lots of information and has interactive things for the kids to do to learn about the dam!  Here the kids got to see how much man power it took to turn some household items on!
Ethan liked checking out how people moved their items down the river.
We also learned how the Indians used animal skins to make boats to float the Mississippi.
They had great animal exhibits set up where you could learn about the native wildlife!  Ethan laughed when he got close to the animals... he is my animal lover!
The big kids loved showing us they knew all of the animals and had fun finding the ones hiding in the trees!
There was also an underwater scene set-up where Owen showed off his knowledge of fish!!!  His daddy has turned him into a little fishing addict!
One of the exhibits talked about water safety!  The kids loved the boat part of the exhibit and they took turns "driving" their siblings on the water!
They stressed the need for life jackets and putting them on BEFORE you need them!  You had to put these goggles on to see how hard it is
Here is a picture taken of the kids in the boat through the goggles!
Even though he can barely see over the wheel, Ethan wanted a turn driving everyone around!
And then Addyson chauffeured the boys around!  This stop proved to provide more fun that we thought!  I was so glad we came here!!!
And the fun didn't stop there!  We then took a look outside to see the dam and all of its doors and to show the kids how it worked!
And then the kids "burned off some engergie".  They ran and ran and ran!!!!
The weather was great, the area we were in was nice and sunny, and there were tons of leaves to play in so we made a pit stop here and played for a long time!
I had to set the timer and run in and get in a picture!!!!  I don't want to be the one that is always behind the camera!
Owen found HUGE leaves amongst the little ones... he collected them one by one and we brought them all back home with us!  His big leaf collection!
Addyson had fun picking up the leaves and throwing them in the air!!!
And Ethan had fun just being free to wander around and do whatever he wanted!
Before we leave, let's bury daddy in the leaves!
Group shot before we load back up and go find some lunch!
Everything is a balance beam or set of bars these days for this little girl!!!  This stop was amazing!  If you are ever in the Branson area and need a nice play to get out to stretch your legs away from the hub bub of busy Branson this is the perfect stop!  You can also camp here really cheap!  We will be going back!
As you leave Branson and head towards Fayetteville there are not a lot of good places to stop for lunch but, we knew one a GREAT place to stop and since that "was our only option" we went there!!!  Big Cedar Lodge!!!!  We knew we could walk around some more and eat at one of our favorite pubs, Buzzard Bar!  We sat at the table that is next to the big window where you look "outside" and can see lots of (stuffed) animals.  The kids have fun picking out all of the animals they knew!  That helped keep them occupied while we waited for our lunch to come!
After lunch we had to head back to the marina where we parked and that is on the other side of Big Cedar!!!  Getting to lunch was a bit of a hike as we had to get the 3 tired kids up a big hill!!!  I had Ethan on my back and Owen in the stroller and Brad was carrying Addyson.  On the way back Owen insisted on being carried!  Guess 5 years old isn't too old to carry in the Beco!  What a sight I was I'm sure!
At one point Owen's weight was a lot on my hips so I made him switch out with Ethan.... the grounds are a bit hilly which made it worse!  Here is our family shot at Big Cedar!
The kids were tired and crabby (they are always exhausted after a weekend of camping!) and didn't want to walk.... until we came up on the turtle pond and they wanted to get out and look for turtles and fish!!!!  It was the perfect day to be out and about!  I'm kind of glad Silver Dollar City was closed... this morning was fun being together and enjoying Mother Nature!
 What an amazing weekend we've had!!!  Now it is time to load up and have the kids pass out while we drive home!!!  They slept all the way to Fayetteville and the big kids almost made it to our house!  They woke up about 2 minutes from home!!!  See, isn't it great that we live just "5 minutes" from Branson?!?! : )

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