Wednesday, July 17, 2019


It has been a crazy July, friends.  I feel like we've had so many things going on this month and I'm (as always) trying to play catch up with it all!

We started the month with a pretty intense baseball tournament, then celebrated the 4th of July with friends and then the next day we said the hardest goodbye to our 15.5-year-old pup, Abby.  Three days later, we packed up the car and headed for Branson, Missouri for a week of fun and it was perfect timing because it took our minds off all the sadness in our now dog-free house.  We got back on Saturday evening and I spent all day Sunday doing all the necessary things you do after a week out of town (laundry, groceries, unpacking...tons of fun).  

Then first thing Monday morning I was up at a 5am (a ridiculous start time for me) to start posting all the Amazon Prime Day deals!  And for the past two days, I've been glued to my computer posting all the greatest deals over in my Deals Group on Facebook.  I feel like Amazon really stepped it up this year!  

So now, it's Wednesday. (right?) And Prime Day has come and gone, my house is back in order and now it's time to get back to normal around here.  I've got Etsy orders piling up so I'm diving headfirst into those today, and working on a bunch of half-finished posts.  🤦‍♀️

But today, it's all about Part 1 of our trip to Branson!

Y'all, we had SO MUCH FUN on this vacation!  Was it our typical relaxing beach vacation?  No.  Definitely not.  We were doing something 90% of the time instead of laying on a beach with a book and a cold drink.  It was actually a little exhausting.  haha  We've done beach vacations for years now so it was time to switch it up (check out those trip recaps HERE) and the boys were pretty pumped.  

Craig and I chose Branson because we both had great memories of it from when we were kids and it's only a short 6.5 hour drive from Mckinney. Branson is the ultimate when it comes to a vacation spot that your kids will LOVE.  It's a kids' paradise.  I'll show you what I mean by that throughout these recaps.  If you've never been, add it to your list!

We packed up the car and hit the road on Monday morning.  Everyone was all smiles, Dramamine-d up (just in case) and ready for a road trip!

 (Amazon pink/gold sunglasses HERE, $6 tank HERE)

Personally, I curled up with my blanket, pillow, eye mask and earbuds about .5 seconds after we left Mckinney.  😂 I slept almost the whole way.  It was glorious.

When I was looking into places to stay in Branson, I knew that I didn't want a regular hotel room.  We are used to 2 bedroom condos at the beach and like I've said before, we need SPACE.  I also like to have a kitchen, two bathrooms and a water view!  So instead of staying at a fancy (and expensive) resort, we found a great condo at Rock Lane Resort on Table Rock Lake.  Our condo was about 2 miles from Silver Dollar City and about 15-20 minutes from the Branson Strip.  I think we would all agree that it was the very best decision for our family.  I loved that we were right on the lake and it had a "we're at camp" vibe that was really fun.

Want a little condo tour??  I tried to snap pictures before we got things too messy.

The boys loved their room.  It had a tiny little bathroom with a shower/tub combo and toilet but had this cool sink area outside in the bedroom.  They thought that was pretty neat.  They also each had a full bed all to themselves so no one was complaining about being kicked in the middle of the night.

And our bedroom was perfect too!  Our view was gorgeous, our bed was comfy, we had a walk-in closet and our own bathroom.  The one thing this room could have used though was some blackout curtains.  That sun POURED through those blinds bright and early every morning and it made me a little cranky.  I love my sleep, especially on vacation.  Waking up with the sun is not fun for me.

The living room and kitchen area were a great size and we all had room to spread out.  #yesyesyes

Check out our view from the balcony!  The only negative was that there was a road that led down to the marina right in front of it but if you looked past that, it was amazing. :)

After we unpacked and I ran to Walmart to grab our groceries that I'd ordered for pickup (gahhhhh I love Walmart Grocery pickup!), the boys were dying to get this vacation started!  They changed into their swimsuits, grabbed their footballs and we headed out to explore the resort.  

The three guys played in the pool while I read on my Kindle.

For dinner, we ended up ordering takeout from the restaurant at the resort before calling it a night.

Day 2 started with this view. ❤

It was a beautiful morning!

We are a family of roller coaster addicts.  We all LOVE roller coasters and theme parks so first up on our list was Silver Dollar City.  We bought the 3 day, 2 park passes so that we could spend a couple of days at Silver Dollar City and one at White Water Waterpark.  If you're heading to Branson, you might want to consider this instead of the one day!  It really worked out well for us!

You may remember our drama at Six Flags back in April where our bag was stolen with our phones, wallet, keys and more in it.  We were definitely a little more cautious this time around but just walking into the park, we felt so much more at ease.  Silver Dollar City is full of families on vacation.  I didn't get the feeling there were a lot of thieves there.  Six Flags is a mix of locals and vacationers.  The vibe is different at Six Flags.  

After seeing the crowds at SDC, we decided to go ahead and bring our backpack with us instead of using a locker.  We needed it to put our (cheap) hats and sunglasses in when we were on rides and for 4 water bottles because it was HOT.  We kept our cash and car key in our pockets and I even stuck my phone in my waistband during rides because I was too afraid to let it go.

We also brought one of these cool towels and it was a lifesaver!

I was completely prepared for a jam-packed park and hour-long lines. But the park was practically deserted!

We jumped on almost every ride within 10 minutes including their newest ride, Time Traveler!  It was one of our favorites!

For the record, our favorite rides were the Time Traveler, Powder Keg, Wildfire and the Barn Swing.  Make sure you ride these if you love roller coasters/thrill rides!!

The boys loved Grandfather's Mansion which was a little funhouse you could walk through.

I waited outside while they ran through it a second time.  (Once was enough for me.)  Look how deserted it is!

Did I mention it was so hot?!!

We saw a ton of chipmunks running around the park and the boys spent at least 20 minutes feeding this one french fries. 😂

(You can find my Texas Forever hat HERE.)

Craig and I remember one main thing from our time at Silver Dollar City as kids.  Fire in the Hole.  It was what we considered a super scary ride back in the day so we were excited to get back on it 30 years later.  And it was so interesting to view it through the eyes of an adult!  It's an indoor roller coaster (and I use that term loosely)but is about a 3 on the thrill scale.  As an 8-year-old in the 80s, it felt more like a 9.  We had it built up so much in our minds that it was definitely a bit of a letdown.  But still fun!  Don't skip it!  It's a classic!

The boys even got to "milk" a cow although squirting each other was way more fun.

If you've never been to SDC, it is a really great theme park.  There are shows happening all over the place that you can sit down and rest while being entertained by kid magicians, trained dogs or a fun dance troupe.  The food is awesome and the park is fully in theme with the whole old timey stuff.  The roller coasters are wild and scary and so fun but there are also lots of things for little kids to do that they will love!

We left SDC around 4 and went back to the condo for a few hours to shower and rest up before heading out to The Strip for dinner and a little more fun.  We ended up eating a little Mexican restaurant because I was in the mood for some chips and salsa!  (Yes, I cheated all week on my Keto diet but I'm back on board now!)

And if you're wondering what the Branson Strip looks like, maybe these pics will give you an idea...

It is one fun building after another in a 3 mile stretch of go-karts and putt-putt places.  It's like Vegas for kids.

We decided to stop at this Bigfoot Fun Park and we had it practically to ourselves.

It had a fun ride that drops you from however many feet up in the air (think Tower of Terror), had a fun maze, putt-putt and a free fall jump tower thing that the boys loved.

(Matthew was singing along to whatever song was playing and Mason was dancing. 😂)

Craig and I hung out by ourselves while the boys ran wild.

(Earrings | Tank (wearing an XS because it runs big)

After running through the maze and jumping off the tower a million times, we started our annual game of putt-putt.  We play every single year on vacation even though at least one of us always ends up mad and wanting to quit because of how bad we are.  haha

After putt-putt, the boys begged to do the arcade for a little bit and y'all know how I feel about arcades.  If you don't, let's just say I am not a fan of spending $100 on video games so that my kids can stand at the prize counter for half an hour deciding between a rubber bouncy ball and three tootsie rolls.  So I went and sat in the car until it was time to go back to the condo while Craig handled the arcade. #nothanks #enoughfun #putmetobed

And that was Day 2!

I'll be back this week or early next week with the rest of the recaps from our trip!  It's just getting good, y'all!  Still ahead: a lake day, more SDC, a waterpark, go-karts, bumper boats, bumper cars, more arcades (sigh), a show, a jet boat tour...seriously, so much fun!  And we missed out on so many things because there just wasn't enough time!

If you've been to Branson, what are your favorite things to do there?  The boys are already talking about doing it all over again next year!




  1. We are heading to Branson at the end of August. We have 3 kids so I'm writing down all your suggestions! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're so welcome! Hope you caught Part 2 this week! I'll I'll wrap it up with Part 3 on Monday (I think...)! ;)

  2. That’s hilarious you said that about Fire In The Hole! I grew up going to SDC and felt like that was such a thriller of a ride then went a couple of years ago and well, like you said...not as scary! lol.

    1. Hahaha, right?! That one "big" drop used to be a whole lot steeper, I swear! 😂😂😂

  3. We were just there July 4th (packed)! They Haygoods is definitely a show worth seeing! They've been in Branson 27 years and they started when the oldest brother (there are 5 boys and 1 sister) was 10! AMAZING!

    1. I think maybe that's why it was so empty when we went. We got there on July 8th so maybe we caught a lull since everyone had just left after being there for the 4th! We kept seeing The Haygoods posters and stuff everywhere. I'll have to check that one out next time b/c I'm sure we'll be back!

  4. FUN!!! We took my daughter for a few days when she was three and had a great time. It was hot (early May), too! Maybe I should try it again in the fall. LOL!

    1. I want to go in the fall! I've heard its beautiful!!

  5. I laughed out loud about the arcade and deciding between bouncy balls and tootsie rolls. Omg so true! Our kiddos are 11 and 9 and I keep waiting for them to outgrow that! Ha! I’m like we could have gone to the dollar tree instead of spending $50 on a little parachute man and rubber spider!
    Love your blog!!

    1. Thank you, Jen! And yes, so true about the Dollar Tree! 😂😂


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