The biennial Branson trip has come and gone, and just as it always is, it was wonderful! A whole seven days of relaxing and enjoying family time with not a worry in the world. Well, there was one little worry when we left our house, but once we got out of town and on the road, it was an out of sight out of mind thing that we left to deal with when we would get back home. Secretly I was worried about that leaking water heater just a little bit during the trip though. But other than that, my unexpectedly big muscadine harvest had just come to an end, and I have to say this vacation came at just the right time.
Day 1, Sunday:
The traveling part was nice, just over six hours and we only hit a very small patch of rain this afternoon. This patch of rain we hit was more of an aggressive downpour, but it only lasted about ten minutes so it might as well not have happened at all, plus I wasn’t the one who had to drive in it.
We got to our home away from home and it looked just as it always has. Not much has changed over at Branson’s Nantucket. I say nothing has changed, but there always seems to be a lot more cottages and new construction every time we go; this time included. Yuki was with us, as she always is on this trip. I know she is happy not to have to stay at the dog sitter’s, but she is always on edge every time we arrive. She suffers a little with separation anxiety I think, but only when we first get to Branson, and only on the first day. As is always the case, I worry about this more than anyone else. She ends up fine and come day two, it’s like she’s at home herself.
Once we got settled in and walked around for a bit, we were all ready to eat dinner and that Irish pub at Branson Landing was calling our name. We have become creatures of habit with our eating adventures while we are here. I think we always eat at the Irish pub the first day we arrive. The highlight of this meal was not so much the food, but in my opinion the drinks and the dessert. It’s not everyday we splurge on dessert and it’s not everyday we get to enjoy a pub cocktail, or two.
We finished this evening off in the room, playing games and resting up for the week that was ahead.
Day 2, Monday:
It was a cool 60 something when we woke up this morning. It rained the night before and that had something to do with the humidity blowing out. It was wonderful getting to spend the morning out on the back deck drinking coffee and watching the neighborhood wake up. Something we pretty much did every morning. Once we were up and about, we found the nearest Panera for bagels and then back to the room for a walking tour of the rest of the neighborhood. We checked out the fitness center and the pool, then decided we should do more than just check the two out. We got in our daily workout, a swim session, and then made a grocery run before contemplating the question of the day: where should we go for dinner?
This evening we went back to Branson Landing and ate somewhere we had never eaten before: Big Whiskey’s. The food was good, the drinks were good, but the service was a little lacking. My guy’s meal got messed up but that only meant we got his portion for free and our appetizers were on the house. We did a little shopping after this, then back to the room – or rather house – where we ended our night once again with full bellies, happy hearts, and tired bodies.
Day 3 Tuesday:
We’ve had nothing that we HAD to do and nowhere we HAD to be yet, and it was pretty nice. I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but most of the time on vacations we have a very full schedule. The times we’ve gone to Branson though, it has never been that way. This is as laid back of a vacation as we will ever take, I reckon. There were only two things we had pre-planned for the week, and they hadn’t come up yet.
Today was the day I found fabric. There was only one thing I wanted to buy on this trip and it was material. I remember seeing so many quilting shops last time with tons of fabric, so I had held off on making any online material orders before we came. I was slightly disappointed to find that fabric super store that I had gone to two years ago wasn’t around anymore. Or so I thought. It was at a different location, and it was my boy who spotted it for me. How could I have missed this place! My vacation shopping splurge would have been satisfied here if I wanted it to be. I left with three different kinds of material that will soon be showing up as more me-made dresses. Soon, I say, hopefully by the end of the year will be more like it, as little time as I have lately.
We also went go-carting, and today was the day we found our first Escape room. That had to have been the highlight of this day for all of us. It was even better than go-carting for my boy – it was that cool! I have been wanting to do one for a while now, and when looking for things to do online, I came across several in the area. The one we picked was the Escape Code. I picked this solely by comparing trip adviser reviews, and we were not one bit disappointed.
For those who don’t know what an escape room is, let me tell ya a little bit about it and our experience. They are rooms that you get ‘locked’ into, and you can’t get out until you solve the puzzle of the room, or until the time runs out – we had an hour. Each room has its own story specific to a certain scenario. We watched a short little video about our particular room before we started, and it gave us an idea as to what our problem to solve was for the room.
Our story was about someone who had been kidnapped and we had to solve the mystery before the time ran out. We were led into the room with blindfolds and some handcuffs. Once the door was shut and the timer started, we could take off our blindfolds. The first thing to do was to figure out how to get out of our handcuffs which were attached to a wall. That is all I will say about that, except we did get out of our first predicament very quickly and without any hints. Someone is monitoring the room and will give you three hints total throughout the hour if you ask. More than three hints docks your time. There were lots of locks and hidden items that had to be found, one clue led to the next, hidden passages were opened, and little things here and there had to be deciphered until the end… And we almost got out! We were right there and had I been the one who made the final decision, we would have gotten out. My guys outnumbered me with what to do last, they are more selfish than me is what they said, and their choice was the wrong one to make with only a few minutes left in the game. The three of us worked very well together which was a big help.
We were sorely disappointed that we did not escape, so we ended up back again one more time during the trip to try a different room. We also didn’t escape that one either. In our defense, the success rate for the first room we did was 25% and we were at the last clue. The second one was 30% and I think we were a little more disorganized with that last one. We were close but not as close as the first. Even so, it was still so much fun! We have to do it again and there is an escape room close to home that we can’t wait to try.
To be continued…