Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Break 2017 pt. 2 Branson, MO

I posted about the first half of Wyatt and Sloane's Spring break already.  We spent the second half in Branson, MO. I haven't been since I was a kid and had no memory of it. Mark was little as well the last time he went, therefore neither Wyatt nor Sloane had even been to Branson either.

The mini-vacation started with us wanting to take the kids to Silver Dollar City. It grew into a 4 day getaway. It was perfect for the end of Spring Break. Mark took off Thursday and we headed out pretty early. We arrived in Branson right around lunchtime.

Before we left we decided to purchase season passes to SDC with plans to go back more than once this year. It just made more sense cost wise since that was the case. I am so glad we did it this way because of the weather. Since we had season passes we were able to come and go as we pleased!

So, Thursday we arrived right around lunch. We were able to get cheaper premium parking with the season pass (total bonus). We didn't have to take a bus or tram to get to the entry. We were able to walk right to the door and it was only $7 to park. That's a total win in my book!! We treated the stroller situation much like we do Disney...2 individual umbrella strollers. It's so easy! We aren't pushing around a huge double stroller and we can split up if needed. It was perfect for SDC because there ARE hills!! Phew- I got my steps in double time. ;)

Sidenote about the strollers: We have had a few strollers since Wyatt was a baby. The only umbrella stroller have ever owned is the Chicco Liteway. It's still a great stroller and has held up super well! We have always borrowed the second one for Disney from friends. We decided the other day it was time we just get a second one for ourselves so we could stop asking. ;) We planned to just buy the Liteway again until we came across the Chicco Liteway PLUS. It was a better option for where we are now as a family with 2 "older" kids. The weight limit is 10 lbs heavier than the Liteway. Since Sloane, age 5. is only 33 lbs and Wyatt, almost 7, is only 45 lbs  we are still in the clear. It's light and folds super easy as well. This is a must for loading and unloading off the Disney buses. (We pretty much only use a stroller when we go to Disney and/or long day events at this point.) Wyatt and Sloane are totally stroller kids too! They will just climb in when they are tired no questions asked. They will close their eyes and be asleep almost faster than their beds. Ha ha! It's also nice when there are large crowds too! We can move quick and know where they are. ;) The canopy is larger and it comes with a cup holder too. Lastly (then I will get off my soap box) both the strollers recline all the way back...this is a MUST for an umbrella stroller too! Ok, I digress.....

After entering the park the first stop was lunch. The boys wanted turkey legs and chicken wraps so Wagon Works Grill it was. Sloane and I wanted to try Percy's Southwest Grill. Both places didn't disappoint! It was misting rain at this point so we were able to sit inside while we ate lunch.

The rain stopped for a bit and we rode as many rides as we could...Fireman's Flyer, American Plunge, Fire-in-the-Hole, Wildfire, Fire Spotter, Flooded Mine, Fire Wagon Frenzy, Thundernation, and Firefall are a few we got in. There is an area called "Fireman's Landing" where both Sloane and Wyatt could ride all the rides, hence all the fire rides. Sloane is 44 inches and Wyatt is 48 inches and both love to ride rides...there is a lot to do for both of them. Mark rode the Wildfire ride by himself because it has a 52 inch height requirement. He said it was awesome, but very intense. There is a great viewing area with a gift shop where we watched him and stayed dry at the same time. This ride usually has a very long wait time, but due to the weather, Mark was able to walk right onto the front row with no wait at all!

There are 2-3 rides that neither Wyatt or Sloane are tall enough...but that didn't stop Mark from trying them...

About an hour before the park closed a big thunderstorm hit again and shut down most of the rides. There was lightning in the area. We decided we should probably head to the condo at that time. We found our condo through VRBO and it didn't disappoint! 

We got to the condo and settled in. We were tired and wet from the rain. ;( We changed clothes, showered, and got ready for dinner. Mark's mom had suggested Pasghetti's Italian restaurant. It was GREAT! The food, service and even the atmosphere was awesome! The INSIDE of the restaurant looked like a street corner in Italy! 

After dinner we made a quick stop at a Target because why not?!?!? Both Wyatt and Sloane fell asleep on the way back to the condo. We moved them to bed #doubletransferforthewin and Mark and I enjoyed the rest of the evening on the patio together. (with the door open so we could hear the kids, don't worry;) 

Friday started at 7:45 am when both kids were up for the day. We took the morning slow and enjoyed breakfast in the condo. It wasn't just raining... it was thunder storming....;( I had a plan B since I had been watching the weather forecast. The newest indoor attraction in Branson, MO = Fritz's Adventure Family Attraction!!! It was a PERFECT way to spend a rainy day. ***I would NOT suggest going if your kids aren't ABOVE 42 inches.*** Thankfully both kids were tall enough to do most of the activities. The activities included:

Ropes Course
Zip Line
Warped Walls
Underground Tubes and Tunnels
Laser Room
Tree Houses
Suspended Bridges
Air-worthy Airplane
Climbable Water Tower
Giant Slides

Friday evening we had tickets for Dixie Stampede. Mark and I weren't sure how this would turn out but the kids LOVED it! We had gone back to the condo to take a quick rest and change clothes which lead to us being a little later than we wanted. It worked out fine though. I had purchased tickets from a 3rd party ( so we already had our seats no matter the time we arrived. The food is eaten with no utensils...Wyatt and Sloane thought that was so funny. Wyatt didn't mind...Sis didn't eat as much as normal due to her hands being dirty. LOL! She is the kid with multiple spoons and forks depending on the amount of different foods so....;) but she LOVED the horses! Wyatt enjoyed the slap stick/corny comedy.

After dinner we decided to spend the rest of the evening relaxing. We checked out a few games and had a great family evening. Twister and Uno were the top picks ;) 

Saturday was our last full day in the park. Thankfully we woke to NO RAIN!!! Praise the Lord!!! We wanted to try the Runaway Mountain Coaster and it opened at 10 a.m. We got there RIGHT when it opened. It was really fun! We decided we wish it was a little bit longer since the ticket was for only ONE ride down. 

We finished the Runaway and made the quick drive to SDC. We used the season pass and only paid $7 for the awesome parking again. ;) It was about 11 a.m. when we entered the park. Our activities included Giant Barn Swing, Outlaw Run (Wyatt's 1st ride with upside downs), Powder Keg, and rode Fire In the Hole. We walked over to the Grand Exposition area of the park and rode a few rides inside  (Magnificent Wave Carousal, Wings of Wonder, and The Ladybugs) there before lunch. 

We were pretty chilly by the time lunch rolled around. We decided on Crossroads Pizza which had an inside eating area. Mark ordered the food while I found a table. We all 4 shared a large pizza and it was perfect! We used our refillable season mugs we purchased on the first day, which is another MUST if you plan to spend a large amount of time inside the park. We packed waters but liked to keep soda in the cups. It's a fun vacation treat for the kids! ;) 

During lunch both Wyatt and Sloane expressed interest in watching a few shows. We read over the schedule and decided on 2 upcoming shows. The first Flamenco Kings and the second was Balancing Wonder. Both of the were VERY entertaining! 

When we left the second show the rain was starting to come down again pretty hard. ;( We wanted to get one more ride in on Thunderation so we headed that turned into 2 more rides of fun! We ended the day by walking through Grandfather's Mansion. 

It was close to 6 by the time we finished the last few things on ur SDC list. The park closes at 6 p.m. We walked to the car and begin the dinner discussion. ;) We didn't make plans ahead of time for Saturday night because I wasn't sure how we would feel after the day at the park. Mark and I looked through a few flyers and websites and decide to drive toward The Branson Landing area. We talked a few restaurants over with Wyatt, since Sloane was "sawing logs at this point, and decided on The Bass Pro Shops White River Fish House. The food was great and the atmosphere was even better! It was right on the water so the scenery was pretty too! 

Both Wyatt and Sloane really wanted to swim before we went home so we used the rest of the evening to swim. There was an indoor (and outdoor) pool as well as a hot tub. We all took advantage of the amenities!! We finished at the pool area to go back and get to sleep before the drive back to STL on Sunday morning...

A quick stop at Lambert's before getting out of Springfield was perfect!! We usually stop at the one in Foley, AL on our way home from Gulf Shores so the kids know about the fun. ;) The ate well and were ready to get home....

We had such a great vacation together as a family. There were so many memories made together. I love hearing Wyatt and Sloane shared their most favorite parts of vacations! Spring Break 2017 was a success!!!! Now, BRING ON SUMMER BREAK!!!!! 

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