Three days in Branson is just enough. I have worried about what I was going to write for the past few days. It would be a lie to say that I loved the visit, but I cannot say that I hated it, either. There is certainly a good deal of stuff to do there, but it didn’t meet the expectations that others had built it up to.
On Monday, as we were leaving Union, MO, we got into a conversation with a woman at the hotel. She told us that she was in Branson a week earlier with an older friend of hers. Unfortunately, her friend had a stroke while on the trip and ended up in the Branson hospital for rehab. To make the situation worse, she didn’t have clothes and some other necessities that would come in handy during a 3+ week rehap stint.
She asked, and we accepted the job of transporting a suitcase of necessities to her 80 year old friend in Branson. When we arrived at the hospital, we checked the bag for contraband (it was clean). We then wandered around the hospital looking for her room. She was in the hall, anxious for our arrival. My plan to drop and run was foiled when the social worker caught us and thanked us profusely. She offered us tickets to shows that the hospital kept on hand for just these occasions. Resistance was futile, so we ended up with tickets to see the Presleys (no relation to Elvis) and the Osmonds (yes, those Osmonds).
When we arrived on Monday afternoon the rest of the Geek Clan was pretty tired and decided to take the remainder of the day to rest. Mrs. Geek and I made for the grocery store to get staples. Even the grocery stores have buskers trying to sell timeshares and show tickets. As night fell the kids and I took advantage of the facilities at our lovely hotel resort. At 9 I began my quest for a sports bar, a Monday night football tradition. I am sure there are a variety of bars in the town, but they are difficult to find. I settled for Applebees and a couple of beers at the bar.
On Tuesday we visited the Titanic museum. I was afraid that it was going to be a tourist trap, but it was actually pretty well done. My favorite was the recreation of the Marconi wireless room. Overall, it was 2 hours well spent.
Let me take a second to talk about food. There is lots of it in Branson. I am not exaggerating when I say that I always felt full. I went to bed full, I woke full, I walked into buffets full. Donviti would have my head if he saw what I consumed.
Tuesday night, we went to see the Presley Family Country Jubilee. Surprisingly, there were a number of songs that weren’t “country” but were arranged with a country instrumentation. The highlight for the kids was the comedy interludes with Herkimer and Cecil. H & C are real-life Father and Son and have mastered the vaudeville shtick. We ended up buying the H & C joke books.
On Wednesday morning, I made my way to Old Downtown Branson to catch the Mark Twain show. Pretty funny stuff. Apparently most mornings he is Twain. In the afternoon, he becomes Hank Williams Sr. And at night, he is Elvis. Hopefully his rent is low, since there were only 20 of us there. Best factoid: The famous Norman Rockwell picture of a policeman and a little runaway kid was set in Alice’s Restaurant and the Policeman (Officer Obie) who was the model is also the same one in the song.
On Wednesday afternoon, I dropped the clan off at Six and took the GPS out to do some geocaching. All were happy. I picked up two caches and the clan enjoyed the show. In the evening, we caught our last show, The Osmonds. I’m not a fan of the broadway song and dance show (what the hell am I a fan of?) so it didn’t do much for me. They were good, but it really isn’t my bag.
That may be my mantra for this trip. It was a nice town, but it isn’t my bag. I don’t know if I could do this again, let alone every year. The city felt like a cross between a boardwalk and Vegas. But, if you like musicals or country music, or shtick or buffets (OK, I like them, too) you will have a much better time than I.
I hope this southern accent wears off before work on Monday…