Friday, April 20, 2012

Once Upon A Time... a month ago...
(where does the time go?)
we took a little family vacation over spring break.
Our destination:  Branson, Missouri.

This wasn't just any vacation.
This was a vacation on a dime!

We pinched pennies and saved our nickles and dimes...and any "extra" cash we came upon.  This included some birthday money, extra babysitting money, money from selling used clothing on (check it out today!)...anywhere we could save, we did!  We also planned out our vacation meals and scoured the internet for tourist deals.  It made this vacation seem extra rewarding! 
Here's how it all went down:

 Leave town:  enjoy a coffee bought with a saved birthday caribou gift card. (Thanks, Joy!)
 Three cheers for lunch at McDonalds using our giftcards that were in our Christmas stockings!
We really enjoyed all the brilliant colors along the scenic drive South!
Our destination was the Ozark Mountain Resort in Kimberling City, Missouri.  A friend let us purchase a week at this condo through their time share membership.  It was a lovely little two-bedroom place with a deck just perfect for drinking coffee, watching the kids explore, and enjoying the view!
We took in the Table Rock Fish Hatchery and Dam and watched some fly fishing.
 Table Rock Lake was so beautiful.  Nature is free...enjoy it!
 On our vacation, we also hit up some great outlet shopping.  (This was even in the budget!)
See how happy they are when we're shopping?  Clearly, they are my children!

For meals, we tried to take as much along as we practically could.  We let the kids pick out three boxes of "fun" cereal (aka the sugary kind I never let them have!).  We purchased things for sandwiches, string cheese, tons of vegetables, and some chips to have for our lunches.  (Picnic style!) 
 Then for dinner, we took along a few freezer meals and a crock pot.  This worked perfectly!  I'll share the freezer recipes soon.

Of course, we couldn't resist a meal at Lambert's Throwed Roll Cafe.  

Everyone enjoyed the fun of catching their rolls and trying fun sides like fried okra and black-eyed peas!

The BIG treat of our vacation was a day at Silver Dollar City.  We hunted for deals quite awhile before finally catching an online deal right on their website.  It was perfect!
The bravest dudes around...rockin' the coasters and water rides!
The smallest dude took in all the people and napped for three delightful hours!

All of Cloe's dreams came true as this lady painted a special parasol for her.

Pretty sure she was floating the rest of the day!

We all took a ride on the train and enjoyed a little show.

Our Lollygaggers found themselves in a bit of trouble!
We had a great day and enjoyed shutting the place down!

The sunset was beautiful over Table Rock Lake!

We were also able to score some great tickets to the amazing Dixie Stampede for *free*!  Because we were enjoying our condo stay so much, we decided to look into the cost.  For just a couple of hours, we were wooed by the beautiful accommodations available...but not wooed by the price!  Maybe someday!  The tickets were a gift just for looking into a timeshare. 

One rainy day, we took a scenic drive down to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  What a beautiful little town!  We definitely want to explore more there someday!
A lot of the city is built right into the stone.  Waterfalls were springing up everywhere with all the rain.

Our last night, we headed into Branson for one last look (a tornado had ripped through town right before we were there) and enjoyed Andy's Frozen Custard! 

So delicious!

We also enjoyed a treat on the last morning from a local bakery...a fresh Bear Claw with our coffee!
Everyone was all smiles for the ride much togetherness!
So many smiles!
 We're all ready to start saving for the next vacation!


H-Mama said...

this looks delightful! every girl needs a customized parasol, yes? love it! and you're right... nature is free & i think it simply makes the best vacay. ;)

Sarah said...

I love it! Looks like an amazingly fun adventure! and so many memories made :)

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Londa. :) You are making some super special memories for those kiddos. They have one awesome mommy! (Oh . . . and the parasol is awesome. I'd like to borrow it someday. :) ) --Jess

une autre mère said...

Love this post, Londa! Brings back so many memories! My family vacationed there every other summer growing up and we loooved Silver Dollar City! Such a good, wholesome family place. In fact, one time we were sitting in a concert and realized that James Dobson was sitting close by! :) So glad Maddox slept for you. We brought Addie when she was 6 months (with the whole Hol family) and while Kaiden and Clara slept, she cried the whole afternoon! :( Oh, and Addie also has a beautiful parasol from there and loves it! So glad your family got to spend some good time there! Makes me want to plan a family trip there soon too! :)