This past weekend we celebrated our anniversary in style - in Branson style, that is. We dropped off the girlies with Ellen and Luke and headed on up on Sunday morning - nothing says Mother's Day like dropping off your kids to someone else. It was fantastic to have time to just be together and celebrate 6 great years of marriage.
We went on some back roads on the way there, which normally take us through Beaver, AR. There was a sign that said the bridge was closed, but we decided to check it out anyway. What we saw was pretty wild - I know it is just a taste of what is going on in Memphis. This charming, one-way bridge normally looks like this.
(picture circa 2006 when we drove through there)
This is how it looked on Sunday afternoon.
Needless to say, we did not try to cross, but we were glad to have taken the 10 mile detour to see this. If you ever get a chance to go through here when it is not flooded, I definitely recommend it! It is a beautiful drive.
Once we got to Branson, we checked into the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing. When I worked at Kanakuk years ago, this whole area did not exist, and it is crazy to see how much has been built up around Lake Taneycomo. We enjoyed staying right in the thick of things.
I really liked all the shiny lamps in our room. New hotels may not have a lot of character, but they sure are shiny. We had dinner out at Branson Landing at Joe's Crab Shack, which was appropriately tacky including, but not limited to, the manager who was wearing a leopard print cowboy hat and danced enthusiastically to the Cha Cha Slide. Everybody clap your hands.
We went and saw Thor in 3D. Now, this probably wouldn't be that exciting for most people, but as someone who used to go see a lot of movies in the theater (pre-children), it was delightful to go and see the big blockbustery movie sans little friends. It will not win any Academy Awards, but it was fun to watch. The really funny thing is that the movie theater we went to was inside this building that has been there since I was a kid - and I remember going there during the summers. It still looks just as crazy on the inside, and it was hilarious to try to find the movie theater nestled inside all of the kitsch. After the movie, we relished our late-night freedom by walking around Branson Landing and getting a mostly inedible brownie from Old Chicago. At least the cheesecake was good.
I had booked a Hot Air Balloon ride for us, which was supposed to be our main activity. Tragically, it was too windy to be able to go. I guess that really matters a lot when you are in the sky in a giant balloon, so I am glad that the pilot is very safety conscious. However, this is the second time we have booked a balloon ride and had it not work out due to weather. Whenever we do finally do one, it will be epic. In lieu of that little adventure, we decided to try a zipline and "canopy" tour that just opened up last year. It was really well done, and we had a great time sailing through the tree tops.
No trip to Branson would be complete without stopping at Papa Grand's Pizza, home of the World's Largest Banjo. This is a pizza buffet right off the strip that has my favorite Chocolate Chip Pizza ever AND the biggest banjo I have ever seen, which is really random and perfectly Branson. (Most of the rest of the pizza is pretty standard pizza buffet fare - you have been warned.) This time I paid more attention and think I now know how to make this pizza. I will let you know when I try it.
By the time we did all that, it was time to go get the girls. While we were gone, Ellen and Luke managed to get Bella's 6 month pictures taken, which I am so excited to see! Thanks, Team Davis, for making our wonderful weekend possible. Lily is still talking about "Ellen's House" and "Uncle Luke." You guys are loved!
And when I got home today from picking up the girls from Mother's Day Out, these were in the kitchen.
To say that I have been blessed in marriage is an understatement. My husband is a rock star, and I am so glad to have had all that time together. Love you, JPS.