We left Wednesday morning pretty early (before 9 a.m.) and stopped at IHop for some festive pancakes before hitting Highway 71. The road trip to Branson was uneventful and we arrived around before 1 p.m. Checked into our motel -- a new one for us called The Windmill -- and found our pet-friendly room. We liked the motel quite a lot and will stay there again. Then we picked up our tickets for the three shows we decided to see and went and found an A&W Root Beer joint in the outlet mall where we were spying out Black Friday bargains and had a super dog with suds.
After a little nap (I seem to need naps nearly every day) we drove over to the Osmonds Theater where we had dinner with Maurice, the lead Osmond singer. Well, actually we had the dinner and he showed up to cage a couple of dinner roles. The meal was surprisingly good and Hubby really lapped up the beef tips, chicken, baked potato and fixings. We watched a video of the Osmonds' lives though dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed. My dad had loved the Osmond Brothers on the Andy Williams show in the early '60's so it was a trip down nostalgia lane for me. The show which began at 8 p.m. was the best of the trip -- clearly the Osmonds have become a world class act and know how to reach out to their audience. Their voices, like Andy Williams himself, are not the best anymore but their harmonies are still top notch and they put on a super delightful show. For the last three years they have been touring so this is their first time back in Branson for a Christmas show.
Thanksgiving Day in Branson is shopping time. Almost all the mini-malls are open and one of the Outlet Malls opens at noon. We had a little turkey buffet and did a lot of shopping, especially at the dollar stores. We filled the trunk with little Christmas stocking stuffers for my kids at school. Also I bought a red suit at my favorite store.
That evening we took in the relatively new show Pierce Arrow. It was okay but kind of fulfilled the Branson stereotype of "redneck" entertainment. The music was fair but the comedy, which it's known for, is geared to the conservative hick living in Missouri and though Hubby managed to laugh, mostly I felt insulted.
Friday we hit the other Outlet Mall and I got some wonderful Christmas presents for the sister-in-law in Houston -- and her brother. Plus I bought a Christmas present for me to have Hubby give me on Christmas Day. We did a 3 p.m. show called the Spirit of Christmas which I had wanted to see for three years and it was AWFUL! Taped singing, poor dancing -- just bad. So we left at intermission and ambled out to the Target which Hubby wanted to shop at -- while I did the Dollar Tree and got 26 items at a buck each for my classroom.
Saturday we got up at 8, pack up and ambled down 65 to the Osage Beach Outlet Mall -- because clearly we had NOT done enough shopping. We had rented a Grand Marquis (full size luxury car) for the trip -- and by the time we were driving out of Osage Beach to go home, the trunk of the car was overflowing into the backseat and the dogs were balancing on several big boxes.
It was a great holiday and a wonderful respite from the daily grind. And the Houston crowd is going to have the BESTEST Christmas EVER! Really!