Sunday, May 6, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Branson Bus Trip – November 2010
Headed out early (in the dark) for the Branson Trip via Park Tours Bus. Nancy was the Tour Director and Terry our driver. 29 on the bus so we were not full by any means so we had plenty room to spread out if we wanted. While boarding I noticed a familiar face from Mineral Wells, Bill Taylor and his wife Chris. Have known Bill for over 40 years. Later in the trip I discovered another couple I have known for many years but not kept in touch. Joan and Roger Kaufman. It was great talking with them and reminiscing about old times. Joan's father owned the property where the local Dupont Plant is located. Also, traveling with us was Baker and Betty Neal from Parkersburg. I have known of Baker and Betty for many years through our mutual friends, Darrell and Helen. When on a Tour Bus you meet new people and are soon friends and so it was with this trip.
We traveled all day and our first night was at a Best Western in St Louis. Jo and I ate dinner with Baker and Betty at Chilli's, which was attached to the Hotel and very convenient. During the day we stopped ever 2 hours or so for rest room break and to stretch our legs. Ate at Piccadilly's buffet for lunch.
Wednesday morning, following our hot breakfast buffet at the hotel, we headed south for Branson. I noticed in Branson, all the restaurants we visited had a roll of paper towels on the tables instead of napkins, except for the Showboat. Pretty neat idea when you think of it.
Stopped for lunch at Lambert’s Café in Springfield. Lambert’s are known for their ‘throwing hot rolls”. The waiter “throws hot rolls to you”. Hugh ones 5” in diameter. Another waiter caries around molasses and offer’s it to you. I tasted the molasses and they were milder than the ones we buy locally. More like flavorful honey. Another waiter came by with fried potatoes in a skillet. You would call dinning at Lambert’s an “experience”. I ordered fried catfish and there were 6 filets on my plate. One of the men ordered ham and it covered his plate. When you first were seated we were instructed to put a paper towel out and a waiter came by with a spoonful of fried okra for you free. Another freeby offered was black-eyed peas which I tasted and enjoyed. Friendly, happy atmosphere and a fun place to go.
Arrived at Branson early in the afternoon and checked in at the Hampton Inn for the next 2 nights. In the evening we were driven to board the Showboat, the Queen of the Ozarks, Showboat Branson Belle. We were whisked away on the authentic 1880-style paddle-wheeler to the days when showboats reigned over the water with style and grace. We enjoyed a savory meal followed by country and holiday music spiked with good ole “down-home fun. The headliner entertainer was ventriloquist Todd Oliver and his dogs. Very funny, I laughed so much my face hurt.
Thursday morning, following a hearty hot breakfast at our Hotel we were delayed by our bus being broke down and in the shop. A loaner bus arrived to deliver us to “Ride the Ducks”. The Ducks are WWII DUKW, refitted for tourism and traveled both by land and into a lake for some local fun. Lunch was a Peppercorn’s Ranch House for a buffet lunch followed by the Highlight of the Trip for me – the afternoon show at the Shaji Tabauchi Theatre. His show was a favorite for me from several years ago and still a favorite for me. If you go to Branson, be sure to stop for his show. The bathrooms are “to die for”, with real flower boquets and a live orchid by every lavatory and according to Paul when we were there, several years ago, crushed ice in the urinals. On that visit we went back a second time just to visit the bathrooms (grin). They still have the ice, according to one of the men on the trip and in the ladies room a uniformed lady passing out towels and hand lotion and another lady directing “traffic” in the toilet area. They have – no doubt about it – the nicest and most beautiful bathrooms you will ever see. Our director said the men’s room even had a pool table in it. Dinner was another buffet at The Plantation Resturant followed by a live show by The Oak Ridge Boys at their theatre.
Friday morning we traveled to the Branson Scenic Railway for a train ride through the Ozark foothills and lunch on the train. After that we headed north to our Hotel again in St Louis. On the way we stopped at a interesting Outlet for some shopping.
Leaving St Louis Saturday, we headed for home and arrived back in Parkersburg WV at 8:30. Very nice and enjoyable trip with friendly travelers.