We love Branson. It's one of the last places where you can find such a concentration of good, clean family entertainment. Nestled in the Ozarks near beautiful Table Rock Lake, it has something for every season: In the summer, there are all sorts of water activities, including the compelling Silver Dollar City amusement park. In the spring and fall, the temperatures are mild with plenty of first-rate shows to see and, in the winter, there are wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas events with stunning decorations.
This is the first time we have stayed at Treasure Lake RV Resort, and it is probably the nicest one in Branson. It is a membership-only park, to which we get access because of our Thousand Trails membership:
Our main attraction this time was to meet up with friends Bubba and LouAnn and Harvey and Mary Lou for PraiseFest, a southern gospel music event held at the Mansion theater. It was a sellout, and we enjoyed the three-day run immensely.
We had the additional good fortune to be joined by Brittany, daughter of Bubba and LouAnn, and her husband, Tyler, and their two boys, Carter and Davis. One of the shows we saw together was "Samson," at the Sight and Sound theater. It was quite an epic show, and we enjoyed it a great deal. Here's a photo of our group taken in the theater lobby:
Another favorite show was "#1 Hits of the 60s and 50s" which, of course, was the best music ever. Don't think so? Well, they may have been a little silly, but at least they had a melody, unlike what's out there today! Anyway, the show was very well done, with lots of talented musicians.
While we were parked at Treasure Lake, I noticed that parked nearby was a Phaeton motorhome like ours, except for the color. We struck up a conversation with its owners, Larry and Carolyn, and found out that their coach was a year newer than Phannie, but that wasn't evident to the eye:
We discovered we had a great deal in common, and we were soon on the receiving end of an invitation to accompany them to a show at the Grand Country Jubilee. We happily accepted and enjoyed their company immensely; it was almost as though we had known them for a long time. It never ceases to amaze me how many great people we meet in the RV world. We have a wealth of friends with this common interest, and we love it when our paths cross from time to time, as they usually do. We are even making plans with Larry and Carolyn to meet at a common destination in a few months! That'll be great!
We have some more shows to see in Branson before we head to Red Bay, and we'll keep you updated.
I've gotten some good feedback from the last 'Blast From the Past' that I included here, so I thought I would include another one. Following is an excerpt from a post back in 2005--our first year of RVing--when we were exploring the Texas Hill Country. I make no apology for my pride in my native state, and this excerpt expresses that sentiment pretty well:
The Texas hill country has its own unique identity that's not easy to describe, because part of its charm is in the feeling one has about it, especially among native Texans, I think. Not to diminish the connection that non-natives can develop for the state, but most Texans by birth seem to exhibit a love for this immense state that is not unlike a love of country or love of the family farm.
The hill country is like a bauble on a grand dame, joining other jewels like the piney woods of east Texas, the sawgrass of the gulf coast and the rugged crags of the Big Bend to make up her whole persona. It's as much of an air, or feeling, as it is an appealing landscape.
Traveling through the rocky hills reveals not the majestic grandeur of the Rockies but the almost audible heartbeat of a land of legend and mystique, both wild and winsome at the same time. The undulating change in dimension between land and sky creates a different visual treat with the rounding of a curve or the crossing of a crystal stream.
Surveyed from the top of a ridge, the hills seem to stretch without end, passing under cottonlike clouds at the edge of the impossibly blue sky.
At day's end, the sun brushes gilded clouds onto a pink and purple canvas, as it reluctantly leaves to shine on lesser lands. Marveling at God's handiwork, I can't help but get a lump in my throat and think that it is all so very Texan.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life;
please forgive me if I don't appreciate it as I should each day.
I had rather own little and see the world than to own the whole world and see little of it.