Well, to say that the past couple of weeks have been busy would be a huge understatement. I will go into more detail on our busy few weeks later, but for now, I want to share an awesome vacation we took at the end of July to Branson with Ryan’s family! I may be like many of you who, when you think of Branson, Missouri, you automatically think of the movie “She’s Out of My League.” But don’t worry, we didn’t all get matching yellow sweatshirts that say “Branson Bound!” It was a great trip though, and of course, our sweet Kinsie had a blast!
Branson has so many fun things to do, and it is definitely one of those places where you have to plan out your trip ahead of time so that you can take full advantage of all the opportunities that you can during your stay. It was about an 8 hour drive, which, as a mother of a 10 month old, made me a little nervous. We tried to have plenty of toys and snacks to keep Kinsie entertained throughout the trip, and she was an absolute champ! She was definitely happy to get there and be able to stretch her legs and crawl around though! We stayed in a resort that had cute little cottages, restaurants, and a few pools. They also had a splash pad that Kinsie LOVED. The first full day we were there, we went to the pool area just to check it out, and Kinsie ended up spending at least an hour playing in the splash pad (she didn’t even have her swim suit on, but she didn’t care!)
The next day, we went to the Silver Dollar City Amusement Park. It was a pretty cool park with rides, games, and shops. However, it definitely would have helped to have more indoor areas since it was 90 degrees outside! I spent most of my day trying to keep my little girl cool. Like usual, she still had fun! She loved spending the day in the Baby Bjorn with her daddy. We really wanted her to get to go on a ride, but there were limited options for her age. She ended up getting to ride the carousel for the first time and loved it! The only thing she didn’t like about the park was the train ride. Mainly because we were right in the front and the train had a very loud whistle. Every time the whistle was blown, she started crying. It broke my heart! Next time we ride a train, we’ll be sure to sit farther back where it isn’t as loud and maybe she’ll enjoy it a little more!
One night after dinner, we went to a dock on Table Rock Lake. There were tons of fish and geese on the lake and we bought fish food to feed them. Kinsie loved sitting on the dock and feeding the fish!
Kinsie’s favorite part of the trip was definitely the Promised Land Zoo. It is a family-owned zoo that had two parts, a walk-through part and a drive-through part. At this zoo, you could pet and feed most of the animals. It was awesome! Kinsie absolutely loved all of the animals. She was not afraid in the least bit like I’m sure many kids her age would probably be. When we went through the driving part, we drove slow enough that we could just hold her on our laps so she could see everything. She thought it was the coolest thing…which, it kinda was! The animals would just walk up to the windows in the car so you could feed them. It was an amazing experience! We’ve been joking now that when Kinsie gets a little older, she is going to want us to buy a zoo!
On our last day, we rented a pontoon boat. It had an upper level and a slide. This wasn’t Kinsie’s first time on a boat, but she loved it all the same. She played, ate and even took a nap on the boat. What a life!
On the way back home, we stopped at the St. Louis zoo. We figured it would be a nice break from the long car ride. We weren’t able to stay very long because it started storming, but for the time that we were there, we had a lot of fun. It was a little chilly and rainy, but that of course didn’t bother our little outdoor girl. We just wrapped her in a blanket and went on our way!
We did a lot of other cool things while in Branson, including zip lining (which is awesome by the way…I highly recommend doing it sometime!), we went to see a show where two guys played music using buckets and other random objects, went to the fish hatchery, ate dinner at a great little Cajun restaurant (I am a Duck Dynasty wannabe), and lots more. It was so nice spending the week with Ryan’s family. This was the first time in at least 3 years that we were all able to go on vacation together. I know they all enjoyed it too, especially because they got to spend quality time with Miss Kinsie Kay. I mean, let’s be honest, she’s a pretty fun little chick to hang with!