Hello! Thrifty Tuesday will resume next week. Instead today I’m recapping our Branson Adventure. We got back late Sunday night and then took yesterday to recover and catch up on life a bit and now are back to the grind. It was a great little mini trip though, everything went quite well!
Thursday morning we were up at the crack of dawn, literally. We had to get up by 4:00 to make it to the airport by 5:00 so we could check in for a 6:55 am flight. Honestly this was the part of the entire trip that had me the most nervous, I didn’t know how it would go getting Ollie out of bed, but he did great. He was so excited and pretty much ran on adrenaline all day!
The flight was pretty uneventful and honestly fast. We had just barely finished the beverage service and were already descending into Kansas City! I think it was barely an hour flight! Anyway, we landed and hopped into our rental car for the weekend, a Dodge Grand Caravan (and now I’ve fallen in love with a minivan, Lord help me) and then headed down the road to Branson. We made a lunch stop in a town called Bolivar at a fantastic little place called Brenda’s Cafe. Nate and I had the most delicious hot beef sandwich and Ollie had two of his favorite things – tator tots and applesauce. Then we got back on the road and made a stop just south of Springfield at Nate’s cousin Chris’s new house. Chris is the one that was getting married. It was nice to see where he and Alexis, his now wife, are going to be living, they have a beautiful home! After a quick visit we hopped back in the car for the final leg of the journey to Branson, about another half hour.
When we arrived at our condo in Branson our jaws kind of dropped. The condo was gorgeous. We had three bedrooms (one for us and Ollie, one for my sister in law Ali and one for my in-laws), two bathrooms, a huge kitchen and a nice sitting area. There was also a balcony that overlooked a man made pond with a fountain and the outdoor swimming pools. Did I mention that this was Nate’s aunt and uncle’s timeshare so we didn’t have to pay a thing? We were very spoiled. Anyway, after we got settled in we headed into town to grab dinner and some groceries. We stopped at a pizza place that specializes in create your own and Ollie was pretty excited to have his own sausage pizza all to himself! We headed to bed pretty early because we were running more or less on fumes by this point.
Friday was a beautiful day outside. The resort had various activities going on and one of them was kids could come and paint a pet rock, so Ali and I took Ollie over to do that for a little bit. Then we decided to go into town and play mini golf at a Pirates Cove. I’ve played Pirates Cove in four different states now! It’s a really fun mini golf course though, challenges the adults, but is fun for kids too. Ollie had fun trying to hit his ball, though I think he most enjoyed feeding the giant goldfish!
Friday night our hosts had to go to their rehearsal dinner, so we decided while they were gone that we’d celebrate Cinqo De Mayo, so we had a taco and margarita night back at our condo. One of Nate’s other uncle’s and cousin came over to watch the St. Louis Blues game. We just played with Ollie and chilled and then went to bed.
Saturday was the day of the wedding, but we had some time before we had to go get ready, so we took Ollie swimming in the morning for a bit. Then we all got showered and dressed for the wedding. I have to say, I have a pretty stylish little family!
We drove out to the wedding chapel, it was the most beautiful setting, the chapel was on a hill overlooking a lake. It was so pretty inside and out. The ceremony was fairly short, but nice.
We had a little time to kill after the reception so we retreated to our condo and sat out on the balcony with a beverage and just enjoyed the beautiful day. Then we headed to the reception where the party got going! We had a nice table that had a little nook to the side where Ollie could spread out and play with his cars. They were also very thoughtful and included little activity books for kids as well. He didn’t eat much for dinner, but he definitely ate some wedding cake. He never wants cake any other time, but he’ll eat cake at a wedding! Nate and I had some fun with the wedding cake too, it had a topper that said Mr. and Mrs. Kondrick so we’re like, hey, this must be for us!
We hung around as long as we could, but a certain three year old who didn’t get a nap was starting to hit the wall right about the time the dancing started, so after one song we took him back to the condo to unwind and get him to bed. We still really enjoyed ourselves for as long as we were able to be there though!
Sunday morning we got a chance to see everyone again at a brunch, so that was really nice too and it was good to get some food in our bellies before we started our journey north to Kansas City. The trip back was pretty quick all things considered, we were up in Kansas City well ahead of our flight time, so we decided, when in Kansas City, you should have good barbeque. We found a place called Q39 and they were FANTASTIC. I can’t say enough great things about them. Not only was the food amazing, the staff was great too. Ollie had just fallen asleep before we got there and therefore was kind of being owly at the table and the sweetest staff member named Kristi came over and asked if he wanted to go see their smokers. So we got a behind the scenes tour! They gave him a tiny pig trophy to play with while we were there as well, we had to give it back, but it was still pretty nice of them to do that! I can’t say enough good things about this place.
After we were absolutely stuffed we STILL had some time to kill, so we found a nice park not far from the restaurant that had a playground and areas to walk around and spent about an hour there before heading down to the airport. We were checked in for our flight nice and early so we killed a bit of time in a bar overlooking the runways. And then we boarded and were back in Minnesota before we knew it!
I am SO beyond proud of Ollie for how well he did traveling this weekend. It was a lot of flying, driving, schedule adjusting, eating at different times than he is used to, seeing a lot of people he isn’t familiar with and having to kind of go with the flow and he really did great. I don’t think we had to give any timeouts and he only got grumbly a handful of times. He is a travel rockstar. Our next trip is going to be far more low key – we’ll be going to a cabin in Itasca State Park next month and I think it’ll be a breeze if he can do this well with a much more jam packed type of trip!
We had a great time, but as Dorothy says, there’s no place like home and I’m happy to be back! Back to reality now and gearing up for summer!