We left at 9am on Thursday, June 13th from my parents' home in Bridgewater, IA. We began driving and didn't stop until we were just past Kansas City to stop for a quick lunch at Wendy's. After lunch, we got back on the road and arrived in Branson at about 4pm. We stayed at Antler's Lodge located directly on the lake. The rest of our family was already there to greet us!
After arriving, we unpacked and went to see everyone else! We were all pretty exhausted after driving all day (why exactly does sitting on your butt in a vehicle feel so tiring?!). My cousin, Chris and his family brought down plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs so everyone decided to grill out front of one of the cabins.
They are grilling pros!
Waiting for the finished product!
Dad and his daughters hanging out!
After a delicious meal, we all headed back to our cabins for some much needed sleep! The next morning (Friday, June 14), I woke up before everyone else and headed out for a 3.5 mile run! It was just what I needed after sitting in a car for so long the day before. I set out from our cabin and headed straight up a hill, then found yet another hill, then another, then another. In case you don't understand, my run was super hilly! I finished drenched in sweat with burning quads, but yet the whole time all I could think about was how gorgeous the views were. It was a good run and made me realize how strong my legs are! After my run, I showered, ate breakfast, and then read Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks while waiting for everyone to get ready. Chris and my dad had already set out to get the boat for the day and we were all just waiting to get on!
Waiting on the dock!
Once the boat was here, a bunch of us got on! It could hold about 12 people at one time so we took turns throughout the day.
I could lounge on a boat all day!
We set out onto the lake for a spin. The weather was perfect and I knew by the end of the day, I'd be tan! Chris found some good tunes on the radio and then it was time to take turns tubing!
Wyatt and I tubing! Check out our hair!
After our first ride, we all got off and headed to have a quick lunch and then waited a bit before heading to the pool! I swam laps for awhile, then lounged in a floating chair before getting out to dry off, tan, and continue reading my book.
Grandma even joined us!
After awhile it was our turn to get back on the boat! This time around, I didn't tube and let everyone else do it and instead, I hung out with my pal!
Jordan & Callie
After a long day on the boat, my Aunt Marilyn made everyone a spaghetti dinner. After dinner, we got into the drinks and started playing games! We played "The Game of Things" that my Aunt Jan brought down with her. I had never played before, but it was super fun and hilarious!!
A group of us playing!
We all stayed up late and then headed to our appropriate cabins for a night of sleep. The next morning (Saturday, June 15), we woke up at a good time and headed to Silver Dollar City. It looked like it would be a nice day so we were excited to get going! Our first stop in the park was the Marvel Cave, a tour through a cave that many endangered bats live in!
During the tour -- a quick picture!
After the tour, we had lunch and by the time we came out it looked cloudy. We walked around a bit and met up with the others who came and we all decided to head back and just get a rain check for tomorrow. What a bummer! After getting back (which only took like 10 minutes), we all just hung out while the rain passed.
Reading and playing games on the ipad!
Wyatt even got a hair-do! ;)
The next morning (Sunday, June 16), we prepared brunch for the entire family before heading out to Silver Dollar City again!
Girls getting breakfast ready!
I don't think we could've been any closer..
After breakfast, we headed back to Silver Dollar for a perfect day! We rode some rides and saw a cajun band (ask Wyatt about his impersonation of Washboard Leo). After the day was up, we came back for pizza and ice cream for dinner before heading to bed to prepare to leave the next day.
The next day (Monday, June 17), we began our trek back to Iowa. We had a few stops along the way, including lunch, but finally made it back around 6pm! I then had to drive back to Indianola from there as well.
I think we can all say that we had a blast on this trip making memories to last a lifetime!