So...we made it to Branson, and the goofy tourist stuff continued for three days before we even needed to head to the big dance competition. That left time for shopping at super cool stores like the old-time five and dime store. I think we spent about an hour looking at silly stuff.
Bryce and I really cracked up when we found the "squirrel underpants." For some reason, this just struck a cord with me and made me laugh. Probably because we convinced Grace that it was a real thing and when she spotted a real-live squirrel outside the next day, she was concerned that it did not have underpants on...
This hat seemed like a good idea for the Green Bay Packer fans in our house, so we bought it.
One of the coolest things that happened in Branson, was that we got to meet the Gibson family (from the My Crazy Adoption blog)!!! I have been following their blog for a long time, have been in contact with them to buy their cool "simply love" shirts, and have sent Kari some headbands that she handed out on her last mission trip to Ethiopia. Anyway...I realized that she was having a garage sale to help raise funds for their next mission trip (leaving next week!). I also remembered that her when I mailed her headbands, her address was in Branson! Long story short, we got to visit with Kari, Roger and Zoe! Grace and Zoe hit if off and played together like they were best buds. Of course they were adorable together. Roger told us all about his upcoming mission trip. The "Man Up" trip includes a bunch of guys traveling together to Ethiopia...so cool. Kari was sick and not feeling too well, but she was still a super sweet blog buddy and didn't think we were just blog stalkers...It was a lot of fun to meet the Gibsons in "real life." It was also fun to meet their friend Julie who is doing amazing work to bring clean water to the parts of Ethiopia where her boys were adopted from. So cool to meet fellow adoptive moms who are so invested in Ethiopia. I can't wait to follow their footsteps and dig in to a few projects that will impact the beautiful people of Ethiopia who we have grown to love.
After spending some time meeting our blog buddies, we headed out to do some more wacky stuff...like riding segways. What was I thinking? It turned out to be a ton of fun.
Why do I look so much more nervous than Alyssa? She can't even drive a car yet...
She's just chillin' like it's no big deal.
And, what's a vacation without a lot of swimming?
Here WE are swimming...this is how much I participate in family swim time.
Grace and Bryce didn't get enough of the pool, so they had to continue the fun in our condo's tub. They can be such good buddies one minute, and get on each other's nerves the next.
It was finally time to watch some dance! Alyssa and her friends did such a great job dancing! Their trio was a huge success. They got the highest score they could get, got a special judge's award, AND took first (at a national competition) in their category!!!! We were so proud of them!!!
(The trio is a character routine...the panicked look on the dancer's face is part of her character...not just nervous dancer face ;))
Alyssa had six routines compete in Branson and they were all super.
GREAT JOB ALYSSA!!!!
The dancing was much more successful than the fishing. Branson has beautiful lakes and we heard that the fishing was wonderful. We did not have the best luck, but the kids had fun throwing in a few lines.
Turns out Grace had beginner's luck and caught the biggest fish!
As the week came to an end, it was clearly time to head home...we had resorted to eating donuts for lunch and were running out of miniature golf places to visit.
Branson will always hold a special place in our hearts...after all, where else could we shop for squirrel underpants, pose for pictures with Johnny Depp AND watch a great dance competition?