Saturday, July 26, 2014

First Vacation in 14 years - Branson, MO

We have not had a real vacation in 14 years, so when we were invited to go to Branson with six other couples from church, we went. We drove separate vehicles but are staying in a time share, compliments of one couple's membership. It was our first time to Branson, as was one other of the couple's.

We left at 7:00 am, took 15 minute country drive due to unruly "Tinker Bell", our GPS. Oklahoma highways have not changed much since we were on them last! We got a snack in Sherman and stopped in Warner, OK for lunch. We passed by two of the couples at a stop in McAlester.

We arrived at Grand Crown Resort before other in our group so we did some grocery shopping for supper Saturday night - lasagna, salad, French bread and banana pudding. Everyone helped with cost and preparation. Great meal and fellowship.
The resort is beautiful and provisions are wonderful. We are so blessed to be included in this wonderful trip to Branson with great friends from our church!

Some early morning risers went to the “penthouse” for early morning coffee and fellowship. This was the large room where we all gathered. The facility was amazing.

Sunday, we had breakfast on our own, then met and caravaned to a small church where visitors greatly outnumbered congregation members. We then had lunch at McFarlains and some did a little shopping and napping. In the evening, we gathered again in the penthouse for singing and a devotional. It was great! Afterward we had a supper of sandwiches and leftovers from Saturday.

We started Monday with a late large breakfast in the penthouse with all bringing and making lots of wonderful food. There was fruit: bananas, grapes and watermelon. Also bacon, little sausages, waffles and crepes loaded with whatever you wanted on them - butter, syrup, strawberries and whip topping. So good!

Evening plans were a Monday Night Party with a buffet dinner and a show sampler sponsored by the Grand Crowne owners.

 Pre-dinner and show entertainment included coloring pages - Charles and blowing bubbles - Bob!!

A variety of performers entertained us with short glimpses of their shows while we enjoyed our meal.  Afterward, a nice walk at Branson Landing where they had a fireworks display and river boat. It was all great.

Banana pudding was enjoyed by all and Barbara volunteered to help with cleanup!

Tuesday was a full day as well. Breakfast in room plus a crepe with strawberries at the penthouse. We had a Mexican pileup for a late lunch, a devotional with singing before show time.

 A little gift shop beside the theater had ice cream for a $1.00 so we enjoyed that before seeing a very talented LARGE family - the DUTTONS.

Wednesday, we had a late lunch with the guys cooking on the grill. They did a great job with some delicious chicken.  We also had some pork chops. The girls supplemented it with potato salad, garden salad, rolls, cake and ice cream. Afterward we left the men visiting while the women went to get tickets to shows and check out shopping. We didn't purchase much but asked a nice man to take our picture in a huge chair.

We all had different show choices. We went with another couple to see Mike Walker and three others perform at STATLERS REVISITED. It was a great show!! We really enjoyed it.

We were provided a complimentary breakfast Thursday morning arranged by our hosts. It was a buffet with all the breakfast items, bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy and pancakes as well as some fruits - hungry yet??

After breakfast, my DH and I, with another couple, went to see the DUBLIN IRISH TENORS and the CELTIC LADIES. It was a show filled with talented people but was not what we were expecting. We thought there would be more of the old Irish tunes by the tenors. I also mistook "Celtic Ladies", thinking of "Celtic Women" - big difference!! There was a lot of opera by both tenors and ladies - just not the kind of music we like. 

One issue that both my DH and I have with the shows is the noise level - just too loud for us. I like to hear the words of the songs and when it is so loud you can't make them out. My DH fixed the noise level on the last two shows by stuffing Kleenex in his ears. He could still hear but it was cut back to a bearable level. He said he will bring ear plugs next time.

In the evening for us, it was a picture in the BIG chair, Applebee's for supper, a walk around a huge craft mall close by and great fellowship with others before bedtime.

I bought a few souvenirs - a bell with Branson on it; two thimbles for my collection, one says Branson and one Missouri (I was born in Missouri); a thimble pin, a fabric panel and some bookmark magnets for our friends.

The facility had a nice military display for guests to enjoy.

On Friday morning we all went to an old time photo place for a group picture, dressed up in western clothes. That took awhile since they took a couple of pictures with all of us, then separate ones of the men and women.  We found they were not really upfront about the cost. They kept changing the price of the pictures and a "sitting fee" was never mentioned on paper or verbally. We did get some pictures, though pricey!

We all had buy one, get one, half price coupons for a buffet for lunch that was very good. We came back to pack up or take afternoon naps. For supper, we cleaned out all our leftover foods before leaving Saturday morning for home. 

We left Branson, MO at 4:45 am and made it home just before 2:00 pm.  It is beautiful scenery, even with the fog we encountered on the way home.

It has been a great trip and wonderful fellowship with great friends. We will have to do this again! It was so good to get away for a few days but good to be back home again. 

We missed our girls and they missed us. We are so grateful for a wonderful neighbor who took care of them while we were gone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quilt Room

When you don't have room, you improvise!! With a 12 ft quilting machine in a 12 by 24 ft building, there is not a lot of extra room for cutting.

Thanks to my DH, we can store and cut batting and two kinds of wide muslin backing more easily.

He mounted a bar on the wall. We feed the fabric behind it and cut what we need, using measurements marked on the wall. This works out really well.