I’ve been to Branson twice in my life (that I can remember) – once in 5th grade with my best friend Angie and her family and once when I was a senior in high school and we had a jazz band competition nearby. Not once in my adult life have I wanted to go back. It’s overly touristy and I don’t like that. Anywhere really. I visit reason for one reason and that’s family/friends. Half of the year, I can almost use baseball as another reason to visit two states south, but it’s rare.
However, now that there’s a certain airline flying directly from Minneapolis to Branson (NON-STOP, MIND YOU), my mind could be easily changed, especially considering my parents like to celebrate their nearby regular honeymoon location in Springfield, MO. The Silver Saddle Inn if we’re going to be exact.
I could be persuaded to stay at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel with a pool like the one they have or maybe at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing is less than 10 miles away. Extra bonus that they allow pets, because I’m sure Riley and the rest of the farm would enjoy some time in Southern Missouri, spending time with Mickey Gilley, Andy Williams, and everybody’s favorite Yakov Smirnoff. I especially like how the hotels offer packages ranging anywhere from some time on the Payne Stewart Golf Course or a romantic package that includes free wine (where allowed, according to their website). Where is wine not allowed??
Next time I go to Branson, it’s going to have to include those awesome Duck Boats I’ve always wanted to ride, a few hours in Silver Dollar City where I can see people blow glass in person, and probably at least three days spent in Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. That’s the only thing I remember about my first trip to Branson… besides stealing a 1972 Playboy from an antique store and reading it in the hot tub. That was the 5th grade trip, not the 12th grade trip.
Suddenly, my trips to Missouri sound a little more exciting. No offense to anything near my family tree, of course. But c’mon – where else can I spend time in the Hollywood Wax Museum, the House of 1000 Clocks, or have a chance to see Ray Stevens perform “The Streak” live and in person?