Friday, June 28, 2013

Big Cedar Resort in Missouri

We had an amazing view of these fireworks from our balcony the day after we arrived at our hotel. Definitely a memorable event!

Over memorial day weekend, we were able to go to Missouri to visit Big Cedar Lodge for the first time.  Yes, I am just getting this blog post out now but on a separate note, the twins are potty trained-for the most part!

So I thought I would write about our trip for 2 reasons.  The first is that that I am excited to share a cool place with you that you may not know of and secondly, when I was doing google blog searches concerning this upcoming trip , I saw very few bloggers writing about this place which led me to many hours of  researching it on my own.  I tend to go crazy nuts when planning vacations because if I am going to put in the finances or time and effort to get there, I want it to be the bees knees!

So, in case you were wondering, yes-it has been a l-o-n-g time since my last vacation- too long.  The last time I vacationed was before my twins were born and that was like forever ago in mommy-hood.  So, with the 3 day weekend and a need to get outa Dodge and experience some of life's beauty, we packed up and got out of town.

The "tree" in the bathroom was so cool, I had to add it to the collage twice!!!

Our trip was about 5 hours each way by car and surprisingly the kids did well.  They asked "are we bear yet? jokingly while we were actually at home but never asked once we got in the car.  They are sillies.

So we ended up at Big Cedar in Ridgedale, Missouri after careful research and like 5 ga-jillion searches in Google on why we should go there versus Chateau on the Lake or some other resort in Branson.  We were excited that we were actually able to book a reservation so close to Memorial Day and apprehensive at the same time because after the really bad weather left Oklahoma, it went to Branson again and could have interfered with our current vacationing plans.  Also, we were still concerned about Branson's landscape after last year's tornadoes.

For anyone that has been to the Strip in Branson you may have seen it in its glory but currently some parts of the landscape need some TLC due to the tornadoes of last season. Is it being rebuilt?  Yes and no.  Unfortunately lots of the buildings were not up to code and when the bad weather came through, their buildings could not stand up to the winds.  Some people did not have adequate insurance.  There are lots of vacant lots and areas where the damage still looks fresh.  I do believe that they are rebuilding and that it will look better than before in due time.  Plus the surrounding landscape is beautiful in itself!

So I added some of the highlights in case you are deciding on an upcoming trip.  I would recommend going to Branson and I was also myself swayed in that direction from  Sugar bee crafts post about their recent trip to Silver Dollar City.  Beforehand, we were planning on going to Texas but I saw the post and thought that the kids might benefit from going to a theme park with lots of activities to choose from. 

While there we made our way to Silver Dollar City. I went as a kid with my family and so did my husband so we thought that we would go there together and take our little ones.  It was so much fun once we got in the gates.  They were able to pet animals and we listened to a fiddle/ banjo band and splashed in water.  It was definitely worth the effort even though at a certain point I questioned my sanity for going on the trek.

The roads were the most winding you have ever seen and nausea inducing.  This was not the whole problem though.  Since we went at the busiest time of the year like crazy people who love inflicting unnecessary stress on themselves- you can guess the problem- TRAFFIC.  It was stop-and-go once we hit the Strip and we were almost vertical in our cars on the road due to the steepness and slow traffic.

I am almost feeling sick thinking about it.  Once we were in parking lot number 6 which is probably called that since it is 600 miles from the park, I was happier- until I loaded onto a huge school bus that went on some of those crazy roads to get back to the theme park with me and a bus load of other suckers wearing no seat belts!

Oh well- we made it there and back alive and enjoyed ourselves so maybe I need to just remember that aspect of the trek and drink less caffeine before embarking on a huge bus up and down winding roads with complete strangers.

Another highlight I so wish I had taken was a picture of the half cab/ half police car I saw there.  It was the only one we saw and I thought there would be more pics when we got closer into town but I did not see any more.  It was the strangest thing ever!  It was really a car painted down the middle with half of the car black and white and the other half yellow.  My guess is that the local police department thought that they would make some cash while responding to disputes along the way!  I actually think it is a fabulous idea- I can guarantee no one is going to try to get out of paying cab fare to a police officer!

I also discovered that one of my smaller nursery bags worked great to hold all of my bottles and personal items upright perfectly.  So I used this instead of my usual bag for toiletries and I was pretty excited about how well it did.  I did not put it in the suitcase- I let it be its own bag and just sat it up in the car. This was also good because I did not have to look for it when we arrived and I needed to wash my face and re-apply deodorant.

While I was there I also fell in love with the bedding at the lodge we stayed in.  It was plush and I fell back asleep every time I woke up in the night-which is often due to the kids.  It was literally like dreaming on a cloud and lots of other people have also raved about the bedding at this resort on social media sites so I was very excited to actually hit the hay the first night.

It was sublime.  So of course when I got home I replicated it as best I could. I went to Kohl's and purchased a duvet cover and shams and sheets that were white and kind of out of my comfort zone- they are frilly and girly and white.  I wanted to get colored bedding so much but I decided if I really wanted to replicated the hotel bedding then it needed to be comfy looking and feeling and also white.  I am glad I did it because although it is not exact, it is really really similar in feel and my whole family loves it.  Especially the kids- maybe a little too much! But I really do think it is the most comfortable bed eh-ver!

And we definitely had a wonderful time on our trip.  Oh yes, this is a pic of me and my hubby when we were on our honeymoon in Branson almost 8 years ago.  We took the kids back there at the Showboat Branson Bell and took this picture with our twins this time!  It was a treat I hope they remember until our next vacation- sooner than later!

What is the best vacation you have gone on lately?  Or that you have been dreaming about?

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