This was it; Branson was our final stop before we headed home to Omaha. Nic had been talking about visiting Silver Dollar City for a while now and I had heard a lot about Branson from people who had visited the area. I think at one point my family had considered making a trip, but in all honesty, I could tell you nothing about Branson or Silver Dollar City other than they are vacation hot spots for families. A couple of days before getting to Branson, Nic said something about Silver Dollar City being like an amusement park. I looked over at him and with surprise and asked, “with rides?” He laughed and shook his head yes, giving me a look like have you been listening to anything I’ve said? Obviously not.
I had not been on a roller coaster for years. Growing up my family went to Valleyfair, an amusement park in Minnesota, but it had been so long. The thought of a ride made my stomach drop. I’m pretty sure I’m scared of roller coasters now. Nic was so excited though, I couldn’t help but look forward to the trip.
We checked into a hotel that was right on W 76 Country Boulevard, the main street in town, and afterwards, Nic drove us on a tour of all Branson had to offer. He kept comparing it to Nashville, and even Vegas, and I can see why. There are shows advertised all over the place, and there are tons of restaurants. The only difference is this place is much more family oriented. We picked a spot, Botana’s, for dinner and chowed down on some Mexican food while sipping margaritas. It had been a while since we had Mexican, and it definitely tasted good. Afterward, we played a round of miniature golf at Lost Treasure. I beat Nic by one stroke, and now he owes me one fabulous date night complete with a homemade dinner. We ended the night with frozen custards from Andy’s while watching The Bachelorette in our room. Good lawd… LUKE?! No man will ever live up to that beautiful scene he created with the candles and flowers. I cried. And then she wants to SEND HIM HOME?!??! This is seriously messed up.
Anyway… the next morning we woke up and made our way to Silver Dollar City. It was fantastic. I love how everyone is dressed up in old costumes and the whole place like the wild west. We rode a few rides (I survived all the rollercoasters! Yay me!) and strolled all the boutiques, picking up a few things as we went. It only made sense that after visiting nearly 50 places, we finally decide to buy a souvenir here, at our last destination. We also ate way too much food: tater twist dog (a potato that is twisted and fried around a hot dog – perfect carnival food), dippin’ dots (cotton candy flavor for Nic), funnel cake (DUH), and frozen strawberry lemonade (because we obviously have not had enough).
With full stomachs, and happy hearts, we left Silver Dollar City, and headed toward Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. This place was full to the most unusual and interesting displays. The most disturbing, to me, was the shrunken head. It is literally, a shrunken head. I don’t want to get into it out of fear of the nightmares that may follow, but you can Google it if you are interested. Ripley has been to 201 countries and seen and collected an enormous amount of items with information that is baffling, humorous, eerie, and always interesting.
We spent the rest of our evening relaxing by the pool, chowing down on more food if you can believe it (burgers and fries, anyone?), drinking a couple beers, and watching some television.
Now, prepare yourselves, because things might just get a little mushy. I loved this day. It may have had something to do with the fact that this was our final stop, and we would be heading home soon, and it may have also been because it was truly a fun and adventure filled place, but I think, for me, there was a little more to it than just the rush you get flipping on a roller coaster. I believe we all have specific moments engrained in our minds that are so vivid and rich that they hold some kind of significance to us. When we were walking around Silver Dollar City, I had one of those moments.
My husband came here growing up and getting to see him light up with the memories of what he experienced here as a child was beautiful for me. In these moments, I always feel a bit closer to him, and I fall in love with him all over again. I love when I get a peak into what his childhood was like, when I get to envision him as a young child, innocent and free from the injustices and persecution of the world. It makes me look forward to a day when we can hopefully bring our kids here so they can experience it as well.
*Dates visited: July 18-20