It’s been a hectic year for me, culminating in my graduation from college, so I needed some time to relax. My sister and I have access to a time-share in Branson, Missouri and we decided to take a few days. Although our main agenda was vegging out, I looked into what was going on during the holidays and saw some things I wanted to check out.
Anyone who’s been to Branson during the rest of the year knows that the traffic is frequently bumper-to-bumper, so it was nice to be able to easily drive where ever we wanted. There were a lot of places closed but there were still shows available and plenty of restaurants to choose from. Luckily the weather was mild so we had a great time.
The first day we headed to the Tangers Outlet stores to do some Christmas shopping and got some great bargains. Then it was lunch at Waxy O’Shea’s Irish Pub in Branson Landing. There was a beautiful Christmas tree in the plaza and decorations everywhere. We took our time and browsed the shops in downtown Branson. There was a different atmosphere than during the busy season, like small town folks preparing for the holiday. We spend the rest of the evening lounging around the condo.
The next day we visited the Butterfly Palace to see theWhite Flight. We’ve visited there before, my granddaughter particularly likes it, and spend a good hour taking pictures of and watching the butterflies and birds and the small display of reptiles. Usually there are many colorful butterflies but for the White Flight the butterflies were mostly white. They were beautiful against the Christmas tree formed with red poinsettas for the holiday.
We had lunch at the Outback Pub (hmm, there’s a theme here) and then visited the Mount Pleasant Winery for tasting and stocking up for New Year’s. Then we decided we needed a little exercise, so we opted for indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf at the Family Fun Factory. It was interesting playing in the dark among the psychedelic inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest.
That evening we went to the Trail of Lights, a seasonal attraction set up at the Shepherd of the Hills site. It cost $12.00 per adult but it was worth it. On the 2 1/2 mile drive you see many displays of lights and animatronic scenes ranging from a Victorian Christmas to religious themes to Santa’s workshop and even an outer space Christmas all accompanied by music. We also got to go to the top of Inspiration Point and look out on the entire area. This was followed up by free hot drinks at the gift shop
On our last day we had breakfast at our favorite spot for overeating, the Grand Country Buffet. Where else can you have a whole plate of bacon instead of just 3 strips? Then we decided to meander home on two lane highways and saw many interesting small towns. Even though we went to a place we’ve been many times, I was ready to face the rest of the season after a restful interlude.
I would definitely recommend fitting time for rest and relaxation during the holidays, even if you don’t think you can. It got me through a rigorous schedule with my holiday spirit still in place!
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