Branson Black Friday

Branson Black Friday

We decided to be crazy and go to Branson for Black Friday. We didn’t plan on doing much shopping, but wanted to just spend some time together and do some fun Christmas stuff!

Remi was recovering from a little bug, so she slept on the way. She woke up about an hour in and was pretty upset and fussy. We debated going home, but decided to press on, and I’m so glad we did. Once she slept a little more, she was GREAT and her sickness was over.

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When we got to Branson, we started with Dolly Parton’s Stampede! Remi was still in a nap fog (and had decided she didn’t like her first shirt, so we had to change)

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But once the show started, she was INTO IT. She loved the music, the horses, and the whole thing. She also WENT TO TOWN on the food.

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The show was from 3-5, so we went back to the hotel after to chill. We let Remi girl play, and she wanted to take a bath in the big tub! We let her get water up to her neck (unlike at home) and she loved it. She (thankfully) slept pretty great in the hotel and was a happy girl when she woke up!

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Saturday morning we donned our matching pajamas and headed to the Showboat for a Pancakes with Santa cruise!

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A little better group photo this time. 🙂

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Remi was INTO all the characters on the boat.  Hugging the gingerbread man, getting candy from the Sugar Plum Fairies…

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We waited in line (which she was much more patient for than I thought she would be) and she got a snowflake face painting.

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It was a gorgeous day (like 65 degrees) so we walked around the outside deck looking at the water wheel.

We ate pancakes and then the show started. She LOVED it. There were dancing hippos (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!) and even a dancing dinosaur! And bless it, when Santa came out, she said “I hug him!” and tried to climb down to go get him!

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She did get to hug Santa after the show! He was waiting on the dock to meet all the kids. She (again) waited patiently and hugged Santa and sat on his lap.

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After breakfast, we all changed clothes to head out and go shopping.  Remi liked walking back to the car- she played with those polar bears you see behind her, played in the rocks and found herself a stick.

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While we shopped, she rode the rides at the outlet mall. She LOVES them and remembered them from this summer. As soon as we walked up to the mall, she said “I ride horses!”

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After a little shopping, we got lunch and drove home.  A great trip all together!


Vacation? Booked!

Vacation? Booked!

Maybe we’re crazy, but we just booked a family cruise for February!

We are headed to Cozumel and Progresso, where we’ve been several times before, but we wanted to try cruising with Remi.  We hope to go on an Alaskan cruise in 2020, so we wanted to try a (cheaper) shorter cruise before committing to all that an Alaskan cruise involves (more $$, more time, flights, etc.)

Our moms are going with us, so we will be able to have a little more relaxation time than if it were just the three of us (plus, we like them and enjoy traveling with them). We do also plan on taking advantage of some of the on-board kid’s activities- I’ve heard GREAT things about the quality of childcare and kid fun with Carnival.

We have a few things to work on before then, but it’s 6 months away, so we have time.

 

Any tips for cruising with toddlers?  I’ll take all the advice I can get. 🙂


Weekend Getaway to the Mountains

Weekend Getaway to the Mountains

Tyler and I recently took a weekend trip to one of our favorite spots- a cabin a little over an hour away.

He suggested we take this trip a couple of months ago- and I was so glad he did. It’s easy to get bogged down in the daily stuff- who is picking up the baby? Did you take the trash out? What time will you be off work today? – So making time for some fun and connection is important.

I actually took the Friday off work so we could have a three-day weekend. We slept in (as much as Remi would allow), I took her to school and worked out and then we hit the road.

We went to lunch at Cafe Rue Orleans in Fayetteville and we were SO SURPRISED at this giant plate of fried crawfish- it was the appetizer portion. WOW! So good.

After lunch, we did some shopping. I went to a boutique and he went to a pawn shop. Typical us.

We hit Whole Foods to grab some groceries for the cabin and then headed down the mountain to check in.

We relaxed a bit and then went back to NWA for the Naturals baseball game!  It was a hot July, but the weather was not too bad- barely hitting 90 and a good breeze.  We enjoyed dinner and the game, and then the fireworks!

Saturday morning, I woke up and watched some of the sunrise over the mountain. Then we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast cooked by our host.

After breakfast, we headed to Devil’s Den to hike. On our drive in, we saw this little deer. So sweet!

Tyler did a little fishing (no bites, but some fun trying!)

 

Then we hit the trails for like a three mile hike.  It started getting pretty warm back in the woods, so we finished before lunch and then had a picnic before heading back to the cabin.

Before we left, Tyler got a float from the snack shop at the park. We joked it was a “float weekend” because I had one the night before at the baseball game.

We took a nap and then went to our favorite swimming hole to cool off. The water was warm but nice, and even though it was busy there, we enjoyed swimming and floating.

Tyler wanted to do some fishing in the river, but since the swimming area was busy, he wanted to walk a ways to find a good spot.  We walked like 100 yards past the dam and found this GORGEOUS spot.

We had some cool experiences down there. Tyler fished and got a few bites. I sat on a rock and watched the birds and fish. And then a deer ran down the bank and across the water to the other side. It was neat to watch.

We had a great dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the swimming hole and then came back to the cabin to watch movies.

Sunday morning, we had another great breakfast. Janice outdoes herself! Those cinnamon rolls and french toast were delicious. She definitely fueled us for another fun morning.

We went to Lake Fort Smith and rented a tandem kayak, spending like three hours on the water.  We boated around and Tyler fished while we explored. It was great and gorgeous.

On our way home, we got sushi and then met up with mom and got our girl.

It was a fantastic weekend away. I’m so thankful for my husband and our time together.


Branson Getaway Day 3Q

Branson Getaway Day 3Q

Another fun morning in the condo. Remi played, we made pancakes and got ready for the day.

We stopped by the marina to feed the fish and turtles one more time.

Then we got all checked out and headed to Springfield to Bass Pro.

Tyler did a bit of shopping, but we mostly went for the new big aquarium. It was a really neat experience (even if it was a little pricey).

It was a big like Ikea, with a path taking you through. Remi was sort of over it 3/4 of the way through, so that was the only downside. Otherwise, it was full of beautiful exhibits.

She loved the “ish!”

They had a ton of these tunnels up into exhibits, and this brave girl took off into the dark to explore every time.

We were thankful to have the grandmas there because she alternated running wild and wanting to be carried to see things. It was easier with 4 adults.

Jellyfish are always my favorite to watch!

Remi loved the bear exhibit. There was another little girl there and they were interacting. It was precious and I didn’t take any pictures. Oops.  But she watched the bear walk around and would say “Where bear?” with her arms up when he walked away. And then she squealed with delight when he came back into view.

She also wanted to “riiiide” on all the things in the store.

We drove back down to Branson for lunch and shopping.  We had lunch at Dannas and it was so good.  Remi wasn’t really into food, but she enjoyed playing outside and eating her oreos that came with her kids meal.

We ate BBQ and then this giant bananas foster creation.

We hit the outlet mall for like an hour and half. And Nancy kept Remi happy riding all the things. Girl loves to ride.

We had a long drive home. Remi got car sick (combo of a ton of water, watching the iPad and curvy Ozark roads) so we had to stop and take care of that. Poor girl. But then she slept most of the way home.

We can’t wait for next summer’s adventure!