Another one from Silver Dollar City:
This coffin has been there since I was a kid. It's right outside of "Grandfather's Mansion," an old-school tilty house. (As a side note, I can apparently no longer go into a tilty house. Perhaps the Meniere's Disease has taken its toll on my central nervous system, but I was sick for HOURS afterwards.)
You know, as far as amusement parks go, SDC is one of the best. Though it has most of the ride conventions of your generic Six Flags - e.g. roller coasters, water rides, "kiddie areas," et al. - it also has actual hills and trees, and some semblance of Ozark-y culture, such as the peanut brittle making pictured in the last post. (Oh, and BY FAR the best amusement park food you will EVER have. Like, real pies, and big huge wok pans filled with sweet potatoes and sausage, or fresh green beans, corn, and grilled chicken.
And the rides - especially the new ones - are, in fact, pretty high quality. The old ones touch my nostalgic heart, but they're pretty cheesy animatronic stuff, truth be told. However, the OG and I were absolutely terrified - and I am not one to be easily swayed by rides, mind you - by one of the new rides, which is nothing more than a ginormous barn swing. THAT GOES ONE HUNDRED FEET IN THE AIR and OH MY GOD do not EVER look straight down at the ground from that height as you are hurtling towards it.
Anyways, though you may have an impression of Branson as the Fat White Redneck Vegas - and you would not be entirely wrong - there are many reasons to stop in. I highly recommend spending a day at Silver Dollar City, eating at a little old diner in town (as opposed to "on the strip,") and going to this particular waterslide, which has been in business 34 years. Strange; I actually remember the year that it opened.
Once again, kickin' it la escuela vieja. Cut into the side of the hill, and you slide down on mats. Again, hasn't changed one iota, but it's still pretty damn fun, and you don't get waterslide wedgies.
There's The Man, looking hunkalicious at the end of the slide. I must have misplaced the photo of me in my bathing suit.
After SDC, we went back to Fayetteville, where The Man covered a track meet, and I went with the girls and Trish and her boys to another of the kick-a sculpture parks.
I swear, I TRY to get her to pose normal.
After Fayetteville, we drove to Kansas City. Here's a shot from the SECOND amusement park of the trip, Worlds of Fun:
...and a snap of tiny baby Sara, the newest addition to the kid cadre of my closest friends:
Connie and Brian and The Man and I took an overnight trip to Columbia, MO, home of our alma mater. Here's Connie in the bizarro (but nice) northwestern-themed hotel we stayed at:
This is the front of the house Connie and I lived in in 1990:
Does it look nice? Well, it was abjectly NOT; it was disgusting. The carpet was so horrifically, monumentally filthy (deep down filthy, not not-vacuumed filthy) that if you spilled water on it and tried to dry it up, the towel would turn BROWN. And there was a basement of epic freaky proportions; it had tiny, dark, unlit portions behind doors that locked from the INSIDE. And I'm not even going into the wolf spiders.
Aaah, but I loved it. I miss college.
After seeing many awesome old friends - Trish, Erin, Connie, Anita, and even Tom and Sue Savage - and my mother and sister and extended family for a week, we headed back to Austin, and shortly thereafter took our now-annual trip to Port Aransas.
See? I didn't JUST drink, I did occasionally make contact with my children. With a drink.
Because one should always wear a tiara; even while swimming:
Or just walking around the house: