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Old 03-26-2006, 10:21 PM   #1
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Emily and Mom's Big Branson Adventure- 4/7- It's Complete!!!

I donít even remember the exact time this meet was orchestrated, other than Barb (grammygrumpy) and I had talked about meeting up for quite some time. Seeing all many other meets go on, I was inspired and thought it was time for the Branson meet to come to pass. So, I posted about a possible meet in Branson in the Backyard Forum.

It was in the backyard for some time and it turns out in the end, there would be four. Barb, Bob, Emily and I. I had originally planned on bringing the whole family but when the Austin men got word of the air show being held the same weekend, letís just say their hearts were going to be at home. Given that the air show is not an annual event, I was fine with that. DH suggested he keep Katie and let the Branson trip be a Mom-Emily trip. That sounded like a plan. If we can make it back Saturday night, hopefully we could catch the Sunday shows. This year the air show is featuring the USAF Thunderbirds- my dad was in the Air Force for 30 years- so needless to say, they are my favorite!

I went back and forth on how many nights to spend in Branson but settled for one- the night of March 25 at the Residence Inn. The rate was excellent and from all indications it was conveniently located off W 76- Country Blvd, where just about everything is.

It was time to order my bridesmaids dress for my friend Jenniferís wedding- and I was going to do that in Fayetteville, on the way to Branson. Jennifer decided to tag along for the Fayetteville portion of our trip- we would hit Target, head to Davidís and then have lunch before Emily and I continued on.

The day before we were to leave, I saw some ads for the Titanic Museum online and via a few emails, Barb, Bob, Emmy and I were booked for a time slot to tour it on Saturday. I also began to consider an extra night but had a hard time deciding so I figured I would answer that question when we were there. I was a little nervous making the drive by myself so for extra assurance, I joined AAA online. DH was a little perplexed- I am planning a long drive to Florida this summer with three kids, not one and I was nervous about this? Easy answer- I have made that drive a million times and know many FL roads backwards and forwards. It had been 5 years since my only trip to Branson- I didnít remember much at all. Mapquest directions printed and reviewed, I felt better.

Emily and I got packed the night before and she was so excited about our Mom- kid only trip, as you can see!



Coming Up: Bridal store antics....
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:38 PM   #2
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start ... bridal store antics sounds interesting - can't wait to hear about it!!
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:56 PM   #3
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start! Love the picture of Emily!
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:36 PM   #4
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great Start! Emily looks really excited to get going! I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start!! Can't wait to read the rest!
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:22 AM   #6
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start Maureen [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/zwavin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:46 AM   #7
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start...more please.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:13 AM   #8
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

I'm definitely enjoying the TR so far, but not for the Branson part. I have to admit, I'm a complete lunatic when it comes to fighterjets. In fact, my license plate is F16 F18. I LOVE the sound of those powerful machines overhead (that's an understatement), and was able to meet and dine with the Thunderbirds several years ago. I can't get enough of the jets and when they fly overhead here in Virginia, I'm the only crazy housewife running outside and having the time of her life smiling at the sky!

Didn't mean to get carried away there. The trip to Branson sounds wonderful, especially when you get to spend some one-on-one time with your daughter.

Can't wait for the rest. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Sounds good so far. More please.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start! Mommy/Daughter trips are so much fun!
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Bridal store antics.... [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/questionicon.gif[/img]

I can't wait for the next installment!
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Old 03-27-2006, 01:09 PM   #12
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Can't wait for more Maureen! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2006, 02:48 PM   #13
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great start Maureen - I love that photo of Emily. She looks so ready to go! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:38 PM   #14
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

We were up and ready by 8:30 and I was finishing loading everything up when Jenna pulled in the driveway. The drive to Fayetteville is actually a really scenic and beautiful one.



As we make our way into Fayetteville, there is the main campus for University of Arkansas. I attend University of Arkansas- Fort Smith (another campus). President Clinton taught law here at this campus- its really one of the most beautiful college campuses I have ever been to.



Fayetteville reminds me a lot of Tallahassee- where we lived for six years. Very collegiate town but still a good place to work and have a family.

We arrived at Target about 9:30 and shopped all over, every department. Davidís Bridal didnít open until 11:00 and we pulled into their parking lot at about 10:50- so we just waited.

When they opened- we made one final check of bridesmaids styles and I tried on the size I did about three months ago- whoa nelly! Way toooo big! I ended up going two sizes down, and with two months still to go, hopefully, the dress will look even better than it did before. Jennifer looked for an evening gown for her honeymoon cruise- and found a gorgeous one. Poor Emily got rather bored.

That is, until she started posing on all the circle steps where bridal gowns are tried on- she twirled in front of all the mirrors. It kept her entertained, needless to say! A few times she yelped out ďLook at me! I am getting married!Ē She sang the JoJoís circus theme song and danced around Ėand watched herself in all the mirrors the whole time. It seemed to have everybody chuckling in the store- including a bride's father who told me "he was there to write the check and glad Emily could keep me entertained."



Jennifer found a gorgeous gown for the cruise and we ended up choosing the one for me- we had liked all along. As we waited on her to get changed out of her dress, Emily and I had some fun with self portraits- courtesy of the mirrors.



$165 poorer and me saying the Austins were going to have to cruise so I could wear this gown again, the three of us were starving! We needed a quick lunch, so Emily suggested pizza at Sbarro. The mall was just a short drive down so we headed there.

It didnít take too long to eat and we were getting back in the car right at 12:30. We said our goodbyes to Jennifer and headed in the opposite direction to head north to Missouri.

The drive up was so much easier than I remembered- indeed, it was very rural in most parts- two lanes and frequent small towns with speed limits of about 35 mph- but it was very scenic and I began to relax as I got my bearings. The Mapquest directions were superb. Kevan called and I assured him I was doing fine.

I think I had already worn Emily out with the shopping:



At about 2:30, we arrived in Branson via the main road, W 76- Country Blvd. This is a town that is small and cleverly found a way to traffic relief- alternate roads connecting W 76. They are marked by color as well as a name- and our hotel was located on S Wildwood/Yellow Route. I was very puzzled the whole way, thinking why was this Yellow Route name on here? Now I know.

Now, we get to Branson and the adventure for the Austin girls officially begins!!



Coming Up Next: Sorry so early!
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:37 PM   #15
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Re: Emily and Mom\'s Big Branson Adventure- Pre Trip

Great update Maureen [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/zwavin.gif[/img] Emily is too cute [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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