‘Tis the season for family vacations. Earlier this month, we took a road trip to Branson, Missouri, with some extended family from Mr. Handsome’s side. In total, we had 23 people. 13 adults plus 13 children under the age of eight. It was definitely chaotic and busy, with not much time for quiet and relaxation, but we had a lot of fun. Things were surprisingly smooth, and the children were very well behaved. Little Buddy just loved spending time with all of his little friends.
I didn’t grow up with a big and boisterous extended family like Mr. Handsome did. Our vacations were more chill. A mix of relaxation (usually at a beach) and outdoor adventure done at our own pace. We rarely went to theme parks or other paid attractions. So this was a new experience.
“Now the thing you have to remember about family vacations is that the primary goal isn’t to have fun,” Mr. Handsome joked during the car ride to Branson. “You’ll end up having fun, but the ultimate purpose is to make memories and have shared experiences to strengthen your bond as a family.”
Our first day was spent at Silver Dollar City, which turned out to be my favorite part of the trip. It was hot, but the park was mostly shaded, so we didn’t really feel the heat. The park was clean and inviting and had rides and activities for all ages. The air-conditioned nursing mother’s rooms were lovely.
Little Buddy had a ball, and Littlest Buddy sat happily in his stroller with his portable fan keeping him cool. (Stroller fans that charge using a cell phone charger are all the rage among moms this year. Such a handy invention!)
To start the day, I encouraged Mr. Handsome to go on a big ride (Powder Keg), while I went to the kids section. I am not a “rides” person but really wanted to do something fun with Little Buddy, so he and I rode Elephant March. It’s very simple. You ride in a circle in an elephant car that also goes up and down. And that was enough for me. I had a headache for an hour. Little Buddy didn’t love it either, so we focused on the activities for the rest of the day. I did, however, ride Fire in the Hole with Mr. Handsome right before we left. More on that later.
Mr. Handsome wanted to spend most of the time with us, so he only rode a few rides. Aside from Powder Keg, he braved the Barn Swing (photo below) and Mystic River Falls. Have you been to Silver Dollar City?