Dixie Stampede

Ed & Charlene Dixie

We absolutely LOVE the Christmas season!

Tonight we were treated to the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede! It was really fun to have dinner and watch a superb Christmas show. The only thing weird is that they served dinner and did not provide utensils. We each ate a whole chicken (that was delicious), corn on the cob, baked potato, biscuit, pork, and turnover. It was a huge amount of food! I was amazed they could feed an entire arena of people and everyone receive such as nice meal.

 

The horses and program were quite impressive! We loved watching all the activities in the arena. Now I understand why the arena sells out so frequently!

Christmas in Branson

Charlene counting gifts with Santa

Charlene is telling Santa what she wants for Christmas!

Ed Christmas tree

Ed loves all the Christmas decorations!

Today we had a chance to enjoy many of the beautiful Christmas decorations in Branson. The businesses really have a fun time dressing up the community. It is very fun to enjoy celebrating the Christmas season in a new community!

Charlene mug

Charlene is excited to find a Missouri mug with her name!

 

Christmas on the Trail and Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights

Starvin' Marvin's

Once we arrived in Branson, we had lunch at Starvin’ Marvin’s. Their bear seemed a quite fierce!

We had so much fun visiting Branson, Missouri a couple of months ago, we came back to enjoy some of the Christmas programs. We certainly were not disappointed! We started off watching the Christmas on the Trail and then drove through the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights.

 

Christmas on the Trail

The Christmas on the Trail was a great program!

Lights 9

The Christmas on the Trail started with a fantastic meal of turkey, corn on the cobb, beans, corn bread, and dessert. For feeding a large group of people, it was very good food. I could not finish everything. The Christmas program was from a cowboy perspective of life on a ranch. There was a very nice complement of a Christian emphasis on Christmas, great singing, as well as humor and teasing. I thought it was a wonderful program to get us in the mood for Christmas.

 

Charlene Christmas Tree

The Christmas season is so much fun!

After the Christmas on the Trail program, we drove through the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights. This was an amazing series of lights and was extremely impressive!

 

Lights 5

Lights 8

Six!

Six is a very popular show in Branson!

Six is a very popular show in Branson!

We were able to go to the show by Six. They are six brothers that sing and dance to all kinds of songs. We really enjoyed them. They seem to be regarded as one of the top shows in Branson. The Six show was probably tied with the Chinese Acrobats and Jonah as my favorite things to see in Branson.

We always knew there had to be a place called Starvin Marvin. Now we finally found it in Branson.

We always knew there had to be a place called Starvin Marvin. Now we finally found it in Branson.

We have had a chance to see some very different shows over the last several days. They were all very good and we would recommend each of them. It is funny to realize that all this entertainment is in the small town of Branson, Missouri.

After the show, we went to a yogurt shop to celebrate our last evening in Branson. This is a very fun place. We wish we could be here for the Christmas shows!

Titanic, Illusionist, and Jonah!

Lion and lamb statue outside the production of Jonah.

Lion and lamb statue outside the production of Jonah.

Today was an extremely busy day! We scheduled 3 very different activities. Unfortunately, none of them allowed photography. We started the day with the Titanic Museum. This was an extremely well-done museum about the Titanic ship and the tragedy when it sank. We spent 2 hours at the museum and easily could have spent more time learning all kinds of details about the ship, the people, and the details after it hit the iceberg. We highly recommend this museum!

After grabbing a quick lunch, we headed to the show by the illusionist Rick Thomas. Rick used to have a show for 15 years in Las Vegas, but he moved to Branson a couple of years ago. His show was extremely impressive. It amazed us trying to figure out how he performed so many magic tricks. He did many things to get the audience involved. It is easy to understand why this show is so highly rated.

After dinner, we headed to the production of Jonah. When I first entered Missouri (in Rock Port), the women at the tourist center told me that Jonah was highly rated and recommended show. Once we arrived in Branson, several people told us they considered the Jonah production as one of the top shows in Branson. We fully agree! It was a fantastic production and amazing to watch the huge fish swim out over the audience, the power of Nineveh, and the desire of God to show mercy. All of the activities today were fantastic, but Jonah was particularly elaborate and awe inspiring.

Acrobats of China

These acrobats were amazing!

These acrobats were amazing!

Chinese culture is great.

Chinese culture is great.

The acrobats skill was shocking.

The acrobats skill was shocking.

This afternoon we had the opportunity to watch the Acrobats of China. They kept you on the edge of your seat with their amazing balance, grace, power, and skill. It was scary to watch the acrobats when they were so high and balanced quite precariously. Truly this show is a requirement when visiting Branson!

The acrobats had amazing balance!

The acrobats had amazing balance!

Visiting new places and seeing new thins is so much fun!

Visiting new places and seeing new thins is so much fun!

Truly we are creating some amazing memories!

Truly we are creating some amazing memories!

National Tiger Sanctuary

The National Tiger Sanctuary was an impressive place to visit during feeding time!

The National Tiger Sanctuary was an impressive place to visit during feeding time!

This majestic lion loved to roar and let everyone know he was head of the pride.

This majestic lion loved to roar and let everyone know he was head of the pride.

Today we were able to visit the National Tiger Sanctuary which is located north of Branson. It was impressive to see the lions and tigers that they had. We were able to stand quite close to the animals, although there were two wire fences between us.

It looks like this tiger wants to take a bite out of Charlene!

It looks like this tiger wants to take a bite out of Charlene!

The white tigers were impressive.

The white tigers were impressive.

We came for feeding time, so they gave raw chicken “snacks” to the animals. We were quite popular, so it was impressive to see them scarf down a whole chicken thigh in one bite. It was amazing to hear the lions’ deep resonating roar.

Hear the mighty lion roar!

Hear the mighty lion roar!

Snack time with raw chicken.

Snack time with raw chicken.

Charlene really enjoyed the white tigers

Charlene really enjoyed the white tigers

Charlene Arrives in Branson!

It was wonderful for Charlene to join me in Branson!

It was wonderful for Charlene to join me in Branson!

Today was a very special day. Charlene flew to Springfield, Missouri to join me in Branson! We enjoyed driving between the towns reminiscing about living in Missouri more than 3 decades ago. When we arrived in Kansas City, we were newlyweds and I was starting my Pharm.D. program. It felt like we had come full circle, now driving through the Ozarks together as a recently retired couple.

The Ozarks are definitely southern country!

The Ozarks are definitely southern country!

We enjoyed dinner together at a highly recommended independent hamburger shop. The burgers were fantastic! Next we drove to an area called Branson Landing. They had some nice shops and amazing fountain created by the same group that made the fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

It was impossible to do justice to the fountain that incorporated water, flame, and sound into a very nice production.

It was impossible to do justice to the fountain that incorporated water, flame, and sound into a very nice production.

As we walked through the various shops we found a local moonshine store. We sampled 4 different flavors and picked Berry Moonshine. One of the fun aspects of traveling around the US is being able to discover various wineries, distilleries, and breweries.

The local moonshine was flavorful. We picked berry flavor to buy.

The local moonshine was flavorful. We picked berry flavor to buy.

Charlene enjoyed the moonshine truck!

Charlene enjoyed the moonshine truck!

Branson, Missouri!

This is a fantastic show!

This is a fantastic show!

It was fun to drive down to Branson from the corner of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Although we lived in Kansas City for 2 years, it has been a long, long time since I have visited. As I came into Kansas City, the GPS guided me through downtown and had me switch through multiple freeways. I was glad I was driving on Sunday morning because there was not too much traffic. It was fun to see Truman Medical Center again. They have a new logo, but I slept in that hospital every 4th night during my residency! Some buildings were the same, but many of the areas have been upgraded since I lived here. It was nice to see names of roads that I recognized. I was too far to the east to see the famous Plaza, but I certainly saw signs giving directions to find it.

The Missouri changing leaves are beautiful!

The Missouri changing leaves are beautiful!

The rolling hills and trees of Missouri are gorgeous. Within the Ozarks, you almost never have a straight road. It seems like you are either going up, down, left or right. Rarely is there much straight road. Once I got into Branson, I was amazed how steep some of the roads were within the city. Some parking lots are at quite steep angles. Throughout the area, the leaves are changing colors!

poster

I have no idea how a small town like Branson, located in the middle of the Ozarks, ever became such a popular destination for so many shows. They have theaters all over town and host some very well-known musicians and shows. I do not know how it was created and sustained, but it is extremely popular. John said he heard that Branson has been described as the “Christian Las Vegas.” That seems like a reasonable description to me. When I called to make reservations at an RV park, I was told that October was extremely busy for retirees to visit. Fortunately, I was able to get a nice spot!

After the show signing CDs.

After the show signing CDs.

Today I went to see the Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies. I thought the show was spectacular! They sang classic Celtic songs, but also sang a range of recent popular songs too. I really enjoyed it. I still have to decide what to see tomorrow. Hmmm, there so many choices!