We went on vacation last week to Branson, MO, and we had a great time with Ashley’s family. We played cards, went swimming, went out on a jet ski (very fun, btw) and played ping pong (I won!). I highly recommend that everyone goes on vacation with their family (or their spouse’s family). However, I have a few thoughts on what the lovely people of Branson could do to make their place a little more successful.

1.  Make an Interstate that actually goes to Branson.  There is no good way to get to Branson from anywhere.  Look at the map. It is like people tried to get as far away from civilization as possible, and then bring everybody there.  Why?  Why not put your little tourist trap in an easy to reach location?

2.  Ban the use of the song “God Bless The U.S.A.”  (Pigeon Forge, listen up – this goes for you too).  Actually, my new goal in life is to write another song that every old person show in the world can sing and make everybody stand up to. I am so stinkin’ tired of that song. It was moving the first 100 times I heard it. Now I just get sick.

3.  Lower the prices for Silver Dollar City – like let me get in for an actual silver dollar.  Either that or get a big mouse and some princesses.  I hate paying Disney prices to see Arts and Crafts.  This was like Dollywood sans Dolly.  The exotic parrot show had a grand total of four parrots, and they didn’t seem so exotic.  One did one trick and then crawled around the stage for the rest of the show.

4.  Have a show or two at some time other than 8:00.  Then every old person in the world won’t be crowded onto the main street at 7:15 and again at 10:15.  Stagger it for pity’s sake.

5.  Speaking of shows – why not get some original entertainers rather than people imitating dead entertainers? Maybe then the average age of the tourists will be lower than 57.

Okay, I’m probably in trouble now, but this is my blog and I can talk about what I want. I will say that the Fairfield resort in Branson was definately the nicest we have ever stayed in.  And, in fairness, it was over 100 degrees every day we were there, so my opinion of Silver Dollar City may be a little skewed (only about $10 worth, though).  The lake at the state park was really pretty. In that sense it is a little like Gatlinburg…if you can get past the tourist stuff and make it to the nature you’ll be amazed and pleased. And there were a few young people there – some weren’t even with family members.  I am just going for the cheap laughs there.  But the average age of the tourists is 57.  Not a joke. I couldn’t make that stuff up.

Now that I have griped, I will say that the week was great because of the family we were with and the time we spent with them.  I think this was our best vacation together. Next time I just hope there is an Interstate nearby.