Last week, my SIL and I went to Branson for a couple of days. We went with a group from Prime Time Tours from Jefferson City, MO. It is a small agency that arranges about one or two outings a month for basically the same group of seniors. Almost everyone on the tour knew everyone else and had been on several tours before this one. They did a nice job and the group was very agreeable.
We left Jefferson City at 7:30 in the morning, stopped two hours later for breakfast and arrived in Branson just in time for lunch at Bob Evans. They are used to dealing with bus groups and got us seated and fed in short order. I had the cheddar potato soup.
Our first show was Six at the Hughes Brothers Theatre. It was entertaining, but the thing I enjoyed the most was just watching the performers, who are six brothers who do the instruments with their voices as well as the vocals. I kept trying to see who was singing and who was doing the bass and the drums. Their harmonies were terrific! It was a good start to our trip.
Dinner was at the Golden Corral in Branson. They had several tour bus groups there that evening, so there was some waiting, but the food was good, especially the roasted chicken and the yeast rolls.
We finished dinner in time to take in the Festival of Lights. I’ve seen them before, but they were much more elaborate than I remember. As well as a country store, a gingerbread house, and a Victorian mansion, all in lights, there is also an animated 12 days of Christmas and lots of other displays. Well worth the drive if you live anywhere close.
Our evening show as the Presley Family show, the other Presley’s, not Elvis! It is interesting that they were the first show on the strip in 1967! My, how things have changed. Now Branson is the music show capital of the world. There wasn’t a shortage of people milling around while we were there, even on the third week of November. A lot of the business is tour groups. There were at least 10 tour buses on the parking lot at the Presley show. But they have it all figured out. Each show has concessions and a gift shop so you won’t get bored waiting for the music.
Then is was off to the Grand Country Square for the night. Not anything fancy, but nice and clean and quiet. Comfy beds and pillows. No frills, but we were too tired to do anything except go to bed. Went to the Grand Country Buffet for breakfast. Looked like most of Branson must have been there. We went over about 7:30, and by the time we finished, there was a line all the way out the door! Really good food and great coffee. Five stars from me. Looks like a nice vacation destination if you just have a couple of days and don’t want to do a lot of driving around. Very nice selections in the gift shop. I picked up another t-shirt to add to my collection.
Then it was off to the Clay Cooper Theatre. It was a very good show with lots of stuff going on. As an added bonus, he was presented with the 2011 Branson entertainer of the year award at the close of the show that we attended. Very popular, too. There were at least 15 tour buses in the parking lot.
We had our choice of fast food for lunch, but we were still so full from breakfast that we just got shakes at Steak and Shake. I got mint cookies and cream. Yummy!
Our driver took us on a scenic drive south of town on our way to the Tony Orlando Show. I enjoyed his show most of all. He is really an entertainer. All of the shows this year featured a tribute to Veterans and a Christmas program. Tony did an original production that he had written about the true meaning of Christmas that was very moving.
Then it was back on the bus for the trip home with a stop at Cracker Barrel in Springfield for dinner. I couldn’t believe how busy they were on a Wednesday night, but we didn’t have to wait too long, and of course, there was a marvelous gift shop.
It was after 10:00 before we pulled back into Jefferson City. But it was a really good trip. We are signed up to go again next year, November 14th and 15th. Would love to have you come along!