I was extremely thankful for the opportunity God blessed my family with last week to get away for a few days on a vacation in beautiful southwest Missouri.
It never gets old driving through the Ozark mountains between Springfield, Mo. and Branson, Mo.
I’m thankful God blessed us with just enough dollars to be able to make this trip. As many of you know, getting away has a price tag financially, which is why most of us can’t afford to do it too much.
But getting away with family and watching your children have memorable experiences is priceless.
On this trip we had the opportunity to visit some friends and family on Thursday.
For those of you who remember Ken Strong, formerly of Vandalia, he currently lives in Jefferson City.
We stopped to pay Strong a visit as he had never met my children before. Ken is blind and we developed a friendship after I wrote an article on him many years ago for the newspaper.
He kindly took the time to type the alphabet and each of their names on individualized index cards in braille.
And for those who know that Strong is a big Oklahoma University fan, don’t fear, we picked on his team plenty while we were there.
After our visit, we grabbed a bite to eat then enjoyed some hand dipped ice cream at Central Dairy.
We then visited my wife’s grandmother about an hour and a half down the road before stopping at Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark, Mo. to meet our former neighbors at the “Home of the Throwed Rolls.”
We stayed at the home of some family members near Branson that night, in time to spend all day Friday at Silver Dollar City.
Our kids enjoyed the many rides. Even my 6-year-old got on the “Powder Keg” rollercoaster. His face at the start of the ride when it took off really fast was priceless.
The boys enjoyed the “Plunge,” swings, the other rollercoasters and rides, along with time during the second to last day of Geyser Gulch. SDC has plans to renovate that area in the near future.
On Saturday, the boys and I joined one of my wife’s cousins for an awesome boat ride on the lake. We attempted some fishing but the fish didn’t like our worms too much.
Meanwhile, my wife Kristy and our 1-year-old Lydia went with some of the girls in the family on a quick shopping trip to the outlets.
We spent the evening playing miniature golf and hitting the go-kart track.
On Sunday, we enjoyed spending time at the church we once attended many years ago in Forsyth, Mo. and had the opportunity to catch up with some friends and family members.
After an afternoon of swimming, we headed back north, where I pulled an all-nighter to start working on the newspaper for the August 6 issue.
Now I need another vacation.