OK, I apologize to Katherine for not updating the blog sooner. You would think I would have tons to write about since I just got back from a ten-day trip to Branson, Mo., and St. Louis to visit sister Ashley and all the clan in the Gateway to the West. And actually I probably do have tons to write about, but I think it’s too much. Usually I just blather on about one simple topic – Aron Ralston, say – but after ten days, there’s just too much to say. Plus I got a cold immediately upon returning and I didn’t even feel like getting out of bed, much less blogging.
Of course, I must note that Branson is a wacky place. I’ve been going there my whole life, so I knew this already, but spending a week there of semi-real-life was a trip. Plus it’s crazy that my sister pretty much now lives at the family reunion. We even went over and sat on the dock where we normally hang out during the biannual event, and it wasn’t the same. In fact, it was weird to both of us that Indian Point even existed in our absense. It’s like it should materialize out of the mist like Avalon or something and then return from whence it came until we gather there again.
Anyhoo, since Ashley has done a fair amount of networking in her year in Springfield/Branson, we were like the queens of free tickets. We saw two shows – Shepherd of the Hills and Stuck on the 70s – and went to Silver Dollar City and rode the upside-down roller coaster, all for free. This is a serious accomplishment because Shepherd of the Hills is like $35, Silver Dollar City is $40 and Stuck on the 70s would have been $30. That gets real expensive real quick, especially when you watch Shepherd of the Hills and realize that it was good when you were eight, but now it sort of sucks if you’ve ever seen any decent theatre whatsoever. Ashley of course remembered most of the lines and we both had quite a good time as she repeated them in tones of great jest.
For the large majority of you that have never been to Branson, let me explain quickly. Branson is like the Las Vegas of country music and cheesy family activities, although it is quite beautiful, with green forests and warm lakes and gorgeous golf courses. My family has been going there for 20+ years for our reunions, although we mostly hang at the compound, swim in the lake and maybe play golf. We’re not big country music fans.
One central truth of Branson is this: Wherever you want to go, you are probably going to have to take a tram to get there. We went to play mini-golf and had to take a tram for crikey’s sake. (I putted 3 over – my best golf score ever!)
As a complete and total side note: Ashley said that for Halloween she was going to forego using the holiday as an excuse to dress sexy, and instead use it as an excuse to be extremely rude. In that vein, she said she planned to dress as one of the women from What Not to Wear and go around saying things to people like: “My God, you are horribly fat. You must go on a diet immediately.” And “What on earth are you wearing? Why would you ever think a tummy-baring, magenta tiger-stripe halter-top would look good with a huge belly like yours?” And so forth. You could get slapped upside the head a lot, but it could still be terribly rewarding.
More later on something perhaps more relevant, but more likely less.