Road Trip #1 – Branson Missouri

It had been a long, long, long time since Michelle and I had made a trip down to Branson Missouri.  In fact, the last time we went down to Branson was before we got married, about two years before we got married.  We knew that the place would have changed over the past 25+ years.  We knew that it had changed a lot, especially with certain investors trying to turn Branson into Nashville West.

It was a simple plan.  Hit the road early, make a stop in Clinton for breakfast at the Golden Coral.  But the best laid plans, we were watching the weather and didn’t make the final decision to hit the road until we would arrive too late in Clinton to enjoy the Breakfast Buffet.  So we continued onward towards Springfield Missouri and part two of our plans for this road trip … Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark Missouri.  But even that would be delayed as I had to make a stop in Osceola Missouri for a stop at Osceola Cheese.

Lambert’s would be a late lunch, around 1:30 or 2 o’clock.  Even that late after lunch, there was a line … and a 30 minute wait.  We had heard a lot of stories about Lambert’s, about the food, about the rolls, about how much fun the place was and how good the food was.  Well, either we hit them on a bad day or in our ‘not-so-humble’ opinion the place is really over-rated.  We got stuffed in a small dining area so we likely missed out on the real show.  The livers were over-cooked, the gravy was so-so, and while the rolls and okra were good, we failed to see what all the hype was about.  But now we can say that we’ve been there.

This trip was a discovery for us.  The Equinox is a four cylinder, so the hills between Ozark Missouri and Branson gave us a look at how much harder the car needs to work to climb the long steep inclines.  To be fair, the Equinox likely handled the hills better than the Expedition would have.

So, Branson.  The first thing we did was turn into Historic (cough cough) Old Downtown.  I remember downtown Branson, and this was not the downtown that I remember.  There was no Bass Pro, there wasn’t a series of parking lots and one small shop after another to take advantage of the tourist that enjoy the modern old downtown.  Nice place, a lot of traffic, we passed through and headed to the strip.

Yeah, another wake up call.  It started off somewhat familiar, but as soon as we topped the hill we started looking around at the different show houses, the new hotels, and a version of go-kart tracks that we had never seen before.  The problem with our visit is my wife’s aversion to crowds, and the fact that we took Joy, our daughter’s Boxer Mix with us, so we didn’t get out and do any walking around.

Geocaching!  Yes, we did some Geocaching.  Not as successful in Branson as we would have liked.  We had two that we believe were missing, but simply listed a DNF.  But the hunt for Geocaches, and parks to run Joy in got us off the beaten path and we got to see a side of Branson that we might have missed otherwise.  And as always, we love the scenery down in the area, but due to our late departure for Branson, we didn’t get to spend as much time simply driving around as we wanted.

So, the plan is that someday we’ll make another run down to Branson.  But it will be during the week when the tourist count is lower.  When we aren’t baby sitting our daughter’s dog.  When we might be able to spend the night, maybe even camp overnight.


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