Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Big Cedar Vacation:: Day 1

Last night we returned from a wonderful family vacation to Big Cedar Lodge, near Branson, Missouri. Located in the green, rolling Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar is a really fun place for the whole family with tons of activities to do. Getting there took about five and a half hours from Oklahoma City. We left home at 10:00 last Thursday with my dad following behind us. My step mom flew in to Springfield later that night (she works in New York during the week) and my dad needed the extra car to go and pick her up. Looking at the map, we decided to take the "scenic route" instead of the interstate. Mike and I have always preferred a pretty view while driving, even if it takes a few extra minutes. In this case, the time difference was only about half an hour, so we went with it. We drove from OKC to Tulsa in no time, stopped for lunch, then headed east into northwest Arkansas. The roads went from straight as an arrow to curvy and winding as we entered the Ozarks. At one point, all three kids were either asleep or in an iPod trance, so Mike and I put on Vampire Weekend and just took it all in. It was rather nice. Eventually we crossed over into Missouri, and soon after that, we were there.

We arrived around 4:00 in the afternoon and found our delightful three bedroom/ two bath condo that my Dad had reserved. It was very nice! The kids shared a room, Mike and I had a room and Dad and Sally had a room. Plenty of space to spread out, plus a spacious living room, a modern kitchen and a beautiful balcony. We unpacked and settled in, then went across the street to check out the sports complex. The kids played basketball, volleyball and tennis with Mike, my dad and me. It appears Lucas has a new found love for tennis, although he prefers to play it like baseball, using the racket like a bat. Soon after our sports endeavor, we decided dinner would be in order. 
 A view of the rustic master bedroom
Hannah in her room, relaxing with Kit and Molly (her American Girl dolls)

We had heard about Lambert's Cafe from friends of ours. It's basically a good old-fashioned home cooking joint, but their claim to fame is their "throwed rolls." At various times waiters and waitresses come out from the kitchen with a pan yelling, "hot rolls!" To get one, you have to raise your hand or wave and they throw your roll from across the room. The kids thought this was great fun and eagerly waved down anyone with a pan of rolls in their hands. I think we all went into carb overload because they were delicious. 
The kids at Lambert's Cafe
Lucas said, "I want to fight this guy!"

After dinner, Dad headed to the airport to pick up Sally while Mike and I took the kids back to Big Cedar for an evening swim. We got to the pool just as the sun was setting and let them swim until 10 o'clock when the pool closed. Needless to say, all three kids crashed immediately when we put them into bed. 

It was a great start to our vacation!