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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vacation 2012

We just returned from our 4th family vacation to Branson, MO. Ok, it's been a few days, but it has taken me awhile to narrow down the 100 pictures we took. We get a lot of funny looks from some people when we tell them that this is where we like to vacation. Many people associate it with the older crowd, which is only partly fair. Yes, there is lots to do for the older crowds, but there is just as much to do for the younger crowd too! It has changed a lot in the past decade. We found a fantastic resort called Stillwaters Resort which is family-friendly in every way.  It is only 1 mile down the road from Silver Dollar City. It has 3 great pools, with slides and a waterfall. And access to the lake. So your front door is poolside and your back door is lakefront!

This is our vacation spot:

We like to go over the Fourth of July because Silver Dollar City has Kidsfest during this time which is always great for the kids.

During our time at Silver Dollar City we had breakfast with the Backyardigans! Both girls have grown up with them so they both love them.

For the 6 hour drive, I did a little more planning than I have in the past. I found lots of free printables to keep the kids busy in the car (in between DVDs of course).

Here are the games we played:

Alphabet Game

I Spy With My Little Eye

Slug Bug

Scavenger Hunt

[caption id="attachment_971" align="aligncenter" width="535"] Car Games[/caption]

The Scavenger Hunts were from Mom's Minivan. I printed one for my 7 year old, and there is a simpler, preschool one for my 3 yr old.

The Slug Bug Game, I Spy Game, and Alphabet game were all from Prepared Not Scared.

I also surprised my kids with 2 disposable Kodak cameras; one for underwater and one for everything else.

We spent a lot of time on the lake with my cousins. They have a boat and graciously invited us out with them. My husband and oldest daughter even took turns driving the boat! It was fun getting a taste of "life on the lake."

and THIS is why I'm glad I blog...these two holding hands was the cutest thing ever!

This year we finally did something we've been wanting to do for awhile now...we visited the Titanic Museum. Emma learned a lot  in school since this year was the 100th anniversary. It was really neat! We were not allowed to take cameras in, so these are our pictures from outside. When you enter, you get a boarding pass with a real passenger's name on it with a description about them. At the end of the tour, you enter the memorial room and find out if you survived...we all survived! John's person was a first officer. Mine was a second class passenger from Kentucky. Emma's was a first Class passenger from Paris. And Laila's was a third class passenger from London who was on her way to New York ( with her wedding dress that she made!) to get married! It was humbling to read the stories, see the artifacts, and experience everything from how cold the water was on that night, to how steep the ship tipped, to walking up the million dollar recreated grand staircase!

After the Titanic, we hit the Tanger outlets and the girls spent their vacation money at the Disney store. I also got Emma a bunch of back to school clothes at Justice. Everything was 40% kind of store!

Just a few souvenirs:

Before heading home, we spent some time at our Aunt June's in Rockaway Beach. Cousin Summer was there so the girls played.

Now it is back to home sweet home. Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

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