Branson, MO

http://www.branson.com/

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We drove out to Branson this weekend to continue my BrApril celebration. From Leavenworth, it was about 3.5 hours, not bad at all and it’s actually very scenic during this time of the year! Overall, the weekend was very entertaining, be it the activities we did or just the people watching/interacting. That said, I’m glad we experienced it but I will not be going back ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just not my cup of tea.

We stayed at the Radisson which had 3 stars on hotel.com, I’ll give it that. It was not horrible and not great, just in between. One down fall is the breakfast, we love staying at hotels where it’s included as I’m sure the majority of people do, well they had it, but it was served only from 6 am – 7am…who goes on vacation and wakes up that early?! Not these two people, that’s for sure! Other than that, they did have a nice indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub and pool bar, that’s always extra points for us. The Radisson is located on the main strip which runs east and west, there is a Walmart that marks pretty much the center from down east where old town Branson is and far west where the strip ends and you start getting into the more lake front resort type hotels, we were just west of that Walmart if that helps. It was a great location as far as being close to all of the main attractions but if we could have a do over, I’d stay down east in old town Branson. It’s more quaint down there and it’s by the river so you have the water view effect as well and if you have your car you can just drive up to the other activities, no biggie or I’m sure there are shuttles/trolleys and things of that nature. So I guess I’ll sum it up with this, the Radisson was great if you have kids, a lot of stuff in walking distance to keep them entertained, if you are a no kid couple, I’d recommend Old Branson or Branson Landing, or even one of the lake side hotels, they are out of the way but nothing is THAT inconvenient or far to drive to.

We got there Friday at about 5:30pm, we were starving so we just pulled into the first place we saw. It was called the Outback Oyster and Steak Pub, it’s not the chain Outback you’re thinking of. I’d give it 5 out of 5 starts for this, the service was great, fast and friendly! Rare, we later discovered in Branson! I had a steak salad that was to die for and Brian had the prime rib, also delicious. The best part was the rolls! Holy yum to those buttery dough balls from heaven! I always held Texas Road House’s rolls to the highest standard, no my friend, it’s now this gem of a pub in little old Branson, MO! A down side, no where in Branson has a great selection of beer on tap ๐Ÿ˜ฆ boo! After we were fat and happy from dinner we just checked in and headed to the hot tub, I know right, all fat and full and then I had to get into a bikini, YIKES!

We started our Saturday AM with a Duck water/land tour, you know, one of those tank type vehicles you always see in touristy towns with people that look like they are having so much fun, yep we finally did one of those! It was well worth the money, not very informative as far as history or sights of the town, more comedy on a moving open air bus/boat for 90 min. Our drive was hilarious, none stop jokes, including blowing our quackers at randome people walking on the sidewalks and scaring the living day lights out of them, and I am one that LOVES to laugh so that was a highlight of the weekend for sure! It was $21 per person with a military discount, which by the way, EVERY SINGLE activity we did honored a military discount, I had no idea Branson was so Veteran friendly! So it starts mid main strip, right by the Radisson and heads up west, up into the hills and then floats into Table Rock Lake, it was really pretty. I would highly recommend this tour.

After the Duck tour ended we ventured down to Old Branson, about 3 miles from the Duck tour drop off. It’s a huge outdoor mall/restaurant area right on Lake Taneycomo (it looks more like a river), it’s the newer more upscale part of Branson, very pretty! We saw a cute pub that was having a grand opening right on the water called Paddlewheel Pub, great outdoor deck atmosphere right on the river, not so great service, all we ordered was fries to share and we sat there for 30 minutes before my ugly hunger temper came out and I told her to forget it and we left, walked up the stairs and pigged out at Old Chicago. I know, not very original for a new city but when I’m hungry, I’m not a pleasure to be around ๐Ÿ˜‰ Old Cs had phenomenal service! we had a pitcher of beer and our apps in the time we sat there with nothing at the Paddlewheel. After lunch, we ventured out and walked up and down the street of stores, they had a pretty good selection of retail stores and water features that were pretty cool too.

Since we only had one night to see a show, we picked one that I think is their most popular and some of our good friends recommended it as well, The Dixie Stampede, Dolly Parton actually owns it. It was a show that included dinner so that’s always a plus, they feed you an entire chicken, rolls, soups, pork, potatoes and a dessert. All of which you eat with your hands, that made it fun ๐Ÿ˜‰ The show is a mixture or horse tricks, acrobat, dancing, singing, ostrich races, baby pig races (my favorite part!!!). It was a little cheesy but again, worth the money, and they gave us a military discount as well so we paid $41 per ticket.

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On Sunday since we were leaving, I still wanted to cram in a couple more things I’d been eyeing. We found a Groupon for those Old Time photos, I’ve never done them before and was dying to do it ๐Ÿ™‚ ย their are like 50 of these types of photo places along the main street but our Groupon was just for the one right across from the Titanic Museum. It was SO fun and the Groupon was a great deal, we go the sitting fee and a free 8×10 for $9! After the photo shoot, we headed east on the strip to the Hollywood Wax Museum, I don’t know why, but I had so much fun in there! I can’t believe how life like the characters looked, it was a little creepy! That’s how we ended our Branson weekend. Again, I’m happy we made the trip to see what it’s like since we are so close but I wouldn’t drive any longer than 4 hours to go. As someone said, “It’s Vegas if Ned Flanders had created it”.

Here are links to all the places I mentioned above. Enjoy, and thanks for taking time to read my blog!

http://www.radisson.com/branson-hotel-mo-65616/mobranso
http://www.bransonlanding.com/current_leases.html
http://dixiestampede.com/
http://bustersoldtimephotos.com/
http://www.hollywoodwaxmuseum.com/branson/

Jowler Creek Winery
Platte City, MO

Our first BRAPRIL (get it? Brittney and April combined cause it’s my Birthday month!) 2013 weekend outing, we took the Harley out for a winery tour since it was a beautiful, 70 degree Kansas Saturday!

http://www.jowlercreek.com/

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โ€œNow, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. Itโ€™s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. Itโ€™s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friendโ€“even a friend whose name it never knew. โ€œ
– President George W. Bush

CrossFit Update (Day 3 Week 1)

I did it! l I accomplished my goal this week of going to CrossFit Monday, Wednesday and Friday! I also ran 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday. Doesn’t it feel amazing to set a goal and actually reach it?! I feel awesome and can even see and feel results in my body after just one week, it may me mental but I’ll take positive change in any form it comes in ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today was INSANE! I have done A LOT of different work outs but I’ve never sweat like I did today. We were put into teams of two and given 3 exercised to do 5 times. We started with a 400 meter run (1/4 mile), came inside and did 15 box jumps each and 15 ball/wall squats each. WOW! It was tough but it felt amazing when were finished. Plus I got to hang out for 45 minute with a very nice lady that maybe I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to meet. Another thing I keep saying I love about this class. Great group of people! Wish me luck for this new week ahead, my goal is all 3 days again this week and I’d like to increase my running on Tues and Thurs to 3 miles. If you have any advice or words of encouragement for me, please share!!! And if you’re reading this and staring your new venture into a workout routine, good for you! We can do this! Remember, it’s one day at a time, be proud of yourself for any type of work out you are trying, it’s one step closer to your goal. You are worth it!!!!

CrossFit Update (Day 2 of class)

I woke up this morning feeling just as sore as I did yesterday! I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through today’s class with my stiffness. I brought my friend Christa along, she was slightly reluctant but I am pretty sure she enjoyed her self…guess I’ll find out if she never speaks to me again ๐Ÿ˜‰ Before I get to the work out, I have to touch on something I noticed today…I have met some of the nicest women here on post, so much more friendly than other places we have been stationed. Perfect example, this lady who is obviously a crossfit pro noticed Christa and I staring at the warm up with blank stares, she came over to us, took us through every move and showed us the right teqnique and different variations for each move! We were both pretty dumbfounded by her kindness, she wasn’t an instructor or anything, just a very nice person. Also, I love the comradery with this group! Everyone is so supportive and their cheers and motivation they offer during our workouts is beyond motivational. Everyone could learn from this group of lovely women, they are my inspiration!

It was another challenging work out. I’m a little afraid of how I’m gonna feel tomorrow! I did some research last night to help me understand the lingo and acronyms. Here is what I discovered… WOD stands for Workout of the Day, TGU is a Turkish Get Up, it’s as weirds as it sounds. I also learned I have the weakest baby hands known to man! We had to do knees to chest on the pull up bar, OUCH! I need gloves! I feel great again after going, not only because I’m surrounded by awesome women but because these work outs push me more than I’ve ever let my self be pushed, they challenge me and make me think and I feel so empowered! So if you see me on the street, DON’T MESS WITH ME ๐Ÿ˜‰ hee hee

CrossFit Update (Day after 1st class)

Today is the day after my first ever CrossFit class. Three letters best describe what I’m feeling…OMG! I consider…well considered, myself to be about average in the realm of being in shape, not appearance wise but endurance wise. BOY WAS I WRONG! I woke up today and hurt in places I didn’t even know muscle existed! It almost brought me to tears when I sneezed! WOW! I am not complaining, because it’s the kind of hurt that makes you feel empowered, like the work out you did actually DID something. I liked waking up to this pain, it was the most motivation I’ve felt in a long time. I consider myself a “runner”, I LOVE it! It’s my “me time”, my “be free, feel the wind (sweat and try not to pass out here in Leavenworth’s 100 + degree weather time!), my no answering to anyone, pushing myself time”. That is awesome for my cardio, but this whole but the moves we had to do in this CrossFit class are like none I’ve done before. They make you think and really push yourself, something I hate to admit, but I’ve never done before. I might sound crazy after only doing this one day. I’ll sum it up and bring it to an end. I’m hooked! Can’t wait for class 2 tomorrow!

Make up board

Got a little crafty today… Very little.

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I was tired of this

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So I went to Wal Mart and bought this… magnetic white board

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And this magnetic tape

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And now I have a nice big space for my make up, and room to write my goals and some of my favorite inspirational quotes ๐Ÿ™‚

CrossFit

One of the other Navy wives told me about this class on base. It’s held in “The Bubble” gym, it’s the big yellow tent looking building right outside the Harney Gym on Fort Leavenworth. I found this class to be perfect for me and my A.D.D. It starts at 9:30am so you arrive about 20 minutes prior and go through a list of warm ups that the instructor puts up on a white board. Some of the warm up was rowing, pull ups, jump roping etc. After you warm up, depending on the size of the class, she’ll split you up into groups. She put the work out on the board so we could all see it, it was 10 squats with a 35 lb. kettle bell, 20 pushups, 30 sit ups, so you do those all in order as many times as you can in 16 minutes. I got 5 sets in, not bad, but I was clearly out of shape! It doesn’t seem like a lot but some of the women there were in amazing shape! Ripped! So I asked them if this is all they did and the majority said they do the class 2-3 times a week and that’s it, the was motivation enough for me to return! All the ladies in the class were so welcoming and the ones that are done with their reps, stand there and cheer you on while your suffering through your session. I’m so glad I went and I will be going back!!! Below is some more info and the link to the facebook page of the class held on base.

CF Results with Meg

Classes are held:

Mon: 9:15 am 10:45 am
5:15 pm 6:30 pm
Tue: 5:15 pm 6:30 pm
Wed: 9:15 am 10:45 am
5:15 pm 6:30 pm
Fri: 9:15 am 10:45 am

Leavenworth, Kansas

IF anyone from Leavenworth happens to stumble upon my blog… here are some fun things I found going on this weekend (Friday 13 July – Sunday 15 July) If you go to anything here pleas give me feedback on how it went and any helpful details.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Celebrate America on the Lawn
6pm-8pm @ 1830 S. Broadway
Patriotic music, photos, food and family fun

Saturday (every Saturday)
Farmer’s Market
7am – 11 am
7th and Cherokee St.
Fresh produce and fun shopping

Saturday
Charity – A Ride for the Wounded
10am – ? @ Woody’s Watering Hole
Kickstands up at noon for 120 mile ride, ALL motorcycles welcome!
Register day of or email arideforthewounded@yahoo.com
After party at Woody’s with prizes, food, drinks and live bands!

Saturday
Livin’ on Easy Street
10am – 5pm – Main street/Old town Leavenworth
Down town loft tours, Side Walk Sale etc.

Saturday
FREE CONCERT
7pm – 10pm
Abbey Road KC Band, Beatles tribute band, food, beer and fun,
Hay Market Square – 7th and Cherokee St.