Last Monday afternoon, after putting in a half a day at work, I jumped in my truck and headed north. My mom was having surgery early Tuesday morning and I was to meet her, my sister and my two aunts in Little Rock that evening for dinner. We had planned to all head to the hospital together on Tuesday morning and spend a few days with her in Little Rock before traveling a little further north to Fayetteville, where my niece was to graduate from U of A, for the weekend.
Houston to Little Rock is a solid 8 hour drive. About 7 1/2 hours into it...just between Arkadelphia and Bryant/Benton...my sister calls to tell me not to hurry. It seems surgery was cancelled due to the doctor incurring a hand injury that afternoon.
That night and the next morning was filled with questions. Do I drive back home only to drive 10 hours or more to Fayetteville a few days later? Do I fly home on a last minute (and expensive) ticket and leave my truck behind? Too many choices! So, after we had lunch at the Flying Fish in downtown Little Rock, I decided to drive a couple of hours further northeast to see Jim's mom and dad for a few days instead.
As it turned out, Memaw had a few free days before I had to be in Fayetteville too. So, we decided to make the most of an unexpected opportunity and do something we had long discussed but never made the time for. We headed to Branson, Missouri for a few days.
I think you can tell from the photo above that she was pleasantly surprised. We decided that we would not ask why....but just enjoy the unexpected pleasure trip.
We stopped at the first resort that caught our eye. The Chateau on the Lake.
Isn't it gorgeous? It sits above Table Rock Lake and made for a beautiful view.
We decided that we were just going to take each day as it presented itself.
We visited the Butterfly Palace and took it at a leisurely pace to stretch our legs a bit.
I just love these white butterflies. But my favorites, which were a rich iridescent blue inside their wings, I could never get to stop with opened wings long enough for photo.
After the Butterfly Palace we decided to stop by the Pierce Arrow theater to see if we could get tickets to that nights' performance. It was the most highly recommended show according to our bellman as we checked into the hotel.
We were pleasantly surprised that someone had just called in a cancellation and were awarded fourth row center seats! We rushed back to the hotel to freshen up before the show.
It was a good show and Memaw laughed so hard. She even asked me to go back by the theater the next day so that she could pick up a DVD of the comedian to take home and share with Poppy.
The next day we spent some time shopping at Branson Landing. Memaw needed to run a few errands anyway, so we decided to just make that the majority of our day. The highlight was lunch at Joe's Crab Shack.
She had been talking about eating crab legs several years ago when they went to visit friends...so we decided to make another memory and grab some crab.
That night we had front row tickets to the Original Country Jamboree on the Branson Strip. We went to see the Presley Family. It was neat to see how all the family participated in the family business, even the younger ones (fourth generation) helped us find our seats.
The next morning was time to head back to Pocahontas. I still had to drive back across the state of Arkansas to make it to Fayetteville for Jana's graduation on Saturday.
Here are a few more pictures (all taken on my phone) from our pleasant Branson surprise vacation.
The view from our room of Table Rock Lake.
Gorgeous white wisteria growing along the rocks leading up to the Butterfly Palace.
The irises at the Chateau. I was mesmerized by all the beautiful irises that were blooming along our route. We just don't get to see them last that long back in Houston!
It was a great trip and memories that I will always treasure. Not all things can be planned...we just have to accept them and make the most of the times we are given.
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