Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring Break-O-rama

Just returned from a Spring Break road trip from our neighboring state to the northeast, Missouri.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the slideshow.

Oooh, get your hands washed today...
S smiled slyly at me and muttered, "an interesting hand wash experience awaits you," as she returned from the ladies lavatory.

I was nonplussed.

Until, that is, I output several pints of Sonic vanilla Diet Coke in the Missouri Welcome Center men's room, and went to wash my hands.

I found this wonder of handwashing technology awaiting my soiled metacarpals.

This was going to be a great trip.

Amusing amusement park
Silver Dollar City is a jacked up version of Knott's Berry Farm. Only without as many thrill rides, but much more atmosphere and eye-candy for adults interested in arts, crafts, and all things Ozarkian.

C was thrilled to be over the 42" height limit on all but one of the "big people" rides. S reported that C screamed and whimpered through most of the 2-minute vomitfest known as "Powder Keg."

I'm still in shock that S volunteered to take C on it, since she hates anything fast, spinny, droppy, or twirly.
S said this was her very last thrill ride in her life.

Must have been pretty good.

We stopped momentarily to watch one of the dozens of stage shows (we were, after all, only a few miles from Branson proper) going on at the park. Our "favorite" was the appearance of the "American Kids" and their rousing teckno/disco version of "Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho."

And the walls came tumbling down.

It seemed as if the majority of folks we were spending our time and hard earned cash with in the park were spring-breakers from Oklahoma, as just about everywhere we turned we saw bellies stretching out OU sweats, sweaty heads in OSU hats, entire families adorned in Eskimo Joe tees, and cute as button couples in matching Hornets team wear.

Themepark theme of the day was "large people on small rides."

Missouri on a full stomach
Had some great sourdough pancakes at a little eatery called BillyGails Diner on Highway 265. C made a face after her first bite, since they weren't what she had come to expect from a traditional pancake. But I loved them for their uniqueness. My only suggestion would be to serve them with a warm fruit compote (berry or otherwise) instead of the pure maple syrup on the table.

Highlight eatery of the trip was Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, home of the Throwed Rolls. Yes, both of the girls caught several of the warm, chewy rolls "throwed" at 'em. A proud parental moment indeed.

During our short trip, we all had one too many servings of fried okra. As good as it was, the overabundance of the slimy fried vegetable sent us out into the chilly Missouri night to find a more varietal menu. We lucked upon a Greek restaurant of all things, shouted "Opaah!" again and again, until we found out that their special of the day was...a ribeye steak with deep fried okra.


We avoided the local special and instead ate our fill of dolmades, souvlakia, and hummus. Food of the Gods, baby.

What the f*ck?
We took the girls here.
No comment.

Then came Branson -- with apologies to Michael Parks
Branson itself is a trip. What apparently started as a single musical theater back in 1959 to entertain the local fishermen has become a bustling town catering to an elderly crowd of rv-er's, goldwinger's, retiree's, and multi-generational families stuffed into 4-door domestic sedans. Bragging to have over 40+ musical theaters in one town, Branson is very Las Vegasian without the gambling.

Impressions on driving in Missouri.
MoDOT sucks.

Call me a spoiled, Los Angeleno-raised-on-CalTrans'-relatively-well-thought-out-lowest-common-denominator-signaged roads, but when it came to deciphering the road signs on the Missouri highways, both S and I were stymied.

Arrows pointing in the wrong direction, a full 10 feet of warning before roads ended or merged, confusing as h*ll overhead signs on the interstate...

I don't know. Maybe driving around on the OK highways for the last year has dulled my ability to navigate the highways of a foreign land.

Final thought...
Why do Missourian's pronounce their states name as "Missouruh?"


yetti said...

It's usually the old timers that say "Missourah". And they tend to be from rural areas, not the cities. It's something that I expect to die out within the next 50 years or less.

Nicole said...

for the same reason we say "Miam-uh"

My favorite way to describe Branson is like a trailer park exploded all over the Ozarks!