Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Branson Trip Part 2

This post has certainly taken it's time in coming, hasn't it?! Sorry for the delay!

Picking up where I left off . . . Friday dawned early for us as we had a big day planned. First on the agenda was visiting a nearby park . . .

The first winding trail we took . . . it was so picturesque with the dogwoods blooming along it

It was such a beautiful place, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there!

Emily, Dave, Laura, Leah and Tim looking at . . . a tree maybe? If I am remembering correctly, they were trying to identify it.

The stone homestead on the property which was built in the early 1900's

Laura and the overlook

From this point, there was a "stone step" trail that went down the side of the bluff. Hand laid stones made most of the trail, and we had fun going down it all the way to the bottom!

At the top of the trail

Another view

Laura and Tim

Dave and Leah

Some of the stones steps

A winding path between two sets of steps

Leah, Emily, Dave and Tim

Discussing amongst ourselves how this rock wall might have been made

Laura - it was so nice to be able to spend so much time with her! She is a very a dear friend and has blessed me in so many ways.

Finally at the bottom and ready to explore this beautiful place!

 Me, Leah, Tim, Emily and Dave after reaching the bottom of the trail

Laura photographing

Dave climbing part of the way up the rock wall


Leah and I


Leah

Emily

Exploring

Leah and Emily both went down here, but after remembering that a place like it is a prime location for snakes, they decided that further explorations would not be advisable. :)

Looking up

Getting ready to head back

A little lizard along the trail . . . you can't see it in the photo, but his throat patch was brilliant blue

A type of trillium

Flowers blooming along the stone wall


Laura taking a photo of Emily at what appeared to be an entrance into what could have been a garden at one point.

Leah after reaching the top of the trail

Leah and Emily looking at the chicken house

I loved this path and stone wall!

Leah and I

We're thinking this structure was for turkeys

Emily, Leah and Laura

A beautiful swallowtail on one of the many lilac blooms.

Laura taking a picture of the swallowtail

Leah, Emily, Dave and Tim

Leah, Emily, Dave, Tim and Laura enjoying the view

And all of us! (Photo courtesy of the picnic table and my camera's self-timer. :)

After our time at the park, we had lunch and then headed to the Titanic Museum. What a neat experience that was! We all really enjoyed it, and probably my favorite part was the room honoring the musicians as well as reading about a preacher who while in the water after the ship sank, was sharing the gospel and pleading with those around him to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. What a powerful testimony!

Taking photos inside the museum isn't allowed so the only ones I have are these from the outside which Laura took . . .

Dave, Emily, Leah and I


Once we had finished at the museum, we went back to our hotel to rest a bit before the conference began that evening. Our friends had brought some games so Laura, Emily, Tim and I went down to the lobby and played an Andy Griffith game. Not being very familiar with those shows, it made it rather interesting! :) Laura and I were on a team and Emily and Leah were on a team . . . you can imagine the fun and laughter that was enjoyed!

Tim reading a question for Leah and Emily

 Think, think, think! 
(All our thinking didn't work, though, as we still didn't get the question right. :)
 
Before long, it was time to head to the conference, and coming up next will be a post about that!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Branson Trip Part 1

 Leah and I had been looking forward to the Worldview Weekend Conference for months, and finally the week of it arrived! Some friends of ours were going down early so Leah and I did as well in order that we could all spend some time together before the conference.

With strong storms looming in the west the morning we were going to leave, we left as soon as we could in order to try to beat them. And we managed to just miss them!

The dark sky to the west

Leah and I had a really fun drive down . . . sister time is always special! Once we arrived in Branson, we met our friends at our hotel and then headed to a park for a picnic and walk. It was forecast to rain this day, but thankfully it held off until evening allowing us to have a wonderful afternoon outdoors together . . .

Dave, Emily and Laura walking down the boat dock

The point where we had our picnic lunch . . . we had a beautiful view!

Getting ready for our picnic
Laura, Dave, Tim and Leah

A friend of theirs was able to join us for the afternoon as well, and after we had all eaten, we went for a walk along the lake. It was so nice to have this time to visit and catch up a bit! Plus it was a beautiful place as well.

(Photo by Laura)

Eventually the path went by the Branson Belle Showboat . . .

All of us . . . Nathan, Tim, Dave, Laura, Me, Leah and Emily
(photo courtesy of a kind lady who offered to take this for us.)

The showboat

Laura, Emily and Leah

Nathan, Tim, Laura, Leah, Emily and Dave

Laura

Checking to see if the showboat actually went out on the water or not

A view of the side of one of the shops

Leah and Emily - best of friends!

Nathan, Tim, Dave and Emily looking out across the water

Leah and Laura visiting as we headed back

A view of the lake through the trees

We stopped here for quite awhile and had a wonderful time! I love open water and with the wind blowing and the waves rolling in, it was a delight to enjoy as well as photograph.

Laura enjoying the wind and waves

Emily
(Photo by Laura)

Dave, Nathan, and Tim





A really neat tree stump on the bank


Looking at various rocks
Leah, Laura, Dave, Emily, Nathan and Tim


In the evening, we all went to downtown Branson to see the fountain show. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived, it started raining. We took refuge under one of the store awnings and managed to have quite a fun time despite the rain!

The fountain show in progress . . . it was interesting how well synchronized the flames and fountains were to the music that was playing

All of us girls a little wet and windblown, but having a lot of fun together!
(photo by Laura) 

A straight on view of the fountains that Laura took as we were leaving

When the show was nearing it's end, we walked to a sub shop nearby for dinner and spent quite a bit of time there talking about many different topics . . . one thing I love whenever we get together with these friends is how our conversations so often turn to spiritual things and encouraging and building one another up in our walks with Christ. I found myself so encouraged and inspired by the evenings end! And it was a rather late one, as after we got back to our hotel, we girls stayed up until after midnight talking. :)

And thus ended our first full and fun day in Branson! Part 2 will be coming soon . . . .