2016.12.29 Birthday Celebrations and Bowl Games

Happy Birthday, Mallory!  The birthday girl has a big day planned for us.  Manicures at 9am and then spending the day at Silver Dollar City.  Stephanie, Marissa and Mallory left for their manicures shortly after 9 (good news) but showed back up at the house 10 minutes later (bad news).  Turns out the nail salon has one nail girl and she is on vacation this week.  Son of a nutcracker!

While back at the house, gathered around the kitchen table, Miles got to tell the story of how Mallory woke up in the middle of the night.

Miles woke up to Mallory saying “stop stop stop” with her hand up in the air.  Then she sat up in bed slowly, and started mumbling for several minutes.  Finally, Miles turned his flashlight on and pointed it at her and asked if she was awake.  She said “yes”, so Miles asked if she knew she was talking in your sleep, and she said “No, what was I talking about?  “That you were concerned they were lowering the minimum wage.”

When Mallory heard the story being told, she agreed, “Yes, I do remember having a dream about the minimum wage.”  Sounds like Mallory is concerned about her current economic situation.

Since no local shop could do nails, we decided to leave much earlier than planned, to make the hour long drive to Branson and do nails there.  Mallory also has planned for us to have sushi for lunch.  Makes me think that I probably should have verified the local nail girl was not actually at work today.

While we are going to Branson, the rest of our gang is hanging out at the house, and staying a lot warmer than we will be.

The nail shop in Branson only had a few people working, but they got the girls right in.  Miles and I had no intention of sticking around, so we asked the male owner if we should come back in about an hour. “Yes, one hour.  And there’s a bar right around the corner.”  Funny guy.

Mallory with the French Tip.

Marissa, and Mallory pretending to be Marissa.

While the girls had their fun, Miles and I visited the Tanger Outlet Mall.  We ended up spending our entire hour in the Eddie Bauer store, and both walked out carrying bags.

We picked the ladies up with their beautiful nails a little over an hour later.  The guy who did Mallory’s nails repeatedly teased Mallory that she looked 11 and that Marisa looked 17.  No tip for you!

Even though the nail salon was only 5 or 6 miles from Silver Dollar City, our feature destination, it took us well over an hour to drive those few miles, park, and walk to the front gate.  The park opened at 1pm and we walked in at 2.  We can blame that on attending on half-price Thursday.

Given the fact we were late getting to the park, we didn’t get a chance to eat lunch.  So we headed straight for the Tator Twist vendor to get a snack, which was Mallory’s pick.

You will notice in the picture below that Marissa is wearing short sleeves and her jacket tied around her waist, while the rest of us look like we are in Minnesota.  This is because Marissa is wearing her new “Hamilton” t-shirt and couldn’t bear to cover it up with a coat.  “My thoughts have been replaced by Hamilton lyrics.”

Potato on a Stick.

We spent the time between 2:00 and 6:30 riding coasters and barn swings.  Stephanie and Mallory were on their own for most of this time, and the remainder of us did our thing.  You can divide us into two groups: those that like rides that spin, and those that don’t.

Once it got to be around 4:00 and the sun was setting, the temperature started dropping  Marissa even put her jacket on!

Mallory, Miles and Marissa at Silver Dollar City.

Our Birthday Girl.

The train lit up in lights.

The Christmas Story told during a stop on the train ride.

We saw plenty of fellow patrons decked out in their Oklahoma State gear today.  It is not uncommon to exchange pleasantries with fellow Cowboy fans, no matter where you are.  In one exchange, Stephanie saw a lady with an OSU shirt on and said “Go Pokes!”.  The lady looked at Stephanie and said “Thank you.”  I guess it could be taken as a compliment, but I’ve never thought of it that way.

The entire Silver Dollar City park was covered in lights of all colors.  Clark Griswold would say “this place has a lot of lights”.  I wonder if the lights are left attached all year, or if they put them up and take them down?  The latter would keep a team busy quite a while.

Silver Dollar City in lights!

Like any well-run amusement park, to exit Silver Dollar City, you must walk through several gift shops.  While Marissa was shopping in one of these, an employee got all excited and started yelling, “Attention!  This couple just got engaged in the photo booth!  They just got engaged!”  So everyone within earshot gave them a round of applause.

We left the park at 6:30 to embark on our hour long drive back to Eureka Springs.  Shortly before we arrived, we received word that our good friends, Randy, Mitzi, and Jessica had arrived at the house to join us for the bowl game watch party and to catch up.  We haven’t seen them in several years, so this was a very pleasant surprise that this worked out on this trip.

Erin had prepared a dinner of “bowl food” for the evening’s festivities.  Pizza dip, chips, veggie trays, etc.  It was the perfect pairing with a football game.  And unlike our performance in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st earlier this year, the Cowboys came out firing and dominated Colorado 38-8 in the Alamo Bowl.  Go Pokes!

Before the game started, we carved out some time to celebrate Mallory’s birthday.  Erin made Chocolate Chip Caramel Butter Bars that we stuck the birthday candles in, and Mallory got to open her presents from family.  Happy Birthday, Mallory!  You continue to celebrate your birthday in exciting ways and  interesting places.

Watch Party.

Ellery’s first bowl game.

Birthday Girl.

It was a fun evening, and I’m so appreciative that Randy drove his family an hour to come see us.  I need more Randy in my life!

A visit with Randi, Mitzi, and Jessica.

We have been very impressed with the house we are staying in this week.  It is as well stocked a rent house as we have ever used.  From soap and toilet paper to crock pots and kitchenware, it has had everything we have needed.  We know from experience that some rent houses expect you to bring your own soap!  We would recommend this place to anyone visiting Eureka Springs that needs beds for 11 people.

Another fun family trip comes to an end.  Checking out in the morning and headed back home.  Thank you KK and PK for placing such a high priority on family time!  We loved spending the week with you guys!

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