Christmas Break Mini-Vaca

2018 Branson Christmas


Thursday, December 27, 2018, 5:30 pm

JKLMN is on the road again!! We made it through the last few days of school, which were full of tests, basketball, choir and band concerts. Then we made it through Christmas, which although is very enjoyable is also very stressful and busy. As we were finishing up our Christmas celebrations with family Johnny said, “Why not make a quick trip to Branson?”. Well, we couldn’t think of one good reason not to. The weather looked to be beautiful, Kira had 7 more days left of vacation, the kids had already had WAY too much screen time and Branson is only a short 5-hour drive away. So, why not???

We spent Wednesday cleaning up, washing clothes, putting away the Christmas decorations and packing the rig. It was supposed to storm overnight and into the morning today so we did not plan on leaving too early. Instead, we spent the morning relaxing, drinking coffee and taking care of those last minute chores you have to do before heading out of town.

We left this morning at around 9:30 and we were very grateful for an uneventful, beautiful drive to Branson. We even took off and drove up with NO RESERVATIONS! That in itself is unusual for us, we are normally “planners”. Of course, this whole trip was spontaneous so why not continue it. We had looked at some options and knew we’d have plenty to choose from. We are now parked at America’s Best Campground here in Branson, MO and so far it seems like a really nice place. (Even better since they are in their winter pricing at only $25/night!!)

No RV trip would be complete without at least one mishap though. We arrived, starting setting up and JB walked around the corner of the camper with a look on his face that told all of us something was wrong. Guess what we forgot….our electrical cord! UGH! Inconvenient, yes, trip-ruining, no thank goodness. We quickly got on the phone and found an RV parts store nearby and within 30 min we were back on track.

Tonight, once we got set up, we made a delicious dinner of spaghetti. That is another perk of RV life, you pull your kitchen with. Rather than spending $50+ on dinner for a family of 5, we were able to throw together a simple meal for under $15 for all of us.

We are now getting ready to go see “Samson” at the Sights and Sounds Theater. More updates to come….

10:49 pm

We’re all excited to see Samson!

“Samson” is an amazing show. We would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good show to see in Branson. It was good enough that Noah’s reaction after it ended was “Can we come to see this every night???”.  We haven’t done anything else this evening. Honestly, it was almost a 3-hour show so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exploring the town. We are all now happy to be back in our cozy camper and ready to settle in for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, Silver Dollar City!

Friday, December 28, 2018, 9:00 pm


What a day! We have had so much fun but it was COLD!!! We started the day by making a good breakfast of biscuits and gravy and with the kids riding bikes around the campground.  We then bundled up and made our way to Silver Dollar City. Again, it was COLD!!! I don’t think the temperature rose above 33 degrees today. That meant that none of the roller coasters were running. We didn’t let that spoil our fun though. There are plenty of things at SDC to keep you busy. The lights in the park during this time of year are beautiful. We also spent time shopping and watching shows. At the end of the night we had had such a great time that we went ahead and upgraded our tickets to season passes. As an RV Trip, this is a very easy pull for a long weekend so we plan on coming back this coming year.

Now, let me also tell you that even though we had a great time, don’t think that it was perfect. Having 3 kids means constant bickering amongst them which in turn leads to a pretty irritable mom and dad at times. If we heard “I want” or “that’s not fair” one more time one of us might have lost our minds. We also had to deal with a sullen teenager who has decided he doesn’t like pictures and who was disappointed in not getting to ride any roller coasters. That’s just life with kids though.

Again, RV trips are not complete without some hiccups. Tonight we came back to a very cold camper. Turns out our heater is having some kind of issue and is turning itself off before getting the camper warm. Thank goodness we do have 2 radiator heaters in here and they do a decent job of keeping the chill out. We may not be nice & cozy tonight but with a few layers of blankets, we should be just fine…maybe. It’s only going to get to 22 degrees tonight. Oh boy…..


Saturday, December 29, 2018, 9:42 pm

We survived the night! It actually wasn’t bad at all. The 2 radiator heaters have done a nice job of keeping the camper warm. We’ve had them going all day and it actually got a bit too warm in here by this evening. Our normal heater is still not working, that means a trip to the RV shop when we get back to town.

There is something to be said about a spur of the moment getaway. We are normally planners and have every moment of our time planned out. We have not done that on this trip. We got up this morning and just said: “So what do you want to do today?”. That led us to meeting up with some friends who had also came up on a quick vacation. Our kids hung out together for an hour or so and had a blast. Once we left their condo we drove to Table Rock State Park to check out a bike trail. We are so glad we brought our bikes with us. We spent a couple of hours riding the Table Rock Lake trail which took us around a part of the lake and let us see some of the beautiful scenery around the lake. Granted, Macy and Noah were not thrilled about the entire ride but they survived.


The bike ride took up most of our afternoon. Once we finished it we found a place for a late lunch/early dinner. We needed a good place to fill our bellies and warm up our bodies after riding in below freezing temps for 2 hours.

We finished our night with a family game night here at the camper. We had a heated game of Uno, then Skippity, then Noah & Mom ended the night with Battleship.

Overall, we have had a fantastic day. Our original plan was to drive home tomorrow but now we’ve decided to stay one more day. We are going to go to Springfield tomorrow to visit Bass Pro Shop. For now, we are settling in for a good night’s sleep.

Sunday, December 30, 2018, 6:39 pm

Bass Pro

We finished out our mini-vaca with a trip to the Bass Pro Shops and the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, MO. If you are ever in the area it is definitely worth the trip. Of course, we’ve been visiting Bass Pro Shops for years and have seen it transform several times. This is by far my favorite transformation yet. We chose to not visit the Wildlife Museum and instead took our time in the Aquarium. The kids loved it. They got to see everything from bass to sharks to alligators to Black Bear. It is a little pricey to go in but you do get a lot for your money.  We also walked around the actual Outdoor Store where Logan found another knife to add to his growing knife collection.

We finished up in Springfield around 3:30 this afternoon. We decided to take it easy tonight and hang out at the campground. It is actually raining tonight so it was a good time to make a big pot of Taco Soup for supper and let everyone unwind before our trip home tomorrow.

Overall, this has been a fun and exciting, spur of the moment trip. Yes, we’ve had a few camper problems and yes the kids have done their fair share of fighting and whining but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Tomorrow morning we get to go back home and get ready to go back to the “real world”.


Published by Kira Bridges

First of all I'm a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior. Second, I'm a wife & a mother. I am happily married to the most wonderful man in the world, Johnny Bridges. We have a 3 beautiful children, Logan, Macy & Noah. I am blessed & thankful for the blessings God has given me.

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