Saturday, July 31, 2010

Osage Beach

We rounded out Jonathan's last week of leave with a short trip to Osage Beach at Lake of the Ozarks. We stay at Tan-Tar-A, a nice little resort right on the water. This trip was more low key as we spent most of our time in the pool, which was great! Cole is quite the fish and Jonathan and I love just soaking up the rays so this worked out well for all of us.

We started our trip off right with a stop by Cold Stone Creamery. Yum!

And since our room was right on the water, we spent alot of time feeding the ducks (and tons of carp too) that always seemed hungry. We went through 4 loaves of bread during our stay.

Having fun!

There were TONS of fish under the ducks fighting for food too!

I won't lie...I enjoyed feeding them as much as Cole! :-)

For breakfast every morning we ate at the Black Bear Lodge, located at the resort. They had a delicious breakfast buffet and we ate way too much. I tried to tell myself we were on vacation and it was okay. :-)

Posing with the black bear in the restaurant

They had a park at the resort too, so we usually went there and played after breakfast.

And of course spent alot of time in the water. Cole loved the slide so went down it no less than 100 times a day! :-) Cole even got brave and went down it a couple times by himself.

Sliding with me. His huge smile says it all!

Splashing in the fountain area

He even napped by the pool so we got to relax a little.

And we ate some yummy food, like fried pickles at the Happy Fisherman.

Cole thought they were good too!

And a yummy burger and milkshake from Steak 'N Shake.

Cole and I have enjoyed having Jonathan home for two weeks and will be sad to see him go back to work on Monday. But, such is life! We enjoyed Tan-Tar-A so much that we have already booked a room and are heading back for my birthday/Labor Day weekend. Hopefully it will be a great way to end our summer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Branson- Day 3 & 4

On Thursday morning we headed out to Ride the Ducks first thing. We wanted to do this while it was still relatively cool outside. We did this last year too and it was so fun we did it again. You get on an amphibious vehicle, they call a duck. It drives you down to the lake and then it is a boat so we got to go out on the water too. Table Rock Lake is absolutely gorgeous!

They give everyone quackers. They are loud and slightly annoying, but it was fun quacking at all the bystanders on the road while riding the duck.

Cole even got to drive the boat and got his own Honorary Captain's License. So fun that they let the kiddos get a chance to sit in the driver's seat.

Enjoying his sucker while on the boat ride.

After that we went over to the fish hatchery. It was actually pretty neat. They breed and let out into the lake over a million trout a year. It was crazy all the fish they had there.

We then took a little walk on the river. There were several fishers down there doing some fly fishing. It was crazy how cold this water was.

Of course Cole got his shorts wet and ended up looking like this. :-)

We then went to a beachy area on the lake and swam for a few hours. This water on the other hand was very nice and warm. It was certainly not the white, sandy beaches and blue water I am used to from the gulf, but it was still nice to just get in the water and play.

Cole absolutely LOVES the water. He hated swimming lessons so I was a little worried, but I think he just didn't like the class setting of lessons.

He of course loved throwing rocks.

And more rocks.

On our way home Friday we stopped in at Chuck-E-Cheese in Springfield to let Cole play and eat lunch. He had fun riding rides and playing.

And even took a picture with the big mouse (with Daddy with him of course)! :-)

If you live near Branson I highly encourage you to visit. You will be glad you did! I am hoping we can make it back at least one more time before we move.

We are headed to Osage Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks for a few days next week. We have really enjoyed Jonathan being home and taking in as much family time as possible!

Branson-Day 1 & 2

We ventured out to Branson last week for a little mini family vacation. Since we weren't able to go to the beach like we really wanted to, this served as a good second option. I really love Branson and after going last year with a 10 month old we knew we wanted to go back when Cole was a little older and we could do more. Branson has lots to do. Tons of shows, shopping, lake going, etc.

When we arrived on Tuesday afternoon we stopped in at Branson Landing for a little shopping. This outdoor shopping mall was located directly on the lake with lots of stores and restaurants. We shopped a bit and then had dinner on the water.

By the lake at Branson Landing

The lovely aftermath of a blue snow cone

On Wednesday we got up and headed to Subway for breakfast. This was a first for me, but the breakfast was actually good and relatively healthy too.

Cole thought Subway was a good idea too. :-)

Then we headed to play some putt putt golf. I thought Cole may still be a little young for this, but he did great. He even got a hole in one!

Riding the train to the top of the course


Cole and Mommy

After that we headed over for some nauseating rides. I think it really is unconditional love when you ride the spinning rides with your child. :-) I get dizzy easily so this was progress for me!

And this next ride actually made me kind of sad. Cole was old enough/big enough to ride it on his own. How can that be?!?!? He was grinning ear to ear during the whole ride.

Lastly, for dinner we went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. It was a dinner/show and was very entertaining. I was so proud of my lil' guy for actually sitting still for nearly 2 hours through this. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the show so all I have is a few from before we headed in. We got to see all the horses which Cole loved, but he kept saying they stink. Can't imagine where he got that from? :-)

Drinking out of the souvenir boot cup

Well, that wraps up our first two days in Branson! It sure was fun!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Royals Game

We had the opportunity to go to our first Royals baseball game Sunday. We were able to get free tickets courtesy of Big Brothers, Big Sisters so it made the astronomical prices of food, parking, etc. more bearable. We took our "little brother" Matthew with us and I think he had a good time. The weather was oh so hot, but luckily our seats were in the shade.

Eating Subway before heading to the game

Big bite of daddy's sandwich

The kids got free bats. Not such a great idea for a 2 year old! :-)

The stadium was beautiful!

Cole catching a nap during the game

My favorite thing: cotton candy!

Riding the carousel

They had all sorts of fun stuff for the kids to do. We might have enjoyed it more had it not been so hot. We hope to go back to another game in August when BBBS gets more tickets. All in all it was fun day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birthday Party

We had Cole's birthday party at the local splash pad/pool, Nassif Aquatic Center. After last year's blowout first birthday bash, I knew I wanted some smaller (and less work for me)! Plus, July is a great month for pool parties! It was in the upper nineties that day so this worked out perfectly.

Headed to the party

I could not get a good picture despite my many attempts!

Playing in the water

Swimming with daddy

Ready, set,


Big splash!

Brody, Adam, Andrew, Cole, Kaden and Kaitlyn

Blowing out the candles

Opening presents!

Thanks to all my (and Cole's) wonderful friends who came and celebrated with us. You really helped make his day special.