Here we are at the Silver Dollar City Youth Bluegrass Contest in May 2008. We had so much fun meeting several like-minded musical families in Branson. We met family bands from North Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, New Mexico, Arkansas, Ohio, & Tennessee. The quality of the family bands was excellent, and we were so impressed with the skill level of so many kids there. We didn't win the contest, but we had a wonderful time. We were amazed with the large crowd in the opera hall to watch the show!
Silver Dollar City quickly became our favorite amusement park. The staff are modestly dressed in pioneer-day clothing, the buildings are also cleverly themed like the "old days", and the park is built in the Branson mountains with lots of trees. There are artisons making their crafts all around the park, and music is everywhere! We were there during the Bluegrass & Barbeque festival, so you can imagine how much we liked that. The shows are all included in the admission fee, and we got to see some of our favorite bands.
Tessa, Denise, and Isaac seemed to really enjoy this "giant swing" ride (it was a HUGE and really wild). However, the lady next to Isaac looks like she is about to lose her lunch!
This ride, called Wildfire, was decided that it was the funnest, of them all. We had a blast riding this crazy, looping, spining, jet speed roller-coaster ride. All but dad, that is :)
Just prior to Branson, we spent a couple of days with the Bontrager Family in Kalona, Iowa. They farm there and travel with their music in their "spare" time. We had a wonderful time with them. Pictured with AnaLise and Tessa are their eldest daughters Alison and Chelsey.
After Branson, we had a couple of days alone as a family to enjoy a cabin the Smokey Mountains south of Gatlinburg, TN. We had an awesome view from our cabin! Brad got really sick, but that didn't diminish the restful time there.