This is a little bit of a change of pace from client photos, and not to interrupt your regularly scheduled Beaumont family lifestyle photographer programming, but I talked a little bit in my last post about my family and I packing up and heading to Missouri for a few days before Christmas. We were REALLY hoping that it would be a snowy winter wonderland – what’s up with the warm winter?! I thought they were predicting a super cold winter for everybody? Man, I need in on this meteorologist gig. Anyway.
The first two nights in town, we stayed at Grand Country Inn. E isn’t really a kid who will sit through shows, and he’s kind of hit or miss as far as arcades and putt putt, but oh man. That indoor waterpark had his name all over it. We really enjoyed our stay there! It was so nice to have everything we needed on-site basically. In fact, we didn’t even leave the grounds the whole time we stayed there! And I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that my camera never left its bag. We spent a lot of time at the water park, and the idea of my very, very expensive gear anywhere nearby – no thank you. After two days, we moved to a Hilton at the landing, and I think that we all might have enjoyed that just as much as being at Grand Country! There are shops, restaurants, and the lake right across the street, all kinds of quirky shops and restaurants in the other direction down main street, and the vintage scenic railway was right out the window from our hotel room, which mean E basically had stars in his eyes the whole time. Over the next two days, we did some shopping (Missouri Mountain Moonshine was the adult fave!), some hiking ( we really enjoyed the Henning Conservation area, which is were the naturey pics below were taken!), we took in several of the local Christmas shows and displays, the best of which was The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights. We didn’t make any plans and played everything down to the hour and the minute and it was great! Branson seems like it would be GREAT for older kids – we counted no less than 5 multi-level go-kart tracks. Lots of stuff was closed for the season, but we still had a great experience, especially since it wasn’t overly crowded.
The biggest highlight of the trip, I think even higher than the waterpark in E’s eyes, was the Free Trolley Downtown. This is such an awesome feature, and we couldn’t believe it was completely free! We first noticed one while we were switching hotels. E was actually the one to point it out. All of a sudden a shriek erupted from the backseat, “Mama! Trolley! Wook! Just like Daniel Tiger! Mama!” Doesn’t their little baby excitement just kill you? We made it a point to do the trolley at some point – why not, since it’s free, and it basically went in a big circle around our hotel. Our chance finally came on our last day there. And oh boy, did the camera finally come out.
Oh, this face.
It was seriously the highlight of his life, I think. We had the whole trolley to ourselves and he switched seats at every stop and buckled himself in and rode until the next stop and did it all over again!
Here are some more shots from our trip around Branson!
Jo Truncali is the premier Beaumont family photographer specializing in lifestyle and documentary style imagery. Serving all of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including but not limited to Beaumont, Houston, Lake Charles and surrounding areas. Available for travel worldwide.