Get the show on the road

All work and no play makes for a boring conference trip to the Midwest. Most of the schedule was packed tight, but my friends and I were able to fit in a little fun.

There was one morning that started late, so we took a quick trip to the Springfield Zoo. It is hard to top a trip to the zoo with a child, and my little buddy loved it all. We were on a quest to find “more monkeys” for most of the morning. My buddy moved across the country about a year ago and it is hard to believe how much she has grown up.
little buddy

Besides the monkeys, we were also able to visit the swans, giraffes, and peacocks (from all angles).
ugly duckling after picturehellopeacock
The weather was unseasonably toasty for most of the week, but a cool evening gave us some extra time to run around after dinner.
room to run
The conference ended Thursday morning, but the location offered free accommodations for Thursday night so people could explore the area a little more. Taking them up on their offer, my friends and I headed out to explore Branson, Missouri.
Welcome to Branson
We found an awesome “BBQ and Burger Shop” for lunch while we tried to figure out what to do next. As we looked around town, the answer seemed obvious.
BBQ lunchBar B Q
We had to… RIDE THE DUCKS.
American DucksRide the Ducks
The duck took us on an adventure around Branson, over the Table Rock Dam and into Table Rock Lake.

Tablerock Dam

Typically, they “splash down” into the lake, but the flood waters are so high that we just sort of floated in.
flood waters
We spent a decent amount of time in the gift shop and were inspired to build our own duck posse.
building a posse
I knew that Dolly Parton had a place in Branson, but I think we were all surprised by the number of entertainment options around the town. This even includes the largest Titanic museum IN THE WORLD!
ShowboatBranson Bellehello Dollynot surelargest Titanic museum in the world
Dinner that evening was my second trip to Lambert’s Café that week. I picked up a souvenir that has already come in handy back at home.

My flight took off mid-afternoon so we took the conference planners’ recommendation on our brunch location for the next morning and we were NOT disappointed.
downtown
Gailey’s Breakfast Café is an amazing breakfast café in downtown Springfield. There is one spectacular item on their menu that the four adults at our table all ordered and enjoyed – sweet browns – hash browns made from sweet potatoes. Oh man! I wish I had taken a picture because words cannot describe!!

After the great breakfast, my friends dropped me off at the airport. The rest of the day gets a mixed review. But you probably already know about that.

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