Springfield, MO

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 28, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Sunday, April 13, 2008

We arrived in Springfield on Saturday night and parked at a Bass Pro Shop www.basspro.com .  I (Susan) and the kids had never been to one before.  It was a fun adventure.  After looking around and relaxing by the fire place, we stayed the night in the parking lot in our "home".  It really does feel like home to just walk out to the RV and settle in for the night. 
Sunday morning we hooked up with TJ's good friends and mentors Dennis and Teena Whaley at Central Assembly of God Church.  We enjoyed hearing about what God is doing all over the world from a guest missionary speaker.  After a nice, long lunch with the Whaleys (and their newly married daughter Sarah and her husband Jason) we were able to relax a bit for the afternoon and evening. 
On Monday the weather started to warm up (after a little snow on Sunday).  We had spent the night at Bass Pro again and had a great breakfast at the restaurant in the store.  Then, we went to the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield www.wilsonscreek.com .  It is the site of the second major battle of the Civil War.  After some time in the visitor's center to get the details of the battle, we headed out for the five mile drive around the battlefield to see where the action happened.  It was great to be out and walking around.  At most of the stops we were able to get out and walk to different interest points.  It felt good to get warm in the sun.  The kids (and mom and dad) learned a lot and it was a good introduction to the Civil war for them.  Monday night we stayed at a KOA campground.  It was a good chance to catch up on laundry and for the kids to play on the playground.
After a slow morning on Tuesday, we headed out to the Fantastic Caverns www.fantasticcaverns.com .  This is a huge cave that you are driven through in a jeep and trailer.  I am not a huge fan of caves, but this one was big enough for a jeep to drive through and it had been done enough that I was not worried.  It was actually very beautiful and had quite an interesting history back to civil war times which included concerts by Buck Owens and many famous musicians of the time.  We drove to Branson, MO to be close to the Silver Dollar City amusement park for the next day.
Wednesday was another sunny day and we were excited to spend the day at Silver Dollar City www.silverdollarcity.com .  As we entered the park we discovered Madison was the 5000th visitor of the day.  They made a big hoopla for her and we got a pass with our picture on it that we could use to go to the front of the line at any ride all day.  It was quite exciting.  Unfortunately, it was a very slow day at the park and we only had to use it once.  The kids felt special all day anyway.  In addition to rides we were able to see many craftsmen (blacksmiths, glassblowers, pottery makers, and basket makers) at work in their crafts.  We also enjoyed some shows and fun food.  Susan rode most of the rides with the kids as TJ continued to recover. We stayed that night at the Wilderness an RV Park at Silver Dollar City.  It was beautiful spot. 
After some cleaning and a little more laundry on Thursday morning, we were off.  We met with Dennis Whaley at Evangel College www.evangel.edu (where he works) and ate our lunch in the parking lot (it's great to always have your kitchen with you!).  We then went to the Civil War Museum next to the Wilson's Creek Battlefield.  It was closed on Monday when we were done with the battlefield.  It was an amazing collection of civil war artifacts not just from the Wilson's Creek battle but from many other battles too.  It was all assembled by one collector and then purchased by the National Park Service.  After the museum, we drove to the famous Lambert's Restaurant (famous in the Ozarks anyway).  It is the "home of the throwed biscuits" www.throwedrolls.com .  They actually do throw rolls at you while you are eating.  It was a lot of fun for the kids.  Caden caught one with his face and one with his hands.  They also walk around with different side dishes while you are eating.  This gives you a chance to try some southern favorites like fried okra, macaroni and cheese and tomatoes, black eyed peas, sorghum and fried potatoes.  We stayed at another Walmart that night (thanks Walmart!) 
Friday morning we went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, MO www.lauraingallswilderhome.com .  It is the home Laura, Almanzo and their daughter Rose settled in and called Rocky Ridge Farm.  This was a highlight for Madison who has enjoyed reading the series with us and on her own.  There were many artifacts from Laura's life like Pa's fiddle and many pictures and articles about the family.  We also toured her home and learned many new things about Laura's life (and that she doesn't really look like she does in the movies!).  After leaving the home we continued on our way towards Memphis, TN.  We drove through some back roads into Arkansas and experienced the Ozark Mountains.  After dumping and filling at a RV park Walmart came through again as we spent the night there in Truman, Arkansas. 
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