I arrived Sunday 29 April 2007 so I have had a few days to go out and around and see what there is to see. And all I can say is WOW! I am totally impressed with this area. It reminds me of Las Vegas 30 or 40 years ago. Before it became so crowded that you can hardly move around.
After I got setup at the RV Park I went out for a little scouting mission and stumbled onto the main strip. It is several miles long and lined both sides with attractions, show houses, theaters and shops.
The next morning, Monday, I again went out but this time I was looking for a good place to have breakfast. I again followed the main strip and saw a Shoney's Restaurant. I remember them from when I lived in South Carolina back in 1982, 83 and 84. Except then they were called Shoney's Big Boy. I had heard later that the two franchises had split up.
Anyway, I remember them so well because of their buffet's. Especially their breakfast buffet's. So I went there for breakfast and the highlight of my meal was the biscuits and gravy. I always look for restaurants or Cafe's that serve biscuits and gravy. The Branson Shoney's was no disappointment. Their biscuits and gravy were some of the best I remember having.
I had some programming work I needed to get done so I came back to the RV and went to work. I have a semi big programming project in progress that I want to get done this week so I stayed in all day Tuesday.
This morning, Wednesday, I went out again for breakfast. This time I went to the Grand Country Music Hall to check out their buffet. It was a good buffet and yes, you guessed it, I tried their biscuits and gravy. They even had two kinds of gravy. They had a sausage gravy and a country gravy. I preferred the sausage gravy with my biscuits.
I guess should compare the biscuits and gravy between Grand Country Music Hall and Shoney's. Well the Grand Country Music Hall biscuits and sausage gravy were very good but Shoney's was the best.
After breakfast I went to do a little attractions visiting. First I needed to get some tickets and what you are going to see here in Branson and for 40 or 50 miles or so as you approach Branson is there is a cottage industry of places that sell discount tickets. They are all over the place. I started seeing them along side the roads as I was driving up from Little Rock, Arkansas. There are dozens of them along the strip and more in outlying parts of town.
I purchased a couple of tickets. One for Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum and the Other for the Titanic Museum. I started with these because unlike shows the tickets are open and you can go whenever. Once I figure out what shows I want to see I will pick up some tickets for those.
This morning I decided to go to the Branson, Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It is in a very unusual building. The building looks like it is falling apart during an earthquake. The theme is based on an 1812 earthquake measuring more than 8.0 on the Richter Scale which occurred at New Madrid, Missouri. The earthquake made the Mississippi River run backwards for three days and made Church bells ring In Philadelphia! The Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum building reflects that odd event, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum building in Branson has become one of the most photographed buildings In the world! So Ripley's says.
I have been to several Ripley's before. My first was in 1972 when my wife and I and my son Ray were transferring overseas to Yokohama, Japan. The Navy had booked us first class passage aboard the SS President Cleveland from San Francisco via Honolulu, Hawaii to Yokohama. While killing some time the day before we boarded we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and while standing outside of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum one of the workers came up to me because he new me. Sure enough he was one of the guys I had served with aboard the USS Providence CLG-6. His name was Ken Warwick an IC3 in the IC Shop that I worked in. Anyway he got my family and I into the Museum on a free pass. Some years later (2005) Ken contacted me by email he then worked in "Silicon Valley" (Cupertino) and lived in the East Bay.
I later visited a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC while I was stationed in Charleston in 1982, 83 and 84. Then again in 1994 in Niagara Falls, Canada. And no I wasn't there to get married. When I retired from the Navy in New London, CT I drove home to Idaho by driving through New York into Canada (at Niagara Falls) then I followed the tops of the Great Lakes and believe me the North shore is nothing like the South Shore. It was one of the most beautiful and pleasant drives I have ever made. Then after getting west of the Lakes I followed the Transcontinental Highway until I got to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where I turned south into the US and Missoula, Montana then across Glacier National Park into Idaho.
Anyway back to today. I enjoyed my little tour of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Branson. It had been raining so the inside attraction was what I needed. It was not as big as the others, at least that I can remember, but it was worth the time and the price of admission.
Then it was back to the RV. I still have this project I want to get done so it's back to the grindstone for me, besides I had to write this Blog. I will have to do the Titanic Museum another day.