I don’t know if any of my readers have noticed but the days of our trip coincide with the day of the month. No, I didn’t think about that in advance it just happened. It does make keeping track of what day it is and our reservations easier.

I was hoping my readership would grow day by day, but it seems to have leveled off. I would add more humor, but that isn’t my style. I’m glad some are commenting on the funny signs. I’ll keep sharing them as I find them. Even if I don’t become a famous writer by sharing our trip with anyone who happens to look for it or finds it by accident, I will have created a great memoir for when my husband and I can’t remember what we did, on which day, or in which location. We have already started watching the weather differently by being concerned for places we are now familiar with, and wondering what’s going on in the cities we are headed toward. I also already know more geography than I used to.

Just so you know; because I have been writing this after a full day’s activities, I am tired and make lots of mistakes so it takes time to correct and edit. It also takes time to send myself the pictures from my phone, download them and then edit them into the blog. There is probably a faster way to do that process, but I’m notaware of it at the moment. I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining. I’m just sharing it takes me almost two hours to accomplish each night’s blog.

We rarely use housekeeping when traveling except to ask for more coffee packets. I travel with my own pillow and cotton blanket or flannel sheet and Bob sleeps sitting up due to shoulder and hip problems, plus it helps him snore less. So, the first thing we do in a hotel room is tear the beds completely apart and make them my way. We don’t think it’s fair to ask a housekeeper to remake them each day just to tear them apart again. You are probably thinking we should leave a note to not make them. We’ve thought of that, but often the housekeepers don’t read English where we have been visiting. What does this have to do with anything. Nothing, just adding some observations on a slow news day.

We rarely eat in chain restaurants so ask the front desk for locally owned recommendations. This morning we drove 3.7 miles according to Google Maps and it took us 25 minutes. It’s easy to turn right on the “Branson Strip” but not to go left. Traffic is constant so you have to allow plenty of time and be patient. In this situation our standard shift baby is not so much fun to drive. At least she has a governor so you don’t roll backward when your foot is on the clutch and you have to move your right foot from the brake to the gas. Those of you who only drive an automatic probably won’t understand that last statement. That’s ok. We ate at the Clockery Café which you can imagine is decorated with lots of clocks. The food was good. I like a place that will give you a pancake in place of potatoes and toast for no extra charge. We were told it is where the locals eat and one of the servers proved that by asking two different tables of men to come help her cut firewood tomorrow. She offered breakfast as payment. They both said yes but didn’t agree to the hour she wanted them to arrive. On another table I watched a guy mush all that was on his plate into one pile, then ask for jelly, added a few packets of that and some splashes of hot sauce, remixed it, then ate healthy mouthfuls. It made me think of a garbage plate that Rochester is noted for, but made with breakfast food. Not something I would like. We enjoy a good “floor show” while dining and this morning was very entertaining.

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River Walk on White River, Branson, MO

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River Walk. Can you imagine the price of the property on the bluff?

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Cherokee Nation license plate. The second one we have seen.

Another news item I have yet to share. The other day, with the top down, a bug splatted on the side of my head, leaving a blob on my glasses. Ick. I thought I had it all wiped off, but later in the room discovered a dried something in the fold of my ear. Knowing it was bug guts kind of turned me off. I washed my ear a few times. Now it’s laughable; just one of the pitfalls of traveling in a convertible. Good thing I’m not usually squeamish.

After breakfast we walked on the waterfront board walk and found a Paula Deen store and restaurant. I could have spent a lot of money on new canisters and cute sayings to hang in the kitchen but resisted. Through the windows we could see that the diners had matching plates, then the food was delivered in pottery ware bowls to be shared. It looked like a big dinner with lots of people at the table, but was breakfast for two. If we see another such place on our travels I will want to stop and enjoy the experience. It was so hot, 92, but felt like 97 degrees, that we retreated to the hotel room, air conditioning, and even a nap.

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The Titanic. A building made in the shape of the ship which houses a museum about it.

We went out again at 2:45 to go to the Showboat Branson Belle for an early dinner show cruise on Table Rock Lake. We have discovered there are alternate routes around town, so saw some new scenery. We had paid extra to not have to wait in line and had better seats and a choice for dinner. Our server, Eve, was a delight. Attentive, friendly and very helpful. The music wasn’t as good as last nights show, but was fine. The MC, Mike Bliss, also a magician, was a lot of fun and we laughed a lot. The food was good but not exceptional. Having never been on a paddle wheel boat before the goal was to fulfill that desire. Well, I have to compliment the captain. We didn’t know when we pulled away from the dock, nor when we redocked. The scenery was wonderful, the smoothness a little disappointing, and the heat drove us back inside before we were called back for dessert and the music show. They took our picture as we entered the ship and we sighed in a we don’t care attitude. Much to our surprise the picture is very good. (I am not photogenic!) They got us for a few more bucks, but now we have a great picture of us.

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We had to drive across this damn to get to the Showboat. Eerie to see water on one             side and a deep green gully on the other.

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We paid for this picture. Worth the money.

Like I said, Eve was very helpful. She gave us the name of a bar to go to after the cruise called the Cheeky Monkey. As we entered, we were met with a personal welcome and a complimentary shot concoction called the Monkey Fuel Cocktail. We met some nice people, saw the workings of a healthy business, got ideas to improve places we go at home and had a grand time. The only drawback, we both smell like smoke. Been a long time in NY since smoking in public places has been allowed. Now we wish we had a few more nights in Branson, but the Mother Road calls. It’s back to Rt. 66 tomorrow.

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What a fun place to have a cocktail.

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One reason the bar is a success.

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I decided this exotic elephant coloring  is used to determine how much someone has         had to drink. If they know it’s an elephant they are all right and if they think it’s a               zebra, they have a problem. Just a guess. It sure is pretty.

My one disappointment in Branson is I thought the place focused on Country music. I was wrong. It’s a general mix of music, minus jazz, and it was all worth listening to. I just wanted more country. We would come back again, with more time to spend, but I have to be honest, the place won’t call like New Orleans does. And remember, book your own shows so you don’t get sucked into sitting in on a presentation to buy a time share.

Another side note; at home there is a big stink going on about a new flashing light on a bad corner a few streets from ours in a residential neighborhood. You wouldn’t believe how many posts are on Nextdoor about it. Outside our hotel room is a large Ferris wheel with ever flashing lights. I said sarcastically to Bob, “Should I complain about the lights?” It was a rhetorical question. I think it’s beautiful to watch change. And no it doesn’t keep me awake.

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Outside our hotel window.