When last we left our hard-working heroine, she was packing for a week in the Ozarks. Once the filing was culled and readied for transport, the rest of the packing went smoothly. I went to bed around 3am, with everything ready to carry out to the car in the morning.
I probably got around 7 hours sleep; by the time I was awake, showered, and finished packing the car, it was 11am. We filled up the car, mailed some bills, and cashed a check before officially getting on the road. Then remembered in time to stop at Knight and Ro's for the 24 disks.
We bought "food" at the Chevron, and we had drinks in the car, so we didn't need to stop for anything but rest stops until we got to St. Louis. I chose to fill up before getting into town, so I wouldn't be navigating off-interstate on fumes. We picked up Brad at his apartment, and then went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. After dinner, Tigger and I went up to Brad's apartment to visit for a bit. He showed us video clips of the Carver and some of the promotional material for the Venture.
It was 8:30 by the time we got back onto the road. Since Tigger was awake, I chose that as the time to listen to one of the sermon CDs I'd brought with me. I gave him a choice between Gun Control and Pearls. He chose Gun Control, and was none too pleased to find out that the true topic was sex. He seemed content with the part of the message aimed at him: Wait. Right now, Tigger does not want anything to do with sex, so waiting is just fine by him,.
During the early part of the drive, I'd been listening to an Audiobook on my Treo, but I finished it before we got to St. Louis. On the seond part of the drive, after listening to the sermon CD, and the music CDs left in the changer, I turned to Internet Streaming. One: it's annoying to drop 10-15 seconds when changing cell towers. Two: old time radio shows are entertaining, but their sound quality doesn't hold up to the road noise that gets through the Beetle at highway speeds. Three: Can anyone recommend an internet streamed comedy station that doesn't so much profanity?
I finally resorted to the scan button, and found a fairly decent Bluegrass station, which was playing Jimmy Buffet style music,
Branson is farther from St. Louis than I'd remembered. Most of the drive is straight-forward interstate, but we are actually staying in a little place called Kimberling City, which is past Branson,. At one point on our drive, we left a US highway, to take a MO road, lettered instead of numbered: Ee. I narrowly missed running over the mascot of Highway Ee, a possum which scurried across the road right as I was still accelerating onto it.
Highway Ee was quite curvy. It made me grateful to the TomTom, which clearly showed the curves ahead, and my position relative to them.
Critter met us out in the parking lot of the resort, which is really just a renovated Motel, but it does offer kitchens and living rooms in every site, and has three pools, mini golf, indoor pool and various other stuff on property. We arrived before midnight (central time), and it was a relief to have nice energetic boys to carry everything in for me. Mom and Dad stayed up and chatted a bit before bedtime, but we were all pretty ready to sleep soon after arrival.
I woke up early enough this morning to do some work in my No Stones notebook - which I'd neglected last week, so I've got two assignments to do this week. The resort property is right next to a small shopping center, with a bowling alley that has a breakfast buffet, so that's where we had breakfast this morning.
After breakfast, we attended the late (10:45) service at the United Methodist Church, conveniently located at the other end of the shopping center. Old fashioned pews and hymnals, responsive readings, homespun organ playing, and a couple of acoustic guitar solos characterized the tone of the service. The homily (seems more appropriate term for the setting) was about Noah, with a few references to Evan Almighty. I enjoyed the service, but Critter left with a newed gratitude that we attend Quest at home. :)
Next up was grocery shopping. It's not a decent family vacation if we don't hit the grocery at least once. ;) We came home and unloaded all the goodies, then took our laptops up the hill to the lobby, to find wifi and buy show tickets. Mom has the woman checking on seats for The Liverpool Experience and Yakov Smirnoff. It turns out that's an overnight process (possibly because today was Sunday), so Mom's going back at 9am to pick up tickets.
As I write this, it's nigh on 4am, so I doubt I'll be getting up that early in the morning. ;)
We stayed in the lobby long enough to read email, read LJ, and for Daddy and the boys to leave to play mini-golf and return. I actually wasn't quite done with LJ when I had to stop - we decided to eat the the Chinese buffet, and it was closing in 30 minutes. Decent food, and they even brought out fresh servings of the foods that we really liked, even though they were so close to being done,.
I spent the rest of the day watching 24 DVDs while doing Data Entry. I've set up most of the accounts I expect to keep in Quicken, and I've entered all the receipts that I have. Tomorrow, I'll start in on the various account statements. I've had to recreate categories as I go along, and made a terribly useful one called "Missing Information" for any entries that were incomplete. I can get a lot of that information once I'm working online again.
Mom napped in the afternoon while Daddy worked on some drawings on his computer. Tigger and Critter swam, then came in and hung out in the living room with me. I was listening to my DVDs using headphones, which isolated me a bit from the rest of the room, but made it easier to concentrate on the data entry.
At one point, I took a break for food, and made sandwiches: fried egg with cheese for Mom and I, and PB&J for Critter. For the later part of my data entry, I was sharing the room with sleeping children.
Vague plans for the week involve exploring Branson tomorrow, seeing shows on Tuesday and Thursday or Friday, and meeting up with friends of my parents who live in the area. We'll probably go to the Bun-tossing restaurant with them. We're staying until Saturday, so there should come a point where I get to just chill out and relax.
For now, sleep.