Since I’ve procrastinated once again and haven’t posted since my first and only blog, here’s a brief update which brings us to our current campground near Branson, Missouri. Please keep in mind that I’m learning how to enhance our site with “widgets” (like the calendar) which may come and go.
Thursday, October 28: We left home around 11 and arrived at our first campground, Alton RV Campground outside of Columbus. After a pleasant time exploring the city and nearby metro parks, we departed on Sunday.
Sunday, October 31: We reached our next campground, hosted by Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) located outside of Cincinnati. After setting up camp we took Sadie and drove to Cincinnati to check out the sites. It was Halloween night and the riverfront bars were lively with costumed patrons. On Friday we set out for Branson, Missouri with one stop along the way.
Friday, November 5: We arrived at Grayille KOA in Illinois for one-night and were pleasantly surprised by the campground’s wild west theme. The “town” is aptly named Westwood and building facades include a bank (ATM), mercantile (office/camp store), saloon (restaurant/bar) and even a shooting gallery (no surprise – Mark won our shooting match). Perfect for families, Westwood has an imaginative playground and two miniature golf courses. We enjoyed our brief visit.
Saturday, November 6: We left Westwood at 9:30am, headed toward Branson, Missouri. Even with a screwy detour around St. Louis that cost us an hour’s delay and much frustration, we made it to our next campground, Turkey Creek RV Village in Hollister, MO around 3:30pm. Located about 10 minutes outside of Branson, this small modest campground is designated an Escapees RV Park, so we received a discounted rate on the already low cost. We hope to meet fellow Escapees who are heading to the Annual Bash in Lake Havasu. The manager, Jane, moved us to site H9 which is on a corner, right across from a small lake (I’m the great view right now, as I type). Although Jane assured us that H9 can accommodate RVs up to 44 feet, we thought it was a tight fit and were concerned because we were exposed to park traffic coming around our corner. After settling in, we took the Jeep (and Sadie) and headed downtown to check out Branson. Wow! As anyone who’s been here can attest, Branson is a vibrant, bustling place – a tourist destination known for its shows, shops, dining and special attractions, including the infamous Titanic Museum. We were pleasantly surprised to find Branson decorated for the holidays, complete with Christmas trees, reindeer, and lights. Not only the streets, but everywhere – shops, restaurants and attractions were decked out. We learned that November and December are Branson’s second busiest season due to the holiday decorations. We couldn’t appreciate the lights at the time, but we plan to return on another night to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
If you’re interested in reading more about these earlier days you can visit our “The Rest of the Story” once published. That page will eventually provide more details & photos … “famous last words” says procrastinator Skunky.
Sunday, November 7: After breakfast we decided to explore the town of Hollister and found Downing Street, a quaint strip with just a few restaurants and shops, but a lot of old world charm. As noon arrived, so did sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70’s so we set out for Branson Landing, which we missed yesterday. We wanted to find the water fountain located in the middle of the boardwalk so we knew where to enjoy the “spectacular” show featuring water fountains, fire and lights synchronized to music. While checking out the many shops along the way, Sadie greeted folks who couldn’t resist her wagging tail. Having found the famous fountain, we decided to return at nighttime to watch the show. So we headed back to Hollister to enjoy a late, delicious lunch at Dunning Street Café.
I’m grateful we had such a pleasant day because it was about to change. In keeping with our normal weekend routine, we took a quick after-lunch nap. Imagine being suddenly awaken by a loud noise and a shaking coach! Fester ran to the front of the coach and yelled “we’ve been hit… get your camera!” He stepped outside to make sure whoever hit our coach wouldn’t drive off. Turns out there was no way they could leave, considering our passenger-side mirror was stuck in the their trailer’s living room window! Seems a guy driving a truck pulling a travel trailer was in a hurry to get to his site and set up camp. While trying to avoid another RV stopped in the road, he cut the corner way to sharp and bang! There goes our mirror (and with it, any plans for returning to Branson tonight). What a way to ruin the day. On the bright side, he didn’t damage the fiberglass gel coat. I worked with the driver, Cruz, securing his driver and insurance information while frustrated Fester tried to figure out a way to get the mirror unstuck. I spent the rest of the evening trying to reach our insurance company, without success (due to their stupid automated system). I finally submitted the claim online, along with some photos. We’re supposed to hear from a Claim Adjuster, but told it may be a “virtual” visit due to COVID. Based on our experience so far, we weren’t holiday our breath.
Ouch! The sad saga of the broken mirror
Monday, November 8: After a restless night, Fester was up by 3:30am, surfing the internet for a replacement mirror assembly. He informed me that we may be stuck here anywhere from two weeks to a month waiting for a replacement mirror. For a change in scenery and focus, we decided to get our third (booster) vaccine. That’s another frustrating story that I won’t get into, but long story short, we got our 3rd Pfizer jab!
Since I want to keep you coming back for more , please stay tuned for the rest of the mirror saga. Ciao!