September 7, 2014

Fun Times in Branson, Missouri for Labor Day Weekend 2014


Fun Times in Branson, Missouri for Labor Day Weekend 2014
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 7, 2014


We decided to drive down to Branson, Missouri for Labor Day weekend for a chance to connect with my step-mom, Grandma Joyce, as well as my two sisters and their families.  My boys just love spending time with their cousins!!


We arrived before my sisters and decided something fun to do with Grandma Joyce would be to RIDE THE DUCKS!  We'd never done it before and were always curious what it would be like.  We weren't disappointed.


The Duck Boat drove us around Branson for a tour including incredible views of Table Rock Lake.  Shortly afterwards, they would drive us in for a dip in the water.


I never realized the Duck Boats were actually decommissioned military vehicles and these had been in use in combat situations dating back to World War II.  They gave us a nice tour of many old military vehicles and told us the history of their boats and how they helped our soldiers do their jobs.


Of course the big thrill of the Ducks is when they drive it from land directly into the water.  We were a little nervous about it, but didn't really need to be.  The boat is so deep you hardly even feel it as it makes it's big splash into the water.  Once it starts floating, then you just feel like you're in a boat.  Or in a boat with wheels but you can't feel the wheels any more because you're floating.  It's kind of complicated to explain.


Luke and Avery even had the chance to drive the boat for awhile which was fun.  Not as much fun as it would have been if I were driving, but still fun.


Before going home, we stopped by the local fish hatchery.  Because watching fish mate is something that really turns us on.


We made it home just in time to greet the Mohars and have a quick drink to get mentally prepared to see our other sister, Tammy.  It usually takes more than one, but we didn't have much time.


Unfortunately for the kids, they can't drink so they do some group meditation to prepare to see their Aunt Tammy.


Then she arrived and the rest of the weekend was utter chaos!


Of course, I'm just kidding my sister, Tammy.  We all have a tendency to bring some chaos to the world especially when we get together.  I do love my sisters and am happy that we still make it a priority to get together as often as we do, even if we do live on opposite sides of the country.


Whenever we get together, we always seem to end up molesting a large gorilla at some point during the evening.  I'm not sure why that is...


We have a family motto.  Sure we fill up an elevator pretty good, but there's always room for more friends.


We had a pretty competitive family go kart race.  There's too much blood in the after race photos, so this one will have to do.


On Sunday, we rented a pontoon boat and jet ski.  Luke and I took the first ride and he drove me around the lake.  The kids got some skills working the waves!


It was a beautiful day for lake time fun, but we needed to make sure the jet ski stayed away from the tubers.  At least that's what my sister kept shrieking.  I never really thought they got that close in the first place.


My niece, Bailey, brought her boyfriend, Chase.  He told me this was his first time on a jet ski.  By the way he seemed to be enjoying himself, I'm guessing it won't be his last time.


Table Rock Lake is a man-made lake with an average depth of 90 feet and a max depth of 330 feet.  So we like to all wear life jackets when we're swimming.  Although Luke reminded us that it's just as easy to drown in 10 feet of water, I told him it's a lot harder to find the bodies in 90 feet.  We then put on our life jackets.


Tubing and riding.  A great way to spend time with your cousins!


Uncle David and Grandma Joyce were the last two to take a turn on the jet ski.  I think David really liked it.  I'm not sure if Joyce felt the same!


Fun times in Branson, Missouri Labor Day, 2014.