Monday, June 02, 2008


The Rowes are rested and recuperated after our first official family vacation! Though we've been out of town together tons of times to visit grandparents or family or for a family reunion, this was our first time to get away on a vacation together. It was wonderful!!!

Mommy's Meme and Granddaddy graciously offered to let us use their time share to Branson, MI. At first, we weren't sure what would be there for young families, but we were VERY pleasantly surprised! Thanks SO much to Meme and Granddaddy for allowing us to get away and spend some time together!!! We REALLY appreciate it! Here's a little recap of our vaca:

Okay, we really didn't go anywhere today but daddy did take the day off so it felt like vacation to us! Mommy and I got to take him to do some of the mommy-and-me things we do all the time and he loved it. I wanted to take him to Pump It Up because I knew he would love getting to play...he is such a big kid :o). We had the best time! We also got to play at the park and eat out too.

Hittin' the road! We left bright and early this morning and even got our breakfast to go...donuts! I love it when we get that treat :o). Mommy knew this part of the trip was going to be the longest stretch so she came armed with lots of new and forgotten toys and books. My favorite was my new MagnaDoodle! I LOVE "col-rin" so this was perfect. We did tons of "col-rin", reading books, playing with toys, and don't forget the movies. We all say thank goodness for our portable DVD player...lifesaver!!!

We finally got to our first destination...Fayetteville, AR. What is in Fayetteville, you ask? Only one of daddy's favorite friends from college, Craig. Craig works at The University of Arkansas so we got to go visit the campus and see his fun office. I could tell daddy had a great time seeing his friend! And Craig let me play with some fun toys in his office :o).

On the road again...I finally gave in and took a little nap while mommy and daddy were traveling the super windy roads to Branson! If only we had been in a sports car :o). We arrived at our resort around 4:00 and took it all in...checked out our fabulous suite, visited a few of the nine pools, played on the kiddie playground and just wandered around. It was absolutely beautiful!!! We had dinner at a local favorite recommended by the resort staff and it was very yummy. After a quick trip to the store to stock up on groceries, we came back to the suite and all crashed!

This was by far ALL of our favorite day!!! First, daddy made us all french toast...yummy! Then we headed out to Springfield for two reasons...they have the biggest Bass Pro Shop in the country (guess who wanted to go there?) AND Meme and Granddaddy had told us about a great place to eat called Lamberts. Well, the Bass Pro Shop was totally cool. And not just fun for daddy...they had an aquarium where I got to see some HUGE fish, turtles and ducks and tons of animals "hanging around" :o). We loved it. Next, we were on to Lamberts for was our favorite place to eat for sure! They walk around throwing hot rolls and dishing up more food than you can eat. I was so entertained the whole time that mommy and daddy actually both got to eat a descent meal :o). After we were all stuffed, we decided that naps were in order so we headed back to the suite. Yep, naps are good!

That afternoon, we hit my favorite spot of the trip...Celebration City. It was like a mini-Disney with SO much to do and see. And since we went on a school day and summer hasn't begun, we practically had it all to ourselves! Mommy and daddy took me straight to the little kiddie rides but were shocked when they couldn't ride with me...I had to do it all by myself. So that's just what I did! I mean, this gal ain't scared :o). I LOVED being such a big girl, even if mommy and daddy couldn't believe it! SO much fun! While we were there, we also got to watch a dog show, daddy got to ride some roller coasters AND go-carts and we played in the fountains. The big finale was a firework show they put on every night. Mommy and daddy decided to give it a shot even though it was WAY past my bedtime, but I just couldn't stay awake. I fell asleep in mommy's lap about two seconds after it began :o). What a fun day we had!!!

This day was much more laid-back and we needed it! We spent our morning hanging around the resort and enjoying the beautiful grounds. After a quick lunch and more naps, we got to do something so fun for mommy...we visited Kanakuk! Kanakuk is a Christian sports camp that mommy worked at one summer during college and it's right near Branson. They gave us visitor stickers and just let us roam around and let mommy show us everything. I could tell she had very fond memories of that place and she kept telling me how she hopes I can go someday :o). It looked AMAZING so I hope so too! When we left, we headed to a new area in Branson called The Landing. It was a precious riverwalk/shopping area with tons of little families like us. We had a good time just wandering around and then had dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant there. I was ready for bed, so we headed back and mommy and daddy rented National Treasure II...they said it was good.

We had another lazy morning on Saturday enjoying the resort. Meme and Granddaddy are just so sweet to let us enjoy it! We had lunch at a local steak place...daddy said it was great...and then spent most of the afternoon at the pool. I'm such a fish, you know. When daddy had to head in for a round of golf, I convinced mommy to stay a little longer and we had a ball :o). We opted for dinner in that night and when I went to bed, mommy and daddy watched another movie...License to Wed. Apparently, they liked this one too.

Bummer...time to head home. Though I hated to leave, I was really starting to miss my Tatum :o). On our way out of town, I got to have my first McDonald's breakfast and loved it! Yummy! We took a little different route home this time so we could visit one of mommy's friends on the way home...and Lair had a big surprise for us! Her sweet boyfriend who has been in Africa for the past year and a half was home! He surprised her on Thursday and we got to meet him on Sunday. Mommy couldn't have been happier for her friend and Lair couldn't stop smiling :o). We loved Justin right away and hope to see them again soon.

The last stretch of our trip proved to do me in...I had about had it with being in my car seat and the only thing that seemed to help were movies. Mommy and daddy said I watched more movies during that last bit of our trip than I have my whole life :o). Oh well, it helped make the trip MUCH more pleasant for everyone! We were welcomed home around 8:30 by our sweet 'ole puppy and our own beds!

What a wonderful vacation with my family! Can't wait to go again.