pancakes as large as your head + branson travel video


This post contains pictures and stories and a travel video of our trip to Branson a few weekends ago! I already shared the main logistics of our trip and a few pictures here, so read that first if you missed it. If all you want to see is the video I made of our trip, scroll to the bottom!

Okay first things first. Let's talk about one of the most important aspects of any vacation: food. Jordan and I have been mostly disappointed in the food on our past few trips, but we more than made up for it this time. Have you ever been eating the most delicious meal and then you get full and feel really, really sad that you just can't cram down any more food? Well, it happened more than once on this trip and I'm not complaining.

The fun part was that even though we do budget for travel, we still usually keep an eye on our spending and try not to go crazy on food. But as I mentioned in my previous post, our hotel was so stinking cheap that we basically threw caution to the wind when it came to our meals. We didn't care about prices and tipped big and did crazy things like order dessert! 

This is what it feels like to be a movie star! I assume.

I am our designated Family Vacation Planner, so I created a list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner places for each day we were going to be in Branson. The majority of our eating spots were based on recommendations from friends, and they did not disappoint. On Sunday we had the most delicious brunch at the Keeter Center.

Eating at a buffet brunch with a toddler is.... interesting and not quite as relaxing as brunch is supposed to be, but we survived and left with full stomachs. And R might have eaten half of my mint chocolate macaroon and also a truffle.

Jordan and I were still eating and R was getting antsy (she eats SO fast), so we kept her happy by playing videos of her that I have of her on my phone. We have never let her use our phones for playing games or shows, but girlfriend will watch home videos and laugh at herself all day long.

Monday morning we drove into the middle of nowhere to hunt down a breakfast place our friend told us about. You know any place that doesn't have a paved parking lot and only takes cash is going to be legit. To get to the bathroom, you had to walk outside.

When we sat down at our table, the owner of the place hand delivered a basket of toys for R to play with and told us we could take one home for free! This was the kid's meal....
I repeat. THAT WAS THE KID'S MEAL. Did I mention we ate a lot on this trip?

Monday night the good food continued, and we drove half an hour north of Branson to eat dinner at Lambert's "Home of the Throwed Rolls" where they literally toss your dinner roll to you across the room. The food was gooooood. Good good. Fried okra and chicken pot pie and black-eyed peas and fried chicken and lots of Southern comfort on a plate and in my belly.

One of our favorite things on this trip ended up being something we didn't expect. We kept seeing signs for the Butterfly Palace and decided to go there one afternoon when it was threatening to rain and we wanted to find something to do inside. It was $20 a person (R was free, though), and we were totally not sure we were going to get our money's worth, but it was really, really neat!
There were some other exhibit areas (including a mirror maze that I was terrible at and Jordan found that quite hilarious), but the main part was a giant room filled with butterflies.

None of the butterflies that they have are native to the United States, so you will not see any of these flying around outside. They do two butterfly "releases" during the day, where they bring out a big bin full of butterflies in individual cups that are really to be released (released into the room, that is; not into the outside, just to clarify). 

Anyone who wants to can take turns releasing the butterflies! There was just one other couple there besides Jordan, R, and I, so R got to release a ton of butterflies and, you guys, she loved it. She kept saying, "Mo mo" (more, more) and getting really excited about all the butterflies flying around. There was a tense moment of panic when she also almost crushed two of them, but no butterflies where harmed thankfully.
I don't know whether we would have loved the Butterfly Palace as much as we did if R hadn't been with us. She was so cute running around and having such a good time releasing the butterflies and was fun to watch. But it was also humid in there and I was sweating like crazy after chasing her around for a half hour, trying to keep her from stepping on butterflies.
^^^ That's right after she stole a safari hat and took off. Toddlers are crazy. CRAZY.

Traveling with a kid definitely is not as relaxing as doing it on your own, but it's lots of fun and R was so enjoyable to be around. We definitely had some moments where R started a public meltdown (one time might have involved blackberry cobbler), and we looked at each other and said, "We are those people right now."

It's also no secret that Jordan and I don't travel together very well, so we had a few moments ourselves. But after (almost!) six years of marriage, I think we keep getting better and better. Now that we have R, we both treasure days we can take off work and spend lots of time together as a family. 

I won't go on and on about this, but I'll just say that watching the travel video I made of our trip makes me so happy. I am just so thankful for my little family and feeling all the hormonal pregnancy feels right now. 

*Just FYI, I make all my videos in iMovie, and I wrote a post detailing exactly how I make them here. They are not hard to make at all, but I find them such a fun way to look back on different seasons of life. I hope you enjoy! If it isn't appearing below, click here to watch on YouTube.

Courtney said...

I loved this post!

I related to so much of it and kind of want to comment on everything lol!

I always tell Jim that we could NEVER go on The Amazing Race together because whenever we're traveling somewhere new we totally clash- well, rather, I get hangry super fast and would totally be the annoying, whiny chick everyone hates.


Lambert's is so fun, isn't it? The last time we ate there Jim literally dove out of our booth and onto the floor to catch a roll. And he caught it. And that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about his personality.

The butterfly palace is so fun, but you're right, they are SOOO humid. Oh my word. I've been once and thought i was going to die. And I'm not even warm natured!

Oh yes. And Mabel loves to watch my videos on my phone of herself as much as I'll let her too lol. Little narcissists.

AnneMarie said...

I love food and hearing about awesome food places, and if we ever make it up to Branson, I'll have to check these out. That BilyGail's cafe place sounds like such an awesome dive. And that is so cool that y'all had a cheap hotel so you could go big with food! Getting to have fancy desserts must have been awesome, and I bet it did feel like such a glamorous time! (we rarely spend much on food when travelling, but I always love looking longingly at the dessert menus) That butterfly palace looks pretty incredible, too! I'm glad that no butterflies were harmed ;)

Rachel Emily said...

Ugggh I have to take more videos!! I think I say this every time you make one of these but they are so awesome - I feel inspired! I LOVE that song you used. It reminds me of the A Wawlk to Remember soundtrack that I was OBSESSED with in high school. The part of the video where R pinches (or seems to) Jordan is my life every day. What is with the pinching?!

Rachel said...

I'm pretty sure that pancake is actually bigger than R. Food is usually my biggest area for saving money on vacation--but ohhhh a splurge can taste so good! I like visiting butterfly gardens...other insects are not cool but butterflies are just fine by me.

Michelle said...

Love it! Looks like you guys had a great time.

Michelle said...

Also, I loved that you had Dancing in the Moonlight playing in your video. I haven't heard that song in ages!

Audrey Louise said...

Now I'm sooooo hungry! Ha! That dessert table is AMAZING!
We made a spontaneous trip to a butterfly garden at Niagara Falls and LOVED it! It was a little humid but it was so pretty and the butterflies were so friendly, lol!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

Lambert's has a special place in my heart!! I remember being so enamored by the rolls being thrown all over when I was a little kid!

The Lady Okie said...

bahaha! I totally pulled this song from my Walk to Remember CD. I think everyone was obsessed with that movie, including me.

The Lady Okie said...

I'm SO glad to hear we aren't the only ones who clash while traveling. I feel like I see all these pictures of couples on vacation and they are all, "we love traveling together! we do so well!" In our case, Jordan is the one who gets hangry lol!

The pancakes were unreal! That thing also came with a piece of toast and scrambled eggs! It was nuts. We ended up eating most of her pancake, so I'm not complaining ;)

The Lady Okie said...

Yes, girl! From my Walk to Remember CD. haha!

Jen said...

Oh my!!! Those pancakes are ginormous!!!! Yum!

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

The video is great! You guys had so much fun. The pancake is so big! Was R like, "Whoa - I don't know where to start with this."? And I bet the butterfly garden was so cool through R's eyes. Maybe she'll be an entomologist when she grows up. :)

Angi said...

Your photo/video made me hungry for pancakes. Looks like a really fun trip!!

There's a tropical butterfly house basically just like that in Seattle, at the Pacific Science's really fun and definitely not $20/person JUST for that (for twenty bucks you get general admission tickets to the entire science center)! That's crazy expensive, but definitely worth it to watch an enthralled toddler release butterflies!

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

Thanks for being open about having moments with Jordan! We always have those too, but I agree. Traveling as a family has made it much more rewarding and "worth it."

Unknown said...

I love the video! I need to start piecing all of my iPhone videos together so my family has home videos to look back on!

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

holy moly that pancake is huge!!! so cool they gave toys out as well. so smart. i want pancakes now.
KC and I used to bicker when we travelled, but our last couple of trips have been great. Disney taught me a lot about how to travel with him actually, because I loved it and wanted to do all the Disney things and I knew he was like 98% hating his life and only humouring me, so if he made snarky comments I just let them pass and after the trip he was like wow, you were totally the bigger person (which is, ahem, rare for me) and now we travel so much better together.
but we don't have kids so i'm sure that will throw a super fun spanner in the works when it comes along.

ordering dessert!! so fancy.

Maria said...

1. Walk to Remember soundtrack was my favorite in college.

2. I went to Brandon in middle school and loved the small town feel of it. Such a beautiful place. I'm sad I didn't get to experience the roll-throwing restaurant or the butterflies.

3. R dancing is the best. The best.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I love the video!!! So fun! I still need to put mine together from our trip to the Southeast.

Okay, butterfly place are awesome! I'm glad R didn't kill a butterfly. We took my nephew to one last summer and he STOMPED on a butterfly and the attendant glared so hard at us we had to leave and then he wailed because of it. ha ha! Such drama.

Lambert's is awesome! I love those rolls!

I think traveling does get better with your spouse over time. Believe it or not, Dave and I didn't learn how to travel well together until this past year. Our on the West coast a year and a half ago I almost flew home because I was an emotional bomb. Dave wanted to car camp on the side of the road and I had to scream and explain how that wasn't possible as a girl. Such drama! But it gets better! So, I'm glad it is better for you and I hope it keeps getting better.

Also, R is super cute in that movie!

Rach said...

Ah! Lambert's!! I love that place! So glad you guys loved it too! We've eaten at the one there once and the one down in Gulf Shores several times and it's always so good!

The Butterfly Palace place sounds amazing! So glad R loved it so much!

Loved the video! I always love travel videos. :) And that sweet shot of your baby bump! Love! And her blowing a kiss at the end... perfection!