Hello all. Ok, where were we? Saturday morning, Mom and Dad had to get up to go to their little “Please buy back our condo” meeting, so they brought Miss Neice over to my room at about 8:00. The kids hung out and watched TV. Mom came back and got us in a little while and we went to go Ride The Ducks!
Now if you don’t know what Ride The Ducks is, you’re missing out! It’s a tour ride that takes you all over town and out on the lakes in this vessel that is like a boat on wheels. It’s a DUKW vehicle from WWII, (those things they landed on the beaches on D-Day) and it drives all over town and then drives right off in the lake and scoots around for a little while. We had a great driver who called herself Captain Amazing. We got these little kazoo-sounding things called Quackers shaped like a duck’s bill and we had to quack like crazy every time we saw another DUKW vehicle passing. We quacked at other tourists, we quacked at local business owners and tour guides, and we quacked at random, whenever the mood struck. Sharing the back seat of the DUKW were three young guys from Tulsa, who were probably not too thrilled to be in such close quarters with my Dad, who can look scary when he wants to. But at least his presence probably kept their language cleaner than it might otherwise have been. We toured the Table Rock Dam and the fish hatcheries. And we listened to good music. Captain Amazing was a really good tour guide. She was the only woman DUKW driver in the fleet!
After the duck ride, we ate lunch at Dairy Queen and then went to the Titanic museum. It was the second time I’d been there, but the first time the kids had been. They all seemed to like it. The Boy said he liked the part where you can climb up the decks at the angles they were during the sinking. There was also a thing where you stick your hand in water that’s actually supposed to be below freezing and see how long you can stand to leave it in there. Last time I did it, it was unbearable to leave your hand in there for longer than about 15 seconds. This time, I’m not sure if it was the sheer volume of people sticking their hands in there or the machine was malfunctioning or what, but it wasn’t anywhere near as cold. The guy in front of me kept his hand in there for a full minute.
After the Titanic, Mom took us back to our room. Daughter S. stayed in the room and watched TV while I took the other two to swim for a while. They swam, and I sat in a deck chair and fell asleep!! (It was an indoor pool, so no worries about sunburn.) Then we had to go get ready to go to this show Mom picked out, which was called The Hamner-Barber Show, at (naturally) The Hamner-Barber Theater. We didn’t have time to go anywhere for supper, so Mom had pizza delivered to their room and they brought it with them and we scarfed it in the van as we were driving between our room and the theater.
The Hamner-Barber show is a variety show. Barber is a ventriloquist and Hamner is a magician. There were also dancers. And birds, quite a lot of birds. It was a good show, but at the end there was a tribute to America’s veterans that was quite sad, and which left The Boy and Daughter S. absolutely sobbing, thanks mainly to the video they played of this tough old vet getting choked up as he talked about seeing his best buddy since basic training get blown in two when their ship got hit. And the tear-jerking song Hamner and Barber were singing, called “Thank You’s Not Enough.”
So finally we got The Boy calmed down, and he wanted to meet the two entertainers, who were going to be signing autographs in the lobby. We were the last ones there, but they talked to us for a bit, and were quite nice. Then Daughter S. was sobbing again on the way to the van. Bless her tender little heart!
Anyway. No problems finding the room this time. We got back to our room, settled in again, and watched some more TV. (In case you’re wondering why we spent so much time watching TV in our hotel room, it’s because we don’t have cable at home. Our tv used for playing video games and watching dvds.) Then we turned the lights off and got in bed, but we still lay there giggling and being silly for a while longer. Finally my poor, emotionally drained babies fell asleep.
Sunday morning I woke up first, got up and quietly took my shower and started straightening the room and packing things up. Then when Mom texted me that she was about ready to head over to our room, I started waking the kids. Mom and Dad came and picked us up and we were on our last loop through town. We wanted to stop at one more gift shop that had a particularly good deal on T-shirts, but it was closed, so we went on our way and headed home.
Started to eat at The Iron Skillet in Joplin, but decided it was too expensive and ended up at Wendy’s. Then we stopped back in Oklahoma City at my youngest sister’s house, because Daughter S. is staying with her this week and job shadowing. Baby Sis is an interior designer at a firm called LWPB or LWBP or something like that, and Daughter S. is an artist, so we thought she might benefit from seeing what her aunt’s job is like.
We stayed there for a couple of hours. I bought Sis some groceries and we all ate sandwiches, then got on the road again. Dropped off Miss Neice and then finally got home.
Overall, it was a good trip, even though a) there were cranky moments, and b) I was dealing with a lot of self-imposed pressure and grief. I’m really glad I went, and I even hope to take the kids back again sometime when we can stay longer and do more. I’m sure the next visit won’t be so hard and so emotional.
Until next time,