True to form, we got to Silver Dollar City right as it opened at noon. Henry LOVED the fact that they have a FREE PARKING LOT with trams so you don’t have to pay $25 on top of the already exorbitant ticket price. I was really concerned while we were sitting on the tram, waiting to depart for the entrance, because it was almost unbearably cold. The weather was allegedly around 38 degrees that day, but the windchill was a fucking Ice Queen. And Chooch almost forgot to bring a jacket AND packed all t-shirts, but thankfully we were only 10 minutes from home on Saturday when it occurred to me to inquire about his coat situation, and then he had a random flannel in the trunk.
Not that it mattered because Henry still had to go to the local Branson Target once we arrived that night in order to buy the dumb kid gloves. Mr. I Don’t Get Cold. Yeah, right. He’d have perished at Silver Dollar City in jeans, t-shirt, and bare hands!
For as much as we travel, you’d think we’d be better at packing. Nope.
You’d also think we’d be better at not leaving things behind in hotels. Nope x2.
As soon as the tram dropped us off (Chooch and I waved to other tram-drivers that passed us by on the way because we’re both in preschool and get super-kicks out of receiving reciprocal waves), we joined the small crowd at the entrance JUST as they were announcing that the gates were opening! Woo! Security was a breeze because only Henry was carrying a purse (lol) so we didn’t have much to be checked. However, I was low-key panicking because Henry the Dishonest LIED when he purchased the tickets online and bought the child’s ticket for Chooch who is TWO YEARS out of the age range for such a ticket!
“No one is going to know, and if they say something, I’ll pay the extra $10—it’s NOT A BIG DEAL,” Henry kept saying. But to me, it was! I never try to cheat the system! But Henry kept saying, “I’M NOT RIDING ANYTHING ANYWAY BECAUSE OF MY BACK SO IT ALL WORKS OUT” but I don’t think they have “bad back trade offs” at amusement parks!
So we stopped by the on-site chapel and asked for forgiveness.
Chooch made fun of me for like an hour because when we were walking out of the chapel, some old couple was on their way in and I jovially said, “It’s nice and warm in there!” THIS IS WHY I DON’T BOTHER MAKING SMALL TALK WITH PPL ANYMORE, BECAUSE SON OF THE YEAR IS SO QUICK TO POINT OUT HOW DORKY I SOUND.
I give up. Take my human card away. I’ll just talk to cats from now on. I have better rapport with them anyway, sigh.
You might be confused why a place like Silver Dollar City would appeal to me, since it’s down-home-y and Bible Belt-y, and this is also true for Dollywood. Look, if there weren’t rides here, there is no way you’d catch me loitering with a bunch of elder-dorks, watching shows and eating skillets. But since this place DOES have rides, I allow myself to enjoy the quaint charms it has to offer. I mean, it is a theme park, after all, and the people who work there go above and beyond to make you feel like you’re in a world without swears and, I don’t know, porn. It’s very wholesome and sometimes I need some of that cheesy bullshit in my life.
It kind of reminded me of the time when I was a kid and I went to this festival in Ligonier, PA called Ligonier Days and it was like, a place for blacksmith enthusiasts to really pop off. I remember kind of having fun except that I was with my friend Kristen and her step-dad was weird, but there was a place that was selling the motherlode of slap bracelets and people hadn’t yet begun reporting that the bracelets were slitting the wrists of their children, so I bought a ton of them in designs I didn’t have yet, because I’m sure you’ll be surprised to know that I was obsessed with slap bracelets and had a huge collection.
Me and collections, man.
Anyway, I sometimes say out loud that I want to go back to Ligonier Days sometime but, it’s been 30 years and this bitch ain’t been back since.
But yeah, if you’re into amusement parks themed after mining towns that also has a fantastic Christmas event, then get yer ass to Branson, Missouri, missy. Look at how fucking quaint it is!
During our weekly meeting at work, I was telling everyone about our trip to Silver Dollar City and Nate quickly googled it.
“Yeah, well did you get your picture with THIS?” he asked with a smidge more than a hint of smugness in his tone.
He swiveled his laptop around to show me a picture of the ABOVE SANTA BENCH and I was like, “What, you think I’m some sort of amateur?!”
DOT DOT DOT:
I love this coat so much but fuck if it doesn’t make me look like Big Bird’s chunky bluebird stepsister.
“I want to sit next to him so I can put my hand on his knee!” Chooch shouted, wedging himself in between me and plaster Santa.
We had only been inside the park for 30 minutes before our noses led us straight into the bowels of Nellie’s Homestead, where we got an apple turnover slathered with homemade apple butter.
I wish I hadn’t shared it. I wish I could go back in time and get my own and run to the nearest corner where I could hide and devour it in peace.
It made me think about when I was into Western music and really enjoyed the band Turnover and I went to see them one time and the singer was dressed in a very blatant “Papa H” style. It was weird.
And then we went to Brown’s Candy Factory to watch this pioneer broad making fudge and also to snag some samples. I always think that I’m not a person who eats fudge but then every time I actually eat fudge, I think, “WOW, FUDGE IS ACTUALLY GOOD.” But then some time passes and I go back to believing that I don’t care for fudge.
We really dropped the ball and FORGOT TO GET CINNAMON BREAD. Hopefully we will be going back in the summer though and can remedy this.
Somehow, I didn’t go into the taffy store but Henry did? It must have been one of the many times Chooch and I ditched his invalid ass. Also, we bought so much taffy at that one candy store in Historic Downtown Branson that my teeth actually just twinged while I wrote this portion of the blog post.
Chooch and I got wassail and I cried, “YOU’RE NOT GETTING ONE TOO?!” to Henry, who frowned in response. Chooch realized almost immediately that he didn’t like it so he gave it to Henry and then I couldn’t finish mine so I gave it to Henry, and now Henry had two wassails and mumbled, “This is why I didn’t get my own.”
There are also a bunch of shops that sell down-on-the-farm, Americana home interior bullshit. I’m not about that life, but I didn’t mind perusing. Mostly because it was warm inside those shops. But like, why is everything that boring Rae Dunn-style bullshit these days?!
It was pretty obvious that the temperature wasn’t going to reach the number it needed to be for several of the coasters to open, but I still kept refreshing the weather app all day like a girl sitting at the window waiting for her dad to come home when she knows deep down that he ran off to be with his mistress and bastard.
Chooch always has to get a park map for every amusement park we visit. We were standing near a chicken & waffles cart, trying to find which route we should take to get to Outlaw Run when they dropped the ropes, when some man came over and asked Chooch, “Where’s the nearest bathroom?” He looked like he was a security guard because he was wearing some dumb reflective vest, and he asked in such a jovial way that I thought he was jokingly giving Chooch a pop quiz, but it turns out that he was sincerely asking for the nearest bathroom for the people he was with.
ANYWAY, IT WAS FUNNY BUT I GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE.
(Henry was there and didn’t think it was funny.)
And here we are, standing in front of the famous SDC Christmas tree, pretending to enjoy wassail, before venturing over to one of the roped-off areas of the park and start the final countdown to 1:00pm when the rest of the park opened for business.
Stay tuned for more Silver Dollar City pictures and bullshit words.