An unexpected highlight of travel was Branson, MO. We had a few time-share points that we didn’t want to expire, so we used them at a discount there. Branson was fun in many ways.
First, we needed to eat. The concierge pointed us browsers to the Bleu Olive restaurant. We had great meals there and the best baklava I’ve ever eaten: Each piece was individually baked before being served.
Downtown, people gather in front of the old 5-and-10 cent store, which has EVERYTHING in many long, narrow, crowded aisles, and, atop two rows of shelves near the front, a de facto museum of washing machines, including this old Maytag.
The 5 and dime store was our second choice, although the concierge at The Suites at Fall Creek was excited about it, “There’s even an old 5 and dime store, Dick’s 5 and dime, right next to the theater where a Mark Twain impersonator was supposed to be meeting people for breakfast. When we were in Williamsburg a couple of weeks before, we had been enchanted by the Martha Washington impersonator. We were hoping for more of the same with Mark Twain, so we got up early, drove to the downtown area, and eventually found the theater. Unlike most other theaters in Branson, this one was playing find-me-if-you-can. When we figured out where we were supposed to be, it was well past the time that breakfast with Twain was to have begun, but not to worry, bc the actor had closed the show for the season a few days before.
Branson is appealing in many ways, but THE highlight for me was the Christmas tree at Silver Dollar City.
We were there over Thanksgiving, that is, “Christmas-is-coming.” The tree was the best abstract visual presentation of grace as gift that I can remember. Grace is present in tiny imperceptible ways, like a single light on the tree; or in backgrounds like the tree that don’t call attention to themselves; or in unmistakable solid colors; or in unexpected, surprising, satisfying, and unimaginably varied patterns formed by thousands upon thousands of tiny lights: Colors alternating horizontally, vertically, or diagonally; sometimes whirling around the tree; sometimes pausing in place. Accompanied by classical music or Christmas carols.