Branson: Day 2

This morning my dad and I drove to the local Catholic Church. I had never been to Mass while on family vacation before, so this was all new to Dad.

The church could fit up to 1,300 people, and I would say it was almost 90% full. The priest had all visitors raise their hands during his “homily”, and it looked like almost everyone was visiting. I say “homily” because this priest was very scatter-brained when it came to speaking off The Book. He talked a lot about the church since it was only built in 2002, how it cost about $6 million to build, and since they only needed $999,something.something to pay off their debt. Please donate. Oh but wait, they also were having technical difficulties with the air system and mentioned that mold was appearing in the lower floor below the main church. Please donate. Somewhere in there he also said that things can take the wind out of your sails, but I don’t remember his advice. Probably said God would be your wind or something like that. I don’t know; I had to make up my own conclusion. And please donate. This was his “homily”.

We saw a variety of people too. To our left was a family with four young boys and one girl. One of the boys was sitting up, holding on to his seat, and dead asleep. His brothers and sister even kicked his legs when they passed him for communion, and he didn’t wake. In front we had a quiet ginger family, one adolescent son even wore a bright red rubber band around his upper calf. I asked Dad if that was some sort of athletic superstition but he had never seen such a thing. Weird. And beside him was a family with a daughter that should have worn a longer dress. And to our right was no one… until after the psalm. An old couple, white man and Hispanic woman, came to sit by us. Dad sat directly beside the woman and said that she snored the entire mass, except for communion when she stood up to enter the walking cycle and then fell asleep again. And last but not least, the bubble gum girl. Have you ever seen a cartoon and one of the characters is chewing gum? The illustrators obviously draw it a little unrealistically, the way the chewing is so consistent, fast, and in a perfect circular rotation causing a bulge where the corner of the lips meets the cheek. Well this girl looked like she had stepped out of the cartoon, even equipped with the adorable dress, cellphone in hand, perfectly straightened hair, pink bedazzled ear buds, and eyelashes made for batting. What a crowd.

The rest of mass was great though. The church is definitely beautiful. When we tried to get out, we were trapped. Neither of the people around us were moving. Like literally, they didn’t even stand up. After waiting a while to leave, we decided to skim the gift shop just to see what all the hoopla was about. It was nice but very tiny. As I felt myself getting trapped between the crazy Catholics I made a path to dart to the door and somehow escaped unscathed. However, when we walked out the door, we bought tickets to maybe win a car (in December).

We also drove the major strip of attractions before coming back to eat lunch at the condo.

Our afternoon was spent at the Hollywood Wax Museum, Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos, and Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf. Long ago, Mom and I saw the wax celebrities, but the exhibit had grown since the last time we saw it. Before you can enter, the ever cheery employees make you take a cheesy family pic inside King Kong’s hand. We also took funny pictures with the statues.

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To continue the fun, we entered the maze of mirrors. I remember doing one of these once, but they are still pretty tricky. Mom and I used the buddy system so we wouldn’t get stuck in there alone. We came across a wild and crazy group of chil’ren who thought it would be funny to run around in there and then thought it was hilarious when they crashed into the mirrors. Huge broken mirrors are not funny. At all. After this non-parentally guided group were out of sight, Mom and I continued our journey and finally made it out. Phew.

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Now for the scary part. The Castle of Chaos is a 5D adventure with zombie interaction and quite frankly the brochure scared me. I thought we were going on some type of roller coaster that stopped and had people pop out at you, and I’m not really fond of haunted houses. As we entered the room, we were handed 3D glasses and told to put on our seatbelts. As the ride began, the audience seats spun around and we shot at different targets. There was more of course, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise completely. But hey, Mom won top shooter out of everyone in the audience. I guess out Walking Dead shooting game really helped with target practice.

My family loves mini-golf. We play it everywhere we go. Dad always wins. I’m usually second. It was a bit overcast and breezy but still great weather for a little putt putt. The course was Hollywood themed, and each hole usually had a fun fact at the beginning. I thought this one was particularly interesting.

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We also had a few groceries to pick up so we drove to the local Walmart. I asked an employee if they carried hamburger meat, and she said “We don’t carry fresh meat because we aren’t supercenter”. However, they had aisles of liquor. I see what’s important here.

One smart shopper

One smart shopper

We called it a night and watched a couple movies while eating cheeseburgers and fries. I have now seen Napoleon Dynamite. The End.

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