Memorial Day, 2009 – Table Rock Lake

The number of times we’ve gone camping this spring: 2.

The number of times it has rained on us while camping: 2.

It’s becoming clear that we are magnets for cruddy camping weather; after all, the one time there was rain in the forecast and we actually canceled our reservations, the sun shone like a mocking beacon all weekend.

There are two very distinct reactions to this in my family:

1.  I tend to laugh about it. I think our little misfortunes are downright hilarious, especially when they begin compounding (which I will address later).

2.  Greg turns into the human incarnation of Eeyore, albeit with saltier language, complete with the woe-is-me grumblings. And when he does that, I laugh even harder.

So here is how our Memorial Day weekend developed:

Saturday spit on us off and on with rain while we traveled to Marshfield and Springfield to enjoy dinner with my mother, sister, and brother-in-law. After stuffing ourselves stupid on meat at a Brazilian grill, we went on down to Branson – Indian Point, to be more specific, and took up temporary residence in the campground there. Saturday evening was a nice night for a campfire and beer, and we took full advantage of it which meant I had to get up in the middle of the night and run to the nearest latrine.

Sunday morning we enjoyed a nice pancakes-and-bacon breakfast, then went to Ride the Ducks. I’ve been on the Ducks a couple of times and knew what it would bring; nobody else in the family had been on them, so they had a GREAT time. HOWEVER. I found all the quacking of the revelers in front of us pretty obnoxious, my hair was limp from the humidity, and and we were in the back seat. If you’ve ever been in the back seat on splashdown, it’s not the best place to be – fortunately for me they had curtains up which curtailed the water. Ethan and Laurel got to drive the Duck and ohhhhhhhhh, they were thrilled. Ethan couldn’t stop smiling.

We returned to the campground and we all needed a nap – and that was fine, seeing as how it was raining more steadily. We had a boat reserved for Sunday evening and decided we’d see what happened…but by the time we awoke, it was pouring. So no boat.

And did I mention the campground had no firewood?

By that time, Eeyore was in full effect, so Laurel and I went to the little grocery up the way to see if we could figure out something else for us to do. I asked some of the locals, one of whom was either drunk or high (which I also found amusing).

“Party Pizza,” they said. “It’s just like Chuck E. Cheese.”

“What about movie theaters,” I asked. “Got any of those around here?”

“You bet we do! They’re on the way to Party Pizza! Oh, there’s also Grand Country Square, you can play miniature golf indoors there, and what about the Butterfly Palace?”

“Well,” I said, “We’re from St. Louis. We have the Butterfly House there…”

Truth is, we’ve been to the Butterfly Palace in Branson and it SUCKS compared to the Butterfly House.

So we went to Party Pizza, but Party Pizza was c-l-o-s-e-d. Permanently. Greg was unamused. I started laughing.

“Okay!” I exclaimed, “Let’s go to Grand Country Square!”

So we did, and mind you, they have a pizza buffet there, but we walked in and the game room we’d been promised was under construction. Greg stormed out, saying he was NOT going to eat there if we couldn’t play there, thankyouverymuch. I asked the lady behind the counter where we could play indoor mini golf…and it turns out it’s just across the lot in another building.

Feeling confident, Laurel and I returned to the pickup – to where Greg and Ethan had fled – and informed them that all was not lost! We could still eat pizza and play arcade games and mini golf!

And that is what we did. Of course, once we arrived at the arcade, about 30% of the machines were out of order and the air hockey table was falling apart, but we still had a lot of fun, and Eeyore…

…yes, even Eeyore…

enjoyed himself.

(PS, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Ethan got one hole-in-one and Laurel actually got two – in a row!)

(Also, we really did get to do some real camping stuff like roasting marshmallows and the like.)

Here is the photo gallery:

ready to roll wet camper greg and ethan on ducks michelle and laurel on ducks air hockey motorcycle game ethan playing mini golf laurel playing mini golf marshmallow madness ethan marshmallows