If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll see this week on the blog, I’ve been featuring my visit to Branson, Missouri during a weekend trip that Mr. Houseful and I took. We squeezed a LOT of things into the four days that we were down there, and this post will be a rundown of the smaller treks we took. Mainly the trip to ride the Ducks and our visit to the Hollywood Wax Museum.
We had a great time doing both, but the day that we went was super chilly, so I don’t think that we experienced the greatness of the Ducks because of that. It was probably also our fault because we could have dressed warmer, but didn’t. Oh well.
The Ducks Tour started off with a historical tour of the Branson area, with our guide Captain Woody. He took us through a mountain scape that is owned exclusively by the Branson Ducks. It is a monument to Veterans, and features all sorts of vehicles used by the armed forces, including the DUKW – which was built by women back in the days of World War II. It was quite a touching tribute. There were a total of 17 military vehicles in the tribute, and as we rode in silence, listening to the narration, I couldn’t help but be proud of my service in the United States Navy.
Our guide took us around to giving us the history of the area and any attractions that were on the route. We found out later that not all of the Duck trips take the same path around the town, so each tour may be a bit different. Once at the Lake, we were given our life vest and saftey exit run downs and then it was full steam ahead into the lake with a SPLASH!!! While on the water anyone who wishes, included the children can get their turn driving the DUKW. The captain kept us entertained with funny stories and subtle quips. It was extremely enjoyable and relaxing. Experiencing Branson, mother nature, and the soft, slow ebb and flow of the lake made for a very comfortable, sleep-worthy occasion. We were also shown first hand the Branson Belle, which is the largest showboat on a landlocked lake, and given the history of how it entered into the lake. Since Table Rock Lake is a clearwater lake, they didn’t want to use any type of oil. So they got a couple tons of bananas, and slid the boat right into the water. How’s that for ingenuity? This photo would have been clearer, but the plastic “window” was down to keep the Duck a little warmer than normal.
Once we were back on dry land and made our way back to homebase to disembark, we promptly went to the computers to print off our official DUKW Captain certificates. We looked at some of the historic military uniforms as well as other WWII military paraphernalia. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I’m sure if our kids were with us, they’d have had a ball.
The gift shop was a great little museum paying homage to all branches of the military, and I was very ready to take a photo next to a Navy uniform. I mean, I served in the World’s Finest Navy, and just had to represent properly. Gosh, I miss being in uniform.
Overall, we had a great time, and I would give the tour two thumbs up. Even with the chilly weather that we had, we were able to learn quite a bit about the town, and how much they love their veterans. If you would like to ride the Ducks, it is highly suggested that you purchase your tickets online first, so that you can get the tour and time that you want. If you do that, you’ll get the wacky quackers for free!
Disclosure: I was given two tickets to Ride the Ducks in Branson, Missouri in exchange for my honest opinions. You all know that I think that it was awesome, but COLD!