It has been a favorite vacation spot of ours for almost 20 years. We have scrimped and saved each year in order to visit there. “There” is Big Cedar Lodge, about four hours southwest of St. Louis, and ten miles south of Branson. When my kids were little, we took several fun visits to Branson itself – for rides and shows and such. Then one year, when the kids were in college, we visited Branson with my mother, a recent widow. She had heard that a new Lawrence Welk Theater had been built and all the “oldies” from the original TV show would perform. We secured front row seats. My mother was so happy, she cried.
But back to Big Cedar. My dear friend MB suggested that while we were in Branson, we should drive around and check out Big Cedar Lodge. We did and we fell in love. It wasn’t difficult to justify trips there. We went four years in a row in the summer because my daughter worked at Kanakuk Kamps each summer and we celebrated her summer birthday with her. We also celebrated our summer wedding anniversary. Then, for a number of years we’d visit in February to celebrate hubby’s birthday. One year we treated my daughter, son, daughter-in-law and their baby and we all rented a cabin.
We missed the last two Februarys so this year went for an early anniversary celebration. The experience did not let us down.
Big Cedar management always asks if we’re celebrating a special occasion. So we usually mention birthday or anniversary. We can always expect a token gift.
It occurred to me that over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a number of Champagne glasses. This was our seventh anniversary visit. That equals 14 Champagne glasses. FOURTEEN! Now, I’m not necessarily a teetotaler but I’m not all that fond of Champagne either. In fact, these glasses are used no more than once per year – at Christmas – mixed with orange juice! Mimosas!
So I wondered: would they allow me to make an exchange for wine glasses (paying the difference, of course)? I followed up with my thought and yes, no problem. I’m thinking why hadn’t I thought about this earlier – I mean years earlier! Or at least four days earlier, before we took this trip. The nice gift shop lady explained that we could not trade in previous years as they were all dated. Well, I hadn’t remembered that point.
In fact, when I came home, I checked all my Champagne glasses and sure enough, they were dated. All but two. Apparently, we have been visiting Big Cedar so long; we began before they began dating the glasses!
All those years? I think we should get a free meal or something! 🙂
So remember, this Christmas; drop in for a visit – and a Mimosa. But no more than twelve guests at a time please.