Wednesday we hit the road again…this time northeast toward Branson, Missouri…for another rally…the Heartland South Central Regional rally.
We had quite a haul…380 miles…a lot for us. After a long day of driving, we pulled into the Choctaw KOA in Durant, Oklahoma about 5:15 pm or so. We got checked in, pulled into our site but didn’t unhitch, level or anything. We just called the shuttle to pick us up and take us directly to the casino for dinner.
We went for the buffet…which wasn’t the greatest…but it filled our tummies. We had originally thought we might try a luck in the casino a bit but since it was later than we’d planned we skipped it and just hopped back on the shuttle and went home to do some work and go to bed.
Thursday was another fairly long driving day…just shy of 350 miles and we were on the road about 7:15 am. We made a stop at Kelly’s Kitchen about noon and after relaxing for about an hour we were back on the road.
We pulled into the Branson KOA about 3:30 pm. We got checked in quickly and led to our site where we unhitched and then made a beeline to the rally hall where a Meet & Greet was in progress….or actually just ending as we walked in. We were greeted by a room full of applause which was awesome! LOL
We hung around for a while and visited and then went back home to finish getting the coach settled in place for our stay. We decided not to put up the satellite dish as we don’t have much time to watch TV these days and we already have quite a bit on the DVR.
Jay and Stella joined us for dinner at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. We’d all been there before but it was a good place to go back to. The servers are ‘singing servers’…periodically one of the servers will belt out a tune while roaming through the diner.
Jay and Stella both had burgers while Michael and I both had fish and chips. We enjoyed catching up with a couple of our favorite people. We knew that once the rally really got going we wouldn’t have much of a chance to visit with them so we were glad we got the opportunity to share a meal with them.
Friday was super duper busy for us with work…which is pretty unusual on a Friday. We started working about 7:30 am or so and worked for about an hour or so before we headed over to the rally hall for breakfast. The KOA provides free pancakes and the for a minimal charge you can get biscuits, gravy and sausage.
We visited for about an hour and then headed back home and worked until about 5:00 pm without coming up for much air in between. I worked mostly on the computer while Michael worked on the computer, answered a few phone calls and also answered questions of several of the rally goers here.
About 5:30 we headed over to the rally hall for a potluck dinner. I helped Stella get the offerings settled and sorted on the table and Michael talked with several folks who had questions regarding disc brakes.
There were lots of door prizes of which everyone got at least one something (cordless drill & flash light for us). Plus, when all the door prizes had been handed out all of the names were put back in the pot and names were drawn for two big prizes. Amazingly enough, our name was drawn for a water filtration system! Michael was quite happy as he’d been talking about purchasing a new system for the new coach (if we get one). Perhaps that was a sign??!
Michael and I were also very honored to hand off the Heartland traveling sombrero! It had been lovingly handed off to us last fall at our very first rally as chapter leaders from our friends, Andy and Joanna, Louisiana chapter leaders. While it was fun to receive, we just don’t have the room to store it. Don & Vicky, chapter leaders from New Mexico, who just had their first rally, are now the proud owners.
Saturday was on the quieter side and we were able to somewhat catch up on our work so that we could go on a short walkabout mid-morning. We chatted a bit and Michael took a couple of axles pics for people who are interested in purchasing brakes. (We request pictures of all axles tags so that we are sure to have all of the information we need to provide the correct kit)
That afternoon the entire rally crew drove over to Table Rock Lake and boarded the Branson Belle for a dinner/show cruise. Wow! What an experience. While the club paid for everyone’s tickets Michael and I would go back in a heartbeat!
The food was good, entertainment was excellent, view was beautiful. We were fed chicken, roast beef, sugar snap peas and garlic mashed potatoes along with a salad and lemon raspberry ice cream cake.
We had a small taste of the entertainment to come while we enjoyed our dinner and then had about 45 minutes or
so after dinner to roam the boat and check out the views.
The show consisted of comedy, magic, singing and dancing. The music ranged from show tunes (awesome!) to Elvis and Journey. A whole lot of talent on that stage. One of the female singers, Kelsie Watts, was a participant (making the top 24) on American Idol a few years ago and was really impressive. She has no business working on a showboat…she should be making real money!
At one point Michael was called up on stage to assist the Emcee/Comedian/Magician along with another woman. I’m pretty sure that Michael missed his calling. He had us all in stitches…even the Emcee! The man’s only job was to play ‘ba dump bump’ on the drum when the Emcee finished a joke…but he pretty much stole the show. He ended up knocking the cymbal off and then even knocked a chime on to the floor. Thankfully, one of our group (of 70) recorded the entire thing. Not sure if this will work or not..but click HERE to watch the video.
Sunday was Mother’s Day and also the day that a good portion of the rally-goers left the park. We had breakfast in the rally hall again and sat with Corbin and Flora and then later on Jason and Audra joined us. After closing the place down we headed on home but not before stopping and chatting with a group who were waving to rally-goers as they departed.
We met a potential install for lunch at Pasghetti’s on ‘the strip’. Johnny did some installs for the old owner and is ready to get back in the saddle. We had a really nice lunch and got a good feel for him and look forward to getting him some work. He and his wife and six kids (!) are full time RVers so they’ll be traveling much of the time.
As for the meal…really good. I had pasta carbonara…sooo good. Michael order the Italian grilled chicken breast which he really enjoyed. Not sure where I got the recommendation to try the place…but glad I did.
After lunch, Michael and I made our way to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater for the 3:00 pm performance of Legends in Concert. ‘Performers’ included Martina McBride, Elvis, the Four Tops, the Blues Brothers and Johnny Cash.
Once again…an excellent show! A lot of talent was on that stage. During Elvis’ performance of ‘Teddy Bear’ he tossed a stuffed Teddy Bear at me (which I later gave to a young girl) and the Blues Brothers gave Michael and I each donuts from Hurts Donut! Talk about luck being on our side!
We were back home about 5:30 pm and had PTB work to do and a little ‘move prep’ to do as we were hitting the road again the following morning. Heading north to see all of our babies…making a stop in Hannibal, Missouri, the birthplace of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).