Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Silver Lining


“Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.”

Maurice Setter


We knew better than to look for gold when it came to our wedding anniversary.  That would be 50 years of marriage in 2046. By then we will be walking on heavenly streets of gold.  Instead, we decided to celebrate our silver 25th in a big way. 

Before Covid 19 hit, we put a deposit down on a river cruise with American Cruise Lines. We would follow the steps of the Louis & Clark expedition. The closer it got to paying for the remainder of the trip, the more we hesitated. Ships were requiring masks and vaccines for passengers and heading to the Northwest with all the rioting in Portland, Oregon did not sound appealing. 

 A week in Branson, Missouri sounded like a good alternative. Lots of shows and other activities awaited our arrival. One had to be determined to drive over 800 miles to Branson. We thought Atlanta traffic was bad until we encountered Chattanooga and Nashville, TN. Road work, closed bridges, and backed up traffic tested our patience. 

We finally made it to Paducah, KY to spend the night. We stayed at a Holiday Inn on the bank of the Ohio River—an important stop for Louis & Clark, too. We were surprised to touch a bit of their famous expedition in Kentucky. Reaching the last interstate, we drove through beautiful rural countryside until we got to Branson the next evening. I am incredibly grateful for a good car navigation system and for a man who knows how to use it. 

Our quaint Branson hotel—built in 1903— provided us with a small room and bath. The hotel’s big stone front porch was delightful and a good place to escape. Ordering show tickets ahead of time cost us more than buying them there, but we had tickets to some sold-out events. 

We enjoyed Dolly Parton’s Stampede with dinner and the performance on the Branson Showboat during a cruise on the lake.  I absolutely had to see “Back to the Bee Gees” that featured three 2021 performers singing all their famous songs. It was a great show all around. The highlight of the week was the multi-faceted presentation of the life of Jesus at the Sight & Sound Theater. The Gospels came to life on the 300’ stage and screen. What a beautiful and soul stirring production to finish out our week. 

After a delicious farewell breakfast at Steamy Joe’s Cafe, we drove round and round through the Ozark Mountains heading for Memphis, TN. We passed through Hardy, AK where Charles had spent time as a teenager.  According to him, the town had not aged well, but our visit brought back many nostalgic memories. 

We spent one more night on the road in Memphis, before hitting Interstate 22 into Alabama and I-20 home to Georgia.  Our Silver Anniversary trip left us with lots of memories. We visited pieces of eight states, but sure were glad to get back home to our piece of heaven. Even though our trip to the Northwest was put on hold for another year, we found our silver lining in Branson.