Friday, December 14, 2012

The Schmid's - Branson - September 1, 2012

We actually arrived in Branson on August 31 in the afternoon and had a late lunch at Billy Gail's restaurant.  It is a fairly small restaurant but very popular with tourists as well as locals.  During peak times, parking is a big issue.  I know that posting stuff from August and September is a little stale and I wasn't going to do it but I talked with Gisela today on Skype and she mentioned how much she enjoyed looking at the photos on the blog so I decided to at least post this day's events since they were already set to go.  We are leaving soon on a cruise and I will not have time to do more until we get back.

Lars was a little stunned by the size of what he ordered.

Georg and Lars enjoyed the meal.  Later in the evening, we went to see the Baldnobber's show so our guests could get a flavor for country music.  The comedy was great but unfortunately it was mostly lost on our German friends...nothing we could do about that.

The next morning we set out to drive around the Branson/Table Rock Lake area.  In the photo below, we are on the stream just below the Table Rock Dam watching the trout fisherman.

Just up the hill from the stream, is the Shepard of the Hill's Hatchery.  We toured the facility and feed the fish.

You can see the downstream side of the dam in this photo.  The dam does have hydroelectric generators but the water levels were way down due to the lack of rain.

The Chateau on the Lake resort hotel is on the hill above the dam.

This is the high side of the Dam.

The Branson Belle Show Boat was on the lake while we were there.

Our next stop was the Big Cedar Resort Conference Center.  We were looking for a restaurant for lunch.  The Center was preparing for a big wedding later in the day.

We finally found the Devil's Pool Restaurant just down the road from the Conference Center.

A little more Branson sight is a crazy town.

In the evening, we went to see the Chinese Acrobats perform....a great show.  After the show we went to our favorite diner for cobbler and ice cream.  Gisela kept the jukebox playing oldies the whole time we were there.

Lars didn't see this one coming.

Tomorrow, we head back home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We Hit 100 Countries in Flag Counter - 12/11/2012

We started using Flag Counter on August 18, 2012 and set it up to display up to 100 flags from visiting countries.  Last night, in the wee hours, someone from Azerbaijan was curious about "big forests" and our blog popped up.  They checked out a post from our 2010 trip to Hawaii that covered our visit to Akaka Falls and the bamboo forests there.  I don't know if that is what they were looking for but that is what they got.  They were the 100th county.

So, in just under four months, we had visits from 100 different countries and 5,527 individual views of the blog posts.  Since the inception of our blog in late 2009, we have had over 43,000 visits from just about every country on the face of the earth......mind boggling.  Going forward, there will only be the top 100 countries showing in the Flag Counter box.

I suspect that there are lots of reasons why people visit our blog.  Some are just curious and have time on their hands, some are fantasizing about a far off part of the world, others are doing serious trip planning, students are doing homework assignments, government workers are researching some topic, a few are just checking out what you are saying about them, and friends and family are keeping track of what we are doing.

We enjoy blogging....sharing our adventures.  Knowing that so many people are also enjoying our blogs makes it even more fun.