Matt and I aren't the 'foo foo, lay on a beach' type people especially since I am now frightened of the sun. We're more of the 'curl up by a fire' type people or the 'take pictures of nature' people or even the 'drink coffee and hot tea in a "bar"' type people.
When we mention Big Cedar, people often ask us, "What is there to do there?" and "Do you bring your kids?" I think they are fully expecting us to ramble off a list of 'things to do' and for us to say yes. Our answer is and will always be, "Heck NO we don't (bring our kids) and we do nothing. And that is why we love it."
It was on our honeymoon, over 6 years ago, that Matt and I found our little piece of heaven on Earth. It lies in a little cove, off the beach of Table Rock lake and it goes by the name of Big Cedar Lodge. (angels singing)
This little slice of Heaven is located near Branson, which I am NOT a fan of by the way. I have to digress for a minute. On our way home, we had to go by Wal-Mart to pick up some personal items (yuck) for the ride home. Inside this particular Wal-Mart was a stand that said, "GET YOUR SHOW TICKETS HERE!" The lady was yelling, in a polite tone, at people to get them to buy show tickets. I did the whole, keep your hoodie up, look at the floor and pretend you don't speak 'Branson.' I think it worked because she shut up.
As we were leaving the arguably beautiful town, I told Matt, "Branson feels very 'den of theives-ish.'" With which he replied, "It feels very 'Costa Maya-ish' to you?" (Costa Maya was a stop on a cruise we went on in 2004, back in my sun goddess days.)
"Ya, that's exactly how I feel, like everyone is trying to 'sell' you on their painted penny. (In Costa Maya, there was a guy painting on pennies with his finger nail and a toothpick. *clears throat* I bought one)
I digressed to Hell, now back to Heaven.
In the past, we have taken the route through Miami, Oklahoma to Springfield and down to Ridgedale, Missouri. Since we were on vacation, we thought we'd take a more scenic route through the far northwestern most region of Arkansas and up into Ridgedale. And that is what we did.
Our first stop was Roaring River. We debated on whether or not to stop, but we did. We pulled into the first little parking area. I told Matt, "I want to try and take pictures of the flowing water. I saw a technique in a book and I want to try it." As we pulled into the parking lot, this is what I saw.
(*to the tune of 'Do You Hear What I Hear*) Do you see what I seeeeeeeee? An eagle an eagle perching in the tree he will get him a fish to eat, he will get him a fish to eat.
He didn't get a fish while we were there, but we got a few pictures. Don't worry this isn't my first rodeo. I am an expert Bald Eagle spotter. I see them everywhere! Just north of Branson, one flew over the highway in front of us. I see them all the time, it is a spiritual gift.
(Below is the technique I wanted to try. The shutter speed was super slow in order to get the water to look the way it does.)(The picture below is a normal shot. I just went with the setting the camera picked.)
We paused for a photo opp. in which I decided I look very large. I am not large just the sweat pant look adds a good 10 lbs.
Not long after leaving Roaring River, we arrived to the earthly pearly gates made of rod iron.
(Our room. A view from the bed towards the door.)
The fire Matt started.
The bathroom! Do you see Matt on the far right? He has visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.
The bed and door into the bathroom.
The whole reason we came was to celebrate Matt's 35th birthday. I had them bake a cake and decorate it for me so I could surprise him. They made the sitting area like a picnic setting. So cute.
Going to dinner the first night at Devil's Pool Restaurant.
The next day, we ventured out of our cottage and took some pictures. I wanted to take more water pics.
(Normal speed above)
Truman House. A good place to get coffee.
The tree behind Matt is probably 20 feet tall. It is located inside the registration lodge.
The house behind Matt is made of gingerbread!
The ingredients. It's hard to read, but they used 150 lbs of flour!!
Another view. The trees are not gingerbread, just the house.
They modeled it after one of the buildings on the grounds., the Worman House. There is so much history to this place. It started with one building that was a lodge/ retreat for a man in the 1920's and has grown and changed and been many things since. It was around 1987, when the founder of Bass Pro Shops bought the area and made it what it is today-wonderful.