You guys, I think I became a fan of Silver Dollar City last weekend. I've only been a couple times, even though I've lived in or near Springfield almost eight years now, and it's only about an hour away. I just never really got into it. Especially when I was younger, there seemed to be a cheese factor....and did I mention I'm scared of roller coasters? Terrified of roller coasters. This fear stems from a really really bad childhood experience at.....yep, SDC. So I really just felt like SDC didn't have much to offer; I mean, if there's only like, one coaster I'll actually ride, what's the point?
A few years ago, I was at Universal Studios in Orlando (because, duh, Wizarding World of Harry Potter); I had gone with a friend who knew one of the employees and he was going to let us jump line in a couple rides. He asked what kind of rides we liked best so he could help us choose, but neither one of us were really big fans of coasters. I said as much, and then added, "I haven't really had much experience with theme parks, though. I mean, I've really only ever been to Six Flags and freaking Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri." The guy responded, "Hey, don't knock Silver Dollar City. There are actual theme park awards among all the parks, and they win every year for 'Cleanest Park' and 'Friendliest Staff.' Every single year." I was kinda surprised by that--I mean, Disneyworld exists! But Silver Dollar City has friendlier staff than DISNEYWORLD? Pretty crazy.
Once a year, Tyler's new work buys tickets for a day at SDC and meal passes for their employees and their families. Tyler actually likes roller coasters, and I figured, "Hey, it's free, and I'll eat a funnel cake,"....so we went. You guys, I had SO. MUCH. FUN. SDC is right in the middle of the Heritage Festival right now, and that business is right up my alley. Art, crafts, cider, fall decorations, cool weather? Just kill me. There were artists and artisans from all over the midwest with their own little booths, and most were either inside or right outside, working on their craft and doing demonstrations. I spent over half an hour talking crafts with two ladies from Oklahoma, Pati Jane and Ginger, from Prairie Moon Primitives. They taught me how to do rug weaving and needle punching...so now I have more hobbies. Yikes! :) Poor Tyler was so patient. But hey, I waited for him to ride a couple rides, too, so I figure we're pretty even, right? Right. By the way, that's him in the picture below--front row, hands in the air like a crazy person. I married a thrill-seeker, ya'll.
Oh, and if all the arts & crafts weren't enough to make the day awesome, I also gorged myself on cotton candy, cider, and yes......funnel cake.