Overnight Branson Getaway

A couple weeks ago my hubby and I snuck away for a quick overnight trip to Branson, Missouri. We hadn’t been there for a couple of years and after our long crazy summer we both needed a bit of a break.

Our first stop was at Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark, Missouri. Neither of us had ever been there, and apparently it is a Midwestern staple because any time I say “I’ve never been to Lambert’s” people gasp and clutch their pearls like I just confessed to a horrific crime.

All I knew was that they throw rolls at you, and since I’m into weird stuff like that, I was pretty excited! They do throw rolls to you, if you raise your hand for one, and the rolls are freaking amazing. In fact, all of the food was really good.

I ordered a salad thinking that it would keep me from overeating and being miserable later. I was wrong. This was the biggest salad I’ve even seen. It was delicious but I barely made a dent in it! Next time we go I will order an empty plate and I will just eat the pass arounds. Pass arounds are food that the servers walk around and give you on your plate or napkin. Fried okra, rolls, black eyed peas, fried potatoes and macaroni salad.

Also, be prepared these are the drink cups! I was so glad I ordered water because I could have easily downed that much soda. They have these cups available for purchase in the gift shop when you leave too, if you need one.

After we ate we rolled on into Branson and checked into our hotel. We tried a new hotel this time, The Hilton at Branson Landing. It was a little pricey, but honestly it was totally worth it. The hotel is up above the shopping center at Branson Landing, so we were able to park our car, and then walk every where we wanted to go. No dealing with parking!

Look at this amazing artwork in the parking garage! Follow ChrisaraDesigns on Instagram to see more of their work!

While we were checking in, I looked across the street and saw this adorable antique store. So, as soon as we got settled we walked over to check it out! 417 Vintage Market is so adorable. I could have walked through there over and over again all day. I’m hoping once we get some remodeling done at our house I can make another trip there for some fun vintage decor.

Just some more fun street art!

Branson Landing has gotten some new restaurants since the last time we visited! The Mellow Mushroom looks so good, and they have frozen daiquiri machines like we enjoyed while on Tybee Island.  

For dinner we went to Landshark Bar & Grill

I enjoyed a Tranquil Waters and my husband had a Fins To The Left, complete with a giant gummy shark, of course.

For dinner we had fried pickles as an appetizer and I totally pigged out on a seafood platter. My hubby had a Caribbean burger. Everything was amazing! Plus, we got to sit outside by the water so it was just an all around good experience. After we ate we walked around a little bit before heading up to the hotel to relax in the hot tub and pass out for the night. There is literally nothing like uninterrupted kid free sleep. 

The next morning we went down to Big Whiskey, the hotel restaurant, to grab breakfast. They have a breakfast buffet and we had a couple of coupons for a free meal. It was a delicious breakfast with lots of options and the restaurant itself was pretty neat too. I love this sign hanging over the bar. 

After we ate we decided we’d better head home to relieve my mom of her baby-sitting duties. We stopped in Joplin, Missouri on the way home to check out the Three State Corner.

We visited the Four Corners a few years ago, but we had no idea this even existed! Luckily while we were there, there were some sweet ladies from Illinois visiting too, so they snapped a picture for us!

All in all we had a great trip! It’s so nice to get away, even if just for a day to reset a bit before returning to reality. Have you ever visited Branson? What did you do there?

Pioneer Woman Mercantile and Lodge- Pawhuska

Hey hey! You guys, its not a nice thing to say out loud, but summer is almost over! My kids are going back to school in like 22 days. How did this even happen? We really did try to enjoy our summer this year and we took few fun trips!

One place that we really enjoyed checking out was the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. As well as her lodge!

Here are the girls standing in front of the entrance for the Merc!

We arrived at the Mercantile around 10:30 and put our names on the list for a table. We were told it would be about an hour wait, which wasn’t too bad. So we decided to spend some time doing souvenir shopping and checking out the amazing bakery upstairs! Meanwhile, we also grabbed our ticket to the Lodge so we could go by after lunch.

So many choices!
Spicy Cowgirl Iced Coffee and Cupcakes!

The girls each got a cupcake to take home and my twelve year old and I got a Spicy Cowgirl (Iced Coffee). We bought our souvenirs.. a Charlie Dog and a Drummond Ranch Hat before taking our coffee outside to sit and wait for our table.

We had a lot of fun posing with the truck outside!

Once the kids got restless we walked to a store next door and did some shopping and then headed back into the Merc to walk around and wait for our table. Finally we received a text telling us our table was ready! It ended up being about an hour and a half wait, which I kind of expected during the summertime. I do think if I would have realized how long the wait was we would have spent more time shopping around in the surrounding stores, while waiting our turn. Next time I would do that for sure, there are a lot of fun stores in downtown Pawhuska!

Here’s a peek at the current menu.

My older daughter and I both got a fried chicken sandwich and fries.

Ya’ll there is no kids menu which is kind of a pain the butt when you have a two year old. She got a grilled cheese sandwich and an order of fries. And didn’t eat much. So, that was kind of a waste of money, but I kept telling myself we where there for the experience, not to get a good deal. (I’m so cheap so that’s a hard one for me sometimes!)

Grilled Cheese and Fries- don’t mind the dog butt, she demanded he sit on the table.
Fried Chicken Sandwich and fries. So freaking good. I want to eat those fries every day.

After lunch we waddled across the street to the new ice cream shop! Charlie’s Sweet Shop!

The ice cream was delicious and actually very reasonably priced! And the store was super cute! We have a bassett hound so we are kind of obsessed with Charlie The Ranch Dog.

After eating, this shopaholic carried our bags back to the car and we headed to the lodge. The lodge is where the PW records her cooking show and also this is apparently a place that they use for lodging when people come to visit. It’s maybe a 30-45 minute drive from the Mercantile, so allow plenty of time and make sure you have plenty of gas.

The drive is worth the view.

The lodge is breathtaking and pretty much my dream house. There are lots of photo opportunities for pretend cooking in the massive kitchen.

The lodge is full of gorgeous bedrooms, a commercial kitchen, a huge pantry, and an amazing deck for relaxing and enjoying the view. I will say, you if you plan to make the trip, try to do it during the time that they do lodge tours! Check here for current dates!

I love going to Pawhuska and seeing what Ree has done for that community. What started with the Mercantile has grown into that, a pizzeria, the ice cream shop, a hotel, and so much more. Downtown Pawhuska has lots of cute shops and its just a blossoming little town.

I started reading Ree’s blog over 10 years ago. I remember being an awe of her food photography and adoring her humor. I can not believe how much she has exploded since then! But, also, it’s well deserved. She has worked hard to get there.

Have you visited the Mercantile? What did you think?