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Branson in the books

Every summer we go to Branson for a long weekend with Jacob’s family and this year’s trip was this past weekend.

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This year we stayed at StoneBridge Resort just west of town and loved it. In fact, other than to grab some pizza on our way in Thursday night, Jacob and I didn’t leave the resort the entire time. My kind of Branson trip.

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I’m not really into outlet shopping or cruising the ever-busy strip, so I was more than content to hang out at the pool while the boys golfed and my mother and sister-in-law shopped on Friday afternoon.

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And yes, I realize that I snapped a photo of the most inapproriate page in the entire book. Whoops.

The rest of the weekend was spent in much of the same manner. Catching up with friends we only see once a year, plenty of good food and drinks, lots of relaxation.

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On Sunday, per family tradition, we stopped for brunch on our way out of town at The College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Center.

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I don’t think anyone in the Leonard family would disagree with me when I say that the Sunday brunch at the Keeter Center is one of our favorite meals of the entire year.

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The photo doesn’t do it justice at all. There is an omelette station, a breakfast bar, a pasta station, a lunch and carving station, salads, cheeses and probably a hundred types of dessert. There is always a student playing piano and the entire building is gorgeous. In fact, all of the students work on campus (they have a lodge as well and a full farm where they make most of the food) instead of paying tuition.

If you ever find yourself in south central Missouri on a Sunday morning, you must stop in for brunch. Trust me.

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 Another successful Branson weekend in the books!

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Deep Sea Fishing in Destin

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While we were on vacation in Florida, Jacob and I went deep sea fishing with my father and brother-in-law and two of my brother-in-law’s friends. We had to meet at the docks at 5:30 a.m., but the early morning wake up call was worth it for views of the sunrise from the harbor.

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It was just the six of us on the boat, plus the captain and his first mate/deck hand. We fished for bait as a little rain shower passed through and kept us cool.

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I may have cracked open my first beer at approximately 6:35 a.m. When in Rome, right?

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After we had caught enough bait, we upgraded our poles and trolled around for schools of bigger fish. After a few tries, we found a sweet spot and things got intense. We caught our limit of 12 red snapper in about 15 minutes. It was crazy!Destin08Destin10 destin-28-2

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After we got back to the marina, we posed for cheesy photos with our bounty and watched our crew clean the fish. Destin16Destin18Destin19

We got to keep the fish too – Jacob and his brother broiled the snapper in blackening seasoning and served it over cheesy grits and cajun vegetables with sausage. It was divine.

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This was my (and everyone else’s) first time to go deep sea fishing, and it was SO much fun. We did a five hour trip, and while it was a little pricey, I can’t wait to do it again.

Have you ever been deep sea fishing? Any other crazy water activities I should try?

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