Thursday, September 1, 2022

Miss Pansy Goes to Branson - Tales of the Traveling Totes and Giveaway

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Totes for 
September of 2022, where MacKenzie-Child 
loving ladies post once a quarter on where 
their bags have been.  If you follow me on IG 
you know that I was recovering from hip surgery 
in June and then hospitalized again for 
gallbladder surgery so I didn't 
post in June, so it has been a while.

In January of 2020 we each received custom made 
MacKenzie-Child's bags based on what the 
incredible seamstresses at MacKenzie Child 
designed for us based on our blogs, and 
then Covid-19 hit!  So this month we are 
focusing on our custom made Serendipity 
bags' travels.  Mine is named Miss Pansy.

One of my girlfriends had gone to Branson 
two years ago and she decided right then and there 
that she wanted all of us to go together.  They 
belong to Holiday Inn Vacation resorts, so 
they booked two rooms in Branson for the 
five couples.  None of the rest of us had been 
to Branson, so we didn't know what to expect, 
but we absolutely had a marvelous time. 

A neighbor heard that we were going and said 
we absolutely had to eat breakfast at Billy Gail's. 
So we started our vacation the first morning there.  
We loved the Big Boy out front whose hamburger 
had turned into a stack of pancakes.

One couple was missing that first morning 
so this picture only shows four of the 
couples.  They had stayed one extra night 
at home as their dog had just had a litter 
of five puppies. 

The food was so good that we decided when the 
other couple joined us, we would have to go again. 
The pancake in the background is 14 inches!  It was 
the most amazing pancake.  We all got to try some 
of it and there was still some left. 

As we were picking up our show tickets, 
we spotted a Paula Deen's restaurant, so 
we had to add that to our list.  She has the 
most charming shop at the front of the 
restaurant, and we'all had to get some of 
her fun gifts.  

Miss Pansy and I looooved the biscuits 
they served at Paula Deen's Restaurant 
and we were introduced to 
Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, 
which we then ordered at almost every 
restaurant we went to. I also brought 
home two boxes of her Ooey Gooey 
Butter Cake Mixes, one in vanilla 
and one in chocolate.  I am making one 
tomorrow for a pool party!  

Each night we attended a show and 
The Haygoods by far was our favorite show.  
They are sold out every night. 

The sister in the show was talented on so many 
instruments, but my favorite was the harp, as 
they had it lit up and her dress was lit up too. 

What we enjoyed most was the outdoor 
activities.  We rode bikes up Dogwood Canyon.  
It is a nice easy ride and I was thrilled that 
my hip had no problems.  

The bike path crisscrossed over the stream 
many times and the stone structures were 
just gorgeous. 

At the top of the ride they had this beautiful 
waterfall with golden trout in the pond.  
We had never seen golden trout before.  

Along the trail you cross from Missouri to 
Arkansas, so we laughed and said we rode 
all the way to Arkansas. 

We ate at the lodge there for lunch.  All of 
the food we had on the trip was amazing. 
We also got to walk through a 
Treehouse Master's house there on 
the property.  

Later in the week we rode gold carts through 
Top of the Rock Heritage Preserve.  It was 
also stunning with waterfalls and bridges.  
You even drive through a cave!  It was so 

The iron work everywhere is unbelievable.  
We just marveled at the creativity and 
money that was put into both of these 
places - everything so beautiful. 

We also roamed through the Ancient Ozarks 
Natural History Museum that had so many 
beautiful Indian artifacts.  My favorite items 
were all of the beaded dresses and the 
dolls, all so well-preserved.  

After that we had lunch in the Big Cedar Lodge.  
The buildings at both places were just 
magnificent, and the food matched the 
grandeur.  Miss Pansy really enjoyed 
herself and even got to go on the 
golf carts. 

This was a sampling of foods we had at 
the Big Cedar Lodge.  Yum!  And we 
learned to order dessert as an appetizer 
and all just share one, otherwise we wouldn't 
have room for dessert. 

Another treat was getting to eat at Guy Fieri's restaurant 
down by the water.  We ordered Trash Can Nachos. 
I had seen him make these on one of his shows 
and I had tried making them.  His were better of course. 

It's a big presentation where they 
bring it out in the "trash can" and then 
pull off the trash can.  The smoked meat 
on it was unbelievable.  

I was just so happy that with all of my 
problems after the gallbladder surgery 
following my hip surgery that I was able 
to eat everything.  After only being able 
to eat a few things for six weeks, the 
food was one of the highlights of the trip. 

We also spent a day at 
Silver Dollar City Amusement Park. 
Everything we did was fun and beautiful and 
delicious.  It was a great trip. 

Now for the giveaway.  

Visit Jenna and leave a comment to be 
entered into the giveaway for this 
cute reusable shopping bag.  

And also visit all of our other official 
Tales of the Traveling Totes ladies to 
see what they were up to.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women 

Thanks for visiting and leave a comment. 
And a huge thank you to Patti at 
Pandora's Box for including me on 
all of the adventures of
Tales of the Traveling Totes. 


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. This is the best post!! Looks like this was a grand that you rode your bike through two states! Photos are fabulous and the food looks so good (good idea on having dessert first!). So glad you are back to normal and able to travel ( and hold your food down!!). Happy September!

  2. Oh wow Jackie, I'm so happy for you that you were recovered from your surgery and didn't miss this trip. What a fun group to travel with, I can see the closeness with you girls, what a wonderful thing. The food looks delicious and I know you enjoyed it, especially after eating so little for so long. Great pics of your group and trip. So happy your new hip has you riding all the way to Arkansas! Take care and Happy September........

  3. Wow, another amazing trip. The scenery, the views and the food. I am so glad you have recovered and can travel and eat again. Your girlfriends sound like a fun group. Laughing, giggling and lots of smiles.
    We have never been, so your posts i a fun virtual outing. Happy September.

  4. Jackie, what a special trip, and how fun to share this experience with other couples. Love seeing all your fab photos. You look terrific! I'm so grateful that you are well again and out having adventures.

  5. What a way to break out after months of illness and rehab, Jackie! Branson looked like a great trip, the food fantastic! Big Boy is a well-known guy became part of that franchisees licensing family here in our state since 1947. Amazing (and what a relief to you, I'm sure) that you could do the biking and hiking. Welcome back to life and living big!

  6. The trash can nachos would be right up my alley. What a fun trip to take and test out your new hip. Glad you are feeling well again!

  7. Jackie, you are a Wonder Woman! I am so happy to see you riding a bike and eating all of that delicious looking food. You have been through so much! You look fantastic! You have definitely been on my mind and in my prayers.
    Your Serendipity Bag is the perfect shade of purple and matches your blog so nicely. He ladies who made them really put a lot of thought, creativity, and effort into making our bags.
    I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Weekend with your family somewhere fabulous! We are at the lake for the first time this summer. I handled the drive well!

  8. What an amazing trip!! It was fun to do something different and I loved all of it! Food, friends, husbands, entertainment and outdoor adventures are my favorite!! Thanks for sharing! I am going to use it for my life history! Love you my sweet friend and I am glad your back!! XOXOXO


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