Sometimes you just need a break! As it so happened, right when we needed a break from the snow and all of the inconveniences that arose as a result from the moisture that we were so thankful for, the time for our scheduled trip to Branson came up. Perfect timing! A little back story...Last May, we bought our first Scottish Highland cattle, two bulls that we named Brick and Bray, from Blake and Kali Coble of the Coble Highland Ranch in Henryetta, Oklahoma. A few weeks later, we received a letter in the mail stating that our membership to the Heartland Highland Cattle Association (HHCA) had been sponsored by Blake and Kali. Soon after that, Jerad went back for more by purchasing a few bred Highland cows, and now we have a fold of 12 Highlands as a result. Jerad discovered an absolute love of the gentle-natured hairy cattle. Last October, we traveled back to Henryetta for a Highland Field Day sponsored by the Coble Highland Ranch, where we learned more about the Highland breed, the Heartland Highland Cattle Association, and met some of the people who are involved in the HHCA. That's where we learned about the annual meeting that's held in Branson each March, and Jerad immediately put it in his schedule. So, even after getting three feet of snow, losing electricity, and being without running water this last week, there wasn't a thought in Jerad's mind to cancel our trip. In fact, we used it as a time to get away. (Don't worry! We have two guys that we fully trust with our animals who were taking care of them! Thanks, Tyler and Derrick!)
It was in our plan to leave a couple of days early to take a little mini vacation with our family. We had a great time doing the tourist-y things like going to the Dixie Stampede and taking "Old Time" pictures. It was our first time to travel to Branson as a family, so we really had a great time.
On Saturday at the annual meeting, we enjoyed meeting so many people who also love the Highlands, as well as learning more about the HHCA and some of the activities in which they are involved. One of the fundraisers for the HHCA is the sale of calendars, in which members of the HHCA submitted photos to be used. We were excited that our photo of Brick in the snow was used for the month of February.
We really had a great time chatting with Blake, Kali, and their little cutie Parks and getting to know them better, too. And, of course, we loved the food while we were there! First, the Outback Steak & Oyster Bar was amazing! Pricey, but amazing. Braylon and I enjoyed the Melbourne Grill with ostrich, lamb, and quail. Jerad and Brickman enjoyed the seafood. At the Dixie Stampede, not only was the food amazing, but you also were beyond stuffed by the time you left in addition to being fully entertained. The HHCA fed us a lunch of different Highland beef entrees. We loved tasting it for the first time! Then on our way home, we stopped at Lambert's Cafe in Ozark. If you've never eaten there, you should put it on your bucket list!
By the time we got back home, we still didn't have water, but the animals were alive and well, thanks to Derrick and Tyler working a bit harder than they normally have to, hauling water in from a well a mile west of the farm and heating water on the stovetop to warm the zebras bottles. We are so thankful for the moisture, a way to continue to get the animals water despite none coming from the hydrants, a couple of college guys who we could trust to care for the animals, a fun and safe getaway, and time with new friends. Now, bring on spring!
Each day as we wake up here at The Menagerie, we never know what we're going to step in...literally and figuratively! Each day is a new day, and we try to make the best of it. Follow along!