The One With the Branson Trip

Weeeeellll, it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? I told you that the summers are BORING!!

Only that’s alie; life has been ANYTHING but boring lately! I’ll have to bring you up to speed slowly so that you don’t overdo yourself. No, really! Life is THAT interesting! 🙂

I guess I’ll just jump right in then. Jenn and I left last Thursday and made the 8 hour drive from Texas to Missouri (with her asleep in the passenger seat most of the time…drat that shoulder!). I know it sounds like a long time (and it was), but we really had a lot of fun. I just bought an iPod two days before, so we had a grand ole time listen to my ENTIRE music collection on the way up. What was that?

How many songs? WELL, thanks for asking! 5,164 at the moment, but I still have more than thirty albums to import that were my grandfathers.

Look how you got me off topic. Shame on you! I’m kidding, calm down. Nothing but love. 😉

We had a pretty good drive up and got there in time to take off for the Stone Hill Winery. If you have never had the opportunity to tour a winery, SEEK ONE OUT! Coming from a strict Southern Baptist background, Jenn and I have not really gotten to see anything of the sort, so we had a blast.

And the wine tasting at the end wasn’t bad either. 🙂

The winery in Branson is actually a satelite facility and bottle only one of their numerous award winning wines in addition to cooking their Sherry. Is that how you spell Sherry? Cherry? No, that’s cherry. Like on top of ice cream. Scherry? That looks fancy. Oh well. Who cares? The Sherry is cooked in huge aluminum tanks for a good long while. And by cooked, I mean COOKED! Each tank houses a second tank inside which actually holds the wine surrounded by scalding hot water. It’s interesting to see the process behind producing a single bottle (and explains the pricetag). Who figured out the right way? Who sat there and said, “Why, yes. Four months IS the right time?”

I kind of want his job.

After cooking for a really long time, the wine is placed in barrells that age for something like 3 to 4 years!! Only then is it FINALLY ready to be bottled and sold.

Now, the best part of the evening comes after the tour…the wine tasting. They let us sample each of the wines and juices they sell while telling us about the making of each individual vintage. It’s LOADS of fun! What is most interesting about the entire experience is the transformation that goes on amidst the members of the tour group. I’m telling you, by the time that sixth or seventh wine is being poured, people start talking and laughing. It becomes a fun atmosphere! Needless to say, the winery was a hit.

Once we were fully wine tasted, we headed back to our hotel, which happened (completely coincidentally, you understand 😉 to be located right next to our next event, the HAYGOODS! If you recall from March, the Haygoods’ show has become something of a family favorite since I started talking with the oldest Haygood, Tim, and posting on their message board semi-regularly. Speaking of which!!! Haygooders, I KNOW you are reading this, so you had better leave me a few comments on THIS site! Anyway, we were excited to see the show because it is my absolute favorite and Jenn’s in love with Shawn Haygood.

Ooooooops, did I write that out loud? 🙂 She gonna Keeel me.

Funny stories from that evening? Why, yes I DO have a couple. As we were walking between the hotel and the theater, we passed someone with shorter hair, pierced ears, wearing a red shirt and black jacket who happened to look suspiciously like Shawn (whether it was or not……well, let’s just say that we are divided.). He gave us a small smile as he walked by and Jenn promptly called her best friend to scream, “I JUST PASSED SHAWN I JUST PASSED SHAWN!” Then she tripped over her own feet. Yup. It was classic. I wish I had a video.

So the show was phenomenal as expected. It went off without a hitch with the exception of intermission. Just before everyone take a 15 minute intermission, Timothy and Patrick Haygood (the two oldest) call out the anniversaries, birthdays, and groups in the audience. At the end of this little session, there was a pause and Tim looked out over the audience and said, “and I would also like you to meet the ultimate Haygood fan. That’s right, he’s here tonight, folks. Jeremy, where are you?”

He was met with awkward, dead silence. Now, since he knew I was coming and I do tend to take over the message board when I am on there, I FIGURED he meant me….but I couldn’t be sure. And before I could say anything, he waved at the back of the room and said, “There you are, man! Good to see you.”

Needless to say, Tim was very red after the show. 🙂 He felt bad enough that I got back to the hotel room to find that he had already posted on the message board so that I wouldn’t be able to beat him to it. Hahahaha. I did get to spend some time after the show talking with Tim at the back of the theater and that was nice. We have been e-mailing back and forth periodically for a few months now, and it was fun to get to actually do the face-to-face thing. After a while, we were joined by his Tim’s wife, Cassandre, who is a performer at Silver Dollar City. Nice surprise. All in all, pretty cool evening. I even got to take a picture with Catherine, the only girl in the family, since the message boarders are predominately female and Cat, therefore, receives very little attention. 😉 Of course, you know me…I am hardly one to let injustice run rampant through an online community. LONG LIVE QUEEN CATHERINE!!

Wow, why do you read these? I mean, seriously. That’s the kind of thing that I write. I wouldn’t even read my stuff. Oh well. Glad you’re here. Let’s move on to Day 2, shall we?

We started Friday morning by heading over to the acclaimed Silver Dollar City! If you are from Texas and have any recollection of how Six Flags was YEARS ago, then you have a pretty good image of SDC. The entire amusement park is set up like an old mining town, so we were bombarded by things like an authentic blacksmith and an extremely talented glass blower. Sidenote, I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to blow glass! I think it looks like so much fun. I know what you’re thinking, “You could totally do that, Jay/Jason/Jeremy! That’s right up your alley!” And you’re right, of course. I am all kinds of glass-talented. 🙂 The problem is that I think I would definitely have a problem with not touching the molten glass.

It’s just so tempting. How could I resist? Oooooo, pretty. SO pretty!!!

Sorry, back on task. The atmosphere of the whole place was a lot of fun as even the employees were dressed in old-timey garb. The guys who ran the small food kiosks were my favorite! They were all old men who were so nice! In fact, everyone was extremely nice and it made the trip much more fun. At Six Flags parks, everything is manned by high school students and they DEFINITELY would rather be ANYWHERE else.

Unfortunately, Jenn wasn’t feeling well, so we had to bail out a bit early. And because of the recent surgery on her shoulder, we didn’t even get to ride any of the rides. Ah, well. C’est La Vive. I enjoyed it enough to know that I would like to go again sometime, if only to see Cassandre perform. Yes, this trip did quickly become the “Haygoods Tour” because they are EVERYWHERE! In fact, as soon as we got back to the hotel (three hours ahead of time), Jenn looked at me and said, “Don’t the Haygoods have a show at 3 today?”

[Insert eye roll here]

“Jenn, we’re not going to the Haygoods again, we are not that pathetic.”

Turns out, we are. 🙂 We went to see the Haygoods again and this time I was honored to be introduced to the audience as the ULTIMATE HAYGOOD FAN, JASON! It was totally my 15 seconds of fame as I yelled, stood, waved to everyone, fake cried as Tim related the story of the previous night’s concert, and generally felt wwwwaaayyyy famous. I had a number of people I had never met before strike up conversations after hearing Tim talk about my antics on the message board.

Now, I was not the only one who had a grand time…Jenn was bummed the night before because she did not get to meet her beloved Shawn since we were talking to Tim and Cassandre for so long. To her everlasting delight, when Tim showed some of their merchandise at intermission, this sentence flew from his lips—- > “Here ya’ go, Jason; I’m gonna hook your sister up.” And with that, Jenn found herself with a free Haygoods Hug Bear sitting in her lap. For those of you who are not in the know, a Hug bear means a guaranteed autograph and hug from each Haygood. She was mad psyched.Actually, when I called over to the box office at 2:15 for tickets to the 3:00 show, we were rewarded with second row seats. I know….

It’s ‘cuz we’re famous. After sitting down (and watching feet move under the curtain for twenty minutes ;-), Jenn delighted herself by completely exhausting her battery camera taking pictures during the show. She even took a few with mine, so I thought I would post them here for your perusal.

Here is one of Jenn’s MANY pictures of Shawn singing his heart out.


This is Tim’s new and improved really cool “Fishin’ in the Dark” hat. It’s my favorite.

So there you go….Haygoods Show #2. Let’s see, what’s the running total thus far? Haygoods Show—Cassandre Haygood’s Hangout—Haygoods Show. Yup. Pretty darn close to stalker material.

No, we didn’t plan it that way, stop saying mean things like that. Why do you want to hurt me?

Pardon me while I cry a little bit.

Hahahaha. Okay, that was a lie too.

After Haygoods Stalking….umm, Show that is…#2, we took off for the Pierce Arrow Theater. Pierce Arrow was one of my absolutely favorite shows in March and this time was no different. The tight harmonies and great selection of songs make for quite an entertaining evening. Of course, the lovely Desta made the show all the more amazing! This time, in addition to two Carrie Underwood songs, she added “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Yeah, I was completely sold. I mean, really. It was just like when SIX walked out to an amazing a capella rendition of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” Ah, shucks. I got ahead of myself again.

Pierce Arrow. Desta McAuliffe. Jarrett Daugherty. Kim Boyce. Amazing.

So, after Pierce Arrow, we took off for the next stage of coincidental Haygood Stalking…listening to the Jam Doctors at Waxy O’Shea’s (Great little pub at the landing). The Jam Doctors are a GREAT group (in which Dominic Haygood happens to play Sax and sing a bit.), read very talented, but what made the show such a blast was the selection of music! We heard a little bit of everything and had a grand ole time jamming at the back of the pub. WOO HOO!!! Luckily, I don’t think Dom recognized us….Because that would have put the current running total at Haygood Show—Cassandre’s Hangout—Haygood Show—Dominic’s alter-ego. 🙂

And thus ends Day 2.

And thus begins Day 3. You didn’t know what you were getting into when you started reading this post, did you?

We started out the day by……….SLEEPING IN! Yes, that’s right. ‘Cuz that’s what you do on vacation! Next, we took off for the landing (because you would be surprised how little there is to see at midnight the night before) and spent a few hours wandering around (and downing some of THE best guacamole in the WORLD!). Afterwards, we went to see SIX…[insert previously stated U2 comment here]…because, SERIOUSLY! If you want to have my vote, just start your show with a U2 song. I am easily bribed. SIX is a group of (imagine this) six brothers who present an entirely a capella segment complete with vocal percussionists. It’s so much fun!! You can believe me, because I ONLY see amazing shows. However, since I am now bored with writing, you may look at the post from March should you want to know more.

ANNNNNDDDDD…..Not a single Haygood ANYWHERE! See? Totally not stalking.

Of course, then we went to Magnificent Seven, where Stephanie Haygood is a performer. Drat. Streak back in full force. Mag 7 was a great show! Aside from the fact that the two producers of the show, Joe Tinoco and Tamra Holden, tend to showboat a little, it’s a lot of fun. There are something like 174 costume changes throughout the show and they work their way through Seven Magnificent decades of music. Their song selections range from Broadway to old school country to latin. And not only is it a great show in an EXTREMELY nice theater, but THEY SERVE DINNER FIRST!

Um, yeah baby. Bring me the food.

For our final Branson shindig, we decided to do one more nighttime extravaganza. I really like that word, by the way. Extravaganza.

ExTRAvaGANza. Good word.

What was our running count thus far? Haygood Show—Cassandre’s Hangout—Haygoods Show—Dominic’s alter-ego

Well, you’ll be happy to know that our last event had nothing to do with the Haygoods. Except that it does. But other than that, totally unrelated.

The guys and Cat have been working on a new reality television show, so they invited all available fans down to the theater (conveniently located next to our hotel, you’ll recall) to help film a scene. Basically, we stood behind velvet ropes out front for a half hour, screamed, and waved pictures at the Haygoods as they got out of a limo. It was actually a LOT of fun! And I had the opportunity to meet a few other members of the message board, which is always a blast! The guys were great at working the crowd and signed autographs for everyone there even though it meant hanging out for far longer than they usually do.

Alright, so that’s it! We got up the next morning and headed back to Texas. I realize that this update has been a little dry, but there is an AMAZING video coming soon that ought to make up for it. I’ll keep you posted!

I want to leave you with one last picture taken somewhere in Arkansas. This sign greeted us as we walked out of a Quiznos after lunch. We like to think that it’s the Haygood’s way of saying that they’ll always be with us. 🙂

Haygoods Show—Cassandre’s Hangout—Haygoods Show—Dominic’s Alter-ego—Haygoods Taping—Haygoods Sign.

Sheesh. I swear that none of this was on purpose. I couldn’t have planned it this way if I tried.

Author: Jason Hunt

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13 Comments

  1. Hahaha… Ok, your blg was totally worht waiting a whole week for. I am lauging really hard. I can’t beleive you put up the picture of me and Shawn, you are such a goob. anyways… Can’t wait for the video to come out, that is going to be even better than this!! lol

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  2. WOW! Jaseremy! Awesome blog……wish I coulda been there to meet you buutttt I went the week b4 u did. RATS!

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  3. That was just beautiful. *dabs eyes*
    My dd and I were there Sat nite – would have loved to meet you. Guess that means you need to ‘Haygood stalk’ somemore to met more MBer’s.

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  4. Awwww…I wish I could have met your guys too! *sigh* I guess it’s back to the stalking. 🙂

    Shelby, I almost said something to a girl at the taping that I THOUGHT looked like you….kinda glad that I didn’t now. Like I said, I am really bad with faces.

    Coulda been awkward. Hee hee hee.

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  5. OH MY GOSH! That was so long! But, worth the 20 minute read (yes, it takes me a little longer than most).
    And…
    YOU ARE SOOOOOO A STALKER!

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  6. haha. wow. that took a while to read! but it was well worth it! sounds like you had a great branson trip! it’s quite funny how pretty much everything you did was related to the haygoods! =P

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  7. Laughed out loud several times, and I’ve already heard all the stories. Your sister isn’t really mad because you told every blooper in her weekend. She’s just pretending to be. And she didn’t even complain to me about it….much. Maybe we’ll go with you guys next time. I think you get up earlier when you’re on your own, though, and get to do more. See you soon!

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  8. oh my gosh, LONG!!!! hahaha. Not gonna lie, I skimmed over the second half but stopped for a full minute to gaze at the beauty that is Tim Hayworth. Haygood. Whatever. Names aren’t important.

    He’s the love of my life.

    The end.

    P.S. SHHHHH I realize that he’s married.

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  9. This was such an entertaining read I couldn’t stop, and I ended up being almost 15 minutes late for work! haha! Glad you had such a fun trip, and your reviews made me add a couple more shows to my growing list of shows to see when (if ever) I go 🙂 Any better pics of Michael’s new haircut???

    ~Trudi Rose

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  10. OK, I’m probably going to leave a half dozen comments, but I’d just like to say… Tim didn’t have any problem getting my name correct. Of course, we do rhyme, maybe it was easier for him to remember. 🙂

    Oh, and tell your sister that she’s allowed to act all giddy over Shawn. When we left the show, the first thing I did was call my 11 year old daughter to tell her that Dom touched me.

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  11. OK, just 2 comments. We also saw Pierce Arrow and Six this weekend. Pierce Arrow was really good, and I partly went on your recommendation from March, so thanks for that. I’m not sure about the pacing of the show, but when it worked for me, it really worked for me.

    We’d seen Six before, and thought they were just as good this time as they were in March. Maybe even better.

    However, my husband did spit out his water when the lady beside me asked me if I’d ever seen the Haygoods and how they liked them. He thinks I’m probably not the most unbiased person to respond to that question.

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  12. Ok, so I read both Kim and your blogs, and I definately say there is major competition as to who writes the best Haygood reviews. I laughed out loud reading both, and I would have cried out of jealousy, except, I’m watching the 2006 Christmas show now, and I’m seeing them in 3 months. So all the more power to you both. Sorry, I’m running short on time, so hopefully Kim will read this too, so she know’s how much fun her reviews are also. Glad you had such a great time…and I’m so glad you’re a Haygood fan, you always make it so much fun. 🙂 Thanks man. Tell your sis she’s funny too. 😉 I’ve called friends when big Haygood happenings occur 🙂 They always laugh with me…or at me…one or the other 😉

    Ok…that was long enough 🙂

    Minnesotagirl

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  13. Dude. My mom just wanted to see when I was Minnesotagirl. And, here it is. Oh, the good times…:-)

    With love,
    Shanna

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