Monday, July 20, 2009

FUN, FUN & more fun - Eureka Springs & Branson

The seven of us who did the recent book study at our Tuesday evening Bible Class took a trip Friday to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to the Great Passion Play. We meet at 8 a.m. and took 2 cars. I took my car and drove all the way. Debbie took her car and drove to Eureka Springs. The girls kept changing cars so that we weren't all just spending time with the same group.

(from left to right, Ann, Wantha Ann, Sandra, Gloria, Debbie, Susan - I'm taking the photo)
(click to enlarge all photos)
Checking into the motel.
We had 2 adjoining rooms with a door between us. Ann, Wantha Ann & I shared a room.

Sandra & I at the darling Sandwich Shoppe where we had lunch.

Inside of the Sandwich Shoppe.

At the table. The food and service were great. When we got up to leave a man sitting behind us said, "I hate to see you gals leave. You gals are having such a grand time." We were!!!

We had ordered our tickets in advance which covered all the activities for the day and the various museums. After checking into the office we headed for the the area with different depictions of Bible stories by costumed people. It started with Jesse, the Shepherd, who told his story and then also told us about the Cross Back Donkey.

Cross Back donkey that has a dark line above the front legs and then a dark line from his head down the middle of his back forming a cross.

Next was the woman at the well.

Then the story of Passover with the blood on the door and the passover dinner inside.

An exact sized replica of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Here we are before the Holy Place with David who told the story.

Next was the Rock of Witness from Joshua 24:24-29. Then Mary the mother of Jesus telling about the birth of our Lord from her view. Then Mary Magdalene.

Next was Peter, the fisherman, and his story of following the Lord and then betraying Him.

Then Moses and the 2 tables with the commandments and ended with the hill and the 3 crosses of the Crucifixion.

(back left to right: Sandra, Gloria, Debbie, Susan - front: Wantha Ann, Ann, Susan)
We are leaving the above exhibits and standing by the Eastern Gate. You entered in the right entrance opening "Redemption" and exited through the left opening "Grace".
Next we went to a museum about the Creation story with various displays. We were given a handheld device that you could listen to the description of each numbered exhibit. I went through the first part and exited early because I did not agree with the story they were giving about the pre-historic animals.

Then the Bible Museum. Very interesting and full of MANY old and different Bibles of all sorts. After we were through with the Bible Museum and the Gift Shop, of course!! we went back briefly to the motel to freshen up.

We had to be back to the dining room by 5 p.m. for a delicious meal of baked chicken, corn-on-cob, cantaloupe & melon salad, sweet potato fries, herb flavored biscuit and chocolate cake. Tea or water to drink. The meal was great. The entertainment was The Texan's. A family: Dad, Mom & 31 year old son, and then 2 singer-musicians, a keyboard player and a guitar player. The trio also did several comedy routines. It was a most delightful program.

After the meal & program we attended The Potter. It was a man who looked like we picture Jesus looking. He sat at a Potters Wheel as he made a beautiful vase and told a story of how Jesus molds and makes us if we will but be willing to stay in His hands and let Him do the work. It was by far my favorite event of this entire trip. I cannot believe I did not get a single picture of him, the wheel or the vase!! I think because I was so awestruck with the beauty of it all.
After The Potter show we had some time before the 8:15 performance so we took in the Art Museum. Many wonderful works of religious art.

Pictures are not allowed in the ampi-theater or during the play so this is from their website.

“America's #1 Attended Outdoor Drama”- The Institute of Outdoor Drama -

An unforgettable and inspiring performance enjoyed by more than seven million people from all over the world for over 35 years.

Experience the wonder and glory of the Greatest Story Ever Told -- The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas! A cast of hundreds perform amid historically accurate stage settings, The Great Passion Play brings to life the thrilling, epic drama surrounding Christ’s last days on earth, death and resurrection.

About the Play
Performed in our stunning 4,100 seat panoramic outdoor amphitheater, The Great Passion Play features state-of-the art sound and lighting effects and original music in a dramatic two-hour presentation of the last week in the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth.

Witness the colorful spectacle of the marketplace, the pageantry of the chariots and camel caravan, and the hustle and bustle of the crowds as they go about their daily activities drawing water from the well or herding their sheep through the streets of Jerusalem.

The play is not totally Biblically accurate, but close enough to be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Mickey & I had been here to see it years ago with our children.
After the play we went back to the motel. The last time I remember looking at the clock it was 2 a.m. and we arose at 6:30 a.m.

We could not have had a more lovely day. The hot-hot temperatures in our area were gone and we were blessed with low 80's and beautiful, clear, blue skies. Thank you Lord for this added benefit.

The next morning some of us had the Continental Breakfast and some had a special full breakfast that they prepared. Then it was off to see the Christ of the Ozarks statute.

(click to enlarge to read)

Here we are at this 10' x 10' piece of the Berlin Wall.

(back: Susan, Wantha Ann, Ann, Gloria - front: Debbie, Sandra, Susan)
Inside the lovely old white church with steeple.

The back of the statute. That's the girls at the base. You can see how huge it is. It towers over the area above Eureka Springs and can be seen from the ampi-theater where the play is held

Front view of the statue.

Sculpting the Statue Completed and dedicated in 1966, the statue was sculpted by the late Emmet Sullivan, one of the artisans who sculpted Mount Rushmore. As you view the statue, you may want to keep in mind these interesting facts about Christ of the Ozarks.

Every inch of the remarkable sculpture was built by hand. No poured segments were used in the statue's construction. At an altitude of 1500 feet, the statue is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame and weighs over two million pounds. The foundation, which is virtually welded into the rock of the mountain, required 340 tons of concrete interlaced with steel. During construction, the framework of the statue was completely surrounded by scaffolding. Workers had to build an elevator up the side of the framework in order to reach the statue's higher segments. Taller than most humans, the hands from wrist to fingertip measure approximately7 feet. The statue's arm spread from fingertip to fingertip spans 65 feet.

Our original plans were to come home early Saturday morning after viewing the statue but we decided to go on to Branson, Missouri, which was only 53 miles further, and see the Sight & Sound Theatre production of Noah the Musical. We called ahead the evening before for tickets to the 12:15 p.m. show.
Exterior display of the theater
Interior of lobby and exterior of this beautiful theater in Branson. Again photography was not allowed of the Musical and interior theater. I don't know how I missed getting a shot of all of us here but didn't.
The production was delightful and well worth the cost and extra time to see while we were so close by.
On the way home Ann drove Debbie's car and Debbie rode back with me and Wantha Ann. The two vehicle stayed right together the entire trip up and back and I drove my orange HHR every mile of the 480 mile round trip.
We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Springfield on our way home and arrived home at 8:30 p.m. Tired and very happy.
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard for hour after hour. What a wonderful group of young woman the Lord has blessed me to be surrounded with :o) AND, I might add, I kept up with them every step of the way!!!!!
Thank you Lord for this wonderful Bible Study group and this delightfully fun trip.

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Mari said...

What a wonderful get away! You girls packed a lot into your time. Glad you had this fun opportunity!

Momma Roar said...

It sounds like such a wonderful time away!! I'm so glad you took so many pictures to document it for us. What a great trip!!

I love to find things that "link" us - did you know the original Sight & Sound is in my area? And, the man who started it used to attend our church. T grew up with his daughters! :-)

PEA said...

Oh Susan, it sounds like a wonderful trip and I so enjoyed looking at all the pictures. That statue is absolutely huge, it's awesome!! Glad you had such a fun time:-) xoxo

Lisa said...

How nice that you got to go to these special places.
There is nothing like the Passion Play! My youngest two are now old enough for it to make some impact.

We'll be leaving for Branson in about 8 days. Can't wait!
We gave the kids a choice between Georgia, Colorado or Branson...they all squeeled in favor of Branson...LOL!

Joy said...

Oh my goodness what a great trip to do to wrap up your Bible Study. Those were some amazing pictures and so many things to do. There are so many little jewels up in that area to do and see. I'd love go and visit all those places you did.
Thanks for sharing your trip and your sweet girlfriends with us.


Shirley said...

Wow - what a wonderful trip! I see LA beat me to mentioning that the original Sight and Sound is in PA. John is second cousin to the man who started it. John and I saw Noah when we just dating and I visited him in PA. Beautiful production.

Pam said...

What a wonderful place! I can see it was right up your alley!! I'm so happy y'all got to go. That sandwich shop was darling!

michelle said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Jack and I have not been down to Eureka Springs in a long time. And neither of us care much for Branson. Just not our cup of tea but I am glad you enjoyed yourselves.

Dawn said...

Wow, what a wonderful time together with good friends - and such great activities!

This Country Girl said...

I love the Passion Play in Eureka Springs! We've been many times and always notice something different! As a matter of fact, we have a special Christ of the Ozarks Christmas ornament for our tree every year!

It looks like you all had a wonderful time! That's great!


Anonymous said...

I wondered if the Sight & Sound was the same as the one by LA's area! I've always wanted to go to see it. Maybe someday that will be my way of getting to meet her!

You sure had a full time and it sounds wonderful! I know you love this group of women and I can understand why. What a great trip!

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

What a great trip! A wonderful way for women to spend time together!

Sunny said...

Sounds like you all had an absolutely marvelous time!

retha said...

Huge statue!
I have never heard of the like before! That is the activities and plays. It was well done
and one can definitely see you and the 'gals' had a good time.

pearlie said...

Such interesting places! Thx for sharing.

monarte said...

Susan, I enjoyed reading about your remarkable trip. Esspecially the part about "The Potter", I am a potter and do a similar teaching on my wheel. I would be interested as to where you saw this demonstration and if they have and DVD's of His Demo. or picture's, Or a web site.
I know there is much to learn, throwing pots on my wheel God has taught me many things about being a empty vessel for Him to fill. You can contact me at and please visit my Blog. Much Love in Him. Mona

Tiffany said...

Oh my what a fun trip to take with girlfriends. Especially ones you've been blessed to have Bible study with. Blessings to you and your friends!

Maxine said...

There you go again--having lots of fun! What a neat trip you had! You are indeed blessed to be part of such a nice group and to get to see so many great sights. Keep having fun and staying young, girlie!

Parsley said...

We went to Branson with our daughter in April. I so desperately wanted to drive to the Passion Play but found they weren't showing at that time of year.

Thanks for the great post and review of your trip. Loved it!

MemphisMim said...

Susan, Thanks for sharing your trip to Eureka Springs - I so enjoyed reading about it. It brought back so many wonderful memories of my two visits there. My family and I were also very impressed with the Biblical reenactment during the 'New Holy Land' tour, particularly The Gates of Jeruselum and The Tabernacle. Like you my favorite there was The Potter. I was so touched by it that I checked at the Gift Shop and bought The Potter video to share with my family and friends at home. But sadly the video is a VHS and now my player no longer works. I do have several pictures of The Potter also that I can send you if you would like to see them - you can contact me at Again, thanks for sharing your wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

Hello from Russia!
Can I quote a post "No teme" in your blog with the link to you?