My parents recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, and my husband and I commemorated their extraordinary milestone by taking them to Branson, Missouri, to see one of their favorite performers, Daniel O'Donnell.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Daniel, he is a warm and personable Irish singer and entertainer, known for his close relationship with his fan base. His name is a household word across Ireland and Great Britain, and his once-a-year shows in Branson are sold out months in advance.
Daniel's music has been described as a mix of country and Irish folk, but it's his renditions of the sacred old hymns we all know and love that touch the hearts and bring tears to the eyes of his audiences.
If you would like to hear Daniel sing "Amazing Grace," you can click on the link below:
Although we had seen Daniel's performances on PBS television, and have several cds of his music, this was our first time to see Daniel perform live ... and it was truly an uplifting and thrilling experience, especially for my parents. My mother actually cried when he took the stage at the beginning of the concert.
As entertaining and fun and outstanding as his performance was, the most thrilling moment came after the show when his fans had the opportunity to meet Daniel and be photographed with him. Needless to say, we were very excited and stood in line for about 15 minutes for the privilege of actually meeting him in person.
I can't say enough good things about Daniel O'Donnell. If you have never had the opportunity to see one of his shows or hear his music, I urge you to do so. He is not only a talented performer, but he is a beautiful person inside, too ... and wins the hearts of his fans, all over the world ... both young and old alike.
As we stood in line, I watched him visit with his fans and could see up close and personal his compassion and respect for each and every person. He took time to visit with them as he autographed copies of his cds and graciously posed with them for photographs.
He took extra time with my parents when my mother told him that we had brought them to see his show in celebration of their 70th anniversary. He seemed to be genuinely pleased and honored, and treated them with utmost kindness and warmth.
Daniel's show was the highlight of the trip, but we also enjoyed a little shopping while we were there. Our hotel, the Hilton Convention Center, located on the waterfront of the downtown historic district, was directly across the street from Branson Landing, an upscale shopping complex. Mama and I especially enjoyed visiting the Brighton store there.
The Ozark Mountains were beautiful this time of year, with plentiful scenes like the one below, which I captured from the car. Not too bad, considering we were traveling at around 70 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but I can honestly say that the memories we shared during our trip to Branson, will be remembered and cherished by the four of us for a very long time.