Vacationing in Arkansas
This week we are on vacation in the beautiful Ozarks in Arkansas. We only have dial-up internet at our cabin that we are staying at, so I haven’t been spending much time online. Actually, it should be said that the cabin we are staying in is actually a second home for some friends of my in-laws, so it is complete with all the comforts of home and we are quite comfortable here. The house is right on Beaver Lake, and it is so peaceful. There are several whitetail deer that have been spending their time in our front yard, and we can recognize at least one young buck by sight now. Whenever he sees us, he comes near and stares at us with his big brown eyes, waiting for one of us to run some corn out to a birdbath where the deer are accustomed to being fed. We have been pointing out the deer to Adrianna, and she enjoys watching them. One afternoon, she was even the first to spot them and pointed out her little finger out into the yard and said excitedly, “Da!”
So to back up, we left Denver on Saturday and drove to Kansas, where we met up with Greg’s parents and his sister, Kristi. On Monday, Kristi and I had a productive afternoon full of shopping. I got myself two new swim suits, one of which I am especially fond of. Surprising, since it IS, after all, a swim suit. Later on Monday, Jeff and Jess joined us. We left for Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon, arriving at the cabin in Arkansas in the late evening.
On Wednesday, we did some touristy sight-seeing, visiting the War Eagle Mill and spending some time at the river that runs by the mill. Adrianna enjoyed playing with the sand and rocks along the banks of the river, and got herself thoroughly muddy. We then spent the evening playing Trivial Pursuit late into the night. Kristi won.
Thursday found us visiting the Promised Land. Not the real Promised Land, but a drive-through park and petting zoo. We all enjoyed feeding and petting the animals. My favorites were the donkeys, the pony, the little pig, and the deer. Adrianna also enjoyed the donkeys. She even tried to cuddle and hug one of the donkeys through the fence by laying her head against the fence as close as she could get it. She had a huge smile on her face. After the Promised Land, we walked around downtown Eureka Springs, but were disappointed that the shops were all closing down, even though it was only 5:00 p.m. and a very fine evening for strolling and window shopping. So after dinner, we came back to our cabin and watched Ice Age.
On Friday, we rented a pontoon boat and took it out on Beaver Lake for the afternoon. Adrianna was not fond of the boat ride. Between the wind in her face and the life jacket that she was forced to wear, she was not a happy camper and let us all know it by crying quite loudly and she would hardly be comforted at all. After eating a picnic lunch on the boat, we found the perfect little cove, so we stopped the boat and swam. By this point, Adrianna also started to enjoy herself. Her lifejacket was able to come off, and she had fun sitting on the shore playing with all the little, smooth rocks and splashing in the water. I love being in the water, and this lake is so clear and relatively warm. I could have spent all day in the water. Which is probably why I have a very painful sunburn at the moment that feels like a million little needles sticking into my back.
Adrianna cried again on the boat ride back to the docks, but finally we were able to comfort her so that she fell asleep for most of the ride back.
For dinner on Friday, we went to Monte Ne Inn chicken. I can see why you need reservations to get into this place – the food was de-li-cious! They only have one meal on the menu, and they serve it family style. Soup, bread, the best fried chicken ever, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, seasoned green beans, and coleslaw. Did I mention that it was delicious? I was also quite pleased with their thoughtfulness towards young children. When we made our reservation, we of course mentioned that we had one baby with us. When we got there, Adrianna had her own place setting, complete with crackers to munch on while we waited on our meal. Her place setting consisted of plastic dishes (read: unbreakable) and only a spoon (no fork or knife like the adults) and paper napkins (instead of the nice cloth ones we had). I thought that was great. They even had a diaper changing station in the bathroom, which always makes me very happy to see when we are out with Adrianna.
After filling ourselves with this amazing, homecooked meal, we stuffed ourselves even more with some dessert: peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler, or in my case, a delectable piece of warm, chocolate cake served with ice cream. YUM.
One downer on the trip was the loss of my father-in-law’s wallet on Thursday. He is on crutches following an extensive surgery on his ankle, so it is easy to see how it accidently got left behind after paying for some water at a nearby gas station. Friday morning, he went back to the gas station and thankfully his wallet had been turned in with his driver’s license and credit cards intact. But his large amount of cash, reserved for our pontoon boat rental, was gone. We thought about canceling the pontoon boat portion of our vacation, but then we decided that we were all looking forward to it and decided to pool the fee amongst all of us. But when we got to the docks to pick up our boat, we found out that the people who are letting us borrow their cabin had already paid for the boat for us as a gift. (They did not know about the lost cash; they are just very giving people.) We feel so blessed and are so glad we didn’t cancel the boat after all!
We have been taking pictures which I will post after we get back to Colorado.