A Visit to the Natural State for an Opportunity to Relax

Sometimes I think Arkansas gets a bad rap.

In popular culture, it is the butt of many jokes about its backwardness and hillbilly stereotypes.   Arkansas is neither backwards or full of corncob-pipe-smoking hillbillies.  It is beautiful and progressive.

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(No soapbox here, but one of my teachers has told me all she has to do is cross into Arkansas for a $12,000 raise….Who’s the backwards @$$ state here?)

This Natural State, however, offers many opportunities to relax.

Every year for the last eighteen (give or take), we have traveled to the Hot Springs area to watch the horses race at Oaklawn.   The in-laws started inviting us many years ago and a one day trip to the Arkansas Derby has morphed into a four day trip to relax and spend time together as a family.

What follows is our trip in pictures with a few narrative embellishments.

Our first stop was The Ohio Club in Hot Springs for lunch.

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Part of the back bar at The Ohio Club (Hot Springs, Arkansas)

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Reverse image of The Ohio Club from the bar mirror. This place has some history.  The staff here was super nice, friendly and welcoming.

We then wandered across the street to Superior Bath House Brewery, not for brews but for some ice cream.

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Green Tea and Honey Ice Cream and some giant cookies from Superior Bath House.

We took our treats to go so we could stroll long the promenade overlooking Bathhouse Row.

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View of The Quapaw from the Promenade.

A little shopping was in order at State & Pride.

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The interior at State & Pride.

 

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I love this bag!

Since we started our four day vacations here, we don’t stay in Hot Springs but travel outside of town a bit to Lake Ouachita State Park.    There we can enjoy the peace and quiet.

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The view from our cabin’s deck.

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Native Crested Dwarf Iris from one of our hikes.

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Spiderwort

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There is a deer gazing back. We also saw a road runner, Canada goose goslings, and a wild turkey.

Once we hit the cabin, we didn’t dine out once during our stay.  Instead we ate well on lasagna and tortellini soup along with a few treats that will be highlighted later.

I will say that wagering was good to us on Saturday.   The Hubs and I had three superfectas come in between us.  Basically we were able to gamble for free.

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Cupid really disappointed.

The Arkansas Derby favorite, however, was a bust.

 

On our way home we stopped at a couple of wineries and for some authentic BBQ.  More about that later….

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

 

 

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Eat, Pray, Love
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SantaLand Diaries
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My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
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