Mom-Daughter Trip

I’ve been a bit remiss about posting recently and I always do like to showcase trips we take.   Here’s the scoop on a trip from last month.

My mom turned eighty in August.   For years (and prior to the pandemic), she had told us she wanted to visit Iceland on her eightieth.  Well, obviously, that was out this year.

Instead, my sister and I put together a little getaway that was drivable and safe.  We had a great time!

We kept the destination a secret from her which I am sure drove her crazy.

I say it was drivable.  After their eight hour drive to my house (and an overnight here), we headed out on our magical mystery tour.  Along the way, mom would offer up some guesses hoping for confirmation.  We kept mum.

What was our destination?  Bentonville, Arkansas.  Yes, that is the land of Walmart BUT if you have never visited this small city, you’re missing out on some fabulous art, food and fun.  (You don’t have to visit Walmart.)

Our first stop was the farmers market in downtown Bentonville.  This is truly an event.   The entire town square (and then some) is blocked off with farmers, artists, and artisans.  It’s amazing.  

After the FM, we dined at Table, a cool little spot that we picked because we could set outside.  (We tried to dine alfresco as much as possible.)  We ordered the lamb burger (special of the day), the chicken salad, and the veggie (Beyond Burger) burger.
All was good.   The Beyond burger was a double patty instead of the thicker ones I’m used to.  Still good and would order again.  The chicken salad looked good with sautéed onions (which was interesting but delicious).  The dressing was outstanding.   The lamb burger recipient ate the whole thing.  We were also introduced to Black Apple cider, a local brew.  Must try the hibiscus option!  Cute place.  Recommend.

We walked off lunch at  The Momentary.  This is a newish spot and is associated with Crystal Bridges.   I had no idea what to expect.  (Their website lacked a little as far as information, IMHO).  I was pretty blown away by the exhibits and the staff was super friendly.   There was one thought-provoking installation after another.  I should have taken more pictures but this is a remarkable place.   The art and installations were so evocative.  I want to experience the rest of what The Momentary has to offer, like the concert venue and The Tower.  Next time for sure.

The Onyx coffee bar (located onsite) is super cool as well, and I loved the pink hues and the conveyor belt delivery.We stayed at 21C, museum hotel.   I have stayed at the OKC location three times and I love it. If I had not stayed at 21c OKC before this one in Bentonville, I would have been impressed.  Instead, I kept comparing the two.   What is great about the Bentonville hotel is the service and the location.

I was expecting more art but please note that two of the galleries were closed while we were there for our two night stay.   There was very little art on the guest floors and nothing in the rooms.    I am guessing that this was a hotel in a previous life and that may be why it lacked some cool vibes (again, I kept comparing to OKC’s that is located in an old car factory).

But, the art that was on display was very thought-provoking and I appreciated that.   I will probably mark this off my list but I do want to visit every single one of the properties in the 21C organization now, though.

Green penguins are their “thing” and the little guys move around as they please.  They’re everywhere!

The next day we visited Crystal Bridges.  This was my third visit.  Again, I’m not a Walmart fan so I never really wanted to like this place, but it is fabulous and Alice Walton’s collection (which you can always visit for free) is beyond words.  This again is a remarkable place.

We went a bit early and walked one of the trails.  As I bent down to look at an interesting plant, my sister shushed me.  She had spotted this family.

They were not scared at all.

It is the tenth anniversary of the museum and there was a special exhibit focusing on the past ten years.   Really, I can’t tell you how great this museum is.  Here’s us recreating The Lantern Bearers by Maxfield Parrish which is part of the collection.Most of the pieces above were from the Crystal Bridges at 10 exhibit.  For many more pictures of the museum (and the architecture is fantastic), you can visit my post from our 2012 trip.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian is a relatively recent addition.  It is amazing—first, that they were able to move it from New Jersey.  Secondly, it is just a work of art.  Definitely book your FREE tickets online before you visit so you can get inside.   We paid a bit extra for a guided tour and it was well worth it.

These were photos from a 2017 trip, soon after the house was moved in and reconstructed.

Here’s a teaser about the architecture but I am a sucker for a museum restaurant.  Eleven doesn’t disappoint and we had a fabulous brunch here of an ancient grains salad (top) and brisket hash (bottom).

After our two days in Bentonville, we journeyed on to Eureka Springs where we stayed in the cutest hotel, The New Orleans.

The staff was great.  (The hotel bartender was not.)  It really had the Nola vibe down and I would stay here again.

Eureka Springs is a quirky little place (said with much love).  We were there on a Monday and a lot of the businesses were closed.  We did have a great meal at The Grotto.  Phone was dead so no photos.

To close, here’s a photo of us in front of some apt art.

Mom has always been adventurous and here’s to many more years of mother-daughter trips with her and Sis!

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