Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Break?

Spring Break? Has it already come and gone?

Day 2 hikers.
Once again we had an action packed week off from work. Here are a few phone pics of all of our shenanigans.

We set out early Sunday morning for good ol' Hot Springs Arkansas. Now this was a total shot in the dark because no one in my family had actually visited Hot Springs. Each family member had to submit a family vacation idea and mine was Hot Springs, the pressure was on! Twelve people ranging from 3 to 72 years old piled into two SUVs and set out for Arkansas.....the Natural State.

Cue up Willie...we are on the road again!

Don't worry, he wasn't driving:)

We stayed at Cozy Acres. I will be totally honest, driving up to this place I was sweating bricks. I had found this cabin online and the photos looked nice but after the 4th trailer park we passed I was getting a little nervous. I was very happy when we finally did pull in. This was a great spot if you are planning a trip to Hot Springs. Just FYI, it's about 30 minutes from the actual historic district through some winding Arkansas back roads.

View from our back porch

Day 1: Unpack, relax, play games, eat dinner

Enjoying some wine and a view

Day 2: We spent the morning lounging around which was really nice because we never really do that as a family. Mr. R has become addicted to dominoes after the marathon tournament that went on last week. After lunch we headed out to Hot Springs National Park which is literally in the town center. My brother, sister, Mr. R, 8 year old niece, and 4 year old nephew left first for the long hike. Just under 3 miles. That's a lot for little legs.....I'm talking about me:)
We later met up with the entire family for a shorter hike and then headed back for more drinking, relaxing, and games...I think I had a nap in there somewhere.

My girl MG!

I'm not quite sure what's happening here????
Last leg of the hike we starting losing steam!
The R's....all three of us!
Crasher Man!!

Day 3: We hit the town....not a whole lot to hit y'all! We had already driven past bath house row the day before and we decided when your in you're in Hot Springs, bathe you must! Me, Mr. R, my mother, brother, and brother-in-law woke up at the crack-o-dawn to be the first ones in line at the Buckstaff Bath House. What. An. Experience. A grown woman....eeeerrr several women saw be in all my glory. Hello Arkansas! One even bathed me, yep, it happened. Naked in a bath tub full of mineral water and scrubbed by a stranger. I might have enjoyed it if I wasn't totally freaking out. Do me a favor. Google Sitz bath Hot Springs....it happened....to all of us! The hardest I have laughed in a long time was hearing Mr. R describe his Sitz bath experience!!

Buckstaff Baths, Hot Springs

You cannot take your phones or a camera past the locker room, with good reason, so I do not have any actual shots of the bathing process. I will tell you if you are in Hot Springs you should try it. Go in willing to do and show just about anything. All of the women were so super nice and the stories and the laughter once we all got back together pretty much made the trip.

Buckstaff Baths, Hot Springs
We had breakfast at the famous Pancake Shop after the baths where we met up with the rest of the crew. After breakfast half went to the Alligator farm and half went antique shopping. Guess where I went? After an afternoon nap we enjoyed the lake. Fishing, paddle boats, and a little more porch sitting.

Day 4: When traveling with my brother not one moment goes unplanned. Our cabin check-out was at 10am and wouldn't you know ol' D planned a sunrise hike, out the door at 6:45. This was really a great hike and well worth it! We just hopped over to Ouachita National Forest and hiked a quick 4 mile trail. 
Oh hey Hot Springs!
I swear I wore make-up and something other than that old grey sweat shirt on this vacation but that is all that got photographed.

I had one of those moments on this trip. You know, the moment when you stop what you are doing and just look around for a second. As I am playing cards with my niece the little boys were running around together. My sister sitting across from me reading. A game of dominoes in the background. All the people I love in one room in total harmony. It's a surreal feeling and I hope my family felt it too because it was oh-so great!
We came home Wednesday night to a happy dog and spent the rest of the week working on the house. We closed out the weekend spending time with great friends. Mark it down for another great spring break y'all!

Happy Hot Springs!

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