Travel

Hot in Hot Springs!

For our annual girls trip me and a couple of my friends ventured to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I had no clue that it was the hometown of President Bill Clinton.  A fun fact I learned while out there.

Hot Springs to me is a small town with a lot of personality.  For some reason I just felt right at home there. There were a few confederate flags flying around, but for the most part everyone was really nice and friendly. I mean, it is still in the south and I’m from Texas so I’m kinda used to it.

The first thing we did when we got there was go to a bathhouse.  Hot Springs is known for their historical bathhouses.  We went to Quapaw Bath & Spa, built in 1922, of course it’s been renovated since then. It looks just like a modern-day spa on the inside but with special thermal waters that Hot Springs is famous for. wpid-20150807_120439.jpgWe got a package that included a mineral bath, a facial, full body massage and a foot scrub. It was all really nice and relaxing.  Just what we all needed. I can’t wait to go back.

After the spa we did a little exploring down the historic Bathhouse Row.  There are of course bathhouses, shops, tourists attractions and wineries up and down the street. I believe the entrance to the Hot Springs National Park is on this street too, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to go.

After walking around and shopping we went to check in to our accommodations for the weekend. A yurt! A yurt is like a cool teepee.  We booked a yurt at this place called Catherine’s Landing.  They also have an RV park as well as cottages you can rent.  We decided to do something different and try the yurt.  I really enjoyed it! It had a fridge, ac and hardwood floors. It was a little small but we made it work. I wouldn’t mind in staying in one again. wpid-fb_img_1440553406133.jpg

The cool thing about Catherine’s Landing is they have zip lining, canoeing, and scooters. So the next day we had plan to try some of these. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do any of these things and it’s not because we didn’t try.  We were too late with making reservations to zip line, the canoe was plastic and the seats were broken, and none of our scooters would start.  So our day of adventure was an epic FAIL! Which we thought was pretty funny.

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Since that was a bust, we decided to go back into town on Bathhouse Row and do some shopping. We went to a few wineries, a cool coffee shop called Kollective, and my favorite Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe!  There cupcakes are really good and they were on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars!”wpid-20150808_151102.jpg

We also took a cool ride on a duck tour.  No, not to see ducks, that’s what the vehicle we were on was called.  It was kinda like a bus made of metal, but it turns into a boat.  We went on a humorous tour of downtown Hot Springs and Lake Hamilton. Apparently these vehicles were used by the military during World War II. We definitely had a good time on the tour and bought a few duck beaks as souvenirs. wpid-20150808_124139.jpg

Overall, we had a really good time in Hot Springs.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a nice, fun, and relaxing getaway.

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Travel

Home of the King!

Recently my husband and I went to Memphis for a family reunion.  It’s a pretty soulful town.  It’s a great place to go hear live music, eat good food and meet some interesting people. We started at the legendary Beale St. It was really fun!  Kind of reminds me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans or Sixth Street in Austin, if you have been to either of those places.

Beale St. 2Beale St. has lots of bars and great places to eat. They have everything from famous Memphis BBQ, Cajun, burgers, pizza and much more. I only wish we could have hung out there longer. I don’t feel like we got the full experience of Beale St.  We will definitely be going back.

People who know me know that I am an Elvis Presley fan. Every year during the time for his birthday or the memorial of his passing, I obsess over all things Elvis.  I watch his movies and TV specials all day.  I listen to the Elvis Sirius XM station constantly.  It gets pretty intense. So I could not go to Memphis without visiting the Home of the King…Graceland! Going to Graceland definitely rekindled my Elvis obsession. I was literally like a kid in a candy store. I really enjoyed myself!

wpid-20150802_171709.jpgThe only complaint I have about Graceland is that it wasn’t bigger.  It was also in a weird part of town.  I’m sure when Elvis lived there it was a totally different neighborhood, but things have changed. I can’t complain though because I got to walk in the footsteps of Elvis Presley. When you pull into the parking lot and approach the pathway that leads to your tour, there is a great photo opp near the sign that says Graceland “The Home of Elvis Presley.”

You check in at the central hub of Graceland, where the ticket booth and gift shops are (don’t know what it’s called) :/ You buy your tickets if you don’t already have them and you load a bus. What’s really cool and unique about this tour is that everyone gets an iPad and headphones. You get to see a lot of cool multimedia stuff and hear the voice of John Stamos! (Uncle Jesse!)

20150802_152136You load the bus and you ride over to the actual Graceland Mansion. The property is really beautiful and has been very well maintained of course. As soon as you enter the Mansion you hear John Stamos’ voice telling you all about the front living room and all of the great things that happened there and a little info about the artifacts in the room like photos and furniture that were special to Elvis. As you move from room to room you can use the iPad to learn more!wpid-20150802_142231.jpg

All of the areas in the house were my favorite but the most memorable for me were the trophy room (which use to be the racquetball room) the office and of course the meditation garden where Elvis is buried. It’s such a beautiful serene place.

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Depending on what package you get you also get to see other exhibits like the archive room with tons of Elvis memorabilia and artifacts, his planes and cars, and a dedication to his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi. You can see more pictures from our trip on my Facebook page. Until next time, Thank you, Thank you very much!

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