July 18, 2016

Weekend in Hot Springs

We spent this past weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a quick getaway together.  We have a week-long vacation to Boston booked for September, but decided to do a weekend trip this summer as well.  We found a deal on a hotel a few weeks back and decided Hot Springs would be a good place to go.  I'd been once before with the youth group I worked with on their Mission Trip and David hadn't been, so it was fun experiencing the town together.

David took Friday off work and we loaded up that morning and dropped Lily off with my mom.  While we were at my mom's, it started thundering and then started pouring rain.  So we ended up soaking wet for the beginning of our trip.

We had big plans to stop at one of our favorite places for breakfast tacos on the way out of town, but since it was raining we settled on a drive thru Whataburger breakfast instead!

We stopped in Arkadelphia for lunch.  {In case you can't read it, the restaurant's name is Ta Molly's.  Awesome.}

 Then we headed up "scenic Highway 7" to get to Hot Springs.  Before we went, I had found an article called the Ultimate Hot Springs Bucket List to give us some ideas of what we wanted to do.  For various reasons, we ended up not doing many of the things on the list.  But one thing it mentioned was driving Highway 7 and it said it is listed as one of the 10 most beautiful drives in the US.  We drove the southern part of it into Hot Springs and it was definitely a beautiful drive!

We stayed at the Arlington Hotel which was the perfect location.  It was right off bathhouse row, so it was close to lots of restaurants and Hot Springs National Park.

Friday night we explored our hotel a little and then walked around downtown Hot Springs

We ended up eating dinner at one of the bathhouses that had been converted into a restaurant/brewery.  We enjoyed cheese and meats and crackers as well as pulled pork sliders.

We walked around a little more, spent some time at our hotel's pool and hot tub and then turned in pretty early Friday night after a busy day of driving.

Saturday morning, we had a quick breakfast and then headed out to hike up to the Tower at Hot Springs National Park.  We had purposefully not planned anything for the weekend and decided to just see what we wanted to do when we got to Hot Springs.  One thing I really wanted to do was go hiking.  There were several options for hiking trails, but we decided to take the one up to the observation tower and it was a great morning!

Our trail started at The Grand Promenade and was a .6 mile hike to the top of the mountain.

It was a very steep hike, uphill the whole way, and I needed a lot of water breaks!  But eventually we made it up to the top.  We spent a little time at this lookout before heading up to the tower

From the top of the tower we got to see a lot of great views and took some pictures of Downtown Hot Springs

And of our hotel

And of course a few selfies.  The views from the top of the tower were really awesome

As we hiked back down the mountain to our hotel, we talked about what we wanted to do that day.  We had several options including hanging out at our hotel, booking a dinner on the riverboat, or trying out some of the spa treatments.  But I asked David if he might be interested in trying out Magic Springs Amusement Park and he agreed.  We both thought it sounded like fun and something that we might not do again soon.  

So this is where we spent the rest of our day
Magic Springs is a theme park and water park all in one.  So we got to ride roller coasters and spend some time on the water slides and the lazy river. 

Here are some of the rides we tried out.

It was a really fun afternoon, but this is about how we felt after our last ride...

So we headed back to our hotel room to get cleaned up.  We were tempted to just call it a night and get some rest, but we decided to go out to dinner together for our last night in Hot Springs.  We had planned to go to Rolando's, which is one of the popular Mexican food places near our hotel.  But when we got there, the wait was an hour.  

We looked around and were about to head back to our hotel to just eat at the restaurant there, when I saw this restaurant and asked if we wanted to try it out.  At first I thought it might be Italian since I didn't really know anything about it.  But when we sat down and got our menus we realized it was Mexican food.  And we are so glad we ended up there!

Everything we had was absolutely delicious.  A few fun tidits from these pictures.  As we were starting our appetizers, David said to me "I wouldn't enjoy guacamole or Elote if it wasn't for you."  He said he hadn't really ever tried either of those dishes very much before we started eating together and now he is a big fan of both.  And I was excited to be out to dinner with my "glasses hubby" as I call him when David puts on his glasses at night.  He rarely ever wears his glasses, but I really like it when he does--I think part of it for me is just feeling like we're comfortable enough together to see all sides of each other; I can't really explain it all but I love when he wears his glasses.  Both of our eyes were tired from the sun and wind and chlorine, so I was excited for a dinner out with my glasses hubby!

After the appetizers we enjoyed some tacos--shrimp tacos for me and babarcoa for David--both were absolutely delicious!   We were so glad we ended up at this restaurant by chance!  After dinner, we quickly crashed in our hotel room and got a good night's sleep!

Sunday morning we got up and packed up.  Again, we had originally planned to do breakfast at one of the famous pancake restaurants downtown, but after reading some reviews I realized it would be really crowded on a Sunday morning.  So I found a place right outside of town on our route called Debra's restaurant and we ate breakfast there.

David was happy with his biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, and potatoes.  I had sausage, eggs, potatoes, and pancakes.  Everything was really good and it was a small crowd so we were waited on very quickly.

We drove across the street to Sonic to get some drinks for the road and then started our trip home

As I mentioned before, we had read a lot about Scenic Highway 7, so we decided that since we weren't really in a rush to get home we would take a detour and drive the northern part of the route up to I40 and then come home through Oklahoma.  We ended up off of Highway 7 somehow so it took a little longer than we expected, but the views were great and we enjoyed a day in the car together listening to podcasts and talking about life over the past year.

Last stop of our trip was picking up Lily!  We had a great weekend, but it's always nice to be home

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