Monday, March 31, 2008

Eureka!





As in Springs. As in spring break, half of which we spent in Arkansas. My 9 year old wondered why we don't pronounce the "s" at the end. Hence she called it "Arkansauce" all weekend.
We peeled off layer after layer as we got closer to the sound of my complaint that although I'd checked in with weather.com that very morning I still managed to pack all the wrong things. The car thermometer read 82 degrees. However, the next day the temps had dropped to the 30s - 40's and the day was cold and wet. Again I complained I packed all the wrong things as we donned layer after layer of clothing in efforts to get warm. Not to worry: we were staying in a cozy little cottage made all the cozier by the inclement weather. We had fresh coffee, thick comforters, a stack of DVDs we replenished daily and, best of all, no agenda.


Eureka Springs in its heyday was home to something like 30,000 people and is now down to just above 2000. Nestled between green hills, the charming and historic little town is dotted with gingerbread houses, B&Bs, shops and quite an entertaining cast of characters.

A few miles down the road is a 450 acre refuge for rescued exotic animals--it's amazing how many people have procured baby tigers, lions, cougars and bears and attempted to raise them in basements, bedrooms and backyards before becoming confounded by how big and uncontrollable these animals inevitably grew. Many of these majestic animals became permanently handicapped due to owners who had no idea how to take care of them before they eventually offloaded them at the refuge.

One afternoon while carting some heavy ceramics we'd purchased up the very long hill to our cottage we were offered a ride by a car we'd spotted earlier with delight. Covered with fishing paraphernalia, it reminded us of Houston's art car parade which we loved to attend each spring. Turns out that not only did the woman driving the car know of the Art Car Parade, she'd participated in it for the last two years. It's an artsy little place.

And, to top it off, the largest sculpture in North America, Christ of the Ozarks.

2 comments:

donk said...

Paraphernalia?

jenni said...

How fun! My aunt loves this place; I've always wanted to visit.
:)