Monday, November 01, 2004

Eureka Springs

We took off Thursday to go to Eureka Springs with our Friends/Neighbors Ryan and Kristy across the street. We stayed in a cottage up on Hillside right about at the intersection with Bridge St.

Stopped at the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield on the way down where I lusted after some very light and compact tents and sleeping bags. For about $500, Vicki and I could backpack anywhere in the Rockies and camp and stay warm with little effort. Ah, the back country!

Got down to Eureka Springs kind of mid-afternoonish and walked down Bridge Street to the Downtown area where we looked at a few shops, drank some Ace Pear Cider at a bar where apparently the bikers like to hang out. Ate at the "Local Flavor" restaurant, and walked back up to the cottage. After dark, we drove up to the Cresent Hotel and had a carriage ride (ghosts!) and looked at all the pretty Victorian houses and Halloween decorations.

Sacked out, got up and ate breakfast (we had our own little kitchen) and walked downtown again, did a little shopping. We walked back to the cottage briefly and back downtown again and browsed some more until it started to rain. After lunch at Geraldi's (very good pizza which was talked about for the rest of the trip) we went up to the Balcony at the Basin Hotel and had a couple of beers.

There was an "En Femme" conference/weekend going on at the Basin Thur-Sun, so there were lots of guys in drag -- there with their wives. Some with their mothers. A few with their sisters. And some with each other as well. Most of them were pretty obvious. A couple you had to look twice. The majority of them looked pretty "matronly" with very masculine features on their faces and broad shoulders. A couple had some pretty nice legs -- but 5-6" heels with do that for about anybody ;-) Most didn't walk or eat or talk like women. But they appeared to be having a good time... and gave people plenty to talk about.

Friday night we ate at DeVitos, a very nice Italian restaurant right downtown. Went home and sat around the fake fire and talked and went to bed.

Saturday we went and rode the local Eureka Springs Railroad train, then drove back downtown and hit a shop or two, ate at the Mud Street Cafe. I went and bought this glass cube with a 3-D Kamakura Buddha etched inside of it that sits on a rotating turntable with LED's. It's pretty cool.

At one point in the trip I remember driving up Mountain Street -- which has got to go up at about 35 degrees straight up the side of the "mountain". We hit a patch of wet leaves and wondered if we were going to make it there for a second.

Most of the shopping was light. We got an inexpensive nubuck jacket for Vicki. I got a cheap (well, inexpensive but pretty nice) lockblade knife, and Vicki got one of those little purses that converts to a backpack like Cami has. And Vicki bought a few gifts for the boys.

Anyway, Ryan and Kristy had a spa afternoon, and Vicki and I just started up Spring Street from downtown and looked at the town and houses ... eventually reaching the intersection with Hillside. The people at the Episcopal Church wanted to show us their stained glass windows and we went in there with the cleaning lady -- who goes to a different church but cleans this one (how odd is that). She also had the curious speech habit of saying " 'n-everything-else" at the end of at least every other sentence. Which was amusing... at first.

We walked up Spring Street to Crescent Dr, and went up that a little ways and found a trail that went through the woods up to the Hotel. We even saw Molly (Kristy's Ford Escape) and walked down the other side of the "mountain" on Spring Street, past Grotto Spring, around the NE side of the mountain and back "home".

We went to dinner at the Autumn Winds out on 62 somewhere and had very good food and this chocolate souflett that was nothing short of incredible. I'm gonna have to learn to make that.

And then Sunday we pretty much broke down camp and packed Molly up. Vicki and Kristy went for a morning walk (same one up over the mountain that Vicki and I took the day before only this time it didn't start downtown) , went to look at the big Jesus (Christ of the Ozarks, this huge white statue of Jesus with outstretched hands that looked directly at our cottage all weekend fromt he other side of the valley) and we took off for Springfield to eat at Lambert's (you know, the "throwed rolls" place with incredible tasting rolls and fried okra) and then had a pretty uneventful trip home through the rain.

So -- that was about it.

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