Monday, May 31, 2010


Our number one reason for our trip to Arkansas, was to see my nephew graduate high school. He is the eldest of my nephew's and nieces and I remember well taking care of him at a young age while his mom—my sister—had to work. He'll be entering the Armed Forces this summer, going to boot camp for the Army. He follows in his mother's footsteps doing this at a time when many are trying to get out of the military. If he plays his cards right he can make a career out of this decision. But I digress…

I only vaguely remember my own high school graduation. It was early in the morning and I really didn't like high school. The only reason I went or did well was to get into college. I knew from a very young age that I was going to attend university. My nephew's graduation was fairly short, held indoors in the evening due to heavy rains, and had at least 3 prayers throughout. Not sure how I feel about this. It is a public school and I had though separation of church and state was law? On one hand, I'm sure they still have Halloween and Christmas parties, on the other, it was weird to hear so many prayers. Different part of the world I guess…

After graduation, we headed to Chilies for the graduation dinner. We had a party of 8 to seat and my sister called ahead twice; once to see if they took reservations and a second time to tell them we were on our way, which is what they asked us to do to prepare (because, no, they didn't take reservations). We pile into the restaurant and take a seat in the waiting area. Will we seperate into sepeart tables? No, we won't. Ok, there'll be a table just as soon as possible. We wait. And wait. And wait some more. Hey, aren't those people getting seated before us? Aren't there about 7 people in that group? What's going on here. The host finally stops by and says completley deadpan, "I'm sorry, I compleelty forgot all about you." It's been about 30-40 minutes now. OK… manager comes out, "We'll really take care of you." So, now another 30-40 minutes after the original host says for at least the third time "are you sure you won't do two seperate tables?" we finally are seated. The taking care of came in the form of free chips. Whoopdie friggin doo. Oh well. Both L and I are patient people and we had no where to be that evening. L was looking forward to a Presidente Margaritta. Uh oh. This is a dry county. Whoops! That's OK, he gets enough Margarittas at home.

Overall, the graduation was nice and I'm happy to see my nephew moving on from High School. I wish him the best as he moves forward with his life.

Up next, a wedding.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A childhood revealed, a wedding and a graduation


This past weekend I had the great fortune of seeing firsthand L’s childhood home and haunts in Hot Springs Arkansas. As part of a weekend adventure to a fellow A-state—we being in the A-state of Arizona of course—I learned of the myriad schools and adventures my husband had as a young child.

The morning after arriving in Little Rock, we spent the morning visiting his granddads house, which was unfortunately now in ruins. It seems, no one has spent time in the house since his death nearly 10 years ago, and the forest primeval is all too eager to gobble up the house as soon as it can.

We then headed to Hot Springs. After the morning just outside of Little Rock, I was unsure of what to expect of the city L grew up in. It's hilly, forested and beautiful in Hot Springs. I immediately fell in love with the history of the city, the wonderful forest trails and the surrounding lakes. I somehow felt even more connected to my husband of 12 years, understanding more of where he came from. We saw… no we stalked his old house; a house he is positive is haunted. I was seriously worried the neighborhood watch was going to call on us—“what are these two youngsters doing at this house!”

After both driving and walking around town for a few hours we finally had some real southern Barbecue at a famous place in Hot Springs called McClard's. We could seriously not stop joking about the name–pronouncing it Mac Lards—but boy was it good food. Vegetarians may want to look away at this time.

One of the main attractions in Hot Springs is the 'Gator Farm, a place with over 200 alligators and other various animals, and some of the biggest darned Cougars I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I got no good pictures of them. The highlight of the trip was the petting zoo full of adorable baby goats and lambs.

After a long day, we stayed the night in the famous Arlington Hotel and Spa. After a latenight drink at the bar we tucked in for the night watching the city go by 10 floors below.

Up next, a graduation.