{Arkansas} Adventure

Monday, June 11, 2012

When Tim asked me what I wanted for my birthday I wasn't actually sure if he'd be up for a road trip to Arkansas. Turns out this ended up being one of our most favorite adventures yet!

One of the best parts was listening to lots of Van Morrison, James Taylor, Ben Howard & Bon Iver.

Our first stop was the Beaver Dam Store where I grew up buying Cedar Creek jerky with my dad.

It was so good to walk on it's creaky floors again and to see Charlotte still working the register. Crazy.

After buying our fishing licenses we drove to my old lake house. {Insert favorite & safest place here}

It had been 18 years since I had seen it last, but it still looked and smelled the same. #perfect

I used to spend summers here on the back deck with my grandparents looking at the lake, watching deer, feeding the hummingbirds, and eating vanilla bean ice cream with Skittles. {Yep. Skittles}

I also used to gash my knees on these steps while running down to the waterfront to fish.

We used to mark our biggest catches with nails hammered into this tree. Seeing these again was overwhelming good.

Beaver Lake is where I learned how to top-water bass fish, drive a boat, waterski, set trotlines, build bonfires, and skinny dip. {Thanks Vic}

It's also where I'd scour the shore for shells, broken lures, fossils, and fun pieces of driftwood.

Tim and I found the chain from our old dock which totally made my heart ache, but it was still soooo good.

Such wonderful memories with my here. So grateful.

Next we drove into downtown Eureka Springs.

And ate at one of my favorite places, Bubba's BBQ. We ordered ribs for two. {Big surprise}

We also stayed at this amazing little cottage right off of Pine & Spring Street.

We walked everywhere and stuffed our bocas at Mud Street Cafe (be sure and order their coconut cream pie for breakfast).

We also had dinner at Ermilio's which we highly recommend. Amazing service. Amazing food.

One of my birthday wishes was to spend a day fly fishing with Tim on the White River.

So we did. We fished with olive wooly buggers, midges, scuds, and pheasant tails ...

We fished our hearts out.

And didn't catch a damn thing. It was perfect.

We were content to just enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Saw lots of white-tailed deer, blue herons, and wood ducks.

Loved breaking in my new fly rod. An amazing birthday gift from Tim.

Really, I'm so grateful to be married to this dude. He embraces all parts of me and doesn't give up on our marriage when things get hard.

On our way back to Dallas we picked some of these alongside the road. {My grandma Anne's favorite}

We also stopped here. {Like finding a needle in a haystack but Tim was relentless}

After taking one last look at the Arkansas hills we headed home. It was such an incredible trip. Emotional, but so good. How was your weekend? Packed with things and people that fill your heartbox? Would love to know your safest place growing up. Do you ever go back and visit it?



Han said...

We instigated a new family date night. Sunday after Our Sidekick has contact time with his Mum we come home or go somewhere and hang out as a family.

This week we tried to fly our kite but it wasn't windy enough (Chris kept saying we should go back inside but I was like WE WILL TRY IT ONE MORE TIME JUST IN CASE!!!!!) Okay so it didn't work and we ended up heading back inside but we managed to build the kite without falling out and then play a board game as a family. I came in last but I had the best time doing it and crocheting at the same time.

Bring on next week - I think it's my choice for activity!!! woot woot!

Irene said...

Hot dang I dig your blog!

My husband and I went to visit my best friend in Santa Ynez, CA. Rolling hills, oak trees, and wine tasting in Los Olivos at Roblar. Hanging out on a 20 acre ranch at a REAL cowboy's house with horses (we fed them carrots)and a home filled with all things a classy cowboy would have. He played his drums and we rocked out shaking tambourines and dancing. Happy times!

Kristina said...

Looks like you had amazing birthday weekend :)

My safest place growing up would definitely be a small lake in Carinthia, Austria. I used to spend every summer there with my family. Sadly, they've turned the once family owned hotel at which we used to stay into a conference hotel. But I still love to go back for at least one day (we now spend our summer vacations in the same area but at a different lake) just to remember all the great times we had there. It'll always be my happy place :)

Anonymous said...

This post was uhh-mazing. Made my eyes well up a bit. It sounds like the most wonderful weekend with someone who loves you SO much it hurts.
My bestie and myself spent the day Sunday wedding planning (eek!)
Other than that, it was a weekend of doing nothing, which I love.
Glad to see you had a great birthday trip. You deserve it.

Julie said...

Yay for good birthday trips!

My safest spot is my Granny and Grandad's house. Visiting them in the summer and at Christmas, I remember stiff white sheets, chenille bedspreads, homemade fried chicken, snapping peas and playing under the giant oak trees in their yard. The. Best. I am so blessed to still have them around to visit between semesters!

Anonymous said...

Fun Fact: your grandma Anne's favortie flower is called "Queen Anne's Lace." Maybe she is into the name as much as the pretty factor?

wildchild said...

jeez lousie, this post had so much goodness in it. i'm glad you had such a wonderful birthday celebration :)

my favorite, safest place is the family bible camp that my mom, brother, sister, and i go to every year. it's on a lake here in Upstate NY and it's just another home for us. the same families usually go every year so we've made life long friends and it's a chance to spend a whole week together as a family. i've had to miss a few for missions trips or my fiance's boot camp graduation, but this year, i'll be going to almost the whole thing and bringing my new husband with me, fresh off our honeymoon :)

Beth said...

I loved Eureka Springs when I visited there several years back. So quaint and pretty.

My safe place was probably church camp (does that sound cliche?) My family was going through a lot when I was growing up, and the feeling of family that I had at church camp every summer was unlike anything else. I still visit there sometimes, and it always takes me back to some wonderful memories. The smells, sounds, etc. are still the same.

Holly said...

Wow Emily, I have been to almost every place in your post. I grew up in Fayetteville, but my parents lived in Eureka for about 5 years and you for sure hit up the best places to eat. Since my dad passed away in August he had requested we put his ashes in Beaver Lake as it had the best memories for us as a family! I have gone fishing there so many times. Glad you had such a fun weekend. Greetings from the Shelton's in NC!

Sara said...

So glad you had a great birthday weekend! It looked like you guys had great weather to be outside enjoying time together which always helps a 'good' weekend turn into a 'great' weekend! Some of the things you posted about have given me ideas of what my husband and I can do for our first wedding anniversary next weekend, so a big thanks for that. Can I also just say how wonderful it is that you two can enjoy a day next to the lake just being together and fishing? How cool is that?!

I posted about my weekend here - http://youandmearewe.blogspot.com/2012/06/happy-monday-friends.html - if you care to read about it :) It was nowhere close to being as exciting as your weekend was, that's for sure!

Megrobs said...

Glad to see Bubba's is still going strong! Love that place!

Molly Roberson said...

I can't stop smiling--too perfect!

Katelynn said...

I'm a huge fan and read daily! I probably passed you sometime this weekend! We were at Ermilio's Friday night for dinner, and saw Bubba! This is also my special place. So many memories here! My grandparents have owned a place on Holiday Island for years, and now my parents and aunts and uncles all own condos on the same street.

Thanks for your wonderful ministry to others!

Joy said...

Looks like a great trip! Safest place for me was always Camp Cedar Crest near Big Bear, CA. Visited last year just for a few minutes, but I visit in my mind frequently. :)

Lea said...

Go Arkansas! I call it home! Safest place- my street in Pine Bluff, AR. Fun times of walking with friends, cookouts, bonfires, and four-wheel riding.

Taylor in Illinois said...

I'm SO glad to see that you visited Eureka Springs! I absolutely adore that place...it has such charm. I almost felt like I was visiting there, again- thanks to your photos.

ErinAnneWithAnE said...

I just absolutely love your blog and was so tickled to see the pictures of Eureka Springs. My sweetheart proposed there two months ago, on a park bench, on a similar sounding roadtrip. That place holds lots of magic! Happy belated birthday Em!

Today's Letters said...

loved reading about all of your safe places. #toogood

Katharina said...

@Kristina: Same here! My family and I always spent teh summers in Carinthia, what lake are you talking about? Just curious ;) My safe haven is Weissensee. Beautiful memories.

Colleen K. said...

My safest place was.... wait for it.... Eureka Springs, AR!!! My godmother lived there and I went there in the summers. I just revisited there with my sweet hubs last week. We ate at Ermilio's, Mud Street Cafe, and Oasis ( a cash only local, yocal Eureka, Mexican hole in the wall. We window shopped in the galleries and swam from the cliffs at Beaver Lake. My heart hurts every time I leave there!

Today's Letters said...

colleen, no way! so glad we share the same safe place. also glad you got to revisit. next time i'll add the oasis to our list!

Angela said...

Reading the post of this most magnificent road trip to the past made me tear up. How I long to create such beautiful memories for my children - to give them a place to go back to.

Today's Letters said...

a, it's always the simplest things that make a childhood memorable! as longs as kids have a safe place to play in the dirt and explore their childhood will be memorable :)

bigsis said...

Arkansas is my home (though I don't live there now). Love this.

JimmieJane said...

Gorgeous post!! I've just found your blog and am soaking in the posts like a delicious bubble bath :)

May I ask where exactly did you stay- that blue cottage looks adorable, and I'm planning a roadtrip there for my boyfriend and I, and would love a recommendation on where to stay!

Today's Letters said...

jimmiejane, you can find out more about the cottage we stayed at here! http://www.historiccottages.com/cricket.htm

Joy Tilton said...

Just found your great blog while searching for a picture of Mud Street Cafe! We live closeby, about 25 miles from Eureka so reading your words touched my heart. It's those memories that are precious, so glad you had a good time! Our daughter lives near Dallas, at Denton so we visit your neck of the woods often. Come for a visit to Granny Mountain!

Today's Letters said...

joy, i'm so glad you found our blog! we loved mud street cafe and all things eureka springs. and YES to visiting granny mountain! xoxo

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