July 16th - 24th, 2011
Bob, Debe, Eric, Dee, Daniel, Tara, Aiden, Denali, Micah & Chelcy
After loading the 15 passenger van and driving for 8 hours, we finally made it to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We had never been here but heard a lot about the place. Our time sharing units were at Hot Springs Village and they were very nice. Two bedroom units with LOTS of room. From what we understood, the Hot Springs Village covers a huge place and we were staying at the Los Lagos Escapes in Hot Springs Village.
The first night we all had to stay in one unit since the second unit wouldn't be available until the next day. It didn't even seem crowded but it was nice getting the second unit first thing the next morning. The first night we cooked, ate dinner and everyone headed to mini golf and go karts while Debe stayed back with the little kids. Both the golf and go karts were a blast even though go karts were cut short due to reckless driving. lol
Sunday morning, up early for a day at the water park/amusement park named, "Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. If you are going there for more than one day - so worth getting season tickets. Which is what we did for almost everyone. Bob, Micah and Chelcy would be flying home on Tuesday (two more days) so they used "bring a friend" coupons that the others received with their season passes. So all worked out great. But if you know you will be going here - you can save money by buying a season pass online the beginning of the year. Saves $10 per person. And/or when you need the season passes, call and they might have a coupon code so you can order them online and save money. We were able to do that.
On Monday - we decided to have a day in the main town of Hot Springs. We thought it would be fun to get Bob's picture walking beside the Bill Clinton sign but he stayed on the back sidewalk instead of walking on the walkway right beside it. lol But today was filled with walking around, some shopping, visiting the Hot Springs Visitor Center where you find the Fordyce Bath House Museum inside and other things. It is free to walk thru the museum and it shows you exactly how the bath houses were back in the day when they were used.
It was said that we did other things also. Well, the other things were - for those that wanted to - use a real bath house. Yes, an old timey hot bath. For $30 you can do the hot bath that last right about an hour and includes the big tub, needle shower, steam case, spitz tub, and hot towels table. Others (Debe and Tara) chose to have the massage included which doubled the price to $60) And Daniel and Eric chose to pass and stay with the little kids.
Since the Buckstaff Bath House is the only working bath house that still uses the old time tubs, steam cases, etc... we decided to go to that one. Just wanted to get a feel of exactly what it was like back in the days. And boy was it great. Everyone had their favorite thing of what was done but altogether it was great. And well worth the money. But not sure who would do it again. lol
Very close to the Welcome Center you find the Hot Springs Walk of Fame. Yes, Arkansas has some famous people that have come from their state even though we didn't know a lot of them. But, in the below photos, you will see just a few that we did regonize the names.
On Tuesday, Bob, Micah and Chelcy headed back to Missouri so they could go to work on Wednesday. The rest of the family settled in for the rest of the trip. Tuesday was a relaxing day around the time sharing units including swimming at the pool. But Wednesday was back to the water park. Today the little kids enjoyed riding the rides in the amusement park side of the place. And then cooling off in the pool once the "record" temps were to much.
On Thursday, it was time to do something different. So we packed up the van with everyone and headed into Hot Springs for a day other activities. First, to the Alligator Farm. The cost to go in was $6 per person and you received some bread to feed the animals in the petting part of the farm. The kids enjoyed trying to feed the animals but Denali had her hands full since she couldn't feed them as fast as they wanted to eat. Overall, these places do kinda smell (to be expected) and alligators are just not appealing. You can't feed them, pet them, or get close to them.
What a blessing it is each year to take time with family and enjoy life together. Some of our favorite trips together have been with the kids traveling. But, this was another year of a great trip. The kids and grandkids had so much fun visiting Hot Springs and taking in all it has to offer. And all within driving distance for everyone.