“Oh to be young and….” Little Rock Trip 2011.

Driving to Arkansas, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I had found an inexpensive vacation and I was going with my hubby, so I was a happy girl. I definitely had no idea how smitten I would be with Little Rock and surrounding areas. Of course, I must admit I am like this almost everywhere I go. This world is fascinating and magical, which in turn makes me constantly wide-eyed and amazed. That being said, it was hard to condense my love for Arkansas into just one blog. But I tried. Here’s cliff-notes of my favorite moments/things/etc/ :

  • I have to mention my wonderful husband first. Robby’s from a small town and maybe this is how he’s maintained his childlike wonder that I can never get enough of. We’d be driving and he’d point out something random, like a lake, and say “Baby,how cool the water looks!” Or we’d be cruising through some small Texas town named after something European and he’d happily pronounce, “Look babe, We’re in Italy!”  He’s always cheerful. Never grumpy or complaining. Always pointing out little things I’d so easily miss without his attentive eye and boyish spirit by my side. We spent hours upon hours driving, and spent the majority of the time teasing the other, sharing stories and cracking up laughing. Once we arrived in Arkansas, we’d wake up super early, both excited to explore our new surroundings and enjoy each other’s company. We’d stroll through downtown Little Rock pointing and giggly and hand in hand. He makes the absolute perfect traveling companion and his attitude always reminds me to see the beauty in every little part of life.
  • Baker’s House Bed and Breakfast. The perfect reviews did not fail me. Husband and I have never stayed at a B&B and weren’t exactly sure what to expect. I can’t say enough good about Baker’s House. The breakfast was delightful (I don’t like pancakes but the banana pancakes were heavenly) , the staff was friendly and accommodating, the bathroom and room were old-timey and made for a king (or queen) and the entire house was spacious, comforting and had a sense of regality about it. I think hubby and I both felt like kids residing in these gorgeous accommodations, or ‘sneaking’ to the guest’s pantry for an after hours snack. I kind of felt like a seven year old playing pretend in a castle. Except I’m 22, it wasn’t pretend and I basically was in a castle.

  • The Old Mill. Something I loved about Arkansas is how breathtaking so many of it’s historical and scenic places are. Cool factoid? Part of the movie Gone with the Wind was taped here! Upon walking through the gate, my breath really was taken away. Definitely among the most beautiful of places I’ve ever seen. Lookit:
  • Big Dam Bridge. It it most definitely a big damn bridge. To be super specific, it’s the longest bridge in the United States that was built for pedestrian traffic.

  • The Trolley. Our Bed and Breakfast gave us free tickets to ride for a day, and this was such a neat experience. The driver also acted as a tour guide, and we got to know Little Rock much better, while also enjoying all of the beautiful scenery and old monuments.  Did you know there is a North/South Little Rock, separated only by a bridge? Hubby informed me they even have two different mayors. We stayed in North Little Rock, which has a small town vibe. South Little Rock is kind of like downtown Austin, but much tinier and older. Exploring the whole of this city made me realize that Arkansas is much like a hidden gem. It’s not the most touristy of states but Little Rock is hands down one of my favorite cities now. It’s quaint and friendly and beautiful in it’s simplicity. Yet another reason I want to explore the whole entire world. Who knows what I’d be missing if I didn’t visit all of the nooks and crannies of this universe.
  • River Market District. In South Little Rock,an area full of cool/cute shops and adventures. My favorite was probably the H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden. Named after the Eternal Grand Master (husband just loved that bit and now wants to be called the Eternal Grand Master), this project shows friendship between the U.S. and South Korea (I did my research! Be proud!) The gate (pictured below) weighs 80 tons and the garden area is absolutely stunning. Lee’s reason for building all of this in Arkansas, of all places? The scenery and beauty of the state reminded him of South Korea. How neat is that?

  • The Peabody Ducks. You’ve maybe heard of these ducks of the Peabody Hotel? They walk down a red carpet at 11am every morning to their fountain and then again at 5pm to return to their palace in the hotel? As soon as I read about this, I knew I had to see it. These duckies stole my heart. They even stop on their red carpet to pose for pictures! Maybe for Christmas I’ll ask for a trained duck.

  • The peeps. I met some awesome folks in Little Rock. To be fair, I seem to meet awesome people everywhere I go, but this was no exception. It was neat eating breakfast with strangers, getting to know them over pancakes and coffee.  We met people from Spain, Australia and the UK as well as local Arkansans.  On our last night out, hubby and I went to our first ever dueling piano’s bar. There weren’t many out on a weekday night, and we ended up winning a ‘name that tune’ contest and giggling with the small crowd and the pianists. Have I mentioned lately how much I love people? At one point, we even ran into one couple lodging at Baker’s House at a nearby bar, and started chit-chatting and chuckling with them and their friends. On the way out, we heard one of the ladies sigh, “Oh to be young and…” That’s the only part we caught but the message was captured and we both laughed. Husband and I are giddy, youthful, obvious lovebirds.
  • Larry’s Pizza Buffet. The coolest and most delicious buffet I’ve ever been to. When I walked in, I was sad to see almost no pizza out on the ‘buffet’ table. I sat down just a bit disappointed, considering the reviews for this place were phenomenal. I quickly cheered up as I realized that every couple minutes or so, an employee walks up, pizza in hand, asking customers if they’d like to try this or that particular slice. I ended up with a honey mustard pizza, some kind of fettuccine-chicken tasting pizza, AND my new absolute favorite in the entire world, chocolate chip peanut butter pizza. YUM. If you’re ever in Arkansas, you must go to Larry’s.
  • The Union Bistro. Husband gets amazing coupons through his work and for this particular restaurant we spent 4.50 to get a 25 dollar gift certificate. Robby got a steak. Wanna know what I got? A pork-ham-bacon-cheese-egg-hamburger. It was divine but I only managed a few bites before I felt I may explode. These are the rare moments where I wish I could go back to my pre-dieting days. My body can’t handle junk food like it used to. Not even delicious entrees like pork-ham-cheese-egg-hamburgers. Boo.
  • Hot Springs. On the way out, we stopped by this town for lunch and to find,well, a hot spring. Goodness, what an absolutely gorgeous town. I want to retire someplace just like this. Someplace with superb food (From the 1217 Cafe: pork chops stuffed with dirty rice, and green beans with mushroom and feta cheese. YUM!), old-fashioned buildings, lovely mountains AND places to take hot, natural, steaming baths. I feel that when I’m old, bath-houses will be a must for me.
  • There’s more I’m not mentioning much; Museums, state houses, wonderful coffee shops, fire-stations turned into libraries, scenic drives, more yummy food….I could go on all day. Did you have any idea Arkansas was so lovely/adorable/magnificent/quaint/spectacular? I didn’t either! I honestly feel as if I’ve found a hidden treasure. And, as life and exploring this world seems to be full of these, I can’t wait to find billions more.
  • Ps: I can’t end this blog without mentioning my friend Katie. I usually might, but I’m really trying to become more appreciative of all the things others do for me. She came to my house twice a day for three days to feed and water my doggies while I was gone.  I didn’t have much money to give, but she quickly accepted when I asked her, knowing she’d be getting next to nothing in return.  She even stayed over once for hours, playing with my pups and doing her homework.  Sweet moments  from awesome people like this are a common occurrence in my life, but I don’t give enough recognition where recognition is due. Well, let me just say it. My friends are truly the bees knees. 

24 thoughts on ““Oh to be young and….” Little Rock Trip 2011.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Sounds like such a great trip! You have a way with describing and making things seem so fab! Hot Springs is great, my Dad and Georgia live in Hot Springs village, we have not visited enough! Miss bowling with you to love birds! Keep traveling, living and enjoying your life with that cutie pie Robby!

    I sure enjoyed this read!
    Copie

  2. all so positive. i love the comment about loving people as a coworker and I, just a few hours earlier, were lamenting that we hate people. lol.
    for the house-sitting: I used to housesit for my next door neighbors all the time solely for the “mini vacation” it offered me. I’d watch their cable tv (I didn’t have it) and drink their booze (pre-arrange). When I got a wild hair, I’d do some household repairs for them (they were usually gone for months at a time). It was only 10′ from my front door to theirs but it felt like a world away…. so relaxing!!

  3. I never realized there would be so much to do in Little Rock! We always just drove right through it, so I had no idea how pretty it would be. Thanks for the pictures, and glad you had so much fun!

  4. Yay, Katie! That’s a big responsibility (for those who do it “right”!) and I love your travelogue. People always like to show me places cos I’m “always” running around, totally the country mouse, all excited.

  5. I’ve never been south of the Mason-Dixon line (well, once, but that was to Texas, which doesn’t count). 😉 But now you’re making me think I’d like to go. B&Bs are so much more relaxing than a hotel, but I would have liked staying at a place that allows ducks to use their fountain. That photo is cute!

  6. Meg says:

    Seems like such a cute townn!!! I’ll put it on my places to visit. =] Glad you have fun, hon, LOVE YOU! I want a bath house!!

  7. I’m glad I remembered to hunt around for the post on your trip. Looks like it was great! I’m glad you two had a nice little vacay. And I had NO idea Arkansas was/is that cool. It’s a place I’d never think to visit. Thanks for highlighting that cool stuff. I may have to add it to my list of places to go. This list is getting sooo long! Hhahaha

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