All good things must come to an end.

For our last day, we decided to do touristy things. Sydney and Rob went for a last horseback ride.

Oh, my. There was weeping. Poor Bella, the dog resorted to Rob and I for attention. It was so wonderful. Our daughter growing up. It's so hard to get her to show that she cares about anything. And, this time, she couldn't stop herself. She's growing up and changing and moving beyond herself.

While they were out, it rained. And, the day cooled off and it never got as high as 90*. It was so nice to get a really good day to enjoy before it was time to come home.

After that, we went to Terpentine Creek big cat rescue. The tickets are high, but if you're ever there, you'll want to go. The ticket is really a donation that's used to support the place. If you take the guided tour, you'll hear stories of big cats and a cayote and a bear that were rescued and now live there. Stories of breeding farms shut down for inbreeding and unsafe conditions.

There are over a hundred cats there and we saw, maybe 25 and I think some people were disappointed. But, the alternative would be prodding them out and parading them around and that seems to go against the meaning of both the words rescue and sanctuary.

This bear was in his tub with a donut float. He played with that for 15 minutes that we watched and when we got there, he was playing and he was still playing when we walked off. It was the cutest thing. He was doing his best to sink that donut under the water and take a bite out of it. But, whatever it was made of was very hard and it was thick and he couldn't sink his teeth into it.

As we were leaving, this lion carolled for us. We hoped he'd get all the other lions up to carol, but it was the first cool morning all week and they were sacked out in comfort and most didn't even raise their heads...so he laid back down and rolled over and went back to sleep.

After the big cats, we went to the cabin to have lunch in, so we could go out for supper. We had a meal already cooked and I think they realized we weren't wasting it. And, we weren't bringing it home.

Our next stop was Digital Quilts. You'll see below that I went kinda hog wild. His prices were so low. Fabric was jammed in a tiny space. A lot of fabric. And, most of it was 4.95 or 6.95 a yard. Compared to similar quality and age at my LQS, I'd spend 9.99. I asked if he was a quilter and he pulled down the ribbons he and his wife have won. The building was L shaped and the small side was fabric and the long side was his long arm machine. They quilt for the local quilters and for themselves. I don't think a whole lot of people go to the shop and he was lonely, so it took longer to cut my fabric than it did to pick it out. I spent just over $50. I got 2 yards of 108" wide backing in a beautiful hand dye print, 3 half yards of batik, 6 fat quarters (for $1 each). 4 one yard cuts of neutrals, and a $1 grab bag of neutrals. Whoo-hoo! It was the fabric gold mine. I asked how he could keep his prices low and he said, we own the building and we own the land and we buy in large quantities for the discounts. But, he also talked about the rising price of cotton. I told him so many other things had been so expensive that he was benefiting from money I hadn't already spent.

This is me and the grill I conquered and the t-shirt I've got to prove it.

Our only bad experience of the whole trip was dinner Thursday night. We got there and a very busy waitress took our order without really paying attention, no smile, no friendliness. We ordered an appetizer, a fried shrimp plate and two catfish plates. 20 minutes later, a different waitress brings our appetizers and just drops them on the table; me looking up expectantly for some type of recognition and her not even looking at my face. Two minutes later, dinner came. The appetizers and Rob's shrimp were from packaged frozen, just like I could get from the grocery. I don't even remember the fries. The hushpuppies had so much baking soda in them, they made my mouth shrivel up. The fish was overcooked and there was nothing left but cornmeal and gristle. And, then the owner tallied up our check and the total was over $50. I sent Rob and Sydney to the truck and the owner and I had a bit of a talk about quality for the price and why there wasn't going to be a tip. What I don't understand is why no one else was complaining. Everyone I saw got the same treatment. Is this what they've come to expect? And, exactly how can it work out that all the African American patrons were on the left of the restaraunt and all the white patrons were on the right????? Could that have happened by coincidence? It's not like all the African Americans were from the same group. But, that's not my complaint to raise. (But if anybody else had said anything, we'd have gladly joined a march)

I'm going to give the owner the benefit of the doubt and assume that she gets so few complaints that she was flabbergasted and that's why she just stared at me blankly and didn't really acknowledge that I was complaining. The alternative would be that she just didn't care and she didn't look like she didn't care. More like a deer in headlights.

This was the last sunset on Pond Mountain. Sydney didn't go with us this time. She was walking along the pasture fence, calling the horses over and stroking each one on the nose. Earlier in the day, she and Steve took our leftover carrots down to the horses and she got to feed them treats.

We left before dawn, but as the sun came up, we got views like this from the road. And, then we crossed into Oklahoma and it got flat as a pancake.

Other than the dog, this is what I got as vacation pressies for me. My fabric pics on the left and a very thin ball of crochet thread that I will never use, but it came from the senior center thrift shop in Berryville and I was pretty desperate to spend at least a couple dollars. I also got that aqua colored sheet there. Seen that color recently? Remember that aqua and white quilt I coveted in a post a couple of days ago? It's a very similar shade to that. White is easy to match. Maybe a new quilt in my future????? Okay, next is a large cone of very olive rug yarn (I'd have sworn it was 3# after carrying it around, but it was really only 1.5), three placemats from a thrift store and four and a half yards of the most wonderful vintage linen, never washed, stiff from the flax in it and shiny. I've always thought a nice linen whole cloth quilt would be wonderful. Wish I could talk Sydney into a beautiful white linen straight line skirt. No way now, but hey, if I don't use it, maybe in the future??? All in all? I spent my money at thrift stores and stores with lower prices. They are there in E.S. but you have to look for them.

And, the rug? I don't know why I'm so obsessed with crocheted rugs all of a sudden. I think we all know it will eventually pass. I guess it's something else I can do with the family. Sometimes it's hard to have interesting quilt projects that are easily portable. Anyway, I rescued this for $3 and for that, it can live just about anywhere. After a good wash. A really good wash. Every animal in the house is obsessed with it.

Our cats have forgiven us, most of our luggage is unpacked. The suitcases are sitting next to the washer. I'm doing some slow cleaning. Thank goodness we left the house clean. Sydney complained about having to clean house last weekend, but I think even she appreciates not having to do regular house cleaning this weekend. We're all taking it easy. Doesn't look like anything died while we were gone, not even a tomatoe plant, so all that planning must have been worth it.

No more typing out on a porch. The bugs would carry me off if I tried in my back yard. So, this final vacation blog is brought to you by my comfortable homey surroundings where I can celebrate my bed, a full sized fridge, a gas stove, and two bathrooms. And, my favorite place, the project packed sewing room of a big old quiltfool.


P.S. I'm pretty darn sure we'll be planning more trips to Eureka Springs and Pond Mountain.


Patricia said...

Welcome back!

Marla said...

Sounds like a wonder family bonding trip. I guarantee your daughter will never forget this vacation and it will have an impact on her that will last a lifetime. Something about horses and girls. They just need each other.

Coloradolady said...

Lane, this has been so fun traveling along with you!! I simply adore that photo of you and the grill....with the t-shirt to prove it!! I can just imagine Sydney will never forget this trip!!

If you guys ever want to venture west, you know where there sits a cabin on the side of the mountain you are welcome to anytime...no charge!! You guys would love it there too....very remote but so lovely.....and matching dishes...and quilt shops in driving distance!!

Rest up...the laundry will be there when you get to it!! Glad you guys had a wonderful time!

Becky said...

Thanks a bunch for letting me tag along on your vacation. That last picture of the pond is suitable for blow-up and framing!!! It is just beautiful! I love the reflections. Now that you are all vacayed up I can't wait to see what you will be creating in the sewing room.

JoAnne said...

I'm glad you are home safe. I've really enjoyed hearing about your trip. I'm glad you had a good time.

lw said...

I also love the t-shirt! And I'm glad Sydney got to discover horses. Your description of the restaurant reminds me a lot of one of the tourist restaurants on the way to Santa Clara-- everyone stops there, so they kind of have a captive clientele, no one complains, but we don't go back. They don't need us to, there's another tourist coming along behind us.

I really enjoyed your writing for your vacation, and I still think you should consider writing a novel someday.

Denise in PA said...

Lane, I loved the travelogue. Thanks for taking us along with you!

Anonymous said...

Horses are so addictive for girls-guaranteed to squelch attitude when they're together. I know Sydney loved getting to interact with the horses.
Glad all of you are home and recovering from all that"rest and relaxation".
I loved reading all the vacation adventures. How nice to snag an aqua cotton sheet for sewing at the thrift. I plan to go to a thrift one day soon to hunt sheets for testing some patterns. I have actually made a couple of around the house summer shirts and a summer robe from some soft cotton sheets I had gotten for this purpose. Glad you are all home safe and sound. mssewcrazy

Nancy said...

What a wonderful trip - except for the bad dinner, and to segregate the customers? Hm, wonder if the owner knows it is not the early 60s? The video was a nice touch. My friend and I recently had two bad sundaes from Friendlys in that by the time they came to us, they were melted. First day, I did not say anything. Second time, I did and it turns out that the person making the sundaes was putting them in hot glasses right out of the dishwasher! We got new Sundays, made in cold glasses. Much better. I am so glad you had such a good time, and found such wonderful things.

Vesuviusmama said...

I'm so proud of you for speaking with the manager about your experience at her restaurant. I wish more people did that. There is just no excuse for poor service!