The long, long…long, long drive

We are in Eureka Springs. Yeah.

Not much to report yet. We set out, truck loaded like Jed and Ellie Mae at 5:30 yesterday morning. Rob wanted to leave by six. I said we should leave by five. Half past was the best I could do. As we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverl….uh…headed out, I asked, “now aren’t you glad I didn’t set six as my goal?”

The drive wasn’t that bad. The roads were mostly good. Weather was nice, but hot. Rob drove all the way. We came through TX, OK, and across AR. For several miles, we were on the Cherokee Nation. That was fun to try to explain to a 13 year old that hasn’t covered that in history yet. I still don’t think she believes that there is a nation within a nation that has its own laws and government…although I found myself a bit ignorant on the subject. Something I’ll try to remember to look into when we get an INTERNET CONNECTION. Sorry. Did I say that too loud?

We drove through Dallas, TX in the early morning light. So much roadway that is packed during the week, but was empty at 9am on a Sunday morning. Most of the drive was flat. Flat, flat. Bottom of a good frying pan flat. And, dry. The drought has affected areas north of Austin more than I expected. We saw swaths of trees that had browned out. Dry, dry, dry. Such extremes of weather. Too much water one place, too little in another.

When we got into the foothills of the mountains, I started to worry. I’d promised these folks mountains. And, what we drove through looked much like a greener version of the “hill country” around Austin. But, then it started to get a bit steeper and I remembered my Dad, driving through these same roads, in a full size pickup, pulling a camper trailer. Winding, turning, steep. It was Syglet’s first time to drive through a cave. I’m thinking we’re going to see a lot of first times, this trip.

Anyway, we got here two hours earlier than we thought we would. The place is nice. A real nice lady named Judy runs it and when we got here, she came out and gave us the rundown of how it goes. Internet and “real” TV are available in the main house, about 100 yards down the hill. Here, in the cabin, we have an antenna for TV, much to the dismay of our 13 year old.

The cabin is clean, tho a bit disorganized. There was a whole discussion behind my back last night before we went for dinner about why I was rearranging the dishes in the cabinet. Nobody thought to answer “because I had to.” The kitchen is a terrible mishmash of garage sale pots and pans, stuck here and there, willy-nilly. Won’t take a minute to straighten that out. Starting with the dish cabinet.

Don’t judge me. I’m gonna be in that kitchen for a week.

It’s a cabin, and like I told Syd last night, if you want a room at the Ritz, go stay at the Ritz. This is a cabin on a mountain. I think Rob was pretty disappointed, tho, when he realized it didn’t have a Mountain view. We are indeed on the side of a mountain and there would be a fabulous view of the sunrise at just this moment, if there weren’t so much undergrowth. (He was just here with his video camera, shooting me, so I made the crack that if he’d aim between those two branches, he could get the sunrise. He’s gone, now) Anyway, cabin. Mishmash of leftovers and hand me downs and garage sale finds. Isn’t that what a cabin is all about? Linens are plentiful and clean. We have everything we could need to be here for a week.

When we got here, we had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the cabin and get things unpacked and then we ventured out for dinner. We stopped at the main house and asked Judy for directions. And, we promptly got lost. That actually turned out to be a good thing because we got to drive around town and get familiar with it. Tiny winding streets and beautiful little gingerbread cottages, built with their front porches right on the sidewalk and stuck on the sides of hills. I promise to take pictures because it is completely fabulous and I can see why this has become such a touristy destination for gay people. And, gay flags hanging everywhere, showing a high tolerance. I can hardly wait to get to town, for real. Not just our lost, meandering, looking for a restaurant last night.

The first restaurant was closed. We probably passed 35 restaurants that were all closed. But, Judy had told us where there was one she knew was open. We ended up there. Kinda pricey, but hey, the plan is to cook some meals at the cabin so we can afford to have good meals out. We got there and the restaurant is a little house and it is packed with tables and packed with people. Packed! And, we all know how I am in crowds. So, I’m feeling out of my element and not sure how the fam is going to react to a 30 minute wait.

We could wait in the lounge, or outside on the porch. We went to the lounge and couldn’t find a place to sit and ended up on the porch. All of us, uncomfortable. Jaws clenched. Waiting. Sweating. And, the dear, little Syglet, with 13 year old attitude turned up to maximum, sighing, rolling eyes, flopping into chairs. All this making me more uncomfortable.

And, then, the finest thing happened. A lady, about my age walked up with her over tan, over made up, over done, too short of a skirt daughter, maybe 2 years older than mine, and her over fed “big boned” son and his young wife. And, that poor lady was harangued by those children mercilessly about the wait, the overcrowding, and the heat. I watched it play out, and I watched her smile, even though you could tell she just wanted to snatch those brats bald headed. She went upstairs, to see if there was room for all of them in the lounge, and just as she went in the door, she looked over and our eyes met and I gave her my most empathetic smile and she smiled back. Just a moment between two people.

And, then I relaxed and we went up to the lounge, in the cool and Rob bought us the most expensive cocktails I may have ever had the privilege of swilling down…I think I figured out why there was a wait. And, we sat around and laughed until our table was ready. We gorged ourselves on the most wonderful Italian home cooking. Pick your sauce from about 10 and then pick your hand made pasta from about 10. Yummmmmmm. I love Italian.

We got back and Sydney went for a dip. Then, showers and a game of cards and my yawning became uncontrollable and I had to go to bed.

And, that was day one.

This morning, Rob and I got up and had the obligatory first day of vacation argument. If you and your spouse don’t do that, then good for you and I think you're lying. But, we got it out of the way and everything is back on track again. After that, we hiked the rest of the way up the mountain to see the ponds for which Pond Mountain is named. Beautiful walk in the woods. We’ve awakened the beast and after I do my primping, we’re going to the main house so I can post this and then, to town. Shopping. Eating. Tee-hee. We've signed up for the first horseback ride of the day tomorrow.

Everybody take care. We're in the main house now in a fabulous great room. Rob just said we could be very happy living here. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I wish. Isn't that what vacation spots are for? Places where you'd love to live but don't?



Becky said...

Can't wait to see the pic of the houses. I loved a spread on Eureka Springs that was in Country Living years ago. Enjoy!! Becky
PS - glad the bumps in the road are going "smoothly". hahahaha! Love ya!

Tammy said...

Hi Lane, Great to read you arrived safely at your holiday destination. Pond Mountain looks like a fabulous place to relax. Cherish this family time together in what seems like less than a blink in the eye Sydney will be all grown up.

Freda said...

Hey Lane, enjoy your vacation. Eureka Springs is about 170 miles from where we live and we have only been there one time. It is very pretty there.

Becky said...

Sounds like you all are having an enjoyable time so far... life's not all peaches even on vacation.

Anonymous said...

I love getting to go on internet blog vacations so thanks for taking us all along. Geez some of us have no life of our own. Lol! Have a great time and enjoy the horse ride venture. mssewcrazy

Bennett and Graves said...

We call the vacation argument the 'zinger'. There's one zinger in every vacation, that day or at least part of the day that just doesn't gel. Good to get it over with and move on to fun!

Anonymous said...

Your are in one of my favorite spots. I've been there often and never tire of it. Sorry about the weather tho. Lots of art to see. Lots of different life styles too. I've often wondered what it would be like when its winter. I bet the town folks have a ball. Enjoy and no more fighting.

Coloradolady said...

Ha! we had our obligatory argument all the way to Austin Saturday....then everything was fine....for the most part! Loved seeing your trip.