Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hot Springs

We escaped to Hot Springs Arkansas for a short family get away.  The last time Alexe and I stopped in here I had just graduated from college, and we were headed cross-country before I had to be back in DC to start with Fannie Mae.  We almost eloped on that trip.  

Back 13 years later, with our kids.

We decided to stay at the Angels in the Park hotel, because it was old and supposed to be cool.  It was old.


Working off breakfast.

Still my favorite person.

Followed closely by the little ones.

The only museum outside of DC affiliated with the Smithsonian, this place was awesome.

Everything there was a toy that showed off something cool and science-y

If there is a large picture of Elvis somewhere, Alexe will find it.

Late evening walks. The history of Hot Springs is very interesting, corruption and gangsters and property rights battles and control of the water.  The springs produce over 1 million gallons of piping hot water every day, and yet the place has struggled to monetize it in the last half century.  So much amazing infrastructure is falling down now for lack of a viable business plan.

Somehow, with all that water, the town and park service have decided on a high-pricing approach that is killing the town. It costs over $30 to take a bath in the free water.  There is also no public swimming pool that could be filled endlessly with free water.  The result is not an exclusive resort town filled with the wealthy; rather it's a deserted town lightly visited by the middle class that is willing to stretch.

Waiting for breakfast with a pen and a daughter's hand.

The first hotel was not great.  We stayed for two nights, with single thin blankets on the beds, and cockroaches in the showers.  (After finding the first one, we were coming back to the rooms the second evening and the kids started chattering about whether they would find another cockroach. It was funny until they did.)

The third night we moved up the street to the Arlington. Which the kids appreciated.

When Caspian decides something, it will happen.  At some point he decided he wanted a crystal.  He brought his treasure chest on vacation with him, (this kid is always loaded; he earns and saves constantly.)  After days of his insisting on spending his hard earned money on a rock, Alexe took him to the gem store, where he picked out his crystal, and a buffalo tooth, and forked over over $30.  

He was happy as a clam, and showed his crystal to everyone in town when we got home.

We didn't watch Big with the kids until after this trip.

The park service has done a nice job preserving these four original bath houses. Only one is functional.

Happy girl.

Happy boy.

The simple things can be so much fun.  Staying out past your bedtime, and a spinning door.

*sigh*  I don't think we could have done any better with the past 13 years.

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