Ty and I took a short trip to Little Rock, Arkansas at the end of March. Ty had to go for business, so we went the weekend before his meeting and enjoyed some time together without the kids!
The first day we drove out to Hot Springs and enjoyed some food and drink on their main strip, followed by a trip to a bath house where we received the royal treatment. There was still snow on the ground when we landed, which was a treat for me since I haven't seen snow in about 5 years. But it warmed up quickly and we enjoyed some sunny days while on vacation!
That night we headed back into Little Rock and attended a New Moon festival at a local park. It was so much fun! Here we are kissing in front of the new moon. The festival had several stations along a candlelit hiking trail... each station was a different country where you could stop and buy food and drink from that country, experience music and entertainment from that land or make crafts, etc. It was very family friendly, but fun too for those without kids (us on this particular night!). This kind of thing in Austin would have been jam packed, but in LR was really enjoyable and relaxing to not walk in a sea of people.
We visited the Clinton Presidential Museum! It was a great place and we learned a lot. I know that all Presidential museums make their guy out to be a champ, but Clinton really did a ton for this country and abroad. I've always been a fan of his politics and visiting here reinforced much of that.
Replica of the Oval Office
We took a whisky brewery tour. Some pretty strong stuff! Not our favorite tour but a nice place to spend a rainy afternoon :)
We toured Central High School, the school where the Little Rock Nine were the black first students to be integrated into a public school. It was sobering to see what these brave young students underwent to make great strides for equality for a people who were (and continue to be) kept in unequal positions. This was probably the most impactful part of our trip. The tour guide had some culturally relevant social commentary, including that the architecture on the outside of this school is an example of institutional/systemic racism that many of us are unaware of -a new level of racism I've just started learning about. I've been moved lately to pray that God will use his people to bring love and understanding and justice to those who still live life having started on a different rung of the social ladder simply because of the color of their skin. Even though segregation ended 50 years ago, there is still much self-imposed segregation in our country, in my life, in my church, etc. I hope to see greater strides taken to change this in the remainder of my lifetime and am committing to doing my part to help.
My mom and I toured the kids museum at Heifer International Headquarters. I would love to bring my kids here someday and teach them about how people live in developing nations and the struggles and successes they have found in their lands through the help of organizations like Heifer. (They started by giving cattle and chickens to villages, which then bolstered their economy.)
Ty and I stayed a few nights at the Capitol Hotel. They had this enormous elevator that was said to be built by President Grant for he and his horse to be taken to his room! There is a lot of history at this hotel! It was fun to stay here, but now I think I'm over staying at fancy places and will opt instead for a normal hotel in the future and to save the dollar bills for other fun adventures :)
My mom lives outside of LR, so we went to her house one day for a delicious brunch (thanks Mom!). Then she came to LR one day to have dinner with us at a farm-to-table restaurant we found. It was good food and good company. I'm glad we were finally able to see your stomping grounds after all these years of you living in Arkansas! This was a great trip!! It is always nice to get away with Ty and, especially with young kids, I am in need of a break every once in a while. The kids were lucky enough to stay with Grandad and Grandma while we were gone... their Christmas present to us all. Thank you guys SO much for the gift. It truly was priceless!