I do have excuses for my dereliction of duty. For one thing, the acquisition of an iPad means that I don't have to run upstairs to this computer to check e-mail....and WWF is my new time-waster. For another, there have been health-and-welfare challenges for both the mother-in-law and DHubby. The drought has added outside chores like watering to my list. We had a serious invasion of bird mites--which, in case you wondered, will attack humans. Imagine the fun of daily vacuuming and laundering all bed linens, towels, and clothing. Quilting activities have heated up. And I just don't seem to get as much done as I used to!
I did, however, complete 'the goatie quilt'--'Moonstruck in Africa'--and enter it in a quilt show which is held biennially in Hot Springs. I was pleasantly surprised to win a ribbon (first place in Mixed Techniques.)
|My favorite quilt so far....at least til the next one is finished!|
We had not reckoned with what happens to Hot Springs in the summertime--and I don't mean the heat and humidity. There were hordes (!!!) of tourists, including large numbers of aging bikers with their giant motorcycles. The crowds, competition for parking, noise, and general brouhaha were not quite what we'd been expecting.
Most of the city is, in fact, a national park with a fascinating history. 'Bath-house Row' is well-preserved. The Arlington, an Art Deco hotel, is bustling. We had a lovely dinner and spent a comfortable night.....and found that the noise, the crowds, and the atmosphere are quite different early on Sunday morning! It was even quite cool and pleasant. We got some coffee in the Starbucks off the lobby of the hotel and took a walk.
First we crossed the street into a greenbelt where steaming fountains and pools are the attraction. A small group of Orientals were dipping out buckets of springwater and soaking their feet. DHubby dipped his hand into the pool and yanked it back quickly. (It is, after all, HOT Springs, not 'Warm Springs.' Those are in Georgia.) The temperature is 148 degrees.
I did not want to be rude, but I did want a photo.... The waters spring out of the hillside and run down into the pool below. The steam must be spectacular in cold weather.
Looking up Bathhouse Row with the Arlington Hotel in the background.....the sun is up, but the steep hillsides still shadow the street.
At the end of the row is a Visitors' Center; up the hill stands a rehabilitation facility. Behind the bathhouses runs the Grand Promenade. We had it all to ourselves, though the occasional runner passed by.
|The pretty dome on one of the bath houses......|
|The drainage system controls the streams that flow downhill; there is a stream beneath the main street.|
There are various entry points to the Promenade.
There were crews out power-washing some of the buildings. We sat and rocked on the portico for a bit....but of course none of the facilities were open.
When we reached The Arlington again, we crossed the street and ate breakfast at The Pancake Shop (celebrating 40 years of business--6 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily) --delightful!--and visited the companion shop where we did our part to support the local economy. By the time we had eaten, there was a large crowd waiting for tables in the tiny restaurant. You are so close to your neighbors that you get to know them a little--bikers from Vermont were our dining companions.
Sunday morning--early!-- was our favorite time to see The Spa City. Then we packed up the goatie quilt and drove home.