Gene and I haven't been much of anywhere out of town just for fun since I started respiratory school two years ago so when I ended up with three days off in a row right smack dab in the middle of the week I decided it was time. There's a small town in northwest Arkansas (the UN-natural state as some of us who used to live there call it, but we say it with a grin) that was originally a summer getaway for rich folks from Midwest cities like St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago.
The town is Eureka Springs, known at the turn of the century for its mineral spas and the nearby lake. In the middle of the Ozarks Mountains, it always makes me imagine Victorian "cottages" as rock climbers clinging to the hills. Keep in mind that most of these "cottages" are so big they've been turned into ten room bed and breakfasts. I've always wondered at what it might have been like to be so rich that my family's little summer place had six to ten bedrooms and required caretaking staff when I wasn't there. Definitely a concept I'm not familiar with in a big degree, or any degree at all.
We'll be staying here at the Basin Park Hotel, (the tall building on the right), dead center in town so we can park the car and enjoy a couple of days on foot. If we're lucky, so keep your fingers crossed for us, we might run into a ghostie. Basin Park, built in 1905, along with their sister hotel, the Crescent Hotel, overlooking town and built in 1886, are both supposedly haunted to the gills. I know it's a marketing gimmick they developed over the last several years but Gene and I were married in that town fourteen years ago and we lived there for two years in the early 90's so we're on the cusp of being in the know. We've talked to a lot of locals who truly believe that the Crescent, at least, is genuinely haunted by one of the masons, "Michael", who fell to his death during construction, a nurse wearing in a long white dress who pushes a med trolley on the third floor from when the hotel served as a psychiatric hospital, and there's something in the basement no one's ever named. There are locals who refuse to work there, and then, there are a couple of people who've worked there for years and enjoy the friendly frustrations with whomever or whatever rearranges the storage rooms after they've been locked down for the night.
We're off to spend a little time together in the jacuzzi, strolling main street to enjoy the art galleries, relaxing to the drift of jazz coming up from the clubs in the evening while leaning back on the hotel's street-overlooking balconies, and of course, sampling the cuisine of the several phenomenal local and transplanted chef's who've held court for many years in Eureka.
See y'all in a day or two and I promise to come back armed with photos.