Under Surveillance From a Remote Location
Last week I wrote about getting out and doing things in the vicinity of The Little House. I think it’s important to be able to get away, even if it just for overnight to not only get to know the area you call home, but also to renew and refresh the spirit.
This past weekend, we were able to do just that.
One of the great things about my job is that I sometimes get to go places on assignment and this past weekend, Dale and I made the trek to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a quaint little town about 1.5 hours from The Little House.
We left the Fearsome Four with our trusted pet nanny for a night and left The Little House early on Saturday morning.
As I’ve written before, my parents used to take us on vacation to the Ozarks a lot and Eureka Springs was one of my mother’s favorite destinations. She loved going to see the Great Passion Play and the 5-story tall Christ of the Ozarks statue.
The last time Dale and I visited Eureka Springs, it was some 15 or so years ago. We brought Mom, and rented a 2-bedroom duplex on Beaver Lake, just outside of Eureka Springs. The trip made everyone happy. Beaver Lake provided Dale the fishing he wanted to do and Mom and I the shopping.
We even took Mom to the passion play and the saw the statue – what a perfect vacation.
This trip was both nostalgic, as of course, that last trip with Mom was on my mind. I could also still remember a couple of the places I had stayed on trips with my mom and dad as a child so many years ago. The trip was also like visiting a new place as well. There have been a lot of changes to Eureka Springs since the last time we were there.
This time, Dale and I stayed at the Inn of the Ozarks, a Best Western property just outside of town. While waiting for our room to be readied for us, we decided to drive over to Beaver Lake Dam. It’s a beautiful lake, but not quite as big as our Bull Shoals.
We thought it funny that at two lookout points, there were signs warning us that we were under surveillance from a “remote location.” The signs gave us fodder for jokes all day long. Who would be doing the remote surveillance and using what kind of technology. Every time we saw one of those signs at the park, we expected Jack Bauer to jump out screaming, “We’re running out of time!”
As expected, Eureka Springs was crowded this past weekend and there was a lot of traffic. It also has some pretty narrow streets and limited parking downtown, so when we headed out to browse the shops on Saturday afternoon, we bought a 2-day trolley pass, which picked us up and dropped us off right at the hotel. It was fun just to be able to ride and see the sights without one of us worrying about driving.
The downtown area is alive with a mix of antique, arts and crafts, souvenir shops, art galleries and restaurants and bars. “There’s really too much to see in just one day,” Dale said, after we huffed up one of the steep hills that reminded me of trekking in San Francisco.
Of course, that got the “We’re running out of time!” joke going again.
There was a lot to see, and a lot I wanted to buy, and before we knew it, dinnertime had arrived and we found ourselves at Devito’s.
I also wrote last week about missing some of the great ethnic food we found in our native Kansas City. Dale and I usually had Italian fare from one of those good restaurants on our anniversary and I think we’ve been starving for some good, authentic Italian since July when we missed our traditional Italian celebration dinner.
We aren’t missing good Italian food any longer. Devito’s was superb. While the restaurant has won awards for its fresh trout dishes, Dale ordered the homemade fettuccini alfredo and I had the sampler platter with spaghetti, ravioli, a meatball and a piece of their homemade Italian sausage (the first time we’ve had a piece of homemade Italian sausage since leaving KC), so we could have a taste of everything. It did not disappoint. One of the best things about finding this restaurant is learning there is also a Devito’s near Harrison, AR., which is much closer to The Little House.
We ended the evening wishing we had been able to stay for the downtown ghost tour, I love writing about ghosts. The last article I wrote was an Associated Press story about a stakeout for Jessie James’ ghost at his boyhood home in Kearney, Missouri.
Unfortunately, the trolley system in Eureka Springs only runs until 8 p.m. and we had no other way to get back to the hotel.
I think maybe the in-room Jacuzzi was what I needed when I got back to the Inn of the Ozarks, though, as I fell asleep in the tub!
On Sunday morning, we tried the Mud Street Café, a basement restaurant in the “unique underground Eureka Springs.” The restaurant is located in underground in a building complete with limestone walls. It gave us the feel of what it might have felt like to enter an underground speakeasy in the 1920s. The tables are set with a hodgepodge of antiques and thrift store finds – and as Dale pointed out – I don’t think any two chairs matched, but it worked. I was thrilled to be sat at a table that had one of the exact same chairs as my mother’s dining room set, so I felt right at home.
You would have thought we would have been still full from dinner the night before, but Dale had no problem with his Mexican omelet, complete with jalapeno peppers and I chowed the fresh spinach and mushroom omelet. One of the great things about this restaurant is that I didn’t have to wait for someone to bring me coffee (and it would have been a wait, given how busy they were). There’s a self-serve coffee bar, which was wonderful.
We did run out of time!
Too soon after making a second round of some of the shops we have visited on Saturday, it was time to come home.
I know I’ve had a productive trip when I come back with some story ideas, and wanting for more .
Of course, at The Little House, we also know the only remote surveillance we’re under is from 8 doggie eyes from the Fearsome Four.