Arkansas Travelers: Part Two | Day Drunk: Arkansas Travelers: Part Two

February 13, 2013

Arkansas Travelers: Part Two

(Welcome to Part Two of Arkansas Travelers! Check out Part One here. And excuse the lack of pictures- some have not been included to protect identities and places. Lots of pictures were just not taken at all, which sometimes happens when you are on a unexpected adventure. I hope you enjoy the story regardless!)

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Apparently the car was fixed! And the mechanics even dropped it off at the hotel for us. It seemed like even though we lost Memphis, there would be still time for Mammoth Caves, and just enough time for Katie to make her flight home. Although, none of that mattered, because the car promptly broke down again before we even got out of Hot Springs, with the same symptoms as before. Another wrecker came to get me and Leah. Katie caught a taxi cab for the epic seven and a half hour drive to Louisville to ensure she wouldn’t miss her flight. With our heads hung low, we checked back into the Village Inn.

In the morning, after checking out of the hotel with high hopes of a fixed car, we settled down at the nearby coffee shop to wait for news. We were calm, hopeful, and using the downtime to update our "drawing journal" (more on that soon!). We were diligently and quietly recounting the so-far tales of our trip in sketches, when we were abruptly interrupted by the woman at the table next to us who was sitting with two other women and young man.

"Are you two mad at each other or something?" Must be Southern for "Hello" in some cases. At least that is how it turned out. Miki and her slightly mortified family, were from nearby Jessieville (where we were originally stranded). As Miki fired off questions at us and we dutifully satisfied her curious mind as to what two quiet, Yankee girls were doing in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, we decided that she wasn’t in fact crazy-harmful, but just crazy-curious and a little crazy-silly. And when she invited us to a fish-fry that night, we thought, sure why not?!

We said Goodbye to our new friends for the afternoon and swapped numbers, and shortly after, received the grim news that the car needed a new fuel pump, which the mechanic would not be able to get until Monday. It was a Saturday in a small, southern community, after all. They did, however give us the car back for use around town since it could go about fifteen miles without acting suspicious. At last we were freed from our confines of the Village Inn plaza and able to explore the National Park that makes up Bathhouse Row of Hot Springs! And at least I could cross off one (more) National Park on my Bucket List during this trip! So Leah and I toured the historic bathhouses of Hot Springs, which were very popular during the turn-of-the century because of the pleasant thermal waters that Hot Springs is named for. It was hot that day, so we stopped in at Lucky’s Bar a couple of times for drinks.

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It was there we made the final decision to take Miki up on her offer and check out the fish-fry with her and her husband, Chad. Where we found ourselves for the rest of the evening was at the Hippie Holler Band Hangout which was not unlike a motorcycle club. We got to meet some of Miki and Chad’s friends, including the lovely Oona Love, who was fronting the band that night. So, in true form, we got a little tipsy and danced to the funky music until we started getting a little too much attention from the single boys and headed home… well, to the Village Inn.

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Except it was nearing two in the morning when we finally got back to Hot Springs Village and we weren’t so sure we wanted to drop another 90-ish bucks on a hotel room we were only going to occupy for a couple of hours. This is where the story gets a little bit silly. Leah wanted to put on our swimsuits, some bug spray, and sun block and sleep on the lawn chairs by the pool, I quickly nixed that idea (although Leah still maintains to this day that it was a great idea!). Oh- and by the way- we had made plans to join Miki in church the next morning. Oh yea, and we were SO HUNGOVER. So, in the parking lot of the Village Inn, we slept in our car (which was beginning to take on a bizarre, yeasty odor that wasn’t jiving very well with our hangovers). When the sun finally rose, we cleansed ourselves with an early morning swim in the pool, forced down breakfast at a nearby diner, tried to find coffee to-go but had to make do with some fake, syrupy iced coffee from a gas station, and then went to our designated meeting spot to meet Miki and family.

The next hour or so that Leah and I spent trying to miraculously feel good enough to go to church with strangers, while sitting in the crazy-hot car, was probably one of the most uncomfortable times in our lives. It was as if we had melted. The time passed by slowly, and with a lot of moaning interrupted by confused laughter mixed with bad smells.

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Eventually, we went to church, which was Southern Baptist. Neither Leah or I are religious, but we do enjoy a righteous, cultural experience. And hey- we were offered the chance to be Saved! Which we declined. Miki’s large family welcomed us into the fold seamlessly, and by the time church was over and we had finished lunch, we were family: Miki-mom, Chad-dad, and their Yankee daughters.

As evening rolled around, we found ourselves back at the Village Inn, formally checked in and everything. And fully recovering from an unexpected weekend we still like to brag about. And lo- the car was fixed the next day at around 4pm (we ended up waiting at the mechanics from noon to four). Twenty six hours and a few tired tears (mine, not Leah’s) later, we were back in Boston.

And that is the story of the first time I went to Arkansas.

Hot Springs Village on Dwellable

^^Yayy!! I'm gonna be famous!!^^

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:55 PM EDT

    Hi Zy,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Hot Springs Village to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!