Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Family vacation II (Hot Springs, AR)

Last week we took a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas in what is now becoming an annual vacation with the whole family. There were a few people who couldn't make it so we "only" had 29 people. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about this trip. Hot Springs in the middle of summer? Sounds hot and miserable. And what is there to do in Arkansas? So glad I was wrong.

We left in the morning and after 7+ hours on the road, arrived in Hot Springs just in time for dinner. Afterwards we walked around the town to explore for a little bit before it got dark.

First family meal of the trip and the kids easily took over the dining table.

Filling up with thermal spring water... but I didn't expect it to be that hot.

Family walk around Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Anthony Chapel.

The inside is filled with natural light.

On our way to the koi fish pond.

Dangerous crossing... for a 5 year old.

Tree house.

Inside the tree house.

Swimming, kayaking, and SUP'ing (stand up paddleboard) at Lake Ouachita State Park (pronounced WASH-e-taw).

Cooling off in the lake.

Cousins. 💗

Kayaks and stand up paddleboards.

These kids picked it up pretty quick.

Explored Hot Springs National Park and booked our own private bath at Quapaw Bathhouse, where we got to soak in the natural thermal waters of Hot Springs.

Obligatory family photo in front of the sign.

The bathhouse we would be using later that day.

Bathhouse row.

The little ones getting their junior ranger badges.

Burgers and beer at Superior Bathhouse Brewery. They use the thermal spring water to brew their beer. 

Ice cream at Kringles.

Taking a break.

Time for our couple's mineral bath.

More swimming, kayaking, and SUP'ing... and riding/jumping off of a pontoon boat at Lake Catherine State Park.

Lunch on the lake.

I like these paddleboards which can also be used like a kayak.

Andrew taking a break.

What a view.

Time to jump off the pontoon boat.

There goes Tyson.

Jacob's "flip".

Andrew finally didn't hurt himself.

My back flip.

On our way back home, we made a detour to Crater of Diamonds State Park to dig for potential diamonds and other gems. We took home some nice rocks. 😆

Such a large area to cover...

Digging a hole.

More digging.

Digging in dirt is good enough. Finding something is just a bonus.

On a side note:
The house is a historic place, a.k.a. really old. And a little creepy. Lynn, Elliot, and I took the bedroom in the basement since no one wanted to sleep down there. To get to it, you had to walk down creaky wooden stairs, which were barely visible and poorly lit. And the whole area smelled musty. But on the plus side, we had the whole basement to ourselves.

But weird things happened. Who turned off the TV? Where did my water bottle go? Is this place haunted? 😱

Oh neat... or so I thought.

Street view of the house from Google Maps.

What's that in the window?


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