Friday, March 13, 2015

Our Eureka Springs Babymoon

Let's start by saying... our babymoon was AWESOME! 

The trip began with a bit of nervousness and about 100 Hail Mary's on my part. While the state of Arkansas put out a blast to the world saying, "DO NOT TRAVEL DUE TO CRAZY SNOWY ICY WEATHER," we decided to ignore that. And so this is what we drove through...


Or I should say, this is what John drove through. My amazing husband fearlessly drove the whole way there. While the snow/ice/crazy slowed us down quite a bit and extended our travel a few hours over the 6 hour maximum I had set as a rule on our babymoon travel, it was still more than worth it.

When we arrived, our hosts, Eureka Springs Treehouses, let us check in 2 hours early. Thank goodness! Originally our plan was to explore town a bit to kill time before check in, but as you can imagine from the above picture, town was pretty much CLOSED. So, with the keys to our castle in hand, we headed a few miles down the road to our royal arrangements. On the way, we kept our eyes pealed for food options since we hadn't had lunch yet and were thinking we should grab food before we settled into the room for the night.

We were just about to pull into a Pizza Hut, which we thought would likely be the only folks crazy enough to stay open through the storm, when I spotted a lone OPEN sign across the street on another restaurant. And as luck would have it, they were on my pre-researched list of yummy Eureka Springs food to try! So we excitedly crossed the street and ate at Thai House Restaurant.




As you can see, they were super crowded and we had to wait forever for our food.

Kidding! 

We were the only folks in the restaurant, so we had all attention on us and fast, delicious service. Yum!

Btw, I should mention now that this post is going to consist mostly of food pics and meal stories because eating is always my favorite part of traveling. Sorry in advance, but not really. 

Also, we were silly and mostly only used our iPhone cameras to get pics. I think we took a grand total of 8 pics on our really nice camera. Doy. 

Anyway, after we filled our bellies, we packed our leftovers with plans of eating them again for dinner to avoid heading back out in the snow, and headed straight to our CASTLE!


Ta da! 

You're dying to see the inside, aren't you? Well here's a little tour for ya...

The entrance is there on the left and our comfy king-sized bed is obviously on the right.


We also had this great little kitchen area...


Which lead to this super fancy sink area. And there was a small room with a toilet and luggage closet behind me.


In front of the bed, we had this lovely little sitting area, complete with fire place #1, TV #1, a faux bookshelf, and a deck with a beautiful view off the back. 


The deck...


And the view! Not a super great pic, but super lovely in person.


Let's go back inside now, shall we? 

After just a few minutes of exploring, we discovered a secret passage way behind the faux bookcase!


Which lead to our romantic jacuzzi tower!



Complete with another fireplace, another TV (not shown, above the fireplace)...


And another beautiful view of the woods and the mountains.


Also behind the secret passageway was a knight in shining armor! 


And the most luxurious shower I've ever showered in. See all the jets? 


So that's the grand tour, but if you want to see even more pics of the castle, check out this vid from the Eureka Spring Treehouses website.

After exploring our castle, we settled in for quite a while, took a jacuzzi bath, watched some HGTV (my fave!), and then decided to brave the storm just a little more with an early evening trip out to rent a movie and buy some cinnamon sticks at that still-open Pizza Hut. 


We found a Redbox only a mile from our castle and the Pizza Hut was pretty close too, so we weren't too scared to venture out. Plus, the roads were dead! So it was safe, promise.

We rented Book of Life, which was adorable, and then drifted off into dreamland. Sleep was blissful!

The sunlight beaming through our big window woke both of us rather early, such a lovely way to greet the morning! We ate some microwave oatmeal for breakfast and made our plan for the day. 

We decided to head into town to check out all the cutesy little shops and scope out the lay of the Eureka Springs land. While our time out exploring was great, especially since the snow made everything look so pretty and peaceful, as you might have guessed, most of the town was still closed down. We did end up finding a few open shops, including a hot sauce shop named Silly Chili and a shop with lots of shoes, but town was definitely mostly closed. 


For lunch, I was excited to see that another place on my list of must-eats was open: Nibbles Eatery! 



Mmmm! Cafe food at its finest! I ate a most tasty shaved beef sandwich and drank a large pot of tea. Good times.

With full tummies, we headed back to the castle.


And then spent the afternoon hanging out. This consisted of more HGTV, some reading (I'm trying to get through The Birth Partner before baby shows up!), some chatting, and a very awesome nap.

Once the princess awoke from her nap (that's me!), we headed back into town with hopes that a few more restaurants would be open for dinner. The snow had been slowly melting all day, so we figured that would work in our favor. And it did!

For dinner, we enjoyed Stone House, which was probably my favorite restaurant on the trip. They serve wine and cheese platters, which does not sound like a good spot for a pregnant lady at all, I know, but I just love me a good cheese platter. When we realized all of their pre-arranged platters had at least a few cheeses and meats I couldn't have, we mentioned it to our waitress and she said, "No prob! Let's just create your perfect cheese platter together!" And it really was perfect! This pregnant lady was easily able to avoid soft cheeses, unpasteurized cheeses, and deli meats like she was supposed to. And yet it was still so tasty. Check it out...



I'm drooling just looking at it again.

And in addition to the delicious food, the Stone House also had a Beatles playlist on the whole time we were there. That makes it the perfect restaurant in Stephanie's book.


But we didn't stop there.

Since we were only in town for 3 nights and this was already night #2, we knew we had to take advantage of the many amazing-sounding food options available while we still could. So we headed to another restaurant for dessert: La Stick Nouveau.

It was so good!

I ordered a butternut squash cheesecake with apple crumble and John got a 3-in-1 chocolate sampler dessert. Both divine!


Actually, John said it was probably the best chocolate dessert he's ever had. And that's saying something because this boy eats a LOT of chocolate!

And we had the whole place to ourselves.


While you might think a quiet, mostly closed town is kinda lame, we found it fantastic. It was so peaceful, so relaxing, and also so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. 

When we headed home, we picked up another Redbox movie, What If, a rom com starring Daniel Radcliffe AKA Harry Potter. Neither of us had heard of it before, but since we both love rom coms and we both love Harry Potter, we figured we couldn't go wrong. And we didn't. It was super cute! Plus, we watched it in our jacuzzi, which made the night even more awesome! 

The next morning, the snow had really melted, so we had high hopes that many of the shops in town would be open. We headed into town for an early breakfast and were happy to find that town was waking up! While we loved our previous day spent in a slow, quiet, mostly closed town, we were also excited to experience Eureka Springs in all its mountain-town glory.

Breakfast was at Mud Street Cafe and it was, as all our other meals, SO GOOD!

John and I splurged and got these super-decadent drinks. He went with the Almond Joy Coffee and I had a Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, both topped with the thickest, creamiest, yummiest whipped cream ever.


And then we had to find room to eat the main feast. We split the veggie hash and a giant blueberry sour cream pancake. Both superb!


Since we ventured out so early for breakfast (8am!), town wasn't quite awake yet for shop exploring, so we headed back to the castle and relaxed into the early afternoon. There was lots of reading, Johnny did some programming (he's designing an app!), and we took a long, cuddly nap. 

After being lazy for a while, we decided to make a plan for the afternoon and evening. It was, sadly, our last evening in town, so we needed to make sure we did it right! 

We started with an adventure that included...

Visiting the beautiful Thornncrown Chapel (oops, forgot the nice camera)...





Shop hopping in the historic downtown area, where we found an awesome shop called Bathe and created our own lavender-scented bath salts... 



Visiting Christ of the Ozarks...


And ended by eating dinner at another oh-so-good restaurant, Caribe...


These house-made salsas and chips were to die for!


And the vegetarian mole (it was a Lenten Friday, after all)... indescribably good!


Not even an inch of room left for dessert!

We headed back to our castle for our last evening as royalty and, of course, once we settled in, we went straight for the jacuzzi. Only this was the best jacuzzi bath of them all because we used our lavender bath salts to make it all bubbly and heavenly-smelling.

We also played a round of John's new board game: Eldritch Horror. I thought it was just meh, but he loved it, so I was happy to play a round with him. 

We soon drifted off to sleep and awoke the next morning to the beautiful sunrise peaking through our deck window.


The iPhone camera obviously does not do it justice.

We had a nice lazy morning, both taking luxuriously long showers in that extravagant shower cave, reading and programming a bit more, and fitting in a few more episodes of my fave shows on HGTV. Before we knew it, it was time to pack and go, so we bid farewell to our castle and headed into town for a few more quick adventures.


Including our couples massage at Healing Benefits, which was SO relaxing. John especially loved the chocolate lotions they used on him. And I loved all the attention my masseuse paid to my achey lower back. 

We had one last meal at a very famous local place: Local Flavor Cafe, which for some reason I took no pictures of, but I promise it was delightful! I had an eggplant sandwich with a walnut pesto. Mmmmm! 

And we just couldn't leave town without picking up a magnet, which is what we do whenever we visit a new place together. 

And that was it! 

We headed back to Memphis and, without all that crazy snow/ice stuff, we made it back in less than 6 hours. Lovely! 

So, if you couldn't tell from all the stories and pics, we had a fantastic time. And it was much needed! It was just soooo relaxing and also, we had lots of time to talk about our little bundle of joy and what life will be like once he or she joins us. While we definitely talk about that a bit while we're home in Memphis, it was nice to have this special time carved out to focus on baby, and also to focus on relaxing before baby makes things busy for a while. 

Honestly, it was the perfect get away. 

Going on a trip to celebrate our marriage, our love, and our soon-to-be new role as parents... we're blessed beyond measure. 

22 comments:

  1. awesome pictures.. looks like you had a lovely time.

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  2. Wow look at all that SNOW!!! Beautiful. So glad you had a great time!!

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  3. I was so looking forward to this recap after you mentioned you were staying in a CASTLE! And it totally lived up to my expectations, lol. This place is now on my bucket list, it looks awesome. I'm glad you got both rest and adventure! Sounds like a great trip!

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    1. Ha! So glad it lived up to your expectations. It lived up to ours too. :) If you ever end up going, you'll have to let me know what you guys end up doing there!

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  4. Okay, now I'm really hungry. So glad you had a great time!

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    1. I've made myself hungry again too. :) Food pics are the best, but eating the real thing is even better. Thanks, Lynda!

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  5. Looks like such a great time! The downtown looks really neat! And the food... :-)

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    1. All of it was so fantastic, especially the food. :)

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  6. I'm glad you had such a great time! I love that they had a secret passage and a suit of armor. Wouldn't be a castle without it!

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    1. Did your *real* castle have suits of armor and secret passages??

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  7. Looks like you had a lot of fun!

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  8. Now I'm hungry! Looks like a good place to visit. I'll have to keep that in mind! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm making myself hungry too! :) If you ever end up visiting, you'll have to let me know what you do when you're there. It's a great little place to explore.

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  9. I LOVE THIS, and I am saving it!! I wish Eureka wasn't so far away from us because I want to go there NOW. ...but you wouldn't have caught this girl on the roads in that weather. Noooo ma'am!

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    1. If you guys ever make it up to Eureka, you'll have to post all about your adventure there. :) I hear it's especially nice in the non-winter months. Likely because that snow is a little crazy. I was sooooo nervous traveling in it, but I didn't want to cancel the trip, or even one night of it. So I'm glad we braved it. And especially glad God got us their safely!

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  10. This looks like the best trip ever: tons of food, HGTV, maximum introvert time. Glad it all was so amazing!

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    1. It sure was! Food + introvert time + HGTV = the best combo evarrrr!

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