Sunday, January 27, 2013

Eureka Springs Vacay

This year, Joel and I managed to snag two full weeks off work for Christmas together. After being snowed in for a couple of days at my parents' house then catching up with all our Oklahoma City family, we booked a last-minute trip to Eureka Springs. We made the 5 hour drive on New Year's Day and even scored an extra night free in the Oak Crest Treehouse Cottages.

Warm tootsies.
View from our deck

Ready for some zzz's in our treehouse.
View from being tucked in bed

The treehouse was fantastic. It sat about a story high and had a kitchenette, fireplace, jacuzzi and a beautiful forest view from the back deck. The first morning as I sipped my coffee, I spotted several deer just hanging out below our cabin. While it was a little too cold to enjoy the outdoors, we still felt happy to be away from the city and were able to really relax.

Eurea Springs 2012

Eurea Springs 2012


A major goal of this trip was to recharge. We took the Apple TV and watched way too many movies as well as the entire second season of Portlandia, caught up on reading, and napped to our hearts' content. We also took several long drives and just enjoyed some non-flat scenery. Really, it was perfect.

Fat tire on tap. Not in ok city anymore.
Enjoying some live music, Fat Tire, and burgers

On our second night, we found a cute little Indian restaurant (that served hamburgers and soup) with some live bluegrass music and an open mic night. It was a cultural juxtaposition and a lot of fun. After downing a few beers there, we made the creepy drive up the mountain for the ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel.

I don't know if I even believe in ghosts, but that tour was creepy. We didn't see any apparitions or capture any orbs in our photographs, but we were ready to get out of there. Since our cabin was basically on stilts, it creaked and made noises in the night. After leaving the Crescent and going to bed, we both woke around 2 a.m. and were scared. Because we're ridiculous. It was the wind. Anyway, moving on.

Crescent hotel up the stairs. Think there are any ghosts?
Looking up the haunted stairs

While the hotel had quite a sordid history, the most scandalous owner was Norman Baker, who claimed he could cure cancer. Despite the fact that he wasn't a doctor, he turned the hotel into a hospital and charged patients tons of money for bogus, painful treatments. This resulted in a lot of bad juju up in that hotel. The creepiest part of the tour was no doubt the trip to the basement, AKA Baker's morgue.

Eurea Springs 2012Eurea Springs 2012
A Shining-esque hallway and our theatrical tour guide

Eurea Springs 2012
In Baker's basement checking out the walk-in freezer where he kept the bodies

Eurea Springs 2012
And a proper cutesy picture outside the hotel

On our last full day, we explored downtown Eureka Springs. Because we were there during the winter off season, many attractions, shops, and restaurants were closed. We still enjoyed the cobblestone walkways and kitschy stores though. I told Joel it felt like we were in Diagon Alley, only without all the awesome magic.

Eurea Springs 2012

Eurea Springs 2012
Stocking up on candy for the drive home

Eurea Springs 2012
Civil War action figures in a toy people actually buy this crap?

Eurea Springs 2012
And the creepiest old dolls I have ever seen

This little trip was kicked off the new year in a great way. It was refreshing to unplug and relax, just Joel and I, especially after the craziness that was December. Throw in that it was only 5 hours away and inexpensive and you've got the perfect last-minute trip. I know we live in a relatively big city, full of green grass and big skies, but there's just something about mountains, vast views and lots of stars in the sky that you just can't beat.

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