Hot Springs,… Finally! And a Special Birthday

Since my 2016 trip to southeastern US, I’ve hoped to visit Hot Springs, Arkansas; however, I simply ran out of time to add it to that trip.

My birthday approached, and I wanted to get out of town for a few days.  Hot Springs came up again because it was far enough south to get to warmer weather but not so far that I need a whole day to drive it. The celebration had started early when I visited family back East, and they decided to surprise me with the early presentation of a German Chocolate Cake decorated with six candles.  Then, my eldest sister informed me that she and my brother-in-law would treat me to a week in their timeshare!  Finally, my youngest brother accepted my invitation to spend that week enjoying the facilities and activities along with me!!

I left home the Friday before my b-day very concerned about family and friends who were in the path of Hurricane Florence and the extreme flooding that was expected in its wake.  In contrast, the weather on the road was spectacular. The route is pretty straightforward with plenty of interstate driving and not much to see or sites of particular interest except the scenic route through the Ozark Mountains.

I intentionally limited my drive through Missouri to a single gas up, restroom break and sandwich pickup because the ongoing warning for African Americans traveling in the state that was issued by the NAACP.

I left late, so it was late when I arrived. My brother, Gerry, wasn’t expected until sometime Saturday evening.  I decided to get settled, rest from the drive, and try to get some writing done on my book project. Well, that was the plan, anyway.  I actually spent the day working with the resort to make the condo more accessible, especially the bed, and watching Florida State University’s football team get its ass kicked. Gerry arrived, but he was showing the wear of two days of driving, so we called it an evening.

Sunday was almost uneventful. The advantage of being in one place for a week is that there is no rush to get out and “do stuff.” Gerry and I had breakfast out, bought groceries with which to stock the kitchen, and I had to buy a new cellphone to replace the one that suddenly died–for someone who took forever to buy my first cellphone, I’ve become rather dependent and didn’t last more than a few hours before replacing it. Other than that, we watched the Sunday football games and talked about family and whatever came to mind.

A good, relaxing day. Isn’t that what a vacation should be about?

Monday was my birthday. My eldest sister and brother-in-law had also surprised me with an expenses paid visit to Quapaw Baths & Spa, one of the two fully operational spas in Hot Springs. I was able to get reservations for both Gerry and me for that morning. Talk about being pampered! We both had our own private baths, with Gerry opting to follow it with a Swedish massage and I got the Swedish massage, foot conditioner and head massage.

After resting up at the condo, we went out to dinner at Red Lobster (seafood deprivation is a terrible thing, so my decision to go there was a no-brainer). Between being Monday night during the off-season, there was no waiting and the wait staff gave us lots of attention. I surfed and turfed and drank my usual virgin pina colada. The staff offered me ice cream with candle on top and sang “Happy Birthday.”

It was really nice to spend my birthday with family!!