July 19, 2016

Eureka & the Four Seasons

Well, I don't know about you, but I surely need a distraction. I don't want my blog to bring others down but I fully believe in not pretending everything is okay when it isn't. This week's been one of the most difficult weeks of my life, and it came after weeks of horrible news of terrorist attacks and episodes of police brutality (and corresponding hateful Facebook conversations) and I was already worn down. At this point I'm just more tired than I've ever been. 

I'm very thankful for my support system in this time. I was fortunate enough for my mom to have been in the area and was able to drop back by before she went home to Texarkana after I found out about Trent. I was fortunate enough my boyfriend was able to come in and attend the funeral with me. I was fortunate enough for there to be a carpool down and to have received flowers, homemade muffins, messages, calls, beer, and so, so many hugs. I was fortunate enough to have a collection of pictures and videos to smile at, and of having a friend so loved that I could spend hours reading all the sweet things written about him. 

So without further ado, I'd like to break the cycle here a little and let you know I am still looking at the positive things in life. I didn't do a great job taking pictures during my mom's birthday weekend, but I wanted to share the few I did take. 

We had a full day of garage sailing (as I like to call it) - all over Northwest Arkansas, because they exist but they're always so spread out. We ate food, watched a movie (the kind you squirm in your seat and wish there had been a better movie choice available because it's not prime watch-with-your-mother viewing material), walked around the Crystal Bridges trails, and spent a few hours in Eureka Springs. 

I've been to Eureka several times now. It's a little shy of an hour from Fayetteville near the northern state border. It's one of the area's best kept secrets and is full of beautiful old architecture, funky little shops, and this weird Hippie vs. Conservative Christian vibe going on, with the Passion Play on one side of town and all kinds of weird liberal artsy stuff sprinkled throughout - I love it.
Inspiration Point, right outside Eureka Springs
We also spent a fair amount of time antiquing and visiting flea markets. Which is what my mom likes to do when there aren't any more garage sales available. There were a couple of neat ones at Inspiration Point on the way to Eureka.

One of the many fudge + candy shops in Eureka.
I guess I've been to Eureka Springs so many times that I just don't think to take pictures of the town and streets. It's quaint and beautiful and not quite like anything else in Arkansas (though downtown Hot Springs would bear the closest resemblance). I'll try to remember to take more the next time I'm there, or find a few older ones from past visits to show you what I mean.

We always get fudge (and often lemonade) when we go together, and this time is no different. I've visited with friends and we usually opt for the bars, which are also plentiful for a town of this size. We unfortunately didn't find a great present my mom was dying to have, which was the game plan; a nice piece of artsy jewelry or something. (I've since learned the gift shop at the Restaurant on the Corner and Grill in Fayetteville would be right up that alley, though.) She ended up picking a nice pair of Tevas at the Lewis & Clark store later that day. 

We didn't have a lot of time after a lazy Sunday morning before she had to go to her ALE conference in Rogers that afternoon. She suggested we just go for a walk - and trying to think of something new, as we'd gone to Lake Fayetteville a couple of times already, I thought she might like to try out the trails at Crystal Bridges museum, which even I hadn't spent much time at yet, but I did know of some beautiful sculptures that were supposed to be out on the grounds. 

The fiberglass bust sculptures were created by Philip Haas and were inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo's four 1563 Italian Renaissance paintings: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. What I didn't know was that my mom had studied Arcimboldo back in college. It was really cool to see her reaction as it was, but even cooler because of the coincidence. We've been pretty lucky with her Crystal Bridges visits. My mom may have been an art teacher for a very long time, but she isn't always crazy about museums or every kind of art - she's almost as picky as she is with her taste buds. But the last time she visited they even had the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibit, which was stellar. Crystal Bridges always has such fun exhibits, which are even better when they're free.

The busts are out there until September 12th, so be sure to check them out if you're in the area.

Til next time. 

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