Today’s journey took me to Arkansas. Greg and I spent time working in his father’s house, preparing it for market. While Greg worked in the garage, I tackled the master closet, sorting through and discarding clothing. We both felt Dad’s absence keenly. As I folded his shirts or tossed an old belt, I found myself listening for his voice calling out from the family room, telling me to stop working and come sit by him. I miss our chats and holding his hand. As I was finishing in the closet, Greg made the decision to be done for this day, and to drive east and enjoy what was left of the beautiful afternoon. I agreed!
We ended up in the pretty little town of Eureka Springs, AR. Once known for its healing springs, this town with a population of about 2100 is a popular tourist destination. Its steep winding streets are lined with Victorian style homes and quaint shops. Eureka Springs supports a strong creative community and has very interesting energy. I love this town tucked into the Ozark Mountains and normally visit at least once a year, often renting a cottage for a weekend retreat. However, it’s been two years since my last visit. It was time to rectify that.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that as we arrived, Greg and I were fervently hoping that the fudge shop was still open. It was! No visit to Eureka Springs is complete without stopping by Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory. They have a mouth watering selection of handmade fudges with such choices as pumpkin, maple and rocky road, along with traditional chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla. We never properly celebrated Greg’s birthday at the end of September, because he wasn’t feeling well. To remedy that, I treated Greg to half a pound his favorite maple fudge, along with a few other chunks in different flavors. We tried an old fashioned brown sugar based fudge, and a salted caramel and vanilla swirl. All were delicious!
Another favorite spot is The Catfish Cabin on the edge of town. This homey restaurant features, as one would surmise, catfish plus shrimp and other wonderfully prepared meals. I always get the catfish dinner. The perfectly fried fish comes with golden hush puppies and a baked potato and family style sides. The staff is friendly and happy to chat as they stop by the table to refill drinks. We left full.
The sun had set, while we enjoyed our meal. It was time to head back to Joplin. I’m so glad we took the time to visit Eureka. I left feeling inspired to return soon and spend the whole day, exploring the shops, sitting in the park, driving through the charming neighborhoods. And there’s another place I want to visit, for the first time. Mindy, who passed away last January…my traveling companion, my cousin who toured Scotland with me and embraced the custom of tea time…told me about a tea room in this town that she loved. We said we would come together and have tea sometime. I found it in the twilight. Simply Scrumptious Tea Room. It was closed for the evening. And it looked attractive and inviting, just as she described. I’ll be back. I’ll have tea, for both of us.