DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL, United States

Local Flavor, Eureka Springs AR

Local Flavor Restaurant, Eureka Springs AR


After the Eureka Springs trolley tour, we were finally hungry. That gooey apple pastry from breakfast kept hunger at bay for hours, but now it was time to eat.

The Innkeeper’s Suggestion

I’ve mentioned that our innkeepers were good at making suggestions for things to see, do and eat. Sometimes I’m as wary of these suggestions as I am of a hateful online rant, but once I’m sure the recommendations aren’t tied to some ulterior motive, I’m anxious to follow them.  One restaurant Zoie recommended several times was Local Flavor, so Deb and I decided to have our late lunch/early supper there.

I can’t say that Local Flavor was our absolute favorite thing on the trip, because we had too many wonderful experiences to pick out just one. Or even our favorite meal of the trip, because I’ve already told you about a couple of other amazing feasts.  However, it was easily the best meal we had in Eureka Springs.  Well, maybe the best meal besides breakfast, because that Strawberry Crepe was pretty remarkable.  Well, you get the idea, we thought it was pretty darned good!

Great Day & Better Restaurant

To begin with, we had a great table and it was a beautiful day.  That makes anything taste better.  Then we ordered a white sangria. OMG!! Nectar of the gods! It was made with peaches and tasted like heaven.  The sangria alone is worth making the trip to Eureka Springs.Baked Brie, Local Flavor, Eureka Springs AR

Then we shared an appetizer.  Oh yum!  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Just imagine the best baked brie you’ve ever had and turn up the volume.

For an entree, I had a vegetarian sandwich and Deb had a salad, but I forgot to take pictures of them.  I got tickled on this trip at the number of people who take pictures of their food when it is delivered.  All of them can’t be bloggers, so I’m not sure what’s up.

At the table next to us were three college-aged kids.  As soon as each course of their food was delivered, all three grabbed their cameras, bowed their heads and took pictures.  It appeared so ritualistic that I was reminded of people who take time to bow their heads and say grace formally.

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The Cathouse Lounge

I think we may even have found a dessert to share, but nothing beat the sangria and baked brie.  As I sat on the patio enjoying the last few hours of my vacation, I thought about where Eureka had been and where it might be going.

Checking Out the Surroundings

Right across from Local Flavor  was The Cathouse Lounge, another popular attraction, but take a look at the vehicles parked out front.  This was the primary difference I saw and heard between the Eureka Springs of today and the one my parents used to visit. I don’t recall hearing the throbbing beat of a Harley on my previous visits, but the purring of these hogs is now the soundtrack of Eureka Springs.

Eureka Springs was first a sacred healing site for Native Americans.  Then it became a boomtown for Victorian Americans who wanted to “take the waters.”  It made it through a series of fires and The Great Depression.  It’s been a wonderful little tourist town for a long time.  For years The Great Passion Play was the big draw, but I bet these days the Crescent Ghost Tour sells more tickets.  Though I didn’t see it on this trip, Trip Advisor says that Turpentine Ridge, a wildlife refuge, is now the number one tourist attraction.

Booze Bros Liquor, Eureka Springs AR
A sign of the future? Too funny not to share.

What’s does the future hold for a cute little town perched between Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inns and motorcycle gangs? I hope your future holds a visit to Eureka Springs and maybe even a visit to some of the other places Deb and I visited on our Lemonade Tour.

Contributing to the Local Economy

After our meal at Local Flavor, Deb and I did a little shopping.  It would have almost been criminal not to.  My favorite shop was Two Dumb Dames.  It’s a fudge factory, but the guy who waited on me was no dumb dame.  He was the husband of one of the original dumb dames’ granddaughters.   I guess those dames weren’t so dumb after all, if a third generation is making a living out of the shop.

Do I look tired? Maybe it’s because Bill drug me out to see our jasmine as soon as I got home.

Shopping done we relaxed at the B&B, repacking our bags, catching up on our reading and checking on our social media. Then it was time to head home.  Ah, home!  I did save the best for last.

Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, United States

Eureka Springs Trolley Tour

Our Eureka Springs tour guide discussing the local flora
Our Eureka Springs tour guide discussing the local flora


In my travels, I’ve discovered that one of the quickest ways to cover a lot of ground is to hop on-board a bus or trolley and let someone else do the driving. I’ve also run into some people who are violently opposed to these tours, calling them a tourist trap, a waste of money, trite, canned and any number of other things.  Would I rather have the time to investigate all the things myself? Of course! But if I don’t have the time to do it “properly” then I’m grateful for the “canned” tour.

One of the many historic Victorians in Eureka Springs
One of the many historic Victorians in Eureka Springs

Local Guide Enhances Tour

Actually, I’ve found most of these tours are narrated by someone who is a local and who loves the place I’m visiting.   That was particularly true in Eureka Springs.  Our tour guide was born and raised in Eureka Springs, worked in law enforcement and used to play Pilate out at the Great Passion Play.  (I’m guessing he didn’t lip sync.)

The Queen Anne Mansion, Eureka Springs AR
The Queen Anne Mansion

We’d heard bits and pieces of the local history, legends and myths by the time we took the tour, but our guide presented them in an orderly fashion that made sense out of them.  Most of what I’ve told you over the last few weeks concerning the history of the town comes from this tour.

No Getting Lost

Another thing I love about tours is that they know their way around.  Even with a GPS giving you directions, it’s easy to get lost when you’re trying to navigate a new place – especially if that new place is somewhere as twisty and turny as Eureka Springs.  Besides, even if you do know your way around or it’s a particularly easy find your way, driving while sightseeing is hard to do – especially if you’re the driver.  On the tour, Deb and I both got to enjoy ourselves rather than one of us having to drive and the other having to navigate.

Besides the excellent information on the tour, we got some amazing pictures.  I think I’ve already told you everything important you need to know about the town’s history, so I think I’ll shut up and let you enjoy the scenery.  If you ever take the tour, you may notice that all of these pictures came from one side of the street, Deb got the other side, but when I wrote this, I we hadn’t shared our pictures, yet. Be sure and come back next week and I’ll tel you about our favorite meal in Eureka Springs.











Gardens, Museums, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

A Morning in Eureka Springs

Thorncrown Chapel
Thorncrown Chapel


On our second and last full day in the area, we wanted to see as much of Eureka Springs itself as we could. During the planning stage, I thought that our first stop would be Blue Spring Heritage Center, but Zoie and Rita, our B&B innkeepers, both seemed reluctant to endorse that choice.  They said the weather during the past seasons had not been good to the site.  I still want to go someday, but I didn’t make it on this trip.

Innkeeper Review Beats Out Trip Advisor

A resource I used for this trip, that I haven’t used in the past, was Trip Advisor.  I heard it mentioned several times on my cruise and have been having a blast writing reviews for it ever since.  As I traveled this time, I saw stickers up in many windows bragging about their affiliation with the site and several folks asked me to be sure and rate them on the site.  I found it a real asset in choosing attractions, but a reliable local, like your innkeeper is also a good source of information.

Thorncrown Chapel

Zoie, Trip Advisor and my past experience all agreed on Thorncrown Chapel.  It’s a non-denomination chapel with very unusual architecture in a gorgeous setting.  It’s just a short drive out of the town on 62 and it’s even on a trolley route

On this trip, we got a bonus.  We went in, sat down and prayed quietly for awhile.  The the volunteer who’d handed us a brochure stood at the front of the chapel and sang God Bless America.  We were there on Memorial Day, so I can’t imagine a better way to start the day.

I think everyone should visit Thorncrown, religious or not.  There really is something for everyone.  It’s free, it’s close by and it doesn’t take very long.  When you walk to the parking lot, your spirit will be refreshed.


The garden at Quigley's Castle
The garden at Quigley’s Castle

Quigley Castle

Quigley Castle was our next stop. I’d initially been interested in this one, but had been worried by the Trip Advisor comments.  Reviewers said it wasn’t worth the money and that it was run down.  They must have gone to another Quigley’s Castle.  I’m glad Zoie encouraged us to go.

One of the interesting collections inside the house - Carnival Glass.
One of the interesting collections inside the house – Carnival Glass.

I think part of the problem is the name.  After a little reading, I quickly gathered that castle was used in the “a man’s home is his castle” sense, but Zoie was careful to point out that it wasn’t really a castle, so some people must find that confusing.  As to the price, I thought $6 dollars was reasonable.  It’s in line with a downtown parking space or a one way trolley ride.  Certainly the opportunity to see the unique home and lovely gardens was worth a few dollars.  I’ve paid more and gotten a lot less.

Quigley's "Castle"
Quigley’s “Castle”

As to run down, I have no idea what they were talking about.  The house is not new, but it’s not run down.  The gardens are not stiffly groomed, but that’s part of the charm.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and thought the time spent there was well worth the price.

Her interior garden from the second floor.
Her interior garden from the second floor.

Here’s what I loved about the place.  To begin with, the woman who lived there must have been a hoot.  Her husband kept promising to build her a new house.  When years went by without him making good on the promise, she and her kids tore down the old house and started the new one while he was out in the fields one day.

The building material was of great interest, also.  She collected rocks – lots of them.  Today we’d probably accuse her of being OCD and medicate her, but she put her obsession to good use.   She used mortar to turn the rocks into bricks, then used the bricks to build the house.    But once the house was done, she didn’t quit collecting rocks or building.  The gardens of the home are full of her creations made from her beloved river rocks.

A poor man's Chihuly.
A poor man’s Chihuly.

The interior of the house is just as unique as the exterior.  She was so interested in gardening, she didn’t want to take a break just because winter came to the Ozarks, so she included a garden in the house.  One three sides of the interior, the floor does not go all the way to the outer wall.  That space is reserved for her garden and some of the plants in it grow all the way to the second floor.

Rocks and plants weren’t the only things that interested Mrs. Quigley, inside the home you will find many interesting collections, like carnival glass, milk glass and shells.  But Mrs. Quigley wasn’t the only collector in the family.  Mr. Quigley collected his bottles,which you can see in the many bottle trees incorporated in the garden.  I called them a poor mans Chihuly.

Mrs. Quigley's granddaughter
Mrs. Quigley’s granddaughter

Perhaps the most charming thing about Quigley’s castle is that it isn’t run by some big corporation.  It’s run by Mrs. Quigley’s granddaughter.  From her you get the first hand skinny on what live was like at Quigley’s CAstle.  With all the amazing things we saw and did on this trip.  I confess, this attraction was one of my favorites.

With a little time to kill before the 1:30 Trolley Tour, we had a chance to see the Eureka Springs Historical Museum.  We really enjoyed it.  The history of the town is laid bare with photos and artifacts.  There’s also lots to read, so we were there for a long time, but if you’re not a reader, then you could zip through pretty quickly.  It costs five dollars to get in, but I thought it was worth it.

Come back next week and find out about our Trolley Ride and see some beautiful Victorians.

ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Performing Arts, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

The (Not So) Great Passion Play

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Some guitar picking with “Jerusalem’s Temple” in the background.


This is one of those blogs I didn’t want to write. I love telling you what’s good and fun and interesting, but I hate it when I have to report on something that disappointed me. Still, I see it as my job to report what I find as I find it.

Great Anticipation

I’ve heard of the Passion Play in Eureka Springs for what amounts to all my life.  People whose opinions I trust have told me that it was one of the most moving things they’d ever seen.  I’d just never managed to see it before and I wasn’t going to miss it this time.

There was a time that the Great Passion Play was one of the hottest tickets in the Ozarks. You ordered your seats months in advance and packed audiences attended night after night.  The world has changed and so has the Ozarks.

Even still, I was surprised at just how small the crowd was – a third full, if that. We didn’t care.  We were there to enjoy the play. As we waited for the performance we tried to guess what each of the locations in “Jerusalem” would be.  We saw the sun set behind the Christ of the Ozarks statue.  We were ready for a good night.

There was some guitar picking and national anthem singing and then signs the play was about to begin. A recorded voice bragged that the sound track was played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  That was great, but someone should have turned down the volume.  It overpowered everything else.

The Lazarus scene went pretty well and then Jesus and his crowd erupted into Jerusalem.  This scene really needs some strong direction and new blocking.  I know they don’t want Jesus to stand in a stationary position declaiming his lines, but it was like a game of Where’s Waldo. He’s up, he’s down, he’s left, he’s right. He’s also flopping his hair all over the place.  The frequent hair flopping was so un-Jesus like.  It was very distracting.

The writers also seemed to stuff entirely too many vignettes into the scene in front of the Temple.  It was like they wanted highlights of Jesus’s entire three year career in one scene.  He was healing everything in sight, giving a few Beatitudes and then demanding the children come unto him.  I got dizzy it was moving so fast. My friend was particularly irritated by the children sequence.  She thought it went on too long in the context of the Triumphant Entry.

Then things seemed to improve.  Jesus wasn’t flopping his hair around quite so much and the story seemed to follow the Biblical timeline instead of jumping all over the place.  The music was still too loud, but I was learning to ignore it.  Then I noticed something odd.  The players were gesturing before their lines started.  Lip-syncing!  I wasn’t too upset that they were lip-syncing, just distracted by the premature gesticulations.

The last third of the show is the best part and then it was time to go home.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve done a little research on the internet.  Whispers of financial difficulties and bad blood seem to be a common thread.  I can’t say how sorry I am.  I wanted to be as wowed as some of my friends had been.  I was hoping to experience something really special.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of churches right here in Dallas that put on this same kind of play at Christmas and Easter and do a much better job of it.  They don’t have the spectacular permanent sets of the Great Passion Play, but they seem to be able to write and block better scenes, control the balance of the sound and have Jesus’s with tamer hair tosses.

So, should you go to the Great Passion Play?  I’d say it’s at least worth the price of admission. It’s not that it was truly awful.  I just expected so much more.

Moving onward and upward, Deb and I had one more day in Eureka Springs.  Come back next weeks for some attractions that did not disappoint.

Accommodations, Architecture, ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

A Creepy Night at the Crescent Hotel

Speaking of creepy, how do you like this time capsule?
Speaking of creepy, how do you like this time capsule?


Last week I told you the set up. This week I’ll take you along on the Crescent’s Ghost Tour. After the intro, a guide wearing a period costume, took us to an observation deck just past an odd looking time capsule. That’s where the lady of the mist performs.

Lady of the Mist

According to some folks, a lady surrounded by mists periodically glides down to the ground from the deck.  The guide had a picture he said proved it, but what looked like a reflection in the window to me, true believers say is actually the lady in the mist.

By chance, an actual suicide coincides with the tale.  Remember the women’s school that used the hotel during the winter months.  Well, one of the young women found herself in the family way and committed suicide rather than face the consequences.

Lobby of the Crescent Hotel
Lobby of the Crescent Hotel

The unfortunate woman’s tale was supplemented with a description of the method a young man in love might have used for a clandestine rendevous – a basket on a rope that was supposed to be for laundry.  Apparently, a well-timed whistle would get you whisked right up for a little TLC.  Talk about room service.

More Ghost Tales

The next tale was related to the women’s college, also. It’s also sad.  As the guide pointed out, most ghost stories are.  The banister of the the old stairwells would not meet today’s building codes.  It would be too easy for a small child to go over the top or climb through the balusters.  A child did and fell to her death five stories below.  An EMF meter went haywire when laid upon the solid wood filial above the newel post at the top, but it goes even crazier at handrails at the bottom of her fall.

Dr. Evil's Desk
Dr. Evil’s Desk

One of my favorite tales was of the woman who assisted Dr. Evil.  Apparently, she was a little OCD.  In the many years since then, she hasn’t found a cure.  If a messy person stays in the room that was hers, they find things have been tidied up for them without the assistance of housekeeping.  If they’re really messy, they’ll find their bags packed for them when they return to the room.

The most popular room in the hotel is Michael’s room. It’s sold out for month’s at a time and if you want to stay for Halloween, be patient – the line forms about five years out. Micheal was a handsome young Irish stone mason come from the Mother Country to build the Crescent Hotel.  Seems he was distracted by a pretty little thing  and fell to his death.  Michael’s still fond of the fairer sex.  Stay in his room and you’ll find you’re not staying alone.  Oh, and guys, you’re not welcome there.   Fall asleep in Michael’s bed and he’ll kick you out.

Ending Up in the Morgue

There are other stories to titillate and tease your imagination, but I guess you’ve gotten the drift of things.  The tour ends in the morgue.  I’m not much on morgues under any circumstances, but I certainly wouldn’t want to hang out in this one.  To make it even spookier, this where T.A.P.S. had their very paranormal experience which I mentioned last week.Word had it that on the tour previous to ours (they have more than one tour on busy nights) a guest of the hotel was scratched on his arm by an unseen hand.  He checked out and wouldn’t stay the night.  I think I’d be getting a tetanus shot.

So that’s the ghost tour.  I went back to the Inn at Rose Hall, because I was on my way to Crystal Bridges the next morning.  Join me next week and I’ll tell you all about it.

Accommodations, Architecture, ART, Attractions, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

Eureka Springs Magical Mystery Tour

Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs AR
Is that a ghost peeking out the window?


OK – so it wasn’t a magical mystery tour, but it was a ghost tour, so I was close. One of the joys of traveling with people is that they’ll inspire you to do things you wouldn’t do on your own. By myself or with my husband, The Crescent Ghost Tour would not have been on my agenda.  But if Deb wanted to go, well I was in.  After all, she was willing to do all the things on my list.

The History of The Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel has quite  a spooky history, but I didn’t realize that when I signed up for the tour.  I knew the hotel was linked to the springs and figured rich folks from the past would come there for the waters, but I didn’t know about Dr. Evil. (He called himself Dr. Ellis, but I think Dr. Evil is more appropriate.)

See, the guy who built the hotel made it one of the grandest hotels of his era, but taking the waters of Eureka Springs proved to be a seasonal event.  To keep the hotel running, it became a women’s college in the school year, but even that wasn’t enough when The Depression hit.  The Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks became an empty shell.

Guide, The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour, Eureka Springs AR
This is not Dr. Evil. This was our tour guide.

Once The Crescent Hotel fell on hard times, a less than gallant gentleman paid a mere pittance for it and set up one of the most awful places I’ve ever heard of in my life.  He claimed to be a doctor who had discovered the cure for cancer, but he was no doctor and he didn’t have any cures, either.  Still, people were desperate and paid magnificent sums to come be tortured with injections from huge hypodermic needles several times a day.  And if you didn’t like that, Dr. Evil would move you to the wing behind the iron plating so the other “guests” wouldn’t hear your screams.  No wonder this place is haunted.

It’s estimated that about 200 of his “patients” died in the three years he managed the house of horrors.  Finally, he was arrested for mail fraud.  Seems it was OK for him to claim he could cure cancer.  He just couldn’t send out letters through the mail claiming he could cure cancer.  The day he was arrested, all the patient files burned, but noone knows how. There’s a mystery for you.

Creepy Crescent Conditions

Anyway, The Crescent Hotel is now living a new life, but it can’t get away form the past.  There’s an abnormal number of things that seem to go bump in the night. They’ve even had T.A.P.S. from the SyFy Channel  in to check things out.  The link will take you to their very paranormal experience.

So if you can’t get rid of the ghosts, then you should capitalize on them – hence the nightly ghost tour. The ghost tour takes itself rather seriously.  They introduce the history of the town and the hotel.  Then they show you the T.A.P.S. video along with other things like photographs of orbs and pictures of unexplained apparitions.  If you’re the least bit bothered about things like this, expect the hair to stand up on the back of your neck.

registration desk, Cresent Hotel, Eureka Springs AR
The registration desk in the lobby. Some of the guests have overstayed their welcome.

I approached the tour with an open mind, because I don’t think we’ve found the answer for everything, yet.  I don’t think that every time someone gets spooked it’s the dead coming to haunt them, but there are things we can’t explain.  However, even if there were ghosts at the Crescent, they weren’t going to come out on our tour.  We had a very obnoxious drunk on the tour and she mistakenly believed we were more interested in her encounter with Abraham Lincoln earlier in the day,  (Lincoln never visited the hotel) than we were in our tour guide.

Anyway, that’s the background.  Next week, I’ll tell you about the tour.

Accommodations, Architecture, ART, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

The Inn at Rose Hall, a B&B Paradise

Welcome to The Inn at Rose Hall
Welcome to The Inn at Rose Hall


When you receive your confirming email from The Inn at Rose Hall‘s innkeeper, she’ll give you directions to the B&B. Follow them. It’s a little tricky to get to, but don’t let that discourage you.  If I had to tromp through the jungle to get there, it would still be worth the effort.

The Inn at Rose Hall

The inn is on one of Eureka Springs lovely hillsides and the curb appeal is charming.  At first glance, you could be tricked into thinking the home had been there during the early 1900’s, but it wasn’t.  It’s better.  It just looks like one of those darling Victorians. The parking is a little scary – don’t bring your RV or dually – but pretty much everything else should be fine.

A big front porch graces the front and then big double doors provide access.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the doors.  The woodwork and stained glass are just beautiful.  When you first arrive, you must ring the bell to call the innkeeper, but after that you’ll have your own key.

The inn is run by Zoie and Rita.  Zoie owns it and Rita lives onsite.  Rita was the one to welcome us, but Zoie was soon in the kitchen to greet us.  I’d never met these people, except by email, but they made me feel like I’d just entered the home of a long lost friend.  Their welcome was warm and genuine.  They wanted to know where we were from, what brought us to Eureka Springs and what we wanted to do while we were there.  They were so busy helping us feel right at home that the pain of paying for it was barely noticeable.  We’d paid half to reserve the room and the balance was due.

I forget who led us to the room, because I was so overwhelmed.  OMG!  I promise, this is the best room I’ve ever stayed in at a B&B.  I noticed the upholstery and drapes first, then the rest of the accouterments got my attention.  The room is dominated by a pair of wing-back chairs next to a fireplace.  Then I noticed the luxurious queen-sized bed.  An antique amoire is close by and next to it a curtained alcove for a twin bed.  The bathroom is huge, modern and well appointed.  In the amoire is a pair of terry robes.  There are other features, like a flat screen TV, dresser and frig, but you should just go stay there yourself.

I found plenty of room to unpack for the three nights we’d be there, put a bottle of wine in the frig and then fell into a chair to relax.  Oh, did I mention the welcome truffles in their own little box or the aroma of cookies that greeted us when we came in?  Did I tell you about the beverage and snack room under the stairs where you can get your caffeine fix, pop some corn or heat up your leftovers from one of the town’s restaurants.  Like I said, you just need to go there to see it yourself.

Breakfast at The Inn at Rose Hall

Of course, breakfast is a big deal at any Bed & Breakfast Inn, but it’s even a bigger deal at The Inn at Rose Hall.  Guest gather in the comfortable living room.  It was a great way to compare notes with fellow travelers.  If you’re one of those folks who desperately need your first cup of coffee, you can serve yourself in the coffee room.  Then Zoie or Rita comes to welcome you.

The breakfast room itself is a pleasant room with huge windows to let in the sun.  A bricked patio surrounds the back of the house and I could see a gazebo where I bet some of the weddings happen.  The tables and chairs are all old pub tables, which I love. It’s a cozy room, but not crowded.

But don’t be distracted by the furnishings, the main attraction is the food.  On our first morning we had Strawberry Crepes.  The strawberries were beyond fresh and the cheese filling… I just drifted into nirvana thinking about it.  We didn’t linger over breakfast that morning, but we noticed how Zoie fills the role of tour director.  She let everyone know the best choices for meals, made suggestions for those who didn’t know what to do and made sure we knew how to get to Crystal Bridges, our first attraction of the day.  She’d already lent us a DVD about the museum, so we’d understand what we were going to see.  When she found out we’d be visiting The Great Passion Play that evening, she insisted we take along a blanket in the amoire drawer, so we wouldn’t get cold.  Are you getting the idea that this is not you usual B&B?

If you were to ask me if I was a fussy eater, I’d say no, but I’m learning that I am fussy about breakfast.  I don’t do eggs.  Oh, as long as they aren’t scrambled, I’ll begrudgingly eat them, but I’ll reserve the right to complain about them.  On our second day they served some sort of Mexican Egg Casserole.  Even though it was eggs, it was so good that I’m not even going to complain about them.  The eggs were fried, but they had so much cheese and salsa on them, that I could ignore them.  There was also a delicious fruit smoothie, so who was I to complain.

I have two other no buzzers when it comes to food – apples, especially baked apples, and raisins.  On the third morning we had some concoction covered in apples.  Thankfully there were no raisins.  My apple phobia is a texture thing.  I don’t mind the flavor, just the texture.  So I just raked off my apples and chowed down on the doughy goodness of the rest of it.  One thing I do love is cinnamon and there was plenty of that, along with some fresh whipped cream.

After taking in Crystal Bridges and seeing The Great Passion Play, our plans on Monday included attractions right in Eureka Springs.  We learned from Zoie that one of the things we’d planned on seeing was having some tough days.  It was supposed to be a garden, but drought and tornadoes had done a number on it.  She pointed us in the direction of another attraction to fill our garden quota and Rita agreed with her suggestions.  They also recommended a restaurant that was one of the culinary delights of our trip.  More about all of that later.

If I haven’t made it clear to you yet, I think you should visit The Inn at Rose Hall.  Since I always give you the good, the bad and the ugly, I’ll also give you some warnings about this place.  Don’t go if you’re on a diet and pack light.  The diet part is a joke, but carrying my bags up the wooden stairwell to the second floor wasn’t.  I have to take part of the blame, because as I’ve said, I over pack.  I also had a week’s worth of luggage since this trip was just part of a longer journey.  If you are an over-packer like me, you’d be better served to have several small bags, rather than the ginormous rolling bag I had everything stuffed in.  The bag was great for most of the trip, but not right at all for the B&B.

Well, I’ve rambled on for too long, but I could never find enough words to tell you how good this place is.  I’ve stayed in swankier inns, inns with more historical significance, even inns with more amenities like pools and such, but for now, The Inn at Rose Hill is my favorite – and I’ll be back.  If all of this sounds good, but you’re not the B&B sort, not to worry.  Zoie and her daughter have other choices in Eureka Springs where I’m sure you’ll be just as well taken care of.  Her daughter runs The Peabody House, a historic hotel, and together they manage the Lake Lucerne Cottages.  There’s something for everyone!

Speaking of something for everyone, next week I’ll tell you about our the Crescent Ghost Tour.  Only the brave dare to enter!

Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, United States

The Inn at Rose Hall

Here's where you should stay when you go to Eureka Springs
Here’s where you should stay when you go to Eureka Springs


Sit back and get ready for me to rave – yes, rave! I’ve just about worn myself out patting myself on the back for finding the The Inn at Rose Hall.

A Propitious Change of Plans

You never know what’s going to be the one thing that leads you to success.  On this trip it was a change of plans.  Deb’s son was originally supposed to be traveling with us.  Since Deb had never stayed in a B&B, she didn’t realize that finding a room for three would be challenging, especially if one of the three was a twenty-something male – and I didn’t tell her.

One evening before the trip, I sat down with an old favorite,  This site is a great resource and has been for a long, long time.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it over the years and to great success.  Sometimes I’m forced to look elsewhere when a city I’m visiting doesn’t have any listings, but if it’s on this site, you are going to get exactly what’s advertised.  If you’re forced to look elsewhere, there’s no telling what you’ll get.  Just ask me about the Restful Nest on the Rouge.

I plugged in where I was going, on what dates and how many guests.  There are hundreds of places to stay in Eureka Springs, but that third person narrowed the list down pretty quickly. Then the smaller list was whittled even further, because most of the places offering rooms for three were actually cabins and that’s not what I was looking for.  I wanted a darling little Victorian B&B, in the city, that would give us a great big breakfast. Yup, that was The Inn at Rose Hall.

A few disclaimers.  It’s not in the middle of downtown, but you don’t want to be there anyway.  Downtown is within walking distance and the trolley stops right out front, so you get the benefit of downtown without the hassles of downtown.  Also the property is not one of the original Victorians that decorate Eureka Springs – it’s better.  The inn has all the charm of the old Victorians, but none of the troubles.  It was built as a B&B with all the modern conveniences.  One thing I know, you’ll love it.

I loved it from the minute I found it online.  From, I clicked over to the inn’s site and knew it was the kind of property I enjoy visiting and they had exactly the room we wanted, called Treasures.  I went ahead and booked the room for the dates we wanted and almost immediately I had a warm email from Zoie welcoming me to her property.  Because our plans changed two or three times before we got there, I had several other emails from her, but they all made me anxious to check in.

We had to wait until five PM to check-in was because they were having a wedding.  I’ll confess the wedding part made me a little nervous.  I’ve been to B&B’s that were so focused on romance and weddings that it made me feel uncomfortable, but the pictures indicated that the decor was not dripping in lace or silk roses.  I thought we’d be safe and we were.  We were assured by guests who did get married there that the wedding service is extraordinary, but if you’re not getting married or you’re just traveling with your best friend, you’re not going to feel out of place.

Uh oh! I’ve run out of word count for today, so you’ll just have to wait to find out more about the Inn at Rose Hall.  You’re going to love it.  I promise.

DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

Mustangs, Amish Bread and a Cat

The Garden Bistro, Eureka Springs AR
Finally!! The Garden Bistro.


Last week’s post left poor Deb and I wandering the crowded stairwells of Eureka Springs wishing for something to eat, so you can imagine how glad we were to see the sign for The Garden Bistro.  It was already way past lunch time, so we weren’t picky about where we sat, but luck was with us.  There was a small table right out on the patio.

First the Mustangs

As we perused the menu, we heard some fellow dinners say something about a parade, which would have explained the madness we’d encountered downtown.  I thought a parade had marching bands and floats, but this parade was all vintage Ford Mustangs. Soon we heard the distinctive roar of hemi’s and cobras.  Not long after about fifty tricked out Mustangs, painted every color of the rainbow came by and we had a front row seat.Parade of Mustangs, Eureka Springs AR

Healthy Food

The Garden Bistro menu has a wide variety of offerings, but the focus seems to be on local, healthy and fresh.  We chose the chicken salad sandwiches.  The waitress warned us that it would be served on Amish Bread, but since we weren’t sure what Amish Bread was, that sounded alright to us.  Amish Bread translated into huge hunks of baked flour.  We’re talking so huge that if someone at the next table was gluten intolerant, they would have been in trouble, just from being in the proximity.

Chicken Salad Sandwich on Amish Bread, The Garden Bisto. Eureka Springs AR
I’ll have some chicken salad with that bread.

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.  The bread was delicious and I ate way more of it than I should have, but it was big – so big that even a bread lover like me couldn’t put it all away.   Amish Bread aside, I have to tell you, it was some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever put in my mouth and I eat a lot of chicken salad.

The Garden bistro, Eureka Springs AR
Along the bannister

A Friendly Place

About this time, the waitress showed up for a chat.  She’d been slammed since we got there and was still pretty busy, but she made time to welcome us.  Did we need another beer?  Did we like our food?  Where were we from?

Then another member of the staff showed up – the cat.  He wasn’t very interested in us though.  Birds frolicked nearby and they looked like dinner to him.  We watched him stalk the birds with an intent to kill, but the birds were long gone before he worked himself up to it.

Next week I’ll tell you about a feat we accomplished that amazed the locals.  Come back next Friday and find out what we did.

The Garden Bistro, Eureka Springs AR
The stalking cat
Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

Bedlam on the Mountainside

Welcome to Eureka Springs!
Welcome to Eureka Springs!


We arrived in Eureka Springs on the Saturday afternoon of a three day weekend. So did everyone else in the world. Poor little town – it was bursting at the seams. Our B&B was hosting a wedding, so we weren’t welcome until five PM, so we had to decide what to do with ourselves.  I’d been to Eureka Springs several times before, but before it had this sleepy little town sort of feel to it.  I expected it to be busier, but I  hadn’t dreamed of THAT much busier.

Strolling Up and Down the Mountainside

We decided to park downtown and find someplace to eat.  Talk about a needle in a haystack.  We did find a parking spot pretty much in the middle of town, but it was either a fluke or a miracle – I’m not sure which.

Then we wandered down Main Street for a block or so.  Tattoo parlors, shopping and coffee shops, but not much in the way of food. So we took the passenger bridge over Main up to Spring Street.  There we found Basin Spring, the spring that got all of this started, long before a white man showed up and made a park out of it.  The Native Americans had discovered it had healing properties  and considered the area sacred ground.  Nothing very sacred was going on that afternoon.

Just an aside, but here’s how crazy our nation has gotten.  Someone from the government showed up and warned the city that even though there was nothing dangerous about their spring water or any reason to suspect that there might be, they’d better make it impossible for anyone to drink from the springs or someday something might happen and the city just might get sued. So even though the spring provides good water and is reported to heal a number of serious problems, don’t think you’re going to get to come into town and try a drop or two on what’s ailing you.  All the springs are cemented up.  There’s something terrible wrong with that picture – especially when water is such a precious commodity, but I won’t get on that soapbox today.

Next to Basin Springs we saw Basin Park Hotel.  They had a balcony restaurant that looked inviting, but since every available seat was taken, we weren’t included in the invitation.  We decided to climb some stairs back down to Main Street and head to a couple of restaurants we’d seen as we came in.

One of the nicknames for Eureka Springs is the Stairstep City.  Let me tell you, it is well deserved.  If I had a nickel for every step I climbed in the three days I was there, I could afford one of those round the world cruises.  And forget about safety – rickety wooden steps, steep concrete steps, loose railings and more add to the “fun.”  If you’re mobility challenged, I’d say this would not be the best city to visit.

Down Main Street and to the left and then down a piece more, we found The Garden Bistro.  Come back next week and have a late lunch with us.