Southern Hospitality (Arkansas Day 2)

Two things I learned today: People around here are really friendly, and saying “y’all” is not just an affectation. Almost every single person we saw today greeted us warmly and started a bit of a conversation!

We woke earlier than we expected this morning, because we forgot that home time is an hour ahead. So we had plenty of time to have a leisurely breakfast on the porch overlooking the lake before we officially checked in (we arrived after the office closed yesterday). Then we found the pool (important to know) and tried to play on the small playground nearby.

Since it was supposed to be cooler today than almost any day this week, we decided to do some hiking. The high of 84 was apparently a little low, though, so it was closer to 90 as we walked. Ugh. We did the Caddo Bend Trail at Lake Ouachita State Park and the Serendipity Trail in Ouachita National Forest. Both were beautiful trails, and both offered ample opportunities for Cristin to find flowers to try to identify. The Serendipity Trail had a lot of signs identifying the trees for us. (Also, we saw a teeny tiny baby deer on the way home. Like…less than a week old, Cristin says!)

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All that hiking in the sun completely drained us, even with a break for lunch and a drive between the walks. So when we got back to Hot Springs Village (where we’re staying) we immediately headed for the pool. The pool is clean and maintained, but it was COLD. Cold enough that it wasn’t refreshing, or even bracing, at first, but we still managed a good swim. Then we had to warm back up in the nearby whirlpool (too bad the jets didn’t work).

After our swim, we were more than ready to be in a rest for the evening. We threw dinner in the oven before we showered and then rested and tried to identify flowers (it’s important that we know which exact kind of spiderwort we saw) while it cooked. We have big plans after we eat…knitting and watching a movie. Such partiers we are.

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