This weekend, for Hubby’s birthday we went to Hot Springs for a day out without the kiddos.
I’ve been down to Hot Springs maybe a handful of times in my life. Hubby lived there for two years while he went to the Arkansas School of Math and Sciences (and the arts) (I like to joke that he went to Special School).
The town is built over a series of – say it with me now – hot springs. It’s known for it’s bathhouses, and a racetrack that’s all that is left from a time when Hot Springs was the mob-controlled precursor to Las Vegas. You can literally walk down the street and see water flowing out of the ground in places. Some of the fountains where it flows actually put out steam in summer.
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast known as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which was located in a log home on secluded acreage with a front porch, porch swing and hummingbirds. Hubby and I checked in and sat on the swing watching the hummingbirds all afternoon. Then we found a Cajun restaurant for dinner out on Lake Hamilton called Cajun Boiler.
There are several lakes in the region. The next day we drove over to DeGray lake and rented bycicles from the lodge. We biked all afternoon, then headed into town for dinner.
Unlike Branson or Vegas, there aren’t a lot of big entertainment shows. But there is a magic show – Maxwell Blade. We bought tickets to see him, then looked around the bathhouse row district.
We went into one of those flavored olive oil places. This one was called Evil O (olive spelled backwards). We went in and sampled some of their products, which included food rubs and marinades. Most of them were excellent, and we might have bought something if not for what I did next.
I’m not a big fan of spicy things, but hubby gave me a chipotle oil to try. He tried it first to make sure it wouldn’t be too hot for me. And it wasn’t. At first.
Then I swallowed it.
Jesus wept, ya’ll. It was bad.
The Buckstaff Bathhouse
I don’t know if I got capsaicin on my vocal chords or what, but it burned. And then I coughed, and the burning spread all over my throat. By the third cough, the insides of my ears were on fire. I stumbled out of the store and my husband and the owner followed, trying to get me to drink water and eat bread.
Neither helped. The oil caused the peppery stuff to stick – much like I imagine napalm sticks to things. The water just spread it. And now it mixed with my mucus. So just when the fire seemed to be dying down, I’d cough again and unleash a new firey hell on my throat.
By now, hubby figured that he’d better move me, because seeing me out front of the oil business might drive customers away. If it did, I’m sorry.
There was a famous cupcake place next door called Fat Bottom Girls. (At least, they were on food network). I asked hubby to get me some milk please. Did I want a cupcake with that?
Hubby says that’s how he knew I was in a bad way. I didn’t want a cupcake.
I drank a 16 oz glass. It took the whole thing to quench that fire. And for hours after that, I had flare ups if I coughed. And I was so keyed up that I just wanted to go somewhere and cry for some weird reason.
The Bates Motel?
We window shopped a bit longer, then wandered over to Deluca’s pizza, which is located near a motor inn that looks – I swear to Bob – like the Bates Motel.
If anyone knows what’s up with that, please drop me a note.
We walked off dinner in the park behind the bathhouses until time for the magic show.
Hubby was ready to head back, but I wanted Ice Cream (wouldn’t you after a day like that?). We stumbled on Dolce Gelato. This was my first experience with Gelato. I’m going to have to pull out the ice cream mixer and experiment.
We were in a hurry to get back and pick up the kids Sunday, but we made a point to stop at Burl’s Smokehouse in Crystal Springs. It’s a great place to get sandwiches to go. Particularly on homemade bread.