Eureka Springs

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Over Labor Day weekend, we took a trip to Eureka Springs, AR. We’d been there about 6 years earlier sans kids. Turns out the funky little town is a totally different experience with an almost-three-year-old in tow.

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I found Land of Nod hotel through our credit card points reward system, booked a room and then called the hotel to ask if there was any possibility that they had some sort of room with an extra bedroom. Turns out they did, and turns out they’d give it to me in exchange for the room we’d already booked. That made it really awesome for us to be able to hang out in the room while the little kid napped in his own room, sleeping in a twin bed for the first time. I thought he’d fall out for sure, but he was fine.

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We went for a hike around a lake in a nearby park.

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We skipped rocks, and then we got tired. Well, one of us did. It turns out little legs can’t go so far.

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And carrying a 30-lb child while navigating rocks and mud is not so fun.

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We also hit up the tiger sanctuary.

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It was pretty hot, and most of those fur-covered animals were trying to get out of the heat.

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We stayed to watch them get fed their dinner. It was pretty disgusting to see them slurp down 15 pounds of raw chicken breasts.

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“Um, mama? Am I the next snack?”

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That part of Arkansas is beautiful, and right now would be an amazing time to be there, since the leaves are turning in the Ozarks.

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The town itself is cute and quirky, and full of Victorian architecture.

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My mom and her mom would both love it.

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And it has the requisite amount of B&Bs in those Victorian homes.

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We also spent an afternoon with some friends who live on the other side of the world in Branson, MS, which is a little over an hour’s drive away.

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We’d just seen them in June, but our kids had never met. They’re all within 2 years of age, so it was fun to see them interact.

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Besides eating, taking walks and swimming in the hotel pool, last on our agenda was a ride on the Eureka Springs antique railway.

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In the evening and on weekends they do dinner rides, but for our little guy an hour round trip was just perfect.

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It included watching the train hook up with its cars and then chug off to the train table to change direction.

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Midway through, we got to stop and put pennies and nails on the track and then watch the train run over them.

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The result was … flat and hot.

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And then it was back to the station and time for a nap!

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