Friday, September 16, 2011

Surprise - It's MY Birthday

My ever thoughtful husband knows just how to celebrate me.  He planned a surprise vacation to Hot Springs, Arkansas for my birthday celebration - even taking into account that my real birthday weekend I would be totally overwhelmed with K-1 RACE starting - so off we went on August 12 just like the gangsters! 

Have you ever started your day with Starbucks breakfast?  I discovered this little bag of deliciousness as a (former) teacher who doesn't drink coffee but receives plenty of Starbucks gift cards.  

We made some delicious stops along the way - 9 times out of 10 Team McGuire would pick a hole in the wall joint over fast food and this sure was a good stop!

Juanita's is worth the drive
I'm willing to go out on a limb and say it is the best brittle anywhere in the world
This stop was recommended by Caleb's bosses - and we picked up some goodness for them too
melt in your mouth good - I highly recommend you making a stop, or you could order some online

With our current goal to get to every state in the USA, I loved the map and put a pin in for our home

 We stopped in Hope to see the birthplace of Bill Clinton
 I wonder if anyone as conservative as us has ever made this stop
Then we were off to Hot Springs...
We stayed in The Arlington 
a wonderfully historic hotel 
I imagined us back in the glory days
Caleb a gangster, and I was his lady 
originally opened in 1875
the current hotel opened in 1924
Caleb was most impressed that his favorite President visited 
 What better way to get a lay of the land, then to see an aerial view?!

 We loved adding Arkansas to our list
 Our tokens for the travel up
 Made my tummy flip flop
 my handsome hubby
 It is a beautiful town
 The Arlington from above 

We went out for dinner on the town 
and enjoyed music and dancing at The Arlington
Some of the Hot Springs 
 We loved walking down Bath House row
 and seeing the Bath Houses that were built over the natural Hot Springs
 Caleb sound some of his favs in the Wax Museum
 We loved shopping
and found some unbelievable thrones 
 This little town has so much personality
 And so many delicious places to stop

 But the highlight of the trip, was taking a bath in a bath house.  No cameras allowed, but I did get a picture of our scrubs for proof.  I'm quite sure Caleb was envisioning something different when he signed us up for this adventure.  I went off to the woman's side and him to the men's.  Once in the bath house, you strip down and wrap yourself in a sheet.  Then meet your bather, that's right you have a bather.  I tried to imagine her like a doctor, although there are quite different qualifications.  You get into the naturally warm tub full of water and it does wonders to your skin.  The whole ordeal was quite a process - you drink warm water in the tub to get your insides ready for the temperature of the water, then drink ice cold water in the sauna, and get wrapped in warm cloth while your face is covered with a cool one, you end the journey with a cold shower.  I came out of the bath house feeling so relaxed, like I had just finished a day long massage - Caleb on the other hand left probably more tense than when we went it - he seemed a little horrified.  It was something I won't soon forget1
 Caleb had champagne in our room when we got back from our bath
and a delicious breakfast in bed. 
I love surprise trips!  (and birthdays)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Date Night

Watermark has a super fun date night! 
First - you drive thru Watermark 
and get a fun photo 
and a date night packet 
(it includes a mad lib for when you are driving 
and all kinds of fun questions for during dinner) 
Then we went home and got all dolled up 
and went out to eat Indian food 
(it was my first time) 
some crazy fabulous appetizer 
I wish I could remember what you call all of this delicious food
all I could eat of my "pizza"
Caleb's selection 
Date Nights are the best kind of nights!

NEW news!

Our precious friends the Smiths are expecting their first little bundle of joy and we couldn't be more excited!
So...Michelle left us a little gift 
To let us know if they were having a BOY or a GIRL
Card calling us honorary Aunt and Uncle 
It's a GIRL!
 Can't wait to meet baby girl Smith!

In and Out

In and Out comes to Dallas! 
And we were not going to miss out 
The Smiths and the McGuires headed to get some grub 
We first waited patiently to be allowed inside 
Why thank you, nice doorman 
(it's pretty hot but he gets paid $21/hour)
I had not had this deliciousness since I was in California in college 
(Courtney and Kelli - it is still that good) 
FOUR lanes of drive thru were waiting 
plenty of help was available 
(some of those smiling faces are the "All Stars" from Cali)
animal style is always an option 
makes for some HAPPY folks!