I consider myself a southerner because even though I’ve moved around for the majority of my life, most of the places my dad was deployed to were in the south. When I was in third grade, my family and I moved to the Air Force Base near Jacksonville, Arkansas where we lived for 3 1/2 years. I only ventured to Hot Springs once, but it was only to go to Magic Springs, the amusement park there. That’s why I was so excited when one of my friends suggested taking a day trip to Arkansas. I quickly said ‘yes’ because my friend, Naomi (who y’all met from my trip to Alabama for Hangout Fest), was leaving to go to Guam soon, and I knew this would be the last adventure we’d be able to go on together for awhile.
With five girls in tow, we turned it into a fun girly day trip. There’s just something about a good old fashioned road trip that helps bring people together, and I was in desperate need of a girls trip.
We started the morning early because it was about a 4-hour drive. The restaurant we originally planned to go to had a line out the door and a super long wait, so we opted for another restaurant that was nearly across the street that had a shorter wait. We made the right choice, because the place we ended up going, Colonial Pancake and Waffle House, did not disappoint. We got a round booth in the back, perfect for us to admire the adorable-ness of it. It was decorated like a southern grandma’s kitchen – lots of checkered patterns, knick-knacks and farm animals. Our server was meh, but she made up for it when she brought us the food. I ordered eggs benedict, one of my favorite ways to have eggs, and some hashbrowns because I love potatoes in all forms.
After breakfast, we wandered around downtown and took advantage of the air conditioning provided by many of the shops. We knew we wanted to go to the baths because you can’t go to Hot Springs without going to baths, but we tried and failed to find other things to do before we hit the baths, so to speak.
Traditionally, you go to the baths and soak in the mineral water in a room by yourself, but we all wanted to stay together. The only place where we could do that was a place called Quapaw Baths & Spa where they also have thermal pools that you can soak in that are said to contain minerals that assist in healing. They had four pools, all at different temperatures. Originally for all of us to get in, they said it would be nearly an hour long wait, but we ended up getting in after about 15-20 minutes. We tested out all of the pools and ended up spending the most time in the hottest one, which was over 100 degrees, and it felt amazing.
After soaking in and feeling healed from the thermal pools, we quickly showered, dried off and set our sights on finding a place to eat. The woman that worked the desk at Quapaw suggested we go to a nearby place called The Ohio Club. It had good reviews, so we walked over to it. It ended up being a bar with a few tables, and luckily, there was one perfect for the five of us. Our server was incredible, as was the food. I had a Hawaiian burger that had teriyaki sauce, bacon and a fried pineapple on it. It tasted just as good as it sounds.
This was the perfect day trip to take with my girls. My favorite parts were being able to talk to them and get to know more about them and also being able to share the fact that I was applying to cruise jobs. It was the perfect trip at the perfect time.
Have you ever been to Hot Springs? What’s your favorite place to take a day trip?