Friday, August 26, 2011

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Yesterday we went with our neighbors, Andrea and Charlie, to Eureka Springs, 62 miles Southwest of Branson.   Secluded and peaceful with mountainside streets, Eureka Springs has a flair like no other town.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Eureka Springs as one of its "Dozen Distinctive Destinations."  Streets are lined with Victorian homes hugging cliffsides and its entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Spring Street, one of the main thoroughfares, has been named one of America's 10 Best for 2010 by the American Planning Association.

Having lived most of our life in Arkansas, we have been to Eureka Springs several times, but it's one of those towns you never get tired of visiting.

One thing we wanted to make sure Andrea and Charlie saw was the Thorncrown Chapel.  Nestled in the woods, it is a "must-see."

The chapel rises 48 feet and contains 425 windows and over 6000 square feet of glass.  It sits atop over 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone -- it is entirely constructed of glass and stone, no steel here!  Since the chapel opened in 1980, over five million people have visited this sanctuary.  It has won numerous architectural awards, such as the American Institute of Architecture's Design of the Year Award for 1981 and the American Institute of Architecture's Design of the Decade Award for the 1980's.  Recently, it was placed fourth on the AIA list of the top buildings of the 20th Century.

The inside is as beautiful and unique as the outside:

The chapel office is built into the side of the mountain.

The Crescent Hotel, built in 1886, is another famous landmark in Eureka Springs.

The long history of the hotel is represented through the ghosts that still inhabit the halls and walls.  Perhaps the best well-known ghost is Michael, a stonecutter who helped build the hotel.  He fell to his death at the location of Room 218, the most requested room in the hotel.  He's said to have been a good-looking man who often got in trouble for flirting with the ladies.  Michael is still known for turning is attention to women guests.

Dr. John Freemont Ellis is another "long-time" guest of the hotel.  He was hotel physician during the Victorian Era.  Dressed in top hat and fine clothing, he is sometimes seen on the staircase from the second floor to the lobby.  It has been reported the smoke from Ellis' pipe is sometimes smelled by the elevator.

This is just a sample of the strange happenings that have been reported by guests who have actually stayed in the Crescent Hotel.

Standing on the observation deck on the fourth floor of the Crescent Hotel, towering high above the trees, we were able to see the "Christ of the Ozarks." 

The statute, which is more than 67 feet tall, was primarily the work of Emmet Sullivan, who also assisted in the work of Mount Rushmore.  There is little facial expression or detail and the lines and forms are simplified.  Erected in 1966, the arms are outstretched straight, suggesting the Crucifixion; however, the cross is not depicted.

Some of the homes and cottages you will find in Eureka Springs:

Various Photos

Luch at the "Local Flavor" Restaurant

There is nothing better than spending an afternoon strolling the streets of a town like Eureka Springs, especially sharing it with new friends and fellow-workampers.

Thanks for stopping by.  May God continue to bless our voyage, as well as our family and friends, near and far.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dinner at D'Monaco's

One of the workamping couples -- Ken and Peggy -- has a boat and invited us to cruise Table Rock Lake.  However, the alternator went ka-put, so they invited us to dinner at D'Monaco's on Table Rock.  The rest of us didn't know where we were going, so when we pulled up at the restaurant, we were like, WOW, does someone live here or what?

Inside was as beautiful as the outside...

The restaurant is downstairs.  It was too hot to dine outside, but the pool looked inviting.

Never have I seen a swim-up Tiki Bar -- apparently, I'm not used to how the rich and famous live!

We got the scoop on this beautiful place -- it set vacant for a couple of years and the Chef is renting the restaurant.  The unoccupied condos are for sale for close to a million buck-a-roos, or you can rent one from $700-$1300 per NIGHT!  They are spacious with 1900-3700 square feet and each has a balcony with a hot tub.  Unfortunately, no condo was occupied and there were very few having dinner.  The view of Table Rock Lake from the patio was awesome!

Very few boats in the slips below.

The dinner was delicious but a little pricey.  Each item is a la carte.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name of my meal, but it was Pork Shank with firecracker applesauce with potatoes cooked in duck fat.  

It's probably a million calories, but I had to give it a try.  Alan chose the rib-eye with garlic potatoes, which he said was very tasty.

Interestingly, there was no bread or dessert, but they said they planned to have dessert soon.  The Chef did provide calamari -- he wanted to show the Floridians among us that those in the South know how to cook it.  With all the calories in the meat and side dishes, we definitely did not need the bread or dessert!

The ladies (l-r Peggy, Cris and Andrea with yours truly)

And the guys (l-r Ken, Mike, Charlie and Alan)
They look so happy, don't they -- LOL!!

We enjoyed sitting on the patio after dinner.  Even though it was a little warm, there was a nice breeze off the water and it was a beautiful night.  

If any of you are ever in the area, we recommend D'Monaco's.  Just remember it's a little pricey, but it's good and the service was great!

God bless and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We've Been Busy

I haven't blogged in several weeks.  I've been reading most of your blogs, just haven't stopped long enough to write a post myself, so now I'm playing catch-up.  

Our own Okie from Muskogee  -- our youngest son Adam -- brought our granddaughter, Morgan, to visit us...she stayed for an entire week!

Although in this picture, Adam is wearing an Arkansas Razorback shirt, he is an Okie from Muskogee, where he is one of the high school football coaches.  

Like I said, Morgan stayed with us for a week -- she is our youngest grandchild, having turned 9 on July 10th.  We tried to show her a good time.  Although we had seen Noah, we took Morgan and she loved it...

...Especially when the curtain went up for the second half and we felt like we were in the Ark as we were surrounded by all the animals.

We also saw Kirby, the Magician...

...The Hamner Barber Variety Show and SIX and Morgan's favorite -- 

Where we saw some interesting things like the car of the future -- not sure what future, but...'s part dentist chair, part snowmobile and part helicopter!  If it snows, you can glide over the top of it; if there is a rock slide, you can drill through it; and if the traffic gets really bad, you can always take-off and fly over it -- Believe It or Not!

A stagecoach made exclusively out of toothpicks

Terry Woodling of Warsaw, Indiana, is an amateur historian with a passion for 'Ole West stagecoaches and toothpicks.  After years of research, he set out to make a full size replica made entirely out of toothpicks.  Three workshop additions to his house, 15 years and 1.5 million toothpicks later, the masterpiece was finally complete.  Every inch of the stagecoach is made of toothpicks, including the "glass" lights...
...the round wheels, belt straps and even the bolts holding all the parts together.  The exterior is only a couple of toothpicks thick, but the inside benches are many layers thick and will actually support up to 60 lbs of weight -- INCREDIBLE!

A 1936 Wood Carved Topolino Fiat

Hand-carved from seven different Italian woods, the car can actually be moved on its wheels and is exact in its details right down to the derriere imprint in the passenger's seat.

This prehistoric Pterodactyl is worth a fortune, as it is made from over $500,000 worth of worn-out bills...

The U.S. government discards over $30 billion worth of bills every year!  Now we know why the government keeps making more money -- they keep destroying it -- in more ways than one!

Toast Art of Christ on the Cross...

The above portrait was made in 2009 by Adam Sheldon of West Yorkshire, England, from 153 pieces of burnt toast!  Using both a toaster and a blow torch, it took Sheldon four months to create this one of a kind masterpiece.

Following is a replica of the Seal of the President of the United States, as shown on a 50 cent piece, made exclusively from 4,000 ordinary carpenter nails!

World's Tallest Man, Robert Wadlow, at 8' 11".

"Time Stood Still"

All the watches in the above photograph were found at the bottom of McArthur's Lake in Los Angeles, California, when the lake was drained in 1973.  The watches document 92 years of lost time, collected and arranged by John Woods of Los Angeles.

World's Largest String Ball
Measuring over 42' in circumference and weighing in excess of six tons, this string ball is made from 29 different types of nylon binder.

Wishbone Collection
Mrs. Martha Beaulieu of Holyoke, Massachusetts, has been collecting wishbones since 1929!  Last time anyone counted, she had the wishbones of 493 chickens, 201 turkeys, 37 pheasants and 4 partridges.  The largest bone in her collection is 6" and once belonged to a turkey...the smallest is a 1" partridge wishbone.  Why anyone would want to collect wishbones is beyond me!

That's just a sample of what you will find in...

We enjoyed our visit with Miss Morgan and cannot wait to see her again.

We also bade farewell to one of the workamping couples.

Alan helped our neighbor put up a new sunscreen on his Motorhome.

Susan, also a Workamper, received some beautiful flowers for her birthday from her daughter in Washington State.

We had some very hot days, but nothing like our son and family in Dallas who have had over 40 days of 100+ temperatures.  We are so thankful for air conditioning.  

We are on the countdown -- with less than 30 days left in Branson.  

Thanks for stopping by...God bless and safe travels!