We hit the road today… off to join the other MINI’s on the MINI Takes the States Road-Trip. MTTS officially kicked off in California this morning, but we’re just going to meet up with them in Albuquerque, NM. We’re doing our own little rallye adventure on our way to Albuquerque.
We stopped for lunch at the Parachute Inn Restaurant in Walnut Ridge, MO. Since our family runs a little airport we thought it would be fun to visit other little airports within easy flying distance and say hello. Walnut Ridge Airport is also home to the Parachute Inn which is a restaurant inside an old 737.
The food was pretty basic; hamburgers, fried catfish, french fries… nothing amazing, but it was good. It’s not like we were going there for the food…. we wanted to have lunch in the plane. Inside it’s a regular 737 with about 1/3 of the seats removed and half the remaining seats turned around backward to make benches. It was something different and quirky to do… I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to do it again, but I could see kids getting a huge kick out of it. The food was good… a little slow… our french fries arrived after we’d finished our hamburgers, but they were nice and hot and the staff was all very friendly. If you are looking for something unique to do and passing through this area I would recommend stopping…. I wouldn’t go way out of my way to visit… but if it was on your way it makes a fun little stop.
After lunch we visited with the people at the FBO and talked airports for a while. They were super nice. If you’re a pilot I would certainly recommend visiting. Then you could have lunch at the restaurant! They also have a museum on-site, but Brian was ready to get back on the road by then, so we didn’t get to check it out.
We planned to spend the evening in Eureka Springs, AR and wander around in the historic district. By the time we arrived I would have happily spent the evening snoozing at the hotel, but Brian knows (from experience) that if take a nap and skip dinner he’ll have a sick whiny-baby on his hands at 3 am. Our hotel suggested a couple of restaurants that would probably be good for gluten-free and Brian and I chose FRESH: Farm to Table. It was a really cute little place at the far end of the Historic Loop. The food was really great! Gluten Free Italian Pizza for me (about half way through Brian snatched my pizza and gave me his risotto) and Scallops and risotto for Brian. For a restaurant that serves locally sourced, hand-made and all that I would have expected them to know more about which meals were gluten-free and which were vegan (I over heard them suggesting a chicken salad to a vegan at another table….). Oh well, hopefully that is something they’ll work on. The food was really good!
After dinner we roamed around town for a bit. Most of the shops were beginning to close, so we just peered into the windows and checked out the natural springs around town. Comparing Eureka Springs to Hot Springs, AR, I liked Hot Springs better. Hot Springs had more art galleries and rock and crystal shops. Eureka Springs seemed to have more of the generic tourist shops… stuff you can find anywhere. Hot Springs also has more springs right along the main road that are easier to see.
I’d read about the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs…. it’s supposed to be super haunted. Brian and I opted to skip the ghost tour and take the self guided tour around the hotel. I didn’t spot any ghosts…. nothing showed up on my camera either. 😦 The Crescent Hotel is interesting for a walking tour, but I am glad we didn’t stay there. It is an old hotel and it is really showing it’s age. The floors have dips and the stairs lean…. that made it creepy…. not the ghosts!
We finished up our tour of Eureka Springs by checking out a couple of the springs around town. I, of course, started us out with one that was at the top of a million steps….. more or less. Brian picked a nicer spring that was in a little cave. We got a bit of time when there was no one in the cave and I got to play around with the camera and the timer for a bit and got some fun photos.
I’ve enjoyed Eureka Springs, but I prefer Hot Springs. It was fun for the day, but I don’t think it would keep us entertained for a whole weekend.
Now for a good night’s sleep and on to more adventures tomorrow!