Category Archives: Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

favorite spots, unexpected discoveries

Going to the Chapel…

This is known as the Garden Chapel.  This chapel is situated on the grounds of the Big Cedar Lodge.

The ChapelBig Cedar Lodge is a very laid back vacation spot. There is a quiet, un-hurried atmosphere.  The chapel is the epitome of that feeling.

Chapel EntranceAt first glance your eye is captured by the simple oak pews and wood plank floors. The warm wood gives way to the freshly painted white walls and elegant Gothic windows.

Rich WoodThe windows offer beautiful views of the Big Cedar Lodge property.  As your eye moves past the windows and up the walls you notice the craftsman style lighting fixtures.

The ViewThe most breathtaking view is through the window at the front of the chapel.  The view looks over the rolling hills and Table Rock Lake.

Kiss the BrideHowever, the thing I like the most about this simply elegant chapel is when the bride walks down the aisle and stands at the front of the church…there will be no stained glass windows projecting prisms throughout the chapel.  There are no statues or fresco paintings to draw the attention away from the beautiful bride and her moment…

On the wedding day, all eyes should be on the bride. With all of the time and attention she spent having her hair and makeup done deserves to be observed and admired by those in attendance. Her flower bouquet was specifically designed to complement her ensemble.  She chose her jewelry very carefully.  She may have selected a family heirloom or spent days looking into jewelry cases for the perfect pair of earrings.  We can’t forget her shoes…the shoe must have the right heel, be the perfect shade of ivory and fit like a glove.   However, the piece de resistance..the dress…yes her dress…whether she has chosen for her dress to pouf out beneath her or glide down her curves the dress will be what everyone will talk about.  The bride deserves to be the center of attention!

 

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Bathhouse Soapery

I love to travel. I love the adventure of discovering new places and meeting new people.  If I had to choose my favorite part of the entire experience it would be keeping it local. When my husband and I travel we seek out locally owned businesses.  We stay, eat and shop local.

Check Me Out

It doesn’t take long to figure out you have met someone who is following the desires of their heart.  All you have to do is ask a simple question about their business.  Their eyes light up and they almost bubble over with enthusiasm over the simplest request.  I understand that big box companies serve a need in communities…but small businesses draw communities together and they are what make America great!

Welcome

On a recent trip through the Ozarks we stopped in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The weather was perfect for a little pedestrian activity. Hot Springs is known for their…well, Hot Springs! In the early 1900’s a beautiful row of stone bath houses were constructed. The remaining structures are now part of a National Historic Landmark District and represent the grandest bath houses in North America.

Choices Abound

After walking through the bath houses we decided to do a little local shopping.  Directly across the street from bathhouse row I discovered the perfectly placed Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium. The place was buzzing with activity. I was about to get my shopping therapy on….

As I meandered around the displays touching and smelling all of the soaps and lotions I eavesdropped on a few conversations…now before you go judging me…it was only so I could get a feel for how people felt about the product.

Upclose

I discovered most of the patrons were regulars…although this business is strategically located to capture the tourist dollar, most of the people in the store on this busy Saturday were repeat customers.

Soap Bars

At first I was drawn in by the simple window display and the activity going on inside.  The soft color palette of the walls, the chandeliers and fixtures were visually appealing.  The depth of the color of the soaps and scrubs reminded me of the display case at my favorite Gelato shop.  Finally, the girls working in the store were genuinely friendly and exceedingly helpful.

Bath Bar

Needless to say, my shopping experience was memorable.  I selected a half-dozen luxurious handmade soaps; cloud, Moroccan vanilla, peppermint rosemary, honey almond and vanilla oatmeal.  They were individually wrapped in pretty paper and hand labeled.   I created my own blend of scrubs, dripping pear and Cleopatra.  They were mixed and packed in sweet little jars and labeled. I love that each item was labeled so I can re-order my favorites. Maybe even join the soap of the month club…well I don’t think they have one but I could start my own.

Soon, I will plan my own personal spa day, complete with luxurious soaps, scrubs, scented candles, a cup of tea and a terry bathrobe.  All purchased on my travels across America, made by true artisans, sold in locally owned shops.

Street ViewHappy Shopping…Keep it Local!

 

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Filed under Made in America, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

Historic Bathhouse Row…

Hot Springs Arkansas is home to Bathhouse Row. This row of buildings are a beautiful collection of eclectic architecture in the neoclassical, renaissance revival, Spanish and Italianate styles. Bathhouse Row is a National Historic Landmark and part of Hot Springs National Park.

Buckstaff-BathouseAre you thinking about planning a Spa vacation…you might include Hot Springs in your list of potential spa experiences. The hot springs are known for their therapeutic healing minerals.

Quapaw BathsThe Quapaw Baths and Spa offer a unique way to experience the hot springs mineral baths. The name comes from the local Indian Tribe that once resided in Arkansas.

Quapaw 2The architecture of these buildings is stunning…Most of the bath houses began to fall into disrepair in the 1960’s when therapeutic bathing began to decline in popularity. Restoration of the baths began in the 1980’s by the parks service. Currently the renovated buildings are leased out for commercial enterprises.

FordycePeople have been enjoying thermal baths for centuries.  Thermal baths are well-known in Europe but are also found in Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, England as well as many locations in America.

Superior BathsWishing you safe travels!

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Inns of America…

I love traveling around the United States. This country has so much to offer if we only take the time to discover it.
On a recent road trip to Branson, Mo. we decided we would take a side trip and stay overnight in Hot Springs, AR. By chance I was able to book a one night stay at a little Inn.

Registry
Little did I know what awaited us at the end of our long drive. I was expecting the typical B&B, a residential home renovated to accommodate multiple guests at one time. However, Lookout Point Lakeside Inn was anything but typical. The Inn felt more like a boutique hotel than a B&B.

Lookout Pointe
We were greeted by the same young lady that I spoke with when I made the reservation. We were quickly checked in, given a tour and shown to our room. And that’s when I knew we had made the perfect choice for our overnight stay.

Room with a ViewThere are 12 rooms in the Inn all of which have a view of the lake.  Our room was well appointed and cozy.  Complete with rocking chairs on our private balcony.

The ViewThe grounds surrounding the Inn are well manicured.  There is a little creek with a waterfall that soothes the senses as you walk through the garden breathing the scent of magnolias and listening to the birds sing.

The InnAnd if time permits and you are so inclined you can take the canoe out on Lake Hamilton.

Red CanoeThe Inn even has there very own Labyrinth.  The perfect place for quite meditation.

The LabyrinthThe Lookout Point Lakeside Inn offered a welcome respite for these weary road travelers.  This Inn is also part of a group affectionately referred to as the Eight Broads in the Kitchen.  I know we will certainly seek out these Inns in our future travels.  I hope you will find yourself staying local in your upcoming travels. Wishing you safe travels off the beaten path.

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Sweet Surprises…

My soul mate and I celebrated our 25th anniversary last month…Although we planned our anniversary trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming together there was a little sneaking around going on with some of the details.  I thought I would surprise my husband by ordering a small version of our wedding cake from a local Jackson bakery.

When we arrived in Jackson our room wasn’t ready so we decided to take a walk around town. Our hotel was right off the town square and everything was within a 4 block radius.  As we walked I began to talk about this bakery I had heard of in Jackson.  I talked and talked about the macaroons they made and I expressed how I just had to have a macaroon while we were there.  We walked until we came to the bakery I had found online. I asked my husband to wait while I ran and checked to see if they had the desired sweet available at such a late hour of the day.  I came out with a little white cake box that held the cake I had ordered weeks earlier. I smiled, he smiled..we walked back to the hotel.  What was really in the box was still my little secret surprise.

We walked back to the hotel with the little cake box.  Our room wasn’t quite ready so we sat in the lobby in front of the big fireplace and looked through a couple local magazines.  The wait wasn’t too long. Finally our room was ready, our bags were taken up and a few minutes later we walked into the most beautiful hotel room.  That’s when I discovered I wasn’t the only who had been planning a little surprise.,,the room was filled with flowers.  Roses, lilies, hydrangea…where do you find hydrangea in February in Wyoming?

It was so sweet knowing that we both had been thinking about making our anniversary extra special for the other by planning, plotting, researching and seeing to a few extra special surprise details.

sweet surprises

The cake was 6 layers of sweet red velvet covered in cream cheese buttercream icing. The flowers were lovely and fragrant…all of my favorites.

white flowers

Cake

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One in a Million…

It is estimated that approximately 3 million people visit Lake Tahoe each year. Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed areas of the lake.  Therefore, I am certain that this photo I took on my recent visit is one in a million

Image

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Nature, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

Travel Theme: UP

 

I am joining up with the Alisa and her traveling backpack…this weeks Travel Theme is UP!

We will be looking UP at the Key West Lighthouse from outside and also from within…

Key West 2012 148

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Key West 2012 225

Check out Alisa at Where’s My Backpack…for the latest travel themes…you just never know where the day will take you.

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Blogging Challenges, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots