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November 30, 2008

celebrating anniversary in Eureka Springs

Having both forgotten our 20th wedding anniversary (unbelievable, but true), we decided to celebrate our 22nd with a bed-and-breakfast getaway to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In fairness to us, at the time of our 20th, we had recently returned from living in China and we living apart for the year, taking jobs where we could find them. At the time of our anniversary (Thanksgiving), we had reunited for a trip to visit son Travis and family in Tucson. In any case, we just returned from a pleasant and relaxing weekend in Eureka Springs. We stayed at the Red Bud Inn, one of 22 bed and breakfasts in the city proper and as many more on the outskirts. It is apparently the oldest in the city. The walk to downtown was only a mile, but the hill was steep. We enjoyed food at several local restaurants, especially a hug plate of vegetable-covered hash browns at the Mud Street Cafe. We got an afternoon massage. We had planned on some water and steam treatments, too, but the double jacuzzi at the B&B was sufficient in that department.

There were two particularly interesting discoveries during our two-day outing. One was the House of China, an imported gift shop run by a Chinese American woman. We were surprised to find such a shop in Eureka Springs. I found a pair of terra cotta soldier bookends that were just the kind of thing I had been looking for. Second, having almost been put off by its run-down appearance, we entered (John) Mitchell's Folly Antiques. On the two-floors of the main building and second storey of an almost-adjacent house, there are dozens of fine examples of Depression-ear art, including numerous prints and paintings by Louis Freund and Elsie Bates Freund. We when have more money and a permanent home, we hope to return and shop.

On the way back to Joplin, we toured the the National Historic Site for the Battle of Pea Ridge. The battle turned into a key Union victory in March 1862 that set the stage for the later victory at Vicksburg that cut the Confederacy in two. Terry had several relatives on both sides of the war, and she was able to confirm that her grandfather's grandfather fought in this battle.

-- Norty