Greetings from Hot Springs!

vraiblonde

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(I didn't take that pic, I pulled it off their website)

Just got in after the drive from HELL! and the levelers that were supposed to be fixed are back on the blink.
😡😡😡😡😡

Fortunately my honey knows how to trick it, so we did get leveled. It's a testament to our compatibility that we get through days like this without taking it out on each other.

Dejected and exhausted, I noticed a car sitting in the middle of the road in front of our site. I had my car parked in the next site over and thought maybe she was trying to get in that spot. So I walked over to her and do you know what she said to me????


"Tamales?"



Me: "Tamales?"
Her: "Yes."
Me: "You're the tamale lady?"
Her: "Yes."
Me: "Hook a sista up!"

So we got a dozen ground beef tamales and 6 chicken and bean burritos. I didn't try the tamales but the burrito I had was killer. It was nice of the gods to smile on us after our stressful day by sending us the tamale lady. :)

We're here for 2 full days - tomorrow and the next - and plan on checking out their downtown and the National Park, along with the bath houses. Hot Springs has an enormously high crime rate but the KOA we're at is outside the city and filled with good ol' boys and girls who look like they could go from 0 to 60 pretty quick, so I doubt anyone will bother us.
 

Clem72

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Last time I visited family on the west coast I met the new tamale guy servicing our area. Selling them out of the trunk of his 90-something corolla in foil lined gallon-sized zip locks like a drug dealer. They were pretty good though (especially the brown sugar dessert ones).
 

Monello

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They have a small pond here. I tossed a few lures in there this evening. I got 4 small green sunfish. So now I can add Arkansas to the list of states where I've caught fish.
 

vraiblonde

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Last time I visited family on the west coast I met the new tamale guy servicing our area. Selling them out of the trunk of his 90-something corolla in foil lined gallon-sized zip locks like a drug dealer. They were pretty good though (especially the brown sugar dessert ones).
I'm a big fan of food on the side of the road. The tamale lady, BBQ in the gas station parking lot....it's all good.

But I've never had a dessert tamale and now I think I need that.
 

vraiblonde

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Hot Springs was a Mafia mecca back in the day - and I'll refrain from making any Bill Clinton jokes. Maybe.

Anyway, on our itinerary is downtown, where we'll have a drink in the Ohio Club, which is Arkansas' oldest bar and a former hangout of Al Capone and other Mafia heavies, and visit the Gangster Museum. We have to fill up our jug with Hot Springs thermal water - they have kiosks around town and supposedly it will cure what ails you. I'm thinking we should do one of the thermal baths, but I really don't want to pay $50/couple for what amounts to a hot tub.

I want to see Bill Clinton's boyhood home - I love to see where our Presidents came from. I saw the one in Hope a bunch of years ago and there are two of them in Hot Springs.

We'll also spend a day at Hot Springs National Park, which includes Bathhouse Row and is part of downtown. We'll play it by ear as to whether it needs a full day or we can combine it with our walking tour. But we will do the Mountain Tower, plus we're those people who stop at all the scenic overlooks so it probably needs its own day.

Our food pilgrimage will be to McClard's BBQ because we need to check Arkansas off on our BBQ in all 50 states, plus none other than Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham says it's the best he's ever had. And who am I to second-guess Mozart's frenemy?

We only have two days so we'll have to bust a tourist move.
 

vraiblonde

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What a charming town!

The downtown main drag is Central Ave. One one side it's shops, restaurants, attractions, and bars. Across the street is Bathhouse Row, with its elegant historic bath houses and spas. And right behind Bathhouse Row is the National Park.

We started off by cruising Willie Jeff's boyhood homes. Both are in sketchy residential neighborhoods, private residences, and no tours. Which is kind of amazing to me because especially the Park Ave house (white with green trim) the owners could make big bucks by doing tours. Surprisingly there isn't a Clinton museum in Hot Springs.

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Next we moved on to the downtown area. Had a beer at Ohio Club, saw the sights, and got some thermal water. We skipped the mob museum because it's not really a museum - it's a guided tour, which I hate.

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vraiblonde

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There are kiosks dotted around where you can fill up jugs with thermal water. It's supposed to be therapeutic and people fill BIG jugs and it's their regular drinking water.

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Thermal water is hot. Like, burn yourself ouch hot. As Monello said, you can cook ramen with it. Not only the kiosks but the water comes out of the rocks and they collect it in attractive little pools around the town.

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The architecture is gorgeous and there are sculptures and other artworks dotted around

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vraiblonde

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We ended our day at McClards, and they did Arkansas proud in our BBQ tour.

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It's a small building in a sketchy part of town, super cozy inside and everyone was so friendly. The food was excellent and there was a TON of it. They have tamales as a side, so we got a sampler platter with beef, pork, ribs, sausage, and a tamale on the side. The tamale isn't like a Mexican tamale. It was heartier with a lot more ground beef, and it's very soft. Served with saltines so you can spread it like a dip.

I should have taken a pic of my platter :doh:

Tomorrow we'll explore the National Park more.
 

vraiblonde

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I imagine the mineral count is pretty high. I wonder if it'd be easier to float in.
I drank some of the water last night and this morning I was a size 2, going through atomic equations in my head, and when I stepped off the motorhome steps I realized I could fly!










j/k

It was just water. No discernible taste or odor.
 

vraiblonde

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Today we took the scenic tour through the national park - yawn. Trees, not a lot to recommend it. The Mountain Tower was pretty cool, not so much for the view of...you know...trees...but on the midway floor there was a little museum of items from the heyday of Hot Springs, and one kiosk dedicated to the high school years of Willie Jeff.

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