Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cross Country Chronicles - Part 3

Since the last cross country update, this is where we have been so far...

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Day Five.  Mile 956.  Amarillo, Texas.  Before leaving Texas, we did a bit of backtracking to visit Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo.  I don't know the full story on this place but it's basically ten Cadillacs buried in the ground at the same angle as the ancient Egyptian pyramids.  People are encouraged to graffiti the cars.  Really random.  Reminds me of Cooper Pedy in South Australia.

A view of the Cadillacs from Interstate 40.
A close up view of the Cadillacs.  They really are perfectly aligned.

Day Five Continued.  Mile 1216.  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  We wandered around a really cute area of Oklahoma City called Bricktown.  I believe it's modeled after San Antonio's River Walk and is lined with restaurants and stores. 

Afterwards, we drove just south of the city to meet up with an old high school friend and his family.  Nate, Justin and I all went to high school together (and Nate and Justin date back to middle school).  It was lovely to have our families hang out over dinner.  While Charlotte was initially a handful (to say the least), once we placed her next to Preston, she calmed down quite a bit (thank goodness)!  So much fun.  To the Kane family - thank you again for such a fun evening!!!

Amber, Toby, Preston, Nate, Charlotte and Justin. 

Preston giving Charlotte a big hug.

Day Six.  Mile 1400.  Fort Smith, Arkansas.  This town lies just across the Oklahoma-Texas border and on the Arkansas River. The movie True Grit was also set around Fort Smith in the 1870s.  We quickly drove through the Fort Smith National Cemetery, which is only one of two cemeteries in the country where both Union and Confederate soldiers are buried. 

Afterwards, we attempted to visit the Fort Smith National Historic Site.  We barely made it down the walkway before Charlotte had an epic meltdown.  So back in the car we went.

Day Six Continued/ Day Seven.  Mile 1530.  Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I think this might be one of our favorite spots on the whole trip so far. 

People have allegedly been coming to Hot Springs for more than 200 years to experience the baths.  In 1921, Hot Springs National Park was created to protect the 47 naturally flowing thermal springs along the southern slope of Hot Springs Mountain.  I think it might be one of the few (if not only) national park to be located entirely within the city limits.

There are fountains on display so people can feel how warm the natural spring water is.  143 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Charlotte was a bit grumpy that we didn't let her touch the water - a bit too hot for her.
There is also this public "drinking fountain" in front of the Administration Building for people to take some water home.  It's really tasting drinking water once it is cooled.  Throughout our stay there, we saw locals bringing huge bottles to fill up!

Many of the old bathhouses are preserved and on display along "Bathhouse Row."  Some of them are still open for business.  You can pay to take a bath in the thermal waters of the spring or have any other spa treatment.

The Visitor Center is also an old bath house.  Charlotte obviously also enjoyed running around the museum.

This is a fountain in the middle of the men's bathhouse (which was exceedingly nicer than the women's bathhouse).

Notice that Charlotte and I are relaxing in the front.  :)

The park also boasts some stunning hiking trails along Hot Springs Mountain. 

Day Seven.  Mile 1585.  Little Rock, Arkansas.  Our one and only stop while in Little Rock was the Clinton National Library.

Inside, they have a life size replica of the Clinton Oval Office.  Justin's couldn't stop raving about how magnificent the desk was.

The only exhibit that grabbed Charlotte's attention was the one about the Clinton pets.  Hilarious.

I think that's all I have in me for the time being.  I'm gonna sneak into bed now and see how much more sleep I can get before Charlotte wakes up.  And on our itinerary today?  A visit to the king himself, ELVIS!!!!!

And to all who have been following our journey and commenting, thank you.  It makes us feel so loved to know that y'all are thinking of us.  :)


  1. These are such precious memories!! You're going to SO many fun places!! Miss you!

  2. Who knew we had such an amazing country!! Well, I know I had so much fun on my cross country trip. So cool seeing all your adventures!

  3. Wow, I so envy you and your road trip! Although I very much sympathize with the epic meltdowns. It's comforting to know other people's children have them too. Out here, sometimes it seems Fiona is the only one who gets the grumpy-pants out of all her little friends.

  4. We do live in an amazing country. Just started a staycation, so vicariously taking a cross country trip is fun. Charlotte is a doll baby and there is nothing wrong with Curious George. There is something wrong with you not knowing about the Continental Divide. I guess you were absent on the day I taught about it and you forgot read the assigned pages!!! Hahaha. Still tired from a rare cold, so I'll look forward to more armchair travel.

  5. Heather C and Misty - thanks for joining us on our cross country trip. This is actually Justin's fourth drive across the states and my first going coast to coast. Makes me want to read up on some US history! :) Heather Z - I totally understand what you mean about grumpy babies. Every other child seems so amazingly well behaved. But I saw this quote at the National Civil Rights Museum that somehow justified Charlotte's naughtiness. "Well behaved women don't make history." I'm sure Fiona is destined for the history books as well. :) Speaking of history, Ms. Casey, so sorry to disappoint regarding the Continental Divide. I was clearly absent from your class that day! I hope you're feeling better soon but glad you're on this road with us!!

  6. First of all, I am bummed you are relocating-I was looking forward to asking you to come and speak to my AP GOV class about THE LAW. Secondly, your road trip looks amazing, we took Aviva on a west coast road trip when she was about 18 months old and she was awesome and the memories are priceless. Continue to have a safe trip and I will continue to enjoy your photos and commentary!

  7. love reading about your road trip and all the adventures you have had! we actually had a trivia question about the cadillac ranch, i'll be sure to get it right if it comes up again.
    love the picture of charlotte with the clinton pets, so cute!

  8. Candice - hopefully we'll be back in San Diego sooner than later so I can talk to your future AP classes. LOL! And that's great that Aviva was so good on your west coast road trip. I don't think I would do this one if we had two kids. Charlotte is enough to handle. :) Linda - glad to hear that the blog might be helpful for future trivia nights. Who knew?! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  9. It's so amazing to see the sights through your eyes. I'm having fun reading your blog!

  10. Thanks so much, Christine! Now I just have to figure out how to scrapbook all these memories! :)

  11. FYI, the other place Union and Confederate soldiers are buried together is by my house here, in Elmira, NY (also the resting place of Mark Twain and some other notables. They're buried as they died, with the Union soldiers surrounding the confederates. (They all died following a horrific train crash, apparently, and the union soldiers continued to guard the confederates until help arrived.)

  12. Kristie - I had no idea about the second cemetery regarding the Confederate and Union soldiers. Now I clearly have to make the trip up to visit y'all!! We're going up to visit Enza and Andrew this weekend too. We'll try to relive some Charleston memories for you. Miss you!!


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