Monday, March 28
Our last day in Arkansas we spent back in Hot Springs. We started at the Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo, founded in 1902. Each of us was given a piece of bread to feed the animals in the petting zoo but we couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Those goats were pretty aggressive! Carter climbed as high as he could on Daddy’s back to keep away from them.
Even animal-lover Raine was a little uncomfortable with the way the goats swarmed us and snapped at our bread. One of them even nipped my hiney because he wasn’t getting the attention he wanted!
As soon as the bread was gone, we high-tailed it out of the petting zoo and into the alligator building, where they handed us an alligator to hold.
And by “us” I really mean Raine and Daddy, but mostly Raine. She loved holding the alligators. Carter tried really, really hard to work up the courage to hold one, but when it came right down to it he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
It is still too cold for the alligators to be active. They just laid there, piled on top of one another like they were fake. Every so often, one would move and disrupt the entire pile.
Outside, they had a number of neat animals, like a gray wolf, an artic wolf, and a cougar.
There was also a turkey who was strutting his stuff…
…and a peacock who was not.
Next, we returned to Bath House Row to look inside the bath house museum.
It was gorgeous inside and out. You could sense just how “elite” this place was back in its heyday. Not everyone was impressed by it though.
We were able to walk through the entire building and see it as it was back when it was operational. They had all sorts of bathing rooms, steam rooms, and massage rooms with scary looking devices that they used for electrotherapy.
The upstairs sitting room was impressive.
After that, we walked across the street to a little diner called BubbaLu’s Bodacious Burgers & Classy Dogs. We sat at the counter and watched the owner cook all the delicious food. That was the best hamburger I’ve had in a long time. The kids loved that their food was served on a frisbee.
After lunch, we continued back along Bath House Row, looking at the outsides of the bath houses that are still in operation as spas.
At the National Park gift shop, I tried to convince Raine to climb in the photo-op tub but instead, she made me climb in while she took the photo.
Then it was time to head home.
Everyone settled in with their electronic devices while I tried to take photos of the wildflowers along the sides of the roads. It was impossible to capture how pretty the drive was.
The sides of the roads were covered with flowers — Texas blue bonnets, Indian paintbrush, yellow ones, and white ones.
They are just a blur in all my photos, but here is a sample of what they looked like.