Thursday, 18 December 2014

St. Louis -- The Botanical Gardens

We left for St. Louis, Missouri the day after the wedding which was about five or six hours away.  Again, I had no idea what I could do as I remember being unable to sleep in the car because I was so excited about where we would go next and what was in store for us in our next destination.

I know I remember seeing pictures of my mom, sister and my aunt in St. Louis and I thought the places they went to were really pretty.  I just never expected we'd be going to the same places they went to so I'm really glad we stopped by this city before going back home to Little Rock.

We stayed at the Drury Inn & Suites and I was pretty amazed by how nice and lovely their lobby was.  We were greeted by their friendly staff and immediately issued a key.  Now, I don't know how much my sister paid for our room but the one we got was really spacious and it had a wonderful view.

I would definitely recommend this hotel for anyone who's visiting Missouri.  Breakfast is free for guests by the way so this is a yay for breakfast lovers.  They also offer a kind of mini tea time buffet where they had a variety of food such as mac & cheese, sausages, chili con carne and a bunch of other desserts.  We arrived at around noon time so we got to enjoy their yummy mini buffet.  Moreover, guests could have two cocktails for free if I can remember correctly.

At night, guests can get free popcorn and sodas while watching the game near the lobby.  It was nice and very relaxing!

 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wisconsin -- Cheese Factory/The Art Museum/The Wedding

The weather in Madison wasn't very promising.  It would've been nice if it was only chilly, but noooo it had to rain!  And I believe everyone knows that the cold + the rain won't please anyone.  However, I really can't complain though because I like cold weather!  I love wearing sweaters and jumpers and long sleeved clothing in general.  And I got to do all that in September so hoooraaay!!  If I were in Macau then, I'd be complaining about the heat.

Anyway, I'd say I'm pretty lucky to have a sister who is not one who would like her time to be wasted which is why we got to do a bunch of stuff before her friend's wedding (which was the main purpose of this whole trip).  I would just like to let you know that this blog post will probably be the longest among any of my other posts since I am reluctant to separate them. :P

Our first stop was the Cedar Grove Cheese where we got to see their little factory and got a tour out of it.  Basically, the tour enabled people to read what was on their walls including its history, how they're made and so on, so forth.  I honestly do not remember what was written on those walls because I was too mesmerized by the people behind the glass and pretty much intrigued by how they make the cheese... not to mention, I was also only interested in tasting/buying/eating the cheese.  We ended up buying some of their cheese curds which are to die for!  They were really, really good and those are what I would recommend you to get if ever you're in town or if ever you get the chance to visit them.  You can munch on them while watching a movie and it just makes a really good snack.  It also makes that squeaky sound as you chew on them which totally reminds me of the mice in cartoons. :)




We also passed by the store where we could get some sausages because my sister said they were good.  I think I've only had a few bites and they were alright, but I probably wouldn't come back for more... not unless I crave for them.



Friday, 5 December 2014

Wisconsin -- The Long drive












The weekend after Eureka Springs was followed by our trip to Madison in Wisconsin.  The drive there was just oh-so-long, it can't even be compared to our previous road trips.  We had to wake up really early just so we can be right on schedule.  That didn't happen, of course.  That's what people get for planning ahead... so lesson learnt, don't plan ahead!  Just kidding! :)

We left home at around 3:50 am and during those few hours before the break of dawn, I fell asleep even though I wanted to keep my sister company.  However, to stay awake the entire trip was just impossible.  I'm actually amazed at how my sister managed to stay awake during the entire trip... not that she was given a choice.  I honestly thought that my sister would be switching with our aunt at some point, but they didn't so she had to drive all the way there with a couple of stops.

We had to stop at a bunch of gas stations to get something to eat and drink and use the bathroom.  It's not easy being on the road for a couple of hours, let alone being on the road for 12-13 hours.  The only things I could do was take photos, listen to music, take naps, read my book and of course chat with my sister about stuff while our aunt was asleep because we had a bunch of stuff to talk about.  :)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Eureka Springs -- Activities Parte Deux













So, our agenda for the next day was to go horseback riding which again, was something new for me because the only horses I've ever been on are the ones you can find in amusement parks.  Hahaha

At first, I was really excited and just because I was able to go through the ziplining activity did not mean that I wasn't terrified of getting on a live animal.  The fee to go horseback riding was 35 bucks if I can remember correctly, so it wasn't that expensive.  I was asked to get on the first horse which I honestly made me feel a little nervous because I had no idea what our guide was telling me to do.  She told me to "kick the horse" and I had no idea how to kick it, it's not like she showed me how to do so and I was all like "I can't wait for this to be over".

Behind me was Shannon, then Caitlin, Steph and then Naomi.  I honestly believed that our guide should've been in front of me because even if the horses knew where they were going, I honestly had no clue as to how to lead the horse.  I felt like it was leading me instead, so in a way, I felt pretty lucky.  It was definitely a bumpy ride and I only risked getting my phone out like once or twice because I didn't want it to fall during the 45 minute track.

We had breakfast afterwards and I could tell that I wasn't the only one who was hungry because as you can see from the photo above (Photo # 7), we all had two plates each.  Haha!  Talk about starving.

They asked me where else I wanted to go to or if there was anything else I wanted to see and my answer was I wanted to see the "Christ of the Ozarks" because I just had to see it again.  I can say that it still looks the same after more than a decade and once again, I'm so thankful that I got to go to Eureka Springs again and this time, it was with my friends!  Therefore, this town will always be special to me. :)  I would like to thank my friends for coming to Arkansas and making it possible for us to meet once again and see you on the other side of the globe again my loves! <3

I hope you all have a great week ahead loves!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Eureka Springs -- Activities

I was pretty much psyched about meeting my friends (as I've mentioned a million times in my previous post) so I researched about what we could do or see there.  My family and I have been to Eureka Springs, but it was more than a decade ago so I could only imagine what it looked like or what has become of it.  I do, however, remember seeing the Passion Play which apparently is still being shown now.  Seeing the statues made me remember our old pictures and I thank God for bringing me back there and making me learn to appreciate it more now that I'm a lot older than when I was there before.

After searching for things we'd be able to do there on Trip Advisor, I realized that there were a bunch of stuff in store for us.  They had shopping areas, food stalls, restaurants and a whole lot of activities.

The first thing that Shannon asked me when she called early that morning when I was headed there to meet them was whether I was down for Ziplining.  And of course, if everyone was going to do it, why shouldn't I?  So there I was in the car actually thinking about how things would turn out and to be honest, I was hesitant after I've said yes.  It was an abrupt decision, but hey it definitely was an adventure!





Ziplining
This was definitely a first for me and something I'd definitely do again when I get the chance sometime in the future.  I had no idea what to expect and what I'd feel.  I was having second thoughts about actually doing it before we put on our gears and stuff.  My siblings had just passed by the ziplining thingy when I received a message from them asking me to calm down because they told me that I looked really worried.  I was, truth be told very nervous and worried at that time.  When our guides drove us to the first point, I just had to be the last one to go.  I had to count to three before I let my feet dangle in the air.  It was definitely an amazing feeling!  I felt that rush of adrenaline in my veins!  Hahaha

I believe we got to do some sightseeing for a while as well while we were high up in the air.  The view was simply breathtaking.  We weren't allowed to take our phones of course, unless our guides were with us so I was only able to capture the moment with my bare eyes.  It's a moment I'll never ever forget.  The trees were so pretty and the sky above was incredible.  It truly is an adventure to remember and I'm so glad I got to do it with my awesome friends! :)  It was worth a hundred bucks by the way for those who would like to know the price and it was once again worth the money!  You definitely won't regret it, I swear! :)







After that tiring activity, we grabbed a bite at a local bistro in town and went back to our cabin where the others took a nap.  I didn't really want to take a nap so I went out with Steph when she said she'd go and look around at the shops in town.  I'm so happy I went with her because we got to capture some really nice moments like the ones below.







Sorry for the photo overload, but I believe these photos are worth sharing and I'm trying to make up for the lack of posts and for being so far behind.  This was just the first day and we were able to do so much!  Stay tuned for my next post which I'm hoping I'll be able to do asap when work is no longer in the way. :)

Have a great week ahead loves! 



Saturday, 8 November 2014

Eureka Springs -- Deer Meadow Cabin

Hiiiii everyone!  Once again, here I am trying to keep up with my posts even though I know that I'm already so far behind.  Oh well... I hope I'll be able to manage my time well in the future.  I won't be able to promise though. :D

Moving on... the weekend that followed Texas was spent with my friends whom I met in Paris.  I never thought we'd be seeing each other again after two years.  It was really nice of them to fly to Arkansas and I am grateful, for my sister drove me all the way to Eureka Springs for me to see them.  I certainly had a blast and I can honestly say that it was one of the most adventurous trips ever and I'll tell you why in a bit or the next blog post so stay tuned!

The weather was a little bit chilly when we got there and my cardigan was not thick enough, but I didn't really care because from the moment I saw my friends, I got so excited that I'd forgotten about the cool air.  I felt so giddy and happy, and at the same time things felt surreal because who would've thought we'd be having a little reunion on the other side of the globe?

First things first, let me tell you about the place we stayed at.  Steph booked this cabin called "Deer Meadow" where I shared a room with Caitlin, while Naomi and Steph shared a room.  Shannon, on the other hand slept in the room next to ours.  There were windows in each room, as well as the living room.  One could wake up, sit by the window with a cup of joe in one hand and instantly be in a good mood.  That would be my impression of the cabin.  It's definitely a place where one can relax and appreciate the beauty of nature. 



  




I just love how the place was designed as everything seemed to be where they're supposed to be.  I don't know if it has something to do with lighting or maybe it's just my point of view, but I've always thought that orange lights seem to warm up a place.  



    
If you want to escape the urban areas and be one with nature, then I'd recommend you to go to something like this.  You'll definitely be one with nature as it's impossible to get a signal/an internet connection up there (for me it was anyway).  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my stay there and would go back if I get the chance because it's just so beautiful and it's not everyday I get to have a breath of fresh air and be surrounded by trees (only because I live in Asia).

Be sure to book ahead and trust me when I say that your stay there will definitely be worth it!  Just think of the fun and experience you'll gain from going to an old town like Eureka Springs!

I hope you like the photos and stay tuned for more travel posts where I'll be posting about what we did in Eureka!