Wandering Wednesday: Hot Springs, AR

As you all know I was on vacation last week and I got to travel up to the lovely Hot Springs, Arkansas! I adore this little town! Walking around Hot Springs is like stepping back in time. The architecture and beautiful sculptures are reminiscent of a bygone era. So let me take you back in time today as we tour the charming town of Hot Springs!

The town gets it’s name from the thermal springs that flow from the ground. The water averages at about 143 degrees year round. There are places around town that you can feel the water as it flows from the ground!

Back in the 1800s people from all over the country would flock here to relax in the thermal springs. Because of this the town started to build bathhouses for people to enjoy a more spa-like experience. Today as you walk down the main street of Hot Springs you can’t help but notice the incredible Bathhouse Row which is made up of 6 beautiful historic buildings.

Each building housed their own thermal spring baths. Many of the hotels also have their own baths for you to unwind in! You should definitely visit the Fordyce Bathhouse which has been turned into the Hot Springs Visitors center! It shows what it was like back in the old days to visit a bathhouse in the town!

Starting in the late 1800s to the 1930s Hot Springs became a popular site for gangsters. Al Capone and Lucky Luciano were said to frequent the town. The Gangster Museum in Hot Springs can give you lots of  information about the notorious gangster town. They will also let you try on some sweet fedoras!

Nowadays the town has slowed down and there are many adorable shops lining the streets just waiting for your arrival. One of my favorite shops is called Bathhouse Soapery. This cute little shop has lots of different handmade soaps, perfumes, and lotions that are sure to put you in a relaxing mood.

Their foaming body scrub is amazing!  I suggest Mud and Minerals or the Oatmeal Creme scrub, both smell amazing and make your skin incredibly soft! Bathhouse Soapery should be a definite stop on your next trip!

If you’re craving something sweet you have to check out Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcake Shoppe! They were featured on Cupcake Wars and the Food Network.

This place has your classic cupcakes like Chocolate on Chocolate or Red Velvet (my personal favorite) but they also have some that are a little out there like Salted Caramel (Jackson’s favorite) and Lemon Lavender. Whatever you get it is sure to be delicious!

The last shop I encourage you to visit is an antique store called Tillman’s. From the outside you can look in the window and see a lot of really exquisite antiques.

When you step inside the whole shop shimmers! Pearls the size of a quarter and gold encrusted clocks are waiting to be seen behind glass cases. If you’re lucky, a man named Davis will be in. If he is there let him tell you about some of his historical pieces!

They have everything from crown jewels that belonged to Russian Royals to a staff from a Moroccan Sheik!

Davis’ stories are absolutely fascinating and you will not want to miss a chance speaking with him!

As you walk around you will no doubt see a large grand hotel. This hotel is called the Arlington and it was built in 1924. The building is so beautiful and the inside is just as grand!

As I mentioned before there are many different bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. There are several of them that are still in operation today. Since you are in Hot Springs I recommend wholeheartedly to take a bath in the springs. Some of the bathhouses have public bathing areas, but I enjoy a more private setting. The Buckstaff Bath House is fantastic.

Men and women are separated and each person is given their own private bathtub. I have done the Whirlpool Mineral Bath. You start by getting in your designated tub filled with the hot spring water. There is a little jet in the tub so it feels somewhat like a hot tub. They give you cool towels to place on your neck and arms so your body doesn’t overheat. You relax in there for a bit. When you get out they lay you down and put hot towels on your arms and legs and give you cold water to drink. At this point you’re about ready to die of happiness and relaxation. After that you enjoy a Sitz bath and a vapor cabinet. And finally you end with a needle shower (which is not as terrible as it sounds, it’s basically a massage shower). After your spa day you will never want to leave and you understand why so many people came to enjoy the springs!

If you want to venture a little outside the town there are lakes and mountains to explore! There is a large observatory that looks out onto the town below and the mountains surrounding! The lakes are beautiful and make for a fun afternoon of swimming!

Hot Springs is a charming place filled with beauty and history! I encourage you to step back in time and enjoy the simple things in life! Happy Wandering Wednesday everyone!

Wandering Wednesday: New York City

I am SO excited about today’s post! New York was one of the most amazing trips I have ever taken! We got to spend 10 wonderful days there last year! We did everything from the Natural History Museum to Coney Island! So today I am going to share with you some of our favorite moments (and about a million pictures) from our adventure to the Big Apple!

When you go to New York you have  to ride in a taxi and take the subway at least once. It’s a must. So when we got in from the airport the first thing we did was hop in a taxi and head to our hotel.

We stayed at this really cool place called Pod39. It’s this super cool modern hotel on East 39th St. We were about 2 blocks away from Grand Central Station, which was not only convenient but very fun! We were within a mile of Times Square as well.  In the lobby of the hotel there was an AMAZING restaurant called Salvation Taco. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel I highly recommend you check out the restaurant! I suggest you go for dinner, but make sure you all ahead and get a reservation! The Al Pastor tacos with Roasted pineapple and avocado salsa are phenomenal.

Our first adventure out was to the New York Public Library and Grand Central Station. The library is absolutely beautiful! You feel like you are stepping back in time! It’s also where they filmed the movie Ghostbusters.  If you go behind the library there is a lovely park called Bryant Park. They have ping pong tables and chess boards set up for fun! There are also little food stands with pretty delicious food. We stopped at ‘Wichcraft and got a yummy Heritage Smoked Ham sandwich. How does poached pears, dijon mustard, cheddar, and smoked ham on cranberry pecan bread sound? Amazing right?! It totally was.

Grand Central is amazing. You can really feel how busy the city is. It is such an amazing historical landmark! If you go down beneath the main floor, there is a food court. You will want to eat at Shake Shack. Oh my word, that place is so yummy! To this day I still crave Shake Shack burgers and milkshakes.

Another day we took the subway and were trying to head up to the upper east side to see the Natural History Museum. We somehow ended up in Queens, which is in the exact opposite direction. Subways are crazy! However there is a cool app you can download on your phone called Subway App: NYC  that you can look at to help you get around. It doesn’t need internet, so when you are underground you can still use the app! Well, after the little mishap we ended up finally finding the Natural History Museum! It is the coolest museum I have ever been to! They have real dinosaur bones and amazing exhibits! We spent a good bit of the day there and absolutely loved it! I highly recommend it!

We also took a trip to the Statue of Liberty. I will tell you that it closes early most days, so you need to get there in the morning. It is pretty expensive to go as well. We hopped on the boat and were off to Liberty Island.  It was really cool being up close to the Statue of Liberty. It’s something you see pictures of all your life, and it’s pretty fulfilling to finally see it up close! And you can’t beat the view of the city!

My most favorite part of the entire trip was walking around Central Park. It’s hard to describe the absolute beauty and enormity of the park.  There are so many days that I long to go back and wander around the park. There are so many different trails to take and different sights to see.

There is a little cart that moves around all over Central Park called Wafels and Dinges. If you see the cart or the food truck make sure you stop! They have some of the most amazing waffle treats you will ever put into your mouth.

It’s so amazing to walk around central park and see different landmarks that were in movies or TV shows! The Loeb Boathouse was in 27 Dresses. 

The Bethesda Fountain was in Gossip Girl. 

We loved walking around and just watching people as well! Everyone just seemed so relaxed. You can tell that this is a haven for so many people in the city and it’s understandable why!

The Mall in Central Park is breathtaking. I could literally sit on a bench all day and just relax. Toward the southern end of the Mall is the Literary walk. There are statues of authors Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare. It’s a lovely place to sit and enjoy the day!

We did many more amazing things in New York that it’s hard to fit it all in one post! I will do another wandering Wednesday on Brooklyn and Coney Island! So stay tuned and happy wandering!

 Some photos credited to my handsome husband, shown taking the picture above! 😉