Last week I took off Friday. I had planned for Emma and I to just go to the zoo, but then thought, "hey the kite festival is in Eureka Springs on Saturday.". I booked a room at the Bavarian Inn. We ended up staying the entire 3 days in Eureka Springs. It is an easy peaceful drive, well, except for the "are we there yet" and the "I have to go potty". We goofed off on Friday, went into town there, bought candy apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and then had some schnitzel at the Inn's restaurant. We took a bath in the giant double person jacuzzi, got into bed, watched part of a movie and went to sleep.
Saturday, Emma had me up at 6:30 AM! We got ready, and found a great place, Pancakes and Waffles, to eat breakfast. We decide to goof off a little before heading out to Turpentine Creek to go to the Kite Festival and see the big cats. We drove around Beaver Lake, which is beautiful.
We then went out to Turpentine Creek... to go to the kite festival.. only to realize that the kite Emma picked out (and then opened up at home) was missing its crossbar since she took it out and left it on our fireplace.. good place for it. So, we ended up just watching the kites for a little while.
Then we went to see the cats. This refuge takes in cats and other animals from people who bought them to be pets in the first place (they must be crazy, no matter how beautiful they are and how much you would like to curl up beside them, I am no fool... I am lunch to these guys).
I forgot this big guy's name.... and that is one big yawn!
This is Ringo. We got to watch him being fed a pot roast. That lasted a whole 15 seconds! He has quite the personality and when you talk to him he will kind of chortle back to you.
This beautiful fella is Kenny . He is kind of Turpentine's post boy. Kenny is the son of Loretta and Conway, two white tigers, that happen to be brother and sister. They were privately owned and the owner bred the two to produce tigers for the exotic animal trade. All of their cubs started dying or were being born deformed, so Loretta and Conway were of no user to their owner. Turpentine actually rescued Kenny and his brother Willie (yes, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson) before Turpentine picked up Loretta and Conway. Both Kenny and Willie are deformed and are mentally retarded. Kenny has a lot of health problems as well. He is the one that just broke my heart. I wanted to crawl in his cage and give him a big hug. There were others there that I just could not get good pictures of. There was Vada - a black leopard - her owner, the idiot, declawed her and then at some point broke off her teeth with a pair of pliers. They had to do a lot of surgery on her to save the teeth they could save. Some, where the nerve had been exposed for so long, had to just be removed. The front of her teeth look no different than yours and mine. It costs $2k per animal per year. Wal-Mart donates all of their meat that is past date, which is still okay for the animals. People around the refuge bring them things as well. I think if we lived in Eureka I would have to make it a weekend trip every weekend.
Sunday, Emma wanted to go home soooo bad. We ate breakfast and goofed off. I was trying to waste time in the hopes she would want to stay for a while. I wanted her to go to the Easter Egg Hunt at The Crescent . This hotel is incredible, built in 1886. I know it has been on Ghost Hunters.
Once we got there, Emma completely forgot the whole idea of going home. She was too excited. There were eggs, candy and stuffed animals everywhere. We had to wait 25 minutes, and I think the waiting almost made her explode. We had a plan all mapped out, but the minute the hunt started, that plan
went right out the window. I went up to where a bunny had been hidden in a bush.. no kids were even looking at it. Emma had run into the middle of kids to pick up eggs, darting to the left, to the right, they looked like a bunch of kids that had gone crazy. I yelled at her to get her attention. She looked at me like, "what, I am busy here". I made her come to me, and I pointed down. Emma giggled with glee at the sight of her bunny (there were only 15 stuffed animals and about 35-45 kids there). She grabbed her bunny and made me go with her to hunt for more items, she giggled the whole way. The kids had so much fun. No fights, just pure fun and excitement over the hope of what they would find next. It ended almost as fast as it started. Well, at least it did for the 6-10 year old range... the 1-5 took their time.
Here are some pictures of Emma with her bunny
peeking over the door
Then it was time to say goodbye, which I hate to do. I just love Eureka Springs. It is a very slow paced, very friendly, nice place to be. Everyone talks with you like they have known you forever. We will definitely be going back this summer!