Hot Springs, Arkansas in December

We are in Hot Springs, Arkansas with several friends for a (mostly) relaxing weekend. It’s the off-season for tourism, so in some ways it’s nice, although there are some things you can’t do, as the photo demonstrates:
We think they’ve lowered the lake level in order to do various maintenance projects. Our scenic lake view is a mud pit. We are staying in the two-story cabin on the left in the picture; we’ll be leaving this morning to head back home.
The ladies went to a huge craft mall downtown, while the guys went to the Mid-America Museum yesterday. We’re just big kids, mostly. My friends Rick and Paul went through some (artificial) caves that I took a pass on, and they also crawled through the giant earthworm. I stayed out and watched on the videos, party-pooper that I am. We had a good time with all the hands-on experiments there.
We also did a lot of driving around sight-seeing, going to rock shops and so forth. At the rock shops, there are some beautiful amethyst geodes and a great many other similar polished rocks in great variety. Also fossils and similar things. I wish I had the expertise to be sure of the authenticity of some of them.
We went to the Garvan Woodland Gardens last night to see the Christmas decorations, but turned away because it was misty-rainy, and because most of Hot Springs had decided to go. They were parking in the ditches, so we took a pass on it and went up on the mountain drive. There’s a nice overlook up there where we could see over the city, and it was beautiful at night.
We returned to our cabin, and I went to take a shower. When I came out, my wife and friends had prepared a bit of a birthday party to surprise me. So we had a nice celebration, and I’m blessed by having such good friends.
Now it’s pre-dawn, and most of us are still asleep. In a few hours, we’ll be packing up and heading out. It’s been a nice respite, but it will also be nice to get back into routine, having been to New York City a couple of weeks ago, and to Hot Springs now.
ADDENDUM: An hour or so later, we were in downtown Hot Springs having some hot chocolate, watching it snow. It was the sort of snow that wouldn’t stick, but it was still fun to watch for a while.
We did have a safe trip home, and it’s good to be back.

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