When dreaming of vacation destinations, places like Hawaii, Colorado and Oregon generally top the list. Places like Bentonville, Arkansas never even cross my mind. So when the hubs suggested we vacation in Bentonville for Spring Break, I thought he was joking. He wasn't.
He was part of an art show in Joplin, MO, of all places, so we knew we needed to be there at least one night. In an effort to make our way there, by way of the glorious open road, he decided on Fort Smith and Bentonville. We packed our bags and let the road take us on a journey. I have never been more pleasantly surprised. We stopped in Paris, Texas to see the Eiffel Tower - underwhelming, sadly. We found a great roadside Rock Shop - yes, that was the name - and it was full of glorious crystals, geodes and other bits of beautiful glory. (And to think I had to pry my boys out of the car to go inside... we stayed there for over 45 minutes if that tells you anything about the measure of awesomeness.) Then it was off to Fort Smith for the night. That's where we found a Trolley/Train museum that blew us away. Old train tracks, access to old cars and graphics that knocked my socks off. It was amazing...
And sadly, from this point of the trip on, I left my camera in the hotel. My goal was to be present and in the moment with my sweet family instead of clicking away with my phone or camera. At times I was successful and others, not so much. I got completely enveloped in the arts that surrounded me and while my littles appreciated bits of it (proud momma moment), their interest is still a bit underdeveloped.
Y'all, I could NOT believe all the art in Arkansas. I haven't seen that much art in 15 years. Pathetic. The good news is that it has rekindled my love and appreciation of it. If you are ever in Arkansas, you must visit the following...
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum - beautiful and free to public. They had a beautiful exhibit on Valentine cards from the 1800s to now that blew me away.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - to say it was breathtaking is an overwhelming understatement. The architecture alone will blow you away; then there's the amazing grounds and trails all about, the incredible art and the kids Experience Art Studio, where my littles stayed for over an hour. Stunning inside and out. I can't wait to go back.
21c Museum Hotel - The museum. The hotel. The Hive. I die. I hope to be able to take my hubs here for our 11 year anniversary! So so so cool.
I always swore that I would "never" go back to Bentonville after having worked with Wal-Mart back in my product development days. Well... never say never. xo