For part of this blogging challenge, I've been writing to you from Arkansas. Hubby and I are on an adventure, going from place to place and checking out the different sites. It's a lovely place, hot and muggy, but lovely. Today we arrived in Eureka Springs.
The past couple of nights were spent in Bull Shoals. We were excited to see that location. Thinking we'd find a thriving community due to it's location and being surrounded by a beautiful lake, what we found instead was a depressed town, a shadow of what once was. Needless to say, we left there scratching our heads. We did stay in a well kept, albeit old, motel and it was probably the best of the bunch. We spent the day yesterday just driving around looking at all the small towns within 50 miles or so, to only see more of the same. These crazy cute towns with so much potential have been left to be ghost towns. All the store fronts are empty. There's just nothing left. We did find the thriving area of Mountain View. Here was a bustling town with a busy town square set up to please the tourist. This area is known for it's music and shops. Other than that, we couldn't figure out what was so special about that spot, over all the other towns we saw. What drove the people there?
So today we ended up in Eureka Springs. It's definitely got stuff going on and a pretty huge shopping district in the historical area of town. The buildings are fantastic and of course I imagined a soap shop in any of the empty storefronts. Lots of restaurants to taste from. But again, it took us three tries before we found a restaurant that was open on Tuesday. Not lacking cute cabin-like places to lodge, most were empty. The place we are in for the next couple of nights is crazy cute and very well kept. The amount of people shopping wasn't all that great either.
I guess what I'm curious about is, what do people do for vacations? Is it all about how fancy the amenities need to be? Hotels? Water parks? What is it? Do people even take vacations anymore? This is a very sad state in my eyes. So many people relying on the tourists to come and spend money in their communities and the people are just not there. Yes, the weekend are busy, but there is a season to that as well. The depression in Bull Shoals was the biggest felt for us. Such a gorgeous area and a beautiful lake for fishing, jet ski and any other water activity you can think of. Beaches, too. All were empty. Hardly a boat on the water. Campgrounds are empty. Beaches desolate. Were is everyone?
If you have never been to Arkansas, I recommend it. Such lovely scenery, plenty of sport fishing and water activities. You name it. But there are no water parks. I haven't seen a movie theater, Internet is hit and miss (gasp!) or are there any amusement parks that I've seen. But there are caves, lakes, hiking, biking and shopping and some other old fashioned family time activities. If you want to get away from it all, yet have some things to do, I recommend this place and many other in Arkansas. Pack up and have a good old fashioned family vacation.