In this state, that stands for Northwest Arkansas. We planned a brief two-night trip up there during spring break week to see the new, highly acclaimed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and to let the kids have the fun of a hotel stay. Then flooding rain was forecast for the first part of the week, with several inches possible at our destination, making us wonder if it was going to happen. We ended up having to drive in some uniformly soggy, foggy, ugly weather on the day we traveled, but the kids had an amazing time and we were introduced to a beautiful destination in the state -- so it was all worth it.
We like to stay at the Embassy Suites when we can because (a) suite, hooray, kids have their own room, and (b) the breakfast is a destination in itself. Archer calls it the Em Bass Ee Suites, emphasis on the "bass" like the fish.
Our first swim of the warm season! The kids got right back in the swing of the water, and take a look at my newly svelte husband!
The museum doesn't open until 11 am (which I personally think is a huge missed opportunity -- we got there right when the doors opened and there was such a huge crowd that the upper parking lot was already full), so we visited the Wal-Mart Visitor Center on Bentonville's charming town square beforehand. Here the kids are posing by a coin-operated ride-on toy modeled on Sam Walton's famously unpretentious Ford pickup truck (the original is inside the Visitor Center exhibition space).
Waiting for lunch at the museum's beautiful Eleven cafe. When Archer trails his finger over something like this, these days it's because he is tracing the path of a pretend marble using the real world as a Marble Blast Gold level. "I just like to put a marble on that," he explains.
The museum was glorious. I can't wait to go back and explore it at my leisure. Here Cady Gray is recording her impressions of Adolph Gottlieb's "Trinity" in her museum guidebook.
Glow Bowl and Lazer Tag at Fast Lane, a giant arcade complex, rounded out the day perfectly.
And after all the weather drama, the drive home was a spectacular riot of spring sunshine, wildflowers, and burgeoning green. We'll definitely go back soon!