In the first seven years after college, I attended 52 weddings. Since starting this blog, I’ve only attended six, but they’ve all been pretty memorable…from crashing a wedding in Switzerland…to including one on my home leave during my expat assignment…to a post-wedding celebration for American friends in Switzerland…to a former roommate’s wedding in the UK…to a Mexican wedding extravaganza…to the wedding I attended last weekend in one of the most remarkable venues I’ve ever seen – Anthony Chapel in Garvan Woodland Gardens!
[She was radiant in her mother’s wedding gown!]
I’ve been to a lot of weddings, but this was a first for me…a selfie of the ceremony taken by the officiating pastor (and friend of the groom)! So fun!
The bride and groom were stellar inflatable guitar performers! This was their first dance, and it was great!
The bride is one of my examples of how small the world is. I met one of her childhood friends in Morocco in 2007. In 2008, the bride was moving from Memphis to St. Louis (where I lived at the time). This mutual friend connected us. I shared my two cents about St. Louis, but we realized that she would be arriving in St. Louis the same month I was moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fortunately, I had a lot of work travel back to St. Louis during those two years, so we got to know each other over dinners when I was in town. When I found out I was moving back to St. Louis in 2010, I reached out to tell her…only to find out that she was in the process of moving to Colorado! Despite our unfortunate timing (and the fact that we’ve never actually lived in the same city at the same time), we’ve become friends over the past nine years. I’ve seen her in Colorado three or four times, and I’m thrilled that she’s now living in Louisville – much closer to St. Louis. Oh, and the final outrageous connection between us? She went to Auburn and studied abroad in Spain with my brother! The world is so small!
The wedding topper is hard to see with this background, but it’s been in their family since its wedding debut in 1942! Isn’t that amazing?! Also, this Italian Cream Cake was delicious!!
This was my first visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas, so I walked all through the town (which is also a National Park). I was shocked to find that all of these fountains, waterfalls, and springs in town are actually REALLY hot!
In the center of town, there’s a row of eight old bathhouses. They are each unique and really beautiful. While they were all operational back in the early 1900’s, today one is a restaurant & brewery, one is a spa, one is a typical bathhouse, one is the National Park Visitor Center, one is a store, and one is some kind of Cultural Center.
I stayed across the street from these bathhouses in a hotel called The Waters. It’s located in an historic building with large, modern rooms. I would highly recommend it!
I haven’t been to many National Parks yet, but I’m going to venture a guess that this is one of the most beautiful Visitor Centers. It’s called Fordyce Bathhouse, and in its heyday, it was advertised as “the most complete and luxurious bathhouse in the world.”
This is Quapaw Baths & Spa – where I spent a couple of very relaxing hours Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning, I went to breakfast at a little diner called The Pancake Shop, which was really good! Thanks to the ladies at the front desk at my hotel, I was clued into trying their sausage patties and apple butter. Both were yummy!
I also stopped by Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe, which has been featured on Cupcake Wars.
After the spa, I went to Superior Bathhouse Brewery for lunch. Frito Pie seemed like a good decision on a rainy day. Across the street was The Ohio Club (which opened in 1905 and is Arkansas’ oldest bar). It’s where famous people like Al Capone and Babe Ruth hung out when they were in Hot Springs “back in the day.” Sadly, I ran out of meals on this trip and didn’t get to visit.
My 24-hour stay in Hot Springs was brief, and yet, I feel like I got to see all of the highlights…and a very dear friend!