illuminate history

Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)

Transcontinental Loop 2022 – Part 3

May 8-13

I should probably call this next set of posts “Transcontinental Loops 2022″, since we rarely headed from one family visit to another by the most direct route. After leaving Grapevine, TX on May 8, we headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas to enjoy the Hot Springs and feel another little connection to family history, since my paternal grandparents spent a week at the Army-Navy Hospital in 1936, for treatment of my grandfather’s cardio-vascular issues and my grandmother’s persistent aches and pains.

Quapah Baths, built in 1922, were almost directly across Central Avenue from our hotel. The other old time bath house was not open on Mondays. As it turned out, all the Quapah Baths scheduled treatments were fully booked, but soaking in the large tubs–for as long as we wanted–was available. We thoroughly enjoyed our almost four hours there. I don’t remember ever feeling so utterly relaxed.

After a snack, we hiked up to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, a four-mile round trip. There’s an elevator at the Tower, which took us up the last 216 ft. of elevation.

In retrospect, it would probably have made more sense to do the hike first, and then relax in the springs. But we were glad to be able to do both.

From Hot Springs, we headed to Memphis, TN.

After a quick lunch, while waiting for our early check-in, we headed out to explore. About twelve blocks from our hotel, we found what we were looking for: Beale St…

We walked several blocks down the street and found a small outdoor venue where we could get a beer and listen to live music. After that, as we made our way back toward First St., we discovered the park with the great statue of Elvis.

That accomplished, we boarded the First St. trolley and returned to our hotel.

From there, we headed to Nashville. We explored Honky Tonk Boulevard and had lunch–with live music–at a Margaritaville restaurant. That evening, we went out for a showboat cruise. As you can see, we got a beautiful sunset and a very hot show–the dinner was good, too.

From Nashville, we headed north to Madison, IN, to visit my third sister, Cindy. We spent two nights with Cindy and her husband Richard. Richard’s family has lived in Madison for several generations, which meant a lot to Cindy, who didn’t want to move to another new place–the peripatetic pattern of our childhood, as daughters of a career Army officer. She’s loved being settled there, a place I’ve only visited because our father wasn’t stationed there until after I was married.

As you can see from the photo-shopped picture below, I sort of closed the loop by taking a photo of Cindy on May 15 to accompany the one of the rest of us, taken on May 7. If we had actually been together, Cindy would have stood between Barbara and Sheri.

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2022 by in Writing.
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