Anniversary Trip: {Arkansas – The Finale}

Part III Recap: Day of relaxation begins with delicious breakfast and a walk through pretty gardens.  Things may be looking up!

*Sigh of relief*

“This day isn’t starting off too bad at all,” you think to yourself.
You and Pete are now driving towards {Quapaw Bathhouse} for some steaming and bathing.


Your trip starts off with a 20-minute sit in a natural steam cave.  Water comes into this natural cave at 147 degrees.  They have to cover the spring with glass to lower the temperature in the cave.  It’s pretty legit and you would recommend it to friends.
Next you go and sit in the thermal baths.  It’s like a community hot tub with varying temperatures.  It feels rather cold and unfulfilling after the peppermint-scented steam.

You and Pete decide to bounce early and go find some ice cream before your massage and facials.
Pete insists the ice cream is up the street to the left, you insist it’s down to the right.  Neither of you win and neither of you get ice cream.  Fail.

It’s a 25-minute drive to the spa that came recommended by several people you talked to.  It seemed hopeful (but not probable) that this trek would get you out of dilapidated Hot Springs and to a luxurious spa for a few hours of extra relaxation.

Joke’s on you, Devin.  It’s on you.

You pull into the strip mall that houses “Arkansas’ newest and finest day spa.”  You sit in a waiting room filled with old outdoor furniture that they’ve padded with ginormous pads, you stare directly into the face of a couple sitting in bathrobes awaiting their next treatment, and you try not to laugh at the ridiculousness of this situation.

Finally you are escorted into the couples massage room.  Mismatching sheets, 1 picture on the wall, and nowhere to put your clothes.  Seems legit.  Oh, and they have given you a male therapist even though you specifically asked for a female.

And so it begins.  They forget to turn the music on until 5 minutes into the massage.  Your masseur likes to whisper-yell in your ear asking, “IS IT TOO MUCH PRESSURE?”  And when Pete’s masseuse asks him to turn over, she pats him on the back and says, “Just relax and be comfortable, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”  Gone…gone…gone.  Just walks out of the room and leaves for a few minutes.  Smoke break?  Potty?  Don’t know, don’t care.  And the massage conveniently ends for him in concert with mine.  Guess he’s paying for a 46-minute massage.

You are escorted out of the room into two separate rooms for facials (they forgot to mention that when we called to book services for our anniversary trip) to have facials done by Candy and Summer.  Yes, those are their real names.
During your 1-hour facial you are told your eyebrows are nice, that she will begin waxing her daughters as soon as she’s able to handle the pain, where the “hip, artsy crowd” hangs out in Hot Springs (that’s also where her cousin works and brother-in-law’s band plays), that Hot Springs is, in fact, haunted, and that she has regulars that come back to this spa every year.  You think to yourself, “How in God’s good name could anyone come back here year-after-year?”  These conversations all occur in a Sweet Home Alabama-esque accident.
You find out later Pete was asked numerous times, “Is the towel too hot?  I LOVE a hot towel on my face, but sometimes they burn my fingers!”  Over and over and over again…all with the Sweet Home Alabama accident.

You are feeling partially relaxed but not nearly as much as you had hoped.  You pray that dinner will do the day justice.
Again, highly recommended.  The “nicest place in Hot Springs.”
That’s in a strip mall.

You do a double take.  “ANOTHER STRIP MALL?” you yell as you pull into the parking lot.


Thankfully {Luna Bella} redeemed itself.  You had amazing service and food (Scallop and Bacon Flatbread pizza).  Topped off with a splendid dessert.  The only flaw?  You accidentally ordered the $44 bottle of wine instead of the cheap one.  Way to go, Dev.  Way. to. go.

All in all, it was the worst vacation ever, BUT it’s made for some hilarious memories and stories.
I am so thankful I am married to a man who I can laugh hysterically with when trainwrecks happen.
That’s worth celebrating…we’ll just never celebrate in Arkansas ever again.

Also, I’ll let y’all tack your own “yays” and “nays” to this schbang.  Pretty sure they’re not hard to figure out.



  1. Cat! I am SO glad we’re not the only ones. I’m pretty sure everyone has thought we are crazy…but this def goes down as one of the worst vacations of all time! Haha. We’ll be staying away from here from now on. 🙂


  2. Oh Devin!! Reuben and I went there in April for a weekend getaway. It was a disaster! “Best Kept Secret” MY BUTT!!

    We had crappy food for like 3 meals and eventually gave in to go to the ghetto-er side of town for some authentic (pretty delicious) mexican food. Even if there were 7 guys staring at me, while I’m sitting there with my 6’4″ husband. ::deep breath:: We got deep tissue massages at Quapaw Baths. And I will say that that redeemed the trip. The girl who did mine was AMAZING! That still didn’t convince us to stay any longer in that town. We left a whole day early and spent the last day of our getaway in Dallas with friends. But like you said, it totally made for some funny memories. Reuben and I can laugh about it so it’s probably even more memorable! haha!! I’m glad we’re not the only ones with disaster vacations. 🙂


Write Your Own Story

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s