So here we are. It’s October 20th, and fall is in the air! Just kidding. It’s been in the 90s this week. THE NINETIES. But pumpkin recipes and cozy autumn decor surround us all. I look forward to the day (soon please?) when the weather matches our fall interests, but for now, I’m okay with forging ahead with the fall things anyway.
Speaking of fall things, Alex and I have a fall tradition of making a super quick weekend trip to Arkansas each year for one thing or another. Some years it’s for a wedding. Last year we got together with Alex’s family for some Magic Screams at Magic Springs. This past weekend, Alex and I road tripped for Alex’s 10 year high school reunion. Alex and I attended the same high school, so I got to see some familiar faces too. I’m not sure if there’s any way around the awkward of suddenly being in a room with people you mostly haven’t seen or talked to in 10 years, but that didn’t stop everyone from having a great time.
In between family visits, Alex and I had a lunchtime hour to spare, so we did the best possible thing: We stopped into McClard’s Bar-B-Q for lunch. If you ever, EVER find yourself in Hot Springs, Arkansas, you must go here.
Alex and I shared the Whole Spread, which may look like more than two small people could devour, but it wasn’t, especially after going yeeeeears without it. This amazing pile-style (“layered” might be a less country way to say it) dish starts with a base of two tamales and is topped with beans, chopped beef, onions, Fritos and grated cheddar cheese. It’s one of those dishes that if I had discovered later in life, the “healthy Sarah” might pass it up, but it was so a part of my childhood that I can see it only as normal and right.
I have one more rec for you, as if McClard’s isn’t enough of a reason to stop whatever you’re doing and get on the road to Hot Springs. Alex and I also stopped by Mug Shots Express for the first time. This coffee shop is a drive-through shack. Quaint, no? Their menu signatures include the Arkansas Honey Latte and Blackberry Sage Mocha. I had a Pumpkin Pie Latte, because fall. It’s made with real pumpkin, not the syrup. So good!
After a very full 34 hours, we were on the road again. While it made me sad not to be able to stay longer and fit in visits with friends (sorry friends), we just can’t do it all . . . this is something I’m beginning to learn.
Arkansas, you have my heart.