Well, 2021 was interesting. We started it in Winston Salem, North Carolina and ended it in Middleton, Wisconsin. In May we left North Carolina for an opportunity in Wisconsin that didn't work out for many reasons. One being by September we had our winter jackets out as family made fun of our new weakness against the cold. That was nothing - By December we thought we may freeze to death there. We forgot how cold it was.... ice everywhere we looked!
Anyway, after debating a few opportunities further South we ended up in Bentonville, Arkansas. Finding a home during a pandemic in a rapidly growing area was not something I'd recommend but we did it! We are in the best house we've ever lived in right between our workplaces in Bentonville and one of my favorite cites- Fayetteville. After almost a year in temporary living we're enjoying redecorating the space with help from a very stylish friend... more to come on that later.
Now as I'm getting settled in I'm making time for things I enjoy - reopened my online shops, been cooking/baking like crazy, exploring all the thrift stores and getting back to writing - starting with updating here. To celebrate the past year, I got a list of 12 things near my new home in Springdale, Arkansas that are awesome.
1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - This is one of the coolest museums I've ever seen. It's free to enter but I would still recommend the membership as it gives discounts on events and even many for free. Some of my favorite things to see here are =
2. Turpentine Creek - Not only is this a wildlife refuge, but it's got lodging. We stayed in a "safari suite" and heard the residents talking all night long. We also saw our first live armadillo here sniffing around outside our hut.
3. BidFTA - I don't like telling people about this place as it gets competitive. You never know what you will find so it can become addicting. It's kind of a hot mess which is part of the charm. It's an online auction which you have to go to the warehouse and hunt down your items.
Random things we've gotten here = Manduka yoga mat, felt lined wooden thing with drawers to keep you organized when putting jigsaw puzzles together, Bugzooka (yes that is a thing), lounge chair cushions, Ninja blender, backpack vaccuum system (shop vac power!), Lucille bat from The Walking Dead, storage containers, Instant Pot air fryer, water heater tank for our shop, landscape cloth.... and more!
3. Goodwill bins - Next to the auction pick up #3 above is one of 2 Goodwill outlets in the state where you pay by the pound. This one is great; never seen it real busy and they switch the bins out often. I have found Patagonia jackets, Eileen Fisher tops, Outdoor Voices pants and so many good things here. It's easy to get sucked in as there is some great stuff in this area! I never had such luck as I have here - other states are so crowded and competitive. This has a much more chill vibe.
4. Railyard Live - We've seen many a free live festival type setting show. This has the most diverse acts in such a cool setting. Next to a railyard turned playground is a stage that brings in acts from all over the world. Some of our favorites were a Tom Petty tribute band and of course classic rock cover band, 90 pound wrench. There's tables up front you need to pay $20 for (seats 4). Otherwise you need to reserve the free tickets and BYO chair. It's fun to walk around the area and listen. Beers and food here are overpriced; Ozark down the street is a better plan - stop there to get a wristband and drink that allows you to walk with open container in the "entertainment district."
5. Coler - We enjoy a hike but have never seen anything like this. Beautiful paved walking trails surrounded by art sculptures. There's even a coffee shop. A bridge that plays music as you walk across. And there's the bike trails - fun to watch people on these trails as they are wild. I've taken some of the free yoga classes here through Walton Life fitness. There's also bike classes and an archery range.
6. Onyx Coffee - I have married a coffee snob and this is his holy grail. Not only is it beautiful but the food and selection of coffee varieties and seasonal drinks are some of the best we've had anywhere. The Bentonville location is always crazy so we prefer the Rogers or Springdale but can't go wrong at any.
7. Sunny Days - Sunny's is a beautiful restaurant with unpredictable service. But Sunny Days brings unique active experiences to the area. Events are free or reasonably priced; usually including their healthy and delicious food. I've done a workout in an airport hanger with a fancy teacher from the Hamptons, meditation in an art sculpture at Crystal Bridges with an instructor from Miami and a hip hop inspired dance class with a very cool teacher from NYC to name a few. I never quite know what I sign up for with this but never regretted it!
8. 8th Street Market - One of the first places I saw before I moved as I was taken to lunch here. It's a very cool food hall; can't go wrong with any of the choices but some of our favorites are =
9. Eat It Up Yum - I've eaten a lot of chocolate chip cookies. Elisha's is the best and now she taught me her secrets.
10. Fayetteville's Funky Flea Market - Being a long time estate saler it's difficult to find a flea market that lives up to the hype. This one is one of the best I've ever been to! It is beautifully curated in the most wild way - I don't want to spoil anything; it's an adventure!
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