Playing Tourist

Posted by on March 29, 2017

**I was recently made aware that if you’re reading my posts through an email you received notifying you of a new post that the pictures are not showing up in the email.  If you click on title of the post, in the email, it will take you to the actual blog post and the pictures will then be available for viewing.  We will be at our son, Dan’s, home on Saturday and I will get his expert help to figure out the problem.  (hint, hint Dan)

We’re off to do some sight-seeing!

We got a little later start than we had originally planned since we got home later than expected Monday night.  We picked up Alice about 10:30 am and headed into Hot Springs to do a little sight-seeing.  Being from the area we’ve kind of taken things for granted and have recently started seeing Hot Springs in a different light.

Filling up with fresh spring water

Hot Springs has various ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ springs scattered around the area and we usually try to fill some containers with fresh spring water whenever we’re in town.  Today was no exception.  Our first stop was at a spring located on Whittington Avenue not far from the Alligator Farm.  Most of the time we’ve had to wait to fill our jugs but today we were the only people there so it was a really quick stop.

Today we drove the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail.  We recently learned that Hot Springs is the birthplace of baseball spring training which was held here from the late 1800s well into the 1950s.  Who knew??

Just look for the green signs around town

Players such as Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson came to train and play here in Hot Springs.  Hiking the mountain trails and the healing powers of the therapeutic baths were a big draw for the players.  For more information on spring training in Hot Springs click HERE.

We learned during the audio phone tour that Hot Springs High School colors are black and gold due to Honus Wagner donating new uniforms to the school with the Pittsburgh Pirates colors, the team with which he played for the majority of his career.

On March 17, 1918 Babe Ruth  was pitching in a game at Whittington Park and was not known for being a hitter.  He came up to bat and whacked a ball out of the ballpark, across the street and into a pond at the Arkansas Alligator Farm – a total of 573 feet, no one thought it was possible to ever hit a ball that far.  That home run is known as the Home Run that Changed Baseball.  

Hot Springs High School – Bill Clinton used to ‘march’ down these halls

Hot Springs is also the boyhood home of President Bill Clinton.  He went to high school at Hot Springs High School, graduating in 1964.  He honed his saxophone playing skills while being a part of the high school band.  A new high school was built in 1968 and the old building was used as a junior high and now serves as housing units for disabled people.

Historic Ohio Club

We stopped at the historic Ohio Club for lunch.  Established in 1905, The Ohio Club claims to be Arkansas’ oldest bar.  It is filled with history as infamous mobsters such as Al Capone, Bugsy Segal and Lucky Luciano spent time there.  Baseball players and celebrities (Mae West, Al Jolson, Sammy Davis Jr. etc) were known to frequent the place as well.

During the depression the name changed to the Ohio Cigar Store and there was a false wall put up in the first 6 feet of the building which contained the cigar store while the back of the building still held an illegal bar and casino.

Looks good…but just didn’t do it for us

While the business is rich in history, with lots of memorabilia covering the walls, and definitely worth a visit for that reason alone the food wasn’t anything to write home about.  Michael had a burger, Alice a Reuben sandwich and I had a patty melt and none of us was thrilled with our meals.  We did, however, go next door to their gift store and pick up a couple of t-shirts to remember our visit.

Michael had to park the truck several blocks from the restaurant so we enjoyed walking past the bath houses, gift shops and galleries that line the downtown area.

Vinegars and oils lining the wall

We stopped at Evilo (Olive spelled backward), an Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar shop.  I, happily, picked up a bottle of garlic infused olive oil.  I had purchased a bottle Eureka Springs last April and loved it so when I saw another store similar to that one, I had to get some.

We also stopped at Ginger’s Popcorn and picked up a mix of caramel & cheese popcorn and watermelon flavored popcorn.

This guy was slobbering all over himself. He was either pissed or lovestruck…not sure which…

On the way back to Alice’s house we made a pit stop by the camel and zebra farm so that Alice could get to see them too.  Our friend the ‘white camel’ came rushing over to see us again and made growling noises and stuck his tongue out for us.  If Michael moved the truck down the road he’d follow.  I think he must be the ‘King of the Camels’ as the other camels give him a pretty wide berth.

We got Alice back home and settled and then made the trek back home, arriving shortly after 7:00 pm.  Michael had the park owners top off our propane tanks during the day while we were gone so he placed them back in their rightful homes while I went in the house to switch the laundry and put things away and get things ready for tomorrow’s excursion.

After getting things squared away we retired to our recliners to relax (haven’t done that since we’ve arrived here in Hot Springs!) and watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead as well as a couple of other shows.  Another Good day!

Here’s a couple of the post I recently wrote for Heartland RVs:

Water, Water Everywhere

Amish Haystacks

Destination:  Door County, WI





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