Trip to Bentonville…

I had a rare weekend off, it was Hubs’ birthday, so I took him on a trip.

When Daughts heard where we were going she said,

“Ooh, can you bring us home some Hibiscus Cider from Black Apple Brewery?”

“Sure,” we said.

I’d read the small city we were going to was a hidden gem, with its historic downtown, the nightlife, the food, the shopping, and thought,

‘Why not? It’s not every day I get the opportunity to go to the birth place of that American Institution, Walmart.’

“You’re going to Wally World?” our other children asked…

Air BnB reserved we set off for Bentonville, stopping for lunch on the way and arriving at our home-from-home set in a delightful neighbourhood with wooded lots and vast lawns.


The basement, where we were to live for the extended weekend, was really a garden flat because the house was set on a slope leading down to a creek in the back; our French windows opened up onto a patio and the lawn.

The space was large and airy.  It ran the full width of the main house, was well appointed with fitted bookcases, a full kitchen, couches and comfy chairs in the main room for sprawling and reading, a large bathroom and two bedrooms.

A perfect haven for a laid back get-a-way.

We had been told about Crystal Bridges, an art museum built by one of the Waltons, and our residence just happened to be a few minutes away.

The grounds were where I took my morning walk and each day I spotted the deer who made their home in the Ozark forest.

On day one I came upon a doe and her fawn,


Another morning I was startled by a large female browsing in the undergrowth.

Bushes and low hanging tree branches are fair game for these timid creatures.


I found this trio blatantly ignoring the

‘Please Stay On Path’


And they weren’t camera shy either!


On my last walk the fawn ventured towards me and my outstretched hand before checking itself and running off to hide behind Mum.


“We love the wildlife, especially the deer,” we remarked one evening to our hosts.

“We used to love them too, but they ruin any landscaping, so we discourage them close to the house by putting net over the flowerbeds!”


With no other houses visible, viewing grazing deer made the half acre feel more like the outskirts of a deeper forest.

Occasional sightings of these fleet and nervous creatures added to the tranquility of our stay.

As I ventured further along the trails I was treated to Dale Chihuly’s glasswork artfully displayed in manicured garden settings and tangled vegetation.

Turquoise Reeds & Ozark Fiori

looks as if the glass reeds are growing out of the river bed flowing through the forest.


I almost expected them to sway in the breeze.

Further along I noticed coloured light being reflected across leaves high in the trees.

As I continued the tree trunks began softly glowing orange;

when I turned the corner I saw what was causing the effect.

Fiori Boat

a boatload of flowers in a clearing;


Isn’t it magnificent!

The blown glass, mounted on a steel boat structure, shouts ‘burning bush’ to me so that’s what I call it!

This sculpture,

Sol d’Oro

I found on another trail.

Tendrils of creamy blown glass threading their way around perfect orbs,

shimmering in the dawn light.


A mass of golden curls spiralling upwards and outwards.

Absolutely exquisite.

Breakfast is a must when we’re away.  There was a lot on offer in Bentonville.

On our first morning we drove to Thaden Airfield named for Louise Thaden

-a Bentonville celebrity who broke all kinds of flying records in the 1920’s-

and ate at the small restaurant fittingly named Louise.

Watching the small planes land and take off reminded me of my late Uncle who had a passion for gliding and small aircraft.

Coffee and eggs overlooking the airfield was a fitting tribute.

On our second morning, Hubs’ birthday, we enjoyed our coffee in bed with some hand made fancies.


The Buttered Biscuit, an enticing name for a restaurant, is touted as one of the best breakfast places in town.  The packed parking lot and surrounding neighbourhood streets, confirmed its reputation as being the place to go for eggs and biscuits and anything else that spells brekkies for you!

We tried a few times but the line was always too long.

“We have to go though,” I said wistfully.

“Line or not, tomorrow we’ll wait!”  Hubs said.

So off we went early Sunday morning and I popped inside to put our names on the list while Hubs parked along the street.

“It’ll be about 30 minutes,” I was told, “I’ll text when a table becomes available.”

We sat inside to wait.

Hubs got chatting to one of the staff and she asked him our name and said,

“Follow me, I have a table right here.”

‘Right here’ was a busy room off the main dining area at a table just for two.

We had managed to jump a very long, after church crowd.

It was all we anticipated.

The iced lavender lattes, the avocado toast, the eggs and biscuits and gravy were divine.


Onto lunch which we usually skip…

We set out on a very twisty drive steadily climbing to Eureka Springs which was, and still is, an artsy, hippy community stuck in the early 60’s!

This particular Saturday afternoon the historic town was teaming with tourists and motor cycles, probably because it always is on the weekend.

We had a quick look around and took a few pictures of the homes and hotels,


before eating a greasy spoon lunch of grilled cheese, pickles and chips in an historic,  underground restaurant that boasted the original Victorian carpet and drapes.

Very cringe-worthy!

We headed back to Bentonville for a well needed cocktail,


Another day we set off to find The Black Apple Daughts had said we simply had to visit.

Springdale was a sleepy little town and the afternoon was hot.

The cider place was cool and welcoming as we went in to sample some of their beverages.

We each ordered a flight of their hard ciders brewed on the premises and when they were served to us I took one look at the drinks


and said,

“We’re going to have to have something to eat with this lot!”

Luckily there was a pop up Taquerio across the road serving everything from goat to chicken to snouts and entrails to fish tacos and hot sauce!.

Hubs played it safe, thank goodness, and had just enough cash to buy us some carbs to soak up the generous pours.


Afternoon drinking always does me in!

Oh yes, we did remember to buy the cans of Hibiscus Cider to take home…if you were wondering!

We pushed through the hard cider induced torpor and toured the Walmart Museum in historic downtown Bentonville.

Why not?

It was housed in the first store Sam Walton owned and from his achievements, which covered wall upon wall, I came to the conclusion that he was a workaholic,

(you think!)

and very astute.

(go figure!)

Their worth as a family runs to the billions and their home town has benefitted with acres of parks and green space and thoughtful urban design to make it a great place for families and retirees to live.

We ended our tour with a soft serve ice cream topped with hot fudge sold at old fashioned prices.

It was doubly delicious because we were able to sit under the shade of a tree on the grassy square.

Our last stop, before we got on the road for home, was at a cafe called The Armoury

an ‘in’ place for people and dogs alike!


Farewell Bentonville, we may never be back…

…but it was a one-time-only worthwhile trip.

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