ROAD TRIP: ARKANSAS

The morning of Day 4 began gray for the skies as well as for my physical state. The night before was an airbed-on-the-floor night in a very dark place (admission: I downloaded a night light app on my iPhone) and the day started without a shower. The weather was beyond unusual for this time of year, and my hosts in Geary told me the night before that the lack of humidity and heat was really a rare experience. The heat and humidity had been replaced by gloomy rains–which usually, I prefer but it really didn’t help me toward the Thelma and Louise summer road trip moment I had been hoping for. It was more like me, with frizzy hair and rain speckled glasses with my pant cuffs covered in mud, then rolled up and knotted around my ankles.

On my way to Oklahoma City for what ended up being a disappointing breakfast (I don’t want to talk about bad breakfasts, it hurts too much) I passed through the proud hometown of Garth Brooks–Yukon, OK (instagram). Okay, for the record–Garth Brooks is the absolute greatest. Also, he and I really took our relationship to new levels since the only two CDs I had in my car were two of Garth’s. There must have been at least 107 listens to those two discs when driving in no service areas.

330 miles later, I was almost over my hurtful breakfast and in Little Rock. I checked into the Rosemont Inn & Cottages, a bed and breakfast, that immediately stole my heart. A lost art sometimes, that whole hospitality thing. Susan, owner and innkeeper of this beautiful house, made me feel so safe and at home in my little cottage around back. 

After a much needed hot bath and much not-needed mirror selfie, I headed to the bar at the Capital Hotel for a drink and dinner. It was a camera-free outing because I just honestly, didn’t feel like doing anything else than utilize basic motor functions. I had their famous pimento cheese with homemade soda crackers, fried black eyed peas, and a smoked ribeye while listening to a jazz band play me Fred Astaire music as I reveled in my dark corner table.

After I nearly lost my life (drama queen!) buying a six pack of Miller Lite (clarification: six pack with only five beers in it) at a liquor store that looked like a prison commissary counter, I drank two sips of beer and passed out, with red lipstick blaring. So much for partying down at the bed & breakfast. There is something though, that doesn’t quite match somewhere between shabby chic and beer–it just wasn’t meant to be. Those Miller Lites made it to two more states and never even were consumed, sigh, risking my life for nothing (drama queen…).

I woke up early and after a 30 minute struggle to make a decent pot of coffee (NOT a skill I possess), I set up to work on the blog a little and enjoy my breakfast on my patio. Susan had asked me if I preferred a hot breakfast or a continental breakfast in my little fridge and I requested the latter. It made me really happy to think about sharing that morning patio with some conversation, next time around. But enough dreaming, let me get to the part about fried chicken, President Clinton Avenue, and the little rock.

Down on President Clinton Avenue, I skipped (really) down to the first chicken destination of the trip–Gus’s. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken started in Memphis but has since spread to other parts of Tennessee, Texas, and Arkansas. Gus’s stresses that it is not fast food and they let you know that you should be prepared to wait and your patience will be rewarded.

The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy with the most amazing crunch. They say that Gus’s is different every time you try it since the spices are hand mixed with a pinch of this and a dash of that, causing each batch to be a little unique. It had enough cayenne to let you know it was there but it wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy. Supposedly, sometimes it’s so spicy it’ll bring tears–I am all about it. It truly, was perfection. I had a side of beans and slaw and threw in some mac and cheese. I didn’t end up finishing the mac and cheese and it for a brief few, was being transported in my purse, until it was later consumed somewhere in between Arkansas and Tennessee. I am still working on understanding the white bread thing–I never eat it, would rather just have more chicken. 

Before heading out to the next destination, I took a drizzled walk down to Riverfront Park, where you can see the lower part of the Arkansas River that runs through Little Rock. I didn’t know, or rather never thought to inquire, that there is a real little rock in Little Rock!

Okay, it is a not-so-little (all relative, I suppose) rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River that served as a navigational landmark by early river travelers. The formation was first noted and named by the French explorer, Bernard de la Harpe, in 1722. Put that in the part of your brain that hold Jeopardy answers and thank me later.

+ Rosemont Inn & Cottages
+ Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken Restaurant

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