So for our last day/night in Hot Springs, we stayed in a hotel. We had a hard time choosing. There are three types of hotels in Hot Springs. There are the historic hotels downtown, there are old funky motels everywhere, and there are new chain hotels in the actual city of Hot Springs and near the lake. I wanted to stay in a historic hotel, however I have a slight problem/phobia with hotels/staying anywhere but home. It has to be clean. I'd prefer to think that no one other than myself has ever stayed there. The bathrooms and the beds are the worst. I've suffered many a panic (or is it anxiety...) attack in environments that I felt were unclean. It's ridiculous. And it's all in my head, but in the moment it doesn't matter. It's like life or death. If you've had a panic/anxiety attack, you know what I'm talking about. You feel absolutely insane and you know you're being crazy but it doesn't matter because YOU HAVE TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.
SO, after much debate, we picked a slightly (like built in the 60's?) historic hotel downtown. Not the one I wanted, but it was just fine. Only had a slight moment where I thought I'd lose my cool but I held it together. I am proud. We stayed at the Springs Hotel and Spa. I'd recommend it. It's a good deal, it's nice, although a little old, and you get free breakfast at a bad ass place down the street called the Colonial Pancake and Waffle House. Eat there if you are in Hot Springs. Seriously.
We checked in early and immediately headed to the pool for a bit, because it was sunny!
The pool overlooked downtown and had a great view of the mountain across the way. Our room had the same view, it was pretty sweet. After pool time we headed up to our room and showered. And it was amazing. It felt so damn good to finally be clean.
Post shower, feeling so fresh and so clean!
Then we went to take those old timey old west photos. You know the ones I'm talking about. Where you dress up and pose in a saloon. I have always wanted to do that, and IT WAS SO FUN! And the pictures are amazing. It was outrageously overpriced but so worth it. I will share them soon, they are ridiculous...ly awesome.
I'd like to quickly discuss the city of Hot Springs. It's an interesting place. There are a lot of abandoned and empty buildings. A lot. Abandoned buildings from the early 1900's as well as from the late 1900's. A lot of emptiness and a lot of businesses gone. It was kind of creepy. A lot about this town creeped us out a little, but I kind of liked it. It was like a ghost town. I'm not sure if it's because we were there during the week versus the weekend but the town just had this empty feeling. It's hard to explain.
This hotel (the Majestic) went out of business in 2006, and I think it was built in like 1902. We walked up to it and it was trashed on the inside. I would LOVE to explore the rooms.
There were a lot of buildings like this. Beautiful century old building just sitting there empty. But, for all the emptiness downtown there was also a lot of life. There were tons of cute shops! And everything has such an old charming feeling to it, I love it.
For dinner that night we ate at a little German place (we love anything German!) that was absolutely empty (I think we were one of two tables the whole time we were there) but the food was fantastic.
We spent our last evening in Hot Springs hanging out on our balcony, enjoying the view, and people watching.
The next morning we got up early to go on a little hike before we headed back home. This hike was literally up a mountain! My buns and thighs were a burnin', it was a little intense!
Crossing a very pretty newly paved road.
This seemed like a good pose, but it's not.
The view from the top was pretty great. We could see for miles and miles, plus we had a great view of downtown! The trail took us around the whole mountain as it winded it's way to the top.
This is what post-hiking-up-a-mountain looks like.
We ran our way back down the mountain. The trip up took us probably over half an hour and the run down took us maybe 5 minutes. It was kind of scary running downhill (with lots of trees to run/fall/roll to your death into), but extra fun. It reminded me of skiing, you feel like you're out of control and are going to crash at any moment, but you don't and it's a blast.
After breakfast and packing up, we headed back to Texas. Our drive back was fairly uneventful. We took major highways back so we didn't have anything pretty to look at. It was good to be home, although I wasn't quite ready to head back to reality. I want to be on vacation with Brendon forever. It is just so good and so fun. We have the best adventures. Plus it was beyond wonderful to have nothing but nonstop time together, we don't get enough of that. We need to win the lottery so we can vacation permanently!
I thoroughly enjoyed Hot Springs. I love being out in the woods and being in a small laid back town was nice too. It was hard coming back to this wild city. As much as I like Austin, I think I'd prefer something a little quieter. I miss nature. I loved camping and hiking and getting sweaty and stuck in the rain. Which is weird because a couple years ago I would have hated it. I guess as you get older your preferences change! The good thing about Austin is that even though we are stuck in the middle of this modern mess, we are just a short drive away from nature. We just need to escape to it more often!