Hello! I hope you all have had a great start to the week and are rolling right along in your Tuesday. The last seven days have been nothing short of a whirlwind for Scott and I!
I didn’t mean to go missing from the blog since Friday, but… you know… life happens. After almost a week of visiting family and exploring the cities surrounding the Northwest Arkansas/Missouri borderline, Scott and I packed up our things and set out for our long drive home Sunday afternoon.
We made two stops, one in St. Louis (stories on our visit to the Anheuser-Busch factory are coming soon!), and the other in Chicago. Scott ended up having to work a last-minute event outside of Detroit Monday morning, so we woke up before the sunrise and finished our four and a half hour drive home then. I planned to check in with you guys yesterday, but I was absolutely dragging after I made the last hour drive home with Roadie yesterday. Isn’t is crazy how you feel like you need a vacation after a vacation?
After a week of blogging every weekday on our vacation, I took the day off yesterday. It felt great to unplug, but I missed you guys!
I took some time to upload all of the photos from our trip this morning, but I didn’t even know where to start documenting. There were so many pretty things and places we visited, so I decided to break the highlights down into a few different posts.
First up is our trip over to the beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas! You will see more of the charming Victorian village in my next post, but I couldn’t skip over the gorgeous scenery and stops along the way first.
Just west of Eurkea Springs, there is woodland sanctuary in the middle of the woods of the Ozark Mountains called Thorncrown Chapel.
Many weddings have taken place in this little chapel in the woods, and everything from the walk up to the atmosphere indoors feels incredibly majestic.
Thorncrown Chapel is a stunning forty-eight foot wooden and glass chapel that contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass!
While chatting with the nice woman working the door, we found out that they can only clean the windows in their entirety four times a year, as it costs close to $4,000!
The chapel is free to visit, and they accept donations to help keep everything running.
(Just in case you’re wondering and are ever in the area, regular church services take place every Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m. during the months of April through October.)
As we sat in the pews and admired what was around us, Scott mentioned this was the exact location of his uncle’s wedding. How cool would it be to get married in this chapel? I bet it’s absolutely breathtaking in the Fall and Winter. (They are closed January and February except for weddings and other special events.)
We said a quick prayer then walked back to the car to continue our drive through the area. With rumbling bellies, we made our next stop for food at one of Scott’s all-time favorite barbecue places in Northwest Arkansas.
It took me by surprise when Scott pulled into the parking lot for Bubba’s Barbecue. I was expecting to grab lunch at one of the restaurants off of the main historic district strip, but he assured me that Bubba’s is some of the best barbecue he’s had. Who am I to judge?
With “It may not look famous, but it is” as their tagline, Scott assured me that his decision to stop would be a good one.
He describes it as a “dive” that is definitely more known for their food than the atmosphere. I thought it was full of character!
It sounds super lame now, but I was craving greens and anything but bread after a couple days into our trip, so I ordered a salad with what I thought came with pulled barbecue chicken.
I was disappointed when I saw cold, grilled chicken arrive, but I ate it anyways. After seeing Scott’s plate, I fully regretted my decision and ordered a side of my own baked beans to make up for it.
Surprisingly enough, my chicken was really, really good… cold and all. Scott’s sandwich was also fantastic, and the beans were extremely flavorful and addicting. I could have eaten several sides of them, and will be sure to order them alongside a hot plate next time!
Content, we were in and out of Bubba’s in a short 3o minutes, and ready to revisit a familiar trip into the woods we made close to five years ago.
By the way, driving through the mountains in Arkansas is not super enjoyable for those with weak-stomachs. With extreme hills, drop offs, and twist and turns, there wasn’t a chance I was going to drive these roads.
Lucky for us, Scott learned how to drive here. I couldn’t believe how dangerous some of the conditions were… un-railed. One dip off the main road and you’re history!
Christ of the Ozarks Statue
On our way into Old Historic Eureka, we decided to make a detour to a go see a statue that holds a special place in our hearts. Scott and I made this same drive over to the grounds of The Great Passion Play in August 2010.
We planned a sunrise devotional on the lawn, but I had no idea our prayer session was going to turn into the first day of the rest of our lives together!
(Posing in front of the same sign I did right before we got engaged!)
(August 12, 2010)
After several minutes of prayer and a lot of tears, Scott asked me to marry him right there on the lawn. The story of our proposal took place before I started blogging, but you can read the details of the rest of our trip after he proposed here.
(Right after the proposal)
It was such a romantic and meaningful morning, and I am so happy we were able to retrace the very same steps we made on that summer sunrise day nearly five years ago.
The Christ of the Ozarks Statue was built in 1967, and has overlooked the city of Eureka Springs as a symbol of hope and love for decades. Every inch of this 1500 foot sculpture was built by hand, and the statue is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame and weighs over two million pounds!
It’s pretty neat to see in person, and might be the closest I will ever get to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, Brazil.
Also notable on this property is an actual piece of the Berlin Wall!
Yes, a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Any time we get over to Eureka Springs, we always do our best to at least drive through this area. We saw The Great Passion Play my second trip home with Scott, and it’s a great outdoor recreation of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (the Resurrection of Jesus) that includes live animals. Since opening in July of 1968, over seven million people have come to see the play!
We didn’t have time to see a show this time around, but we plan on coming back years down the road, possibly even with our own family.
We were just a few streets away from Historic Eureka Springs, so we were anxious to get into the city and see how its changed. Stay tuned for more on our trip coming soon!
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
What a fun trip down memory lane!!
Wow! That chapel is amazing! And those BBQ pictures are making me hungry! I need to take a visit there, looks beautiful!
It is always nice to revisit places that hold a special place in your heart!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
Wow! What a special chapel. This must have been such an amazing experience for you and Scott. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures!
Your telling of Eureka Springs, the way you point out all of the unique and beautiful spots to see along the way, makes me SO happy and proud to call Arkansas my home state. And Northwest Arkansas my hometown area as well! Eureka Springs truly is amazing, I have visited many times with my family over the years. Thorncrown Chapel has a chapel designed by the same architect (and it looks very similar) right here where I live (before I move to Austin this Friday…wah!) in Bella Vista, AR. It’s called Cooper Chapel. I’ll link up a website about it below. It’s truly a stunning sight as well and it reminds me of Thorncrown!
I have never eaten at Bubba’s. but remember passing it all the time on our drive to Eureka Springs. You’re right, the roads are an adventure all on their own with how winding they are! I always enjoyed them as a child because it’s like a rollercoaster. I’m a daredevil, what can I say, haha. I’m so glad you two had a wonderful week visiting Missouri and Northwest Arkansas.
Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista: