This week completes our last week in Hot Springs Village; we have immensely enjoyed our month here, renewing many old acquaintances and making many new ones. We have hosted two of our three kids and their families, and good friends, the Simanks. Many books have been read, and hundreds of golf balls have been hit—some good, some bad. Several rounds of golf have been played. Yes, it has been a great month, indeed.
I played golf on Magellan Golf Course Monday, and played fair until it began raining on hole #14, stopping, and starting again shortly thereafter, accompanied by thunder. It’s truly amazing how superb the maintenance folks keep this and the other courses. Jim and Jackie Morris came over in the evening for bridge, and neither Jackie nor I had decent hands the entire evening.
Kay and Pam exercised at the Coronado Aquatic Center Tuesday morning, followed by lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I played golf with Jim Morris on Balboa; Kay and Pam had a great lunch, while Jim and I had a lousy golf game as neither of us hit the ball well. I sort of expected it as I woke up in the morning with a scratchy throat, and hit pretty inconsistently on the driving range. We would be remiss if we failed to mention that Pam followed up lunch with a winning evening at the casino at Oaklawn Park.
Wednesday, I hit golf balls early in the morning, and Kay got a hair cut and color. Our good friends the Simanks arrived at lunch, and after unpacking, we drove to Granada Golf Course overlooking the waterfall, where Kay met us for lunch. The food was good, though the waitress was a bit on the weird side. We explored the Village the rest of the afternoon, showing the Simanks our lot, a house being built with a floor plan we like, and most of the lakes and golf courses. After a brief rest and adult beverages, we had dinner at the Last Chance, our now regular Wednesday evening hangout for dinner. The food was very good, and the service excellent.
After coffee on Thursday morning, we drove to and walked around the farmers’ market at Grove Park. The vegetables, baked goods, and other wares sold there are genuine, and sold by genuine farmers. It is such a pleasure to eat tasty fresh vegetables, and the fried pies are to die for! Back at the rental house, we ate breakfast before Kay and Sandy headed out for a sightseeing/shopping trip to Hot Springs while John and I caught up on a lot of IT work on iPhones, iPads, and computers. We all drove back to Hot Springs for dinner at the Salty Oyster Grill for their catfish and “taters and onions.”
After egg sandwiches for breakfast Friday morning, John and Sandy left for Norfork, and Kay and I drove the short distance to Magellan Golf Course to hit golf balls. We “chilled” the rest of the day, and both of us took afternoon naps; now, Kay is developing a scratchy throat; time for the Zicam. With time running out, we scheduled a mid-afternoon tee time for Coronado Golf Course for Saturday afternoon. The Passes hosted us for adult beverages and pizza and a great visit Friday evening, but we didn’t get to go out on Lake Balboa because of high winds. However, we always laugh a lot during our visits with them.
With nothing scheduled, we enjoyed a quiet morning Saturday, packed, and loaded the kayaks for the trip home on Sunday after church. We sure enjoyed our month in Hot Springs Village, and learned a few things regarding our move here in the coming months. First, we really enjoyed the sunroom, and have added it to a list of our “must haves” in the house we buy or build in the Village, and second, we both really enjoy the social life and amenities available in the Village. The costs in the Village and surrounding area appear to be 15 to 20% less than in Baxter County, though this was no surprise to us as Baxter County businesses have a captive “audience” and make us pay through the nose for goods and services—shameful! And finally, a butterfly settled in the oak tree just off the deck and posed for a photograph. We were able to tee off early at Coronado, and Kay hit like an experienced golfer, particularly on her drives and fairway shots; the short game still eludes her, but she’s working on it! We got hit by thunder, rain, and then lightening on the 9th hole and took a rain check—actually, a refund—for the back nine, and it continued to rain for most of the rest of the evening, making our decision a good one.
Sunday morning, we finished packing, except for the refrigerated and frozen foods, and attended the 10:10 AM traditional worship service. The folks at the church have really made us feel welcome. Afterwards, we packed and loaded the refrigerated and frozen foods, tied the kayaks down front and rear, and left within a few minutes of noon—I drove towards our house and Kay drove to Maumelle for a last visit with Ridge for a few days. I arrived at the house at 3:30 PM, unpacked, and washed the Expedition, and Kay arrived a few hours later. It’s always good to return to the place we call home, whether it’s the house or the RV.