The King Family has a wonderful tradition of going on bowl trips to follow our beloved Oklahoma State Cowboy football team. As our team is experiencing an unparalleled stretch of 11 straight bowl games, we no longer feel obligated to attend every one since it is no longer a once-in-a-decade achievement.
With those thoughts in mind, we made the decision before the end of the season that we would skip the bowl game this year and instead just go somewhere to have some family time. After an initial flirtation with going to Lawton and southwest Oklahoma, we decided on the Eureka Springs, Arkansas, area.
We made a similar trip two years ago to Beavers Bend, Oklahoma, so this trip has affectionately been referred to as the Beavers Bend Bowl Trip, or the Beavers Bend Anti-Bowl Trip.
As an added bonus, this is the first “bowl trip” for Ellery, Scott and Erin’s daughter, so there is some added excitement this year!
The rest of the family, KK & PK & Scott & Erin & Ellery, arrived at our house around 11:30 on Monday morning, after they had already finished the bulk of the grocery shopping at Sam’s. Everybody grazed on our Christmas leftovers before we departed on our 3 hour trip to Eureka Springs.
As we came into the final approach to Eureka Springs, it is very hilly with curvy roads and hollers around every turn. We traveled across several one lane bridges, including the one in the picture below, which was extremely long. Because of the curvature of the bridge, you can’t even see the other end of the bridge when you’re driving across it.
We made such good time traveling, and since our check-in at our rental house was not until 4pm, we stopped at the local grocery store in the “Holiday Island” area of Eureka Springs to pick up a few final items. If you love old-fashioned, small, grocery stores, you will enjoy a visit to the Island Sun Fest Market.
We pulled into the driveway at our home-away-from-home for the week, at 4:02pm. Good timing! At 4:03, as we piled out of the car, Miles & Stephanie both claimed they heard feral pigs snorting in the distance. (It was a motorcycle, though they have not embraced this truth yet.)
Erin, Stephanie and PK went straight to work making chili for us to eat for dinner, while the rest of us unloaded vehicles and made supplemental trips back to the grocery store. PK and Marissa also made some cheesecake desserts for us.
After dinner, we had our family Christmas around the tree which was still thoughtfully up at the rent house. Any chance for us to watch 8 month-old Ellery unwrap gifts and enjoy the bows & wrapping paper, is a good time.
After presents, we had a massive 12 round game of Mexican Train Dominos. These games are always full of laughs. In this game, Stephanie and Marissa were playing as a team, and they were affectionately referred to as “Two Brain” for the duration of the game. Erin won the game, which is great news, because we want to keep the head chef happy!
The writer of this blog must admit that he had no intentions of documenting this trip. But he faced extreme pressure which included veiled (and not-so-veiled) threats from the rest of his family to blog about Ellery’s first family trip. Who can resist writing about Ellery, so here we are! Day 1 of the Beavers Bend Bowl Trip has been a success.