This one is a hoot! We go to Hot Springs National Park Arkansas for an overnight adventure soaking in hot springs, enjoying nature, and enjoying our friends’ company!
This weekend adventure flew us into Dallas with a road trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas. The only place in the country where the town, and everything in it, IS the national park!
We may have only been in Arkansas for 24 hours, but as always, we covered a lot of ground! And got to spend time with Kasha & Ryan, two friends we made on our trip to China! (see episodes 3 and 12 for more about that trip!)
We thought our trip in November was the best time to visit Hot Springs National Park because it was cool enough to need a jacket, but not be cold which made the morning hike amazing because you could see the steam rising from the hot springs in the ground all around the area. It was a very cool sight to see.
Things to do in Hot Springs National Park
- Bathhouse Row!
- Review of The Hotel Hot Springs and the spread at its breakfast buffet
- Superior Bathhouse Brewery – the only brewery in a national park!
- Inappropriate photos in the tub at Lamars Emporium
- Very cool historic tour of a traditional bathhouse at Fordyce Visitor Center
- Our thermal pools and steam cave experience at Quapaw Bathhouse
- Dinner at the historic gangster hangout, The Ohio Club
- The delicious Fat Bottomed Girl cupcakes
- Hiking the Grand Promenade and Goat Rock Trail
We also address what we would do differently on this trip if we could do it again, and how to save even more money on weekend trips like this.
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. This week, we’re taking you to Hot Springs national park in Arkansas to celebrate one of America’s beautiful national parks and a little bit of hospitality with that Southern charm.
6 (1m 12s):
I am obsessed with national parks and going to all of them is on my bucket list. So when I realized that Hot Springs national park was only a five hour drive from Dallas, so I could squeeze in a visit with my sister and also go to this national park. I had to go. I was also really intrigued because after I did research, it was a city surrounded in nature, and there’s so much to do.
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I didn’t know too much going into this trip, but I learned a lot at the end of this trip. So much about the natural Hot Springs gangsters, prohibition, even the MLB, all of which changed the course of history in our country and really shaped the way that it is today.
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So there are two things I want to say before we get into this episode one, I love pop culture. And I remember when Brittany Spears was photographed driving her son, who was a toddler at the time on her lap in California and in California, that does not fly. And her response was I’m country y’all. And I can see how people would do that out there because we didn’t see any cops. It’s nothing but open road. And it just seems like it would be so normal to do that. So I got what she meant by that. And then too, my grandmother is from Arkansas and my mom spent summers out in Arkansas and Arkansas is never a place that I thought I would go to. So it was kind of exciting to go and just see the state where they come from.
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And this is bill Clinton’s, hometown hot Springs, Arkansas.
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So interesting. As we were walking down the street, we saw this sign commemorating that it is a small
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Town. I have never been to the hometown of a precedent.
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We were when we were in Hot Springs.
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Now I have
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Doing big things Before we get into this episode, I have something very important that I need to address. So in episode 18, when we talk about the Italian beef in Chicago, I mentioned that my friend, Tony is the one who recommended eating it at Portillo’s. And if you listen to that episode, we weren’t big fans of the beef there.
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I had better beef.
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Exactly. That’s what we said in the episode, but I must retract that statement now because he reminded me that he did not recommend it from Portillo’s. He actually recommended it from Al’s beef. Now I can’t confirm nor deny if the performance or taste of their beef is better than Portillo’s, but if you’re in Chicago checkout, Al’s be for yourself and then send us a message on Instagram with your opinion.
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So big Al might have better beef is what you’re saying.
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Tony says big Al has good beef.
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Maybe next time we’ll have to go in and get some beef from
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So of course, we’re going to start this episode off with some tips. And the first tip I want to give you guys is that even though the national parks, sometimes national parks don’t have like entrance times or closing times, but in this national park, because it’s mostly located in the city, all of the national park buildings close at 5:00 PM. And just to give you guys some background information, this is a weekend trip and we drove from Dallas. That’s where we flew into and as a five-hour drive. And the reason why we stayed in Dallas is because my sister lives there. So we had to leave pretty early in the morning so that we could enjoy some of the buildings that were at the national park and be mindful that they closed at 5:00 PM.
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And we also flew into Dallas to see your sister, but also because it was a free place to stay Friday and Sunday night. And she was so nice that she let us borrow her car. So we saved big time on this trip
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And shout out to tonight.
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And just real quick, before we get into more tips, I just want to say that’s something that I found really interesting about hot Springs, national park, you know, you think national parks and you think nature wild. And there was some of that. But what was unique about this is that a portion of the city and downtown area itself was the national park.
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Yeah. That’s one of the most unique things about this place.
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You know what I think of when I think of national parks,
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Mountain lions. Yes. I do
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Feel that way. Walking through the city, Cena,
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But in the mountain scape behind, perhaps there are some bears,
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You know, they’re just sitting there on the hill, rubbing their paws together, waiting for us to go on the trail so they can pounce us and eat us the way that we ate Al’s beef,
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We didn’t didn’t eat. I’ll speak
3 (5m 20s):
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You on it though. That’s something else you have to know. Very important. There is no drinking on Sundays.
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I should have that. It was crazy because when we were driving from Dallas to Hot Springs, what we stopped at a gas station. I think we were in Arkansas at that point. And when we came out, Kim made the comment that there was no alcohol sold to there. And I was like, huh. And we went back in to check and it is a dry state,
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Not dry state. I think county at some areas, it was
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Dry gas stations.
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That was actually me that made that comment. Cause I was looking for some white claws.
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Oh, also in our Chicago first time Brittany and Jamal had white claw and now they’re hooked
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Less than a month later. Brittany’s looking for those white claws on the road trips,
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Her eyes open. Good job.
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So I also have another tip to add is one of the must do’s of hot Springs. National park is the Bathhouse. You have absolutely must try the bath house, whether it be the modern or the traditional, does it matter? Try one, try both. If you can. But the bath house that we went to closed at 6:00 PM. So again, just be mindful of the time that the establishment closes.
2 (6m 28s):
Yeah. And what the bath houses actually are. Keep in mind in the name, Hot Springs, national parts. So back in the early 19 hundreds, late 18 hundreds, they created bath houses where they captured some of the natural hot Springs that ran from the mountains there. And people would take bass in them. They would turn them into spas. So they were just referred to as bath houses, traditional spas. So they close at 6:00 PM. So the traditional one we’ll get into a little bit more later. It’s the classic vibe, which we will explain. The modern is more a general pool where everybody sit together in the hot temperature water. So really, really nice. But that’s what Brittany is referring to when she’s talking about the bath houses. And again, they do close at 6:00 PM.
2 (7m 10s):
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Time did they close?
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I’m just kidding.
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But the downtown of Hot Springs is such a walkable city. We actually had a difficult time finding parking and we ended up having to park at our hotel before walking downtown. But it’s such a cute, so cute. Yes, walkable city. And because everyone is going there for the thermal waters, there are actually two water stations and you can literally drive your car up and bring your reusable containers. Like your five gallon containers. We saw people doing this and there’s a spot where you can fill up for hot thermal water. And then there’s another station down the road that you can fill up all of your bottles with cold thermal water and take it home for you to enjoy.
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Yeah. And the water is really clean to drink. Cause when we think of thermal water, sometimes maybe our minds tend to think sulfurous or smelly and just non-potable water. Yes. But this is non smelly, non ag sulfuric water. So really, really fresh, good to drink. And that’s what you’re bathing in at the Hot Springs. Okay.
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I overheard someone talking about the benefits of them when she was filling up her water bottles, she was saying how it’s good for your skin. It’s good for your hair. It’s good for curing colds or flus. And she bakes with it. She cooks with it and like does everything with it? She must’ve lived there. She was really hyping it up.
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Funny story about those fountains is that night when we walked back to our hotel, who remembers how cold it was, it
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Was, it was pretty cool that night
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Freezing. And it was like in the thirties, right? So we passed that and Jamal decides to turn it on and put his hand under the fountain to see if it’s warm or cold. And it was really warm. So Jamal got excited and he’s like, Ooh, feel how warm that water is. And I thought to myself, absolutely not. Because then your hand is going to have to dry and get like cold from that. And so what happened to you Jamal, after you took your hand
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Out, it was freezing, but nonetheless, I always come prepared and I have gloves. So
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I had gloves
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Though. Cause we gave you shit to bring it and come prepared.
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And you still gave me shit about these gloves because the gloves that I have are fingerless gloves. So I can still
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Pretty much, you didn’t bring gloves. You brought a fashion accessory. I
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And you were able to still text,
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I was take selfies. Come at, you live from the breakfast. Buffet. Me dead. Yeah.
6 (9m 24s):
So we’re going to walk you through our weekends. So we did this over, just a weekend trip. We left on a Friday night and we flew home on a Monday morning. And on Saturday morning we left Dallas for our five hour drive to hot Springs national park. And we booked a hotel at the hotel, Hot Springs. What was our favorite part about the hotel guys? The
2 (9m 44s):
Breakfast buffet. Ooh, I don’t know what happened. Cause usually when we book reservations for hotels, we always look to see if there’s going to be a free breakfast included. And for whatever reason, Brittany usually does the book and she didn’t mention anything. Maybe she didn’t see it in hindsight. I think when we went back to look at the reservation, it was listed at the very, very bottom, almost like a little asterix. Oh it includes that. So we only found it out, which we didn’t mention yet. Our friends, Cassia and Ryan who have come with us on our adventures to China as well as to Japan, they live in Oklahoma. So their drive was closer than from us to Dallas to get to Hot Springs. And it wasn’t until Casha actually mentioned, oh, we have a free breakfast buffet. Did we realize that breakfast
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Buffet did we get when she said
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That fucking excited
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Eyes lit up like a Christmas tree,
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Bigger than Kim’s eyes lit up for the Al’s Italian beef.
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So the cost of our hotel for the night, we were only gonna stay. Saturday night was $143 and 25 cents split that four ways. Very affordable.
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It was actually a really nice hotel as well. I was shocked to see when we first got there, there was so much baseball memorabilia that was on the wall. And I was wondering to myself, why is there so much baseball memorabilia here? And not only that, it was more classic baseball photos of babe Ruth’s I young, et cetera. So lots of blacks and whites photos and come to find out later, which we’ll get into a little bit why that was the case.
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I just want to say that this hotel also had a special that if you order a large pizza, you get a free
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Pack of beer. There you go. 10 bucks crazy cheap down there in the south. So Jamal was like, Ooh, do you think that means that you add on a six pack for $10 or you get it for $10 with the pizza. And when you leave the hallway, you can see people’s pizza boxes out in the hallway. And Jamal’s like, oh, you know, they scored on that deal.
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So if somebody does it let us know, we didn’t do it because we ate out another restaurant out. But we’ll again, get into that later
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6 (11m 42s):
So after our five-hour drive and dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we met up with cash and Ryan, they got there pretty much at the same time as us and Ryan loves beer. And so our first dog
4 (11m 52s):
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I love beer.
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Yeah. I mean, we all love beer, but I remember when we got there, Casha was like, Brian’s ready for beer guys. And I’m like, okay, great. We will head over to the Superior Bathhouse Brewery.
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And we walked from our hotel because it is so walkable. And
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Yeah, it was just around the corner. That’s what I really liked about it. The part that was national park of the downtown includes the old bath houses. So there’s only two that are still active. But the street that we were walking on is called Bathhouse Row. And again, very quaint classical buildings. All these were old spas. So the bath houses that are no longer official bath houses, some of the buildings themselves are national park museums or the Visitor Center. One of them Superior Bathhouse has now turned into a brewery. So they use the thermal spring waters to create their own beer. So beautiful taproom. They do have a restaurant. I will say this, the beer is better than the food.
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So if you go in there, just go get some drinks, better food options in the city itself.
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It is the only national park that has a brewery
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And the brewery was created and is owned by a female. So shout out to all the women out there
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What was your favorite beer Kim? Cause you got a flight out there.
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Yes. I got a flight of four different kinds and the sour was really good.
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And you love sours though. I
4 (13m 10s):
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I ended up getting the space force, which was a hazy IPA and it was really, really good. You know, I didn’t think the beer was not going to be good, but I am spoiled here in San Diego because San Diego is a craft brewing city, probably the start of craft brewing throughout the United States. I will dare to say that
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The beer capital of the world
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And Brittany’s dad keeps you stocked with his homemade bread.
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Yes. Cause he does brew his own beer just as well. And as a matter of fact, he’s brewing a keg for Thanksgiving, which I’m pretty excited about. So by this time this episode airs, we will have drank that keg. But nonetheless, again, I wasn’t expecting the beer to be bad, but I’m just so spoiled with the craft brew scene that we have here. So when I try other craft brew, other places that are good, they’re just, I don’t think they’re exceptional, but these beers were quite exceptional. I don’t know if its the thermal water. I don’t know if it’s just a good brewmaster, but very, very delicious.
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So Jamal, I remember you got something to eat there. We had chili. Tell me what you thought about the chili.
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Well, I guess this is what happens when you’re born and raised in California, your whole life, you know, you understand some different cultural differences of different places within the United States. Like in the Northern United States, they have gravy with their French fries versus ketchup or Mayo. You know, things like that. Soda, soda pop. Yes. I had no clue where we were at that chili can come without beans. So I ordered some chili to go with my beer and all of a sudden it comes out and it’s just ground beef in a little stew with nothing else in it. Maybe some onions, but no beans. I was like, what? No beans. And then cash. And Ryan had to tell me, oh yeah, this part of the United States, they don’t make chili with beans.
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I couldn’t believe it.
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And then I got soup and it was lukewarm at best.
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Same, same. Yeah. But I did get a honey Bazell beer and that was delicious. I really enjoyed
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It. Ooh. And I drank a soda water with lime.
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You’re not drinking this year. Right?
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I am sober for 20.
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We all know that Dana is sober for 19. She’s taken an oath of sobriety.
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Yes. And so I didn’t realize how big of a drinking trip this would be. And so it’s not like it was, oh my gosh, I’m ready to cave. But it’s hard because when we were at the brewery and I’m hearing everyone talking about how good their beer is and everyone’s passing it around so they can try each other’s beer. It was just really hard for me. And I love wit beers. And at one point Kim got a wit beer and her flight. And when that happened, my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach because I’m like, I can pound a Whit beer like nobody’s business, but oath of sobriety for 2019,
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We’ll say this, speaking on pounding beers Zaina can actually, Chuck I’m so impressed with how well she could chug beer. Like I try. Yeah. Oh my God,
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It’s impressive. What Dana, you only have 30 days left. So
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20, 20 I’m coming for you.
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So in summary, go to the Superior Bathhouse Brewery or the beer, not for the food necessarily.
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When we actually got to the Superior Bathhouse Brewery, there was a weight and they estimated it to be about 40 minutes. So Ryan really generously said he would wait behind while we explore Bathhouse Row. And we took a quick stop over at a place called Lamar’s Emporium and it’s a gift shop, but inside of the gift shop, and we didn’t really look around for gifts because we got distracted because they have a bath tub inside and in the bathtub you can get inside of it and they have props to take pictures. Right?
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I have shower caps with big flowers on them and they have loofahs loofahs with handles
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The scrubby brushes and everything like that. Yeah. So we found that well originally, so the Emporium itself is part of the national park. It’s one of their gift shops in the old classical buildings of the bath houses. And so as we’ve mentioned before, Brittany and I love to get ornaments from our places of travel. So we were going more particularly to look for an ornament because by the time we had beer at the Superior Bathhouse brewing, we knew we had our appointment at the non-traditional bath house that we were going to do to go soak in the water. And so since the building’s closed at five, we tried to get over there to see if we can find ornament before they closed, because we knew we were going to be leaving early in the morning, but we didn’t even get a look for an ornament because we took our sweet time taking photos in that bathtub.
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Yeah. Jamal and I took a couples photo. We took a squad photo. We took a squad photo plus Casha I took an individual photo,
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The individual photo with the screen.
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Oh, hold on. The guy that works there, older, very nice kind. Southern gentlemen was the one taking our pictures. Mind you.
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Very great Southern charm down there. I just want to say this is the first time I’ve really, really experienced some Southern charm. Everyone’s so friendly. Even the worker, he was our personal photographer and Kim has referenced in previous episodes. How, when some people take photos, they do a shit job. This guy was a professional.
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He knew what he was doing.
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Yeah. He was. And he did it with a smile on his face. Like when people say Southern charm after you’ve experienced Southern charm, you know why it is Southern charm and not Northeastern charm.
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Yeah. It is Southern charm.
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So tell us about that photo, Brittany,
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You jumped in so low.
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I jumped in fellow and I took, I think it was the loofa with a handle and I put my legs up and I pretended I was scrubbing my coochie.
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He put your legs up, spread Eagles.
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And the guy was like, whoa, this is my cue to leave.
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But when he was taking pictures of like Xena in the bathtub, he was telling her to do like a sexy pose or kind of Heather. So he was, he was all for it.
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I mean, there’s only so much sexy you can do in a bathtub.
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But in the middle of taking these pictures, we actually got called that our time was up for the table. So we had to rush back to the brewery.
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Yeah. Because Ryan had waited behind, like Brittany said, and he waited behind because he’s been to Hot Springs before for work himself. So he’s already experienced it, seen it. So he said, oh, I’ll go wait. And so we went back and that’s when we had all the beer and the food that we were talking about earlier.
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And I don’t take Ryan as a photo-shoot type of person.
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I mean, Cassius said it herself that he would not be caught dead in that bathtub with us.
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But we got them in one by the end of the trip, by the end of the
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Transport Ryan. Yes.
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So after we finished at the Superior Bathhouse Brewery, we went to the Fordyce Visitor Center and it was really cool because it was one of the original bath houses, but they have turned it now into a self guided tour. And so Visitor Center,
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Visitor Center slash museum,
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You know what I just realized, Brittany, you say tour,
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How do you say
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Tour, tour, tour, tour,
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But I really liked the Fordyce Visitor Center. So again, the Fordice Visitor Center was a previous Bathhouse. That’s no longer an operation now, a Visitor Center slash museum. And just picture walking into a classic 1910s, 1920s building, really beautiful floors, marble or stone looking,
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And the mini stories. Would you say it was,
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It was at least four. I felt like three for sure. Did they have an underground
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Bathroom wall? I remember on the top floor in one corner. They even had a gymnasium in there. So you go in and you see like a classic 1920s gymnasium. There was a horse in there and buy a horse. I’m not talking about the animal. I’m talking about the Olympic sport horse. There was a horse in there. I was like, wow, what are these people doing? They has given me a look. You don’t know what horses? That’s that long balance beam that the guys are all rotate themselves around. They had like the holding rings. Just Google it. Yeah.
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Okay. You know what a balance beam is, right? Like in gymnastics where they’re on the balancing beam. That’s what horses. But when Jamal
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Men walking on a bouncing beat,
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You’re not walking on it though. Necessarily they prop
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Their hands to prop themselves up and like spin around. Yeah.
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It’s almost like break dancing with their hands, but not break dancing. I don’t know how to yeah.
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Like breakdancing, but on a balance beam just twisting their body around. Yeah. But when you said that, I immediately thought to myself, where was the fucking horse?
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No, I didn’t see
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It. I thought it was.
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So there’s kind of a path that you walk through and it takes you through the men’s bathhouses, the women’s bath houses, the women’s showers men’s locker room. And you know, what was interesting and just so typical of the fucking 19 hundreds, us women’s bath houses and changing rooms were just moderate. And the men’s were like fancy as fuck.
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Yeah, they were.
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And they even had a sign explaining that the men’s areas were nicer than the women’s no explanation as to why, but I was like, what the
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Hell? Just a sign of the times. I guess
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I remember one of the signs even said that they were realizing the women’s room was getting overcrowded. So they decided to add one additional bathtub.
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I’m still one more,
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But it was really interesting in there. Cause when you walk through, you’re seeing all these bathtubs and so the traditional bath houses as they were and has the one that still is an operation, you have your own bathtub that you sit in that has the thermal water they even had. I don’t want to call it a steam room. It was a steam chamber where you remember people would go into that. No, no, no. But where people would sit in that box and it had an open hole for their head and it was basically Stevens.
4 (22m 39s):
It seems a little like two saw like for me, like I’m not going into something like that,
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But yeah, it just looked like a classic gym room or gym changing room, but they had showers with the thermal water tubs with the thermal water, that steam room.
4 (22m 56s):
I had that needle shower too. And that totally reminded me of like the nail room that they used to put Matilda in, in that movie. Oh yes. Mrs. Trench bowl would put all the bad kids in that needle room. That’s what that shit reminded me of.
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This is just all on the bottom floor. But as you go up on the different floors to explore, like Jamal said, they had a gymnasium, there was actually places to stay. So someone could stay overnight. There was a massage parlor, there was a spa,
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There was even this conveyor belt thing from the ceiling that they used to transport disabled people who couldn’t walk up the stairs. And it was like a track that they would host them up
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Like a gurney track almost. Yeah.
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Cause they used to have a lot of people who were injured or sick or ill that would come to these places for the healing benefits of these waters.
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And then when they put them in the bath, they put them on like a wooden platform that would slowly lower them into the water.
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On that floor, they also had a display where they showed what people wore to do physical activity back in those days. And it was really interesting because the women were wearing long dresses that go down to their ankles. And the sign basically said that women’s clothes were chosen for modesty rather than comfort or feasibility to do scarring.
4 (24m 15s):
Yeah. Really pretty dresses. Like I would wear that to a nice event. Yeah. If I had that dress today,
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I mean like I love to run and I can’t even imagine running with a dress all the way down to my ankles. That’s crazy. You probably don’t even have sports bras in that day and age. And then for the men, they had pristine white, basically Trousers and a collared shirt and a vest. Yes. Almost like a suit. And just who plays sports in pristine white.
4 (24m 44s):
Oh man. I would have loved to grow up in those days because a man in a suit,
2 (24m 47s):
People were fashionable back then. One thing that I really enjoyed about touring the Fordyce Visitor Center was at one point as we were going through our self guided museum tour of the old bath house, they had a beautiful stained glass ceiling that was
4 (25m 1s):
2 (25m 2s):
I felt like I was in a church. I couldn’t even believe it. It was the entire ceiling, beautiful stained glass,
4 (25m 8s):
Of course in the men. Just
6 (25m 9s):
Another example of how the men’s site was better than the woman’s side
4 (25m 12s):
These days, that would be in the women’s side.
6 (25m 14s):
I think so too.
4 (25m 15s):
Last thing on the Fordyce Visitor Center know that it is free. So it’s really cool. You’ll spend about 15, 20 minutes in there checking everything out and it is totally free.
3 (25m 25s):
And if you’re looking for the bathrooms, they’re on the bottom floor,
6 (25m 28s):
Good to know
4 (25m 29s):
How aware are the bathrooms?
3 (25m 32s):
I mean, you know, like we’re, we’re at a national park, so, and it’s not even like a typical national park, right? So it’s standard bathrooms. But I feel like we wouldn’t be the Travel Squad pod if we didn’t let you know what’s up. So all the way bottom floor.
2 (25m 46s):
So we didn’t spend too much time in the Fordyce Visitor Center because we were rushed for our appointment in the modern bath house, which Casha and Ryan did not participate in doing that, but we did the modern Bathhouse. Why don’t one of you ladies tell us what the modern Bathhouse was.
6 (26m 2s):
It is called Bathhouse. And I did the research on it and it is a bath house that has four thermal pools and each pool differs in temperature. So they let you know that the temperatures of each pool. And so we decided that we were going to go into them from the coldest to the hottest and on the side, they also have an area where you can do individual baths. If that’s something that you prefer, they also offer massages and hair blowouts and underneath the Ask a steam cave.
4 (26m 34s):
Oh yes. The steam cave was really cool.
2 (26m 37s):
Were you looking for massages? No.
4 (26m 39s):
Oh, I was going to add that. There’s also a place where you can buy food and drinks and we got mimosas for $3,
3 (26m 46s):
But not me because I took an oath of sobriety For 2019,
2 (26m 50s):
But I thought you were going to say something about, see how they’re now catered towards women because Brittany said they have blowouts.
4 (26m 57s):
2 (26m 58s):
So it’s coming fertile circle in the 21st century for you guys
3 (27m 2s):
A hundred years from now, men are going to be like, oh, look at the way they treated women compared to men.
2 (27m 6s):
So our reservation Aquapod Bathhouse. The first thing we did before we got into the pools was we took part in the steam cave that they have.
4 (27m 17s):
Yeah. So cool. You have to make an appointment for this and it is an extra cost.
6 (27m 21s):
Yes. It was $15.
2 (27m 23s):
4 (27m 24s):
Absolutely well worth it. So the process for that is you go in there, you check in, then you change into your swimsuit, earn whatnot. You come out, meet the person, your attendant, who’s taking you down. She with a six, six is the group max group size for this cave, small cave
2 (27m 39s):
At 15 minute intervals. Was it 15 or 20 minutes? 15? I thought
6 (27m 43s):
I said 15, but she said, I’m going to leave you guys in here for 20.
4 (27m 47s):
So she takes you down stairs, down an elevator, I think. And then you go into this cave, it’s hot as fuck.
3 (27m 55s):
4 (27m 56s):
As a steam room should be okay.
6 (27m 58s):
And it was a man-made steam cave, but there was a natural thermal pool vent down there, which was creating the natural steam.
4 (28m 6s):
So you’re sitting in this small room, the walls are caves, the place that you’re sitting on his cave, like it’s dark, they have ice cold water sitting next to you. And then they have that opening of the hot spring spring.
3 (28m 18s):
And they give you a eucalyptus infused scented towel. That’s cold. That is very cold. It’s
2 (28m 24s):
3 (28m 25s):
Yes. So when you go in there, it’s just like that nice smell and super refreshing. And then as Kim and Brittany said, they have the ice buckets in there. So you can just pour some more on that towel, put it on you. And it spills amazing.
4 (28m 38s):
As you’re sitting in there, you’re seeing beads of sweat come out of your pores in every single pore, everyone except Jamal. You’re just like not a sweater. I guess
2 (28m 47s):
I do sweat. But for whatever reason, it takes me a long time in a steam room or in a sauna setting. I will say this it’s something that I’ve noticed. It takes me about 20 minutes to start when I’m in there. It’s really, really good.
4 (29m 0s):
It’s weird. I think I lost half my body weight in sweat.
6 (29m 4s):
I was soaked by the time we were done, I would feel the beads of sweat dripping down my back.
3 (29m 8s):
They do have water for you as well. Not just to put on your body to refresh you, but drinking water with drinking cups in there. So make sure that you are taking in liquids. But yeah, I remember looking over at Brittany and Jamal because they were sitting right there next to each other. And Brittany is just like, you’re watching the beads popping out of her forehead,
2 (29m 25s):
Like a pig over there,
3 (29m 28s):
Me three and then there’s Jamal cool as a cucumber.
6 (29m 32s):
So there are three different benches to sit on. So Kim and Zaina sat on a bench, Jamal and I sat on a bench and then two other people that were sharing the steam cave with us were sitting on a bench and it’s dimly lit and the walls are like rock formation.
2 (29m 45s):
Like we said, they did make it as a manmade cave. So they pretty much put natural rocks up along the wall, put a door to close it out. But what I found really cool is how they’ve taken the natural hot Springs and created a steam CAE by making a fake cave. I thought that was really fun. So it’s its own natural sauna if you will.
4 (30m 4s):
Yeah. And they really build around the Hot Springs and incorporate them into whatever it is. Same thing with the brewery. I really liked that about this place.
3 (30m 13s):
they also give women a towel wrap. So you don’t have to walk from the locker rooms down to the cave in just your bathing suit or with a towel wrapped around you, but like a nice towel wrap to make you feel a little bit more modest.
4 (30m 26s):
They did not give it to the men.
2 (30m 28s):
They did not know. But after we were in the steam room cave, we went to the actual Bathhouse
3 (30m 36s):
Before we got there, though. I just want to give Jamala shout out because although he’s not Southern, he has that Southern gentlemen ness to him because the lady who took us out, made the comment to Jamal, how lucky he is to be in the cave alone. Do you soul man with five beautiful women? As in Jamal’s like, well, six, please. Don’t forget to include yourself in that calf. And she was like saying how she was 60 and she doesn’t feel her age because she feels younger and there’s Hot
2 (31m 3s):
3 (31m 4s):
And there Jamal is flirting with her and it’s just so cute.
2 (31m 9s):
I will say this. It goes back to my days at Denise. I’m just really good with older women. I don’t know what more to say.
4 (31m 15s):
And you really do. Cause once we got in the Bathhouse, we can not get you away from these older ladies here.
2 (31m 20s):
I see. But it’s not me. They’re attracted to me. And then I just talk and then it just becomes natural. Yes, those ladies that were from Dallas as well that we talked to in the pools, they were quite taken aback by me. I had a good way.
3 (31m 31s):
I haven’t tried to join in the conversation, but I felt like it was made very clear that I was not to be a part of the conversation were
2 (31m 37s):
6 (31m 40s):
But this happens on almost every vacation. Every time we go on a gate, one tour, Jamal is friends with the older ladies. They love them.
3 (31m 48s):
Or how about when we were in Japan, on the Metro, Jamal, just Jay and Ryan as well. Both of them jumped up immediately. As soon as a female gets on the Metro. And Jamal learned how to say after you in Japanese. And so the elder ladies would sit down and just giggle because there’s Jamal sane, those all.
6 (32m 6s):
So just a bit of information about the bathhouses themselves. They were super famous because they were used to treat or thought to treat certain ailments. And they were thought to treat syphilis, obesity, arthritis, and even polio.
4 (32m 19s):
You know, what’s funny about the syphilis, oh, first of all, anyone out there listening, they don’t cure syphilis.
3 (32m 25s):
And there’s nothing funny about syphilis
4 (32m 28s):
Because so many people thought that it did everyone with syphilis would flock to this place. And eventually it got so overrun with syphilis that and to bring it back to the MLB that Jamal mentioned earlier, the MLB used to have their spring training in hot Springs, Arkansas, but because syphilis got so bad, they got the hell out of Hot Springs to protect their players. Crazy blew my mind.
2 (32m 54s):
It’s so shocking to me. When I heard that, I was like, oh my gosh, people really believed it’s. It almost sounds like natural medicine, which I do believe in to some extent, but Hot Springs definitely don’t cure syphilis. And then it forced the exit of major league baseball’s spring training. So their players did not.
4 (33m 8s):
Oh, and also Al Capone was in hot Springs. Arkansas
2 (33m 12s):
Was a frequent visitor of Hot Springs
4 (33m 14s):
And he had syphilis
2 (33m 15s):
And died of syphilis,
3 (33m 18s):
6 (33m 20s):
And he was there to try to cure it. So just some more general information about bath houses in general, we visited K-pop bath houses, but there was also an additional bath house on the row called buck staff. Bathhouse Coupa seemed to be more of a modern take of a bath house where everyone was in a large thermal pool, but the buck staff had all of their traditional bath tubs. They used all of their original equipment. And so you could only take an individual bath at the buck staff, but it was with all of the original equipment and process. So
4 (33m 53s):
When we go back, I for sure want to do that one too.
6 (33m 56s):
3 (33m 56s):
All the original equipment, but syphilis not included.
2 (34m 1s):
They scrubbed that out of there
4 (34m 3s):
At your own risk.
2 (34m 4s):
But like Brittany said, Aquapod, it was the modern Bathhouse. So instead of having again, individual bathtubs, everybody was in giant pools and there were four different pools each with a different varying temperature. They had a cooler pool than a little, slightly hotter than hotter than hotter. And we came up with an acronym to figure out which one was the coolest to the hottest. Do you remember that? Zena?
3 (34m 27s):
You are an LLC.
2 (34m 29s):
Yes. And explain what that is.
3 (34m 31s):
So the coolest pool, which was at 98 degrees was the upper one. Then it goes to the right pool, the left pool and the center. So you are LLC because that’s what we’re branding our company as an LLC.
4 (34m 47s):
So the upper pool felt like a lukewarm bath water. The hottest pool was so fucking hot. It was burning my body like third degree burns.
6 (34m 55s):
I remember when we got from the coldest pool into the right pool, even though it was only, I think two degrees difference in temperature because the pool is only ranged from 98 degrees to 104 degrees. Kim and I were like, oh my God, this one is so much harder. Did we get into the wrong pool? What have we got into the hottest pool? And we weren’t supposed to get into the hottest pool yet. But then we went into what was supposed to be the next hottest pool. And it was absolutely the hottest pool.
2 (35m 18s):
It was scolding even just a couple of degrees. I couldn’t even believe it. I was like, wow. I only had like three minutes max in me before I had to get out of there.
4 (35m 25s):
Yeah, I totally get why they say pregnant ladies. Can’t do it.
3 (35m 28s):
In fact, when we got into the third hottest pool, before we jumped into the hottest of hot nurse, Brittany suggested that we take a breather before we immediately jump into it. So that’s when we went over to get our $3 mimosas, except for me, because I took an oath of sobriety for 2019.
6 (35m 46s):
And while you’re in the pools, because they are a pot, you know, make sure that you are resting between each of the pools don’t get out very suddenly. You don’t want to cause any dizziness. It’s wet around the area. You don’t want to slip and fall drink lots of water hydrate because these pools are warm. And just like anyone that’s in a hot tub, they advise you not to drink and spend a lot of time in the warm water.
2 (36m 6s):
Yeah. They do serve alcohol to buy. So I guess just within moderation. But one thing I want to talk about is they do require you to have flip flops or Crocs when you’re walking in the thermal pool area. Obviously take them off before you go in, but you must have them. If you don’t, they’re going to call you out on it. And on top of that, they only want you to take them off at the very entrance of the pool. They don’t want you tucking it in the corner. If you do it over there, they move them. And one of you ladies ended up losing your shoes because of,
4 (36m 34s):
We went after the first pool we were getting out and Brittany, and Zayna said, someone stole her shoes. I was like, who the fuck would steal your cheap ass dollar tree? Flip-flop
3 (36m 45s):
I was just about to say that I didn’t have any flip flops. I think I left mine in Zimbabwe or someplace. I remember when we went to South Africa, I left them there. So I went to the dollar store and I bought flip-flops I think for a dollar or $2, maybe it was $2 and they don’t even have my size, but I was like, oh, this is good enough. Because $2 is going to be cheaper than five. Because if you don’t have flip-flops, they will let you rent some four or $5. And I couldn’t believe someone wanted to steal those shoes. I mean, they suck.
4 (37m 11s):
Yeah. So I went back to the locker room and as I was walking back, I found your guys’ shoes by the attendance desk. I was like, I think these shoes belong to my friends. And they were like, oh yes, we moved them because they weren’t by the railings. And they weren’t following instructions.
6 (37m 25s):
Oh, wow. I mean, I got in trouble.
2 (37m 28s):
So Kim got your guys’s shade because she was nice enough to pick it up.
4 (37m 33s):
I also caught some shade cause I was taking a Snapchat of the pool area, which cause it looks really cool and someone came over and yelled at me for it.
2 (37m 40s):
If you’re going to take photos, make sure that has nobody else in it
4 (37m 44s):
Or just be much more sly than I was. Yeah.
3 (37m 46s):
And then poor Kim actually dropped her phone into what was it? The potted plant.
4 (37m 52s):
Yeah. Like a really deep planter.
3 (37m 54s):
So just be careful with it. Cause then Jamal came out and he stuck his long hand down
2 (37m 59s):
There and lay on the ground and be like, Hmm, let me, and then my
4 (38m 2s):
6 (38m 3s):
So all in all, how much time would you say we spent in the bath house? A couple
4 (38m 8s):
Hours. Right? I feel
6 (38m 9s):
Like two and a half, three hours.
2 (38m 11s):
I was going to say two and a half. Probably maybe three. Who knows? But we definitely had a minimum of spent two and a half because we had that 20 minutes in the steam cave. And then we just took our time and joined from pool the pool. We went to the hot and then after the hot and we couldn’t stand it anymore, we went back to the colder one, but we took a few breaks to have a couple of drinks in the bar area by the pool. So good amount of time. That’s for
6 (38m 34s):
Sure. So again, the steam cave was 15 to 20 minutes for $15 and you do have to have a reservation, the thermal pools, they do limit how many people can go in at a time and it’s walking only and it’s $20. So hopefully you don’t go on a busy day and not be able to go in and mimosa is
3 (38m 53s):
$3 and put your shoes up against the railing.
6 (38m 56s):
And they do offer different amenities too. Like I mentioned before, they have individual baths, massages, blowouts other things that they offer as well.
4 (39m 3s):
They had robes, but they were only for people getting a treatment. I was pretty sad about that because I love a good robe experience.
2 (39m 13s):
The next time you go back, you’ll get yourself a treatment, right?
4 (39m 16s):
Yes. There you
2 (39m 16s):
6 (39m 17s):
And after the bath houses, we took a shower there, we got dressed and we met back up with Cashin Ryan and we headed right over to the Bathhouse Row winery.
2 (39m 27s):
There’s several wineries in the area, but closer to the downtown area we were in, they did have a specific winery
4 (39m 35s):
And it’s not a vineyard. It’s just more of like a wine tasting shop. Cool.
2 (39m 39s):
Correct? Correct. The vineyards are out in a way. You’re not going to get to those, but the downtown, it’s more a winery tasting like Kim said, and it’s called Bathhouse Row winery and they give you 12 free one ounce pours of all 12 of their wines.
4 (39m 53s):
Of course we see free wine samples. We are there
2 (39m 57s):
Anything where there, I think
4 (39m 59s):
Free anything we’re there.
3 (40m 1s):
This was another moment that was hard for me.
2 (40m 4s):
6 (40m 4s):
Was it because you were taking an oath of sobriety
3 (40m 7s):
For 2019? Yes. It just, you know, the wine looked really good. And then I thought I’m like, though I
4 (40m 13s):
Know it wasn’t that great.
2 (40m 15s):
Th they were good. They were just, a lot of them were sweet wines,
4 (40m 18s):
Not a big sweet line person.
2 (40m 20s):
It’s okay with like a dessert afterwards. But when you have 12 samples of it, it just gets
6 (40m 24s):
And they were mostly whites.
2 (40m 26s):
Yeah. It was good. Everyone who’s there who likes wine should definitely go to it. It’s part of the experience. But in that sense, it’s not like it was French, fantastic wine. And he missed out on Zeno. It just
4 (40m 38s):
One that’s for sure.
3 (40m 40s):
6 (40m 40s):
While we were there, our server, he was great. By the way,
2 (40m 44s):
Tyler shout out
4 (40m 45s):
The Southern charm in him was just fantastic.
6 (40m 48s):
We asked him, you know, we’re getting hungry. Is there a specific place we should go for dinner? And he was the one that recommended The Ohio Club, which is where we ate dinner that night. He was a great hospitable host while we were having our wine.
4 (40m 60s):
So with each of the 12 wines though, they were named something historical about the area. And then he had a little history lesson for each one. There was an ALK upon read. And that’s where we learned about his syphilis.
2 (41m 9s):
I think that was honestly my favorite thing about going to the Bathhouse Row winery was the history lesson that Tyler gave us through the wives. I learned so much one that’s. I feel like where I officially learned that they had the spring training in Hot Springs, because one, we saw it in our hotel, all the old classic baseball photos. On top of that, when we were walking through the city, they had one building that had a painted mural of some sorts of older baseball players. And even said to Ryan, when we were walking out of that point, I’m wondering why I’m seeing all this baseball stock lo and behold, when we get to the winery, that’s when we find out from Tyler that they used to have spring training there, he’s also the one who mentioned that a lot of people came to the Hot Springs for the healing benefits.
2 (41m 51s):
And one of the healing benefits people thought they had was the cure for syphilis. So that created a syphilis problem in MLB. Again, as Kim said earlier, Al Capone had syphilis died of syphilis, crazy stuff.
4 (42m 2s):
He also told us about the alcohol rules there and how drinking or selling alcohol on Sundays is not allowed, but because this place was just a tasting place and then they sold bottles. You can’t actually get a glass of wine there that they are allowed to be open on Sundays, which is fucking genius business idea, and really speaks to their prohibition roots.
2 (42m 23s):
There’s always a loophole.
4 (42m 25s):
And that’s what he said too. If there’s, if there’s a loophole, someone in Arkansas would find it.
3 (42m 30s):
And they had a diner around the corner from them. So they were always open on Sunday to house people as they’re waiting for their breakfast to serve them.
2 (42m 39s):
Correct. But as we said, Tyler did recommend to us at The Ohio Club for dinner. He said, it’s one of the most famous places you could eat in Hart Springs, let alone Arkansas in general. So we went to The Ohio Club and let alone The Ohio Club itself had a rich history that we didn’t even know about.
4 (42m 55s):
So cool. It’s the oldest bar in Arkansas was
2 (42m 58s):
19, 19 0 5, 19 0 5.
4 (43m 1s):
And it had a long history. So opened in 1905, Al Capone used to gamble there, learn the gambling business there during prohibition. And I read this all on their menu. So I’m not just like the new historian of the squad, but on the menu, it talks about how during prohibition, they were forced to stop serving alcohol, at least publicly. And so what they did is they put up this big wall about 10 feet from the entrance, and you can still see the bolts in the ground from where the wall used to be in front of the wall. It was a cigar shop in the back of the wall. It was a gambling and drinking bar, just like it is
2 (43m 35s):
A little speakeasy in the back.
4 (43m 37s):
Exactly. And so it was really cool. You could see, you could still see the holes in the ground. And then it had the history of where the big, long wooden bar came from and how they had to put it on a boat and put it down the Mississippi river. And it was just really cool. And then when it used to have candle lighting and lanterns, it had like wax marks left on the bar from it. So there’s just so much history in this place.
6 (43m 57s):
The food was good there too. And outside of the restaurant, there is a bench where they have a Al Capone figurine sitting on the bench.
4 (44m 6s):
I also had a really long wait. So plan for that. If you’re going around dinner time. And then if you are looking for some nightlife in Arkansas, they also have live bands here.
2 (44m 15s):
Yes. I even read on their website. That’s part of their history because it had so many people for gaming drinking. They had a lot of famous jazz musicians back in the heyday. And so they said even to this day, that’s why they have a lot of live entertainment is to pay homage to the roots of live music that they always had for
4 (44m 36s):
Babe Ruth used to go there too and drink any
2 (44m 39s):
Babe Ruth Al Capone,
3 (44m 41s):
Bugsy, Seagal, bugs, moron, lucky Luciano
4 (44m 45s):
3 (44m 46s):
2 (44m 47s):
It’s Bugsy Siegel by the way. And he’s the one you said Bugsy Siegel or whatever. It was potato
3 (44m 52s):
4 (44m 53s):
I came alone.
2 (44m 54s):
He is the one who founded Las Vegas, Bugsy Siegel founded Las Vegas. He created the Flamingo out there with
4 (45m 0s):
Bugsy Malone. Now
3 (45m 1s):
There you go. Al Capone was a modern day mentor.
2 (45m 3s):
Yes, I guess so. But then after a very, very delicious dinner at The Ohio Club, I loved it. I had to settle my sweet tooth. And what did we have lady?
3 (45m 12s):
No, no. While we were waiting for the table, we walked there.
2 (45m 15s):
Oh, that’s right. Well, anyway, I ate it afterwards. So nonetheless after dinner, I settled my sweet tooth, but while we were waiting for our table, we ended up going to fat bottom grill cupcakes.
3 (45m 26s):
4 (45m 27s):
The place is so cute too. The pink walls and all these cool decorations.
6 (45m 31s):
It went to cupcake wars as well, but they are famous for a cupcake called the ooey gooey butter cake cupcake. And oh my God, was it ooey? Gooey and delicious
4 (45m 42s):
Cupcakes were amazing.
3 (45m 45s):
I got the salted Carmel, but the vanilla base for the cupcake. And I think Kim did the salted Carmel with the chocolate base.
2 (45m 53s):
I wouldn’t expect anything less from you Zina. You’re always a Carmel person
4 (45m 56s):
Too. I love caramel.
6 (45m 58s):
Kim. Tell us about your trick
4 (45m 59s):
Squad tip for you
2 (46m 1s):
Guys coming up.
3 (46m 2s):
It’s like a pro tip, but from the squad,
4 (46m 5s):
Get ready for it. So everybody went straight to the cupcakes and for good reason, they’re amazing. But I was kind of looking around at the gelato and the ice cream and all of that and not so sure which one I wanted. So the cupcakes cost between four and five bucks, right? Three 50. Okay. Three 50, a cupcake per cupcake, three 50. But if you want a cupcake and two scoops of whatever ice cream you want, it’s only five bucks. So they say you can’t get the copay to go though. But if you are really nice to your person and because the Southern hospitality is on point in hot Springs, Arkansas
3 (46m 41s):
Alive and well,
4 (46m 42s):
They will give you an extra container to put your cupcake in. You can enjoy the ice cream, take your cupcake for later and get the best of both worlds for only a dollar more.
6 (46m 50s):
I think that for two scoops of ice cream, it was like three to $4 anyways. And a cupcake was three 50. And so for two scoops of ice cream and a cupcake altogether for $5, what a steal.
2 (47m 2s):
So Kim got that ate her scoops of ice cream. And then we went back to The Ohio Club. And so she had her cupcake after, which is when I ate mine. Cause I want
4 (47m 11s):
To have my cake and eat it too. Yeah.
3 (47m 14s):
I had some serious FOMO because I only saw the cupcakes when we walked in. And then all of a sudden, you know, after I’ve paid for my cupcakes, I see that Kim is still in front of the ice cream bar. And I’m like, where did this ice cream bar come from?
4 (47m 24s):
You had tunnel vision on the cupcakes. I
3 (47m 26s):
Did open your eyes. There’s a lot of things in front of you if you pay attention.
6 (47m 31s):
And so that pretty much summed up our night on Saturday. And we walked back to our hotel with Cashin Ryan and Jamal and I laid in bed and ate her cupcakes.
3 (47m 39s):
Yes. I think we ran back, dude. It was so fucking cold.
6 (47m 45s):
And of course the squad asks me, what time are we waking up tomorrow morning? And what did I say, guys?
2 (47m 50s):
What time does the breakfast buffet start? 6:00 AM no, we woke up early around 4 35 o’clock I thought so.
6 (48m 0s):
Yeah, we were up by like five because we were ready for the breakfast buffet at six,
2 (48m 4s):
Because we were going to be hiking by 6 37 was our goal.
4 (48m 8s):
Yeah. And one thing you guys, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about you guys ever fight on your trips and we don’t get into any big fights. There’s little disagreements here and there. But the one thing that I always bitch about to everyone is the fucking alarm clocks in the morning. Like we’re all getting up at five. So every one of us puts our fucking alarm clock on and it’s just like, Brett
3 (48m 31s):
6 (48m 31s):
Do that again.
3 (48m 35s):
4 (48m 35s):
Man. If anything were to tear the squad apart, it’d be the fucking alarm clock sound.
3 (48m 39s):
I think it would be the fight for the, to be the first person in the shower.
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But so we woke up in the morning. We had breakfast at the hotel breakfast buffet, which was delicious. Oh
4 (48m 52s):
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Take us through the spread.
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They had eggs. I love eggs. No, I’m just kidding guys. I just see that Kim did a live and you can hear me in the background saying I love eggs, but anyways, they had oatmeal. They had eggs. They had sausage. It was no.
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Okay. At fresh fruit, yogurt
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4 (49m 17s):
So many common events.
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Yeah. Basically they had everything except for a waffle making station.
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And it was delicious. Really.
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They had fresh fruit that they brought out later,
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Chocolate chip chocolate muffins
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To our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast. We have a story highlight where we came at, you live from the breakfast buffet and took you through the spread.
2 (49m 38s):
Kim did such a great job explaining this spread for us. So definitely be sure to go check it out. But after breakfast we had our hike that we were going to be doing, because like we said, Hot Springs is famous for the natural Hot Springs pools that come from the mountain. And yes, we were talking about in the city and the downtown area, but right behind that and the bath houses, there’s a beautiful nature area in the back. A nice big hill mountain forested area where we did our Hiking.
6 (50m 6s):
Well, first Jamal did not point out that the main row of Hot Springs it’s called Bathhouse Row. And right behind that, there is a staircase, several staircases leading up tin area called the grand prominent. And it’s like an entire brick walkway. And it walks past a whole bunch of natural hot Springs, like a natural hot Springs waterfall, even grassy area, hilly area, and then mountains in the background. So we started our walkout there first, and it was so beautiful because it was like 7:00 AM. No one was there. We had the entire walkway to ourselves
2 (50m 37s):
Morning, mountain air.
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And when we were walking by the streets, the vents, you could see the steam from the natural hot Springs, like rising up. We pass several natural events. It was just really beautiful. And then we found another side road to take us up, like the back way of a mountain. And that’s what we hiked up to get to the start of our hike. And the reason why we took that back road was because we did not want to drive our car. There is parking available at the start of the trail head, but we’re like, you know what, let’s make it an easy day and just walk up ourselves. How was the walk up to our chill head?
3 (51m 10s):
It was beautiful. Like Jamal said, you just, it’s, it’s a fresh crisp morning. So you just feel the coldness against your skin and you take a deep breath in and your nose feels chilly and you just smell the outdoors and just get that
4 (51m 26s):
The roads very well paved, but surrounding it on either side are tons of trees. And a lot of those autumn colors that we don’t get to see in San Diego. So it was really pretty.
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And the trail had that we were headed to with called a goat rock trail. And when you’re on the trail, there is a 240 foot summit with stairs to the lookout.
3 (51m 47s):
I remember saying like, why is this called goat? What is it called? Goat rock trail. Why? Like, it just didn’t make sense to me. And so Kim had made that remark that it’s because this is the place where goats come to rock out, which I thought was the funniest thing in the world. But then Brittany told me the real reason why.
6 (52m 8s):
And I don’t know if this is true or not, but because goats climb hillsides and, and steep mountains. And so it was a great lookout,
4 (52m 16s):
But goats also loved to rock out.
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And at the lookout, you can pretty much see the entire Hot Springs valley. It was just a very gorgeous lookout, very picturesque trees in the background mountains, in the background,
2 (52m 31s):
Hello, cloud cover coming in over the trees. It was really, really pretty and serene out there. And like Kim said, you can see a lot of the autumn fall colors changing because there was a lot of pine trees and a lot of Oak trees and other types. So you can see specific trees that have their foliage change.
6 (52m 48s):
And in this area, there’s also a place called Hot Springs tower and it rises above the mountains. And it would probably give you a very similar view to what you saw at goat rock summit.
2 (52m 58s):
So go rock trail is supposed to be an out and back, but a lot of the trails in Hot Springs loop and connect together. So instead of doing it as an out and back, we did it to the very end where it has that summit, but we found another trail to connect, to, to hike our way back out and exit out a different spot on the original road that we hiked up because it was closer to the Hot Springs tower that we were going to go meet up with cash and Ryan.
6 (53m 25s):
Yeah. So cash and Ryan hiked up to the trail, held with us and they said that they were going to Hot Springs tower. And we did the goat rock trail to the Gulf, the Gorge trail, and then hiked to Hot Springs tower from there where we met back up.
2 (53m 39s):
And we specifically wanted to go there cause you can pay money to go to the top of the tower, but we opted not to do that. Brittany and I wanted to go there specifically because we still needed our Christmas ornament because earlier the day before we, when we made it to the Visitor Center Visitor shop Emporium, we did not pick up our Christmas ornament because we were too busy taking photos in the bathtub. And Casha had told us that they had good Christmas ornaments there. So we had to go pick it up. And this is where we finally convinced Ryan to take his photo with Cassia and the tub because they even had a tub outside right there.
3 (54m 13s):
They did. And you know, if you are new to the podcast welcome. And one thing that you should know is that Jamal and Brittany always liked to get a Christmas ornament anywhere we go of the place that we’re at
6 (54m 23s):
Hot Springs tower. Like I said, you can pay to go up. We did not do that because we saw our own lookout from the goat rock trail summit. But we did hike back down this area on a trail called the peak trail. And this trail literally is a pretty steep trail up and back. And we just went down it from the Hot Springs tower
2 (54m 43s):
Because it was going to be a more direct path down to the prominence that we started our hike on. And as a matter of fact, when we were in the bath houses the day before Cassia and Ryan had hiked this one up to the tower, so they hiked a different way up in the morning with us. But the day before they actually hiked that way up. So we took it on the way down as a more direct path back down to Bathhouse Row.
6 (55m 6s):
You know what I was saying the entire way down the trail, but I need another cupcake
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From that bottom girl.
3 (55m 14s):
Oh, wait. Before we get to that, you know, we were joking around earlier about getting in arguments and I really don’t believe that we fight at all, but sometimes we do have disagreements. And so this is one of the times where we had the disagreements. So while we were waiting for the gift shop to open, so Jamal and Brittany could get their ornament because it opens at nine o’clock. And it was about eight 50 when we got there. And Brittany made the comment that she wants to jump in the shower first. And then I said, oh, I want to jump in the shower first. Cause I’m not washing my hair. So I felt like, oh, I can take a lot less time because both Kim and Brittany went to wash their hair.
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And I said, I want to go in the shower first because I take the longest to get ready. And I don’t want to hear mommy bitching at me about being
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Late to get ready on time.
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We all have our own reasons why we want to take a shower first. Right. And you know, rightfully so. We all think that our reason is super important.
4 (56m 9s):
We threw it down right there.
6 (56m 13s):
Yes we did.
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This is the stuff that we argue about. Right. So Brittany is getting a little bit passionate, which makes me get a little bit more passionate with her. And finally
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I’m, I haven’t washed my hair in a week. I’m the dirtiest one.
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Then I also pointed out the last time we went on a squad trip, I showered last. So I felt like I rightfully deserved to shower first.
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I didn’t know that I wasn’t keeping track. And when Brittany said that I backed off and I even apologized to her and I said, okay, you’re right. You know, if she’s the person who showered last, then maybe I should let her shower first.
6 (56m 46s):
So true mom style. I have actually now made a list of what order we showered in. And every time we go on a squad trip, we are just going to rotate who showers first. So we can never argue about it again.
3 (57m 1s):
And in case you’re interested, please, Brittany, tell us the rotation.
6 (57m 5s):
So this last time it was Zaina that showered first, then Kim and then myself and Jamal. So next time it’s going to be Kim that showers first, then myself, then Jamal, then Zayna. And we’re just going to keep going in a rotation on who showers first. But in that order, that’s
3 (57m 21s):
2 (57m 22s):
Interestingly enough, the order that Brittany just said was the last order that it had gone in with Xena first. Well, that was the case because at the top, at Hot Springs tower, it was decided that Brittany was going to go first. But her sweet tooth came in and we went to fat bottoms again and Zayna didn’t want it. Susanna’s like, well, you guys are going to fat bottoms. I’m going to go run and take a shower. Susanna took the shower first anyway, after it was decided that she wasn’t. And
3 (57m 46s):
I felt that
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No, no it’s all right, but we were going somewhere. So it made sense for you to go ahead, but I’m just articulating something.
4 (57m 54s):
Didn’t want to get cupcakes with you guys.
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And while we were getting our cupcakes and Xena was in the shower, Kim was eating her own cupcake and then later told me that she regretted not going back and getting another cupcake.
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I just really want to say, I was nervous about going and taking the shower first, even though you going to get the cupcake, because then I thought, oh my gosh, are they going to think of meat and petty? Because when Jamal says that I ran home to take the shower, like legit, I ran
4 (58m 19s):
Xena went together. And as soon as Jamal and Brittany and Cashin rang go to get another cupcake, Zeno’s like, I’m going to run. Do you mind? Do you want to run with me? I was like, no,
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But I love Okay. I looked at Kim and I said, okay, bye. And then I took off and I was already out of the shower by the time Kim got back to the room.
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Is it time?
6 (58m 41s):
4 (58m 42s):
It’s time for questions.
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Well, before we, sorry, it’s not time. It’s not time. I just want to say one thing that we did again, this is on Sunday, driving back to Dallas to go to Brittany sister. So we had to check out of the hotel by a certain time, but we had never been to Oklahoma before. So we took a different route back to Dallas this time through Oklahoma. And I couldn’t believe how they had no cell service anywhere along the way in Oklahoma. Does anyone remember that?
4 (59m 13s):
Just like when we went to Chicago, we went to Michigan just to say that we’ve been to Michigan and see the state real quick. And so we’d kind of did the same thing for Oklahoma. Oklahoma is exactly how you would imagine Oklahoma would be my opinion, just very country, not a lot to see, except like fields and trees. And
2 (59m 33s):
We did only drive in the south east shore of it though. Mind you, but we just did it so that we can say we’ve been to Oklahoma cause we’ve never been to Oklahoma before. And that’s all I wanted to say. And now I think it’s time for questions, I
4 (59m 46s):
Guess not psyched out again.
3 (59m 48s):
So when you’re driving through Oklahoma, all you’re going to see is everyone has a pickup truck. There are attractors on people’s lawns, no cell service. And when the Dixie chicks said wide open spaces, like, you know what they’re talking about? Thank you.
4 (1h 0m 4s):
What was also gas? Squatch
2 (1h 0m 6s):
I forgot about that. Yeah. Instead of Sasquatch, they had gas Squatch and that was a big, giant Sasquatch. It’s telling you that there’s gas, gas. Squatch I forgot about that. That was Really what really was at least the portion we drove through. No discredit, Oklahoma, again, our friends cache and Ryan live in Oklahoma
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And we even got out and got pictures with gas Squatch
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No, we didn’t.
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2 (1h 0m 30s):
And with that, I think now it is time for Kim’s favorite part of the episode,
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The ends of the week due to do Hey, if anyone has a good jingle for question of the week, submit it to us and maybe we will use it cause I need a good melody here. Okay. So as you guys know, we stayed in Dallas for a portion of this trip. We borrowed a car from Brittany sister. And so one of the questions that Sarah from Boston submitted, thank you, Sarah is how much did the trip cost?
6 (1h 1m 2s):
So we kept track because as we’re podcasting, and as we’re doing these trips, we want to tell you guys how much these trips cost so that you can see how affordable they are and encourage you and inspire you to do your own trips. So the flights were $200 a person, our
3 (1h 1m 18s):
Jet $200 to
6 (1h 1m 19s):
2 (1h 1m 20s):
Go to Dallas. That
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Is true. Non-stop flight. And our hotel was $36 a person. And it included the free breakfast buffet. So you don’t have to count on buying breakfast. If you use that, we went out for lunch. It was probably 15 to $25 a person. The thermal pools we mentioned at Kupol were $20 for the pool. The steam cave was 15. Dinner was 15 to $25, depending on what you got. We all got dessert. It was four to $5, a person
2 (1h 1m 50s):
At fat bottom girls. So there was pretty much the cupcakes and ice cream.
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And we did do lunch on Sunday on our way home. And that was just a quick, fast food stop. So it was five to $10 a person. We only spent $60 in gas for the entire trip. So $15 a person for that
4 (1h 2m 9s):
Gas was so cheap there. So she
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2 22 15 and compared to our California places that’s great
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And yours and what we mean by souvenirs or, you know, like the ornaments or magnets or whatever they range anywhere from, or even a postcard, $2 to $20. So in total it was approximately 330 to $370 for the entire trip
4 (1h 2m 32s):
6 (1h 2m 33s):
4 (1h 2m 34s):
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So not very expensive. Keep in mind, we shaved off a few dollars by staying at Brittany sisters a couple nights having the rental car. But again, if you do go with a group of people and are splitting expenses and you have to add on an extra day hotel for yourself or even the rental car, it is obviously going to increase the cost, but not necessarily by much. So definitely Hot Springs was a really, really affordable trip and really affordable city. And I was pleasantly surprised with how great it was.
3 (1h 3m 1s):
Okay. And what we didn’t mention was I think Kim is the one who said this at one point, when we were walking down the Hot Springs row, you made the comment that this reminds you of Woodland, but a little bit more livelier if everyone was downtown main street and you know, all four of us are from Woodland, California, tiny little farm town in Northern California. And it was so homey just like Woodland, but if main street was a little bit more booming,
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Second and last question who sent this one in,
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This was John in Fort Lauderdale. Thank you, John.
4 (1h 3m 31s):
So John said, what would you have done differently? If anything?
2 (1h 3m 35s):
I think you had something in particular that you would’ve done differently, Kim.
4 (1h 3m 38s):
Yeah. I already mentioned it. I would have done both of the spas, the traditional Bathhouse and the modern Bathhouse, because I think there were good things about both. When we were reading up on the traditional, it said that you can get like an oven Mitt scrubbed down. And I kind of wanted that, but didn’t have a chance to get it. But now I have a reason to go back.
3 (1h 3m 57s):
And if we were there for another night, we would’ve gone out to haka sawn,
2 (1h 4m 2s):
Arkansas, Arkansas. I think one of the things, and this isn’t necessarily at Hot Springs, but I know we were all talking about it as a group, obviously, you know, or for some of you who are new listeners that don’t, we love to do a lot of little weekend getaway. Sometimes we’re constrained for time, however, close to Hot Springs, national park in Arkansas. They do have a state park where you can legitimately mind for diamonds. And if you find them, you can keep them. And I think that’s one thing that we wanted to do if we had more time. So if we have more time, I want to go back and do that because the month that we were there, maybe two or three weeks before someone found a two carat diamond that they got to keep all to themselves. No it’s
6 (1h 4m 42s):
Called crater of diamonds state park. Yeah.
3 (1h 4m 44s):
In fact, earlier that year, someone found like a one carat and then like Jamal said, someone found two pointer. So I said, oh my gosh, we have to go because we’re going to get that. Three-pointer it’s only going up from here on out.
2 (1h 4m 56s):
I definitely do want to go back to Hot Springs sometime soon. I enjoyed it a lot.
3 (1h 4m 60s):
Exactly. Yeah. And then the last thing I would’ve liked to do differently is, you know, as we mentioned, bill Clinton is from Hot Springs. And so if you Google bill Clinton, childhood home, of course the address is going to pop up and you know, we would have just loved to drive by because I mean, Hey, that was the president of the United States.
4 (1h 5m 16s):
Yes. So with all of those things, the main point is we would have stayed more than one night because with just one night, it wasn’t really enough time to see all of these different things. So if we had even just two nights, we could have seen a lot.
2 (1h 5m 28s):
Yeah. See, or do, because again, there was another winery and I just want to say, we’re talking about a quaint small middle America town, which it really was. But even beyond that on the main street, past the bath houses, I think when we were walking on the street, they had 3d movie simulation things that you could take the family to and other different types of entertainment. So beyond the Hot Springs, there is more things to do in the area.
4 (1h 5m 52s):
Yeah. A lot more than you would think when you hear about a small little town.
2 (1h 5m 55s):
All right, ladies, any other final thoughts on Hot Springs before we wrap it up?
6 (1h 5m 60s):
I just want to say it was a great weekend and I’m so glad we went as a squad.
3 (1h 6m 3s):
Me too. And just really reinforce again, you guys, Southern hospitality is well and alive and the south. In fact, the nicest person that I met on this entire trip was a worker at taco bell.
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Mean like she blew me away. She was so friendly.
4 (1h 6m 17s):
All right. Well, that’s it for us. You guys thank you so much for listening. Hope you enjoyed Arkansas and Hot Springs national parks.
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Please subscribe to our podcast, leave a review, tell us what you’d like and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.
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And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast,
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Make sure to pack your bags and your car. Because next week we are road tripping to death valley national park. Woo.
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