Well, I think my summer vacation is over.
My Family left on Saturday morning, heading home to North Platte, NE., after a month on the road, visiting other family and friends around the Country. My home was the last stop. They arrived last Sunday afternoon. My Son Chad flew into Memphis to meet the rest of his brood as they drove in from a week in East Tennessee. He drove them from Memphis to Little Rock. By the time they arrived here, Leslie had driven over 3000 miles and still had 876 miles left before reaching North Platte. I plotted her route home and we sent her on her way at about 6:30 a.m. I talked to her at 10:45 p.m. and they were getting off of I-80 at their exit and were so excited to finally be back home safely.
During their stay, every single day was packed from before sun-up to way after sunset. Because I had encouraged them to bring the bicycles, we had to prove to nay-sayers (Chad) that it had been a great idea. Each morning at 5:30 a.m., I jumped out of bed, got everyone up, and we loaded the bicycles onto the back of both SUV's, and headed for the bike trails that beautifully run up and down both sides of the Arkansas River, as is rolls between Little Rock and North Little Rock.
On Monday we parked the cars at the Soccer Fields and rode the trails to the "Big Dam Bridge". The going "UP" on the North Little Rock side is KILLER! If you are out of practice, it is a long hill. We all made it to the top of the Bridge. The 'view' is wonderful. I think you are 90 feet above the River and watching the water rush through the dam is a WOW! Just being up there is a great experience. I am so proud of our city for building it for us. Whether walking or riding a bicycle, it is a wonderful outing. However, tiring for little kid's and 'mature Chic's'! The rest of the week we explored many of the other trails that run through Burns Park. We even took a loaf of bread one day and tried to feed several hundred Geese that now love us.
We also road toward Downtown North Little Rock, except that the skateboard park lured us off our intended route. We played there for a long time, until real skateboarders showed up. We felt out of place there, on bicycles.
Can you tell, we had a lot of fun?
Recently, another bridge that links both cities was opened to bike and foot traffic. This bridge includes elevators. It is fabulous! I had never crossed it before. Since there were five of us and our bicycles, it took two trips to get us all up to the upper level. I felt as though we were soaring over the River. It is a wonderful experience.
EC and Chad took the Babes fishing at Lake Ouachita on Wednesday, so Leslie and I road over the newly opened Bridge by ourselves the first time. We discovered a lovely, bicycle park in Downtown Little Rock that included a boulder climbing wall with slides, tunnels, & rope ladders. There is also a water park area and if you know what to rub, sprays of water shoot out of the ground. Leslie and I decided not to tell the Babes, but let it be a surprise. It was wonderful to watch as they discovered each new, fun aspect of the area.
The bike trail isn't very long on the Little Rock side, I think you have to get on the streets to get to Rebsaman Park were the trail starts up again. But, you can go east from the Park, underneath I-30 and - Surprise!, you find yourself at the Clinton Presidential Library. There are beautiful, manicured lawns, wonderful trees and a lot of wide sidewalks to ride on. We road around to Heifer International and then back to the Downtown Bridge. The lawn sprinkler system came on in one section of the Library property and we circled it several times, on the sidewalks, to catch the spray. It was a great time of giggling and fun.
We rode everyday, except Friday, when exhaustion finally wore us all down. EC and Chad golfed everyday except the day they took the Babes fishing, but they never cried "Uncle". Chad's flight left at 3:56 p.m. on Friday and they played Golf until 1:30 p.m.
I may have mentioned in an earlier blog that I had a sewing machine set up in my living room, behind the couch. EC can still see me and I can sew in the evenings. Well, my Girls, Cassidy and Caleigh discovered it on Sunday when they got here. Cassidy convinced me that she could be careful if only I would show her how to sew on it. I'm a touch, so I showed her how to work the machine, I put it on the slowest speed and she became obsessed, almost immediately. Before they left on Saturday morning, Cassidy had made 56 nine patches out of some 3 1/2 inch blocks that I had cut. Personally, I believe the child is a Prodigy. I am amazed! One morning, when I got up, the sewing machine light was on. I thought it had been left on all night. Not so! Cassidy had been up, before me, and was sewing. A "Little Chic" after my own heart!
Before the week had passed, Caleigh Anne, my almost 7 year old on the 16th, was sewing blocks together, too! Either I'm a fabulous teacher or they are mini-genius's. Which ever, I was amazed.
Cole got a Wii while he was here, He had searched every possible store and found one left in Bryant, so his mind was set on becoming a "Pro" at every conceivable game that came on the thing. Bowling, Golf, Baseball, Tennis, and in this short week, succeeded. Now, what's left?
Well, you can probably see, the week was full. I showed Leslie how to crochet a rug from 4" strips of fabric. I sent her home with a crochet hook, fabric and a dream of a new rug. I also show her how to wrap clothesline with 3/4 inch bias cut fabric so she can make bowls. They think I'm so smart.
Actually, I feel sorry for Chad. He has to buy a Sewing Machine. All his "women" need one. Bless his heart.
Must run, I need to finish a rug I started years ago, since we got it out for a lesson. Once you get in with a Quilter, you can learn a lot of interesting techniques.
We'll talk again soon,
Carol Ann, Quilter