Arkansas…My Natural State

I’m sitting here watching the Bachelorette. Yes, I watch that. It makes me feel pretty damn good about my choices. I mostly watch it to mock it by sending snarky Snapchats to my friends. There’s a reason these couples don’t generally survive. Because relationships aren’t jetting off to foreign countries, being showered with rose petals, and drinking champagne every day. Real relationships are watching reruns of Two and a Half Men because you can’t find anything else to watch. I’ve done some real eye rolling at this season. If this girl doesn’t see that Luke is a tool, she’s an idiot. She actually asked a producer if he could talk to Luke and tell him what she meant when she said, “Tell me how you feel.” I wonder what the hell she’s gonna do in a real relationship when there aren’t people around. You know, when you have to actually talk to the person you’re in a relationship with. Anyhow, it makes me feel good about my life choices. And speaking of life choices…

Right before Labor Day 2018, James and I announced we were moving to Arkansas for his job. We got a lot of questions but mostly people asked, “Why Arkansas?” We moved here for a job opportunity for him, but in the past nine months, Arkansas has become our home and our happy place. We needed a change and boy, did we get one! Living in the South is a whole new experience and I’m not sure I want to leave! Here’s a list of all the stuff I love about living in Arkansas.

  1. The weather is amazing. Right now, it’s around 90 degrees everyday and humid. I love it! This winter we didn’t have any significant snowfall- just a few flurries. I’ve heard we usually get some ice storms but this year was a mild winter. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when it’s 60 degrees in January.
  2. The landscape is gorgeous. Arkansas is called the Natural State and for good reason. It’s full of trees, hills, and beautiful lakes. There are hardly any straight roads so the drives are never boring. The fall season in Arkansas is amazing! Lately, I’ve become obsessed with Crepe Myrtle trees. They have these amazing hot pink blossoms on them. I’m nagging James about getting one for the yard. Today we took a motorcycle ride and went over Greers Ferry Dam. It was beautiful!
  3. The housing is really affordable. Prior to moving to Arkansas, our plan was to move to Des Moines when the youngest graduated or maybe to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, if the opportunity presented itself. We spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted in a house and what we could get with our budget. We figured in those two cities, we could get a 15-20 year old house that would need a little updating. When we first looked at moving here, we thought the housing was too good to be true! After doing some serious looking, we ended up being able to build a house and pick out everything. I love our neighborhood and we’ve been furnishing the house slowly. Very slowly because buying things costs money…
  4. Little Rock is a really cool city. Walking around downtown Little Rock is what really drew us to the area. Little Rock has some amazing restaurants. In fact, Modern Mama’s podcast just talked about Little Rock in a recent episode. She talked about the restaurants- especially their farm to table restaurants. We’ve went to the downtown Farmers Market and to Me & McGee farmers market. Between those two places, we’ve gotten some amazing produce at really reasonable prices.
  5. The amount of outdoor activities is insane. James can golf all year round – especially since we now live about two minutes from the golf course. I’m pretty sure that’s why he picked this lot! We’ve been on some beautiful motorcycle rides and we recently went hiking for the first time at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. I’m not sure who loved it more- me or the dog! It was a tough workout hiking up hills but the views at the top were worth it. We’re looking forward to hiking Sugarloaf Mountain soon. Yes, there really is a place called Sugarloaf Mountain.
  6. We’re in close proximity to a lot of cool places. Memphis is only two hours away and Nashville is about five hours away. We’re thinking of going to Nashville for the weekend for our birthdays. Dallas is also about five hours away. I’ve only been to the airport there during the longest day ever but we may go there to watch the World Quarter Horse Show in August. We’re also not far from Louisiana so a trip to New Orleans has to happen at some point too. Locally, we loved going to Hot Springs which is about an hour away. Next weekend, we may take the motorcycle up to northwest Arkansas and ride with some friends from Sibley.

My father in law told me that he was watching a show that was showing landscapes and having the viewers guess where it was. He figured it was Colorado because of what he was seeing, but it was Arkansas. It really is a beautiful state! I can’t wait to explore more of it. I’m looking forward to exploring the Arkansas Sphinx, trying some more restaurants and breweries in Little Rock, and possibly going to see a minor league baseball game before the summer is over. The kids are visiting in a few weeks so we’re thinking of taking them to a game if they’re interested. So far, we have loved playing tour guide when our families come to visit.

I’m still watching the Bachelorette. Now they’re riding through the Netherlands on horseback. Right, because that’s how all dates go. Insert big eye roll here. Maybe I’m little jealous, I’d go horseback riding on a date. Anyone who has actually rode a horse would be dying right now. She keeps pulling back on the reins and getting mad that the horse won’t move forward. Well, that’s because she’s giving him the cues to stop… I can’t. I just can’t.

Have a good night- and start planning a trip to Arkansas soon!

** The opinions in this blog are all my own. I am not compensated for this post**

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