On the way there, we stopped at the Munzee Marketplace in McKinney, TX to eat lunch there and visit with some of my Munzee buddies. This is the headquarters of my favorite scavenger hunt game. I set off 4 blast captures and didn't even make a dent in the map. Thanks for the hospitality and accommodating our group Behind The Wall, guys!
The Trails Inn and the owners were very friendly and extremely helpful in pointing out good places to eat and things to see and do in the area with a large group such as ours. I love their Swiss accents!
After we got settled in and stretched our legs a bit, we walked over to Cafe Amore and had some of the best pizza I'd ever had. Good, homemade, hearty pizza with fresh ingredients. Good suggestion from the Inn and I highly recommend them.
Basin Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in Eureka Springs and we ate at the restaurant on the balcony, relaxed, listened to a couple of guys play the guitar and fiddle, and watched the people go by on the split-level streets below. The kids got a kick out of the restroom with the elevated tanks in the old style of toilets.
Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway so we could all ride the 1925 model rail car through the woods. The conductor was nice and we all got to get out of the car at the far end of the line and lay out coins for the engine to smash as it moved around from pulling at one of the car to connecting to the opposite end to make the trip back. We flipped our seat backs and faced the "now front" of the car. The ride was a little slow, kind of short and didn't have any wide open scenic views, but it was still ok.
Sparky's Roadhouse Cafe, which was another good suggestion, and happens to be Aggie-owned and operated. Good food, excellent burgers and a decent price.
It was a nice stop before heading out for the biblical portion of our trip and the main reason we came.
Earthcache there. Supposedly, metal objects placed in the spring will become magnetized. We didn't stay too long, but our kids were more inclined to hike up the little trail that ran around behind, and on top of, the little pavilion instead of playing in the springs itself.
I love my scavenger hunt games! They take me to the coolest places that I would have otherwise just driven right by and missed. Even though I get quite a bit of ribbing from most of the group, every once in a while, it's a place we can all enjoy.
Passion Play grounds and got our tickets for the Play and the Holy Land tour. We walked for the first part of the tour and got to see several stops that included animals and actors and points of interest along the way and then we came to a true-to-scale replica of the Tabernacle and heard an interesting talk about the contents and the special meaning of everything.
From there, we ended up at a pit stop and then boarded buses that took us to the other stops along the way, including the Sea of Galilee where we saw Jesus walking on the water. He walked around and came to talk to all of us and the kids really enjoyed that.
Then back to the main area where we got to go through a couple of gift shops and browse through the Bible Museum. There were a lot of interesting pieces in the museum and some are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's an awesome testament to what some people have gone through to preserve the Word of God over the centuries and millennium.
We ate at the buffet on location and then listened to David the Shepherd and the Potter talk about things that they had done and seen. I think the kids enjoyed David almost as much as anything during the day. He was informative, but very entertaining as well.
Some of the younger kids had some good questions after the Play. It's one thing to hear all the stories and watch movies on TV. It's quite another to witness it in real life-size portrayal right before your own eyes.
Thorncrown Chapel. The lady that sang and played the piano has been here for 33 years and she only came for a "summer job" back then. Again, this was something we visited as kids and it was most definitely worth stopping again. I'm glad we were able to share all of this with our children.
It was a long drive home and we got back tired, but fulfilled from the 4-day whirlwind trip.