miscellaneous monday: family & vacation

Last week, I traveled up to Arkansas to spend some time with family. My typical trip up there includes Magnolia (southeast), Little Rock (central), and Warren (southwest); this makes for a nice little triangle of travel. My mother now lives southwest of Little Rock in Hot Springs Village; still a triangle but not as equilateral. Little Rock provides more entertainment while HSV gives me more of a chance to relax. Last Monday, I wrote a little about the drive and my first impression of the Village – today, I’ll nail down the rest of the week.

One thing that I do religiously, even on vacation, is run. The hilly runs through the community, surrounded by pines and small ponds, with golf courses spread throughout were challenging but refreshing in a way. My brother Joe, who grew up in Warren, while I was raised in the Little Rock, agrees with me – there is something nostalgic in the presence of towering shadow of pine trees. I hadn’t know how much I missed them until I had returned.

In the same way I renewed my affection for the natural state, I was able to spend some quality time with my family, My mom and step-dad live in Hot Springs VIllage, where we enjoyed morning walks (after my run), home-cooked meals and twilight rounds of golf. One evening in particular I was the only one on the course. http://instagram.com/p/c7LBb0SPWf/ I also fit in a trip to the family golf shop in Benton and a lunch with my Aunt Amy and sister Mary Jane. My grandmother, on my mother’s side, is in Magnolia, where I was able to enjoy more home-cooked meals with Aunt Molly, Uncle Bob, cousins Robert and Rebecca, and even played an “instructional” round of golf with Rebecca at the country club. Warren, has been my dad’s home for over 30 years. They live out of the city limits and have quite a bit of land surrounding the house. My brother Daniel and I spent an afternoon watching Jason Dufner dominate and playing our own round of golf behind the house (hitting to tree shadows instead of greens). Then we helped my dad strip the counters in the kitchen prepping for new granite. This is the type of DIY project that every young man has a desire to help his father with; it finally came to me at the budding age of 34.

The trip was just what I needed. Coming off the life-change of leaving my day job and jumping head-first into writing full-time, there was just the right mix of family, fun, relaxation, home-cooked meals. Hopefully, you can take a similar trip soon and my next one isn’t too far in the future.

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