Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Best Tour Guides Ever!

We spent a day and a half at my brother and sister-in-law's house. While there, we cram packed everything we could see in that short time.

Our first stop was the Old Independence Regional Museum in Batesville, Arkansas. My sister-in-law works there, so we were able to have our own personal tour guides. I say guides because my niece is just about as knowledgeable as her momma! Amanda told us the stories,

while Clara demonstrated the activities.

We have a picture at home of Clara in a carriage, which the kids always ask about whenever they see it. While there we got to see the carriage in person, and even take our own photo.

The next day we drove to Mountain View, Arkansas, to visit the Ozark Folk Center and Blanchard Springs Caverns. We hit the Folk Center first, trying to beat the rain that was coming. We watched different tradespeople working on their crafts, enjoying the top maker at his lathe most of all. We ground corn

and ate hoe cakes in the kitchen

Uncle Brad took Cory into the gunsmith shop, and all the kids stirred the soap at the soap maker.

Our final stop, the candle shop was the perfect place for a souvenir.

Then we cruised over to Blanchard Springs Caverns to see the caves.

The kids were quite excited--more than one of them told me they had butterflies in their stomach as we waited to descend the 250 feet. They were very anxious about the possibility of seeing a bat. The first thing Riley said when she stepped into one of the large rooms was, "Wow! Look at God's sculptures!". We didn't see any bats within the cave, but we saw plenty of evidence of their presence, and as we were leaving, we saw a couple of clusters hanging in the rafters above us. The kids were thrilled.

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