Chopper's birthday fell square on Memorial Day this year and we celebrated ALL weekend!! And I'm just now posting because I'm slow lately. And busy. And lazy. Yeah lazy.
About 4 hours from here is Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Chopper loves gem stones and geology and has wanted to go there for some time so on Friday we packed up the kids and drove out. We stayed over night in a hotel (always fun for the kids) and swam in the hotel pool a little after breakfast and then drove out to Murfreesboro and the state park.
Not real glasses but it was cute.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure that our GPS took us the most back way we could to get there. We spent a lot of time on gravel roads in the forest and we even crossed a few streams. The kids loved it and it made Chopper and I really home sick. Trees!!! Ok maybe not for the humidity -- which we do have here but it's worse there. But it was beautiful.
Yay here we are!!
Apparently this is the only place in America to find diamonds and although for the most part they are small and not of good quality, they've had some significant finds here. They plow the field often and so you can either dig or you can walk the rows and look.
Here we go!
Ok I expected the dirt to be easier to get through. Arkansas has had quite a bit of rain as well so the furrows were pretty packed and once we started digging we discovered that it's pretty clay-like so hard to get into. That meant that the kids only lasted so long. We found one small rock that we never got checked but I'm pretty sure it's quartz. Still, Abby's pretty proud of herself that she found a maybe diamond. William dug a little and then roamed all over and I followed him around. We were only out there for about an hour and although it was pretty warm and humid, it was cloudy so we didn't have beating sun.
After digging and lunch we swam at their "water park". It's a 3 foot pool with some slides and play structures and felt like it will full of just-melted ice. It was so cold!!! I tried and tried to get Megan to go down a slide and she wouldn't. Abby went down the kids slide and was upset that she wasn't tall enough to do the bigger ones (and she was only too short by about 2 inches so it stunk). William took a while to acclimate and then threw a major fit when we left. It takes him a while to get his courage up but once he does he loves the water.
On our way home we stopped in Hope. I have several pictures on my phone that I need to send over and just realized that I haven't yet. So there will have to be an addendum to this post. But we stopped at a local burger place called Tailgaters and had a good lunch. It was right across the street from a train depot and had a plate glass window facing that direction. Three trains went by while we there. Going fast. William was in heaven.
Speaking of William -- he started off our trip right. He got mad when I turned the tv off and threw the remote into the screen. It's toast. In fact, we put it out on Wednesday morning for bulk trash and when the truck came by of course William had to go out and see. And they loaded that tv up and he started saying "garbage take tb! Hatch it mommy!!" All day. Every time we saw a garbage truck. We haven't replaced it yet and probably won't for a little while (just replaced my retainer and that costs about the same) but we're getting by so far. And his first paycheck from his first job we'll be taking the money out for that thing.
Anyway -- Monday night we had friends over for dinner and did a hot dog bar. We printed off a list of regional hotdogs (Chicago dog, the Sonoran, Coney dog, etc.) and had a ton of toppings and went to town. It was so good and so much fun. We had a great time and cheesecake afterwards and sang happy birthday. Chopper says it was a pretty good one but as he's now approaching 40 he's going to start working on planning his midlife crisis. Which I don't think you can technically plan but oh well.