by Ms. Rachel Driver
I am from Arkansas. Yes, I am from the deep south…grew up in the Ozark National Forest in a house built by my parents. I ate dirt, played in the creek, sampled fresh veggies from the garden and threw nasty big tomato grubs, got lost in the woods, and picked up snakes. And, yes, I do have an accent…but only if you make me mad or I get very excited.
Anyway, I love Arkansas and don’t visit enough. So, just because, I flew home for a few days. Basically, I was running (very fast) away from the snow in Chicago on Monday to play in the warm sunshine, warm rain, and blooming flowers. So very lovely.
Here is a very short recap of my trip…
Beer on porch with dad in the sunshine. Got a sunburn in under an hour. Damn Chicago. We also cut down small trees and played with the dog. Beer at the local ‘brewery’, West Mountain Brewery/Tim’s Pizz, that doesn’t brew and dancing at a new ‘night club’ called FIX.
Running up gignormous hills for fun and a very difficult workout was followed by coffee and birdwatching on the porch. I saw a pilleated wood pecker! Coffee at Arsaga’s (the bestest coffee shop ever) with a best friend and her new fiance…and a slight fiasco with the gas cap on my mom’s car. Geez. WINE from Lush for dinner. Yum yum.
Farmer’s market on the Fayetteville Square, second week…cilantro, spinach, green onions, fresh shittake mushrooms, beautiful ‘anemone’ flowers, freshly baked local bread, and local coffee. Lots of local dogs. Seeker, my parents Aussie shepard/red heeler, was estatic. We walked around Wilson Park, my old favorite, and visited ‘Handmade’ a local shop featuring handmade items from around the world. I chatted up the owners about chocolate, wine, and food. From there, we got thirsty and headed to ‘Liquor Mart’, the just remodeled wine shop with a new focus on interesting wines (I found some Vihno Verde, Vermentino, Neprica, Zweigelt, Pinot Meunier, barrel aged and bottle conditions big bottles of beer, and fun inexpensive Spanish and Italian wines!). Yeah, we bought a case. And beer. And bourbon. I told you we were thirsty. The 2 big distributors here have split into 5, but it’s the same stuff and limited selection. But, they are doing better. Very promising.
Coffee and snacks with best friends at Common Grounds. With wine, too. Down on Dickson Street, smack dab in the middle of the college kids out playing. And then, a visit to a new restaurant, Mojito’s, run by a high school friend. Of course, we drank mojitos. Good start on the back bar, but they are only 4 weeks in…no bitters, boo. They make things table side and light things on fire! Wee. Ran into more high school friends. So fun. Good gossip.
More food at home in the backyard. More wine, yay Godello! And then more wine. Friends at the house. And rain. Rain rain rain today. Hopping on the plane shortly…see y’all soon! Missed ya. But, I shook off the winter grumps and am all set for spring to get on with getting on.