Mini Vacation: Train Rides, Ghost Hunting and Philanthropy

By
Real Estate Agent with ERA Henley Real Estate

Well to start with my wife, my son, my mother, my sister and myself all took a trip this past weekend just to get away for a few days.  We went to a small town in Northwest Arkansas called Eureka Springs. 

Eureka Springs Train

The above picture was taken at one of the local train rides in Eureka Springs.  They give a very informative ride and give you a great history lesson behind how Eureka came to be. 

We also had the pleasure of visiting the ThornCrown Chapel during our stay.  To say this building is stunning would be an understatement.  It was designed by award winning architect E. Fay Jones and is being replicated in a few places around the country.  But I have always believed there is nothing like the original.

Thorn Crown Chapel

Inside Thorn Crown Chapel

As you can see you are completely surrounded by nature and the Chapel is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever had the pleasure of visiting and if you are wanting some peace and quiet along with a little time to talk to God this is definitely the place to go.

While we were there we had the chance to visit the Crescent Hotel.  This is a hotel, turned college, turned cancer treatment hospital, turned back into a haunted hotel destination.  The hotel itself has a very storied past and you will have to check it out at the website above as it is way to long to type it all here.  The picture below is a shot of the entrance to the hotel. 

Crescent Hotel Front

The next picture I amgoing to share with you may freak some of you out, but  I just couldn't resist showing off some of our pictures from our ghost tour of the hotel.  I can assure you this is an original and has not been photo-shopped or altered in any way.  When my wife and I looked at this after taking the picture, the chill running down our spines was easy to explain.  Can you see the face?

Ghost Face

Look between the exit sign and the window in the picture and tell me that doesn't give you a chill.  Yes, this is authentic and it was taken this past weekend.  No, the shadow out the window isn't what we are talking about, look for the face.

Well now that we got the spooky stuff out of the way, lets get to the fun stuff.  While we were in town we just had to visit Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.  For those of you who love wildlife and those of you with big hearts looking for a good cause to donate to you have found it.  The organization takes in abused, neglected, and unwanted "big cats".  They provide as natural of a home as possible for Lions, Tigers, Cougars, Pumas, Panthers, etc.  My son absolutely loved it there and so did my wife and I.  You can actually stay there overnight and wake up to the site of Tigers in the morning.  It is quite the feeling to donate to such a cause.

AJ and tigers

Lion

The above animals are new to the refuge and after a period of getting used to the other animals they will be released into a bigger natural habitat. 

AJ and me feeding deer

Above the little man and me enjoyed feeding a few White Tail Deer the refuge had taken in.  To say that we had a blast at the refuge would be about as accurate as I could get.  My wife, my son, and I had smiles on our faces the whole time we were there.

Smiles

Well that about sums up the trip.  We left on Wednesday and came home late on Friday to enjoy all of the firework displays in and around our community.  I would have to say it was quite a fun weekend and some much needed quality time with the family.  It put a smile on their beautiful faces and is that not the most important thing of all?  Thanks for reading!

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Rainmaker
433,149
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Ooooooh.... love the spooky face picture!!!

July 07, 2008 08:55 PM #1
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Jennifer-Yeah it is funny how that happened.  We took tons of pictures through the whole hotel and just got orbs.  My wife was just taking a picture of the shadow you see there out the window to be able to explain that part of the tour where they try and scare you.  Low and behold when we looked at the picture after she took it there was the face.  We tried a few more times to get it to replicate so we could make sure it wasn't a reflection of something or someone.  Well, that was the only one with a face.  Kind of crazy stuff!

July 07, 2008 09:53 PM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
David Barnett, Coldwell Banker Advantage Realty-Cabot

Hey Joshua and Kathy

The Thorn Crown Chapel looks amazing! and I did see the face in the dark photo--real creepy!

July 07, 2008 10:46 PM #3
Rainer
297,623
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Josh, welcome back. Joyce and I were in Eureka Springs about a year and a half ago, loved it. Cool photos as well, thanks for sharing.

BTW, I never was able to add the recommendation...

Duane

July 07, 2008 11:12 PM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous
dean

Josh and Kathy, What a wonderful son! You guys are such a neat looking family. I must say that your blog post is so full of great stuff you could have made it into 3. The chapel is absolutely amazing. My girlfriend is my author Susan Hanshaw. Besides being a writer she holds a non denominational ministerial certificate and has performed as a wedding efficient in the past. She just went nuts for your picture of the chapel as did I.

Pictures and video are so keep in keeping interest and giving value. I wish I utilized this more often. Great information about Cresent Hotel and that shot of the dark room and mirror? Are we talking spirit here? Wow!

I throughly enjoyed the article. Keep up the writing and give the little guy a big hug!

dean and susan

July 07, 2008 11:34 PM #5
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

David-Thanks for stopping by.  The Thorncrown was beautiful and very peaceful.  Thanks for stopping by.

Duane-Thanks, Eureka is a great town to visit every once in a while.  I guess the recommendation just is not going to work.  Who knows?  Thanks for trying.

Dean-Thanks for you kind words.  Yes, I do believe we are talking about a spirit here.  It was quite a fun night and to catch something like that on camera added icing to the cake.  We came home and brightened the photo on the computer to see what else you can see and it looks like a nurse in a uniform circa 1940 or so.  That is when the hotel was a hospital for terminally ill cancer patients.  A quack Doctor ran it and got busted in 1940 for scamming the patients.  They estimate somewhere between 300-500 patients died in his care.  He nor any of his staff were properly licensed and all of them were just pretty much off of the street.  The story behind it was amazing!

July 08, 2008 04:04 PM #6
Rainer
297,623
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Josh, they don't know what they are missing. BTW, your little slugger is a great looking little guy.

July 08, 2008 11:38 PM #7
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Duane-Thanks, some say he gets it from his daddy, but I look in the mirror and just can't see where someone that handsome gets it from me.  he he

July 09, 2008 06:04 PM #8
Rainmaker
635,320
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pro's"

I went to Eureka Springs years ago when I was a teenager.  I thought it was beautiful then, you don't hear much about it.  A little gem in the rough!  Your son is adorable!

July 09, 2008 10:14 PM #9
Rainer
152,281
Anthony Clark
Clark Partners Realty Group - Fayetteville, AR
Real Estate. It's About Lifestyle!

Josh  I've been to the Thorncrown Chapel before and it truly is an amazing building.  Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

July 10, 2008 03:55 PM #10
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Cindy-It is definitely a "gem" in the rough and yes, he is an adorable little guy, Thanks!  You should check out Eureka again sometime.

Anthony-No problem, it was my pleasure.  I just wanted to help out the little town of Eureka as it is a place worth visiting for a long weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

July 11, 2008 12:33 AM #11
Rainmaker
68,341
Lesley Lambert
Park Square Realty serving Western MA - Westfield, MA
Real Estate Agent - Realtor - Westfield, MA - 413-

Loving the ghost picture.  So odd.  I watch those haunted shows on cable all the time.  Sounds like you had a great time, my daughters would have loved the habitat surroundings, too!

July 11, 2008 12:36 AM #12
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Lesley-It was a great time to say the least.  I watch TAPS or Ghost Hunters every once in a while.  They are kind of funny at times and spooky at others.  I don't think I would want to know if my house was haunted, but if I suspected it I guess I would technically already know. 

July 11, 2008 12:03 PM #13
Rainmaker
344,458
Dan Brudnok
Keller Williams RE- Exton - PA License Number #RS225179L - Downingtown, PA
REALTOR,e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,SRES,CSP

Joshua and Kathy,

What a great looking place.....scary not withstanding.....

July 25, 2008 09:57 AM #14
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Dan-Thanks for stopping by.  It was definitely a great place to visit and we are looking forward to one day staying there if we can get up the nerve. LOL!

July 28, 2008 02:16 PM #15
Rainmaker
244,206
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

Oh that face!  That's sure a bit spooky.  Your son is A-dorable!

September 18, 2008 03:16 PM #16
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

April-It definitely was a little spooky.  When my wife and I realized it was in the picture it gave us chills.  It was a really great trip and to catch something like that on camera was amazing.  It definitely gave us a new perspective on spirits.

September 19, 2008 09:29 AM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

You bring back lots of memories. Back in the Southwest Conference days, whenever Texas A&M would travel to Arkansas, I'd always make it a little mini-vacation and visit the diamond mine, the Ozarks, the ES&NA railroad, and many other things. Arkansas is a hidden jewel in America.

November 14, 2008 10:21 PM #18
Rainer
26,122
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Russel-I am lucky enough to live here year round.  Arkansas is definitely a hidden jewel.  We have some of the best fishing in the world and some of the most beautiful landscapes.  I just hope the people who find us help us keep it that way!

March 04, 2010 04:58 PM #40
Anonymous
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Rainer
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