Bramell, Party of Five: July 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Great Outdoors, Part 2

I'm not real sure why it has taken me a month to finish the posts about our camping trip. This summer has been particularly tough for me to keep up with my normal blogging routine, and I'm not sure why. I suppose just having the kiddos off of our normal routine is part of it, and partly because we've been on the go most weekends (which leads to more fun stuff to blog about/get behind on). 

Anyway, back in June we took the kids on their first camping trip. We loaded up most of everything we own and headed to Lake Fort Smith State Park, where we swam in the awesome pool, rode paddle boats, slept in tents, cooked outside and saw lots and lots of deer. We even took Fergie along with us, which was nice, since we usually have to leave her behind on most trips.

Overall we had a good experience for the first time. I learned a few things about a few things, as well. Let me just tell you what I learned about camping with kids.

1) Camping with kids = walking to the bathroom a lot. Seriously, more than a lot.
2) Camping with kids = taking a lot of toys with you. Kinda feels like moving...

3) Camping with kids = finding creative entertainment to keep them busy.

4) Camping with kids = using a whole box of Band-Aids.
5) Camping with kids = being noisy after the posted "quiet hours."

6) Camping with kids = answering a lot of questions.
7) Camping with kids = setting off the car alarm before 8:00am, which woke the whole campground.
8) Camping with kids = eating a lot. (But that part was kinda fun)
9) Camping with kids = making a lot of great memories and seeing the joy in their eyes!

I took the kids on a morning walk and we saw four deer! This was a baby who, seconds later, crossed the street to get to his mom.

Making their own fun at camp.

Curious about the butterfly.

Cruising the lake on a paddle boat. Or do you say "peddle boat?" I have great childhood memories of my parents renting them for us at Village Creek. Of course my kiddos loved it, but the big people did all the work.

Never a dull moment with Boy Twin around.

We had our first watermelon of the season!

I think someone loved camping. They left a note for the next occupants of our campsite to prove it.

Here's another photo of the fantastic pool area at the park. It got so hot on Saturday that it was the perfect relief for us, even if we had to pay to swim! FYI, at Lake Fort Smith there is no swimming allowed in the the pool was our only option! But nobody complained.

On Sunday, we barely had our things packed and loaded before a serious rain storm moved in. Whew. We made it back home in no time, where I was oh so happy to take a shower. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

That one time when I had a relaxing lunch...

#sponsored post

This post is sponsored by Downtown Bentonville, Inc. I was compensated for my review of the event that follows. All opinions are my own and are not affected by fact that I was compensated.

It's no secret that I rarely escape from home and the demands that come with it. So, when I got invited to attend the Farm To Table: Backyard BBQ luncheon, and give a review, I jumped at the chance. As luck would have it, my sister-in-law Dee was visiting from out of state, so I was able to take her along with me for a nice, relaxing lunch. As every mom knows, sometimes just getting away for a few hours can make a huge difference in how you feel.

On our way to lunch, I was able to show Dee the downtown Bentonville square area. We also decided to walk the 5 blocks to the Bentonville Bungalow, where the event was being held. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm July day, and we soaked up every minute of it.

The Bentonville Bungalow is tucked away on a quiet, unassuming residential street just minutes from downtown. Upon our arrival, we were able to tour the inside of the quaint home and see where many couples and families have been able to stay when they've visited the Bentonville area. The home has two bedrooms and two baths, and it's fully furnished with anything one could need for a weekend stay (or longer). We found out the home can be rented nightly, weekly and beyond...which is perfect for a couple's getaway, a wedding reception or even a Razorback weekend.  If you are interested, rental info can be found here.

We were ushered out into the backyard and greeted by a lovely, shaded yard with rows of tables set up for the luncheon. I understand that it's a regular event throughout the summer, and it's open to the public. It's a family-friendly event that's fine for taking the kiddos along, or for enjoying on a date or just with girlfriends. Ticket info can be found here.

We filled our plates with a delicious lunch that was prepared by the guys from Tusk & Trotter with fresh ingredients found mostly from the Farmers' Market. The white beans with ham was delicious, and we enjoyed all of the fresh fruit, salad and sausages.  I will say that Dee and I both agreed that our favorite part was the signature cocktail we had called the Bees Knees. It was so refreshing on the warm day! Everyone was casually visiting in the backyard, while listening to the songbird voice of Dana Louise.  The food was great, the company was excellent and the setting was perfect for a mid-summer outing in our beautiful Northwest Arkansas corner of heaven.

After lunch, Dee and I walked back downtown where I went with her through the Walmart Museum and the Walton 5 & 10.  Since we were already in Bentonville, we met up with the rest of our crew and ended our day at the splash park at Lawrence Plaza for some cooling off!
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