When I first visited Hot Springs, Arkansas in October of 2018, it was to finalize the real estate purchase of the "Twisted Willow Lodge." #twistedwillowlodge I got a chance to stay a few days and relish the euphoric sensation of my new endeavor of owning a vacation property.
Those first days were filled with new discoveries at every turn, a constant flow of affirmations that I was in the right place at the right time for me. Every person I met was over-the-top friendly, conversational, super helpful, and eager to welcome me to their historical city with what I have learned to think of as “Pride of Hot Springs.” Even today, I am still greeted with great pride and enthusiasm with each new person I meet "from these parts," but that particular weekend, it was concentrated in a way that I literally felt like I was walking in the hazy state of a dream. There were times when I had to stop and look around and reaffirm for myself that this adventure was/is real and that I wasn’t part of my very own “Truman Show.”
It was a full weekend. I closed on a Friday morning and immediately started interviewing contractors and suppliers for what would be a major interior/exterior renovation of the property (more on that later.) In addition, I started working to outfit an entire home with furnishings, textiles, supplies, appliances, etc. from literally nothing. Sunday evening, after a long, yet exhilarating weekend smattered with an ample supply of awe and glee, I sadly had to say good-bye to return home for work on Monday. Shortly before sunset, I took some last pictures of the property so I could capture the moment in time, (plus also so I could obsess about every detail later!) I collected my 6-month old puppy, Foster, and set out to make the 5 hour drive home to Keller, Texas.