Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hot Springs Part 1

My hubby, the kids, and I went to Hot Springs, AR over the summer.

A Little History

Hot Springs is an old spa city and one of the first national parks. The first bath house was built by John C. Hale in 1854. It has quite a colorful history having been a favorite of several gangsters and presidents in the late 1800's to mid 1900's.
Some of these were Frank and Jesse James, Al Capone and other mobsters from Chicago and NY, Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Babe Ruth. Owney Madden the proprietor of the Cotton Club in Harlem retired here, Billy Bob Thornton frequented Oaklawn (the race track), and Hot Springs is also the boyhood home of former president Bill Clinton.

The Scout Trip
This time we didn't hit any of the spas. I had gone there with my Girl Scout troop in the spring and we camped at a girl scout camp, took a yoga and Zumba class, and toured the Bathhouse Row Visitor's Center located in the Fordyce Bathhouse. Our troop took a tour and watched a movie.
One of the things the vistor's center and movie touches on is the role of African Americans in the bathing industry. Our troop was primarily AA and this little known part of history was of interest to some of them.

Another place we visited on our Girl Scout trip was the Nurture Day Spa and Yoga Studio. Our girls took Zumba, a fitness program inspired by Latin dance, and wound down (several girls even fell asleep during the relaxation part!) with a Yoga class. The instructors were very welcoming and I think the girls had a lot of fun. I did the Zumba class and was able to sneak a facial in as well ;)

The girls had a "spa" day at the campground. Here are Monkey and Frog w/their face masques. I won't post any pics of the rest, most are middle schoolers this year and may be traumatized. Disclaimer: Monkey is too but I am allowed to traumatize her!

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