Friday, August 13, 2010

Church, Frogs and Rocks

Our last official vacation day was a long one but a fun one.  We drove in to Eureka Springs and headed straight for St. Elizabeth's Church.  It's unusual because the entrance is through the bell tower.  It's a beautiful little chapel and Jayson was helpful in explaining all of the statues and symbolism of the Catholic church.

Inside the foyer there were 4 statues with candles in front of them where you can pray.   We understood all of the statues except one.  Apparently you can pray to Jesus, Mary, St. Therese or Friar Tuck.

Along the walkway up to the entrance of the church we noticed that there was a separate building which we assumed was the priest's house since there was a satellite dish and a barbecue grill.  The roof of the house and the yard below was full of coins.  I wasn't sure if this was a Catholic tradition or just a "thing" for this particular church, but it looked like we were supposed to toss a coin onto the roof so we did.  Well, Taylor did.  She chucked her coin which looked like it was going to make a perfect landing on the upper part of the roof but then it turned onto its side, rolled down the roof and landed in the yard below.  We figured that meant her wish wasn't going to come true.  It's my guess that these coins are considered some kind of offering and are probably collected from time to time but I really wanted to make a suggestion to the priest:  Dude, put in gutters, you're lawnmower probably eats up a couple of happy meals every time you mow.

As we drove to our next destination, I fell in love with Eureka Springs and decided that we need to retire there.  Fortunately, Jayson agreed.  It's quaint, quiet (except for the more touristy parts), the architecture is amazing and it's full of arts and crafts of all kinds.  I can just see us living in a quirky little house (with lots of bottle trees) and driving around town on our scooters.  OOooo!  Or matching Segways!  I, of course, will be part of the local hippie art colony where I will make new junk out of old junk to sell to the tourists and I'll design custom tattoos for senior citizens.  Jayson will play golf until he gets more holes in one than my Uncle Fred.

We stopped by Frog Fantasies hoping to see their huge collection of frogs, but they had just moved into a new place and don't have room for their collection which is packed up in 50 banana boxes right now.  They had a few things on display and for sale and we had a nice visit with the old frog guy. 

From there we made our way to Thorncrown Chapel.  I had seen pictures online and knew it would be amazing and it was.  The architecture is incredible.  It has over 400 windows from floor to ceiling and is surrounded by a beautiful wooded area.  All of the furnishings and decor inside the chapel mimics the architecture of the building, making it a cohesive, beautiful experience.  I loved it!

After a quick lunch downtown we headed to Quigley Castle, which I had been looking forward to all week.  Everywhere we went, Jayson & Taylor asked me why we were going there, what we would see, what was so special about it, etc.  I had no idea.  I caught a glimpse of this stuff on the internet, it looked cool so we went.  They both thought that Quigley Castle was the "big cheese" of this trip but I had to disagree.  I didn't find it cheesy at all, I loved it.  Yes, it was a little overkill but it was definitely a one of a kind experience.  Mrs. Quigley had a large collection of rocks, stones, shells, marbles, etc. that she used to completely cover the outside of her house as well as anything else that would sit still.  She made sculptures from her collection and also has a lot of big, free standing chunks of minerals.  And the bottle trees!  I love bottle trees and I lost count of how many she had.

The inside of her house is just as spectacular.  The perimeter of the interior is surrounded by a "garden mote" where she has 2-story tall trees and plants growing inside.  Really, really interesting.  I think Jayson wasn't crazy about the whole Quigley experience because he was afraid it would push me over the deep end.  I saw it as a glimpse into the heart of someone's passion.  Jayson saw it as a glimpse into the mind of a crazy person and I think he was frightened at how much it resembled the mind of his wife.  Silly man.  He doesn't have to worry about me sticking stuff all over the outside of our house.  My collection is big enough.  Yet.


mayn said...

I think I would like Quiqley's grounds if it was covered in moss. I love moss. It's soothing. NO, you don't need a bottle tree...ever.

mayn said...

Oh, and you only implement the Friar Tuck prayer if you are hungry for turkey legs.