I Came, I Saw, I Conquered NW Arkansas!

I’m so proud of how my daughter has grown into a responsible adult.

When we arrived at her apartment, dinner that she prepared– a soup from her home made bone broth, sausage and kale was ready to be served. She even had the makings for Kir Royals!  It was the perfect dinner after being in transit for most of this stormy day.   Oona also knows how weird I am at holiday time and that we all wear matching PJ bottoms and t-shirts from Old Navy.  She surprised me with matching “J’Adore” t-shirts and pink PJ bottoms from Old Navy!  Life is blissful in “Mommy and Me” matching pj’s—even when the Mommy is 60 and the Me is 26!


Is this too cute?  I love that Oona knows how to please with thoughtful little touches such as matching pj’s!

The next day, Thursday, Oona decided to take me into “The Square” in downtown Fayetteville.  The square is a lovely area near the University of Arkansas.  Cute shops and restaurants abound.  And on close inspection, studying the people around me, I thought I was in Brooklyn because of the many hipster looks surrounding us. I was thrilled because of the stereotype that I envisioned….

Ok. This is bad. And don’t judge me.  But, I had this stereotype that the second I landed in Arkansas, I would be greeted by Gothardesque Duggar type women in ill-fitting long denim skirts and fugly polo shirts who would be wearing Birkenstocks with socks and pelting me with bibles.  They would also be singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” My plan of action would be to take rosary beads from my purse and hold the beads up to them—the way someone would hold garlic or a cross to a vampire! Much to my extreme joy, this did not happen. In fact, the people I met were not like that at all.


Ain’t gonna lie. I envisioned being pelted with Bibles by these fashion icons! 

Our first stop was an adorable little tea shop that looked as though it belonged in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Savoy Tea Company.  The shop oozed of charm.  The staff incredibly friendly and upbeat.  We sat down to Chai Lattes and caught up on conversation.

Savoy tea card

Here’s the Savoy info–just in case you are in the neighborhood!

The interior is so darn adorable.  It was the perfect setting for Oona and I to enjoy…

chai lattes at Savoy

Our Chai Lattes. Even better because of the way they were served!

Next stop was a walk over to “French Quarters & Feather Your Nest”.

French Quarters card

This business card is so clever–a place on the back for notes!

Bonaparte would have felt very much at home here. The shop was chock-full of French imports for the home.  The owner’s husband, Storm (hmmm..why can’t I get away from Storms of any kind?), was a riot! He told me that he and his wife travel to France to flea markets and such to acquire much of what is sold in the shop.   I really was enlightened by the charm and friendliness of Storm and my stereotype of Arkansansians? Arkansanans?. Ugh. My stereotype of people from Arkansas was diminishing!

i saw arkansas 014

Look what we spotted!  Bonaparte’s last name!!!

We continued our wandering and decided to see a movie. We both wanted to see “Brooklyn” because of our Irish roots and the fact my grandparents settled in Brooklyn after emigrating from Ireland made the movie more intriguing.  BTW, the movie was even better than we thought it would be. The price of admission was even better.   FIVE BUCKS!  Let me tell you, there are NO five dollar movie in the suburbs of Philadelphia that I am aware of!


Who knew I would have to go to Arkansas to see Brooklyn?  At five bucks it was a bargain!

We both decided that it was better to eat lunch out and have dinner in. This way the both of us could just be comfy, relaxed, have some wine, and binge-watch Chip and Joanna play around with shiplap!

Chip and Joanna

Binge watching these two is the perfect mother/daughter night in! Chip, Joanna, Shiplap and wine!

Friday was great!  We had an ambitious agenda in Bentonville. But the best part of the day for me was a phone call Oona received from her boss as we began our adventures.  She received a promotion.  I won’t go into details but I will tell you this; I cried.  I was so overwhelmed and proud and filled with happiness for her that I started sobbing.  I’m getting all misty-eyed as I write this too.  I couldn’t be happier.

Me and Oona out and about

On our way to Bentonville, smiling with the great news of Oona’s promotion!

On to Bentonville.


my artsy shot–well, my ATTEMPT at artsy photography. I’m no J.H. Lartigue!

Oona told me about a great little food truck that was known for great crepes.  The owner is a Frenchman and the weather was sunny and warm. OK—it wasn’t exactly spring weather but it was warm enough to eat outside.   We had lunch at Crepes Paulette.

arkansas 018

Might I suggest if you are ever in Bentonville to enjoy an authentic French meal of delicious crepes and some conversation with Frédéric, the owner!

Because I’m a pretentious asshole at times, I ordered my crepe in French. I had “La Jardin” filled with baby spinach, cheese (Ok—so I cheated on my Paleo), pesto and egg.   I guess my accent was halfway decent because Frédéric Henry, the owner (along with his wife, Paula) started speaking in French to me. I explained “Je parle un peu français”.   Oona rolled her eyes and ordered her crepe in English!

Frederic of Paulettes'

Monsieur Henry in front of his restaurant on wheels.  Damn, if I lived in Bentonville, I would have a hard time sticking to my Lenten sacrificing of no in-between meals. I would be here for crepes every day–especially the salted caramel crepes!

Anyway, Frédéric  was great. He’s from Brest, France—in Brittany. That area of France I’ve been demanding for years and years that Bonaparte take me to.  Frédéric is jolly and animated and a wonderful host to those who dine at his truck.  We got to talking and he asked me about my visits to France and asked Bonaparte’s name. He told me that Bonaparte’s surname was popular in the South. Then he mentioned there was a famous French photographer with Bonaparte’s last name.  He was pleasantly surprised when I said that the photographer was Bonaparte’s grandfather. Bonaparte was thrilled when I mentioned that to him!

The crepes were amazing. In fact, they were better than the crepes I’ve had in a certain creperie on Rue Saint-André des Arts in Paris!   For dessert I had the salted caramel crepe.  I swear if I wouldn’t have embarrassed Oona, I could have licked the table that the filling spilled onto.

Our next stop was the Walmart museum.  A bit kitchy—but kitchiness is what makes travel so much fun.   The museum was a testament to the early days of Sam Walton’s business endeavors and it was actually quite interesting.

Me and Oona in front of Waltons

In front of “Walton’s 5 & 10 Cent Store” The Walmart Museum. Hey, how did this photo become backwards?

The walmart museum mug for the ultimate tourist

Yes. I was here!

The Original Waltons 5 and 10

It’s so charming….

Remember this

..and kitchy! Do you remember this packaging?  I do–that’s ’cause I’m old!

In book memory heaven

…and I also remember these books! I learned to read with Dick and Jane AND I almost purchased The Borrowers. It was one of my favorite books when I was a young girl!

Another interesting fact is that the Walmart stores in the Northwest of Arkansas are immaculate. They are beautiful. They are well-organized.  They are well-stocked. AND—the staff is so pleasant and accommodating.  Normal people shop there.  I’m not being snotty either.  The two Walmart stores in my area are filthy—but I’m getting off topic.

This too is walmart

Walmart’s grocery department where I live looks nothing like THIS!!

After leaving the Walmart museum we headed off to the one place I was incredibly excited to see.  Oona has told me about this place and how wonderful and beautiful it is.  We went to the Crystal Bridges Museum.  This museum was founded by Alice Walton and I have to say—it is magnificent.  There is no charge to enter.  Believe me, over the years I’ve spent a small fortune at various art museums throughout the USA and France and I am in a state of wondrous shock that this museum has no general admission fee!

The setting is so soothing. Built above two ponds and the grounds are so serene. The museum itself blends in with the natural background.  The staff, again, is so incredibly friendly.  We were greeted by a staff member who spoke to me for quite a while about the greatness of Northwest Arkansas.  When I told her that I had this vision of everyone being like the Duggar family she laughed and explained that the Duggars are not liked in the NW of Arkansas. They are in the minority and people just wish they would leave.  I am diggin’ NW Arkansas so much!!!!

Crystal Bridges Museum 1 view from inside to the river

Set over two ponds, the museum is…

Crystal Bridges grounds

..so beautiful and the grounds are..

Crystal Bridges Museum view of trail

..so serene.  I want to come back in the late spring when the trees and flowers are in bloom!

The museum was just incredible.  A testimony to American artists.  I shrieked with delight when I saw a painting by my favorite American artist, Childe Hassam, hanging on the wall.  I get really excited whenever I see one of his paintings and this made me appreciate Crystal Bridges even more.  Oona and I loved the paintings by Mary Cassatt as well.   Honestly, if you ever get the chance to visit Bentonville, you have to visit this museum.

Childe Hassam Paris at Twilight

Childe Hassam’s “Paris at Twilight” is at the museum and it is just spectacular!

The Revenant painting

When we saw Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s painting “The Life of a Hunter–A Tight Fix” we thought of “The Revenant”! Leo–is that you?

sculpture at Crystal Bridges Museum

The many sculptures on display at Crystal Bridges were stunning.  This really shows the despair of the Great Depression.

Luckily the weather was on our side and the warmth of the air lent itself for more walking.  We did a bit more window shopping and stopped at another one of Savoy Tea’s locations. This time we enjoyed our Chai Lattes in the open air.

Another quiet dinner at home and quality mother/daughter time for the rest of the evening.

girly night in

Dressed down in our matching lounging attire–it was another evening of togetherness!

Saturday brought another busy day.  It also brought about another great weather day!  We started out with brunch at The Farmer’s Table Cafe, a local farm-to-table restaurant.  We enjoyed a healthy meal of free-range eggs over a bed of locally grown veg, gluten-free buckwheat bread and strong coffee.  It was wonderful to be able to enjoy another meal alfresco with the air comfortable as it got warmer!

The Farmer's Table. Brunch

The Farmer’s Table–unpretentious and unassuming with fantastic food!

The Farmer's Table. Eggs Veg  Gluten free bread.

This is my kinda breakfast!

With stomachs satisfied we headed off to the Clinton House Museum, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s first home.  I really enjoyed this–and if there are any people who doubt the validity of the Clinton’s humble beginnings, I suggest you stop by here.  It was wonderful to be able to get some insight on the start of this political coupling and how they managed to have the State of Arkansas embrace both of them.  I loved seeing where our next presidential hopeful used to live!

Clinton Museum Exterior 1

This historical home is beautiful on the outside and charming within…

Clinton House Plaque

The outside plaque shows a young and idealistic Bill and Hillary!

We did some more antiquing and shopping around then did what any mother and daughter spending time need to do.

Vintage Cargo

Vintage Cargo was another shop with great home goods. I LOVE the fact that so many people in the Fayetteville and Bentonville areas shop local and shop small stores rather than at malls. It supports small business!

Vintage Cargo Porch

I was tempted to sit on this porch all day and just gab to the owners!

We saw a “Chick flick”.  We saw “The Choice”.  True to form it was the typical boy and girl meet and hates each other. Both have SO’s. Both fall in love. Both lose SO’s. Both argue. Both fall in love and get married. Uh Oh. Something very, very, very bad happens. Tears. Sadness. Anger.  Wait! Just in the nick of time, something very, very, very great happens…….


Sappy as a forest full of maple trees, but it was deliciously chick flicky! And a great way to wind of a mother/daughter weekend!

We loved it!  It’s so hard for me to see chick flicks because Bonaparte absolutely hates them.  I’m telling you, we saw the trailer for “Me Before You” and I cried. I will need to see that movie not with Bonaparte, but with a box of tissues! Oona is my favorite chick flick partner. I hope she is visiting when this movie is released! Our final dinner was, again, spent at Oona’s apartment.  I made steaks and our favorite vegetable—Brussels Sprouts. And we were naughty as we enjoyed a dessert of Ben & Jerry’s “Half Baked” ice cream.

Me and Oona goofing around.

Besides being naughty, we got silly too!

My visit to see Oona was a great Christmas gift from all three kids.  You don’t realize just how much you appreciate and love your daughter or any of your kids for that matter, until they move away from you.  I have wonderful memories of time spent with my baby!

Northwest Arkansas has a new fan!!

Oh..and the flights home—the weather was fine and sunny.  No delays. My luggage stayed with me. And the rides weren’t bumpy!  I was greeted by a happy Bonaparte and an even happier Chippy. Apparently Chippy sat in front of the door every night that I was gone and whined!  He’s sitting on the floor next to me as I write this!

Me. Happy to be out without winter clothing

I’m a happy mom after spending time with my daughter!

Here’s a song that Oona and I love.  John Mayer’s “Daughters”. I think it’s appropriate!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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32 Responses to I Came, I Saw, I Conquered NW Arkansas!

  1. Northwest Arkansas has another new fan – me!! Thanks to this amazing post, I will put it down in my list! 😀

    • Catherine says:

      You’re not that far–maybe a 9-hour drive?? Honestly, it was a great little part of the USA that I’ve never been to and absolutely loved it! XOXOXO!

      • I have a couple of places in my road trip list, I should add Arkansas to that list. 9 hours drive is not bad at all. I did an 8 hours drive to Niagara Falls a couple of years back, was fun! 😀

  2. theturtle says:

    Lovely all around 🙂
    Thanks for taking us on your visit to your dear daughter <3
    Turtle Hugs

  3. Hey, I am jealous 😄You are so rocking it anfor Oona is gorgeous. You’ve done a great job.

  4. Sounds like the perfect get-away…your both beautiful!!!!

  5. Judy says:

    Ahhhh, that was lovely. I am so glad you had a great time with your beautiful, clever daughter.

  6. JulietC says:

    Your daughter sounds amazing – what a wonderful thoughtful and well organised stay you had! Glad you are safely back safe and sound, you should think about taking little guided tours when you travel – the food and musems sound amazing, although what your girl will think when a whole bunch of women of certain ages turn up demanding matching pyjamas is anyones guess….

  7. Judy says:

    So much to enjoy about this post but … “The Borrowers”!! One of my childhood favorites too!

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Judy–and the illustrations by Beth and Joe Krush were part of what made The Borrowers such a great book. I LOVED their illustrations!! Wasn’t it the best book? XOXO!!

  8. Leslie Preston says:

    What a wonderful trip! Thanks for all the info! Congratulations to your daughter on her promotion! P.S. The Borrowers! Loved them!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Leslie. Arrrgh!! I’m actually banging my head right now because I should have purchased The Borrowers–it would have been so special because it would have been a great reminder of the trip! XOXOXO!

      • julietC says:

        You might have to go back and get that Borrowers book and we can come with you, especially if the trip also means matching PJs and meeting your daughter!

  9. Miss Bougie says:

    Thanks for the lovely post. You had a swell time with your daughter. Who would have thought there were so many Things French in Arkansas? It seems to be off the beaten track to me.
    Brittany is a lovely place but Brest is very, how should I put it, stark. As is the north coast; Perros Guirec and Paimpol area. Quimper,Bénodet, Fouesnant and Beg Mel are enchanting. It’s called la Rivièra Bretonne due to its relatively mild weather. You have palm trees growing there. If you’re interested hop over to my FB page and search for July 2015 and 2014. I posted pictures when we visited with family.
    Oh and last. I worked for a Jean Bernard Lartigue at Atochem once. Maybe he’s related to B. ?

    • Catherine says:

      Hi B! I’m going to have to go over to your FB pages to check the Riviera Brettone out. Bonaparte insists that the weather is too cloudy in Brittany and it’s always cold. I still want to go! Oh….many of B’s clients are at Arkema, which used to be Atochem! Six degrees of separation here? He isn’t related to J.B. Lartigue though!!! XOXOXO!

      • Miss Bougie says:

        Ha! There is a saying: You only need one light sweater when you live in Bretagne. You never need to take it off! Joke aside, in southern Brittany the weather is quite ok in summer. It never gets very hot like in southern France, but you get up to 25 °C with clear blue skies and very sharp colours. As for swimming in the sea, well, that’s a whole new story. Brrr. 😉

  10. spearfruit says:

    Catherine, wonderful post – I can feel the relationship you have with your daughter is strong and loving. Thank you for sharing your trip. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Terry! Thanks. I cannot believe it was a week ago. I wish she lived closer–but I am blessed to have a great relationship with my daughter! XOXOXO!

  11. Great to see you two had such a great time. And congratulations on Oona’s promotion. Well done!

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you!!! I’m thinking of the warm weather we experienced last week and it’s so cold here in PA–I’m hoping Spring arrives early for Oona! I want to go back when the flowers are all in bloom! XOXOXO!

  12. junedesilva says:

    Chai latte – miam, miam! Crêpes too…! Yummy but not together! Such a happy visit…

  13. calensariel says:

    So glad you had the perfect holiday. And especially that the weather was good for you while you were there.

  14. LosiLosLoco says:

    Sounded like a wonderful time Catherine 🙂 I wonder if my mom is experiencing this right now? I don’t live with her anymore and she’s so overbearing when I come home (but that doesn’t bother me one bit.) Anyway, this makes me wanna visit Arkansas! I’d love to travel, and hipster Jesus had your back this time with that luggage and ride! 😉

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