More Tales of Adventure from our Crystal Bridges Guests to the Call Center Jan Hagan mans the Museum’s Call Center phones, so he gets to talk to a lot of people. Being a naturally friendly fellow, Jan often strikes up conversations with his callers and hears all kind of interesting stories from our guests. Here’s one story of a friendly road trip gone wrong. –LD
“Oh, what a joyful time we’re going to have!” Madeline exclaimed to her husband and their friends. The two couples had decided life’s adventures were not in the past and the road trip they were planning was going to keep them young. But this was not going to be a road trip from their youth … pooling gas money, sleeping in the van, and eating at the fast-food emporiums along the road.
No, this trip was all about the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, and finally, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. There would be neither van nor sleeping bags on this trip. It was going to be Bed and Breakfasts recommended by friends capped by a stay at the 21C boutique hotel and art gallery on the Bentonville Square. And most decidedly, fast-food emporiums would give way to five-star dining along the way, including Crystal Bridges’ own restaurant, Eleven.
Well, it seems things don’t always go as planned, as relayed by our Museum guest Madeline: Their trip started off well enough, with an enjoyable visit to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. Although the weather was turning stormy, they decided to press on after visiting the Kimbell to the Bed and Breakfast in Tulsa, their next destination. Driving through the gloom and drizzle, they finally arrived that evening only to find there had been a mix-up and they were without reservations at the sold-out Bed and Breakfast. Oh well, a chain hotel in town would at least get them a good night’s sleep.
The next day the Philbrook Art Museum provided a much-needed pick-me-up, and their little road trip group was in high spirits. Things only got better when they arrived in Bentonville and they were wowed by their stay at 21C Museum Hotel and the charm of the Bentonville Square. The following day was their most incredible, according to Madeline, as they were in awe of the architecture, the grounds and trails, and especially the art at Crystal Bridges. Despite the bumpy start to their road trip, their visit to Bentonville was well worth the effort. No matter what happened on their return trip, this road trip was a success.
Of course, as Madeline put it: ”Life’s rewards are made sweeter by its challenges.” The trip home to Texas was during one of the most severe storms of the summer. Excited conversation about all they had seen and experienced was a counterpoint to the challenging drive along rain-soaked highways with limited visibility. After battling the elements all day, and within an hour of home, they stopped at a roadside diner that had been recommended by friends for one last culinary adventure on their trip. Soon they were seated—tired and hungry after their long drive—and they ordered the “special” recommended by their friends. It was nice and cozy inside and pouring rain outside.
Just then, a car careened into an electric pole on the street outside, plunging the diner into darkness. Our fearsome road trippers were worried that their chance for dinner was gone. “Not to worry!” the owner explained. The staff could cook with gas, the “special” could be prepared, and they would dine by candlelight. After a fabulous meal and loads of laughter at their table, our travelers had only one thought: … This was the best road trip ever!