Friday, April 23, 2010

What do Walmart, Bill Clinton and Diamonds have in common?

Arkansas, of course!

Those are our three claims to fame.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is the only diamond-producing site in the WORLD that is open to the public. Pretty cool, huh?

We dug for diamonds a few years ago when Anna was a baby, and the kids had a blast. This time around we had even more fun! Probably due to the fact that there had been a lot of rain and we were sloshing through mud. Does life get any better than that?

My cute little diggers!
The big field of mud
Princess Adeline. She was not too interested in the dirt. Everyone else would bring her rocks that they found. She enjoyed collecting them in a bucket. I think in this picture she is nibbling on a snack someone brought her. She really didn't move much.

Anna had no problem getting dirty! She liked standing in the puddle and keeping the top of her boots *just* above water line. Of course, she wasn't always successful, and she ended up with a boot-ful of brown water more than once.

Abbott had no interest in digging for diamonds, but he dug some pretty amazing trenches and tunnels.

Cousin Lexi came with us on our trip to dig for diamonds. She wasn't really interested in digging for treasure either. She made a couple of new friends while we were out in the field. She's quite a social little girl! All of the kids had fun making up games to play with mud and playing with their new friends.
Aiden was the only one of my children who actually put any effort into actually looking for a diamond! He worked so hard.

I love this kid!

Daddy is working hard and princess Adeline is perched on her rock waiting for servants (I mean family members) to put rocks in her bucket.

This is not a diamond.

This is the really nice guy that identified all of our finds. We found jasper, quartz, and several other types of rocks that I can't remember right now.

The next day we went fishing
It was really windy, so casting was very difficult.

We didn't catch anything...even with these fat, juicy worms!

Luckily, this one slept through the fishing trip.

We also took a nice little hike

Tree roots taller than people!

This is a really cool nature blind. You are supposed to be able to hang out in there and the wildlife will come really close because they won't know you're there. They knew we were there. Trust me.

Rock candy! I thought that was appropriate!

Here is a close-up of the couch cushion. Nice!

We rented a little house in this little town. I kept telling the kids it was an adventure. They just said it was a yucky old house with a spring-y mattress. Aaron said it smelled like his grandma's house. So it wasn't 5 star was an adventure!

Here is the dining room. Doesn't everyone keep digging equipment in the dining room? We were just happy it was there to borrow!

Couldn't quite figure out this random plant. I think it was supposed to make the place look pretty.

Despite my spoiled children's complaints about the house, it really was a great trip. It was really slow, laid back and relaxing. Just enjoying each other and nature. Who needs roller coasters to have a good vacation? What are roller coasters to rocks and mountains?

I don't need an amusement park...but something that stays open past 8:00 would be nice! They do have a Sonic, a pizza place and an over-priced-not-very-good diner. Seriously...this is a small town. There was a little donut and ice cream shop near our little house (that's what we affectionaltely called it). One evening, we decided to go get some ice cream. It was about 8:30 on a Saturday night. Closed. No biggie...there is ONE grocery store in town...we'll pick up a half gallon and eat at the little house. Closed. Seriously. By this time it is close to 9:00. We found a gas station (that was about to close) but they didn't have any ice cream. How could we forget Sonic? Beautiful, wonderful franchise to the rescue...closed. It can't possibly be legal for a Sonic to close at 9:00 on a Saturday night. I don't care how small the town is! Lucky for us, there are TWO gas stations in the tiny town of Murfreesboro, and #2 stays open 24 hours. So everyone picked out a treat, and I was the only one that got ice cream.

This was a trip we will certainly never forget!


Chelsie said...

How fun Aubrey!!!! You are so cool.

Darrell and Alissa said...

That looks like so much fun! As I was reading I kept thinking surely you would post pictures of the fancy house you stayed in- so glad I could see the famous couch I have heard so much about!
So, I have to ask- did you even wash the clothes they wore, or was it easier to throw them away after a day of digging?

Aubrey said...

Abbot was so dirty I made him strip off his pants and threw them away before we even left the park! He was quite unhappy about riding home with his sweatshirt around his little bum! I think I washed everything else. The little house had a washer and dryer, so I just threw everything in the washer as soon as we got home. They were soooo dirty! But hat was the point, I suppose!

Mike and Diane said...

that sounds like such a fun family trip! We've wanted to go diggin' for diamonds for a few years. We'll get there someday. Now we know who to ask for suggestions... like how do we get in on that house! lol!

Sara said...

Cute crew!! Such fun!