We are living it up here as #emptynesters. Kris and I have grown children, two of whom live in Dallas as working professionals, and one in Little Rock, near us, who is married to a wonderful man and has a baby with another on the way. So we have the freedom of coming and going as we want. We don't even have a dog anymore. So we have no obligations at home. This is what all those sleepless nights of young children and groaning over raising teenagers gives you: THE EMPTY NESTER LIFE. I highly recommend it. We will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary in January, 2020 and are having the best time. Do I still want to stuff him in the trunk some days, or does he want me to go live with a relative? Absolutely. Living with another human is hard. So find things you both like to do and live with reckless abandon when the time comes for fun.

This is what happened on a recent excursion. Kris knows I love a good dining experience. And Bentonville, Ark. in the northwest part of our beautiful state is a hamlet of great restaurants. Two weeks ago, we popped in to eat at KomodoNWA. We love Thai food and foods representing the Pacifim Rim, so we were a "yes" when we even heard about it. I am the editor-at-large at AY About You, and I'm the chief copy editor, so I have the privilege of reading every word of edit before it goes to print. There is an article coming out in October about Komodo so that was the impetus of our trek northwest. We stayed at the charming 21C Museum Hotel and walked the adorable Bentonville Square after dinner. This is a destination, people, and when you read about the other restaurants in the area, you will want to plug this into your "to do" lists.

Let's start with where you should get your coffee. As an intermittent faster, I don't do anything but water and unsweetened tea until I open my #feasting window, but I went to Onxy Coffee Lab with my husband as he had some coffee. The baristas there make their unsweetened tea with sparkling water. Isn't that a good idea? Plus this place is so adorable with its tile and part-retro part modern look. Plus it's next to a great restaurant you'll want for lunch one day.

After coffee, I suggest going next door where the fabulous artwork separates the coffee bar with the Pressroom. Look at this artwork. How awesome is this? Our beloved 16th president in jeweled specs. It's fabulous. I forgot the artist's name, but if anyone knows, hollaachagirl.

Your stop for lunch should be the Pressroom. These jalapeno cheddar hushpuppies with the local honey is off the chain. Wow. The lunch I had was the hummus bowl with quinoa, Kalamata olives, feta and pita bread. It was totally gluten free and totally delicious. I mean, wow.


Now let's talk about dinner. Oh, my. Foodies everywhere have been buzzing about The Preacher's Son. It's everything a trendy restaurant demands: cool vibe, cool story and cool town. The cool vibe includes a former church made into a restaurant; the cool story is that the executive chef is a celiac disease sufferer who actually is a preacher's son, and the cool town is, well, Bentonville.

The food is so impressive. I had the halibut; Kris had the smoked chicken with smoked corn. The shared plate included heirloom tomatoes and house made ricotta cheese. I could drive there right now just to have that again. Here are some photos of the former church with its stained glass windows.


After we left Northwest Arkansas, we headed to Heber Springs where an unusual occurrence was happening. Our three children were coming to our lake house for a last fling of summer. It's been two years since we have all been at our lake house. My heart was full. My stomach was, too, because we ate lunch in Eureka Springs at the Thai House restaurant (it was FABULOUS-get the sticky rice with mango for dessert), and we stopped at the adorable bakery in Harrison, Ark. It's Neighbor's Mill Bakery. You have to stop there if you're in the area. I picked up sour cream bread with pecans, sourdough bread and a cranberry bread. This was after I got bagels in Bentonville. It was definitely a #highcarb weekend. And for that, everyone was happy.

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