I decided to take it easy today and so it was just a hop, skip and a bumpy jump down Route 40 from Memphis to Little Rock. Tennessee roads are well maintained and easy to drive, so the pothole puckered stretch of highway connecting these two southern cities caught me off guard. Heavy downpours and fog cemented the decision for a short day on the road.
Our first stop was the Rivermarket area of Little Rock. While waiting for the Arkansas Museum of Discovery to open, Max, Grunty and I strolled around the surrounding area, stopping for an excellent cup of coffee at The Boulevard Bread Company. After reading several disheartening tales of very limited healthy dining options in Arkansas, the Boulevard was a welcome find. Noticing that my coffee cup was green and designed to decompose, I decided the tattooed and pierced guy making lattes would not laugh at me if I asked for soymilk. Not only do they have soymilk for coffee–you need to ask–but they also have a clearly labeled vegan sandwich option. In addition, a local free magazine gives The Farmer’s Daughter Cafe a rousing write up. While the menu does not have specifically vegan options, several items look vegan friendly, and with a focus on locally grown, organic produce, I’m sure anyone who appreciates good food would be able to eat well there. Since we needed to stock up on a few road trip supplies, I programmed our GPS to find the local Wild Oats, which is quite small compared to what I’m used to, but has a nice salad bar, and plenty of vegan groceries. Prices are also noticeably lower here in Arkansas compared to other states we have passed through so far on the trip.
Grunty enjoying the Museum of Discovery.
Max. He has these gears at home and was thrilled to see a section of the museum devoted to gears and magnet letters.
The Rivermarket Trolley.
Interesting restaurant sign. Note the outboard motors recycled as lights on the right side of the building.
After the Museum and lunch, Grunty and I braved the wilds of a Little Rock Chuck E Cheese, to let Max burn off some more rainy day energy. This may be additional proof that all the long days of driving powered by Sonic limeades are draining my mental abilities, but I actually enjoyed myself shooting hoops and helping Max scoop up plastic bumblebees at the CEC. Scary!
Now I need to make a decision of whether to risk driving through Oklahoma tomorrow, or detouring further south on our way west. Any advice?