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Thursday, April 26, 2012

bull shoals bassmaster tournament

Last Friday morning, J, H and I headed East to Arkansas to the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament on Bull Shoals. It was a 4 hour drive and I was seriously dreading it! Since we were leaving early, we had to wake H up and put her straight in the car. I wasn't sure how she would do. She is not the best travel buddy! She gets bored after 30 minutes! I packed TONS of stuff to do and bought her a bunch of new Barney movies. We read books, played iPhone games and did puzzles in between each new movie. It ended up being a great ride there. She was perfect!
When we got into town, we headed straight to our bed and breakfast. This was my first one to ever stay in. I guess I always assumed that they were super expensive. But after finding out what some of the cabins/motels went for around there, I started calling around. This place ended up being the cheapest place I found. And it was gorgeous!
It is called Cedar Springs Country Inn. I honestly still cannot get over how beautiful it was. The owners were the sweetest people ever. They make huge breakfasts every morning and they just catered to Hadlea's every need! Even when she didn't wake up until 10AM one morning, they cooked for her after she woke up! Now that is customer service!
Our room was so big and gave Hadlea plenty of room to roam. That is one thing I do not like about having to stay in hotels with her. She is just too busy!
After getting checked in, we headed to the Day 2 weigh-in. We had been telling Hadlea about going on "cacation" (as she called it) to watch Fred fish. She was a little confused as to why he wasn't fishing when we got there, but he was only weighing fish in?! But she thought it was super funny to see him on stage!
After the weigh-in, we went to Fred and Julie's rental house. (some of the anglers travel together and rent out vacation homes for the week. it is always cheaper than getting a motel room) We built a fire and cooked out. It was nice to sit around the fire and relax!

Saturday morning, I woke up to this! I mean really... adding in a furry little boy that was at doggy daycare would be the only thing to improve that moment!
After we all got up, ate breakfast and got ready, we headed to Gaston's. This place is known for Trout Fishing. It has its own landing strip. People fly in for fishing and dinner and then leave. It was crazy!
Gaston's also has this bird exhibit. It is mostly peacocks... or pea-pocks as H called them!
This was my favorite. I have never seen a white one, not even in a picture I don't think. It was beautiful! They also had one out of the cage that would follow you around. Hadlea was scared of it at first, but by the second day, she was bossing it around and telling it where to go!
We then walked down to the White River that runs right by Gaston's. Probably the most beautiful part of the trip. I joked with Justin that this was part of the reason as to why Arkansas people are deemed as rednecks... they have no reason to leave. They have some of the most beautiful land in the country! I wouldn't want to leave either!
After touring the area, we met the Roumbanis Fam for lunch at Gaston's. The restaurant overlooks the White River. The kids loved watching the guys fish!
Hadlea & Jackson
Next, we went to one of the local fishing docks to feed the carp. These things are UGLY! ...and GROSS! They just weird me out looking at them! You could buy huge baggies of dog food to feed them. I think we went through 6 or more! Jackson and Had were having a great time!
Fred didn't make the cut to fish Saturday.... which always sucks for him, but atleast we get to see him more! Hadlea has started calling him Uncle Boom Boom and pretty much follows him wherever he goes! (and by this time, it is after 5PM and she was melting!)
We went back to Fred and Julie's rental to cook out. The guys made another fire. Hadlea and Jackson gathered up sticks to throw in the fire.
Sitting with daddy by the fire & roasting marshmallows with Fred
Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast. Hadlea requested to see the 'pea-pocks' again so we went back to Gaston's to roam around until lunch. We went back to Gaston's for lunch.
She loved to watch the guys catch the trout!
We went to the Sunday weigh-in. It got really cold and someone was beyond melting... meaning... she got her paci for the entire day because I didn't care to listen to her whine all day! Nice, huh?! Definitely not a proud mommy moment... especially seeing how I got asked about 5 times how old she was... and yes, I know you are asking because she looks older than 2! {so guess what that means this weekend.... we are starting 'operation get rid of paci'. A post coming tomorrow on that! but please leave ideas if you have them!}
Brandon Palaniuk won the tournament. He is only 24 years old. We got to spend some time with him when we were in LA in February for the Classic. He is a great kid! Fun to see someone you know win!
We had such a great 'mini' vacation! Never in my life did I ever plan to take vacation days to spend at fishing tournaments, but it really is a great time! Those anglers are a bunch of 21 year old boys who will never grow up... meaning, you never know what they will say or do! And for guys fishing once or twice a month for $100,000+, they really do not act like it! :-)
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