Surrender 14: Chinese Food & Crystal Bridges Museum

While in Arkansas today, Greg and I went with the flow, opening to the possibilities that the journey offered. We took care of a couple of items that needed doing and then surrendered to the day. 

One scheduled event was to meet Greg’s cousin for lunch in Bella Vista, in between her morning and afternoon work appointments. Pam suggested Chen’s Garden, a Chinese buffet style restaurant. 


We had an enjoyable meal, dining and chatting and laughing. I tried items from the buffet that I’ve not sampled before, such as a dumpling, vegetable egg fu-yang, crisp green beans and peppered chicken. It was all delicious and fun to catch up with Pam. 

After lunch and necessities were completed, Greg suggested a drive to the beautiful Crystal Bridges Musuem of American Art, located in Bentonville, AR. It has been almost two years since I last visited the museum complex, walking the trails through the woods for a first. The museum recently acquired a Frank Lloyd Wright house, that was meticulously disassembled in New Jersey and carefully relocated to Arkansas. I longed for a peek at this unique home. 


We discovered upon arrival at the museum that there were no tickets available until late in the afternoon, to tour the inside of the house. The day was gorgeous, with sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s. This gift of a beautiful January day had brought an abundance of visitors to the museum. No worries though. We were told we could walk around the house. 

Known as the Bachman-Wilson House, this structure, built in 1954 along the Millstone River in New Jersey, is one of Wright’s Usonian homes. Designed to be affordable for the average middle class family, the name for these houses is derived from “United States of North America”. There were approximately 120 Usonian houses built. 


During his career, Frank Lloyd Wright sought to create a new style of architecture that expressed uniquely American character. Referred to as “organic architecture “, Wright’s structures were integrated with their environment. Each has strong horizontal elements, emphasizing the building’s connection to the ground, and large windows to allow for natural light and open views to the outdoors. 

I loved walking through the museum, which is an experience in itself, and along the trail outdoors to the house. The home has been beautifully restored and it is now preserved for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. I especially liked the liberal use of wood and the many windows. We sat for a time on a nearby park bench, savoring the spring-like day and the beauty around us. 

Next time, I will plan ahead and secure a ticket, which is free, and wander through the interior of the Bachman-Wilson home. However, I was perfectly content with the way the afternoon unfolded today, and the leisurely stroll in the sunshine. It was, indeed, a gift. 


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