So off we went to Arkansas to see Mel's mom. Word to the wise: don't go there hoping to watch what you eat. She rolls out a meal about every two hours.

We did a road trip to visit several places that I had either never seen or hadn't seen in 20 years. Queen Wilhelmina state park, the Heavener Runestone, and Robber's Cave state park.

Arkansas is underrated as a pleasant place to do stuff – perhaps because of the bumpkin reputation but the state parks are incredibly cheap. We ate at the restaurant at the top of the mountain at Wilhelmina with a million dollar view by the window and I paid about six bucks for lunch.

Robber's Cave is another place with much to do and admission is free. I think we all paid a dollar for snow-cones.

The runestone was interesting; I find it difficult to believe that Vikings found their way into Oklahoma but I'm no expert so I'll just leave it at that.

The best part was going to visit Mel's brother whose many-acre spread is on top of a mountain in the Ozarks south of Fayetteville. I'm often tempted to move in with him. It's big enough that I could probably keep out of his way. He grills good burgers too. He has his own pond with fish that actually bite.

But it's cut short for me – I'm home now since I have to work on Memorial day tomorrow – gotta fly off to California.