Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Storytime: Statue Tourism

Matt and I went to Arkansas last month to visit friends and attend an outstanding bluegrass festival.  It was my second time there, Matt's first.

After my first visit to the state, I learned a little funfact:  Arkansas is home to one of the top five most-visited statues in the United States--Christ of the Ozarks.  I confess I had no idea this big ol' Jesus existed, let alone was so popular.   I think it is easily the least known of the five statues, but maybe that just me being out of the loop and underestimating the pull of biblical tourism.  Maybe Atlas is the least known...
Me, Meagan, and Val at Christ of the Ozarks - September 2017.  Photo credit to Alli.
The other four most-visited-sculptures-in-the-US are the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Atlas at Rockefeller Square (all three of which I visited on a school trip to NY/DC in 8th grade), and Mount Rushmore (which I took in on a particularly memorable family vacation).

The Statue of Liberty was by far my favorite of the five statues, but I'd been sorta obsessed with Lady Liberty since I was little.  I used to rock a Statue of Liberty sweatshirt, say, and call her "my" lady with a decided sense of ownership.  So, getting to climb up, up, up into her crown was a pretty special life moment for me, even if it wasn't exactly what I'd expected.
A boat ride out to The Statue of Liberty - Spring 1999 (I think)
(The spiral staircase up to the crown was super fun and novel, but once we got to the top I felt rushed.  People we queuing up behind me so I couldn't gaze too long out the windows of the crown.  Plus, the glass was surprisingly thick so the view wasn't nearly as impressive as I'd thought it would be.  None the less, I'm totally glad for the experience.  It was a childhood dream come true.)
Trying to maximize how much we looked like tourists (apparently) while inside the crown with Meagan - Spring 1999 (I think)
I visited Christ of the Ozarks with three of my longtime best friends from high school--Alli, Val, and Meagan.  All four of us went on that 8th grade school trip out east, too, meaning we've seen four of the five most popular sculptures together!  What a coinkeedink!

This isn't a tourism milestone I was aiming for, but...here we are!  Who knew?!

3 comments:

  1. Amazingly...the Christ of the Ozarks is the only one I've not visited...loved the throwback touristy photo too...
    ~Have a lovely day!

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  2. I never heard of that statue! It's so big, it's kinda scary.

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  3. What a fun milestone! When we took our kids to the Statue of Liberty, the rangers were doubtful our kids could climb so many steps, but they did. And we weren't rushed at all, so we loved the top. My kids still talk about it. (I was totally underwhelmed by the Ellis Island museum - bummer, because I am fascinated by that time period and the immigrant life)

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