Seeing Oklahoma City with Friends

Occasionally in our travels we have the opportunity to see a new place with people who have lived there.  The absolute best example of that to date was when we got to explore Louisiana with life long residents Pat and Bridget, but there have been several other examples.  So when Sharon said she wanted to “kidnap” us for the afternoon I was all for it.  She wasn’t available until after 1:30pm and we decided to take the morning and see a couple of things.

Our first stop in the morning was the Oklahoma City Memorial.  It was September 12th when we visited, which made the trip particularly poignant.  I vividly remember when this happened and how shocked we all were.  The world has absolutely changed since this tragedy occurred and it was definitely a foreshadowing of what was to come.  In particular the small chairs showing the children were very hard to look at.  We walked the grounds (which was free and a surprising number of people were there) but chose not to go into the museum.    Here are the pictures from our visit.

We were able to park our truck on the road, but no good places to bring a large RV

 

Outside the monument there is a fence with remembrances on it.

 

The view from when you first walk inside. The is another “gate” at the other end.

 

You walk through this “gate”

The chairs show the people who died. They are arranged in rows which correlate to the floor they were on

 

So many

 

We walked over towards the museum and this tree was in the courtyard. It survived the blast and they built around it.

 

I saw this written on the museum wall.

 

The museum looked interesting, but at $15 a person we just didn’t want to spend the money

 

The strangest thing we saw was this pair of wedding shoes. It really made no sense unless a bride came to visit a parent on her wedding day and left them there. We left them untouched as had several others. It felt wrong to pick them up.

Across the street is a catholic church that has it’s own small memorial.  I thought it was beautiful.  Jesus is facing away from the bombing site and the base of the statue simply says, “And Jesus Wept.”

Each hole in the bricks was for one of the victims. Simple and very moving.

After seeing the memorial we drove to the capital building.  Downtown OKC has surprisingly little traffic and it was pretty easy to pop over and see the capital.  This one was somewhat unique because it had an oil derrick in front of it.  That was the only oil derrick I saw the entire time we were there.  I had a vision in my head of OKC being dusty with tons of oil rigs, but it was actually very green and beautiful.

 

We didn’t go inside because I had to get back and meet a friend for lunch.  A guy I worked with for several years had landed in OKC and since we were Facebook friends I was able to meet him for lunch.  Lee decided he would rather go and visit some other places, and Craig and I had a great time catching up.  We met at a nice lunch place called Hideaway Pizza and for me at least it was like we had just seen each other.  Facebook is great for keeping up with people that way, but it was nice to see him in person.

I finished right when Lee finished the 45th Infantry Museum and came and picked me up.  (I will write a post about that sometime soon. I promise. Probably once we start gate guarding and there’s nothing to blog about and I have nothing to do all day. I also owe a post about remounting our kitchen sink, building the puppy platform in the back of the truck, the Wyoming prison, the Governor’s mansion, the rail depot, the missile silo, and the Cheyenne frontier museum. – Lee)  and Then we went to the Land Run Statue in Bricktown which is a really cool area of OKC.  There are lots of shops made out of the old warehouse district and some great areas along the water.  It reminded me a little bit of Riverwalk in San Antonio, but the best part was the statues.

The federal government had a huge land giveaway and held a race for people to get that land.  If you ever saw the Far and Away movie they do a great job of capturing the event, but this monument was spectacular.  I have never seen anything quite so big and we spent a good hour walking around the area and taking pictures.

These boats were not running but I think taking a canal tour would be fun.

 

This was super cool where the horses stopped and then picked up again across the water. There were even fake horse prints in the cement for detail. Really amazing.

 

The detail was terrific.

 

The walk itself was really pretty with a waterfall, lots of trees, and pretty bridges.

 

That was really special, and we left and went back to meet Sharon.  She had a surprise for me and took me to several of here favorite local thrift stores.  I have been looking for some new jean shorts and we went to three different places.  Lee was a good sport about it and even bought a couple of different sizes of tower fans himself for the rig.

 

 

We stumbled across the grand opening of an Ollies Closeouts..that was fun

The place was packed!!

It was pretty easy to get from one place to the other but there was one weird thing.  MANY of the parking lots had these dividers to stop RV’s from parking in them.  Be careful of that if you come to visit, because I have never seen this before and they were in most of the parking lots we saw.

It wasn’t all thrift stores though.  We stopped at the lake area that is right in the middle of OKC…beautiful spot and we watched people sail with surfboards.

We stopped for fried pie…a local specialty. Sharon knows her audience 🙂  Thrift stores for me and friend pie for Lee!

 

But the best surprise was when she took us to a ranch to see Clydesdales.  I love draft horses and these are owned by Express Employment who coincidentally was our employer at the Beet Harvest.  The barns are free to visit and since it was late, we were the only ones there.  We got to see a feeding which was really special, and the lady working there was super nice and let us spend extra time with the horse.  Loved that and so nice.

Beautiful grounds and training area.

We were all blown away by how much they eat.

 

The horse were smart and would sneak a snack while she was getting out their hay.

It was really fun and we capped the night off with dinner at Red Lobster.  Sharon approaches Shrimp Fest with military precision, and everyone ate too much. I had the gift card Kyrston gave me for my birthday so our meal was only $20 including tip.  We had such a good time we decided to stay one more day and the next evening they treated us to Chinese.  It was lovely seeing them and wonderful experiencing the city through their eyes.  It reminds me a lot of what Columbus was like when I was a kid.

 


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2 thoughts on “Seeing Oklahoma City with Friends

  1. You are doing a great job of making these states pop off the page! I am enjoying seeing you enjoy yourselves, and taking time “to smell the flowers”…sending love and hugs!

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