When our children were younger they would say that we know someone wherever we go and have to visit people whenever we travel. At this stage in our lives, I’m itching to see the states we have yet to enter, even if we know no one living there.
When I wrote to some friends that we will be traveling to Oklahoma City for a few days, my friend Kevin asked, “why O?” My three-point response sums it up:
1) One of the six states we have not been to, so why not? The others are: Alaska, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. Also, for Arnee (my husband), Kansas. He doesn’t care, however, I do.
2) Surprising Arnee with reservations at Mickey Mantle restaurant next Sunday night in O, where they conveniently have a vegetarian menu.
3) Judd and Dena (my son and his wife) were in O on their wild, wild west trip a few years ago and Dena said she was shocked at how much she liked OKC.
Now that we’ve been there, here are more reasons to visit OKC, the capital city of the Sooner State.
1) Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, with a zoo animal art exhibit (check the yearly schedule for astounding zoo art) https://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/learn-discover/art-in-the-gardens/
2) Gentrified Bricktown with trolleys, shops, and restaurants, plus enchanting canal water taxi rides, which take you past the Oklahoma Land Run Monument: https://www.visitokc.com/listings/oklahoma-land-run-monument/467/, with 45 of the 46 jaw-dropping bronze statutes under construction, in honor of Oklahoma as the 46th state.
3) National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
4) Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum
5) Inexpensive hotels, low cost of living
6) Friendly locals, light traffic and so much more
We were disappointed to miss OKCMOA-Oklahoma City Museum of Art - closed Mondays and Tuesdays (we flew in Sunday evening and flew out on Tuesday), boasting one of the largest public collections of Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the world, and “VAN GOGH, MONET, DEGAS: THE MELLON COLLECTION OF FRENCH ART FROM THE VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS.”
An inquisitive sales clerk at the lovely Painted Door Gift Boutique asked where we were from and why we were in OKC. “Oklahoma is always one of the last 10 states when anyone says that they are trying to see all 50,” she concluded, ”but that’s okay.”
I wonder what will be the last state for us to see? We are hoping to head to North and South Dakota on one trip, Nebraska and Iowa on another and Alaska as a family bash. We have a cousin who lived in Juneau and Haines, Alaska for close to 40 years and retained a residence there, while she and her husband retired back to the states a few years ago. With their main residence now in Port Townsend, Washington, they still offered to give us a tour of Alaska.
We’ll probably travel to Kansas last, and that will be just to equal the playing fields for my husband and me. I was there in 1970 on a family trip to my cousin Joyce and her husband, when he was stationed in the military in Manhattan, Kansas. Being age 16 at the time, I was on a driver’s permit and drove my brother Al’s two-door, five-seated, non-air-conditioned, stick shift, navy blue 1966 Pontiac GTO, straight into a cornfield.
The next time I’m in Kansas, we could even rent a manual transmission, with my husband driving, not me…no thanks. He was driving his father’s three on the column stick shift on our first date in 1969.
My friend Kevin will probably ask, “Why Kansas?.” Or, what we’ll do there? We never know where life takes us.
P.S. As of this writing, my website and blog posts have been seen in 40 of the 50 states. I wonder who will see most of the states first, my website or me?