Friday, September 30, 2016

The Rest of the Trip

We spent 2 nights in Lawton, OK. We drove through the Wichita Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge is home to long horned steer, buffalo, prairie dogs, horses and elk. We saw everything but the elk.

One of my bucket list items is to see horses in the wild. I always thought it would be someplace like Montana. I'm not sure if this really qualifies anyway. The guys assure me that they are wild--not fed or cared for in the refuge. Still, they are "in" the refuge. I'll cross it off my list since this might be the closest to "wild" I'll really get.
As we were passing through this tiny town of Cache, I told Butch that surely he wanted to stop to find a "cache" in Cache---and he did. City of Cache: "Gateway to the Wichitas"---I asked Butch about this and he said they are mountains. Of course, I'm confused because Kansas doesn't have mountains. I guess the Wichita mountains have nothing to do with Wichita, Kansas. It's probably just some indian word.
I was a little nervous about visiting the guys childhood home. It's been 40 years since we've been here---and the last time, it was a bit neglected and depressing. That's the problem with going back---it can be disappointing. This time, it turns out that the house has been cared for and looks like the "boys" remembered it.
Walter and Butch's dad was in the military stationed here at Fort Sill. It was a pretty big deal to have a house. They moved around so much. They pointed out homes of their friends, the creek they always played in and their school. Unfortunately, the woods they played, camped and hunted in is gone---a subdivision in its place. The little town has grown up in 55 years!
We were excited to go to the original Wayne's Drive Inn. As young boys, they didn't get to eat out much, but when they did, it was this place. 
 We had lunch in the car for old time's sake. 
It's surprising---and pretty awesome that the packaging has not changed. The burgers were delicious. Butch and I shared a chocolate, peanut butter malt. 

We had dinner at a German restaurant that was excellent. Butch found that on Trip Advisor---as he did with all of the restaurants we went to. They have all been good.
Our next stop was Eureka Springs, Arkansas. On the way, we had lunch at this cute little sidewalk cafe. We could not have asked for better weather on this trip. In fact, it's been a bit chilly at times. We   did not come prepared for that so Butch ended up buying a sweatshirt for the fishing part of the trip. 
Christ of the Ozarks. This statue is 70 ft. tall. They do a passion play here and have quite a set-up. You can walk through a replica of the Holy Land. It definitely caters to the tourists with lots of gift shops.
 This is a 10 foot section of the Berlin Wall also within the complex.

This is a bomb shelter from Israel. I don't know how this could save you as it's above ground just like this!
Eureka Springs is named after the many springs in the area. Although they've done a nice job with the landscaping around the various springs, we couldn't find a single one with water! 

After some frustration trying to follow the local maps, we decided to be on our way to our final destination: Roaring River State Park. There is a trout stream that meanders through the park. The guys fished---Butch caught two nice ones the first day. We're taking them home, so if he gets a couple more today,  we'll have a trout dinner on Saturday night.

As for Chris and I, we thought we'd be sitting outside enjoying the outdoors with our stitching. Unfortunately, the best we can do is our own balcony. There is not a front or back porch in this lodge. At least we are overlooking the woods. It's still a very nice way to while away the hours.
Lastly, I had to get a shot of the recyclables. Everywhere we go, whether it's a Titan's game, the beach, on vacation--or even on a cruise ship--Butch makes himself responsible for the recycling. While I admire his dedication, I don't always love the smelly stuff in my car. 

On the note of recycling, I discovered something disturbing last week. I stopped at the Starbucks in the mall. I noticed that in the recycling bin there were plastic cups with straws. I didn't think straws were recyclable so I went back and asked. The barista said that it didn't matter because the mall didn't recycle anyway. Everything goes in the trash! What??? The bins are trash on one side and recycle on the other. They are totally misleading the public. I better not tell Butch!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cruisin' Route 66

Continuing down Route 66--we turned off to see the old/original road. It struck us as to how narrow it  is. Beautiful country too.
This old motel is so cute! And you can still stay there. 

We stopped at POP---full of different kinds of sodas in cute bottles.

We got out to the car. I had one "koozie." I asked Butch if he had another for Chris. Voila'---now we're in MY car, mind you---and he goes to the back---underneath the floor mat to some compartment that I thought was the spare tire---although I've never looked in there---and pulled out another! The man needs to go on the old "Let's Make a Deal!" He has anything you ask for or can find something that will work! We've always said he could survive living out of his car. Well, apparently, he's set me up too!
The only round barn in the US---built in the 1930's.

We ended our Route 66 tour in Oklahoma City where we visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. It was one of the best museums we've visited. So interesting! I cried a few times. I felt like I watched a sad movie. One of the survivors---while being rescued---said something that is going to stick with me forever. While the rescuers--firemen and regular citizens---were walking around to find people, she shouted out, "You're walking on my face!" OMGosh---how heart wrenching! Touring this museum was not something that I really wanted to do---just not all that interested. Butch said it was supposed to be really good---and you know me---I don't want to miss a thing. I'm so glad I took this tour. It was incredible!
We're in Oklahoma, so we had to try some things. This was our appetizer last night. Deep fried bacon with ranch dip. I wasn't crazy about it. Butch got the bison burger and really liked it. Chris and I shared the "fry bread." Butch and Walter grew up with that but their family called it "squaw bread." I took one bite and didn't like it at all. It was total grease! Chris liked it. She said it reminded her of a funnel cake. Well, there you go. A funnel cake is fried dough. I don't like them either!

Today we're off to a wildlife preserve and Fort Sill. We're having a great time!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Road Trip

The first day of our road trip took us to Little Rock and the place where nine students desegregated Little Rock Central High School. They have preserved the gas station across the street because this was where the press gathered when they descended on the city.

The press stationed themselves here because it was the only place that had a telephone. I'll bet there was a lot of tension among them to get to the phone to call in their reports.
The school is magnificent. It was built in 1928. We got to tour the inside. The building materials have withstood the test of time. Even today, this is considered the finest high school in Arkansas for academic excellence.
We went to a little garden so Butch could hunt for a geo-cache. The garden was a sad little thing and not maintained at all. This was the most interesting plant--celosia. The flower is about 8" in diameter.
We had the best dinner overlooking the Arkansas River and downtown Little Rock. We had a mushroom tart that was highly recommended on Trip Advisor by previous diners. Butch ordered the trout stuffed with spinach and crabmeat. I had the scallops with a roasted red pepper, buerre blanc sauce. It was divine! I love scallops---another reason Butch picked this restaurant.

The next day we stopped at the Douglas MacArthur Home and Museum.
It was a self-guieded tour. We weren't all that impressed. But we also want to do everything of interest in any city we're in. Most likely, this will be our one and only time in Little Rock.

We hit the road to meet up with Walter and Chris in Tulsa. We stayed at a hotel nearer to Jenks where Uncle Pat lives.
We stayed across the street from Oral Roberts University. The sculpture is pretty spectacular.

We went to Uncle Pat's and Aunt Jean's for a visit. We took them to their favorite place for dinner. The food was really good, but very unusual. You ordered regular stuff---steaks or seafood, but then it came with the most unusual sides---and I mean ALL of these: tabeuley, tossed salad, rib, bologna, Texas toast, and baked potato. It was a lot of food!
Besides our visit to Uncle Pat's, our goal on this trip was to take a cruise down Route 66 while hitting some of Oklahoma's highlights.
This totem pole took 25 years to carve working 7 days a week by Ed Galloway. We plan to stop at every iconic sight along Route 66. They are kitschy, but unusual at the same time.
 Visiting Will Roger's home and museum was the main attraction today.
 We were greeted by this beauty when we arrived.

 The Golden Driller---another icon along the route.

 The Blue Whale is actually a swim park now.
 We toured the Will Roger's Museum and Memorial.
 The gardens out by the tomb were spectacular. Of course I have to take flower pictures. I'm only posting one:
The color and texture combinations were fabulous! I have no idea what the plant on the right is, but I love it. The one on the left is called "purple heart." I have that in my fronts beds at home.

Will Rogers was quite the character. He is known for his quotes (and cowboy rope tricks). His most famous quote is: "I never met a man I didn't like!"

After our all day outing, we went back to Uncle Pat's and Aunt Jean's. They took us to their favorite pizza place. And I have to admit, I wasn't excited about pizza as I'm not a lover---unless it's St. Louis pizza. But, it was really delicious. Since we'd had a big lunch--even though Butch and I shared--it was still big---we ordered a small pizza. I was plenty.

I was happy to hear a few more family stories over dinner. We'll be meeting up with them again on Wednesday on our way back through.

Today we are off along Route 66 to Oklahoma City and the bombing memorial.
More to come...

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I went with my friend, Mary Jo to check out OsteoStrong. 
Meet Diane. She is the owner. Turns out that I know her from years ago through some of the fund raising I was involved in.
First off, let me say that I fully understand that if something sounds like it's too good to be true, it usually is. But this company is showing some marvelous statistics. I don't believe you can stay in business by making false claims.

Here's the deal. You go once a week for 10 minutes. Going more frequently does NOT enhance your results. You can wear whatever you want. You won't sweat. This is not a workout and does not build muscle. You still have to do that on your own. It has nothing to do with your heart, so you are on your own for cardio too! You will not lose weight. There is some advantage for people that have Type 2 Diabetes, but I don't exactly remember what that is.

What it does do is build strong bones, healthy joints and improves your balance. The machines are some sort of fancy, computerized things. There are 4 of them. It's sort of like resistance training rather than lifting anything. You can't get hurt. The machines do not move. You are just exerting pressure yourself and holding for 5 seconds. The computer measures the weight you averaged for 5 seconds. I am not going to share my numbers here because even they sound too good to be true. Butch's reaction  tells me that I won't tell anytime soon---"Barb, there's NO WAY!"

It costs $105. a month. Here's my plan. I'm not going to rely on just their numbers. I'm going to get a bone density test in the next couple weeks. Then I'll have another one in either 6 months or a year and see if there's a noticeable improvement. (Side note: as far as I know, I do not have a bone density problem. According to my orthopedic surgeon, my bones are healthy and strong. In fact, I asked her about this program. Although she knew about it, she said she really doesn't know much and wants ME to report back to HER! Will do). What I do expect to have come out of this is improved balance. That is definitely a problem for me.

Here are some of their claims:
OsteoStrong is a complete fracture prevention strategy providing increased bone density, overall strength and improved balance at almost any age. Published research shows a 14% increase in bone density in only 6 months. This number equals the reversal of the age of your bones by 10 years--much better and all natural than the pharmaceutical options.

Balance is supposed to improve by 77% after just 5 sessions---that is an average for a 52 year old woman. It will take me longer. But even if it's 10 sessions, I'm good with it.

I know---too good to be true. I'm skeptical too. That's why I want to have something I can really measure rather than relying on what they tell me. Hence the bone density test. Also, if there is that improvement with the balance, I'll know that right away. Heck, I can't put my underwear on without hopping quickly at least 3 times, giving up and leaning against the wall!

What have I got to lose? Okay, 105 bucks for 6 months (or a year). You can check it out here.

I'll share results whether I have success or not.