Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sweet Home Oklahoma

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been so MIA lately...I've been traveling the past few weekends, which is good because I LOVE sharing my adventures, but bad because it leaves little precious time to share!

Anyhow, on to the good stuff...

Have you ever been sooo excited to take someone back to your hometown/state to show them where you are from and treat them to your fave restaurants and pastimes? Well, I had the opportunity to do just this a few weekends ago when one of my Chicago friends, who is from Coweta, OK, decided to get married back in Oklahoma. Both her and her fiance have lived in Chi for several years so they had a lot of mutual Chicago friends who would be traveling down to the great state of Oklahoma for the wedding on April 18th.

I was so ecstatic for a number of reasons...warmer weather, showing off how "pretty" northeast Oklahoma is in the Spring, and of course doting on my 1 year old niece! Two of my best girl friends came down early and spent Friday night in Tahlequah with my family. I was immediately bummed that Mother Nature had chosen to "Cry me a River" this particular weekend in April and there was no sun to be found. The skies were grey and clouds loomed ominously overhead. Not to mention the fact that it was 80 and sunny when we left Chi, ugh...But, knowing better than to harp on the things I can't change I chose to wow them with the culinary treats of the south. Lunch at Charleston's, Fountain Drinks at Sonic, and good ol' Momma's home cooking! That's right, my mom treated us like queens the whole 24 hours we were there - homemade enchiladas for dinner and then homemade (insert - to die for) donuts with cinnamon & sugar, powdered sugar and of course homemade chocolate icing, mmmm! She always made them for us as kids and so that was a special request! I think it won them over! :)

Trying to triple hula-hoop with this crazy water hula-hoop!

Then there was my darling niece, who unfortunately wasn't in the best of spirits during our trip (she's teething something awful), but was still a joy and such a cutie no one could resist! Here's a picture of her!

Mixed with all the good of the weekend was some heartache...You see, my great grandma who is 94 was recently put in a nursing home and it was my first time to see her there. It literally broke my heart! Just at Christmas she was fine and fully mentally present. Then in late Jan she fell and the pain from the collapsed disks in her back made her mind go. It was so hard to see her like this - she was just so disillusioned and kept asking about people and things that were from her past. I am glad I went to see her though, because it really gave me a lot of perspective on life. She has lived a full, long life and her body is just not keeping up. She reminds me to live each day to the fullest, pursue my passions while I'm still able and to not have regrets. So, thanks Grandma Mimi...I love you!

Saturday was the day of the wedding and we visited some more of my family, and then headed to Tulsa to get mani's and pedi's. I had missed my mom's birthday and was treating her to this b/c it's something we love doing together! After getting primped we headed to Brittani's grandparent's house in Tulsa to change and were off to the wedding (please note that it's still raining at this point and the wedding was supposed to be outdoors)! En route to the wedding we find out that it indeed had been moved indoors and all was well. However, all was not well with our directions to the wedding. We didn't realize how far it actually was to the wedding and that mixed with the inclement weather caused us to show up 15 min late, ahhhh! (note to self: I'm telling everyone my wedding stars 30 min before it actually does, haha). We felt horrible, but got there right before the bride walked down the isle.

The Barr wedding was lovely. Great speeches, good food and awesome company. Our group from Chicago was about 10-15 people strong and we totally rocked the dance floor, which happened to be outside under a patio and we danced while it stormed all around - so cool! We get great lightening storms in Oklahoma and I think people were mesmerized. We closed down the dance floor and the after party took us to Fox and Hound Bar/Grill for a bit. By this point I was tired and my feet were hating me for punishing them on the dance floor. This combined with the smoke (yes, apparently OK still thinks it's ok to smoke in public facilities) left a lot to be desired and we slipped out shortly after and called it a night.

The most entertaining part of the trip was by far the road trip back to Chicago from Oklahoma - a 11-12 hour adventure. Yes, don't be confused...i flew there and drove back! (gotta save where I's all about the Benjamins, haha). Two carloads of Chicagoans caravaned back together on the looong journey. I was fortunate enough to ride back in the Ellis Honda packed out with 5 people!!! Yes, a Honda with 5 people for 12 hours, you do the math! It wasn't the most "comfortable" ride of my life, but certainly one of the most fun! Ben, Jenna and I lived it up in the back seat and John and Ashley were pilot and co-pilot. I just have to stop and give a huge shout out to John for driving the WHOLE WAY in the horrible rain - yes, it rained all day.

Not only was there rain, but also cold on the outside and the breathing of 5 people does not mix well...the windows kept fogging and the Ellises were adament about keeping the heat on full blast. We were literally sweating in the back seat. It was probably hot enough for Bikram Yoga in that car. Trying to be gracious guests we didn't complain much at first and just resorted to rolling down the window intermittently. But after a few hours down, we started sticking up for ourselves and demanding regular "blasts" as we affectionately called them of cool AC! It sounds so ridiculous thinking back, but that car was most likely hotter than Hell!!! hahahaha (and that's not an exaggeration!)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we stopped 7, yes 7, times during the ride. Unbelievable! We even started joking that each passenger gets their own "personal stop", haha. Two of the noteworthy stops were 1) Sonic (for the 3rd time that weekend) for dessert...Sunday happened to be 40cent Root Beer float day so Ben decided to get 3, haha, and they were huge! We ended up gifting one to our buddy car and Ben did some damage on the 2 remaining. As a matter of fact, a picture of his first Sonic trip with 2 RBF's was his debut on Twitter!
Our saving grace at the end of this long crazy drive was DJ A-Robb! Armed with ipod in hand and an eclectic mix of the "best of the 80s, 90s & 2000s" she took us back to middle school, Jr. and Sr. High! Everything from Nelly to Shaggy, to Mariah, to Salt 'N' Peppa to Alison Krauss (my fave) made the last few hours FLY by! I don't know what I would have done without that! The best part was the 3 of us crammed in the back seat dancing (as best as we could) and jamming out. Which is what I love about music - it has a way of taking your cares away. We no longer were thinking of how crammed and hot we were, nope, just the tunes, rhythm and anticipation of each new song!

What a weekend folks, what a weekend! I truly love road trips. Thus I'm going on one this weekend to Indy and then at the end of May to Nashville. So, stay tuned! Next up is my Boston trip that I just returned from!


pocket full of pink said...

First, I had a dream last night that we are moving to Nashville! It had to have rooted from our phone conversation, too funny! And man, I now want a Diet Sonic Vanilla Coke! YUMMY! Miss you, lovie! SO glad you had a great time!

Ashley said...

hahahah! love it! hot as hell--yeah right! it was freeeeeezing in that car! ;) nashville eh? how do i get a seat in that car?

Hannah Noel said...

Oklahoma will forever be the best state ever-- at least in my heart!