Monday, July 13, 2015


Who takes a vacation to Oklahoma? In July? We have been asked that at least a dozen times in the last week and many of your comments on my last post posed the same questions. They are valid questions. Oklahoma is not known as a vacation destination. Especially in the dead of summer. Alas, that is where we found ourselves last week.

You see, my best friend and her family live in Oklahoma. We have been best friends since we were 5 (I'm sure I have mentioned this a million times before) and she and I were friends with her hubby (Carl) since high school. So, we all go way back. And my family has not had the opportunity to visit her family since they moved down to Oklahoma 5 years ago. I have been there to visit by myself, but it was time we got our families together again. Todd normally takes off the week around the 4th of July and since we already had a week available that was the time that worked for us and Carl was able to get off of work as well. Yay!

So, road trip for my crew!
Since our Florida vacation I have discovered that I may have the world's best travelers in my kids. They are pretty amazing. They either sleep, watch a movie (we really only had one movie on the way down and one on the way back), or sit in their seats taking in the sights. And, I swear, Todd and I had to stop to use the bathroom more frequently than they did.

Of course, they do get into fights and get too loud and silly at times, but if I simply tell them that dad needs to concentrate on driving so that we don't get into a mangled, fiery crash they usually settle down fairly quickly.

On the way down we went through St. Louis so the kids could see the arch. And there was a detour right through the city so they were pretty excited. They made me take a ton of pictures of the arch but I'll spare you.
When we finally got to Oklahoma (it was about 5:00 in the evening- we had left at 4 in the morning) my bff and her family rushed over to our hotel room so that the kids could immediately jump in the pool.
Sarah (my bff) and I had to laugh how we had unknowingly bought our daughters the same swim suit. Every time we get together our girls are wearing the same clothes. I guess their mamas have the same taste.

The kids got along bizarrely well. It was like they were instant bffs. And the noise level went from loud to explosively loud very quickly. There are seven kids between the two families and that was a lot of noise, let me tell you. Good thing we had the pool to ourselves the majority of our stay.

Strangely, it was cool (for Oklahoma) and rainy the entire time we were down there. We had planned on swimming at the neighborhood pool across the street from Sarah's house much of the time, but the weather put the kibosh on that. Instead we stayed indoors. Which was fine because it gave us a chance to visit the Oklahoma Aquarium.
It was fantastic. Complete with a tunnel to walk through and view bull sharks and nurse sharks. Wow! The kids (okay, me too) also got to touch horseshoe crabs, shrimp, sting rays, and a shark. It was super fun.

Of course after we were done at the aquarium it was back to the pool for more swimming. Later that night the kids were invited to sleep over at Sarah's house so that they could optimize their play time together. Gracie wasn't sure at first (the girl does not like to leave her mama and still hasn't wanted to go to a playdate, much less a sleepover) but since her brothers would be there she decided to join in.

The boys played a ton of Minecraft since Carl ran out and got extra controllers for everyone.
And upon my insistence also played non-video games for a while. They did set up a few really cool train tracks.
Very little sleep was had that night. The kids were exhausted (to say the least) that night. Still, we took them to another fun adventure the next day. We went to Incredible Pizza. Basically it is like Chucky Cheese on steroids. It was insane. Really crazy. And super fun. Go-carts, and games, and video games, and rides, and laser tag, and food, and 4D movie rides. I had almost as much fun as the kids did. 
After the kids were properly pooped out we took them back to the hotel to swim some more. We really like to physically exhaust our kids, I guess. The kids were invited to another sleepover at Sarah's that night. I knew it wasn't a great idea, but since they hardly ever get to see each other and we were only there for 4 days I allowed it. Grace opted out this time and chose to sleep back at the hotel with us. Wise decision. Grace still got to hang out with everybody and stay up later than normal. And of course they all had dinner together too.
Speaking of eating. There was a lot of eating going on. Seven kids eat a ton of food. And often. 

When Todd took Grace back to the hotel room Sarah and I decided to go out for the night. However, not many places are open on a Wednesday in Oklahoma so we opted for the Hard Rock Cafe. Sarah deals cards with a company that is hired out for parties and she was going to teach me how to play craps. However, just when we started to play they shut the table down because they were short on dealers, or some garbage like that. 

No matter. Blackjack has always been my game. I have never lost money at a Blackjack table and I managed to make a good amount of money (not that I ever play with much) that night.
Sarah and I got in way too late and I ended getting about 3 hours of sleep. I was surprisingly awake for the majority of the day but we still took it easy. We took the kids to Bass Pro Shop (they had some fun classes and activities going on for the kids) and then spent the rest of the day hanging by the pool (since it was still raining- oddly enough the day we left it was sunny and VERY hot) with the kids. 

It was a sad goodbye. We all had so much fun together. The kids had really taken a liking to each other and they knew it would be a long time before they saw each other again. And I am always sad to say goodbye to Sarah. Life is busy. It can be hard to talk and keep in touch as much as we would like. But it sure is nice knowing that when we do get together it is like no time has passed at all. 

I guess that is how it goes with true friends. 

It was a great trip.


Riahli said...

Awwwww, sounds like a great trip, glad you were able to get away and spend some girly time together as well. :) It is so hard to leave when you know you won't see them again for a long time. I cried so hard on the plane ride back from Texas, like totally embarrassed myself snotty cry. Something about the kids loving each other and playing together so nicely makes everything so much sadder when leaving! Plus good friends can be far and few between. Glad you all had a great trip and made it back safely!

Bijoux said...

That's fabulous! How great that your kids got along so well. I remember my brother and I having to play with my mom's friend's kids when we would visit her hometown and we didn't like it! LOL....we were quiet kids and it seemed like everyone else was wild! It was overwhelming for us.

betty said...

Looked like a fun trip! Glad all got along well with each other!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Okay, I am laughing because on our way home from Yellowstone we were talking about where to go next summer and I recall saying "definitely NOT Oklahoma--who would go THERE?"
But when there's a BFF involved, well, that changes the whole story, doesn't it? Looks like you all had a blast!

Kat said...

GG- HAHA! I know! Isn't that funny? If we didn't have friends there I really wouldn't have any desire to return. ;)

MamaB said...

I'm so glad that you had a blast in OK! Next time you go it will have to be in the Spring so you can chase some tornadoes!! Wait that would be my idea of a vacation...😀

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

I have to admit, I would't think of Oklahoma for a summer vacation, but I wouldn't think of Houston as one either, and we end up back there all the time!

It looks like you had a great trip! With an added plus of good travelers!

Elaine Alguire said...

How fun is this? And I was wondering about the matching bathing suits on the girls - that's too much! Next time you need to make a detour down to LA on your way home. I know, too far. Just an idea. LOL.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson