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.
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.
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.
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.
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.