So, we went to Oklahoma City this weekend (words I never expected to say). One of Bart's friends is going to dental school up there and another friend is doing an internship in Austin this summer, so Bart, the friend, and I decided this weekend was as good as any to venture north of the border.
It's about a six hour trip to Oklahoma City and then about another half hour or so up to their house. We knew they'd built a house, but when one is going to dental school and not actually making any money, you don't think "really nice house." Turns out, we should have been thinking "really nice house." See photographic evidence:
We stayed up really late visiting with them, and then finally went to bed around two a.m. The next morning, Jason's wife, Keana, had to work, so we had a nice breakfast and their baby took a nap, and all of us sans Keana took off for a little tour of the city. We started out at the Oklahoma City professional campus, where the dental school is and wandered through the Student Union building. It was pretty spectacular. We walked across campus a bit, which was gorgeous; very green and clean, with almost nobody around (I think we only saw two people in the forty-five minutes we were there). The weather was quite nice too, so it was very pleasant to stroll through the grounds, although it was nicer to get back in the air-conditioned car.
Our other stop was the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial downtown. It was a really beautiful and moving memorial, with a gate at each end of the reflecting pool. One has the time "9:01" chiseled into it, the other has "9:03" on it, symbolizing the moment before and after the explosion. On one side, there is a chair for each of the 168 people who were killed in the blast, lined up by what floor they were on when they were killed (and a few that were just outside the building). To the east, there is an elevated area that looks over the memorial and the city, with the "survivor's tree" in the middle, which bears the marks of the blast. There was a fairly large group of people there listening to a park ranger talk about the events of April 19, 1995 and the memorial itself.
Afterwards, we piled back in the car and drove through some of the city, especially "Brick Town" where all the buildings are made of gorgeous dark red brick. I was surprised at how beautiful the city was - it seemed very clean and well-maintained. I don't know that I've ever been in a downtown city that was so nice; usually downtown areas are somewhat dirty and a little scary.
We headed back to Jason's house (stopping for some delicious shakes, called "concretes" because they are so so thick), where I took a two hour nap (I love vacation!). When Keana got home, Jason barbequed some chicken and we had dinner. Afterwards, Bart, Jason, and Trent had a corn throwing contest, trying to throw the leftover corn cobs into the pond behind the house. Did I mention we were in Oklahoma?
And Bart really liked the baby.
This morning, we got up and drove home (why is it SO much longer to drive home than to drive somewhere?). And now I can add Oklahoma to my list of visited states.