Itching for a road trip after completing a month of Whole 30 (which makes it extremely tough to eat out), I wanted to explore a new city. Well, new to me anyway. Back before I met Keith, right after he got out of the Navy, he chose Tulsa to live. At the time, it was American Airlines hub and he had great visions of being able to travel easy being located in the middle of the country and get cheap flights. The reality was a low paying job and barely making ends meet.
For me, Tulsa was always represented by the movie The Outsiders, and even though that movie is old, and many of the places featured in the film were long gone, I still wanted to check the city out.
So, Tulsa for the weekend. We stayed in the Aloft hotel (gotta love pet friendly urban hotels) and it was super easy to walk around downtown Tulsa. Our first visit was at Hey Mambo that had pet friendly outdoor seating. Samantha garnered much attention (of course) and we enjoyed walking around, with a visit to the center of the universe. Last time we visited the center of the universe, it was in Idaho – who knew there were so many centers?
The next day I had off, but Keith had to work. After some delicious breakfast at Dilly Diner, I set off to explore the Philbrook Museum of Art. This museum was beautiful and I really enjoyed the exhibits. I also really enjoyed the grounds – it was a perfect day to wander. The temps were a bit colder than we expected, so I did a last minute shopping trip at Utica Square where I got some amazing end of the season deals! Stocked up on sweaters, we continued our exploring.
After work, Keith, Samantha and I again walked miles & miles, checking out the art deco buildings and just generally enjoying being out & about. With Samantha sufficiently wore out, we left her in the room for an hour or so and had a drink at Fassler Hall, and dinner at Juniper. Juniper could have been a bit better, but it was still nice to have a date night.
The next day we ventured out to Keith’s old apartment complex. It was worlds away from downtown and I could see why he didn’t get out too much. He was biking distance from his work, and that was the priority. We checked out Riverside Park, enjoyed the blooms at Woodward Park, drove by ‘Ponyboys’ house and the infamous park (that no longer has the fountain featured in the movie) and we also visited the K-Dub Food Truck Festival and had a local beer from Marshall Brewing.
That night, we packed Samantha up and went to the Admiral Twin Drive-in. It had been FOREVER since I’ve been to a drive-in, and even though the screen has been replaced after a fire, it was another Outsiders movie location that was neat to check out. We watched Batman v Superman (which I thought was a bit of a snorefest) and then watched Deadpool, which made me literally laugh out loud at times. Samantha didn’t understand our fascination of sitting in the car going nowhere.
The next day we finally had to make our way back home, but decided to take the scenic route and drive about 100 miles of Route 66. We still have potentials dreams of driving the entire route in a classic car – we’ll see if we make that happen in the future. It was still a nice break from the interstate and then we finally hit Oklahoma City.
In 1995, I was supposed to stay in Oklahoma City on my journey cross country to Vegas. After the Oklahoma City bombing, I had to change my plans, as a few months after the bomb occurred downtown was still quite a mess. It’s always been ‘on my list’ to stop and visit the memorial, so we made a brief stop there. I think they did a beautiful job with this memorial and it was nice to finally pay my respects.
I enjoyed Tulsa much more than I expected to. It had a great vibe, people were friendly and the downtown seems to be in a restorative state. We haven’t done much traveling in Oklahoma, so it was nice to dip our toes in for the weekend.