Vacation this year – with the consent of my indulgent husband – was to involve a road trip of nearly 1,600 miles to see the Mall of America in Minnesota.
But when we got the news that our dog has cancer and needs lots of pills, a “staycation” in Oklahoma City was in order. We knew there were plenty of things we hadn’t gotten around to trying.
Our first stop was Oklahoma History Center, with a bargain entry fee of $5 (unless you’re a senior citizen or a student, and then it’s cheaper).
The center, which is across NE 23 from the Governor’s mansion, has a gorgeous view of the state capitol from an atrium that displays a replica of Wiley Post’s airplane, the Winnie Mae.
We studied displays from the early days of television in Oklahoma City, including Danny Williams’ Adventures of 3-D Danny show; a video game that lets you try drilling for oil; a space capsule salvaged from the Gemini program; and a tent mounted atop a vintage car that – so they say – slept four.
Next came a trip to Remington Park, where we ate too much at the casino buffet and played a little video poker.
At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, my husband enjoyed the firearms displays; I liked the sculptures and bronzes.
A couple days later we were among the thousands who headed downtown for the American Idols Live concert at the Ford Center. Dinner beforehand was at Falcone Pizza and Deli, where (who knew?) you can get a chocolate egg cream to drink. (Hint: It’s a fizzy New York treat that doesn’t involve any egg.)
The next day, we lined up at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art for tickets to view Roman art from the Louvre, on display through Oct. 12. A guard told me that visitors are pretty respectful of the priceless sculptures, some of which date to the time of Christ. Nevertheless, he said, some people can’t resist the temptation to touch.
Lunch was at Pops in Arcadia (5 miles east of Interstate 35 on State Highway 66). We ordered thick burgers and picked out bottles of grape and black cherry pop. The bottle opener in my husband’s pocketknife came in handy.
Having trouble choosing a root beer? A manager knows the finer points of each brand. There’s a wide variety of other soda, including birch beer, sarsaparilla and even diet chocolate soda.
We bought a bottle of Green River soda for my mother, who remembers it from her childhood. And believe me, it’s scarily green.
At week’s end, we hadn’t run out of things to do. Riding the boat on the Oklahoma River is at the top of our list of things to do next time.
- Chris Schutz, staff writer