Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Visit to Braum's

Ostensibly Lydia's sister Zoe was supposed to be staying with us in Neosho in order to help Lydia get her classroom in order. I don't have any evidence that work was being done over there. What I do know is that I was now buying ice cream for three.

Braum's is a regional Dairy Queen sort of chain, with burgers and desserts in a one stop shop. I read that one thing that makes Braum's unique is that they are really vertically integrated. For example they raise the cows that the beef and dairy products come from themselves. I don't know if it is extra freshness or what but the food is pretty darn good. Lydia says the place reminds her of Culver's.

Alongside the average fast food restaurant setup there is a mini supermarket included! Now that is different. Most of the products are Braum's brand. Haven't seen anything like that before.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our First House Guest

I drove the long road to St. Louis in order to be the star groomsman in my buddy Ryan's wedding. Good times were had in abundance.

Boom. Superfly.

We took Lydia's sister Zoe back to Neosho with us. She stayed for like 5 days.

She hadn't ever been to a casino before so we had to take care of that problem pretty quick at the nearby Indigo Sky Casino. The Indian casinos across the border in Oklahoma have a pretty low age for entry at 18, plus they don't seem to ever check IDs anyway. Compared to this the casinos in Missouri and Illinois are prison camps. There are often long lines of people waiting to get their ID checked by the surly police guarding the door. Boo to that!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Exploring Woolaroc

Woolaroc is a ranch and museum southwest of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It was built by oilman Frank Phillips of Phillips 66 gas station fame. And we saw it all.

After paying admission we were given a CD with a brief audio introduction to the grounds. I thought that was a nice touch.

I don't know if we were there during meal time for some of the animals or what but a couple of them were acting like pretty hungry hungry little hippos. I pulled a couple of big leafy weeds that they couldn't reach and helped a brother out. I'm a hero.

There were a couple of buildings that housed the collections of Phillips as well as some explanations of the history of the place.

Some of the Native American related stuff seemed a little campy. This reminded me of something you might find in a Boy Scout chapel in the woods somewhere.

"The name "Woolaroc" was coined by Mr. Phillips' business associate, Ms. Sydney Fern Butler. The name reflects the principle elements of the FP Ranch--Woods, Lakes, and Rocks.

The Woolaroc name was also applied to a line of appliances and radios sold through the 66 service stations shortly after World War II."

When we attempted to leave we realized the road out was being crossed by a herd of buffalo. I don't think a better ending could have been planned.

Afterward we ate in Bartlesville and poked around a bit. This is Price Tower, the only realized skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hard Rock Tulsa

We took a little trip to Tulsa to stay at the Hard Rock Casino there. It was fun.

I had one too many annoying Oklahoma Turnpike tollbooth experiences so I decided I would stick to the smaller roads to avoid it. The smaller road I took just happened to be Route 66, and as everyone knows magical things happen there.

For example, we saw this amazing creature from the road and just had to stop. The Blue Whale of Catoosa has its own Wikipedia page and yet I do not. Life is not fair.

Molly's Tamale Wagon was nearby, so it turned into an impromptu giant blue whale picnic.

We poked our heads around in Tulsa proper, ate a real dinner, and explored an entertainment district.

I was enamored with this art installation thing at a park. A few rocks, some colored lights, and some mist gave the impression that liquid hot magma was bursting out of hell. It was so simple and yet so awesome.

We had quite a hoot at the casino.

I got like 5 or 10 bucks worth of slots credit just for signing up for their little rewards program thing. I think I ended up leaving with like $115ish. I was really happy with that. Lydia was jealous. I really tore it up on this Family Guy machine in particular.

After I booked my fancy first class return from Belize in June I made Lydia listen to Fergie's song "Glamorous" about 12 times. I'm a dork. Anyway one of the neat little Hard Rock artifacts on the wall was a dress Fergie wore in the music video for that song. Coincidence? Not likely.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Friend

This little guy was taking a midday stroll right in front of my apartment door. This is a juvenile American five-lined skink. It's pretty cool how much more wildlife there is in these here parts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Boot Shopping and the Stockyards

Well we were planning on getting to the Oklahoma National Stockyards early in the morning in order to see the cattle auctions. We couldn't quite get out of the hotel fast enough (my fault), but went to check the place out anyway.

The area surrounding the now cowless stockyards had a lot of cowboy charm, with saddle and boot shops, and little diners.

Lydia wanted to do some boot shopping, until we saw that they cost hundreds of dollars a pair. What the heck?!

I had worked up a mighty Old West hunger so I had steak and eggs with biscuits and gravy on the side.

Just north of Oklahoma City is the little town of Guthrie. Guthrie was the state capital until OKC wrested control of the state. Now it's mostly known for having a really cool historic downtown which we strolled through a bit.

I got back to Neosho with plenty of time to spare for my bi-weekly school commute to Bentonville, Arkansas. Three states in one day isn't bad!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Git Along Little Johnny

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City was excellent and so large that we probably missed half of it. I wondered if the museum was going to cover pop culture cowboys or real cowboys, and the answer is both. It covered the crap out of both.

Lets start this off with a cowboy song! Fun fact: a dogie is a motherless calf.

I've been learning a lot more about Native Americans since I moved from St. Louis.

There was a big section about rodeos that we both enjoyed. We have tickets to two upcoming rodeo events so it was a good primer.

"Let's shoot every last buffalo."
"Great idea!

Prosperity Junction was a high point of the place. It was a really cool recreation of a old Western town. I'd say it was almost theme park quality. Very cool.

We did a little drive by of the capitol building but it's still on our to do list.

Next we headed to Arcadia, OK to Pop's. It had like a gillion sodas for sale. I'll say the coolest gas station I've ever been to.

We finished the long and awesome day with a stroll around an OKC entertainment district.