Monday, June 10, 2019

Road Trippin'

Old Route 66
Last weekend I went on a road trip with one of my nieces, which was my present to her in celebration of a milestone birthday. In looking at where we might be able to drive on a three day weekend, I realized that if we went to Tulsa, I could possibly have one of my other nieces drive over from Dallas as a surprise. So I proposed to Julie that we drive parts of old Route 66 to Tulsa as there are lots of photo ops along the way. I was afraid she might say "Why Tulsa?", but she accepted my suggestion with no comment, trusting in my judgment. My other niece Sara readily accepted the offer to join us, and I found an AirBNB with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths that could accommodate us for two nights.

Devil's Elbow Bridge

The drive to Tulsa would take about 6 hours if you drove straight there down I-44. But with hopping on and off the interstate to drive the old Mother Road and taking tons of pictures, it took us 11 hours to arrive. Part of that was due to the fact that my car GPS failed in certain areas, as did both my cell service as well as Julie's. Luckily I brought a paper map along to help us navigate! We also ran into flooding in Miami, Oklahoma while on Route 66. It took awhile to find someone who could offer advice on avoiding other flooded roads so we could get to the Turnpike to continue on to Tulsa. But as they say, it's about the journey not the destination. We have stories to tell!

Sara and Julie
Once in Tulsa we pulled into the driveway of our rental house, and Julie was more than surprised to find Sara there. It was a moment! We took off for a late dinner, then returned to enjoy margaritas and rousing games of Yahtzee.

Tulsa icons
The Gathering Place

Saturday we spent the day exploring Tulsa, and of course hitting the local Route 66 icons. Tulsa, while suffering some of the flooding much of the US is experiencing, is a vibrant, fun city that offered lots of things for us to do and see. We got rained on a bit after lunch, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the day together. Following dinner, we again retuned to our Yahtzee game.

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast at the house since checkout time was not until 11. Then we made our way to the Blue Whale, reportedly one of the most photographed spots in the area. We were fortunate enough to meet the custodian of the property, a man whose parents had established the tourist spot. He was fascinating to talk to. Spying a sign for the Nut House in the parking lot as we were leaving, we had to check that out. The store has a fun gift shop in addition to offering fudge, coffees, teas, and other goodies. For sure we had to try (and buy!) some fudge, and as they also had a delicatessen, we decided to just order sandwiches and have a last meal together before we took off for home.

the Blue Whale
the Nut House and Grand Falls

Sara headed west to Dallas, and Julie and I went northeast. We were bound and determined to find the spot where you can stand in three states at the same time. We couldn't locate it on the way down, but this time we were armed with directions from a Route 66 enthusiast. We easily drove right to it this time.

laying on Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma

We also stopped at Grand Falls by Joplin, Missouri. What a wonderful spot! There were many people taking advantage of the cold water on a hot summer day. After that we stuck to I-44 as we still had a long drive ahead of us. We grabbed a quick dinner in Rolla, but it was still 10:20 by the time we reached my house.

stopped to capture this beautiful sunset
I am blessed to have be able to call these two wonderful, fun-loving women my nieces, and I am grateful that it worked out for the three of us to spend the weekend together. I just wish we had been able to make the trip longer than three days.

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