Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Dirt Rovings

For My Town Monday I thought I'd travel 240 miles east of Amarillo and show y'all a few sights from my recent trip to Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City is the capital and the largest city in Oklahoma. With a population of 580,000 it ranks 31st among United States cities. It's entire metro area is home to 1.2 million Okies, but don't hold that against the place for there are a lot of things to do in the area. Being from Texas I had to get at least one dig in regards to our stately neighbors. Texas and Oklahoma has a good healthy rivalry that spreads to many areas but is most prominent in collegiate athletics and mumbled cursings about how the others drive.

On April 19th 1995 the Alfred P Murrah federal building was bombed and 168 people lost their lives.

Today the site is the home of a memorial and looks like this ...

It is a very somber place and standing, looking at the 168 empty chairs is a stark reminder of how fragile life can be.

Oklahoma City is home to a water park named White Water Bay and an amusement park of medium size named Frontier City. Neither rank as tops in their field but both provide good family fun at fairly reasonable prices. Especially if you are a tightwad like me, and gather coupons.

The city is also home to The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the National Softball Hall of Fame, but I have not been to either in years so I can't weigh in on any current exhibits or features.

My family did visit the Science Museum of Oklahoma and we had a blast. The boys learned to ride a segway, flew a stunt plane in a simulator and discover whet it feels like to stand outside in a  tornado. We spent over 4 hours exploring the place and could have spent twice that much had time permitted.

Along with the NBA Thunder, the team is home to several minor league teams such as the Oklahoma Barons of the American Hockey League. The Barons are the top affiliate for the Edmonton Oilers, but of course this isn't hockey season so my family had to settle for a trip to Bricktown Ballpark to watch the AAA Oklahoma Redhawks, the Houston Astro's top minor league team play.

The crowd was sparse and the Redhawks lost but my boys had a blast and both of them snagged foul balls to take home as souvenirs.

And of course the University of Oklahoma is just south of the city in Norman to provide a variety of minor league sports. (Sorry my long standing dislike of the Sooners prompted yet another dig)

Oklahoma City has done a great job transforming their old warehouse district into an entertainment district known as Bricktown complete with restaurants, shops, a riverwalk, nightclubs, and manhole covers.

Manhole covers you say?

Yep. And only in Oklahoma would a sewer be considered sanitary.

Dang it, there I go again. Guess you can take the Texan to Oklahoma but you can't take Texan out of him even while he's there.


Reb said...

Lovely memorial Travis. Glad you had fun, I would have been excited to see the science museum too.

Old Kitty said...

Oklahoma for me will forever be the musical! Yay that your and your family had such fun visiting this fine city! The memorial is lovely. take care

Jerry said...

I've not spent much time in Oklahoma, always just drove through. Maybe I should slow down next time.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've been to oklahoma city a few times. Would like to ride a segway

Chick said...

The memorial looks lovely & makes me want to visit Oklahoma City. I can only hope the 911 Memorial will be that beautiful (whenever they finish it).