Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

A Trip to Oklahoma City

Saturday we drove to Oklahoma City for a long weekend trip. We set the map app  to the National Cowboy Museum. We got there at about 2 p.m.  It had been about 3 or 4 decades since I had been to that museum. The look and feel of the place was much as I remembered it. The displays point out the myth v. reality aspect of the American West, but time has perhaps sharpened the contrast.  As at almost any museum in our  region, there was a Bierstadt landscape that was simultaneously lovely and completely unlike anything west of the Mississippi.

The special exhibit at the museum was an exhibition of New Mexico artists, with a special focus on the Taos artists of the early to mid 20th Century. I like this exhibit very well. As I walked through the museum, I kept tabs on the Arkansas Razorbacks team, which was defeating Texas A & M in an upset.

After we finished at the museum, we went and checked into our hotel, the Colcord downtown. The Colcord dates back to 1909 and has been restored beautifully. We checked in and went to dinner outdoors in front of the hotel at Flint, a fine restaurant. We sat and watched streetcars go by, as well as cars and motorcycles which utilized custom mufflers to make special vrrooommmm sounds.

Prior to dinner, we saw a couple walking across the street to their wedding reception. The bride was wearing a lovely dress that was like a cross between a fashionable dress and a wedding gown. The groom wore a nice suit with a cool western hat.

Sunday morning I got up fairly early and walked in the Myriad Botanical Garden across the street from the hotel. The garden is about 17 acres in size. The skies were full of Blue Jays and migrating Monarch butterflies. I liked the flowers. I took pictures of butterflies and Blue Dasher dragonflies.

When we waited at the hotel for our car, the just-married couple stood in silence and awaited their car. I would have told them how their wedding garden was full of butterflies the morning after their wedding, but their silence seemed serene so I stayed silent.

We drove to Martin Park Nature Center, and walked in the cross timbers there among Live Oaks and the park pond. I almost stepped on a harmless Rough Green Snake. I would hate it if I hurt it. Huge catfish and carp swam in the creek. American Robins searched for worms in a clearing.

We set our sights on a new museum, the First Americans Museum. This museum honors the 39 native American tribes that constitute Oklahoma. The museum was really great. One of the initial exhibits we saw was a computer-generated animation which told origin myths from different groups. Another display focused on Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act. The exhibits were a kind of antidote to the mythic west in the cowboy museum. We got a chance to eat at Thirty Nine, the museum cafe which featured native American cuisine which was more varied than, say, frybread. I had a great pork and hominy stew that was hearty and yet not heavy. The only mistake I made was buying a baseball cap too small for my head. My wife now has a new museum baseball cap.

Sunday evening we went to Scissortail Park. This new downtown-adjacent park has open spaces, places to stretch a blanket, rental kayaks and pedal boats, an outdoor water park, a huge scissortail statue on a bridge and other things. We liked this park. Another day, we would have rented kayaks. But that evening we enjoyed just walking the park. I had seen that park develop via its Instagram account. I enjoyed getting to see it again in person.

We ate again at Flint, as we were too tired to do much else. I enjoyed our Oklahoma City visit. During my childhood, we visited a few times. I remembered more of it than I expected.

Monday morning we walked in the Myriad garden again.  We saw dozens of huge boxes of pumpkins about to be used to create a pumpkinville exhibit in the children's garden.

Then we drove back home. We stopped midway home at Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma, which my wife had not seen. This city park has a waterfall and is  set in the rocky Arbuckle Mountains, which are small and ancient rough-hewn mountains/hills. A huge turtle swam in the swimming area.

Tuesday and Wednesday I went back to work. Tuesday evening I walked in Crowley Park. Wednesday evening I walked in Glendover Park.

Wednesday night, tonight, I played in a USCF on-line blitz chess tournament. Lately I have been reading Eric Briffoz's "The Hippo System," which lays out a mildly unorthodox chess opening system. I used that system in all 7 of my games tonight. I finished in second place in the tournament, with 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss. I enjoyed myself as well, though I wish I had not lost the loss and had won one of the draws.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice

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