Monday, September 22, 2014

Some Hidden Gems in Oklahoma City ...

Although we talked about the Oklahoma State Fair, it was the last day for that event, and the schedule didn't look very inviting for the afternoon.  After a little investigation, Barbara found a couple of gems here in the city.  The long tube on the right in this image is the Crystal Bridge, suspended over the pond below.  This entire area is a well designed botanical garden with several sections set up for various events, from music to plays to weddings.
The Crystal Bridge is like a greenhouse with an atmosphere all it's own ... hot house weather!!  You can walk all around the pool and waterfall area below.  Koi and ducks in the pond are more than happy if you throw them a few morsels.
Just to the left of this huge water sculpture is a children's garden with mountains to climb and tunnels to run through.  The overhead showers and the fountains below in this sculpture,  turn on and off for the kids to play in.  On a hot day like this, the kids were soaked!!!
About half the ducks were asleep on the banks while the other half cruised around in the shade from the Crystal Bridge looking for food.
This lady was sifting through the shallow end of the pond water looking for tasty bugs!!
Inside the bridge, the temperature shot up another humid 20 degrees I'm sure.  My glasses instantly fogged up, which meant my camera was doing the same thing.  I found a cooler spot and waited for the camera to adjust to the new temperature.  Be careful with your gear in these conditions, as they will also fog up INSIDE, for which there is no cure.  Keep them in a bag or rolled up in your jacket until they adjust to the change.  It was a jungle in here!!
Walkways take you clear up to the tippy top where it was even hotter, but not as humid.  Lots of weird cactus were growing there, and about four people huddled in front of a big fan, including me!!
There were lots of exotic flowers, most with plaques stating what they were.  I doubt I'll ever be in the country where these plants live, so I didn't take notes.
From orchids to bromeliads, to thirty foot tall palm trees, it was amazing to see plants I've never seen before, many with funny shapes and lots of thorns!!
I finally had to head back out to the air conditioning and cool off.  When Barbara arrived, she checked out YELP for dinner.  It's a pretty good indicator of excellent food, wherever you might be.  Does this guy look familiar??  Not to me either ... he's Kevin Durant, NBA Basketball star.  He has a restaurant here in Oklahoma City called KD's Southern Cuisine.  
The atmosphere was pretty modern, and although they were crowded for a Sunday afternoon, we didn't have to wait long for a table.  Barbara took this picture and posted it on the internet, making it fair game for my blog!!  To be sure you can watch him on TV, there are several hung around the bar area.  Very simple decor, but elegant.
Okay, modern except for his basketball shoes on the wall.  He has his own line of products for your feet if you're interested!!
He also has GREAT southern food!!  They say most of the recipes are from his mom ... and boy can she cook!!  Barbara had the best "adult" grilled cheese she's had, with smoked gouda.  Tom had fried chicken and waffles while I tried the chicken pot pie, served in a cast iron skillet ... along with a side of smoked gouda mac 'n cheese, just to see if it was good.  It was better than good ... it was the tastiest I've had this entire trip!!  I brought three quarters of it home for breakfast!!
As we walked out the back door, we saw part of this sculpture.  Barbara and Tom navigated around through the new freeway pillars into a far parking lot to find it was a HUGE sculpture with bigger than life horses.  It was the Centennial Land Run Monument with wagons, horses, riders ... even a dog running beside.  It crosses a stream running through the park ... horses stepping out of the water on the far side and the ones on our side coming to a screeching halt (see the pic below).
What a gem to find in the Old Brickyard part of town.  The start of the land rush is depicted here, including the cannon that was the starting gun!!
If you make it to Oklahoma City, be sure and check this out.  If you're a geocacher, you'll find one here on the bridge.  There's a baseball park very close by ... I think they said the farm team for the Dodgers, but I'm not positive.  There's also a basketball arena, so if you're a sports fan, there's lots to do in Oklahoma City!!
When we arrived back home, I was shocked when I entered my rig to find it sweltering hot!!  NO POWER!!  My poor puppies were laying on the floor panting and it was 96 degrees.  I opened every window, turned on every fan to exhaust the heat, hit the generator switch and took the puppies outside where it was cooler.  Once the temp got down a little, I sprayed the dogs with a little cool water and went to see what had happened.  When I opened the box, I could see the plug was melted on one side, so I unplugged the cord quickly.  Why does this stuff happen to me??

Tom and Barbara had gone to the pharmacy, so when they returned, Tom checked out all the lines with the bartender, who went and flipped a breaker on for a different plug I could use.  It seems to be working and I don't think there was any damage to my rig, thanks to the EMS system.  I turned the air back on and I was in business.   Gosh I hate it when that happens!!!  The good news is the puppies are just fine.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is on our radar for today.  Wonder if I can still fit in my levis???

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