Getting my kicks on Route 66 – Oklahoma and other adventures

Land Run Monument, Oklahoma City
Land Run Monument, Oklahoma City

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Oklahoma this past year – it’s pretty OK (I use that joke on my sister every chance I get sorry I know it’s bad). Actually, though, I’ve fallen in love with Oklahoma City. There’s plenty to do, cost of living is cheap, they have my guilty pleasure Chik-Fil-A, it’s not overcrowded (biggest struggle of this country girl living in Seattle… ugh), etc. There’s no Tim Hortons there, though, which makes it a tough call… although we don’t have them in Washington either. More importantly, though, software engineering jobs are on the west coast where Oklahoma is not. Sad.

So how did a Michigan girl end up frequenting Oklahoma of all places? Well, I’ve got this fantastic boyfriend (who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read this so I can talk about him) who is originally from Tulsa and his family lives in Oklahoma City now. However, for reasons that don’t make interesting reading, he sometimes needs to drive his car between his dorm in Cleveland and his house in OKC. This is where I come in – getting roped into driving between the two cities twice in the span of a year to keep him company and split the driving.

16 hours in a car is not a glamorous thing, especially at night, in bad weather, or with car problems. We first made the drive in May 2014 from Cleveland to OKC – my first big cross country road trip as an adult. It spanned Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri (my first time seeing Missouri), and finally Oklahoma. In January 2015, we did the reverse from Oklahoma to Ohio. My favorite sight along the way is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis – it’s so beautiful! I made him drive for that part just so that I could stare out the window at it. Maybe I’ve gotta check out St. Louis for real someday.

When we were in OKC, we drove out to see a local roadside favorite… Pops!

The giant roadside light up pop bottle in Arcadia, OK
The giant roadside light up pop bottle in Arcadia, OK

It’s easily identifiable with that huge lightup pop bottle. Inside, they have hundreds of varieties of pop that you can buy. I got something called Chai Cola since I’d been on a chai tea kick. I’m not a sugary drink person, but it was pretty good. I know I’m about to sound like a crazy Michigander here, but it tasted a lot like Vernors (which is a strong ginger ale pop). Vernors still won in my book, though.

Chai cola
Chai cola

Another fantastic OKC attraction is called The Escape. Basically, they lock you in a room and you have to use clues in the room to figure out how to escape. I don’t want to give too much away just in case someone goes to do it, but we’ve gone twice (and failed twice… the shame 🙂 ). They take your picture at the end  – here’s our faces of defeat!

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I’d definitely recommend Oklahoma City as a destination, especially if you live in the U.S. and are looking for somewhere “off the beaten path” to visit. Happy travels!

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