Saturday, March 8, 2014

I get my kicks on Route 66

Chris and I have always loved to travel. We do travel by air some, but what we really enjoy are road trips. We love the freedom to stop and explore interesting landmarks, get a feel for each state, and take fun photos. And, let's be honest. Some of the best things about road trips are music and junk food, ha! 

While we've traveled a decent bit in other states - and have even braved several road trips with the kids - we haven't really done much in our home state of Oklahoma aside from our trip to OKC in the fall 2012. So, we decided that 2014 would be a year that we would enjoy some attractions close to home. 

Today, we found ourselves with an unusually free Saturday and decided to knock a few Oklahoma attractions from our list. It ended up being cold and rainy today, but we didn't let that dampen our spirits or desire to forge ahead with our daycation :-).

We live not too far from the famous Route 66, but have never spent much time exploring its historic attractions. So today, we began with an attraction that's practically in our backyard. It's the big blue whale (named Blue) in Catoosa, Oklahoma, right off of Route 66. 

In its heyday, this whale was a popular swimming hole. You can see the slides coming from either side of Blue, as well as the ladders to climb back in him. He also has a diving platform. However, swimming is no longer allowed from Blue.

A few years ago Chris was on a business trip in Connecticut. When he got in the elevator at his hotel, he saw a picture of Blue! Apparently, Blue is kind of a big deal :-).

It was cold, windy, and Blue's flooring was a bit rickety over the water. All these reasons equaled a not-so-happy Brianna.

We've passed this interesting landmark (I mean really, who came up with this?) more times than I can count but this is the first time we stopped to explore.

Blue is also equipped with a ladder and a second deck. Do you see Chris's head? I had no desire to climb the scary ladder and Chris had no desire to take the kiddos up there with him. They did enjoy Daddy popping his head out of all the holes, though!

There's even a little picnic area, and apparently souvenirs are sold in that building during warmer weather?

Yes, this is a photo of the bathrooms. I don't know why but it just made me laugh. I passed on seeing the inside, though.

After visiting Blue, we continued down Route 66 into Tulsa. Once again, we're in Tulsa all the time (Chris works there), but we've never driven all the way through Tulsa on Historic Route 66.

Of course, while we were driving, I played some Route 66 themed music . . . songs that mentioned Route 66 or Tulsa. The kids loved it. Themed music makes a road trip!

There has obviously been a great deal of effort put into attracting tourists to this gem in Tulsa. I'm so glad we decided to do this!

We stopped at this Route 66 "Interpretive Plaza" to read a bit about the history of Route 66 (we also had a book we were reading with lots of interesting info).

The other side of these displays had large plaques with historical information.

It was still cold and still windy, so the kids were miserable. This is right before we headed back to the car, so they were OVER IT!

I saw places of Tulsa today that I'm pretty sure I've never seen before.

After driving down Route 66 through Tulsa and Sapulpa, we headed to Agra, Oklahoma. Agra is a pretty typical small town that is home to M's Main Street Cafe where you can get "guns and grub". My friend's sister-in-law owns this restaurant, so that's how we initially heard about it.

When we walked in, every customer in the place was wearing camo. For real! Do you see the guns in the background of this photo? Those are legit for sale! Our mission was to eat somewhere that really felt "Oklahoma". How much more Oklahoma can you get than a place where you can have your burger with a side of ammo?!?

The menu even has a hamburger & gun special, ha! We didn't get that, but we did get the chili cheese fries, cheeseburger, and hot ham and cheese sandwich. It was good eatin'! I really wanted to try their pie as I've heard it's the best, but they were all sold out for the week. Booooo!

After lunch, we trucked on down the road to Pops. Pops is a soda pop themed restaurant/gas station off of Route 66 in Arcadia, Oklahoma that offers more than 500 flavors of soda pop! It has full soda pop bottles displayed in its windows of all colors . . . a neat effect!

The photo above is looking one direction down the wall, and this photo is looking the other direction. The opposite wall has just as many soda pop flavors, and the shelves go all the way to the ceiling! Brianna is holding our purchases (only 6 bottles . . . we didn't want to go overboard). We let each of the kiddos choose one, then Chris and I each chose two.

Brenson chose an orange flavored cream soda. We haven't tried it yet.

Outside of the building is a neon pop bottle that is 66 feet tall. It lights up in LED colorful lights at night, but obviously it wasn't lit up while we were there.

I'm tempted to go back at night just to see it lit up!

It was still cold, windy, and had started raining. We were having a good time, though!

Taking a selfie with four people (including two littles) is ridiculous!

After we got back in the car, we opened Brianna's choice for us all to share - a Jelly Belly Strawberry soda. Our kids rarely get to drink pop, so this was a special treat for sure. This was actually Brianna's second taste and she's just savoring the flavor, ha!

Brenson was a fan of the strawberry soda. It was pretty tasty, and I don't even like fruity drinks at all!

We haven't tried any of our other purchases yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to my Waialua vanilla creme soda from Hawaii. I have high expectations for it!

Most of our two hour drive home was in the rain with two sleeping kiddos. It was a nice time for me to read to Chris about the history and richness of Route 66 without too many interruptions :-). I know, we're nerds, but we had a great day!


Anonymous said...

I adore your blog, and this road trip post left me smiling. Thanks for sharing this happy taste of Oklahoma. I'm glad you're posting regularly again.

Cheryl said...

Fun trip! I've always wanted to do the Route 66 thing through Oklahoma but so far, we haven't. I've been to Pops though and it was fun!