Today we are headed into Oklahoma to see the memorial for the bombing of the Federal Building.
We got going about 9am. The drive should be a couple of hours and we are hoping to find some decent parking when we arrive. Yesterday in Dallas wasn’t our favorite when it come to getting around a big city. The amount of highway construction is really amazing! I expect that we will see a lot of it but I think we have seen the biggest projects in Texas and Oklahoma. They have so much road torn up for miles and miles! The traffic wasn’t too bad which was a blessing.
We arrived in Oklahoma City around 11am. We came in by the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This is home to their basketball team, the Thunder. Scott really wanted to go take a picture by the stadium to show his distaste in our Sonics being sent here now 8 years ago…that guy can hold a grudge 🙂 No, we are glad that the city got a great team to cheer on but we sure miss them! Thanks a lot Howard Schultz.
There were a bunch of RV’s parked in a lot near the arena so we were excited to see that there may be a place to park…we asked a lady at the entrance to the lot. Apparently there was a dog show so unless you had a pass to park there you had to find other parking. What do you think Gizmo? Deciding that the memorial was more important than Gizmos 15 seconds of fame we ended up finding some street parking. Wow, that was a great deal! It is two hour parking so we took it and then took Gizmo with us because it was already 85 degrees but felt hotter out. We had about a mile to walk to the memorial.
We walked by the Botanical Garden and later found out it is free to enjoy with the exception of the conservatory. They have a off leash dog area, a little kids splash park and really lovely grounds. There was even a line of food trucks right there for the families to have a snack or treat. Really, really neat…and right in town. If we had time that would have been a neat place to stop.
The walk took us awhile and it was hot. Sticking to the shady side of the street helped. The memorial takes up a whole block.
It is framed by The Gates of Time. The east gate represents 9:01am on April 19, 1995 and the innocence of the city before the attack. The west gate represents 9:03am and the moment the city was changed forever and the hope that came from the horror in the moments and days following the bombing. There is a large reflecting pool that provides soothing sounds and a field of chairs that represent all the lives lost. There were 168 chairs…19 small ones that represent the children who died. It was very somber moment as we looked at the chairs with the names engraved. What a terrible act of terror and what a beautiful way to remember all the loved ones who were lost. The grounds were very pretty and there was a tree there that withstood the whole thing, now titled The Survivor Tree. There is a children’s area where hand painted tiles were sent to Oklahoma City by children and a little orchard of flower and nut bearing trees titled the Rescuers Orchard. There is small section of the wall that is original and stands as a reminder of the violence. Pieces of granite from the lobby now have names of the survivors of the attack inscribed on them. There are over 600 names. Outside of the West Gate there are still sections of the original fence that was put up right after the attack where people have left over 80,000 tokens of love, hope and remembrance.
This Oklahoma City tragedy was the worst attack on US soil until 9/11. We all enjoyed seeing this memorial and its a great reminder of our freedoms and how we take them for granted.
We were an hour into our 2hour window of parking time and decided to see if we could find somewhere to get lunch that would allow dogs. This is tricky. I had remembered that they do have much smaller version of a river walk so we headed toward the Bricktown District of the city. They have their city all titled with about 10 different districts. It was a really nice city to walk around. Bricktown was super cute. Such great architecture and buildings. I think spending some time in OKC would be really fun. From our quick walking tour it sure seems like a great place. The river walk wasn’t very big or happening (although it is 1pm on a Wednesday….not really party time for most) and we finally found a place that would let us have our dog on the patio. We were so parched that the guy had to refill our waters about 30 seconds after giving them to us 🙂
The food was okay but the location was lovely. The shade a the breeze helped to cool us all down pretty well. By the time we were leaving we were over our 2 hour window and hoping that the RV was still there and that we didn’t have a big ticket on our windshield. Happy to see the RV ticket free we all climbed in took off to the next destination…Wellington, Kansas. What’s in Wellington you may ask…nothing but a KOA for us.
Our KOA is quite clean and nice. The girls found the smallest little frog in the grass. Great little pool to cool off in. We met a boy named Tyler who was very forward. Funny all the different types you run into while on the road. Lets just say Tyler made us not swim after dinner 🙂 Dinner was enjoyed outside and tasted great. Ben helped get it all ready, trying to pass on the grill skills.
We are now on the “go, go , go” portion of the drive. Ultimately we are going to end up at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Kansas and Nebraska are just the states we are going to bust thru to get there. I am sure that there are things to see but we only have 10 days left and want to spend a day exploring the Badlands, go and hang out on Flathead Lake in Montana and then visit my aunt and uncle in Kettle Falls before we make it back to Bellingham. Our kids are having a great time but they are really missing their friends and our kitty (who is getting so big). Our friend who is housesitting for us has sent us a picture here and there and its fun to see Oskar. It is always good to come home but we are trying to make the most of our time away as well.
This has been a blessing to be able to be gone and seeing so much. Spending time traveling and hanging out as a family is something I do not take for granted. What a gift.
Tomorrow is a driving day for Scott. We are trying to get midway up into Nebraska. The humidity is lessening which makes all the difference! Thanks for reading and for the prayers for safe travels!