Daytripping in Oklahoma City

I never really had this city on my list of destinations, but now that I’m mostly in the southern US, why the heck not?!  So what does OKC have to offer anyway. Like any city, upon arrival, I always grab all the tourist brochures and figure out what is supposedly the best things to do in the city.  I usually try to figure out more of the local scene, but in such a short timeframe it wasn’t too imperative this time. For OKC…I decided to stick with the highlights.

First stop…

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Inside the paid area of the botanical gardens.

Myriad Botanical Gardens.  This 15-acre botanical garden sits in the middle of the city and is home to thousands of beautifully displayed tropical and desert plants.  The garden is like a symphony of plants orchestrated to be together. The garden is free and if you want to step into tropical zone the cost is $8 for Adults and $5 for children.  Get ready to sweat when you step in there, even on a hot day it felt like I was walking into a sauna cranked up to 100 degrees.  I was dripping in sweat before I even finished walking through.  From the banana trees to coconuts to cocao to ginger, and lots of other cool plants you may have never seen up close and personal this attraction was a great experience.  I rank this the #1 place to visit in OKC and it’s great for small children.

 

Next…

We jumped back in the car and drove through the Business District, Arts District, and Film Row because it was way too hot to walk around everywhere.

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Civic Center Music Hall

 

We then drove to the Park Plaza area and made a visit to the OKC National Memorial.

OKC National Memorial. This site and museum is a memorial that honors victims, survivors, and rescuers of the Oklahoma bombing in 1995.  A National Park representative spoke for about 10 minutes to give the history and an explanation of the design.  There are two gates, which are marked with the time before the incident and one at the moment everything changed (when the bomb struck).  A field of empty chairs represents the lives taken on April 19, 1995.

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The East Gate is marked 9:01, which represents the moment of innocence for the city.
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9:03 – the moment everything changed
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The Museum and the Survivor Tree.  The inscription next to the tree reads: To the courageous and caring who responded from near and far, we offer our eternal gratitude, as a thank you to the thousands of rescuers and volunteers who helped.

Next…

We drove through Automobile Alley and didn’t really see anything. This must be more popular when there is an actual event happening.  Our drive continued through Deep Deuce, which is a nightlife area and then we parked in Bricktown to grab a late lunch.  There are a many restaurants, bars, and shops here and a nice canal, which also offers boat rides to cruise the canal for 45 minutes.  We wrapped up our day here after eating quesadillas and soft tacos at the Yucatan Taco Stand.

If you like riding scooters, there are plenty of Bird scooters available in this neighborhood.

Cheers to another short and sweet trip completed! #shortandsweettrips

 

A Day at the Canyons in New Mexico

New Mexico has a ton of scenic hikes and at first I didn’t know where to start.  I had seen pictures of canyons, but driving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, it wasn’t as obvious as I expected.  Our hotel in Santa Fe gave us a list of several hiking trails for beginners to advanced outdoors enthusiasts.  Unfortunately, the staff wasn’t helpful and seemed really care-LESS to give us options.  Fortunately, I spoke to the shuttle car driver outside of the hotel and he told me his favorite place in the area is Tent Rocks.  He praised the geology and the appearance of the canyon when it rains.  Well…it wasn’t raining, but I was motivated to be captivated by the features he described.

The next day we drove from Santa Fe toward Albuquerque to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  We arrived at about 1:30 pm and the staff (which are all volunteer) has the entrance blocked because the parking lot was full. Bear this in mind as you will need to wait for people to leave before you can enter.  We waited about 15 minutes, but we have already decided that the next time we visit, we will go first thing in the morning.

We chose to do the Slot Canyon Trail as it goes a little higher up and was supposed to be a bit more challenging and less busy.  Whichever path you choose, know that both trails are clearly marked and well maintained. You will not get lost.  We saw families with toddlers taking in this adventure as well.  The trail got quite narrow at times and sometimes slippery, so exercise caution along the entire route.  This place was another example of God’s beauty and I was mesmerized the entire time.  Rocks tell the tale of the earth’s history.  Hiking through this national conservation you will see the volcanic drama that took place once upon a time.

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Admission: FREE

Parking: $5 cash only

Time to complete the Slot Canyon: 1.2 Miles; 45 minutes up and 50 down (including the time we took to stop in shaded areas and take pictures)

Tips: 1. Arrive early in the day.

2. Bring and drink plenty of water.

3. Wear closed toed footwear. I saw at least 4 people wearing sandals.

Leave a comment and let me know what some of your favorite trails are.

 

How to Pack Light For Any Trip

For the past two years I have traveled with one carry on and one personal handbag.  So many people have asked me how I do it.  For this post I want to share how you can pack light, get through security quickly and travel safe.

Most of my trips are short and sweet and I don’t need to pack a ton of things.  So take this into consideration, if you are going somewhere for 3 or more weeks, this may not be right for you.

Here is what I have in my suitcase as I adventure through Australia for 2 weeks:

4 mini tanks (undershirts)

10 undies and 3 bras

8 pairs of socks

3 t-shirts

1 blouse

2 pants

2 skirts

1 pair of shorts

1 cardigan

1 dress

2 belts

1 hat

1 swimsuit

toiletries (all less than 100 ml)

1 mini first aid kit

1 pair of sneakers

1 pair of flip flops

1 scarf

I wore an ankle boot on the day of travel and carried a jacket suitable for the expected temperature.  It’s summer in Australia and with 30 degrees Celsius temperatures everyday, it was easier to pack light.  My personal handbag is an over the shoulder canvas bag that fits my computer, books, and another mini knapsack.

I always pack everything I might possibly need for health and beauty. From toothpaste to lotions to tweezers, bandaids, and scissors.  Going through security at the airport, I have noticed that all airports have their requirements for what they allow and don’t allow to pass through.  All airports have a zero tolerance for bottled water.  I packed scissors in my bag many months ago and it was confiscated at the airport in Bogota, Colombia.  I had to replace that scissors and have since traveled many times after that incident with my new scissors and was faced with no challenges.  Today I was departing Cairns, Australia en route to Melbourne and my bag was put aside to check the scissors that showed on their x-ray machine.  Good news. They allowed me to keep the scissors because they are round edged.  So note to you…do not carry pointy scissors, even if they are tiny and just for shaping your brows or clipping unwanted nose hairs.

I find that most of the time, the amount of stuff I pack I don’t even use half of the items anyway.  If something gets really smelly, it’s easy to hand wash and hang it up in your bathroom.

What tips do you have for traveling light?

 

 

 

 

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