Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Escape

Needless to say, things have been busy in our life lately. So busy that I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks, not that I blog all that often anyway. Melissa and I decided several weeks ago that there was so much going on in our lives and things were moving so fast that we just needed a little break. We decided to plan a weekend "mystery trip" for the whole family to get away and just relax a bit. But where should we go?

You may or may not know that I graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Every fall people from across the state converge on OKC (Oklahoma City) for the annual Oklahoma State Fair. Having come from such a large state with several major metropolitan areas, it was always a unique experience to be at an event that is attended by a majority of the state. Anyway, we have talked about taking the kids to the fair for several years and so it made the perfect choice for our weekend away.

As it turns out, our destination ended up not being much of a mystery. I slipped the location of our "mystery trip" not once but THREE times before we got there! Melissa was not happy with me. Aric wanted her to make clues to give him along the way so that he could guess where we were going. She did a great job making the clues and the boys enjoyed them thoroughly, especially the one that included spending money. They would have been surprised if only I could have kept my big mouth shut, but they were thrilled none the less.

We stopped in Shamrock on the way to take pictures of the boys in front of the famous Tower Conoco and as soon as we did three vintage Ford Thunderbirds pulled up. They were making a treck through all 48 continental U.S. states and just happened to arrive at the Route 66 landmark at the same time we did which was at 7:00 on Saturday morning. Since the building was used as a model for the Pixar movie "Cars" and since Aric is a huge "Cars" fan, it couldn't have been more perfect. And it made the photo op even more memorable.

When we arrive in OKC we headed straight for the fairgrounds. While standing in line we watched five airplanes "skytyping" messages in the sky. Once we were inside the gate, we headed directly to the midway. Every carnival ride I had ever seen was on this midway, but we decided to go to some of the shows and exhibits first. We went in the car show and saw all the latest models and even got to sit in some of them. We saw a sea lion show and a dog show called "Jump!" and even a tropical bird show. We walked through several exhibit halls and ate plenty of fair food. We had a funnel cake, an Indian taco, a calzone, snow cones, and cotton candy not to mention several sodas. Before we knew it, it was 3:00 and we were exhausted. When we got back to the midway and saw the long lines the boys decided we should just go back to the hotel and swim. Sounded good to me.

The hotel, however, didn't quite live up to our expectations. When we finally found it, it was undergoing major renovations and as a result, the pool was not heated. I never realized just how cold an unheated, indoor pool could be. I dipped one foot in the "ice pool" as it came to be known and I knew there was no way I was going to be taking a dip. The boys, though, were undetered. They both braved the cold water, but didn't last long. Fifteen minutes later and they were both still shivering, so we headed back to the room to get ready to go eat dinner. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants called Charleston's. It was a satisfying ending to long but enjoyable day.

We woke the next morning and did a little shopping before heading home. We went to Penn Square mall and I got to go to my first Apple Store. Wow! It was great. Even the boys loved it. There were iMacs, MacBooks, iPods, and iPhones everywhere and you could play with all of them. We almost couldn't get Alex and Aric out of there. After a few more stops we decided that it was time make our way back to Childress.

The trip was so successful that we decided we needed to do it again. In fact we are going to try to do it at least tree times a year. It certainly served its purpose. We all felt better because we were able to relax and not think about the everyday pressures of life for just a little while. I don't know where we'll go on our next "mystery trip", and since I can't seem to keep a secret I'm pretty sure Melissa will keep it a mystery to me as well.


Stephanie said...

what a great idea...that is something that we try to do...just to get away and not worry about anything ...and just have fun...y'alls pictures were great..take care of yourself....there is nothing better than an NO STRESS trip...steph

The Vannoy Family said...

We truly are blessed to have such a sweet pair of boys! It was perfect weekend! I love you!

Amanda KP said...

i love this idea!!! i am NOT good at keeping secrets either, so erik will have to be in charge if we ever do this!! :)

Anonymous said...

awesome...i love that idea of a mystery cool!