Sunday, June 10, 2012

Road Trippin: Oklahoma City

Heading from New Orleans to Oklahoma was quite the trip, so we stopped to rest for the night in Dallas.  The trip to Dallas in itself was insane thanks to lots of road work and a very bad accident.  Most of the interstate in southern Louisiana is built up on a bridge because of all the water and swampland, and a truck flipped somewhere ahead of us on the road.  Since you're on a several mile long bridge, there wasn't really anywhere to go, so people were getting out of their cars and chatting with each other for the hour or so we were stranded there.  I know of at least two cars who ran out of gas, and another that got bumped by a semi.  It was really bad.


But finally, after forever, we made it to Oklahoma City.  And probably the most amazing Sleep Inn ever.  We actually stayed two nights in Oklahoma so that we could see everything.  There was actually a lot of neat things that we didn't get to do, but we hit a few major ones that I was really excited for.


The first thing of course is Rt 66.  Oklahoma contains the longest stretch of the mother road, and they have a whole museum dedicated to it.  The Rt 66 Museum was actually about an hour and a half outside of Oklahoma City, but it was well worth the trip to visit.  It had a bunch of interesting information about America's Highway, and had an original stretch of the road nearby.


Then there was the very random Museum of Osteology. It contained several skeletons of many many different kinds of animals, including a humpback whale.  


The museum is small, but it's also relatively inexpensive, about $6 to get in.  It was very interesting and it would be a great place for kids since anything not protected by glass is allowed to be touched.


To end our day, we visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, which was remarkable.  We spent several hours in the museum, and could have easily spent more.  I was only 6 years old when this bombing occurred, and I knew very little about it until I came here.  The museum is very worth visiting, but be sure to come back at dusk to visit the memorial as well.


There are 168 chairs dedicated to the 168 people who died in the bombing of the Murrah building on April 19, 1995.  The smaller chairs represent the 19 children who died in the attack, most of them in the daycare located on the second floor.  The chairs stand in the place the building once stood, with the only remaining wall surrounding them.  In front of the chairs, where 5th Street ran before the bombing, is a reflecting pool, and on either side of it are the "Bookends of Time."  One says 9:01, the other says 9:03.  The bombing occurred at 9:02.


This was a very beautiful memorial.  The people involved in designing it truly did an amazing job, and I think everyone should visit here and learn the impact of violence.  It was very moving, and something I will never forget.


Even though Oklahoma was one of my favorite states, the time came to leave, so we packed up the car to hit our last destination before heading home.  Stay tuned!

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