Museums, Memorials, Steaks and Some College Football

16 Sep

This weekend, I traveled to Oklahoma with my nephews and Larry, a friend that you have read about. We went for a college football game but did a few other things, as well. At least, we did a few other things once we arrived. That, in and of itself, was an adventure.

We arrived at the Nashville airport in anticipation of a quick trip to Oklahoma City. That quick trip turned into a two-hour delay for mechanical problems. Once we got into the air, the plane was redirected due to weather. That added another couple of hours to the flight. A three-hour layover in Houston suddenly turned into a missed connection. When we landed, we discovered that the connecting flight was delayed because the plane had not left New Orleans. We did not miss our connection, but we still had to sit around for a couple of hours.

All of that adds up to a couple of things. First, a night of messing around Oklahoma City was cut short. Second,  I was reminded why I hate flying. If I am driving, then I know what the schedule is going to be. In an airport, I have to wait for somebody else to screw up.

Anyway, we made it to Oklahoma City and to our hotel. With little time to spare, we went to a couple of places that were high on the agenda.

I have been to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum many times on our annual field trip to New Mexico. We make a point to stop and show our students the site of the Murrah Federal Building, which was blown up in the first major terrorist attack in the United States. However, I had never seen it at night. I have heard that this is the time to visit. The memorial is lit up and the feelings of what happened there hit the hardest.image-9

I must say that it was a beautiful site to see, and the memorial is an appropriate tribute to the people who lost their lives.image-8

My oldest nephew had been there before, but my youngest nephew had not. I am glad that he got to see it. Unfortunately, we could not stay for long because we had our name on the list at our next destination.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is a well-known restaurant across the river in Stockyards City. It has been around for decades and is known as the best steakhouse in Oklahoma. Some friends who were already there placed our name on the list, and we needed to get there before our buzzer went off.

The place was packed with people from Tennessee. Apparently, they all got the word that this was the place to eat. Heck, they could have seen it on Guy Fieri’s television show. It is a cool restaurant with a great atmosphere and a great history. If John Wayne and Ben Johnson have eaten there, then it must be a great place.

With all of that being said, I was disappointed with the food. The steak was pretty good, but it was far from the best I have ever eaten. It is no comparison to the Land of Magic in Manhattan, Montana. I am glad that we went because we can always say that we were there, but I hope that Oklahoma has better steak places.

After a long day of flights and a big meal of food, we were ready to pack it in for the day. Besides, the important day was coming up. There was a big night game to be played down the road, and there were a few more places to visit before heading to the stadium.

I had not been to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum since I was a kid, and, honestly, I did not know much about it. I figured it would be cheesy, but, with a lot of time on our hands, it was something to do. I could not have been more wrong. This was one of the best museums I have ever seen. Rooms were filled to the brim with artifacts, art and anything that a lover of the American West would want to see.image-11

There was a room full of firearms, but that was not my favorite. I liked the artwork by Frederick Remington, C.M. Russell and others. I also liked the room dedicated to movies, which had an extensive collection of John Wayne’s personal belongings. There was a painting based on The Searchers that I would steal if I know how to be an art thief. There were also props from a bunch of my favorite movies.image-10

I cannot write about the museum without mentioning the rodeo room, which places you in the middle of the ring, and the room with the town, which places you on the streets of an old cattle town. The only thing missing was a brothel, and I still have not gotten over that disappointment.

We left that museum with the intention of visiting the ASA Softball Hall of Fame. My dad is in the Tennessee Hall of Fame, and we know several people who are enshrined in the national one. Unfortunately, it is closed on the weekends. One would think that the weekend would be a good time to open the doors.

With all of that behind us, it was time to drive to Norman and the football game between the University of Tennessee and the University of Oklahoma. The game did not go the way we wanted, but we had a great trip. We saw some interesting things and visited some interesting places. Like always, it is always good to travel, but it is also good to return home.

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8 Responses to “Museums, Memorials, Steaks and Some College Football”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong September 16, 2014 at 20:03 #

    That sounds like a museum worth the time.

    I do not hate flying. I hate airports and airlines. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stranded at airports because of mechanical problems, weather at some distant airport, had a connecting flight cancelled with no help in getting a new one even offered. We drive whenever we can and though I believe there is one more long trip with flying involved in our future, I suspect that will be the last one. I get upset thinking about it.

    Glad it worked out and in the end, you had a great trip.

  2. Marilyn Armstrong September 16, 2014 at 20:25 #

    P.S. Sent link to Garry. Maybe we’ll put the museum on our list. I think we have one westward excursion in our future, probably our 25th anniversary.

    • Rick September 16, 2014 at 21:26 #

      There is nothing like a trip into the West. If you get close to Oklahoma City, then you should definitely see the museum and the memorial.

  3. satanicpanic September 17, 2014 at 04:54 #

    That memorial looks really haunting, probably especially at night.
    I’m going to that museum if I’m ever in OK. I remember visiting a great Western art museum in WY, but it was so long ago I can’t remember where.

    • Rick September 17, 2014 at 12:34 #

      There is a good one in Cody, Wyoming named for Buffalo Bill.

      • satanicpanic September 17, 2014 at 14:10 #

        Must have been the one. I remember the Remingtons in particular

  4. Andrew Petcher September 17, 2014 at 06:34 #

    Being a western fan I would like to see that museum!

    • Rick September 17, 2014 at 12:35 #

      It is a great place to visit. It had a large variety of things. Something for everyone.

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