A Crazy Story & Oklahoma Vacation Pics

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are you ready for this?!  Before you begin, you'd better grab a cup of coffee or at least a handful of M&M's, because you're going to need a little caffeine and/or sugar to get you through this one ;).  And if you're not interested in reading at all, well, I understand.  No worries!  I promise not to take it personally ;).  I'll be back, tomorrow, to share both a Market Street Stamps feature and a brand new, little something from Paper Sweeties.  So, I hope you'll stop back by for another visit then.  Without further adieu, it all begins with a little, Sunday afternoon visit to see and crazy story about my sweet friend, Laurie.
If you can believe it, Laurie, literally, lives less than five minutes from my little sister, whom we had stayed the night with after the wedding, and I wasn't going to miss a chance to catch up.  We were doing just that, at her beautiful, country home, when she mentioned that she grew up in McPherson, Kansas.  Well, I was born in McPherson and still have lots of family living there.  So, I was thinking, what a coincidence, and told her.  Then, she said that her dad went to college there, and I said, "So did my Dad.  My cousin and his wife went there for a little, too."  By now, her eyes are getting big, and I'm all naive thinking this is just such a coincidence.  Immediately, she said, "What's your Dad's name?" to which I replied, "Larry Green."  She was covering her mouth by then, but said, "There must be two Larry Greens..." to which I'm thinking, really, because Larry isn't a super popular name by any means.  LOL! "...because the Larry Green I knew moved to Emporia a long time ago," she finished.  "Yep!  We moved from McPherson to Emporia, when I was in the second grade," I said.  Then, she asked,"Like Luke?  Because I knew a Luke and Rod Green (Rod is my Uncle.), when I was working at the lumber yard."  And I said, "Luke is my cousin!"

Then, she told me her parents' names to which I responded, with eyes bugging out of my head and chills racing down my spine, "I know that name!"  By then, she's pulling out her scrapbook albums and getting her mom, who starts telling us how we should know each other, on the speaker phone.  During all that, she finds a picture of her parents, and I shout, "I know you!" to her mom, who is still on the phone and probably thinking I'm a lunatic.  And all this was happening while our kiddos and hubbies were hanging out, giving us all the time in the world.  Gotta love it!
Guys, this is just the craziest thing ever!  Laurie and I played together, when we were little.  She says she remembers coming over to our house on Pine Ct. and getting Christmas cards of my family with all of us girls in matching dresses.  I so was NOT a fan of those matching dresses, so we'll just keep that between us ;).  Then, as soon as we left, I got on the phone with my Mom, and she starts recounting stories of times together with Laurie's family and even a trip my parents took with Laurie's mom and dad to Colorado, where she got a leaf sculpture that hung over our fireplace until just a few years ago.

To make a long story short, we exchanged our dads' phone numbers; and they, too, caught up with one another the very next day.  I'm thinking that we're definitely supposed to know one another, since the Lord brought us back together, after all this time, through our love of papercrafting.  So, Laurie, we'd better not mess with fate ;).  Love you, girl!  We were obviously there just a wee bit longer than we had planned.  LOL!  So, a snooze in the car got Adina through another day...
but by Sunday night, we all were snuggled into our hotel room in Oklahoma City, absolutely exhausted from all the events of the last couple of days, and gearing up for a trip to the Oklahoma City Zoo on Monday morning.
By now, I know you all know how much we love zoos, and this one was no exception.  It's totally worth the visit, if you're ever in their neck of the woods!  It would've even been better, if it had been just a wee bit warmer, so my kiddos could've taken advantage of all the water play features.  But the playgrounds and slides and plethora of animals to see kept us busy for most of the day.
A super cold, breezy, afternoon rain did send us to the shelter of the gift shop via the tram...
but we got right back out there to see the rest of the zoo, just as soon as it blew over.
Then, we ended the day with a swim back at our hotel.  Matter of fact, we began Tuesday in the same way.  I think the swimming pools just might be my kiddos' favorite part of vacations ;).
For lunch, we headed to The Wedge Pizzeria in Bricktown, where we also met up with BJ's sister, Hannah, and her hubby, Johan, who came up, from Dallas, Texas, to see us.  They brought a sweet, birthday gift for my baby girl who's turning four-years-old on Thursday.  Gosh, where does the time go?!
And while we were waiting for our pizzas to arrive, our waiter brought out plates of pizza dough for my kiddos to entertain themselves with.  Matter of fact, Adina wasn't much interested in eating the pizza itself.  So, he even delivered her a plate of yummy fruit on the house.  Talk about a kid friendly place to be!
Then, we took a narrated canal cruise on a Water Taxi, where one of the most interesting things we learned was that Oklahoma City wasn't the first capitol of Oklahoma.  It was originally located in Guthrie, but some people from Oklahoma City decided that their city should've been named the capitol.  So, in the middle of the night, they stole away to Guthrie, snatched the state seal, sunk it in concrete, and ran a front page newspaper story about how Oklahoma City was officially the new capitol.  Strangely enough, it stuck!
We also saw Sonic Headquarters (This one's for you, Kim!)...
Oklahoma City's minor league Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark...
and Rocktown, which is Oklahoma City's premiere rock climbing destination.  They actually climb the outsides of those grain elevators.
Bricktown is also home to the Centennial Land Run Monument, which is one and a half times larger than life and depicts the opening of Indian Land in Oklahoma.  At present, there are nineteen monuments; but when complete, there will be a total of 46 to represent Oklahoma being the 46th state to join the union.  It will also be one of the largest freestanding bronze sculptures in the world.
It's also interesting to note that they drain this man-made canal every two years for maintenance and cleaning, and the last time it was drained, they found over $6,000; five bicycles, including a police bike; three baby strollers, but no babies (Sigh of relief.); purses; cell phones; and numerous other artifacts.  Crazy!
We then did a little shopping, before hitting Bricktown Candy Co. for frozen gelato...
and heading uptown, on the free trolley...
to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial.  The time panels, on either side of the reflection pool, represent the minute before and minute after the bombing on April 19, 1995.
There were 168 precious lives lost that day, represented by the memorial chairs (little ones for children) all set neatly in nine rows for each one of the floors of the federal building.
Here Johan, Hannah, and my kiddos sit in front of one of the original walls of the Murrah Building.  The other side of it boasts pieces of granite, salvaged from the lobby, which house the names of the 600+ survivors.
And this is the 80+ year old Survivor Tree, which is an American Elm Tree that survived the bomb's blast.  According to the website, The Survivor Tree is a symbol of human resilience. Today, as a tribute to renewal and rebirth, the inscription around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”
It was absolutely beautiful, but it was also just about all our day could hold.  So, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel for baths and bedtime.  On Wednesday morning, we packed up and headed for home but were sure to carve out a little time for Applejack Pumpkin Patch in Augusta, Kansas.
It was such a wonderful, needed, and energizing trip!  Thank you for stopping by to share in our memories!  Hugs!

10 comments:

Miriam Prantner said...

I love this story! Laurie is awesome, and how cool for you guys to reconnect.....please share some of those matching dress photos....pretty please???

Annette said...

ok wow what a story..how cool is that. God has lead you back together for a reason...I think that is amazing..you were childhood friends. Small world..hehe.. thanks for sharing..

Love all your photos...

Lynn said...

That is the coolest story ever...made my heart so happy when I read it on Laurie's blog. I'm sure your parents are so excited to reconnect too. Looks like a fabulous week JInny!

Lisa said...

I read this story on Laurie's blog too...shivers huh! So happy for the reconnecting all around Jinny. And so happy you had a great vacation!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Ok.. that story gave ME chills!!! How AMAZING that you two reconnected!!!!! I love love love love all the pics!!!! Looks like a great time for everyone!!!!

Ros Crawford said...

Such an amazing story Jinny ... The Lord works in mysterious ways! Love your photos .. you guys had a trip to remember!

Laine Kammeraad said...

Oh Jinny - I loved reading everything you wrote about your trip. I laughed, got teary eyed and just enjoyed all of it. The photos were amazing and I am so delighted you and your family had such a great time. It never ceases to amaze me how God brings people back into our lives. Your children are adorable.

Hugs and smiles

Laine

Colleen Dietrich said...

Many amazing photos, Jinny. What a neat trip you had! Loved reading your story about you and Laurie. God works in the most awe-inspiring ways, doesn't He?

Tracy said...

WOW! What a cool story of you two rediscovering your previous friendship. Must have been meant to be. :-) Lots of amazing photos Jinny. You guys have been super busy. Hugs!

Laurie said...

OK I was waiting for this post, watching my reader and I TOTALLY MISSED IT! AGH! I loved reading it and seeing all the pictures! SO awesome! SO so glad we figured this all out! We must get together soon!! Sending huge hugs your way!!!