Oklahoma City and Wichita

Lunch stop, ordering in at a Sonic...don't get salads at Sonic...
stick with what they do best...Burgers...just sayin'

We left Bossier City and the Ramada Inn an hour earlier than what had been scheduled…it feels like most of our bus rides are averaging about 5.5-6 hours…we usually stop for lunch about noon and have a 45 minute break. There is a little grumbling about where we’ve been stopping. Let’s just say they are not the healthiest of choices … think truck driver…anyways…we had a day off and Shay and Shawna and I were looking forward to getting to Oklahoma City. We heard there was a big shopping/tourist area there within walking distance of the hotel. We checked into the Sheraton and I promptly jumped in the shower (as did most of the rest of the tour) to wash off the grime of Bossier City! I have never felt better…it was a short walk to “Bricktown” though we didn’t see much shopping. It’s very much like the river walk in San Antonio, there were river taxi’s and trolley’s. We were a little bummed from the lack of shops but wanted to sit down to a nice dinner…relaxed and chill so when we saw the Mickey Mantle 7 Steak restaurant we thought when in Oklahoma! Shay and I had both been craving beef and it we were not disappointed with MM7. We ordered fried pickles, something I had never had and LOVED and fried mushrooms. We both got the fillet but I resisted the urge to add the potato...it’s a good thing because we were stuffed by the end of the meal. It was pretty pricey, though a good meal, but if you know Mick and I at all you know that we love to go to our local Long Horn Steakhouse and I actually think it’s better and half the price. After we gorged ourselves on steak we hopped on the trolley (it’s only a quarter to ride) and went to the site and now memorial of the Oklahoma City bombings… If you ever get a chance to go there I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful tribute to those lost there. The memorial park is flanked by two huge walls displaying the time of the minute before the bombing 9:01am and after 9:03, symbolizing the innocence before and the time their life changed after. A reflecting pool spans the distance between the two walls where the old 5th street used to be. Remnants of the old building are still visible and in the museum next door this is suppose to be a room that is left exactly as it was after the bomb went off so you can see the impact the explosion had on the buildings in the immediate area. On the grass where the building used to stand are bronze chairs, each representing a life lost, the smaller chairs represent children. They are arranged in 9 rows and represent the lives lost on each of the 9 floors. On the other side of the reflecting pool is the Survivor Tree. This tree was practically blown away during the blast. Debris and shrapnel were embedded in the trunk and for a while it looked like this tree would not make it…but miraculously it did come back and stands as a living reminder of triumphing over this terrible event. Across the street is a church, and they have set up their own memorial. I found their statue of a weeping Jesus particularly moving. All in all Oklahoma City was pretty amazing.

Mickey Mantle 7 - Fillet

Me at the back of the trolley.  This one was not as authentic as the Memphis one but was pretty cool and cheap none the less!

Survivor tree to the left.  9:03 wall to the right.  Reflecting pool in front.  I love how they paid tribute to the minute before the minute after but the minute that the bomb actually went off. 

9:03 am...

Memorial chairs, the clear parts are engraved with the names of those who were killed.
They glow at night giving the illusion of floating.

Remnants of the old building foundation.

The sun started to set as we were leaving.

Weeping Jesus.

After our day off in OC we hit the road for Wichita where we had two shows. We drove straight to the venue, which is always rough for us musicians, especially the brass. Being on a bus all day and then having to play a double with little to no warm up is a real test of your skills. In addition we have to bring our concert clothes, make up, etc with us on the coach because we usually do not have access to our bags until we get to the hotel. Wichita was a sleepy little town. I heard the arena was new and people were excited because it was bringing in “big acts” like us! HA! Between our shows we perused the Star Wars Merchandise (we are all of course buying shirts, key chains, light sabers..etc) ate dinner and then walked to the hotel which was about a 15 minute walk away. At this point in the tour I NEEDED to do laundry…the principal horn, Tim, and I scoped it out and discovered there were 2 washers and 2 dryers and plotted to get to them first when we returned after the evening show. It was pretty hilarious…you have to imagine…we are two weeks in and pretty much everyone needed to do laundry…and we were in Wichita…what else are you going to do there? We got change ahead of time and literally RAN from the bus up the stairs to get to the laundry. We figured everyone else would have to go to their rooms first so we figured we had a few minutes lead time. Our plotting paid off…while we were loading the washers several other people came in… “oh man!!!” they’d say…that’s right….as Tim said, when it comes to laundry on the road it’s “eat or be eaten” … mentally having clean laundry is life changing..okay road changing … Thank you Wichita!!

Stage door in Wichita...in case you had any bright ideas...

Kansas border and our breakfast stop.

My area at the Wichita concert.  Since we play arena's we are in the same rooms as many famous sports stars...oh yah!!

Shows to date: 8
Number of hotels stayed to date: 9
Best hotel to date: Hutton Hotel, Nashville TN
Miles traveled to date: 3,592 miles


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