It has been a big week for our family. Our only daughter, Meghan, finished a 14-month accelerated nursing program at The University of Oklahoma and is now a nurse.

Steve and ann teget

Meghan earned her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language and Literature – Spanish at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Typically, a bachelor of science in nursing degree is a four year course of study for those without a bachelor’s degree and 24 months for those with one. This curriculum squeezes everything (including clinicals, a capstone project, and a preceptorship) into 14 months. Straight through – no real breaks, no social life, no sleep. In other words, it’s grueling. But she did it!

OU BSN class

Meghan completed her program a few days ago with a capstone research project presentation and then a pinning ceremony in Tulsa.

meghan's capstone project

Our parents and Meghan’s friends Amanda and Josiah were able to join us to celebrate this week. We are all so proud of Meghan for making it through.

meghan and friends at pinning

Next, Meghan will study to take the nursing boards (NCLEX) and good news — she already has job! She’ll be working as an RN in at St. Francis Heart Hospital in Tulsa and we couldn’t be more excited for this next step in her journey.

St. Francis Hospital

We had a chance to visit the hospital this week and Meghan gave us and Steve’s mom and dad a tour.

hospital tour

We all got to see the floor where she’ll be working and meet one of her nurse (and life) mentors, Patti. Gayle was also a nurse, so she especially enjoyed seeing St. Francis and where her granddaughter will practice nursing.

All along, we’d planned and budgeted to take Meghan on a trip of some sort to celebrate her graduation and give her a well-deserved break before heading into her full-time nursing career. Unfortunately, we didn’t know until just a few weeks ago what her schedule would be, so we had to make travel arrangements very quickly.

Flights to either coast were quite expensive with the short booking time and hotels in major cities also seemed quite pricey the last week in July. Steve started searching online for the best bang for our buck and found a somewhat last minute cruise deal out of Galveston that fit our timeline and budget.

liberty of the seas cabin

So, we’re off on a 7-night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. We leave from Galveston (which was a day’s drive for us from Oklahoma) and have stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica.

Meghan is looking forward to finally relaxing and we’re looking forward to spending time with our daughter — the nurse.

  • A chic, swanky boutique hotel, located in a renovated Middle School, @hotelgrinnell offers guests comfortable accommodations as well as great food and drink options. With a full auditorium, and a ballroom in the former gym, this hotel is perfect for anything from a weekend getaway to a major event. We had the opportunity to stay in the hotel on a hosted visit, and wrote a blog post about our stay. See the link in our bio.
  • On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, there is a point where you round a bend and see this view, with the Atlantic Ocean on the left, and the Caribbean Sea on the right. ⁣
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Ann took this photo several years ago when we visited St. Kitts for a day while on a cruise in the Caribbean. ⁣
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We met our friend, Mikey Tross, on the island and with the help of a local driver and guide, we toured the entire island in a day. ⁣
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We climbed to the top of Brimstone Hills, saw the beaches, at at Fredo's (a local restaurant) and toured Caribelle  Batik at Romney Manor. ⁣
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St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the people there are incredibly generous. If you haven't already been there, add St. Kitts to your bucket list.
  • The Grinnell, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce offices are located in a former bank designed by famed architect, Louis Sullivan. The architect built a series of "Jewel Box" banks, called that because they resemble jewel boxes.⁣
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These buildings are intricate in detail and rich in their finishes. The next time you pass near Grinnell, it is definitely worth the stop to step into American architectural history.
  • In downtown Kearney, Nebraska, you'll find @mccuesnebraskataproom, home to all sorts of Nebraska libations. When you visit, you can choose from a large selection of beers, wines, and even liquors all made in Nebraska. It's a fun environment where regulars welcome visitors, and fun is had by all. We look forward to going back one day and know that a visit to McCue's will be a part of our visits to Kearney in the future. ⁣
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@visitnebraska @visitkearney
  • A rite of passage...⁣
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The Swinging Bridge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has thrilled residents and visitors alike for decades. When it was originally built in 1929, it was the only way to cross from one side of Bird Creek to the other. Today, there are other bridges, but the beloved swinging bridge still spans the creek and dares folks to cross.⁣
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Long-time residents will tell stories of rieding their bikes across it when they were kids--and it should be noted that back then it didn't have the chain link side guards.⁣
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No visit to Pawhuska is complete until you've tried The Pioneer Woman's chicken fried steak AND crossed the swinging bridge. Go ahead and try...we dare you!⁣
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@TravelOK @VisitTheOsage
  • While looking for a coffee shop in @visitkearney, we stumbled into a really cool store. @elevate.people is a locally owned business specializing in both leather goods and in helping people around the world build better lives for themselves. ⁣
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All of the leather goods for sale here are handmade by people in third world countries. Elevate, it turns out, is a non-profit that gives local artisans small, low interest loans to get started in the leather making business. When loans are repaid, the money is loaned out to another craftsperson so they can get started. Meanwhile, Elevate provides access to a market to sell the goods produced so the worker continues to be supported. They also have an online store.⁣
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We have purchased several items from Elevate, and have loved all of them.⁣
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@visitnebraska
  • After a day of tests and appointments at the Mayo Clinic, this was a perfect place to relax and unwind.⁣
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We were treated to a complimentary stay at the brand new Hilton in downtown @minnesotas_rochester. Located near the Mayo Clinic, it's an incredibly beautiful hotel with nothing but the best amenities and top-notch service. One of our favorite places in the hotel is the hot tub in the pool area. How can it not be? Look at this place. And yes, it's as relaxing as it looks, especially at sunset. ⁣
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The room in this new luxury hotel are just as nice. We enjoyed it so much that we changed our travel plans and booked a second night on our own dime. It's our new go-to hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.⁣
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@minnesotas_rochester @exploreminnesota @hiltonhotels
  • Our hosted food tour in @visitkansascityks began with a bar-b-que spread from several local restaurants. Needless to say, we had to sample a little bit of everything because it was for science. We enjoyed ribs, smoked sausage, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, burnt ends, rice, beans, and even warm potato casserole. ⁣
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If you love bar-b-que, head to KCK. Trust us, you'll love it. Just wear your stretchy pants.

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