We are on the road again through Kansas and Oklahoma for a variety of reasons. Earlier this week, we headed back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to look for apartments for our daughter, Meghan. She was recently accepted into the accelerated nursing program at Oklahoma University and will be attending school there for 14 months, beginning this June.

Despite being raised a Nebraska Cornhusker, Meghan will be attending nursing school at OU.

Despite being raised a Nebraska Cornhusker, Meghan will be attending nursing school at OU. Steve isn’t sure whether to feel proud or betrayed.

My joints don’t do well on long car rides, so we left late in the day and stopped in Wichita for the night. Steve had a great idea as we were planning this trip, and found a KTag office near our hotel. There, we grabbed a tag for our car, as we plan on using several toll roads on this trip and the KTag is good on toll roads in three different states. With this tag, we can cruise on through the toll plazas and leave the loose change in the cup holder.

Steve had a great idea to stop and get a K Tag while in Wichita.

Steve had a great idea to stop and get a K Tag while in Wichita.

Since we were soooo close to our favorite small town, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, we made a quick stop there for breakfast at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile because Edna Mae’s pancakes. While there, we also visited the Chamber of Commerce and some of our friends there.

The mean green burrito at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile was amazing.

The mean green burrito at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is as amazing as the pancakes.

We had some time to visit with our friend, Lauren, at one of our favorite shops, the World Famous Buckin’ Flamingo, and we stopped by LOREC home furnishings to catch up with Gay.

We always have to stop by LOREC when we're in Pawhuska and say hello to our friend, Gay.

We always have to stop by LOREC when we’re in Pawhuska and say hello to our friend, Gay.

And of course, we just had to stop in at Handy’s convenience store on our way out of town for a fountain pop for the road.

We were excited to see that "I got a pop at Handy's" postcard sales were going well.

No trip to Pawhuska is complete without a Handy’s pop and now you can get a Postcard Jar postcard to send to your friends.

We did a customized Handy’s postcard recently and were excited to hear from Kristen and Martha that sales were going well.

After filling our cups with pellet ice and our favorite fountain mixtures, we made our way south to Tulsa and began the long and tiring process of looking for an apartment for Meghan.

This apartment was beautifully staged, but way out of our price range.

This apartment was beautifully staged, but way out of our price range.

She had a few appointments scheduled but we also stopped by several other places that seemed to be in the area and price range she was looking for.

 

Loved this apartment, but too expensive.

We just loved this apartment, but too expensive.

Let me just say that apartment complexes are a lot more competitive for your business than when I was shopping for a place to live after college. Some of the apartments are even beautifully staged. The leasing offices have cookies, bottles of water and complimentary coffee. One even took us by golf cart on a guided tour of the grounds.

Some of the complexes were much too expensive for the rich and soon-to-be famous, and some were in not especially safe suuuper sketchy neighborhoods, but eventually, I think we found a place Meghan is going to love and be able to afford.

After a while, all of the bathrooms began to look the same.

After a while, all of the bathrooms began to look the same. Steve honestly doesn’t remember in which apartment I took this picture.

After a long day during which we learned new words like “pre-lease” and new meanings for words like, “gourmet kitchen,” we had dinner and checked into the Hampton Inn – Tulsa Central. We found a nice surprise in our room, left by the new Director of Sales Casey Keeler.

Gifts from Casey at the Hampton Inn - Tulsa Midtown

Gifts from Casey at the Hampton Inn – Tulsa Midtown

She gave us a cup full of Hampton/Tulsa goodies, including Bedré chocolate that is made in Ada, Oklahoma. And, she even included a postcard! I wondered how she knew about our travel blog, since I didn’t think we’d left our card or anything the last time we stayed there.

A quick selfie with Hampton Inn - Tulsa Central Director of Sales, Casey Keeler.

A quick selfie with Hampton Inn – Tulsa Central Director of Sales, Casey Keeler.

When we asked to meet her the next morning, she said that when she noticed we’d been there twice in a month, she Googled my name and was delighted to see that we had a travel blog. We thought it was a super nice extra touch to leave us a small gift and personalized postcard.

Needless to say, we’ll be back.

The next morning, Steve and I finalized a few apartment tasks wrote a check while Meghan went to orientation at OU. Steve and I then rented a car in a process that took WAAAAYY too long which is a post for another day, and drove to Pittsburg, Kansas. Our route took us on a toll road where, guess what? We couldn’t use our new KTag because it was in the car we left with Meghan and we were in a rental! Anway, we drove to Pittsburg where several of our Doane University “sons” are running and jumping in the NAIA National Track and Field Championships.

Honored to be "like a mom" to these incredible young men.

Honored to be “like a mom” to these incredible young men.

We arrived in time to see Mikey and Josiah run in the 60-meter dash. They did not make the finals, but regardless, we were so proud of each of them and happy we got to see them run. Mikey ran a personal best and we joked afterward that we drove about seven hours to watch a race that was finished in less than 7 seconds!

Showing the guys the signs we made to cheer them on at the NAIA National Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas

Showing the guys the signs we made to cheer them on at the NAIA National Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas.

We relaxed last night at the hotel and are back to the track today to watch De’Andre and Shingai compete in the triple-jump.

Such a great road trip already.

  • Curious to see what Iowa has to offer to visitors besides corn? ⁣
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FOLLOW ALONG on our Instagram and Facebook stories as we travel to Iowa Sept. 19-22. We're going to be exploring Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa, and we can't wait to take you with us!⁣
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We'll hit all the popular attractions like the Surf Ballroom, The Music Man Square, and the Historic Park Inn. And, we'll take you behind the scenes at several unique eateries and venues. ⁣
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Our coverage of our trip to Iowa begins the morning of Sept. 19. We hope you'll join us on what is sure to be another fun-filled Midwest travel adventure. ⁣
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Also, let us know your recommendations for things to see and do in the Clear Lake/Mason City area if you have ideas. We'd love to hear from you. ⁣
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@clearlakeiowa @visitmasoncityiowa @traveliowa @midwesttravelnetwork
  • Steve is 47 today! ⁣
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A definite advantage of getting older and gaining experience in traveling is not being so terrified to hop on the plane and go.⁣
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This is 17 year-old Steve, way back in 1990, as he prepared to leave for Argentina where he would spend six months living with a host family as an exchange student.⁣
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As it turns out, Steve's time in Argentina was wonderful, and he remembers it fondly. After his time in there, he went on to get a degree in Spanish, spend a semester abroad in Costa Rica, participate in missions and community-service trips in third world countries, and finally be a teacher and eventually a school administrator. None of this would have happened if he hand't conquered his fear and gotten on the plane.⁣
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So if you're nervous to travel somewhere, that's understandable. But put your fear aside and go--a life changing experience awaits you.
  • Just over two years ago, we stopped in Pawhuska to have lunch at Ree Drummond's @PWMercantile. From the person opening the door for us to the folks tending the line giving us water, we felt welcome from the moment we set foot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.⁣
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But it turns out it wasn't just @thepioneerwoman and her husband, Ladd, who went above and beyond to welcome visitors. No, it turns out what they did was just par for the course in this town that's home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we've met in all our travels. ⁣
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So we bought a house there. We got it in part, so we could be a part of the community we've come to love. But we also got it so we could help welcome folks to town and let them know how glad we are they came to visit. Come and see Pawhuska. And when you do, stay awhile.
  • Fried dill pickles are a little different in North Dakota than they are in most other places we've been. Instead of just dipping some dill chips in batter, dropping them in the fryer, and then serving them in a basket with ranch, the folks there take their time and make a dish to remember.⁣
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They start with a dill pickle spear, wrap that in Havarti cheese, then put a wonton wrapper around it all. Then, they fry it, and slice it open just so before serving them alongside a spicy aioli dipping sauce. We had these at a complimentary meal at Outlaws Bar and Grill in @visitwilliston, North Dakota.⁣
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Let's be honest, these pickles are just one of many reasons we look forward to our return to @northdakotalegendary next year.
  • Have you ever had the chance to watch a cruise ship come into or leave port? These massive ships, often 1,000 feet or more long, can maneuver themselves by the dock so gently that you don't even realize you've stopped (or started) moving.⁣
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In Bermuda, we had the chance to watch the Norwegian Escape depart. We watched as she pushed away from the dock, then spun 180 degrees on a point before heading out to sea.⁣
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We've seen ships do this dozens of times. In fact, we've been on ships and have been part of this type of maneuvering dozens of times. And yet, given the sheer size of the vessels, it never ceases to impress.
  • You know you want to. Do it. Just book the ticket and go. At the end of your life, you likely won't remember most of the stuff you bought in 2019, but you will always remember the journey you took and the experiences you had. So enrich your life and go. We've never regretted spending money for a trip.
  • This just might be the sweetest, best pecan roll we've ever had. At the @PWMercantile, they bake these delicious treats daily. Covered in a luscious caramel and finely chopped pecans, these rolls are the stuff dreams are made of. Have you had one?
  • Smack in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we found the International Rose Test Garden. Set on 4.5 acres of land, the garden offers visitors a chance to see 10,000 rose bushes from about 650 different varieties. ⁣
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We spent more than an hour walking the carefully tended paths, snapping photos, and just enjoying the beautiful flowers. Our visit here made us glad that we literally scheduled time on this trip to stop and smell the roses.

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