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.

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.

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