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.

  • The Pioneer Woman's Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a special hotel. There are eight rooms, each beautifully decorated, and no two rooms are alike. With large bathrooms, a mini-bar, evening reception, room service, valet parking, high-speed internet, and friendly service, a night here is a real treat. Ann snapped this picture of the arrangement of fresh flowers in the Butterfly Room. The bed in the background? That's a Tempurpedic mattress with some of the softest bedding around. We can't think of a better place to spend a cozy night when you @visittheosage and Pawhuska.⁣
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@pwboardinghouse
  • While in Italy, we took a cooking class in the home of a the owner of a small vineyard. During the class, we learned to make several dishes including pasta (which we rolled and cut by hand) as well as Tiramisu. Looking at this picture, we can still taste the freshness of the pasta, the tomatoes picked that morning from vines in the yard for the sauce, and the herbs clipped from a pot on the porch. It was a magical meal, paired with wines they had produced using grapes they'd grown on their own land. Talk about a farm to table meal.
  • The Enchanted Highway near @visit_dickinson, North Dakota, is a 30 mile stretch of road that runs from I-94 to Regent. Along the way you'll find a number of huge metal sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. The size and scale of these creations is such that you'll be filled with a sense of wonder, and a desire to drive on to the next one. This particular creation is called, appropriately enough, "Grasshoppers in the Field." This road is just one more reason for you to hop on up to North Dakota. @NorthDakotaLegendary
  • One of our favorite restaurants whether on land or at sea is @celebritycruises Luminae restaurant. Every morsel of every dish has been thoughtfully considered, prepared, and presented. Take this Chocolate Palet dessert for instance. It's so rich that more than a few bites would be almost overwhelming. But that's okay, as the serving size is perfect. Paired with the scoop of gelato on a bed of chocolate crumbles? Well, it makes a perfect end to a scrumptious meal. A true masterpiece.
  • One of the things we love most about traveling is discovering new things. New destinations, new foods, new cocktails, and new people. What do you like to discover?
  • Our imaginations run wild when we find ourselves in a place so chock-full of history like Deadwood, South Dakota. As we took in the town, we closed our eyes and listened for echoes from the past when Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok lived here. If only the streets could talk. @tripscout @midwestliving⁣
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  • Standing on a hill in present-day Rome, you can look down on the Roman Forum, the center of activity in ancient Rome. We've all heard of Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Marcus Agrippa, and the Apostle Paul, and we know them as ancient historical figures who almost don't seem real. And then you see this space, the very streets where they walked and the buildings they knew. This is why Rome is the eternal city. You can still walk streets and cross bridges built thousands of years ago. Being there makes it's real, and suddenly history comes alive.
  • Is there anything more relaxing than the thought of a beautiful sandy beach? How about one with pink sand, like at Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda? We made a stop here during our visit to the island nation and loved seeing all the folks there enjoying their time splashing in the warm summer sun. ⁣
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Would you like to visit this beach?

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