Friday, March 30, 2007

Exploring the environs of the elk

We awoke to dry skies and semi-dry sleeping bags which we hung around the small Travelodge room to dry out.

A consignment shop and several antique stores in downtown Elk City proved worthy for a few hours distraction before the 11:00 a.m. pouring of the tea at the County Dove Tea Room on nearby 3rd Street. Despite the raised eyebrows our server lapidated our way when we ordered hot tea for the girls, we had an excellent esculant experience.

S had the chicken / avocado salad sandwich, I went with the chicken pot pie daily special and the girls split a mile-high club sandwich. The heartshaped muffins were a hit with the girls, as was the soup and the speciality dessert of the house, the French Silk Pie.

The warmth of the victorian home turned tea/gift shop and the hospitality of the staff did wonders to steam away the sogginess wrought from our previous days flash flooded feats.

A quick call to the Flying W revealed it was still too muddy to take the girls for their horseback ride, so with hopes of a sunny day to dry out the prairie enough for a ride tomorrow, we intrepidly made our way to the sprawling Old Town Museum complex that Elk City is most proud of.

For a measly $5 (adults) we were afforded access to the National Route 66 and Tranportation Museums the entire Old Town Complex and Pioneer Museum, and the Farm and Ranch Museum.

Proudest moment for me was when my 7-year old corrected my wife as she mistakenly identified the Corvette on display in the Route 66 Museum as being the same as our old C3. "No Mommy," she stated with conviction, "this Corvette has a shiny back bumper and ours didn't -- remember, ours has a soft rubber bumper on the back?"

It's all in the details.

After an exhausting afternoon exploring every nook, display, and interactive feature this wonderful complex had to offer (getting C off the corn grinding machine at the Farm and Ranch Museum took several verbal threats of no dessert tonight). we sought out a sugar rush at Nana T's Old Fashioned Confections on Main Street in the downtown district.

Her sugar-free delights were "Splenda-splendid" as were the coconut bon-bons. This was also the first place I'd encountered that only offered Dr. Pepper as a caramel colored cola alternative -- a theme to be replayed often on our trip, as I later found. Seems out west, the Okie's don't even bother with Coke/Diet Coke. You either want dark (Dr. Pepper) or light (Sprite) and never the twains shall meet.

While replenishing our blood sugar, we noticed several signs decorating the walls of Nana T's proclaiming support for the re-election of the town mayor, a certain Teresa Mullican. Wouldn't you know it, "Nana T" of Nana T's Old Fashioned Confections just happened to be the honorable Teresa Mullican, Mayor of Elk City.

We had a nice visit with the Madame Mayor and even got to bend her ear a bit on why we had chosen her fair city for our "spring-break-road-trip-see-Oklahoma" destination. Not every day you get to have the mayor of a city of 11,000 citizens serve you up some Dr. Pepper and bon bons she made herself.

Our reservations for the next several nights was our fall back recreation retreat (in case the horseback riding didn't work out) - the Holiday Inn Holidome, which offered the ultimate facilities for parents traveling with small children - an indoor pool and recreation area.

Ahhh, let the vacation begin...

Next up, Holidome smiles, a battlefield hike, holy Mexican feast, and our search for Radiator Springs comes to an end.

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