Friday, November 02, 2007

A tank of gas to B-town and back

Two weekends ago, we took the girls on a road trip up to a relatively good sized town called Bartlesville, in the northern quadrant of this wacky panhandle shaped state.

Since we had a relatively short time to accomplish our mission (this was a working weekend for my wife, if you can call dragging your family along on a road trip "work"), so we had to suffer the indignities of turnpike travel with the promise that we would someday take a real road trip up to the Tulsa area on the Mother Road when future time permitted.

Tickets, get ya tickets here!
The first stop on our missive mission was to the Spook-A-Rama at a little slice of kiddie ride heaven known as, what else, the Kiddie Park.

If there is a place where old State Fair Midway rides for the under 42"crowd goes to be reborn to serve entirely new generations of ankle biters, then this is the place.

The normally festive atmosphere brought on by the rides, concessions, and pint size scale of everything (including the ticket prices...two bits each!), was getting hauntingly close to a Monster Mash fevered pitch thanks to the "bring your kid in his/her Halloween costume" theme.

S got what she needed, the kids rode everything they wanted, PK won a prize in a round of musical chairs, and I got to torment the high school aged ride staff who were begrudgingly dressed in ill fitting costumes as well.

"Free breakfast served from 6-10 a.m."
A night spent in relative quiet at a local historic motor inn (we avoid chain sleeperies if at all possible), followed by a hot breakfast at 9:50 a.m. (10 minutes before officially shutting down it's complimentary breakfast service -- sorry Waitress, but...could we have more juice please?), and we were off to part 2 of our bonding-in-a-small-import-sedan weekend.

What's that up in the sky...?"
On our way out of town, we drove by this...

Now, I don't know who this Frank Lloyd Wright fella be, but he makes some wacked out buildings...and in Oklahoma no less!

This is the one and only cantilevered skyscraper that FLW designed and it truly is astonishing to look at from ground level.

We walked around it under a bright blue, late morning, cool and breezy Oklahoma sky and while the girls pulled at our arms and legs to get us back to the car "cuz we've spent enough time looking at this old building," Wifey and I vowed to spend at least one romantic weekend hunkered down in the Inn portion of the tower before we die.

All I can say is every skyscrapered city in the world must be jealous and envious of Bartlesville, because of the Price Tower that graces it's downtown skyline.

As our car left the shadow of the wondrous tower, in no time at all we had made the short drive to another wonder of attractions that fails to define itself due to it's varied level and variety of attractions, Woolaroc.

With the exception of some friends of my Wife who won't take their kids to a Wild Animal Park for fear that some errant water buffalo will scratch the finish on their 8-year old Suburban - c'mon people, live a little, I don't know anyone who wouldn't get a thrill from the 2-mile drive from the Woolaroc entry gate to the museum complex at the top of the hill.

I'm not a wildlife expert, so I'll not try to channel Bindi the Jungle Girl, but I can say that we saw more four-legged beasties with antlers, racks, horns, mucousy snouts, humps, bumps, hooves, manes, tails, and attitude, all roaming free and pooping wherever and whenever they liked, in those two miles than 14 straight hours of Animal Planet viewing.

The Woolaroc museum complex itself is astounding and a testament to what oil money and one Okie's love of the west and overwhelming desire to collect and display some oddball art, artifacts, and an airplane, can produce on some of the most scenic property in the state.

Won't fit in my bathtub
Speaking of oddball, our final stop in the area was here to go here to view this wonder of miniature shipbuilding madness.

Anything I write here wouldn't do this amazing tribute and work of model making art justice, but I feel compelled to point out that inside the miniature version of the ships Captain's Quarters, are framed pictures on the walls of the very ship the model is based on -- pictures that actually were mounted in the Captains' Quarters of the full sized doomed ship.

Hands off the glass kiddies.


Kirsten said...

Was it by any chance the Phillips Hotel you stayed at? If not, keep it in mind for your next trip to B-ville.

Also for the next go-round, be sure to stop at Dink's (, which has some of the best bbq I've ever had, plus the food quality in general is quite high. Best to eat early or late as it's usually packed at supper.

drawer queen said...

Nice to hear about finding some fun in a road trip in the middle of the country. I grew up just north of the OK state line in Kansas, and the cool attractions were the world's largest hand dug well (in the now leveled Greensburg), the worlds largest ball of twine (somewhere out west) and of course the extremely disappointing Boot Hill in Dodge City.(too far to drive for a sorry little strip of buildings and a root beer). We would drive to Bartlesville for a good deal on bacon! (Gas was cheap back then!)

OKDad said...

Kirsten...wasn't the Phillips hotel...the words "luxury" and hotel don't normally jibe well with our family road trip fun time.

Dink's Pit, my wife has heard about (through her job), but we didn't make it over.

There was definitely enough to see and do in B-town that it will warrant another family outing...for longer. I'm still blown away with how cool Woolaroc was.

Drawer Queen...the world's largest hand dug well, largest ball of twine, and Dodge City! You didn't happen to drive a green family Truckster will wood paneling and go by the name, Griswold, did you?

So, cool.