When I think back on Oklahoma City, what I will remember is the wind – wow, that city is WINDY. At least it was all last week. I have to say, I usually love a good storm, but I am way tired of all the scary stormy weather that goes along with being in Tornado Alley in the summer. It all started last Monday when I was preparing to fly from Minneapolis to Oklahoma City. I hate flying anyway, and with the weather being so bad all up and down that route, I decided at the last minute to drive instead of getting on a plane. It was actually a really pretty drive, but LONG. I drove about 800 miles straight in twelve hours, arriving in Oklahoma City shortly after midnight. The only stops I made were for gas and to pick up a litter box for Tallulah at Target. It was sort of exhausting. It was actually really exhausting. But at least I didn’t have to get on a plane and fly over scary thunderstorms and tornados. Instead I just drove through them. Hee Hee.
The hotel we stayed at in Oklahoma City, The Colcord, was actually a really beautiful boutique hotel with big rooms, tastefully decorated, and very comfortable beds. It was nice to arrive at such a good hotel, because it so easily could have been the opposite! I actually sort of felt like I was arriving in Miami when I pulled up. The outside of the hotel and the lobbies were art deco, very much like a Miami Beach hotel, and the weather was so hot and balmy, even at midnight.
Oklahoma City is not Miami, though. Not even close. The theater was actually quite decent – it was an old building that had been renovated. Our office and the principal dressing rooms were beautiful – comfortable, with good lighting and couches, and TV with cable! The crew were okay for the most part, although some thievery happened during load-in, which was a drag – a couple of cameras disappeared. So everyone was really cautious about their belongings all week. The shows went well, though – and the audiences were surprisingly good. We were sold out all week.
On Wednesday Ryan and I took it easy – mostly hung out at the hotel and rested, then went for some Mexican food before the show. We did stop by the botanical garden across the street from the hotel, which was fairly small and a bit rundown, but nice to walk through, nonetheless. After the show we ventured over to Bricktown, a cool part of downtown that is modeled after the Riverwalk in San Antonio (which I will get to explore next week). Bricktown centers around the baseball stadium and is filled with restaurants and bars. We went to a bar called Tapwerks, a pub with tons of beer on tap.
Thursday we went over to the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum. It was a really moving experience – the museum is very well done. It reminds me a lot of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, in that it is just enough information for you to really feel like you have gone through the experience of the bombing again, but not so much information as to be distasteful. There was very little information on Timothy McVeigh and his motives, etc., and mostly just centered on the people who died, and those who were heroes. There was a really beautiful display of all the victims’ pictures and trinkets put next to the pictures by their families to tell us little more about each individual personality. The memorial outside is very beautiful. It is on the grounds where the Federal building stood, and the centerpiece is a large reflecting pool bordered by two arches which say “9:01” and “9:03” – 9:02 being the time of the bombing. On one side of the pool stand 169 chairs on a grassy hill, one for each of the people that died. The original entry plaza to the building still stands, along with an American elm tree that survived the blast and has flourished, now known as “The Survivor Tree”. It was a really sad yet wonderful thing to see. Definitely go if you are ever in Oklahoma City.
On Friday I had another lazy day, mostly spending the afternoon reading at the hotel. I did venture out to Bricktown for lunch, but mostly took advantage of having some rest time.
The weekend was the requisite four shows and then load-out. Another storm hit on Sunday night and into Monday, but we all managed to get to Albuquerque safely. Now we are here and enjoying the gorgeous weather and the beautiful mountains – and I am so happy to be able to spend time with Tanya, who moved here a few months ago. We had a great time together yesterday – but I’ll save that for my next post…