It was a four hour drive to Oklahoma City and we decided to explore the sites downtown before checking into our AirBnb for the night, starting with the Oklahoma City Memorial.
If you are unfamiliar with the history behind this, essentially it was built to honor all of the victims, survivors, rescuers–everyone who had been affected by the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995. Though this is a clear tragedy, I highly recommend stopping here if you’re every in the area. It’s a pretty large place, filled with fountains, flowers and plaques. The most heartbreaking part of the Oklahoma City Memorial is the fence surrounding it.
Here, families and friends of those who’d lost their lives on that fateful day left letters, photos, favorite toys — anything to keep that connection with their loved one alive. I even spotted a dog collar hooked on the fence, which just about brought tears to my eyes. Any person, no matter how engaged in their conversation on the block before, became stone faced and somber when walking past. This just goes to show how one day, one event, can change a place forever. R.I.P. to all of the victims who were taken from us on April 19, 1995.
Since Scissortail Park was only a short drive down the road, we went to go check out this famous sculpture next. The park gets its name from the tail end of the scissor sculpture they’ve got anchoring over the highway on the far end of the park. This was cool and all, but definitely not the main attraction of Scissortail Park on the day we arrived.
Making our way up to the lake, we were greeted by a very happy dog, who was eagerly fetching sticks and clumps of moss and whatever else he could get his paws on to bring back to his beloved owner.
Crossing over the bridge, we found a mother and her ducklings cruising their way across the river. One by one, they began to waddle up the bank and down the bike path. Not too much further, we came across yet another family, this one consisting of two protective geese and a gaggle of children safely plopped in the middle of them.
This was my favorite group, as I’m sure the parents would’ve stopped me if I’d tried anything, but they understood right off the bat that I was not a threat. Sitting there photogenically, they struck pose after pose until my Nikon begged me to give it a break. Well…if you insist, Mr. Nikon.
Our AirBnb host had recommended a local brewery just down the street that had a rooftop beer garden, making it easy to social distance while enjoying the view with a nice IPA. However, it was beginning to sprinkle a bit now, so, as soon as those pints were gone, so were we.
The last stop on our self-guided downtown tour was Bricktown. This is such an awesome little area, filled with art, lights and good eats. Essentially, all of the businesses had built themselves around the river with pedestrian-only walkways. The only other way to get around would be to take a water taxi, however, these were not operating while we were there. I’m sure this place is just bustling in the summer, especially when there isn’t a global pandemic brewing.
On our way back to the car, we made eye contact with Bricktown Brewery and it looked back, egging us on as if to say, “But wait! There’s more…” All right, you’ve convinced me. We grabbed a bar-top table in the far corner and sipped our (probably) last IPAs of the night in peace. I sense a theme in our day ends coming on…