Thursday, 26 April 2018

Home via Tulsa

We came home a wee bit early not because we weren't enjoying the journey but because spring at our home in Texas was calling to us really loudly. Tennessee and Ohio had been COLD. St. Louis was better but with newly budding trees, we knew home would be bursting with new growth by now. I've never been a victim of home-sickness. I love the journey. I love the road. I love the next destination. Now, I share a home with someone who has helped to make our home truly a home. We have gardens, parks areas with swings, and bird sanctuary areas with feeders and birdbaths. Our home is somewhere we both want to relax and watch grow.

Home, warm, sunny, home.

Flowers in full bloom here at one of Anne's park spaces.
Upon leaving St. Louis, we were on our way home. Keystone State Park outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma was our mid-way point to home. We chose the place for a few reasons: I was born in Tulsa, my dear best friend from high school now lives there, and the location worked for our route.

Keystone State Park is a large park offering cabins, RV camping, and semi-primitive tent camping. Bathrooms with showers are located throughout the camping areas. In the RV area, where we were, there were only two showers, but luckily, most RVers have their own enclosed facilities. There were a few small trails and we created hikes out of the roads to other areas of the park. According to online sources, there is a great place to hike that is only open to visitors on Saturday. Sadly, we were not here on Saturday.
Hammocks at our campsite.
The evening we arrived, we went into the nearby town of Mannford. We chose Freddie's Lebanese Steakhouse because there were more cars in their parking lot than any other place. We walked in and were immediately asked if we were there for the crawfish boil, an all you can eat deal for $15.99. We passed on this and sat down with menus. This off-the-beaten-path restaurant had a menu that was indicative of a place that enjoys to serve these specific dishes. It was difficult to decide what to order. There wasn't a list of the usual steakhouse offerings. Anne asked the waitress what Freddie's was known for. She told us their Lebanese offerings were the most sought out - tabouli, fresh hummus, and cabbage rolls. I decided to go with one of the specials, quail and a side of cabbage roll and tabouli for my salad. An odd combination, but all the parts sounded amazing. Tabouli came first - delicious. Cabbage roll came next - heavy and delicious. Two quails in a lemon pepper sauce on a bed of lettuces arrived finally. This was my first quail and I was glad I trusted this chef to my tastebuds. The birds were very tasty. I didn't mind all the work it took to eat around the tiny bones.

We met with Amy at Prairie Brewpub in Downtown Tulsa. It was great to meet up with an old friend who looks absolutely exactly like she did in 1993. We enjoyed beers and salad lunches with our catching up. When we left to return to our truck, we found a surprise. A snake had probably hitched a ride from the campground and was now hanging out on the step just below the back seat passenger side door. A big snake. We aren't specifically terrified of snakes, but not knowing exactly what kind he was, we opted to let him figure out things while we went back to the Brewpub and enjoyed an extra beer. When we returned again, it appeared the snake had found better places to go.
Hitchhiker snake.
Up early in the morning, we started the drive home. First stop, our favorite home-town Mexican food restaurant, Los Cabos. We have not stopped working on things, making lists and plans since we parked the Eggcellence in its new home under the big roof.

It smells like dinner is just about ready, so I'll let Anne tell you about the plans and changes that are brewing here at home and for our next journey.

OH! I almost forgot. Anne told y'all that I'd tell you about the awesome treasure we acquired in St. Louis. While at that second hand outdoor store, I stood looking at a cast iron potbelly stove and said how much I loved those things, but never managed to pick one up for my container house. Lucy looked at me and said, "I have one in the backyard. You want it?" It was like she was offering me a cookie.... except this was not a cookie, it was a heavy, big, old cast iron stove. I sorta thought she was merely making conversation or the beginning of a future plan, but the conversation continued and she amended her offer to TWO cast iron stoves. We got back to Lucy and Shawn's. Lucy told Shawn about the offer and he was only too eager to put some muscle into getting rid of the two pieces - he had been in favor of re-homing them for some time. I rearranged the back of the truck. Shawn and neighbor loaded them up!
The larger stove in its temporary work home.
Anne and I unloaded them with some careful maneuvering. I have ideas and plans for both. First, they need a little bit of love. I can't wait to show them off when I get them up and running! What an exciting surprise gift. Thank you, Lucy & Shawn!!

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