Monday, June 3, 2013

Crosscountry Roadtrip Part 2

Day 5 of the cross country roadtrip we drove through the night from Memphis to Oklahoma. Early on I had pondered the idea that if we were in Oklahoma and close to Moore we should make a stop to see not only the damages from the storm but to see what was needed. It wasn't until we were making some plans in St. Louis for the next few days that I made the decision we would go to Moore and volunteer in anyway necessary. So we trekked through Arkansas into Oklahoma to arrive in Norman, OK a few miles southeast of Moore. The hotel we booked for the night was out in the "boonies" and was supposively a hotel within a convention hall and USPS training facility. Despite the remote location the hotel was one of the best we've encountered the whole trip thus far. And the breakfast buffet, that would remind any college student post or present of their days at school, was a nice added bonus. We met a group of FDNY Disaster Relief workers in the cafeteria the morning of Day 6 (Friday). I took a picture with them (see below) to show how proud I was that they were there and that us Yankees were represented in the tornado relief.

After breakfast we drove to the Serve Moore Headquarters ( to see what volunteer work we could provide. Once we signed in and got our gear we were assigned a group to work on cleaning up debris and general disaster areas. I was shocked to see a fellow Elon Grad there who was also on a roadtrip to L.A. He thought that it would be awful not to stop if he was going through anyway. Everyone piled into a school bus and we were taken to a central location to then walk to the places that needed work done. The next few hours was spent out in the neighborhoods most affected by the tornado last week. At around 1pm after a few hours we were told to return to Headquarters due to an update on storm reports. So we went west and drove on the historic Route 66 for a bit, got a frap from Starbucks and went to the Oklahoma City Memorial in downtown OKC. We weren't there for long since every minute the sky looked more and more threatening.

 Driving on historic Route 66
 Steer along side the road
 Historic Round Barn
 OKC Memorial - Never Forget

 Luckily we were not directly affect by the tornado like some others who were less fortunate - 11 fatalities and many injured - but we were crazy enough to try to drive west to visually see the funnel. But my good conscious told me to turn around and so we did. We took shelter in the Hi-Lo Club right outside of Oklahoma City. After 2 hours we left to head southwest to get out of the state. I-44 E was backed up because of flooding and the OK drivers did the stupidest and craziest stuff I've ever seen. After we turned around to go west we were held up for another hour due to a report of power lines down on the highway. Although we were originally in OK with good intentions to help we know that it was not a good idea to stay any longer than necessary.

In a Lowes parking lot looking up at the sky

After a all night drive to Wichita Falls TX we continued on to the Fort Worth/Dallas area. Day 6 was all about adjusting to Texas way-of-life. We went to the JFK Memorial in Dallas as well as the Farmer's Market. Since Guy's suggested Triple D called Pecan Lodge we decided to get open faced deli sandwiches at Chicago's Deli. It was okay but I didn't like the sweet pepper surprise under the cheese :( Dallas is so clean but as my Mom would point out "where are all the people?" The streets for the most part were empty.

Heading south on I-35 towards Austin we were having a blast. Mom had been to Texas before and was sharing her experiences. We listened to some country music - appropriate for our trip - and eventually were exhausted enough to pulled into a Motel 6 in Temple, TX about 1 hr outside of Austin to sleep. After a few hours we drove to Austin for dinner and walk 6th Street which was very lively and full of music. We ate at the Austin Ale House that was previewing local bands. the food - nachos (chicken), cheese sampler and beet and feta salad with two local pale ales YUMMY - was great! Although the local band performing during our band was less than desired. However, 6th Street made up for that mishap. It reminded me very much of New Orleans with the street closed and rooftop entertainment and nightlife. 

Dallas from the interstate

 JFK Memorial

 My love - Maps
 Austin Ale House

The next day (Day 7) we headed back on I-35 this time making a stop at a boot store after breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I got real cowgirl boots and some nice Texan apparel! Afterwards we were driving on I-35 and I was starting to pout about not getting to the Round Rock Doughnut shop that make giant doughnuts. It was as if God intervened because I randomly found Round Rock on the map and we took a detour. After a few turn arounds we found the place. It had a drive through! We ordered the original Texas sized glazed doughnut. It did NOT disappoint. When Guy said the doughnuts were giant they weren't kiddin.

Failed to find the summer jam that was supposed to be in Emma Long park about 25 mins outside of downtown Austin but it was a beautiful drive out there. I never expected Austin to have such beautiful landscape. Most of the cities we've been too are so expansive and interesting ascetically. Back in downtown we sent off a package via FedEx back home (including my cap, gown and diploma) and headed to our hotel closer to the city called Rodeway Inn. It is so nice and brand new rooms. Not to mention the even better Mexican joint called Los Jaliscienses. Seriously if you are looking for authentic Mexican (Tex-Mex) you got to consider this place. They even had karaoke!!

Stay tuned in for more posts on our crosscountry roadtrip adventures :)

No comments:

Post a Comment