Tulsa Time

When people think of vacation destinations, they may not be thinking of Tulsa, Oklahoma. But I’m here to tell you, they should be.

Tulsa has a new park called the Gathering Place (opened Sept 2018) and I’m fairly certain it’s one of the premier parks in the United States, if not the world. It’s been recognized as a top new attraction by USA Today. I’m not going to blather on about how great the Gathering Place is – words don’t do it justice. Please – just plan a visit and see for yourself.

Before our time at the park, we enjoyed coffee and a cinnamon roll at Shades of Brown, one of many adorable and inviting coffee shops in the greater Tulsa area. This one features local art and music and serves their yummy treats and beverages in hand-made clay pottery.

Dinner was at Mother Road Market, ‘Tulsa’s First Food Hall,’ a unique and freestanding food court sort of place with multiple offerings of every cuisine imaginable. It’s a fun atmosphere and there’s a small mini-golf course in the outdoor eating area. You don’t see that every day!

After some shopping and a bit of sightseeing, we ended up at Shuffles Board Game Cafe which was an absolute ton of fun. Pay a small fee and have access to the largest selection of board games you’ve probably ever seen. Sip a beverage and enjoy some (actually very good) food and relax. Stay and play as long as you like. We had a blast.

Worthy of mention, even though we didn’t visit on this trip, the Mayo Hotel is a great place to stay downtown. They have a very cool rooftop bar with lovely views of the city. Oh and the showers are stupendous.

Tulsa was the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots and a visit to the Greenwood Cultural Center is a must when you find yourself in the area. The story is not widely known, but it was one of the biggest and most tragic mass casualty attacks on black Americans in US history. This book, The Burning, is an excellent read and well worth the time. It reads like a novel, but sadly every story told actually happened.

Not very far from Tulsa is the home of Oklahoma’s very own Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. In the little town of Pawhuska, you will find her mercantile, hotel and restaurant. If you’re lucky, you can score a tour of the Lodge at Drummond Ranch.

Tulsa is a gem in the beautiful state of Oklahoma. I hope you will have the opportunity to discover it for yourself!

It’s Up to You, NY, NY!

Our daughter lives in Jersey City, so we never miss an opportunity to spend time with her which, of course, has the added bonus of spending a little time in the city.

We visited for three of the most beautiful days the city sees in a year’s time and we had the absolute time of our lives. This visit we did the Big Bus Tour of Manhattan for the first time. We love the Big Bus! Even though we are very familiar with the city, there’s nothing like riding on top of a bus in the open air. Of course, you get an actual tour, so we did learn a few new fun facts.

We stopped in one of Times Square’s many pubs for some cheese fries and a Guinness and to use the restroom. For heaven’s sake if there are two things true of New York City it’s that a.) there’s nowhere to sit and b.) there are no restrooms. You gotta go inside somewhere and patronize a place. Well, that’s fine with us. We were ready to get off our feet and the pub was terrific.

We had dinner and drinks later that day at The Dead Rabbit in the Financial District. This place was alive with activity and packed full but the staff was friendly and their feathers were unruffled. The drinks here are fascinating and delicious and the food was outstanding. This stop was the highlight of our trip.

Another first for us on this visit was using the ferry to get from Exchange Place in Jersey City across to Brookfield Place/Battery Park. It was around $8 per person and we arrived in NYC in a few short minutes. It was a very pleasant ride. It’s a lot more fun than the Path for sure and quicker. We would definitely do that again!

At the end of our day and back in New Jersey, I grabbed this. Beautiful city.

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