Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Didn't Find The Pioneer Woman But I Still Enjoyed the Trip

Last weekend, we took a road trip to Oklahoma. Caelan's racing season will be starting in a couple of weeks and we needed to get his car to Factor One Racing to have some safety equipment installed on it.

So we didn't have to get up at 4 AM on Saturday to drive to Broken Arrow, we drove to Joplin Friday night and stayed in a hotel. Shawn said he'd treat us to dinner at Red Oak Steakhouse while we were there.

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Eating at a nice restaurant always leaves me feeling conflicted. I'm wild about great food but I always worry that I'll stick out like a sore thumb in a 2-fork restaurant we've never been to. I worry so much about whether my top is non-t-shirt enough to "dress up" my jeans that I neglect to make sure my kids are wearing clothes that don't have any holes in them. They usually are. I worry about Shawn asking me what BĂ©arnaise Sauce is and someone hearing me say, "It's this sauce that looks like something the dog threw up," because I can't get past that aspect of it. I spend too much time wondering if anyone thinks we look like a modern day version of the Clampets. So imagine my delight when I walked into Red Oak and saw, mingled in between the few tables of people wearing shirts that cost more than my entire wardrobe, someone wearing sweatpants. And I saw jeans. Lots of jeans and t-shirts. I immediately relaxed. And I didn't feel a bit embarrassed getting out my camera to snap a photo of the light fixture above our table.

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I didn't get a bit embarrassed that I had to take photos of Caelan through his water glass when he tried to hide from my camera.

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Nor when he tasted my Roasted Duck and immediately said, in all seriousness, "I just became a duck hunter."

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I was too embarrassed to get out my flash, even though I obviously needed it.

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I relaxed and enjoyed the Calla Lilies, my favorite spring flower, on the table.

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And I wasn't embarrassed to mention that the size of my baked potato made it look more like a meat loaf. Or a loaf of bread.

Not only was I relaxed, even though I couldn't get out of value-menu mode and make myself order the Duckling special (1/2 duckling in puff pastry) because it cost almost 3 times as much as the Rosted Duck, I did step out a bit and eat (and very much enjoy) a sauce called Blueberry Gastrique. Gastrique. Am I alone in feeling that word is perilously similar to gastric juice?

And I was proud of myself for supressing my value-menu-violation radar by not pointing out that Shawn's asparagus spears (the menu is a la carte) cost $1 apiece. My restraint was rewarded when Caelan was presented with a piece of cheescake that appeared to consist of at least two 8 ounce packages of cream cheese. We recouped some of our losses on the asparagus.

Caelan and I spent the rest of the evening in the hotel room watching TV. Oddly enough, before we went to dinner we were watching Pretty Woman. Talk about standing out like a sore thumb everywhere she went! We watched our first 2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy. I don't get all the hype. And I did some hand quilting on a wall quilt I'll be sharing soon.

We spent many hours in the truck driving over those 2 days.

raising respectful children
I read most of this book. Great book if you have young children you still have influence over. I have a feeling it would just fill you with regrets if you have an older child you're having problems with.

to  kill a mockingbird
And I finished this one. I cannot believe I didn't read this until I was 38 years old. Loved it.

So, Oklahoma, we enjoyed our trip to your state. We didn't mind making the choice to drop $150 for gas to travel to your state. We didn't mind making the choice to spend $140 in one of your restaurants. We didn't mind spending $20 at Braum's (although we did mind the 5-minute show the cashier/malt maker put on digging clear to his brain for a bugar while sitting at one of the tables on his break.) We didn't mind the $120 a night hotel rate. We weren't even inclined to complain about the $2000 we spent supporting one of your businesses.

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However, being forced to spend $20 in toll fees to drive two 15 minute stretches on your roads, I can sure think of a lot better ways for you to say "Thank you."
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