Friday, November 28, 2014

Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving is a much larger deal if you will, on this side of the international border. In the great NorthWet we generally get together for Turkey et al, but here it is the kick off of the Christmas season, and it is a BIG DEAL.

Since neither ScooterChick nor I felt that the hours of cooking were required,
de rigeur or recommended we opted for Golden Corral. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, imagine every possible type of food, salad and dessert then imagine it priced at $12.99 per person and there you are! 

They started serving Thanksgiving dinner at 10:45 a.m. and we arrived at about around 12:30 and joined the lineup. It took us almost exactly 1/2 hr. to get seated. 

Here are your genial correspondents. We had skipped breakfast in preparation for the event, and had every intention of eating until critical mass was achieved.

I will show you my selections. I forwent the salad bar which I usually start with. Tis the season to High Grade. This is round 1 and it's a good un.  Going in a clockwise fashion we have Turkey ( a little light a little dark meat) Broccoli with Cheese Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, Onion Rings, Green Bean Casserole (with the Requisite Fried Onion Bits), Fried Mushrooms, Cheesy Biscuit and it's topped with a healthy scoop of Moist Turkey Dressing.

It took a lot of work and a considerable amount of time to dispatch the first plate and I had to give serious consideration to what I wanted for Round 2.

I settled on Mac&Cheese, a couple more Onion Rings, Seafood Salad, Baked Honey Ham, and Whipped Potato with Gravy.

I must admit, by the time I chowed my way to the bottom of this plate, my girth was already starting to experience some strain. But wait, there's more.

In round 3 I went to the dessert section. I loaded a plate, with the full intention of sharing with ScooterChick. Alas she, after a couple bites was unable to assist so I had to finish by myself. I sampled their pie: Blueberry, Pumpkin and Pecan and had a sliver of Carrot Cake and most of a Chocolate Tart.

By the time I finished this gustatory repast, I was full enough to have to take shallow breaths. Seriously....I kid you not!!!

By the time we "waddled" out of Golden Corral it was about 2:30. I ate nothing until about 10:30 this morning. I just couldn't!!! 

I'm glad this is a only a once a year deal. Seriously I would not be able to handle it more frequently. My expanding encroaching rotundity. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Get Your Kicks!

Well, we're back in the car again. Where to this time?
There's a hint in the title of today's blog, so for the "incognoscenti" let's just see shall we. We headed up out of Lawton to the North past Lake Lawtonka and past Carnegie of which I've blogged in the past.
 The temperature has risen a little, and we don't have to have the heater going full blast in the car.

North of Carnegie, we headed West until we came to the town of New Cordell. It's a lot larger than it looks on the map and has a Police Department that is larger than some we have seen.

It is also the site of the Washita County Courthouse that is currently undergoing restoration. It is a noble building that was constructed in 1910 in the Classical Revival style.

Turning North at New Cordell we came to the town of today's destination, Clinton OK. I did not know it was "The Hub City of Western Oklahoma". Okay then.

One of the first sights I noticed in Clinton was the Glancy Motel. This is a larger motel than most, due to it's proximity to town and is so reminiscent of many places I stayed in the early 60's. They were known by various titles like:
Auto Court, Motor Court, Motor Hotel or Motor Lodge and differed from traditional hotels in that they catered to the newly liberated American Car Culture.

In the post-war era, people celebrated their freedom and prosperity by traveling to see sights that they had only heard about in the past, and enthusiasm for new horizons ran high. How better to get there than in a Chrome Encrusted, Power Accessory Loaded, 8 Cylinder Behemoth birthed in Detroit. Gas was cheap, vistas were broad and the road beckoned.

Here's another hint at our eventual destination. My anticipation was running high!

Here is another enduring monument to "The Mother Road", most of  which has been paved over or decommissioned.

Ta-Da! We have arrived. It is already worth the drive and the main event is yet to come. We parked the car and made ready to be amazed.

With a 1957 Chevrolet Belair 2 dr. Coupe shining in the window the Museum awaits. Alright then, wait no longer.

The road is also affectionately known as the Will Rogers Highway. This link will give you more information about Oklahoma's Favorite Son.

The first thing we see upon entering is a Phillips 66 gas pump, which shows a price of 23.9 /gal. I remember the day. Interestingly, when the prices are adjusted for inflation, our current gas price here is about the same in terms of buying power for the dollar. There were different priorities in those days and seeing what lay on the other side of the mountain was a powerful draw.

There is a well-stocked gift shop......where's my magnet?

ScooterChick has a suggestion for me. Why thank you, I do believe I shall.

There is a painting of the Corvette used in the iconic TV series Route 66

Once one enters the museum, there is a wall with large copies of postcards that would have been available along the route along with a history of the conception, planning and construction of the road. It was the first highway which was designed and implemented to move material and perishables from the railheads in Chicago to the West Coast.

There are representations of a Garage and Filling Station that feature period articles to show how it was. A lot of the articles continued in use well past the era in which they are displayed.

I spent a few moments describing the operation of the Visible Gas Pump to Patsy so that she had a grasp of the metering system and safeguards for both the operator and the motorist. I do know from experience nearly half a century ago that gas jockeys knew the first thing to ask a motorist was "fill er' up?"

The next room featured a display of an old Greyhound Terminal. There was a definite travel hierarchy on the road.
At the top of the heap, those with their own automobiles since one can dictate the speed, duration and stopping places. Below that was bus travel. Safe, predictable and reasonably economical. For others like myself in those early years, an upraised right thumb and hopeful expression had to suffice.

Here is ScooterChick, apparently waiting for her bus to depart.

Here is a depiction of the early days of Motor Freight. All of the company trucks were and still are easily recognizable by their livery. Even today Yellow, OD, Melton, Zimmerman and others can be identified by their colors.

The next display included a phone booth, coffee shop counter and dinette booth with jukebox. I did sit in the phone booth and close the door, and dial the number of my boyhood home. I imagined what could transpire if a 9 year old me should answer. I imagined that I could tell myself that I was calling from 2014, and to have hope, cherish faith, pray and carry on.

Here is ScooterChick doing something with her phone while the Soda Jerk seems to be impatiently waiting for her order.

The next room dealt with the 60's. This Psychedelic Volkswagen Bus was emblematic of the counter culture. Peace and Love man.........

Our visit to the museum brought back many happy memories for me of traveling on Route 66 when I was just wee. The unhappy memories have all faded and nothing but the good ones remain. As you can tell ScooterChick and I are...

Outside there was a diner. Complete, sweet and petite. The bright colors and clean exterior were designed to lure the savvy traveler in.

The gleaming stainless, the red stool upholstery and the black white contrasts together with the deep fried goodness, makes one's mouth water.

The Soft Ice Cream Dispenser, The Soda Fountain, the Milkshake Machine all so reminiscent of a bygone era.

Returning to the Highway we came across this emporium. We however were in search of some chow and did not investigate.

We stopped at a well known South West establishment. Any place that has Sherbet, Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream is all right in my books.

I decided on a Bacon Cheese Mushroom Burger. Looks good doesn't it? It was!

Patsy got a Hot Fudge Sundae. Was it good?  Her expression should tell you.

Leaving Braum's we took one last 66 related picture in preparation for heading home to Lawton. The sun was starting to go low and we had miles to go.

The town we had stopped in was Weatherford. They have spruced up the 2 blocks of their main downtown.

On the way home we passed through Mountain View which is  another small town near Gotebo. You can get a view of the Wichita Mountains from the North here.

Soon enough we were home. We traveled about 192 miles, and had a great deal of fun along the way, and yes....we're still getting our kicks!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Toodle -Oo We're Off To The Zoo

Before I embark on the main body of my narrative today, let me toss you a little Scooter Porn. I was out running errands the other day with Rascal my faithful steed and he was overtaken with brief delusions of grandeur. He wanted his picture taken with these friends. They are cast in Bronze outside the Technical School near here, and thus safe to approach at this distance.

This moto-related deliciousness having been dispensed by way of appetizer  we move on to the main course.

The fuel gauge was looking a little low, so I went to fill up before we headed out. I know this seems a little braggadocios, but I still get a thrill buying gas at these prices. I topped off the tank and the total for about $21 for gas which would have cost $35 in Canada. Wheeee!

The weather has been changing here in Southwestern Oklahoma, and we decided to go up to the City and visit the Zoo while it was still clement and mild. Along the way we looked at a few motor homes (of course) and when we arrived at the Zoo it was about 66 F. Perfect Zoo walking temperature.

Here is my beloved, Jacketed and Sunglassed ready to see some Grrr Animals!
I had a Sack Pack of water and Granola Bars to keep us fueled along the way.

Here is Miss Helen, reveling in the idea of animal viewing. She strikes a pose!

After coming through the entrance gate there is a wide Plaza with a Restaurant, Washrooms and a Gift Shop. One can also become a Zoo member at their office.

Here is ScooterChick showing us "You Are Here".

The first animal we came across was this Indian Rhino. He was big, he was strong, he smelled atrocious. I'm sure he didn't mean to offend.

Across from him we found this cute little fellow. Since we weren't allowed to touch the real thing, Patsy thought she would cuddle up to this little fellow.

There is a wall one can stand next to and get an idea how big these animals are. The ones here are Asian elephants, their ears are smaller. They're still humongous however.

The weather is starting to bring out the fall colors. I love this time of year and the colors which nature displays during the season.

A little further on we came to a plaza where there were tables and a little cafe. This fellow was wandering around, quite used to the humans and casting an avian eye hither and yon obviously looking for your French Fry or a bit of your Hamburger Bun. It was interesting to see people's reactions as he approached. Some were startled as he sidled quietly up before they noticed him, and made sure their hands were out of reach, as though they expected he was about to peck them.

Some of the children reacted with glee, while others were "FREAKED ALL THE WAY OUT", and started to cry and tell their parents to make it go away.

A little further on we came to some Gorilla statues. Miss Helen wanted to sit in his lap, while ScooterChick lurked in the background.

Patsy seems to be saying "look Helen this one is eating some leaves".

"I feel much safer behind this guy than in front of him."

Here is the real McCoy, pondering the weightier matters of life. There were about 5 Gorillas in the exhibit, all of them maintaining a healthy distance from each other. There seemed little sign of communication. Perhaps they were enjoying "quiet time."

The other side of the enclosure had Orangutans. This one had just been fed, and was busy scooping up pieces of apple and carrot in a methodical fashion.

This one was quite a bit smaller, and lighter colored. Whether he was a juvenile or a grandparent I know not, but I did notice he kept a weather eye out for the larger one across the pen.

Outside there was a watery patch of sunshine and this fellow was basking and idly munching on blades of grass. We let him eat his snack, while we enjoyed a Granola Bar (or two.)

We wandered over to the new Elephant Exhibit and they were across the other side of the paddock, so no pictures, but there were these two en tableau with a plaque identifying them as "playmates".

I took the opportunity to join them in their play (a little) while ScooterChick snapped my picture. There was a Zoo-seum in an adjacent building where we watched an informative documentary film about the history of the Zoo.

We continued our peregrinations to the Big Cat area and saw this Clouded Leopard. The next cage held an Ocelot, and they were both pacing their enclosures in anticipation of their dinner.

This White Tiger was surveying all passers by while idly munching on his tail. Say What? Yes, he had his tail in his mouth! Perhaps he was thinking, "if I can't have one of you juicy morsels, I'll just amuse myself thusly."

Seeing these cats at a distance, doesn't really give accurate perspective. On a wall in a nearby building there is a diorama in full scale. The deer is about 5 feet tall at the rack and looks  like about 250-300 pounds. You can use those figures to extrapolate the tiger's dimensions. Yeah, I wouldn't want to see him coming for me either.

Here is the beast himself, also pacing in anticipation of his din dins.

We walked through a building where the hippos were being fed. Here we have mother and baby, placidly munching on hay.

Here is a Pygmy Hippo. That's if you can call 5-600 pounds Pygmy!

This is a Mynah bird from India. I spent a few minutes chirping at him. He said nothing by way of reply.

Here again is Mr. Stinky. They corralled him indoors while they prepared his evening meal. He seemed surly and ill tempered. Perhaps that's just his natural disposition.

There was a small flock of Flamingos outside. Beautiful Plumage. I realize I'm dating myself with a reference to 1969's "Parrot Sketch" by Monty Python but there you have it.

I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille. Yet another historical reference. Sunset Boulevard circa 1950.

We took a stroll through the Aquarium and I caught this picture of a path that wound down to the lakeside. The sun was on the wane and the colors were muted but lovely. What a bucolic setting.

There is a dolphin statue outside the Aquarium.

Here is a picture of the aforementioned path, this time from the topside. This should be our yard!!!

Here, adjacent to the shrieking Lorikeets is my beloved, admiring the foliage. She loves the autumn colors as much as I.

It was time to exit the Zoo. We had walked and then walked and subsequently walked some more. It was an enjoyable visit, and now we will enjoy the upholstery as we drive away!

We stopped at an Indian Restaurant on the way home. The place was utterly filthy but the food was exquisite. They served us on Styrofoam Plates with Plastic Cutlery if you can believe it, but the food was authentic Tandoori cooking and delicious. Just goes to show you, you can't judge an eatery by it's appearance nor it's level of hygiene apparently. 

As an added bonus, the Restaurant (and I do use this term in the loosest of senses) was attached to an industrial truck stop adjacent to a major East West freeway.

Imagine my joy at seeing the gasoline price....heck yeah I will top off the tank.

We arrived home at a realistic time and relaxed and watched a movie.
Our further adventures will be related when they occur....thanks for coming along.