Hi ! I would like to introduce you all to the best bestie any girl EVER had!
Anna (for anyone who may be reading this and is new to my page) is the blonde on the right. She and I have been friends since 7th grade. This girl has been a real treasure to me for each and every year since then. She has been a psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, adviser, sounding board, confidant, and playmate. She was a constant voice of reason and source of support through my divorce and the emotions that were inevitable. She and I are, in many ways, very different. This allows us to balance each other nicely. When we get together my extrovert tendencies allow her to come out and "play" (Anna is very serious and responsible by nature) her introvert tendencies teach me about self reflection, that "serious" can be fun, and help me find and recognize my own strengths. Together, we have a BALL. A few years ago we came up with the idea of an annual Girl's Night Out/ Road Trip. This year's trip was so much fun.
Our trip this year began with me driving the four hours to her farm home. I was immediately greeted by Quinn, Anna's enormous, but harmless, dog. Here is Quinn in front of Anna's house. He is half Great Pyrenees and half Kangal.
When Quinn greets you in your car, you are officially "treed" until he decides you have loved on him enough and lets you go or Anna comes to your rescue and calls him off. He is a wonderful pet and shows no real aggression unless or until you are deemed a threat to Anna. Then, you are kibble! I definitely work to stay on his good side.
The next morning we were up bright and early ready to get started. We headed toward Oklahoma City where we would spend the first day shopping sales racks until we dropped, literally, and the second day doing some sight seeing. About 45 minutes from her home, we stopped for breakfast which is where we discovered that I, the brunette in our duo, had pulled what would turn out to be the only blonde moment of the trip. I had left my wallet in the front seat of my pickup, which was locked safely in her barn!!! We retrieved it and because of the setback went on with our plans about an hour and a half behind schedule.
Halfway through our shopping adventure we took a bit of a break to check into our hotel. This is when I found out that we were on the sixth floor. Originally this thought was no big deal to me. Then I found out that my slave driver of a friend was going to see to it that I use the STAIRS to come and go from the room. I did tease her quite a bit about the slave driver comment, but I must also admit how kind she was. Anna is not anorexic by any stretch, but has always had less of a weight problem than I do. She was able to practically RUN each flight of stairs and never touch a hand rail. Me, not so much! However, at each landing she would stop and wait and encourage me. She was very supportive about my efforts and always praised my performance while pointing out how "little" I had left to go. I thought I would die! But, I didn't, and that is what matters. Or so she tells me! LOL After we headed out on our second day she told me that had I ever cried "Uncle" we could have gotten off the stairs at that level and taken the elevator the rest of the way! I, of course, was shocked and a bit more than a bit vocal about the discovery. When I asked her why she had not told me that until NOW, she smiled and said, Because you and I BOTH knew you could do it. I BELIEVED it, without seeing it, but you needed to be convinced. (See what I mean about her serious side teaching me to self reflect and find my strengths?)
The second day, our travels took us to Pop's, a soda store near Arcadia Oklahoma. They are a Route 66 attraction that offers something like 600 varieties of soda. If you have ever eaten it, they probably have a soda in that flavor. Some of the varieties include; Buffalo Wing, Ranch Dressing, Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Here are a few pictures of that stop.
From there we traveled a quarter of a mile up the road to Arcadia and the historic Round Barn. It is exactly what the name implies. It is a round barn. However it gains a little appeal when you learn that it was built in the 1830's, that each piece of wood had to be steamed to get it to take the curve it had to have, as you wonder how people in 1830's knew this OR pulled it off, when you see the pictures of the state of disrepair it had fallen to before a family bought it spent many, many hours as well as countless dollars restoring it, and then see it today. Here are some pictures from this stop.
The amazing thing about this picture does not show. This was one of the places where my silly side allowed Anna's to come out and play. She HATES pictures and the fact that I got as many as I did of her is nothing short of the miracle of friendship. So when, for this pose, she asked to "hide" behind the wall, I didn't think anything about it. We went back to set up and found a small ledge that appeared to be just made for standing on. Since the wall was so high, we both stepped up without really thinking about it. (At least I didn't hahahaha) Just as the gentleman I had asked to take the picture was snapping the shot, Anna stepped quickly off the ledge and said Here! We can be the same height. UUGGGHHHH Obviously you can see that she was right. Only standing on a ledge could I ever be as tall as she is!
This is a picture of the hayloft area of the barn. It can be rented out for wedding receptions, business meetings, family reunions, and such. This picture does the room no justice, but I had to try and show you the unexpected beauty we found as we explored the hayloft. That is Anna by a sort of stage/ grandstand area in the center of the room. She is taking a picture of the inside of the barn's roof. This next picture is what the picture she was taking looked like. I wish the picture had been able to give a sense of the depth/height of this work.
Our final stop on the way home was at the Express Ranch Clydesdales. These animals are gorgeous but oh my LORD! they are huge. I have always known that, but standing right next to them rather than watching from a grandstand gives you a whole new perspective and respect for their size!! The barn and ALL of the land around the barn is beautiful, picturesque, and very well maintained! We enjoyed our time here immensely.
This is Danny. He was definitely the most playful and outgoing of all the horses we met. He loved to nuzzle and nibble at our hair, he loved to have his ears scratched, and would "complain" out loud when you walked away.
I hope you are able to see what a great time we had. This blog is not just to ramble on about my trip. I am sure it is much more appealing to me than to you. My need to make this blog is to put the trip to rest and move on with life and the journey.
When I started June, I began with a commitment to walk at least 15 minutes a day and to follow a strength training schedule. Both streaks were unfortunately interrupted.
As for the strength training, when I left home on Thursday, the streak was current. Friday was a rest day and it was my intention to do the exercises that were scheduled for Saturday, once I got home. After a long active day of sightseeing and the 4 hour drive home, I dropped the ball on the ST exercise streak. I did not do Saturday's or Sunday's schedule. The trip did not cause this, I did! I just did not get myself around and do it.
The walking was a bit more fortunate but was interrupted just the same. Thursday night, when I went to the guest room at Anna's house to go to bed, I had not yet walked my 15 minutes. I had decided to follow a very good example set for me by my sister (LJCANNON), on her last visit to my home, and walk in place in my room. As I started the walking I noticed a gazelle folded up and leaned against the wall in the corner of the room. I got it out and walked my 15 minutes. The streak lived!! I considered the massive amounts of walking (and the STAIRS!) over the next two days to be an acceptable completion of the 15 minute goal. We walked for hours at a time in each mall. The walking was not non-stop, but there was so much of it and sections of it were indeed quite long, that I counted the goal alive and well. I was OK until yesterday. Father's Day was for both dad and I a very relaxed, nonchalant kind of day. There was no real decision to skip the walking, it just never happened.
That brings me to today, and this blog. I was on a very good roll before and through the majority of my "vacation". Then although yesterday was not a "holiday" I kind of took it as one. I do not believe at this point that "Old Me" has taken back over, but I have to be sure that the "door" gets locked before she does.
The trip was wonderful and I cannot imagine anything in the world I would trade it for. The memory will definitely go down in my history book as "No Regrets". It was the getaway that we all need from time to time.
Yesterday is a bit of a toss up. Was I just being lazy? Was I using Father's Day and spending time with dad as an excuse to not do what I should? Was it an innocent oversight? Or had "Old Me" reared her ugly head in some sort of takeover attempt? I am not sure and I am not going to waste time deciding or being indecisive. I have done that too many times in the past and have lost far too much ground while I "pondered".
The bottom line (and I need to say this "out loud") is this. I am officially declaring yesterday a Mental Health Day. Between it and this blog, I have done what I needed to in order to mentally let go of vacation mode and step boldly back into "real" life. All my tracking and exercising is back in full swing. I hate that the streaks have to start over, but they do, and today is Day 1!! I WILL get right back on the track and travel this road like I need to. That is a promise!
I will close this all with a pajama top I saw during our shopping. I did not buy it, but I loved the message and how it was displayed so I took a picture.
Travel it (with people that balance you)
Enjoy it (take time to PLAY)
Learn from it ( setbacks are just a unexpected use of time. they DON'T end the trip)
Believe in your ability to travel it!(You can do ANYTHING if you are given no options)
Explore it!( You never know what unexpected beauty you might find)
Experience it! (Getting involved is so much more exciting than watching)