Sunday, January 31, 2010


Even titles are bigger here.
We had one more stop before leaving Oklahoma. Halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma City is Ardmore, OK, where my uncle Leo lives. We arrived on Sunday to burgers and dogs and the AFC & NFC championship games.
It was great getting to spend time with them. It's been a while since I'd seen my cousin Levi, and even longer since I'd seen Heather, And I'd never met her little munchkins here.
The next day Uncle Leo took off work and we went fishing. It was a little cool and windy, but a nice bright morning nonetheless. We pulled in a few small bass between us but Nikki had the only real keeper. We let it go too when we headed out since it was the only one. Not before Nikki named it Cathleen.
Well we spent a second night n Ardmore. Uncle Leo grilled steaks and we rented some movies. The next morning we hit the road for Dallas.
On the way we stopped for a $4.99 Chinese buffet. Ever eaten sherbet with chopsticks? Not so easy.


We pulled in to Dallas on tuesday afternoon. Driving into town we passed by the the G. W. Bush expressway, probably the most convoluted sting of tangled concrete I've ever seen.
Our first stop was the big red building on the right.
Yeah, it's called the "Big Red Courthouse" for obvious reasons. Except that now it's a museum that used to be a courthouse, so why it's not called a the "Big Red Museum" is beyond me. But they have a visitor's information center, so we thought it'd be a good place to stop.
The first thing we did after hearing the visitor's center worker's suggestions was check out this big recreation of a of a cattle drive in the middle of downtown.

Apparently each one of these statues cost $1 million dollars. And they still have more to put in.
Texas doesn't believe in recessions.
We found a place to park near the free trolley that runs from one end of town to the other.
We rode it all the way from the Southwest part of downtown to the Northeast.

On the other end of town we found the Uptown Bar and Grill (or maybe it was Grille, it was a pretty shnazzy part of town)
We walked around town for a little while checking out the sights.

Later that night we met up with Nikki's friend Kelly. her and her friend Blaine took us out to the Doublewide.
Yes, it's a bar made to look like a doublewide trailer, complete with thrift-store couches, stuffed animal heads, and velvet pictures on the wall.
Oh yeah, and a line of toilets in the outdoor patio.

We spent the next day with Kelly at her place near Fort Worth, just 30 mins east of Dallas.
After that we drove down to Houston. Spring to be exact. We met up with my old friend Justin Raddatz and his family.
After showing us around town on Friday, which included a stop at his work for Fajita Friday, we saw the giant president heads

Same pose, different locations, or green screen?

Justin helping Adams with a little thing he had hanging there.
Those are giant Beatles in the background.
The Raddatz family at the mall. Justin, Alissa and little Ada.

This is probably the greatest gift basket I have ever seen. As you can see it included Corona, Fritos, beef jerky and pork rinds. Nothing says I love you like pork rinds. Or is it coronary disease?

This is Kilo, another member of the Raddatz family.

We also spent some time at the park. Here's Coco going down the slide. After his first attempt it was like when Napoleon went to Waterloo in Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure. He couldn't get enough. He kept running up trying to beat Ada to the top.
We had an amazing time with the Raddatz'. And to cap it all off Justin launched a dozen fireworks into the air. It was glorious.

We head out for Austin today. And then perhaps San Antonio.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain

We had a lot of fun Shanelle and Adam's apartment in Midwest City, OK. It had been over a year since Sha and I had seen each other so some quality cousin time was definitely called for.

The first thing on the agenda was going to the Officer's Club and meeting all of Shanelle's coworkers. The dinner was free, the company was great and Sha won $50 in a raffle!!

The next day we went to David's Bridal so Shanelle could try on some wedding dresses.

Beautiful bride-t0-be Shanelle modeled wedding dresses for Jenny, Angelina and me while we took photos and voted for our favorite three. This Cinderella dress didn't make the cut, but Sha had a lot of fun trying it on. It was so pouffy, it barely squeezed into the the fitting room! Afterwards, Shanelle treated us to some Chinese chow at P.F. Chang's. Thank you Sha!

My bestest friends in the whole wide world.
Jenny, Angelina, Shanelle and I sat around playing cards and drinking wine while...
... Mykle, Adam and Chris killed Nazi zombies. :P
Adam timing Chris as Jenny tries to guess what he's sketching in a game of Cranium.
Meet Lux, the sweetest cuddlebug.

We went to Musashi's Japanese Steakhouse to celebrate my belated birthday. Mykle generously treated me and Chris to a shrimp entree cooked on the hibachi grill, a couple maki rolls and Sapporo and saki. Thank you Mykle and Jenny!
Samurai Nikkimoto and Samurai Shasaki.

Chris and I took a trip to the Stockyards: A street full of stores vending cowboy boots, cowboy hats, cowboy shirts, cowboy chaps. Who knew it was so expensive to be a cowboy? Those hats run between $50-$350 and a good pair of cowboy boots will run you at least $200.
Archway inviting you into the Stockyards.

Bolo ties aren't really my style, but we found an excellent collection of very reasonably priced hardcovers at Abalache Book & Antique Shop.

Downtown Oklahoma. The billboard reads: Parking meters were invented in our great state. Thanks a lot, Oklahoma. Everybody loves parking meters!

Silly, horses can't read!

Friday night we all headed to Norman, the nearby college town.
The music was too loud, the drunk college kids were too obnoxious, but the beer was good and cheap!
Meet Dane, Shanelle's cousin from her daddy's side of the family. He's a sports writer/interviewer/journalist and knows more about sports than anyone I know!

We went back to the Officer's club last Friday for some karaoke.
We entered in on Shanelle rapping "Paul Revere" by the Beastie Boys. I sang "Part Time Lovers" by Stevie Wonder.

Chris sang "Use Me" by Bill Withers.

Saturday, we went to a friend's house for a chili dinner and some Mario Bros on Wii. Afterwards, Chris and I joined Mykle in celebrating his graduation from the air traffic control and upcoming move to work at Dallas airport. The theme (obviously) was the 70s.

"It's a different kind of sexy"
-Mykle Trejo
That's Mykle looking fabulous in the middle.
70s girls!
Me and Chris posing after a victorious 3 game sweep in beer pong.
Mykle dancing with a broom after a terrible upset, shutting me and Chris out at beer pong with only 4 throws.
Mykle and Phil in baby blue and burgundy. Looking good fellas!

I'll leave you with this fantastic photo. You might want to print it and frame it on your wall. Copyright 2010.