To end the summer with quite a bang, my parents decided to make the trek to Oklahoma for a few days to help my Grandparents with their big move to Augusta in a few weeks. We flew there, and then Dad and I drove a Uhaul truck back full of treasures and antiques.
The trip began with a 4:30am wake-up call last Tuesday morning. The only perk to this was the beautiful sunrise and the large iced coffee on the plane.
Being in Oklahoma was so much fun. It was the first time I had been back since 2008. I'm a huge fan of revisiting places and seeing how it has grown up over the years, and reminiscing on memories that I've made in the past. Being there was like one big blast to the past, and I loved every second of it.
We landed in Oklahoma City, and drove about an hour and a half away to Carnegie. Let me just fill you in on this little town. There is only a little over 1,500 people that live there, everyone knows everyone, and the most exciting thing to do (and, also one of my most favorite pastime memories) is go to the movie theater. So, of course we had to fit this tiny adventure in the schedule for one of the nights.People come from all over to this little theater solely just for the popcorn, chili dog, and show coke. It's so much fun, and a perfect reminder of how much happiness can be found in the simplest of things. The movie was great, but even if it hadn't have been, I still would have throughly enjoyed each moment because of the precious, nostalgic atmosphere that overflows in that teeny building.
We spent three days in Oklahoma cleaning, reminiscing, and packing up the Uhaul. Then, at 6:30am on Friday morning, Dad and I hit the road for a cross (half of the country) road trip... which was sort of a dream come true.
Once again, the only bonus to waking up with the sun is the incredible sunrises and views of the magnificently beautiful rolling plains, so I'm really not complaining.
On day one of travel, we crossed half of Oklahoma, all of Arkansas, and made it to Memphis where we stayed for the night.
We stopped near Little Rock for a final lunch at Braum's.
Braum's is the ice-cream my mother constantly craved and devoured when pregnant with my brother (sole reason why he can't go a day without eating ice-cream to this day), and when I was growing up, it was the first place we would go to as soon as our feet hit Oklahoma soil. Best (fast food) cheeseburger and ice-cream in the entire midwest.
While in Memphis, Dad had made a few quirky plans for us that turned out to be one of the most fun things I've done in a while.
We parked the Uhaul truck behind the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, went into the hotel lobby where I was incredibly surprised to see the centerpiece for the majestic lobby was a beautiful fountain adorned with several live ducks just splash-splashing all around. Dad explained that they are wild ducks that the Peabody staff keeps in the fountain during the day. They bring them out at 11am when they come down the elevator, waddle across a red carpet, and hop into the fountain. They stay playing in the fountain until 5pm when the red carpet in rolled back out, and they waddle back into the elevator for their ride up to their penthouse on the rooftop of the hotel.
All the children sit on the floor in awe of the ducks as the quack on down the red carpet, and all the people gather around with cameras in hand, snapping photos like paparazzi. It was the sweetest, cutest thing I've ever seen.
After, we went to a restaurant called The Rendezvous. I was a little
skeptical at first due to the placement of the joint in the middle of an alley...
But, Dad insisted that he had heard it was one of the greatest in all of Memphis. We started with the famous "Sausage and Cheese" and I got BBQ Chicken Nachos. Two words that explain it all: Absolutely DELICIOUS!
The majority of day two was spent in a corner of Mississippi and
all the way across Alabama.
The rolling plains and flatlands of the midwest had come and gone,
but the sites still weren't too bad accompanied with
a little crossword puzzles and storytelling.
Then, we crossed the border into Georgia, the time changed back,
and home was on the horizon.
During the drive, I spent some time reading
"The Opposite of Loneliness" by Marina Keegan.
She was a Yale student, an aspiring journalist, and one who had decided at 23-years-old to dedicate her life to writing, exploring, and truly living life to the fullest. However, on the day of her college graduation, she was in a fatal car accident that took her life in a single instant. The book is a collaboration of all of her most eloquently written fiction and non-fiction stories. A quote from one of Marina's poems opens the book saying,
"Do you wanna leave soon? No, I want enough time to be in love with everything... And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short."
Her life was too short, but so inspiring.
And, each one of those 1,070 miles were also too short. I loved every moment I got to spend with my handsome, funny, lovable Dad. I wouldn't have changed anything about this adventure except to make it last longer.
Everything about it was "so beautiful and so short".
But, I feel so lucky. And, I know I'll take the memories with me
and cherish them forever.
If you ever have an opportunity to embark on an adventure, whatever it may be or however crazy it may seem, embrace it. Always, always, always live your life to the fullest. Like Marina, don't ever be ready to leave.
Spend time being in love. Because it is too short, but so beautiful.
Adventure is out there, now it's your turn to find it.