03 April 2012

USA trip in March 2012 Part III of III

Monday in Oklahoma

So the final part of the short trip to the states (read part II)

Fiona the unhappy pram rider
One of the things Emily had suggested we do whilst in Oklahoma City was to try the Art Walk.  This is based in downtown and consists of a walk around the area looking at various sculptures and art works, some are in building and some outside.  I've selected pictures of the best pieces that we saw in my opinion.  It was a really nice way to see the downtown area of the city, our only slight problem was Fiona who once again didn't want to go in her pram, this is mainly because she falls asleep in the pram.

Red and big
Inside one of the buildings
Depicting the sky

One of many at the bus terminal
on the shelters

We also got a chance to meet one of Amanda and Emily's friends Nick who works for Devon Energy (DE) in Oklahoma city.  DE are in direct competition with another company in Oklahoma Chesapeake Energy (CE).  CE have a large campus in Oklahoma City, to compete with this DE have constructed a building 14 floors (350ft/104m) taller than anything previously in OKC.   As the building is made of glass it is quite striking.
Can you spot the Devon tower?

After a short tour of the Lobby of  the Devon building, we finished our part of the art walk in the Botanical gardens

One of my favourites 
Mum and Auntie Emily playing
Think this will be even better
in the summer it will have water also
Fiona having nothing to do with balls,
these didn't move either
Following some play time in the park we headed for some lunch then it was off to do some pressing tasks... Getting Amanda and Fiona a hair cut, note we were only cutting the fringe not "all of her beautiful curls off?" which one stranger in the shop questioned Amanda with before the cut.

All ready to go
Getting the fringe out of her eyes
All done. Less than 2 min :)

Looking up
Following the quick cut it was off to a mall again for Mum to get her hair cut.  Although not quite in the less than 2min category, she was really quick also.  This gave Fiona an opportunity to demonstrate looking up to us in the play area at the mall while we waited for Mum to finish.

Nap time 
This was our last full day in Oklahoma before we left to head back to Colombia via Houston.  We decided to take it easy in the morning before heading out for some food then a visit to the National Cowboy Museum.  While Mum and Dad packed Emily very kindly took care of Fiona for us... They were both happy to take a nap.  
Fiona in Very High Chair
What I have also not mentioned is that Emily made a high chair for Fiona and our visit! Since Emily's table is high and knowing how wriggly Fiona is and the height of the table Emily came to the conclusion she needed a high chair.  So she went and found plans then scaled them up for her table and built it. Amanda and I were so glad of this as it makes meal times so much easier for all concerned.  Although I don't have any pictures to give a sense of scale here is one of Fiona in it just after breakfast.

Once we were all packed we headed back out to Pops in Arcadia for lunch and happened to be there on $2 burger day.  The burgers were fantastic and at $2 really good value. 

Following a fantastic lunch we headed to the National Cowboy Museum,  As you would expect with a national museum the displays were fantastic although some of the items were not allowed to be photographed.  What we also found was a dressing up section, I'm not sure who was happier Mum or Fiona.  We managed to get Fiona into some cowgirl boots which made her walk like she had been on a horse for 3days.   I guess she was just not use to the heals, we also tried on some chaps and a sheriff vest.  

Walking like she had
been on a horse
Attempt at chaps
New Sheriff in town
Head Dress

Trying out horse riding :)
Wednesday, Houston again
We headed back to Houston on Wednesday, after a quick visit to a walk in clinic with Amanda again.  It turns out she is allergic to the sulphur based antibiotic medicine she had been given back in Houston to get over the "worst cold/ear infection ever" which we all caught in Bogota.

Thanks Emily for taking care of us and showing us some really interesting things in Oklahoma. We had a great time.

The flight went really well, Southwest airlines are great to fly with, everyone is so friendly... not like the crew we have previously had on United when flying in to Colombia, service with a smile just didn't happen.

In the evening we had a fantastic dinner with Richard who Amanda worked with when in Romania.  He has recently been transferred to Houston and is just finding his feet there but it was good to meet a friend before we headed back to Colombia. We went to an Indian restaurant called Shiva which was really good and really well priced.

Today we did our last little bit of shopping.... all we seem to do is shop before heading back to Colombia.  The flight back was fairly uneventful, we thought Fiona was going to be a nightmare but lucky for us she ate and then slept the rest of the flight, best she has ever been on an aeroplane.  Once we were back she was so happy to be back in her own bed she slept right through the night which she had not done since we went away.
All in all it was an excellent holiday and one we really didn't want to come home from though I can't think of a holiday where I did want to come back.  Until the next blog take care

02 April 2012

USA trip in March 2012 Part II of III

Oklahoma City
After a fun filled few days in Houston (read part I) we travelled north to Oklahoma City to visit Emily and Toba (her dog) who live there.  The flight went really well although was a little bumpy.  Emily told us to call when we landed and she would come and pick us up. Great no hire car required.  We called and just as we collected our bags she was waiting for us, great timing.  
Then it was off back to her house to meet Toba (aka "horse dog").  Toba is very well trained though super excited to see new people. 

Toba.. Can I eat Fiona she looks so tasty
On guard Toba

On Friday we went shopping, as much as I dislike this task with the rate Fiona is growing it is a necessary evil.  We loaded up and hit the outlet mall.  On arrival Fiona was allowed to walk in the pedestrian area, they had some big concrete balls to stop traffic entering this area, Fiona shouts "Ball" and runs at one to try and push it, it didn't move she bounced off and got up looking all confused saying "Ball?". I only wish we had a video camera running it would have made "You've been framed" or "America's funniest home video's" for sure!

All registered and ready to go
Saturday was Race day.  Amanda and Emily are completing a competition against each other to try and cover the distance between Bogota and Oklahoma City in the shortest time (see link here) Because of this they both try to exercise as much as possible. At the moment Amanda is injured so this meant that Amanda, Emily and Fiona took part in the 1mile fun run at the race, it also meant that I was able to run 5km race without pushing Fiona.  We arrived at the event and managed to get signed on.  
Amanda, Emily and Fiona lined up for the fun run and did really well, 20min for a mile is pretty good with legs as short as Fiona has. Once back I got to race, I am really pleased with my result since I'd been sick in Bogota and not run for a month before this race.  I managed a personal best and won my age category, we even got a picture of me overtaking second place on the home straight :)


And they are off


My Race start..
I'm near the back

Me passing someone
at the finish 

Post race I'm shattered
and it was only 5km!

Getting gold medal
for my age group

After the race we went and did a little more shopping albeit at a running store (can you see a theme here) then we went for lunch and yet more shopping.

Sunday may be a day of rest for some people but when the Blades show hits town it is another opportunity to wear yourself out.  We started the day early so I could get some photos during the so called Golden hour at the Oklahoma City National Memorial (thanks Amanda and Emily again for getting up early).  The memorial marks the spot in 1995where Timothy McVeigh parked a rental truck full of explosives and the detonation and subsequent collapse of the building  killed 168 people, each of whom is marked by an empty seat indicating their location during the explosion.

Reflection pool

Gate of Time

Field of Chairs

We then moved on to Bricktown and to have a look at some statues depicting the centennial land run which took place in 1889.

Clear the river
About to get run down!

Giant bottle
After breakfast we headed out to a place called Pops near Arcadia on route 66.  This is a petrol station and a dinner. It is also home to a large selection of pop and a giant sculpture of a bottle.

Following a short stop here we headed back to Oklahoma city zoo as we were meeting Jennifer and Scott there.  We decided to take a short detour on the way back. Going from Emily's map in the car it looked like it would be good roads. Don't think any of us expected this though.

When roads go bad :)

Oklahoma City Zoo
Thanks to Scott, Amanda's friend Jennifer's husband we had a great time at the zoo, guest entries and Emily and I were able to get a back stage tour to see how they feed the apes and actually help out, an experience I'm sure neither of us will forget.
Owing to the heat and the fact that once again Fiona didn't want to ride in her pram we kept the time at the zoo short and sweet. We did see quite a few animals though, here are some photos.

They also have a baby Elephant at the zoo which was super cute.  

Following the trip to the zoo we headed back to Emily's place to have a BBQ. Jennifer and her baby Mia came along, sadly Scott couldn't make it as he was watching "OKC Thunder" play or from the garbled message we got from Amanda "the cloud or something"

Continued in part III