Thursday, May 28, 2015

call me [griswold]

this past memorial day weekend found me visiting a route 66 icon.

while visiting tulsa, wandering in and out of gift shops i discovered we were very close to one of route 66's most famous icon's, the blue whale of catoosa.  being a fan of the famous highway, i had to see it!  the trip would not be complete until i had stared into the eye of this fictional beast.

after starting the morning enjoying an amazing breakfast, we set out.  although it was a short trip we encountered several mishaps.  not only was weather a factor, but i had a slight freak out at a gas station, thinking i had put the wrong type of fuel in.  there was also a few choice words spoken to the gps after it took us in circles.  frustrated, i stopped the car.

"this was no longer a vacation. it was a quest. a quest for fun."

like some strange mix of clark griswold and captain ahab, i was bound and determined to find this fictional creature. thankfully for all involved, i.e. my girlfriend, the destination was just around the corner, and what a sight it was!  i giant aqua colored artifact from another time; a reliquary of roadside kitsch!  i spent the better part of an hour climbing around it, taking pictures and chatting with the other tourists who had made the pilgrimage to see this marvelous man-made mammal.

having spent most of the weekend enjoying the comforts of the digital age, this whale was a giant reminder of days gone by, back to a time where sites like this were the only salvation from squabbling siblings sardined in the sweltering back seat of a station wagon and possibly the only entertainment for miles.  although it was tricky to find, it was worth it.

"it is not down in any map; true places never are." - herman melville 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the [new] old fashioned way to travel

now, more than ever, i'm convinced smaller cities must embrace technology to compete in the tourist game.

that...and city pride.

memorial day weekend, my girlfriend and i, traveled to tulsa, oklahoma for a little trip. we started out finding a great deal online on a great downtown hotel; from there we left the weekend to chance...well chance...and social media...and iphone apps.

upon arriving in tulsa, lunch was chosen using yelp.  while at the restaurant, we decided to visit a local brewery i follow on twitter.  as we tried the many samples of amazing beer, we got back on yelp to locate a place for dinner that night, easily finding which restaurants included gluten free items.  minutes after checking into our hotel we added the hotel's wifi password onto our iphones.  we got our bags settled and changed for dinner.  not knowing exactly where we might need to park for dinner, we checked to see if uber was available; it was.  while on the elevator we set our location and a minute after reaching the lobby, our driver was there.  ironically during the uber ride, technology took a back seat as our driver told us other locations to try near our destination.

the rest of the weekend followed suit.  finding places to eat, drink and visit using facebook, twitter or yelp and uber-ing our way there.  however once at those places, conversations we had with bartenders, waiters and drivers led to other great places to visit around town.

it's easy to know where to go in larger cities. anyone could name off several places they'd visit in new york, la, chicago and paris, however i'm not sure the same could be said about cities like tulsa, lincoln or wichita. it's harder to know where to go, but thankfully technology changes that, but it's not everything.

tulsa was a fantastic weekend getaway, in large part because of the information we had available at our fingertips.  even with technology helping us find the little jewels of the city; the people encountered at those places let us know why those jewels shine and help make tulsa a great place to visit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

[rouge][rouge] wine

life can't always be filled with dive bars and spicy pickles...sometimes you have to class it up a bit; and april turned out to be pretty classy. i was also able to mark a couple items off my wichita bucket list.

the first event was the wichita art museum's annual [color] party.  i'm still not sure how but i was lucky enough to be on the planning committee for this wonderful event.  the past 5 months were filled with brainstorming, planning, donations and calls.  not only did it turn out to be a completely wonderful event, but i loved seeing it go from a hand written word [rouge] on a piece of paper to a full fledged party covered with the color.  i also met some wonderful new people in the process i'm now lucky enough to call friends.

a few weeks later the gf and i also attended wichita's annual wine fest.  on the way walking to the event we ran into our new friends from the color party!  we decided to conquer the festival with them.  the evening was spent sampling various wines, snacking on hors d'oeures and fostering new friendships.

i wasn't able to capture as many pictures as i would have like, mainly because both events found me with a drink in my hand most of the night, but i hope you enjoy a few snaps of these [classy] events.

 photo by wam

 photo by cf

photo by cf