On Monday Ted pulled the trailer to the campground and called me when he was set up. I needed it to be ready with the slides open so I could put the refrigerator and freezer items away. Once we had things under control, Eileen and I went to visit Irene. While there Ted called and said there was a problem with the electrical post and we had to come home to close the trailer up, hook up again and move to a new spot. Not an ideal thing in the heat! We moved a few spots down and we had no more electrical problems.
No one had much breakfast nor any lunch so we headed to Willie's for a very late lunch/early dinner. Afterwards Ted and I made one last trip home to take my car back. Putting our feet up and watching TV filled our first evening out.
We were up early and had plenty of time to hook up and get ready for our 9 am departure. We would be traveling to Dallas and with Obama showing up about the same time, we were concerned about traffic. I routed us up I-45, west on I-20, bypassed I-35 to north 408 and went up the west side of Dallas to where we hit I-35E. We had no problems at all except for a little construction slow down north of Dallas. We pulled into the Winstar Casino park in Thackerville, OK about 2:30. When Ted and Eileen went in to register Ted asked about the free night if you signed up for their casino card. Sure enough it was still in effect so they both got a card and our $32 fee was waived!
It was terribly hot and since we are in Oklahoma, the wind was whistling o'er the plains! No chance to put the awning out or keep your hair combed. We got set up in beautiful long spots with a huge concrete patio and a lovely patio set.
By this time we were all hungry since we had no lunch so we took the shuttle to the casino to eat. Tom and I got a card (though I found my old one later that evening). We were given chocolate bars too. Ted played poker slots and I walked around and had trouble finding a machine to play. They were mostly penny machines but the minimum bet was 50, then 100. I like to play all the lines and keep changing my bet but not in 50 cent increments. I am a cheap gambler.
I played a few machines here and there and ended with $20.09 from my initial $20. In my book, that's a win. We checked out the restaurants and settled on Mexican. While walking past the buffet we noticed their breakfast buffet is free on Wednesday and Thursday for seniors with a casino card. Well all right! Breakfast in the morning was taken care of. Ted lost $10 playing poker so with my win we figured our camping, breakfast and two chocolate bars cost us $9.91. A good start to our vacation.
We went to the casino by shuttle about 8:30 on Wednesday morning. The line was really long but it moved right along. We showed our casino cards and ID to prove age and were given a $15.99 receipt for the free buffet. It was a nice spread and we enjoyed it. By 10:00 we were back and ready to pull out. We went north towards Oklahoma City, turning west on I-40 to our campground. We got set up and hid out inside because of the heat. Eileen brought margarita slushies over but didn't stay too long. Their whole motorhome stays cool while driving because he runs the generator. Our trailer just gets HOT inside so it takes time to cool down.
Later on we made salads and went next door and ate together then played a game of Mexican Train. Tom won the first night, I won the second night. It took almost all day for the weather to cool off. I don't think there is any relief in sight. We will be looking for inside adventures.
Thursday we visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. This memorializes the 168 people killed in the Murrah Federal Building bombing by Timothy McVeigh.
The first thing you enter is the memorial area containing the Field of Chairs, Gates of Time and Reflecting Pool.
The chairs are in 9 rows and the individual chairs are placed corresponding to where the victims were at 9:02 on 4/19/1995. Smaller chairs represent the children who died the daycare center. One wall on the Gates lists 9:01 when it was "a day like any other" and 9:03 on the other, the time we were changed forever as a city.
This is the Survivor Tree, a 90+ year old American elm. Despite being in the middle of the explosion, it has recovered and bloomed prolifically. Seedlings are given from it to the public each year. The wall circling it says The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.
And Jesus Wept
This statue is at the corner of St. Joseph Church that lost all of their stained glass windows. It seems to me that the black posts represent the children that died, their height reflects their age. However, I could not find an explanation and this is from the recesses of my mind.
This is such an emotional place to visit. I was moved to tears.