Monday, March 29, 2010

Relivin' the TRT Dream

It's been a very magical day for me. Today, Owen, Jordan, CJ, Nick and I traveled to Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It has been a full, full day that flew by! We left our hotel bright and early--6:45! We were dressed and on the road!!! I should say early, not bright, as the sun wasn't up yet! Norman is an hour's drive from Sulphur so we had some quiet time in the car to wake up. It was beautiful driving in the open landscape--especially as the sun began to rise. It was a brisk 41 degrees this a.m. when we left and there was mist over the Washita River and low laying fog in the fields----absolutely beautiful with the landscape. It was very tranquil and I loved our drive in this a.m.

We met Lauren and Chris at the Vis, reunited with Shelley, got a stamp, and felt a buffalo hide--all before 8:30 am!

I should state right now that I think I have a new record for the most pictures taken in one day---more than 1500 on one card, more than 500 on another card, and with the help of everyone here videotaping and Ms. Jen for the borrowing of the extra flip camera, we have more than an hour and a half of video! So, I'm having quite a hard time choosing which photos to post!

The boys each went through and picked out which photos they wanted to use with their blog (Jordan is using the photos he took!) so that helped to eliminate some great ones. It was great to see which ones they wanted to focus on.

But I digress....

It's getting late so I'm going to do a photo tour for you..... :)

We first stopped to collect water at Vendome for our 6th graders presentation later in the day. This was the first exposure for the boys why the town is called "Sulphur."

From there we went to the Headquarters building for our conference call with Superintendent Bruce. Even though he is on vacation, he took out time from his vacation to talk with the boys. The boys came up with 19 AWESOME questions last night after our dinner with Ms. Lauren and Mr. Chris. Lauren and Chris came back to the hotel with us and shared what a Superintendent of a National Park does and why it was a big deal that we got to talk to Bruce. The boys did an AMAZING job! I'm really, really proud of them and so glad that they had this opportunity!

While we got things together for the conference call they were introduced to the terrific staff! :) Here's Ranger Ron!

We had our conference call with Bruce....

and then it was time to head to Sulphur Elementary! We had a joint presentation about our National Parks in our city/state! Ms. Jessica Mueller's 6th grade students presented to our 8th grade boys about the three National Parks in Oklahoma. We shared about 15 National Parks in DC. It was a fantastic embodiment of what STAMPS is about---truly awesome! And so, so cool to see the kids interact with each other! Wooohoo! Thanks Lauren and Jessica for making this happen! :) Congrats to the kids who prepared their presentations! :)

With a feeling of relief and accomplishment, we headed into the Park itself and explored.....We went across Lincoln Bridge and into Flower Park...

We even found the Redbud treet--Oklahoma's State Tree!

and then headed to Mazzio's for lunch.

We came back to the Vis and Ms. Shelley from the Chamber of Commerce brought us goodies! How sweet! She brought us waters, fruit, and a goody bag! Thank you Shelley!

After lunch we did more exploration in the Platt District of the Park---our first stop? THE BISON! And they were out! It was like they were waiting for us. They paraded past us as we followed them down the fence--grunting, drinking water, and rolling in the dirt....MAGNIFICENT!

We stopped at Bromide Pavillion and then Bromide Hill and took in the view from the overlook....

and then moved up the road toward the Nature Center...stopping to play in the water along the way.

We also stopped at the Junior Ranger Station to learn about it and to get the very special and unique stamp! Very cool!

We stopped at Bear Falls and played in the waters of Chickasaw for a while.....

By the time we made it to the Nature Center we were in full swing! We had the debut of the STAMPS stamp (Thanks Ms. Jen!)! Met the owls, met Ranger Stefan, watched the video, and took a look in the book store.

We went to Little Niagara, made by the CCC. In the summer this place is PACKED---today, it was only us and serene!
After we said good bye to Ms. Laure and Mr. Chris we continued on to Buckhorn so they could see the other part of the park. The boys skipped stones and Nick even went in to his knees! It was neat to have this very different experience from the Platt district.

Of course we had to stop and take a picture with the brown sign!

We made one last stop at Vendome to collect some of the water in our water bottles. The boys want to bring some back with them and to let their family members smell and taste the mineral water!

On our way to our last stop we took yet another photo--this time at Junk City---a home?/shop? with interesting things on the outside---like this KFC bucket for instance....I had always thought I would stop this summer and never did so I was glad the boys wanted to investigage with me and see what the place was all about!

Earlier this week Ms. Lauren had the great idea of taking the boys to the Fried Pie Shop---fantastic idea Lauren! Fried pies are made on the spot...they are pie dough filled with various fruit jellies and then folded over and deep fried--some still sold while hot! No one else had had a fried pie before so we all got a different flavor and dove in! Jordan got Vanilla, Owen chocolate, Nick blackberry, CJ apricot, and I got coconut. Most thought they were pretty good--CJ wasn't sure about the fruit on the inside but was glad he tried it. I loved the coconut one!

We headed back to Norman and our day ended the way it started---with a quiet drive on I-35....

THANK YOU FOR A TERRIFIC DAY LAUREN!!!!! :) I definitely enjoyed my Ranger Amy day and I'm very proud of the boys for their long day! :)


It's All In the Presentation said...

looks like your having a great time, have fun
love Dad

Mark H said...

You have some great pictures here. It really looks like everyone is having a great time! I love the first picture will all the boys sitting together with their STAMPS shirts. Did anyone drink the water at Vendrom? It also looks like they had a lot of fun at Junk City USA - did they want to buy the KFC sign? I always thought it would look good at our house.

Pamela said...

WOW!!! It looks like y'all are having a blast. How did you ever get the boys moving at 6:45?

No wonder they sounded tired on the phone last night.

Looking at the photos, I can just taste those pies now. My favorite is peach.

Lauren said...

I had a great time, too! Can't wait to see you guys Thursday night! I'm so glad you came back!