Leg 2: A walk from hotel to dinner and back:
Events of the Day
06:30 AM – Sleep Inn, Springfield, MO
In semi-conscious mode. Starting the day with a five hour energy shot and a hot shower (to knock off the dust of the road from yesterday’s drive).
07:39 AM – Semi-conscious
Travel hint for the day: ALWAYS double-check that you have the correct bottle before chugging down the morning energy shot
(“ I didn’t know this came in lime flavor!”)
09:30 AM: Departure: “Hope these two know each other!”
A bit of non-standard parking observed:
STOP 1: Baker Photo & Video (CLOSED!!)
STOP 2: Sid’s Diner, El Reno, OK – Get a world famous burger, fires, shake (lunch)
The walls of the epic diner are covered with awards. And the award winning burgers are worth the wait (though mine was a mere 15 minutes. The 50s-style decor, numerous awards (from “Man vs. Food”, “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” and other foodie TV shows) are explanation enough why the map pins in the YOU WERE HERE maps cover every continent. The young man from Poland (vacationing in Oklahoma with his mother who spoke no English at all) really enjoyed the burger and fries. As much as music is the universal language, a perfect hamburger also speaks in the vernacular.
Stopped at the Holiday Inn (4401 SW 15th Street). No reservation found.
The hotel desk clerk suggested I try the Holiday Inn Express down the street (4401 SW 15th Street). Yup! Checked in, sprawled out, and watch Forrest Gump on the TV, starting from Forrest’s arrival in Vietnam.
I heard brass music coming from below my room (204). I thought “104 must be an orchestra fan.” I tried to locate the music as I made my way from the first floor elevator bank to the front door, to no avail. As i exited the front door, it became clear that a bar or restaurant down the street was the source of the blaring music. There was something odd about it: classic mariachi music … with a tuba added. Had I discovered the first “Mexican Oompah band? What an odd sound, especially with the tuba player trailing the tempo slightly.
After a bowl of chili, a Caesar salad and a couple of fruity libations, I strolled back to my hotel, with tuba and guitars still pounding out the beat.
10:00 PM – Off to dreamland. Oompah, Oompah, Oompah.