Thursday, June 18, 2009


In our efforts to A) save money and B) explore our home state, the kids and I went with a new friend - a fellow member of a homeschooling group I've joined - up to Bartlesville today to visit the OKMozart festival today. I'd never been and honestly had no idea that there was more to the festival than just the music. Turns out, that's the expensive part! There are free demonstrations and shows on every single day of the festival. The woman that I went with, a lovely and VERY pregnant woman I'll call T, had discovered that there were three free shows going on today and organized the trip. We only wound up making it to two because the science show ran long and the kids were all worn out (as was T, after all that walking!), but it was a wonderful experience and I'll definitely be going again next year.

The first show we attended, before lunch, was presented by the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center. This was another surprise to me to know that we had such a wonderful facility in the state (clearly, I'm ignorant of a lot of the stuff that goes on right under my nose), but the show was fantastic. The bird you see above is their African gray parrot who was talking up a storm, but they also featured a roadrunner, a crow, a raven, an owl, a bald eagle, and many many more. There were birds flying overhead, doing tricks, and just being... birds! And no, they didn't always cooperate. It was a really neat show.

After the bird show, we decided it was time for lunch, so T led me into the heart of downtown Bartlesville so we could eat outdoors (in the shade, of course). I snapped this shot from where we were sitting in the shadow of a building. The architecture of this city is very very clean and beautiful. We did pass Price Tower, but since I was driving, I didn't think it was a good time to try to take a picture ;)

The kids enjoyed playing a little bit after they ate - my kids are on the left and T's kids are on the right. They're looking at a grate. I have no idea what's IN the grate, but apparently to these kids, it was fascinating.

After we ate, we walked on over to the Phillips 66 Musum. It was a neat little place! They offered a nine-minute video that apparently tells quite a bit about the company and the history behind it, but we were a bit short on time and so had to skip that. It was a very cute, well-done museum, and it was amazing to see the history of the company. I was particularly impressed at how well the company took care of their own. They even had their own doctor! Insurance companies today would probably just die at the thought. That, however, is another rant for another day.

The next-to-final stop of the day (and the final stop for T and her munchkins) was the science show presented by the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. It was a neat show, too! The presenter, at the beginning of his show, said that at times he would be asking for volunteers. There were well over 50 kids in the audience, I assume most of them from various daycamps around the area given the many teen counselors on hand, and M1 being my science guru, I knew he wanted to go up. Imagine my surprise when he called for "the lap girl in the pink at the end!" I didn't even know M2 had her hand up! So she got to go up front as the very first volunteer. She got to feel the blue-tinted water to see how it felt (her description, by the way, was "blue"... followed by "cool"). Then he put the beaker in a vacuum bell and made it 'boil' and then asked her to touch it again. I thought she'd freak out about touching water that had just 'boiled,' especially since almost every kid in the audience was absolutely flipping out that he'd asked her to stick her hand in there and screaming NO!!!!... but nope! She reached right in. Quite the little performer, she was. And M1 did very well and never once seemed jealous. I was quite proud of him, too.

At long last we headed toward home, but to me, no trip to Bartlesville would be complete without a trip to Windle's Rock and Jewelry Shop. It's not a head shop or anything like that, but rather a very quiant, curious little shop that I remember my parents bringing me to visit when I was a child. I learned today that 2009 is their 50th year of business, and it's just as wonderful as I remember it. There are rocks and gems, to be sure, as well as plenty of jewelry that is as eclectic as it is gorgeous, but there are also things like fossils, shark teeth (one of which M1 insisted he had to own), geodes, shells, and much, much more. I personally purchased a small cat carved in Thailand out of water buffalo horn! Sorry about Flat Stanley in the picture, but it was the last chance I had to take a photo of him, so there he be.
So far, this Oklahoma travel thing is turning out to be a great experiment. We're going on another adventure on Saturday, so look for another blog post soon!

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Looks like you run a very exciting and interesting homeschool. I need to get out more with my kids and do more things like this.