Day 13 & 14: Texas and Oklahoma
In 2014 my family took an 18-day trip to 20 states (in the shape of a heart across America). During this trip, we did 1,000 acts of kindness. And then, I wrote an ebook about it. Which you can find here.
If you read my last blog post, you know that so far on the trip, I had gotten in two wrecks and now had lost my wallet and cell phone! P.S. I was in New Mexico and we lived in Florida, so we still had a LONG way to go to get home.
Well, I have an incredible story to insert here about kindness and friendships.
Turns out, a really groovy chick by the name of Tevin, FOUND my debit card and (smashed) phone. She was able to locate us by contacting our friend Chris because the phone wasn’t locked and he was one of the last people we called on the phone. Chris contacted me and let me know, and somehow we arranged for everything to be shipped to my parent’s house.
Anyways, however many years later, Tevin and I are still great internet friends. She is still a groovy chick, and I’m so glad she’s in my life. Maybe one day we’ll meet in person! (I hope so).
Here is the blog entry I wrote on days 13 and 14 of our trip:
Before I start today’s blog, I wanted to let you all know that in a very kind turn of events, my cell phone and debit card were found and have been mailed to my dad’s house!
Thank you so much for all of your positive thoughts and prayers.
And thank you soo much to the very kind person who found them and made the choice to return them to me. You will be never know how happy that makes me!
And now for days 13 & 14:
Day 13 we started by waking up in New Mexico and after a stressful night, we decided to make the best of what we had, and continue on to Texas and then stay the night in Oklahoma City.
Like I mentioned earlier, we woke up in beautiful New Mexico.
Most of our day was just driving.
And then we made an amazing discovery…
We found a Volcano!
Before we drove to the top, we stopped and donated some money to the National Parks Services.
Then we were off to the top!
Julien, my four year old, was very apprehensive, because he thought that the volcano might explode.
I was just super nervous because there were no guard rails on this road going up a mountain.
We stopped 1/2 way up and took a few pictures.
And then the boys decided to be boys and try to climb up the side of the mountain…
And then it was off to the very top of the volcano…
And then of course, into the crater…
After our big adventure, it was time to drive some more… this time headed towards Texas.
Finally, I was able to pass out my “Good Vibrations” Mixed CD.
There have been some pretty amazing studies done on how much music can affect our mood.
According to Yuna Ferguson, a MU doctoral student in psychological science at The University of Missouri, ” Our work provides support for what many people already do – listen to music to improve their moods. Although pursuing personal happiness may be thought of as a self-centered venture, research suggests that happiness relates to a higher probability of social beneficial behavior, better physical health, higher income and greater relationship satisfaction.“
I truly believe that all of us were put on this Earth to be happy and live extraordinary lives, and if my mixed CD has anything to do with someone changing their mood for the better and head towards having a meaningful life, then my mission is complete.
If you want to make a “Good Vibrations” CD Mix of your own, here is the list of songs I used:
- Best Day of my Life – American Authors
- Brave- Sarah Bareilles
- Gone Gone Gone- Phillip Phillips
- Everybody Dance Now- C+C Music Factory
- Good Time- Owl City
- Good Vibrations- Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
- Happy- Pharrell Williams
- Happy Together- The Turtles
- I can See Clearly Now- Johnny Nash
- Move Along- All American Rejects
- On Top of the World- Imagine Dragons
- Safe and Sound- Capital Cities
- Smile- Uncle Kracker
- Walking on Sunshine- Katrina & The Waves
- You Make My Dreams Come True- Hall & Oates
After our very short visit with Texas, we continued on to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The next morning we woke up and headed downtown to give out some snacks to people hard at work on a Saturday.
But first, I supported a local school by buying some chocolate and making a donation.
Then, we headed to the Oklahoma Central City Fire Station
Julien was super excited about this because he currently wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.
There is just something so amazing about men and women who risks their lives to save others and are still some of the most friendly people I have ever met.
The firemen that we met that day immediately offered to show Julien the fire trucks, and even let him climb inside and put on a helmet.
Thank you so much to the Oklahoma Central Fire Station for all the hard work you do, and for making my son’s day!
Next, it was off the downtown Police Station.
When we got there, we checked every door…and all of them were locked.
So, I decided to buzz this button to see if anyone was inside to receive the treat.
Apparently this was a bad idea, because after failing to reach anyone inside, the box immediately dialed 911 where I spoke to a very friendly and understanding 911 operator who said she would try to contact someone in the building for me.
But apparently this particular station was closed on Saturday, so I had to stop and think about where to go to give these snacks…and I had to think fast, because we still had a lot of traveling to do and the meat and cheese needed to be refrigerated or eaten soon.
There was only one place I could think of.
About four years ago, I had visited Oklahoma City with my husband and kids. Then my oldest son Alex was only 6, and my middle son Julien was just a baby, and I had to find something to do with them while my husband competed in a Magic The Gathering Tournament. (Yes, we are nerds.)
I had just gotten my first camera, and was excited to find just about anything to take pictures of, so we headed downtown.
And there I found one of the coolest pieces of architecture I had ever seen filled with beautiful botanical gardens.
I was in a photographer’s heaven…
The Myraid Botanical Gardens.
In addition to being a giant piece of eye candy, the Myriad Gardens contributes to the community by providing horticultural education programs and classes on everything from making chocolate to story reading.
So, we stopped by, and dropped off the treats, which were much appreciated.
And I snapped a few photos really quick around downtown before leaving.
And then we hit the road again, for another very long car ride back through Texas and into my “home state,” Louisiana; Where our next act of kindness was a surprise visit to my Dad’s house.
I will post more on my trip to Louisiana in a day or two.
Right now I am just enjoying some time with my family and relaxing a little bit before we hit our final three states.
Thanks always for reading 🙂
Oh my gosh. These pictures make me miss my kiddos being so little. They make me miss travel. And I think they are inspiring some plans to do more kindness…
Thanks for letting me share my story with you guys!