After travelling 3,252 miles in a truck for 54 hours — 54! — the Bubs and I landed back at home, deep in the heart of Oklahoma, to spend my final vacation day touring the City.
Over the course of a packed week, we saw Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and a little bit of Montana, stirring our Westward juices — it’s a thing — so that once we arrived back on the prairie, we settled in for a while at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, a place I haven’t visited since it was called The Cowboy Hall of Fame.
I erroneously referred to its previous name, and Bubs was sad. “Aw,” he muttered. “Hall of Fames are boring.”
I did not know that.
But when I corrected myself, with the proper title, he cheered instantly and said, “Oh! Well, museums are fun!”
Also something I did not think I would hear from a pre-teen.
I had always thought there was a Fun for Adults part, with paintings and sculptures and yucky boring stuff, and a Fun for Kids part, with a wild west town replica made perfectly for children.
But, now, in my adult-youth, I find that the whole darn tootin’ place is fabulous.
Paintings: because I marvel at technique and skill.
Old West Town: because hey, that stuff doesn’t get old
Gardens & Ponds: because of my gardening gene
Museum Store: because there’s a little bit of Retail Therapy for every place we roam
Rodeo Corral: fascinating; did you know “tenny boots” were a real thing?? I’ve heard that expression always and thought it was fake, fake, fake
Wild West Women: obviously
Prix de West exhibit: again, because of the Art Gene
The Old West in Entertainment: because I can stare at boots worn by Sam Elliott in “Name Whatever Westerns He was Even In” for a shockingly long time
Air Conditioning: because after returning from the West, where the last day’s morning was a drizzly, glorious 54 degrees, and arriving in the middle of Summertime August, I’m still whining at the heat, and doggone it, “Let’s look at the whole entire and complete museum because it’s cool in here and so stinkin’ hot out there.”
We loved the museum. Loved, loved, loved it. I encourage all visitors to go there right now. Right stinkin’ now.
And touring your own hometown is always an adventure. There’s something you don’t know about it; go find that thing.
And I’m facing the fact that I wasn’t ready to let the West go just yet.