Saturday, July 20, 2019


After leaving St. Louis, we headed toward Oklahoma. We would spend the night in Oklahoma City.

About an hour before arriving in OKC, three warning lights went on in our car. Uh oh, that's not good. Normally I don't get overly concerned about those indicator lights, but as we would be traveling through some remote areas and still had a number of miles to cover in the next few days, I didn't want to take any chances.

We checked into our hotel and while my wife took Kai to the hotel swimming pool, I went to the nearest Toyota dealership to get the car checked out. The man who ran the diagnostics on the car was very helpful. He said that he had seen similar problems come up on other Siennas and that in all of those cases they just cleared the warnings and the cars ran fine without the lights coming on again. He cleared our warning lights and did not charge us for doing so.

I got back to the hotel as Kai and my wife were finishing up their showers after swimming. Then we headed out to dinner.

Tonight's choice was Cattlemen's Steakhouse, Oklahoma's oldest restaurant. It was crowded, and we had to wait about 40 minutes for a table, but it was worth it. My wife had prime rib which she said was better than Lawry's. Kai and I had ribeye steaks which were delicious. Kai said it was the best meal of the trip so far, though it has only been a couple of days.

At dinner, Kai thanked me for driving and said that he was now feeling happy to get away from the stresses at home. After all of the complaints he had before the trip, it was nice that he was enjoying it, and very nice that he said so.

After dinner, we went to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. Predating September 11, this domestic terror attack was big news at that time.

The Field of Empty Chairs is lit up at night, with one chair for each of the 168 people who were killed.

The Gates of Time are twin bronze gates on each side of a reflecting pool. The gates on one end show the time of 9:01, the last moments of peace. The gates on the other side show 9:03, representing the first moments of recovery after the bombing occurred at 9:02 AM.

The next morning, Kai was in good spirits. He found a clip of "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" from the movie Oklahoma and played it for me.

After breakfast, we went to see the museum that documents what happened on the day of the attack, and in the days and weeks that followed.

A third of the Federal Building was obliterated by a very powerful car bomb.

Walking through the museum, we saw very moving video, photos, and descriptions.

Kai told me that going to museums is one of his favorite things that we do on our vacations.

Many parts of this museum were heart wrenching, particularly the videos where parents and grandparents talked about looking for their loved ones, including the kids of federal workers in the daycare on the second floor of the building.

Other exhibits were heart warming, as Oklahomans came together to search for and help victims.

It was a worthwhile stop on our trip. I think Kai and my wife learned a lot about this tragic event.

Next, we resume our drive out west.


  1. Wow, those were huge meat dishes! They have good appetites. That memorial and reflecting pool looked very nice. I never knew they had such a thing there. It is good they have not forgotten them.

    1. Kai has a big appetite these days. I "helped" my wife with some of her prime rib.

      I think a lot of younger people do not know about the OKC bombing... I told a younger coworker where we were headed and she did not have any knowledge of the Murrah Building attack. So, great that this memorial can keep the memories alive, or educate those who don't know.


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