Monday, May 24, 2010

Trip to Tulsa and The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival

We went to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival on Saturday. I was a bit worried about spending the money and where we were going to stay and all that. This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, but after being a bit disappointed by The Four Winds in Tyler, I wasn't sure that I should do this. Besides the money for the tickets, we would need money for food and for tipping the people on stage and for a motel room Saturday night. Friday night's motel room in Tulsa was already paid for, or we wouldn't be doing this at all. And then I was worried about getting a room at all on a Saturday night. It is a bit of a hassle sometimes, if you don't already have a reservation (or better yet, have already checked into a room), and we didn't have either of those cause we weren't really sure if we wanted to stay in Muskogee or try to get part of the way home and maybe stay in McAlester.

And then there is my usual apprehension I have now if I go anywhere. If I leave the house overnight for any reason, I worry. The house wasn't as much of a mess as when I left last time, but still, it does make me nervous. But now I suppose it would make me nervous even if the house was perfect. There's always something that might go wrong while I'm away. Someone might break in or the plants might die or something. I just never feel comfortable anymore.

So, Thursday at about noon we left for Tulsa. We hadn't had lunch yet, and it started to rain about half an hour later. That's good for the plants (although I'd already tried to give them a good soak before I left), and there hadn't already been so much rain that I'd worry about flooding. We stopped for lunch when we had almost cleared the DFW area. We ate at Genghis Grill, which we had never tried before, though I've been to other Mongolian grills. I think that I might like this one a bit better than most, but on the other hand, it costs a bit more than I'm used to.

We were a bit worried that we weren't going to stay at our favorite place. We almost always stay there, because there's almost always a coupon. But we didn't see one right away. In fact, I started to panic that I didn't even remember the name of the place or which exit it was on. Without the instructions on the coupon, how were we going to find the place. But after stopping at the tourist info place we found more coupons books, and one had the place that we wanted for about fifty-five dollars (or about five dollars more than the company will pay, but the extra five bucks is well spent there). And we asked for coupons for the ren fest, and the lady all but laughed in our faces, cause she said that they didn't give out coupons for things that a lot of people will go to without coupons. I thought that was a stupid thing to say. Other ren faires have coupons and Six Flags has coupons, and it seems to me that even Disneyland sometimes has coupons. Anyway, we picked up a few things and left.

After we drove away, I noticed that one of the booklets did contain a $2 off coupon, but since I didn't notice that at the info center, I only had the one. I looked at other places for another coupon but did not find one. Still, two dollars off is better than no dollars off.

We got our room at the discounted rate for Thursday and Friday night. As it turns out, the jets on the hot tub weren't working, but I spent some time in the tub anyway. And they still have bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast. This was a minor disappointment for what was mostly a good trip.

Friday he went to work, and I mostly stayed in bed and read a book. After packing all that yarn, I didn't knit anything. I was just too tired and aching, for no real reason that I could think of, as the drive was not that bad until maybe the last hour or so. Maybe it was the late start (not my fault, just necessary because of my husband's work schedule), or maybe it was the fact that I tried to get real work done in the six hours or so before we left. But I felt really bad and worried that it would continue and that I wouldn't even feel up to going to the faire.

After sitting in the hot tub twice on Friday and using some muscle rub, I felt much better on Saturday morning. Still, not quite a wake, I went down to breakfast and managed to burn a waffle. So I had half of a waffle and then spent some time cleaning the machine so that other people could have waffles. I thought I was awake, but it was early, and I forgot to spray the top of the waffle maker.

A couple of hours later, all was well, and we had the car packed and were on our way to Muskogee. We tried a few more times to get a second coupon, but we didn't find any. We got to the place at just the right time, got the best parking space you can have without paying an extra five bucks, and went to buy our tickets. Without even asking, the lady let us use the one coupon for both tickets. So four dollars off of about thirty. Thank you. And then there was a bit of a wait, and various people tried to entertain us. There's even a stage, but unless you are right in front of the stage, you can't hear whatever is going on there. But just other people walking through the crowd are funny. Some of them work there. Others are just funny people.

There's usually this opening bit about the royal family that I don't care much about. The king or the queen or somebody welcomes everyone to the faire and then they open the gates. After we went in we wandered around for a bit and debated about buying tickets to the Queen's Tea. By the time we'd made up our minds it was too late and they were sold out. If you really want to do that sort of thing you need to buy advance tickets online.

Okay, so when we were first trying to decide whether or not to go to the faire, we were wondering if the stage acts were any good and such, and then we noticed that The Jolly Rogers were going to be there. So that settled that, we were going. So first stop, the pirate stage, where we watched Cut, Thrust, And Run. Seems like they also shared the stage with The Jolly Rogers in Kansas City. This is an act with four guys pretending to sword fight. It isn't our favorite act, not that it is a bad act, just that we like Don Juan and Miguel better. (Don Juan and Miguel were not there, they were at Scarborough.) So after Cut, Thrust, And Run left the stage, most of the audience left with them. We thought that was odd, though a lot of people will leave at the end of a show and not watch the next one, in Kansas City it is usually the other way around, with most of the audience leaving when The Jolly Rogers stop singing and not stay to watch Cut, Thrust, And Run. Additional people came to watch, though not near as many as had been there for the earlier act, and that seemed to hinder their performance a bit. We were glad to see them, but it was all a bit quiet for them. At the end of everyone's show there is this bit of trying to ask for money and not have it be totally awkward. The Jolly Rogers solve that problem by singing this song about "pay me, you owe me, pay me my money now." This is usually a very loud song, but Saturday it was not, and one of the guys is just sort of leaning against the stage and didn't try to collect any money at all.


Okay, time for lunch, since we did not get tickets for the Queen's Tea. For future reference, the fish and chips weren't that great (more cornmeal breaded southern type fish than English style fish and chips) and I did not care for the hummus either. And I don't remember either place having plastic forks, so when you run out of bread you can't finish your hummus unless you brought your own fork (or unless you like hummus so much that you'll lick the plate).

Then we went to see Bob the Juggler or Bob the Incredible Juggler, or something like that. We thought that might be one of the acts from Kansas City, either the bald guy with the bowling balls, or the skinny guy with the ladder. It was the skinny guy with the ladder, and he had also been one of the guys entertaining us at the front gate. Bob's a nice guy. We love you Bob.

The act following Bob's was an escape artist. We like him too.

There was a costume contest, but we just missed it. We would usually go and see the show with the birds of prey, but somehow we missed that too. And we didn't watch a joust either. I usually don't bother with that. The first joust I watched was great, not because of the show itself, but because of our section's cheer leader. You're supposed to say stuff like God save the king and God save the queen, which we did, but then this guy also had us saying stuff like the bishop is a ninny. Without that guy (or someone very much like him), I've mostly don't care for the jousts, so I rarely watch them anymore.

Next, we looked for someone else we had seen before the opening ceremony, and we found her. She one of Willie's Wenches. (Sometimes I'm a bit slow, and it didn't occur to me who Willie was until the next day.) So she directed us to the correct stage, and then we got lost because we went off to buy a drink (possibly at Bud's Root Beer, where you at first buy an expensive bottle and then get refills all day for a dollar or two), and then we somehow still managed to end up back at the right stage in time to see the show. And then after the show we stayed to watch Captain Thom Bedlam, who we had seen at The Four Winds in Tyler.

So after the show, I asked Thom if he was the same guy from Tyler, cause I suppose that I might not remember correctly, and that maybe one drunk pirate pretty much looks like another. But it was the guy from Tyler, and we said something like he was the best act at The Four Winds, and he encouraged us to say that louder, so that someone with him might hear us. At that point we insult this guy, who turns out to be the new part owner of The Four Winds, and he's sorry that we didn't enjoy our time there and gives us free tickets if we want to try it again next year.

For the record, I was mistaken when I said that I did not enjoy The Four Winds last year, cause it was 2008 when we were there, and probably that guy we were talking to wasn't involved that year. I am debating on sending the guy an email explaining why we didn't care for The Four Winds, which for us got off to a bad start when they didn't take credit cards.

Okay, so that was about the last show of the day, and we can't do much else but get more root beer and look at the shops. Not that I buy a lot from the shops, even when I have money. But there are a few things that I will always buy if I can find them, and there's the odd impulse buy here and there, and we always buy a few small things like incense and scented oil. And we hadn't bought anything yet (other than food and soda), and we found some incense and bought that, and then I had to look at Dragon Pets one more time. I think that I'd stopped to look three times. I wanted something that was twenty dollars, which I decided was too much, and there were even really cool glow-in-the dark dragons for thirty dollars, but I just could not see spending more than ten or fifteen dollars for a toy that I would just have on a shelf most of the year and only actually carry around with me maybe at another ren fest. But I took one last look, decided that the twenty and thirty dollar options were definitely out, but maybe the ten dollar ones were not so bad. There was a glitter blue one for ten, and a purple for fifteen. I bought the blue one.

On the way out I find the scented oil place. But I've just spent ten dollars on a dragon and I decide I don't really need to spend more money. Besides, selecting an oil takes time, unless you already know exactly what you want and are just buying a refill. So I skip the oil.

On the way out, a bunch of people sing to us. That was nice. I had already filled out a survey (and was given a ticket for one of the Halloween things in October). I doubt that I'll be there in October to use it, but just in case, we stopped to fill out another survey so that we would have two tickets.

Then we had to find a motel. That can be a hassle on a weekend, especially during a special event. I was all for driving down the road a bit, but I wasn't the one driving. He was tired. We stopped at a place he had stayed before and asked if they would take coupons (when we already assumed that they would not but you cannot get a discount if you don't ask for one). We were told no discounts, and that there was only one room left, and it was a whirlpool room, which made it $56. With the whirlpool (and the driver being very tired and not wanting to look elsewhere) that seemed reasonable and we took the room. Then we walked a few stores down the street and ate at the steakhouse, even though we mostly do not care for steak and ended up eating the chicken. And then it was back to the room to use the tub. This time, the jets were working.

On the drive home Sunday, we stopped and bought some peaches and some really tall pepper seedlings.

I think that there is one weekend left of Scarborough, but I don't think that I'll go. I am quite tired from the trip.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Size 8 Jeans

Okay, so I'm in Oklahoma in a motel with a hot tub and a nice breakfast. It is a short trip, but I usually go here if I can, mostly cause of the hot tub and the nice breakfast. I was debating whether or not to go, cause it is a bit of a drive just to use the hot tub for the one day, but then we realized that we'd be able to go to the ren fest if we added an extra day.

So, I am here.

Anyway, we tend to stop at a certain Walmart, because it is a good place to stop, and we usually need something anyway. I misplaced my belt and my black yarn, so I knew that we needed something. And while we were there, I decided that I'd about had it with the jeans, so I tried on some new ones. And I bought them. They are a bit snug, but they look much better, and I suspect that except during long drives they will usually feel better. So I'm hoping to break them in and be comfortable wearing them tomorrow.

Size 8 jeans. It just isn't right. In regular jeans I shouldn't wear size 8 until I got down to 120 pounds or so. And here I am close to 160 pounds wearing size 8 jeans. That's just wrong.

I'm a bit concerned about where we will spend the night after the ren fest tomorrow. Looking for a motel room on a Saturday night usually isn't a lot of fun. But we have decided not to come back here. It is in the wrong direction, and the hot tub jets aren't working anyway.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mystery Meat

So, my husband is going here there and everywhere, but no place particularly interesting is scheduled, just middle-of-nowhere Texas and Oklahoma. I have been to middle-of-nowhere Texas and Oklahoma many, many times. While I maybe have not gone to some of these particular places before, there doesn't seem to be anything in them that I need to see, and we don't have tons of money to make it into anything really fun anyway.

And there's still tons of stuff to do here, and I usually get more done while he's away, so, I should stay here and try to get something done. And I couldn't leave for very long anyway, unless I make arrangements for someone else to water the plants, and most times the someone else doesn't do a good job with that anyway. But, depending on the weather, I can sometimes leave for a day or two without anything bad happening, and I did think that just one night away might do some good. And the schedule was written just so that he was going away for one night and then coming back for one night before heading out again for a couple more nights.

And this particular place that he was going for the one night was not that exciting and not that far away, but it did have a motel with a hot tub that we like, so one night there would probably be a nice thing, as I could really use a hot tub right about now.

Still, whenever we get ready to go anywhere, I start to get nervous, and I sometimes get so nervous that I even change my mind and stay home, or else I stay nervous during the whole trip and might as well have stayed home. So I was starting to get nervous and wanting to stay home, cause the whole getting nervous thing is worse when the house is really messy, which it was, and I have this fear of people coming in the house when it is like that. Not that I have any real reason to believe that someone would come in the house, as the stuff that needs to be repaired has been neglected for about two years now, and I don't think that they will suddenly decide to fix it anytime soon. But still, I worry about it so much that I cancel trips and stay home and do nothing.

Okay, so I decided that I needed to go out, even if it was just for one day, even if the house did look like a tornado hit it, because we needed to do the whole bug fogger thing. And I know that we had bought stuff to do that, just in case an opportunity like this presented itself, only the night before we are ready to go I cannot find the things. So, I decided that I would go if we either found the things or had time in the morning to go out and buy some more, or else if we didn't I would just stay home.

So we didn't find the things, but we did get up in time to buy more. So we put stuff in the car and began the process of fogging the house, and then I have no choice but to get in the car, cause no matter what you think you might have forgotten, you can't go back into the house.

Having gone to this particular place several times before, and having gone out in the general direction many times, we have this place that we like to stop that is a bakery, and we usually get jalapeno and sausage in a roll for breakfast, and then either kolaches or cookies, and then we look for discounted focaccia or beer bread. So off we went, and we got our traditional breakfast thing, though I'm trying to be good and not load up on cookies and kolaches. And we looked for the focaccia and beer bread, but there was none on the discount rack, and I did not want to spend four dollars each getting them at regular price. And then we noticed the four dollar bags of what looked like a six-pack of the sausage and jalapeno things, and six-packs of other similar things, probably roast beef. And while these are a good discount, somehow I didn't think it was a good idea to buy something that contained meat off of the discount rack. But we decided to get just one bag, and off we went.

And then there was the problem of where to eat for lunch. It was too early by the time we reached a certain bbq place, so we went on to the motel and got our room. And I thought that we would just get something cheap at KFC, only that one didn't have either the Monday special or the value menu, so we ended up at Whataburger instead. If we were going to spend that much money on lunch, we should at least go someplace one of us really wanted to go, and that is one of his favorite places. We bought him something for lunch (half of it went to waste cause he thought he was supposed to leave half for me, and I was just planning to eat one of the jalapeno sausage things), and then he went to work, and I stayed in the room and knitted for a bit. I also tried reading a certain book, but this part of the book maybe is going over my head a bit, and while I'm getting the general idea, right at the moment it isn't a real page turner.

But of course there was the hot tub bath in the room, and you can sit in it all day if you want to. In fact, you can turn the tv just a bit so that you can watch while sitting in the tub, so that you only have to get out of the tub to eat and such. Not that I stayed in that long, but when I got out I found that I had somehow managed to burn myself, and I have these two perfect circles on my back from all the time I spent in the tub.

The burns are not that bad, and I would be back in that tub right now if we were still there. I love hot tubs.

Okay, so then I was on the computer a bit, trying to decide what we would do on the way home the next day. I am always wanting to go to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, but we never seem to be in the area at the right time of year when we have time to be tourists. So this is the right time of year (not perfect, as the bluebonnets in my yard have flowers, but those south of us are mostly at the stage of making seeds), but about an hour and a half in the wrong direction. So that would cost gas and three hours of drive time in addition to the time and money actually spent at the place, and we decided against it. In Waco there is an exhibit of a wooly mammoth, and it opened to the public a few months ago, so we thought that we might do that. Only on Tuesdays it doesn't open til eleven, which would have left us just waiting around in Waco for an extra hour or two looking for something to do (and probably spending money for it) and also that would mean that we would need to eat lunch there (and the particular place that I wanted to eat lunch was more money that we should spend right now). Anyway, we were both rather tired already, which didn't make any sense as it was early and we hadn't yet done anything to get tired, but we decided to skip the whole thing and just head home (except for stopping at that bakery again). The wooly mammoth has been there a long time, and Waco is not that far away, and we can see him another time.

So, on to the bakery, where we bought sodas and again looked for focaccia and beer bread on the discount rack, and again did not find them, but found more six-packs of meat in a bun, though they were not marked and this time we could not tell just by looking which meat was in which bag. We made a guess and bought two bags anyway, so we now have about a dozen left, and he will take most of them to have for breakfast.

Anyway, we tried some that we were guessing to be roast beef, but they turned out to be pepperoni, and I rarely turn down pepperoni, so that was good.

So that was it. I guess it was a bit of a dull trip, but it was really good to get out so that we could deal with the bugs. So I will spend much of the day dealing with dead bugs, which I am much happier to do than deal with unwanted live bugs.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I might not be writing for a bit

Not that I have been writing a lot. I might go out of town today. Or I might not. I can never decide.

It's only for a day or two anyway. I couldn't leave for longer than that without making arrangements for my plants to be watered and such.

Anyway, I've been planning to go for about a week, and now I'm starting to panic. I tend to panic now every time I leave the house, but it turns out fine.

Okay, I've decided that I will leave or not leave depending on whether or not we have time to go and get one of those bug foggers before we leave. It is about time to do that again, and I was sure that we had already bought something for that purpose, but I can't find them now, so we will have to buy some more. Anyway, if we can do that I will go, so we can get rid of these damned bugs and not have to be here until a full day after it is over, and it won't smell so bad when we get back. If we don't have time to go and do that, I'll just stay here and wash dishes or something. He can go without me.

The bug fogger idea also gives me an excuse for not having finished washing the dishes and such, as I would wash them again afterwards anyway.

Okay, I have about an hour left. We'll see what happens.