My wife and I have just returned from our vacation to a location in our own backyard: Tulsa, OK. As I mentioned in my previous post, we had considered other locations such as Las Vegas, Reno, St. Louis and others, but in the end decided to make our money go further by staying closer to home.

It was a wise decision. We had a great time! We took old Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, and took time to take in some of the sites along the historic roadway during our trip. We saw the Red Round Barn and Pop's in Aradia. Pop's features about 400 different kinds of soda pop from all over the world. As I write this, I'm enjoying a Manzana Apple flavored soda from Mexico. We also ate at the Rock Cafe, which we had seen featured on the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives". The Rock Cafe features such dishes as buffalo and alligator burgers, and a mean fried pork cutlet. The cafe was built in the 1930s and is constructed of stone that was removed from the area during the construction of Route 66.

Once we got to Tulsa, we checked into the Cherokee Resort and Casino. This is a relatively new facility. In fact, an expansion is currently under construction, and we were awakened on Saturday morning the sound of steel girders being dumped on the ground. The room itself was very nice, and after our AAA discount it came to $111 a night for two nights. My wife and I did play some slot machines, and we won some money and lost some money. In the end, we broke even. On Friday night we took advantage of a $24 all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. I'm sure the place lost money on us for the cost of the snow crab legs alone.

Saturday afternoon we visited the Oklahoma Aquarium, which has a fantastic shark display. You can walk into a Plexiglas tunnel underwater and watch the sharks swim all around you. They also had on display the largest catfish I have ever seen in my life! After that, it was a stroll along Tulsa's Riverwalk mall area, which seemed pretty deserted for a Saturday afternoon, but I attribute that to the chilly, windy weather.

We visited another diner in Tulsa...this time it was the 50's themed "5 and Diner". My wife enjoyed a bacon cheeseburger while I had an awesome Ruben sandwich piled high with corned beef.

Overall, the 3-day weekend getaway for two people, including hotel, gas, food and drinks, and two days of slot machine playing in the casino totaled about $600...much less than we ever would have spent by traveling to Las Vegas. The airfare and hotel alone would have cost that much, if not more. No, we didn't see the glimmering lights of the Las Vegas strip, but we still had a great time, saw a part of our state we had never seen before, and traveled along part of the historic Route 66. I wouldn't have traded the experience for a pile of chips in Vegas.


  1. Christine // April 17, 2008 at 5:49 PM  

    I love the vacation in your own backyard idea! So many times we overlook things that are relatively close by. Vacationing nearby saves money, reduces our carbon footprint (less energy used to travel), and helps us discover jewels in our own backyard :)

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