Favorite Feelings

The first day of a vacation, i.e. what today is for me. (I’m coming for ya, Allyssa and Iowa and South Dakota!)

The first sip of a large Diet Coke with vanilla from Sonic, because it’s extra vanilla-y.

Reading in a pool, your body half-submerged as the sun warms your shoulders and arms.

When you flip on the Food Network and the Pioneer Woman is on. She’s fantastic.

The crunch of a tortilla chip dripping with creamy jalapeño sauce from Chuy’s. UGH. I melt.

A perfectly clean room.

When you sit down to write and your brain actually spits out ideas.

The first time you listen to an album or a song, and you end up loving it. It’s the magic of listening to lyrics for the first time, you know?

When you used to work at Disney World and you visit for the first time in over a year, and Russell from Up remembers you and walks you to the Wilderness Explorer Clubhouse. (Oh, Disney. I MISS YOU.)

Receiving snail mail from your friends. Just sayin’ hi.

Sitting between the shelves of the local library, writing. You feel so official.

Actually seeing–not FaceTiming, not texting–your best friend for the first time in months. (Tomorrow, tomorrow!)

The tickle of your dog’s tongue on your nose.

Watching baby birds evolve: from aliens to gargoyles to feathered gargoyles to real life birds.

Long drives by yourself. You sing at the top of your lungs and no one judges you when you zone out to think about life and stuff.

And on that drive, you’re able to think of new story ideas and blog posts (like this one) and you feel energized and creative and productive!

And, finally, the satisfaction that comes with writing your thoughts down. There’s nothing better.


Road Trip

One of the most cherished past-times of summer has got to be the quintessential road trip. It’s classic, it’s perfection–not-so-good-for-you-food, quirky stops along the way, and activities to help pass the time on the road.

My little family (my mom, my sister and I–we’re the best of friends) took to the road a couple of days ago and had so much fun. We made two fun little stops and did some ordinary shopping, rounding the day out with some horrific singing as we made our way back to where we started. Even though the outing could have been dubbed “normal” and “uneventful,” the day proved to be full of fun little moments that made for a memorable day.

Our plans took us to Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. I love the atmosphere in OKC; downtown is hip and kind of funky, and its suburbs are filled to the brim with shopping and dining. Our first stop was for breakfast at Waffle Champion in downtown OKC–as soon as I put my first bite of classic waffles with cinnamon cream cheese syrup and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumble, I knew I had experienced a taste of heaven, nirvana, El Dorado, you name it.

Here’s a picture of my platter so that you may drool and experience a plethora of jealousy:

As Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation) once said, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work comes third.” Waffle Champion assured this outlook on life, and I plan to make many more trips to experience the deliciousness all over again.

Our next stop was a complete surprise–a gas station lovingly named “Pops” located in Arcadia, Oklahoma, along the original Route 66. Its name is derived from the fact that over 600 flavors of soda are sold within its walls. A statue of a classic soda pop bottle sits in front, further contributing to the charming theme.

My family loved this place. So classic, so cute, and so nostalgic. Here are some pictures:

The rest of the day was spent shopping and experiencing little moments that made the entire clan smile: comparing our shopping excursions to that one episode of Gilmore Girls in which they window-shopped, stumbling upon a Disney Store outlet, and singing Disney tunes at the top of our [my] lungs as my mom’s Expedition lumbered on down the road.

Sometimes summer vacation doesn’t have to be chock full of big moments to be special and fun. Sometimes you just need an “ordinary” road trip to produce an extraordinary day.