I’ve been loving life on the road now for 2 1/2 years. Homeless but never unsettled… traveling solo, but rarely alone. What a dream.
Volunteering abroad has allowed me to experience a wide range of lifestyles, careers, religions, traditions and so on. In regards to food and accommodations, I’ve been able to pleasantly earn my way through volunteering and bartering, that in itself has been an adventure!
Well, turns out there was opportunity right near my own back yard!
Work hard (barely) and play hard (relax) seemed to be the theme of my whirlwind trip to Tulsa. A few projects to assist in and a partner in harmless crime was my position to fill during this visit to see my long time family friend, Ryan. We spent a summer together over 15 years ago and lost touch until last year. Fun fact, we both traveled to Asia and Japan within months of each other without even knowing it!
Assignment number one? Taxes…. enough said.
How it began…
The controlled chaos…
The gorgeous results…
I’ll pause here for you to meet Chris Farley…. Cute, lazy and completely lovable.
Project number two called for some creative minds, dirty toes and one bandaid thanks to the gorgeous cactus plant.
If you know me at all, you’ll know that cooking is hardly a chore but rather a candidate for one of my top 5 favorite activities. With that said, playing in his kitchen was far from work and more of a treat. Friends, meet one of my happy places.
Where was Ryan during my crazy culinary play-time? Clearly he knew that without his effort, it was going to be an all veggie dinner. I found him out back firing up the grill.
The result of our powers combined equaled a huge hunk of meat and my roasted veggies, a cucumber-tomato-onion salad with a side of homemade guacamole and salsa with lentil chips. Yum.
I’ll give you one guess to figure out which plate belonged to him…
Ryan served up dessert with an unofficial-officially proper scotch tasting.
If you ever make your way through Tulsa and you have a great deal of appreciation for creative drinks in a unique ambiance, I highly suggest you check out Valkyrie.
They provide carefully selected craft beer, worldly wine and your classic cocktails using quality ingredients. By “quality” I mean they make their own mixers, infusions and juices with local produce and a lot of love. From lavender, jalepeño, to cucumber and homemade ginger beer, the menu offers a variety for the people who stick to the classics. It also caters to those of us who search for a new flavor with each order. Choose from the “shaken” or “stirred” list and wait for the masterpiece to present itself. I tried the “Shake rattle, bang your head” which was a brilliant combination of Gin, jalepeños, chartreuse, cucumber and lime.
After enjoying these wonderful beverages, what better way to test your hand-eye coordination than a few friendly games of pool and shuffle board. To prevent public embarrassment, I won’t say the name of who came in 2nd place… I’ll simply post a picture of who dominated both games.
For my last evening, we went to a local restaurant that offered a classy menu with a fine wine list. Unfortunately we managed to order items that didn’t produce the flavors it had flaunted. I’m thinking we just caught the chef on an off day, so if you choose to dine at Tall Grass, I wish you an amazing edible experience!
Our selection for the appetizer was bone marrow. Notice how he just pushed the interior mass into a pudding-like pile. The first taste to hit my palette was salt. Not a “salty” flavor, but actual sodium… like I licked a salt shaker. There wasn’t a second flavor due to the speed in which I removed it from my mouth. Hmmm, no thank you.
For dinner I ordered a root salad with an apple cider vinegar dressing and he went for the pecan crusted halibut (sounds marvelous, right?). Dessert was a fancy wine that neither one of us had ever heard of, but definitely proved to be the most flavorful item on the table.
The best photo of the evening was catching Ryan in his ever so sophisticated pose with a cheeky grin. Perfect for the energy of the evening, well done… Well done!
Lastly, I’ll wrap up this post in gratitude for the very much appreciated moments outside. A breath of fresh air, solid sunshine and good conversation was a perfect compliment to this mini trip.
Ryan, this unexpected and perfectly timed get-away was hopefully just the first of many. Cheers to Japanese bloody Mary’s, squeaky windmills, kale chips and the best sports team ever… The Drillers! Thank you for everything.