January 22nd we slept in- late. The CPN Elder housing was completely furnished with a small kitchen, living room and two separate bedrooms. The hospitality was amazing and the weather was terrific. Dom spent the morning walking the reservation and took notice of health facility, museum, several administrative offices, a casino and a newly constructed bowling alley. In addition, there was an 18-hole golf course and small fair grounds that hosted the annual family reunion/Pow wow, held the last week of June every year.
After Shatomi woke-up and we had lunch, we elected to drive into Oklahoma City and check out the University of Oklahoma’s medical campus. Oklahoma City is a really interesting town that has a great post-industrial feel that reminded us of Birmingham, AL. We were surprised by the functional oil derricks (of all shapes and sizes) within the urban and residential landscape—in people’s backyard lots, in neatly fenced-off parts of parking lots, in front of office buildings downtown. Oil and natural gas still are big business in Oklahoma City!!
It was late afternoon and we decided to find a place to eat and see what kind of night life was brewing. We headed to “Bricktown”, an old wharehouse district in Oklahoma city that had been revitalized and re-developed into a happening urban dining and entertainment corral. Being in cattle country, we decided to try to hunt down some good meat for dinner and stopped by Micky Mantle’s Steakhouse (one of Oklahoma’s favorite son’s, along with Jim Thorpe).
While figuring out what to order, Dom struck up a friendly conversation with the folks at the adjacent table who were having dinner before attending the NBA Thunder vs. Knicks game. Curious to hear about our adventure and extremely generous, they had the waiter bring us a order of tender lamb shanks—their favorite appetizer— and given us 2 tickets to the Thunder game.
Interestingly, one of our new friends belonged to a family-owned company in the OKC area that creates the Heisman trophies each-year. After a dynamite dinner, we headed over to Chesapeake Energy Arena and watched Kevin Durant and the OK Thunder take on the NY Knicks. We didn't end up staying through the entire game as we were both tired and it was a 40 minute drive back to Shawnee, OK. It was a great night that highlighted our time in Oklahoma and a tribute to how nice folks are in this area.