country · drinkin' · earth · familia · friends · hotels · oooooooklahoma where the wind.... · osu · paaaarty · restaurant · Road Trip · touristy · travel · usa · weird · wine · wisconsin

Midwest USA Trippin

Hello? Is this thing on?

I’ve been doing some major road trippin’ in the USA – visiting friends in Oklahoma, meeting up with my parents for a road trip to Wisconsin where I hung out in Madison, attended a wedding in upstate Wisconsin and then another wedding where my Mom grew up, small town Manawa, WI, then hit Grand Rapids, MI. And naturally, hung out with LOTS of relatives. Ahhhh, it was all good. It’s actually amazing how things can change so much in so little time – in both good and bad ways.

Let’s start with Oklahoma, shall we? Flew into green (!!!) and blazing hot Oklahoma via Will Rogers Airport in OKC.


The lovely Amy W picked me up and we were off to Stillwater – home of Pistol Pete, Oklahoma State University and where I have a zillion fantastical memories of growing up. We were getting the gang together. These are my OK girls that I’ve known since I moved to Stillwater at the age of 10. We’ve been through a lot – roomies, yelling at strangers, proms, drinking, smoking, car accidents, marriages, divorces, singing at the top of our lungs, dancing, deaths, sickness, skylab fallouts, the tumbleweed, the strip, babies, time capsules, cars, coloring hair red black grey blonde pretty much any color and I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. These girls and I understand each other so well that it only takes a look to get a meaning across and we have so many stories that nobody will ever know about but us. It’s true love, y’all. And I got tears in my eyes posting this picture below. XXOOOOOO

Loos and moms

The weekend was filled with HEAT, drinks, laughter, QUESO!, lots of tears and just a bonding again that we really needed. It was emotionally exhausting but this time together was so important for us all. We celebrated a life, we celebrated an engagement, we celebrated us. It was another Loo meet-up for the books.

Where to hit in Stillwater? Well, it had been a good while since I was last there and Stillwater has grown a lot. Of course, there is always Eskimo Joe’s for burgers and beer, Mexico Joe’s for well, mexican. Don’t forget to hit the strip for Coney Island (now I’m craving about 10 of their hotdogs) and the strip has fun bars and shops to check out too. Walk around the beautiful campus of Oklahoma State (wave at my awesome Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house across from Theta Pond) and if you’re there during school time try to catch a football or basketball game.


Next up, road trip with Mom and Dad. I do a lot of these with my parents and I cherish each one immensely, no matter how minute. They drove into OKC from Phoenix and I stayed one more night with Amy, I needed my Amy time!!

It took us two days to get to Madison, WI. (You can check out my post about Madison, WI HERE) Where I enjoyed the peculiar items at the road side gas stations (pickled bologna anyone?) plus the sites along the way. I got to see the St. Louis Arch! And yes, my parents are one of those rare souls who still own a road atlas. I love looking through it. ūüôā


We stopped one night in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln –¬† Springfield, Illinois. And had a delicious dinner at the Chesapeake Seafood House. They serve yummy seafood, steaks and a raw bar in a mansion from the 1800s.


Off to the small town of Manawa, WI, where some of my aunts, uncles and cousins live. My Uncle David lives on the farm where my mom grew up, it hasn’t changed too much but more wildlife have returned lately. YAY!! I love to hear that. We saw these two bald eagles fighting over a catch of something (hopefully not a cat which my aunt said an eagle caught last year). And I was gonna go for a run but heard there was a bear prowling around so I decided to nix that. Wisconsin is such a pretty state, with lakes, sprawling farms and dark forests as far as the eye can see. I feel back at home whenever I’m there. Oh, and of course I needed to try out the tractor. Yep, lil me drove that.


Now we go to North Wisconsin to Eagle River. I’d never been to Eagle River before, it was niiiiice. It’s a chain of 28 lakes, the largest freshwater chain in the world! Yo. ANOTHER aunt and uncle of mine (my mom has 5 siblings) just bought a lake house on Cranberry Lake and it was lovely to just chill there and be one with nature. Plus my gorgeous cousin got married there and the wedding and reception was beautiful and so much fun. Whenever I get together with my cousins we revert back to age five and just find each other hilarious. Beautiful spot for a wedding, no?


After the wedding I tried to relax and enjoy the peacefulness. Okay, so you do have boaters driving by but their house was set a bit back so it was quite calm. Of course we had to ride in their pontoon boat around the Lakes and one of the near neighbors owns the house that was used for the horror movie Damien II: The Omen. I was taking pictures of the boat ride and my picture of that house was UPSIDE DOWN. Freaky. Check it out. So. Weird.


Isn’t that FREAKY?!?! I swear I didn’t flip it. And all my other pics that I took within minutes even seconds of that one are normal.

And somehow the stars aligned because I got to meet up with Jeannie in Grand Rapids, MI. – another American city that I’d never been to before. We stayed in the downtown area in two different hotels because one we needed to expense (the cheaper one) and one for fun. The JW Marriot was the one for fun. It’s on the river, has beautiful views, the room was clean and spacious and the steam rooms are free and lovely. The other was CityFlatsHotel and it was smack dab in the center. We could walk around to many bars, restaurants and shops. It’s a bit funkier with a big room but not as many nice amenities as the JW Marriot. I enjoyed them both.

My restaurant recommendations for Grand Rapids – Sunday night it was late and the only place near the hotel and open was the SpeakEZ Lounge. We walked there (bravely, I would say), the outside was a bit sketchy but we opened the doors to lots of people, a jazz band and a place in the back for us to sit. The food was good and I love a live band. HopCat is your typical American bar. They have TONS of beers and ciders on tap – Squishy cider was my fav (Squishy is a semi-sweet Fruit Cider fermented with Michigan apples, tart cherries, and English Cider yeast). For a breakfast/brunch place I can highly recommend Anna’s House. With an already extensive menu they have many gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options. The waffles with strawberries and the breakfast sandwich were soooo delicious and we got to-go cups for our coffees when we left. Two huge thumbs up. Jeannie even went back the next day before she flew back to NYC!


And for a bit more classy experience, try Reserve Wine & Bar. We ordered a brand old fashioned to start (it was the cocktail theme for my time in the states if you hadn’t noticed and they are the BEST in Wisconsin) and then we each ordered a flight of wine. Later we decided to share a charcuterie board of cheese and meat – really yummy. A bit on the pricey side but I feel it was worth the money. Also there is a fun bathroom downstairs with a big mirror for fun selfies. If you ask really nicely I can send a video of a head growing out of my shoulder. Ahhh, yes, my time with Jeannie is always a blast and always too short, 36 hours was not enough with her. But I will take any amount I can get. I love that girl to the ends of the earth.


And that was it. Trip was over (insert major sad face). A lot of brandy old-fashioned sweets consumed, time with relatives, friends were had and enjoyed and I flew back home to Mallorca. I hope you enjoyed the post with lots of good recommendations. Maybe they aren’t always in the fanciest of locations but sometimes one must venture away from the busy lights and hustle bustle of those.

Until next time, y’all. Cheers!



2011 · osu · tragic · usa

Remember The 10

  Ten years ago on January 27, 2001 a plane crashed in the fields of Colorado killing ten members of the Oklahoma State basketball party. OSU is a tight family and Stillwater is a small town but this tragedy rocked the entire state, if not further.

College basketball is my favorite sport. Ever. Hands down. I love the excitement of the arena, being in such close quarters, screaming your head off for your team. Eddie Sutton was the coach during my college years, and he made ten phone calls that dreadful day. Calling to tell them their son, their husband, their father wasn’t coming home.¬† Eddie Sutton was our John Wayne at that time. He held up the OSU community when he was hurting too. Thank you Eddie Sutton.

Please remember The Ten. Good sons, good fathers, good friends.











We Will Remember.


mexico joe'S · oooooooklahoma where the wind.... · tragic · usa

April 19, 1995

The day started out like any other.

I woke up around 9 a.m. and thought I felt the ground shake for an instant. I didn’t think too much of it and threw on a Joe’s shirt, a pair of cut-¬†off jean shorts, grabbed my waitbag and headed out the door. I was shift leader at Mexico Joe’s in Stillwater, OK and needed to get the restaurant ready to open at 10 for the lunch shift.

When the breaking news came on the television I stood with other employees as we watched in horror the scenes of half of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building blown apart from a bomb. The ambulances, medical professionals, children and adults bleeding, crying, not understanding what had happened.

Charles Porter, a high school classmate of mine took this picture that won a Pulitzer Prize.

How could any of us understand this scene of confusion and death on our home soil, the United States of America. But not only that, it was my home state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest act of terror against the U.S. on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. I knew many people affected from this tragedy; police officers, medical staff, families of the children and adults whose lives were lost so suddenly. It is a day no Oklahoman will ever forget, at least not in my lifetime.

The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6. Hate killed 168 innocent people.

I tried to upload the video “The Change” by Garth Brooks, for which he made a powerfully moving video honoring the heroes and victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. But I was unable to get it to post. If you would like to watch go here. I cannot watch it and not cry. Too many memories.

Let us come together in peace. Absolve us from hate.


drinkin' · familia · mexico joe'S · oooooooklahoma where the wind.... · Road Trip · usa

Oooklahoma where the wind blows over 3 million miles an hour….

¬† Could this possibly be the LONGEST blog about a trip. Seriously, I am trying to wrap it up….I just had too many fun things going on and I want to tell you about ALL of them.¬†Wait don’t go. Really, next up is a road trip with my parents. Now who isn’t just dying to read about that. Mom, Dad, I love you and I had hours of endless entertainment from singing gospel and country songs. Here we go.

We left on an early hung over morning. People, I was in PAIN. See earlier blog on potent Mango-ritas from the Bombay Cricket Club. Plus, JungEun making more delicious mangoritas when we arrived back home. Not pretty, I woke up in the living room sleeping with my legs thrown over the loveseat I ended up sleeping on (let me just mention that my SIL ROCKS bc she slept on the other loveseat, just for me). I struggled to drink a ginger ale in the morning while we said our goodbyes.

And off to Stillwater, OK we go! Day ONE we headed down Hwy 5, through the cold and green Oregon woods. On into California, after passing Yreka we had a view of Mt. Shasta (I love that name, makes me thirsty though) and I was enthralled with the mountain. I KNOW you are dying to know why. I like to keep random strange things stored up in this brain of mine and I had just read an interesting article about this very mountain. Here:

“This stunning snow-capped peak in the Cascade Mountain range, 60 miles south of the Oregon border, has long been considered one of the planet‚Äôs great ‚Äúcosmic power spots,‚ÄĚ luring everyone from Native Americans to Buddhist monks and hippies. Its sacred¬†slopes are home to a potpourri of mysteries: spontaneous altered states; UFO sightings; crystal caves; encounters with Ascended Masters; underground military bases; even the rumored home to Lemurians, surviving members of a sensitive super-race some believe existed 12,000 years ago during the time of Atlantis.”

Are you a believer now? I thought so. Me too. Okay, so while I drink this¬†Kool-Aid¬†we keep on Hwy 5 past Sacramento where we stop for the night and have dinner at Olive Garden. I LOVE Olive Garden’s salad. I used to love their breadsticks¬†too but now they seem to need more butter and salt. Here, again, I was asked for my ID. What’s up people? I know I don’t look 21, especially after sitting in the car for twelve hours. Maybe they could still smell the Mango-rita fumes evaporating off me.

old mill on 40E

Day TWO brought us trucking onto Hwy 40E, where we spent hours and hours looking out onto endless desert land throughout Arizona and New Mexico. I took some pictures of random things Рan old mill, a long train, my feet. DAY THREE and destination O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A! We had been in OK for no less than twenty minutes when I saw a cow fly by, it was seriously windy folks.

Being in Oklahoma was one of those don’t blink or you’ll miss it moments. But I got two very important things accomplished in less than 24 hours. I managed to get a new OK driver’s license and I met up with some¬†very dear to my heart¬†and hilariously funny¬†friends that I have known¬†since my¬†teenaged (and younger)¬†years.¬†¬†The restaurant du jour? Mexico Joe’s, as always. What Stillwater visit would be complete without a Joe’s cup of beer and a chicken chimichanga? Extra queso and sour cream please.

Six a.m. arrived early on my blow up mattress (which was better then nothing, I know). I shoved all my clothes and 500 million Mexico Joe’s cups¬† into my suitcase and¬†then off to the¬†OKC airport. Time to see more fabulous friends in NYC! Life sure is rough these days.