Maxxwells Restaurant Serves Up Delicious Eats Inside Campbell Hotel

maxxwellsIf you’re looking for consistently delicious food at a reasonable price in a classy setting, pay a visit to Maxxwells Restaurant inside the historic Campbell Hotel at 2626 E. 11th st. in Tulsa. I love the charm that both this hotel and the restaurant hold. Situated right along Route 66, the restaurant fittingly features black and white photos from Tulsa’s past and booths and a bar that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

IMG_4787When my husband and I recently visited Maxxwells for lunch, we were pleased to find that it wasn’t very crowded, making it the perfect spot for a little date in the middle of our work day. He ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wrap ($11) — grilled chicken tossed in buffalo sauce, lettuce, celery, and blue cheese in a flour tortilla, with a side of sweet potato tots. He said the wrap was a little spicy, and the celery gave it a nice crunch.

The real star of his dish was the sweet potato tots. He had tried those before and had discovered that they are basically golden nuggets of goodness. I tried a couple and was truly impressed. They were better than sweet potato fries and better than regular tots – the best of both worlds combined!

I went for a lunch menu item — the half sandwich and soup ($7). I opted for the Open Face Turkey Melt — IMG_4788bacon, tomato, lettuce, Swiss and chipotle aioli on toasted wheat bread with a cup of Tomato Basil soup. The sandwich was delicious! The chipotle aioli definitely made this sandwich. My soup was served very hot and flavorful.

Other menu items that we have our eyes on for future visits include the Smokey Mac n’ Cheese — tossed smoked sausage and diced chicken breast, their Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Chicken, and the Spinach Salad Hot Bacon Vinaigrette. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that they have a complete breakfast menu and serve breakfast all day long.

IMG_4789We decided to indulge in dessert and ordered a slice of House Made Cheesecake ($5). It was served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and was simply divine.

Maxxwells is open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s most certainly a Tulsa destination worth checking out!

Do Not Let the Summer End Without Going to This Tulsa Summer Staple

IMG_4495During the summer, do you ever drive by these little road side shacks that have epic lines and wonder, what’s all the rage about? If you find yourself asking that, then you obviously haven’t tried Josh’s Sno Shack, Tulsa’s destination for ridiculously delicious snow cones.

Josh’s Sno Shack serves snow cones unlike any I’ve ever had in my life. The ice is perfectly soft — none of that crunchy stuff you get at other places. This ice is truly like fresh-fallen snow. How is that possible?

Josh Juarez, owner and founder of Josh’s, told me that the staff is trained to make sure the snow is always top-notch and will make tweaks to the machine if the ice is coming out as anything other than super fresh. And the flavors (there are literally hundreds of flavor combinations) … they are all made in-house with cane sugar, so the syrups are super fresh and high quality.

Josh’s has your regular snow cone stand standbys, such as my personal favorite, Tiger’s Blood josh's(coconut, strawberry), Fuzzy Navel (orange, peach), and Mai Tai (lemon, orange, pineapple). But there are also lots of combinations you can find only at Josh’s, like the Mexican Fiesta (blackberry, lime, margarita) and Peachy King, pictured right (peach, pina colada).

Josh’s is super kid-friendly. With flavors like Bart Simpson (banana, blue raspberry), Finding Nemo (black cherry, orange), and Spongebob (banana, vanilla), your kids are going to be begging for Josh’s (if they aren’t already!). You can also have gummy bears or pop rocks added to any snow cone – fun!

One thing you’ll notice when you visit Josh’s is how incredibly friendly the staff members are. I asked Josh about this, and he said he puts a lot of emphasis on hiring quality people and teaching them great customer service. It really shows! I don’t think there’s been a time I’ve visited a Josh’s when the young person taking my order hasn’t been genuinely interested in how my day is going. It just helps make your snow cone a little sweeter.

You can book a Josh’s Sno Shack for a special event! How fun would that be, to have snow cones at your wedding or party? Josh’s has 7 free-standing locations (8 if you count the one inside Safari Joe’s H20!). Be sure to visit one (or all 7) before the summer ends!

 

Exploring Oklahoma’s Outdoors: Natural Falls State Park

IMG_4582If you’re looking for a fun, short road trip from Tulsa, Natural Falls State Park on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border is definitely worth checking out. Home to a beautiful, 77-foot waterfall and the setting for the 1974 film “Where the Red Fern Grows,” Natural Falls is a true outdoor wonder.

I had been wanting to visit Natural Falls for a long time, and it finally worked out that we were able to take the 1 hour, 15 minute trip from Tulsa in July when my friend Kelsey was in town. When we first pulled in, we stopped at the Visitors’ Center, which has nice, clean restrooms, snacks, souvenirs, and most FullSizeRenderimportantly, free maps of the grounds.

When you first head towards the falls, you’ll notice a railed observation platform that allows hikers to overlook the falls. This is a good spot to take a picture and observe the falls from above the water; but never fear, the view gets even better as you walk down several dozen steps that lead to the foot of the falls.  There, another observation deck offers a great view of the falls and the grotto surrounding them. Another great thing about being at the foot of the falls is that the temperature drops by 10 degrees or so.

After snapping some pictures in front of the falls with my hubby and Kelsey (along with my very pregnant belly), we decided to try a couple of hiking trails. We found success on the Ghost Coon Trail, which was about a mile hike through some woods. We kept joking around that only on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border would you find a trail called “Ghost Coon,” and kept our eyes peeled for zombie raccoons.

You can find picnic tables and grills throughout Natural Falls State Park. Campsites, including 44 RV sites with seven full hookup sites and 17 tent sites, are available along with a comfort station with showers. The Red Fern Reunion Center is available for group functions. Other amenities include four and 1/2 miles of hiking IMG_4592and nature trails, a picnic shelter, volleyball, horseshoes, a basketball court, catch and release fishing, playgrounds, a nine-hole disc golf course and a formal garden area. Pets are allowed on a leash only. Although swimming is not allowed in the park, there are several public swimming areas available within a short distance of the park.

Natural Falls State Park affords an opportunity to observe a variety of plant and animal life. The dense forest includes maples, chinquapin and white oaks, while plants such as flowering dogwood, sassafras, coral berry, spicebush, redbed, and pawpaw blanket the cool forest floor. The waterfall creates a moist environment where ferns, mosses and liverworts thrive.

FullSizeRender copyIMG_4591Whether you plan on staying overnight or just a couple hours, it’s definitely worth taking the short drive from Tulsa to visit Natural Falls State Park!

 

Weekend Getaway: OKC Riversport Adventures

PhotoGrid_1449152809141By Bonita James

My fascination with the SandRidge Sky Trail, a vertical, 80′ ropes course, started three years ago. It was there, on day three of quitting smoking (Thanks 1800QuitNow!), I vowed I would climb that sucker and jump off of the Rumble Drop. My mission came true during my weekend getaway from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Well, almost.

Weekend Getaway from Tulsa to Oklahoma City

I met my sister, Barbara, and a literal truck-load of kids (they belong to our family), at the Boathouse District off of I-40 on the Oklahoma River. Now, when I visited this area three years ago, there was little to be seen. The Oklahoma River, of course, the Chesapeake Boathouse, and this mega-ropes course which challenged me from the moment I saw it. That was basically it. Now, the dreams of OKC damming the river have been realized with OKC Riversport Adventures and it’s definitely worth the trip! The same will be said for the Gathering Place in Tulsa once complete and they reopen Riverside.

Once OKC decided to dam the river, endless possibilities came of it. Now, the site for rowing, para-rowing, and canoe/kayak training for the Olympics and Para-Olympics, the Oklahoma River produces world-class athletes. While driving to Riversport we could see a regatta race taking place.  Just pulling in, there is a sense of excitement and we were about to do some really cool stuff.

Zipping Away.

First thing first. Ziplining on the Sandridge Sky Zip. Well, signing waivers and then zip lining. I have to give props to the staff and to Riversport. Aside from looking up what type of shoes to wear, I didn’t prepare much. Riversport is a well-oiled machine and all of the staff are ready to help. Everyone paid special attention to our kids, too. Which, as the greatest aunt in the world, the entire experience for our kids is what’s truly important. Before they could take off or play on their phones, we were suited up to zip.

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view from the bottom. You can either jump off into the Rumble Drop, slide down from the ropes course or climb the stairs to zip across the river.

We climbed the stairs outlining the ropes course all the way to a platform at the top. Despite knowing we were securely hooked into our harnesses which were hooked into the tracks above us, the higher we climbed the more frightened I became. With my nephews ahead of me and my sister and niece behind me, I suddenly realized I had gotten us all into this.

What happened next was much more than stepping off a platform and hoping for the best. Once the boys got to the final landing, pure fear struck one of them and pure courage struck the other. While Colin hugged the pole, Colton took it as a chance to go first. He wasn’t waiting for anyone. We cheered him on as he got hooked up to the line. Before I knew it, he walk out to the ledge and jumped without hesitation. In that moment, I saw this 10-year-old’s fearlessness and love of the thrill.

Gliding over the river, Colton looked back with the most amazing expression of “This is so awesome!” on his face. That’s all it took for Colin to quickly mustered up the courage to step up. And it was all courage. He was scared and he found bravery within himself. Just like that, he was off … and then it was my turn.

Now, I am the type of person who gets “over” her fear of heights by going skydiving, but I’m still scared of heights! It took a few glances at my sister’s super excited and encouraging face before I stepped off and zipped away.

I loved it! It’s like you sit down to fly and it’s an awesome ride. I pretty much screamed and giggled going across the river. When I landed on the other side, I had so much adrenaline going through me, I swear I was near an out-of-body experience. Zipping back, it was still hard to step off but this time I reveled in the trip. Going back, there is an expansive view of Oklahoma City’s downtown and it was gorgeous.

My sister was the last to go and when she landed we totally had a “sister, sister” moment. “Sister, Sister days” are full of memories and this one was special. Ziplining was one of the most fun experiences we had ever had together.

Post-ziplining photo. Colton is in the "refusing to smile" phase.
Post-zipping. Colton is in the “refusing to smile” phase.

“This is the best day of my life!” Colton was ecstatic. Colin took a little while to come around. Later, he told his dad he was proud of himself for doing it. Cue warm and fuzzies. My niece had the most beautiful smile on her face. Pre-ziplining, she was worried about her looks. Post-ziplining she had forgotten all about keeping up appearances.

After zipping in in OKC, I’m ready to zipline off of everything! We are already planning a trip to the PostOak Canopy Tours outside of Tulsa. You bet I’ll tell you all about it on Tulsa Places when we go, too!

We had some time to kill before the rapids. There is so much to do with your Day Pass at Riversport! Every area is super interactive. Kids and adults can wall climb, scurry through multiple Adventure Courses, hit the pump track, catch a thrill with Extreme Jumping, and hang out in the Youth Adventure area.  Everything at Riversport for the kids (and adults) to play on encourages and requires physical activity. Even the “splash pad” requires a turn of the crank. It makes sense with Riversport sharing a space with an Olympic training site. Activities go beyond the Boathouse District, too. On your weekend with Riversport, you can plan adventures at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner. The list goes on.  

Next on the agenda, River Rapids.

This is an activity, not a ride.

Rapids at OKC RiversportAfter we were checked in for the rapids, we were asked if we had ever done this before. The answer is no, floating the Illinois river does not count. I made sure each of our kids were paying attention to the 20 minute safety talk. The Safety guide kept us interested with quips and jokes. But, seriously, the rapids are not a ride. You are not buckled into anything and you must be an active participant in the experience, and possibly in your own rescue. A lesson my sister learned well, was to french fry and not pizza. Basically, keep you legs in front of you and together while the rapids sweep you away. There are man-made obstacles under the water to replicate what you would find in nature. Keep you legs closed and in front.

Hannah, our amazing rapids guide, got our kids pumped up to get in the raft. Once we were suited up with helmets and PFDs, we were ready to get wet. And yes, you will get soaked!

Forward 4!

Rapids at OKC RiversportHannah put our two oldest in the front, my sister and I in the middle, and the youngest two in the back with her. After learning commands and some practice, she put Clayton, my soft-spoken 14 year-old nephew in charge. Captain Clayton emerged, a strong-voiced leader commanding our strokes.

I had never heard or seen this kid take such charge. Forget puberty, leadership changed his voice and we all followed suit. One. Two. Three. Four.

The first course was a blast! Hitting the bottom of a big spill sends huge masses of water crashing into the boat. After the first course, we thought it couldn’t get any better. We were wrong.

The second time around Hannah guided us to a different course. Kayakers ahead of us, battled the current, upping their experience points. Round two was a much different course and next thing we knew we were crashing into the water and paddling through intense rapids. My sister was there one second and gone the next. I saw her helmet floating ahead of us.

Hannah took us around again and stopped to see if Barbara wanted back on the raft. She opted to be our cheerleader instead.

We nailed the course much better the second time. I almost flew out, and at one point, we were all in the middle of the raft, scrambling to get our butts back on the sides. Somehow, we managed to dig our feet in and pull it together. There’s a calm before the storm ahead of the final “mega-fall” on the second course. Hannah put thrill-seeking Colton in the very front and told him to hang on. He loved every second! By then, we were better in sync and we hit the course for a third time. Hitting the rapids at OKC Riversport is totally worth the trip up the turnpike!

Now on land, I got to check in with my sister to find out what happened. She had a gnarly boo boo on her shin, one that cost her three stitches. Again, the rapids are not a ride! They are an activity and she totally participated in her own rescue by grabbing the rope thrown out to her. All of which was covered in our safety training.

OKC Riversport Adventures has safety built into everything they do.

If you get into a jam or tip your raft, trained rapid guides and staff are literally everywhere and ready to save the day.

After the rapids, we quickly determined there would be no ropes course this trip. Not in wet clothes. I’ll have to beat my mission jump off of the Rumble Drop another time. Despite not climbing the ropes course, I was proud of all of us. In one trip to OKC, we conquered our fears, took charge, put our vanity aside, and had an incredible time together. Our Riversport Adventures trip was a day we will never forget. And, I’m still a proud non-smoker, ropes course or not. 

Plan your own adventure to OKC!

Internet Cat Video Fest FunBelow is just what I squeezed into a weekend trip. Anything you are looking for, you can find at visitokc.com. The site is easy to navigate and has great content to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Get in on the social trend of the city by following and tagging #SeeOKC.

Earlier in the day we went to see Matisse: In His Time at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This show was the catalyst to planning the trip in the first place. Check out more on my blog Must See Matisse and then go see Matisse! OKCMOA is the exclusive stop in North America and the show runs until September 18.

After Barbara and the kid’s headed home, I kept keepin’ on. Luckily, I was there in time Wheeler Districtfor the Internet Cat Video Fest hosted by the beautiful Myriad Gardens. It’s too good not to miss. Put on your whiskers and go next year. 

After a great night’s sleep at the Holiday Inn Bricktown, I woke up early to check out the new Wheeler District, OKC’s Ferris Wheel down the river from the Boathouse District. There, I met a couple of cyclist who told me how amazing the trails are for cycling. You can ride to and from all the Riversport locations — Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner, through the Wheeler District, and to the Boathouse District with no traffic.

Weekend Getaway from Tulsa to Oklahoma City Sunnyside Diner

I discovered the a new favorite for breakfast in OKC. My usual is Cafe Kacao, but I opted to try the new Sunnyside Diner on 6th and Classen. Holy Cannoli! I had the green chili pork tamales with eggs and tried a bite of the most amazing French Toast.

It was great to getaway and have all the fun right there at our fingertips. With little planning, you can get out of your own back yard and take the short trip to OKC. What do you like to do when you go to OKC? What are other fun things are there to do when we take the trip down the turnpike to OKC?

 

Safari Joe’s H20 = Recipe for Summer Fun in Tulsa

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Photo courtesy Safari Joe’s H2O

It’s summer. It’s hot out there in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The only thing worthy of doing outside in this heat is getting in a pool! Or … multiple pools. When my friend Kelsey was recently visiting from L.A., we decided that we, two adult ladies without children, would escape the heat by going to Safari Joe’s H20… the destination formerly known as Big Splash.

Let me give you a little history here. I grew up in Tulsa. Many a summer in the 1980s and 1990s were spent at Big Splash, burning my skin on their tubes, which were formerly black (bad idea!) and getting the worst wedgies ever as I zipped down the Silver Bullet. Alas, my final trip to Big Splash was circa 1999 when I went with some fellow teenage friends and decided that I was officially “too cool” for Big Splash.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, pregnant, and hot all the time this summer, I’m not “too IMG_4580cool” for anything. Plus, I was curious to see how Safari Joe’s is different/better than Big Splash, so with Kelsey in tow, we made our way to Safari Joe’s on a Saturday after 4 p.m. to take advantage of the Short Swim for $10/person.

When we walked into the water park, we were immediately greeted by all sorts of wildlife — a huge snake (in a cage, thank God!), a tiny alligator (also in a cage), a huge tortoise, and all kinds of birds. There was even a parrot just hanging out in one of the trees. These are some fun additions Safari Joe’s has made that make it a little different than your typical water park.

We immediately made our way to the Tube Lagoon to rent a tube and a locker. Be forewarned: this is where you’ll probably end up spending a lot of money. It’s $6.50 for a single tube and $9.50 for a double tube, and you get a $1 refund upon return. Lockers range from $11-$16, with a $5 refund upon key return. The thing is, you can’t really skimp out on not renting a locker, unless you have someone in your group who is willing to sit and watch cell phones and other valuables while everyone else is in the pool. And a couple of the rides are just more fun if you have a tube! So we had to get both.

Our favorite spot at Safari Joe’s ended up being the Master Blaster. It’s a tube roller coaster, and it is truly a blast. We actually broke the rules by riding it because we noticed a sign that said “2 adults not allowed in double tube; weight limit 250 lbs.” I’m pretty sure this is the first time in either of our lives that we’ve been over the weight limit for something, but with this baby growing in me, I am definitely not model thin right now. Nonetheless, we made it on the ride twice without getting kicked out and had an amazing time going over twists and turns in our tube and finally landing in the Lazy River.

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Photo courtesy Safari Joe’s H20

I do have one complaint about the Lazy River. When you utter the words, “Lazy River”, to me, that should equal complete and utter relaxation. Not the case with this Lazy River. There’s a spot in the river with a huge waterfall-type feature where you will be soaked. If you’re in a tube, you can’t move super fast, so you’ll be soaked for a good 10 seconds. Consider yourself forewarned!

Other big attractions at Safari Joe’s are the Flumes, three slides that are four stories high, the Tiny Turtle playLagoons, pools that have only 8 inches of water in them for the little ones, and the Activity Pool, a great spot to sunbathe, zip down a small slide, or climb a rock wall.

Safari Joe’s H20 has added on quite a few “play” areas that I don’t remember there being at Big Splash, like a pirate ship playground. There are also basketball and volleyball courts.

One of my favorite areas of all time has always been the wave pool. There, you can imagine you’re surfing the high seas on your tube (or if you’re really brave, just hop your body on top of the waves). It’s really only wise for experienced swimmers to go in the deep end of this pool … there’s a reason why they have 5-6 lifeguards on duty just in this one pool usually!

There are also plenty of concession options at Safari Joe’s. One of my favorite Tulsa summer spots just opened a location within Safari Joe’s: Josh’s Sno Shack! A snow cone while sitting by the pool is an amazing combo. Other food options include Peg Leg Pizza and Ocean View

Photo courtesy Safari Joe's H2O
Photo courtesy Safari Joe’s H2O

Cafe. There’s also The Shark Beach Bar for the adults. Speaking of adults, Safari Joe’s hosts an Adult Night (21+) every Thursday from 7-11 p.m. There’s live music, dancing, and of course, lots of bar time and swimming.

Safari Joe’s is open until through Labor Day, so make the most of this summer and go check it out!

Must See Matisse: Road Trip to OKC

PhotoGrid_1449152809141By Bonita James

Matisse in His Time: Masterworks of Modernism from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, was the catalyst in planning our road trip to Oklahoma City. Anytime we go to Oklahoma City, a trip to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is usually on the agenda. The traveling exhibitions and permanent collection at OKCMOA are not only beautiful and inspiring, but the experiences the Museum provides are a work of art. Now through September 18, you have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see 50 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Henri Matisse. Yes, Matisse is in the heartland and OKCMOA is the exclusive stop in North America. This collection also includes fifty plus masterworks by Matisse’s contemporaries – Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modigliani, Juan Gris, Georges Braque, André Derain, and Fernand Léger.

When I think of Matisse, I think of bold blues and solid yellows. I consider Matisse the original in color blocking with paper cutouts of sea-form shapes. I envision ladies lounging in colorful rooms, laying back to invite the viewer to let their gaze linger. I saw all of these wonderful styles in the exhibition and I found so much more.

The impact of Matisse

Walking in, I was hit with Matisse’s inspiration of the generations after him. Claude Viallat’s work Homage to Matisse, 1992, is exactly that. A massive canvas of iconic Matisse color combinations owns the space. The first room gives a glimpse of what the exhibition has to offer with works on paper and a timeline covering the leader of Fauvism’s life and work.

The layout and aesthetic of the exhibition is exquisite. The flow encourages visitors to spend time up-close and personal with each work.The paintings tell the story of the times and show what it was like for the artists in studio – painting models with fellow artists in the background and from different perspectives. Visitors see a vantage point from Matisse and his roommate, Albert Marquet. From their apartment window overlooking the Pont Saint-Michel and the Notre Dame Cathedral, there are two works from each artist, side-by-side. The subject matter is identical but the style of each is as unique as the creator.

Matisse and Marquet

The beginning of Fauvism

Fauvism took hold in the early twentieth century with Matisse and Derain. Bold and colorful brush work departed from creating realistic works. I identify the Fauvist movement as works which the emotion of stories are told in colors and shapes rather than in reality.

Fauvism and Cubism meet in the middle in the exhibition, just as they did at the time of their creation. Head-to-head, Fauvism and Cubism battled for superiority through the works of Matisse and Picasso. Personally, cubist work feels like conflict to me. The exhibition shares work from both of these movements and gives insight to the relationship and conflict between the two men – a competitive creative dialogue which continued for fifty years.

Faves found in post-Fauvism

Matisse Lorette
“Lorette with a Cup of Coffee,” Henri Matisse, 1917

Post Fauvist years, Matisse, Derain, and even Picasso, took a step toward more figurative and natural painting. In this part of the exhibition, recognizable Matisse works delight visitors. I found two works I particularly enjoyed in this part of the show. Lorette with a Cup of Coffee, 1917, shows the model who Matisse obsessed over, reclined with a relaxed gaze, possibly teasing Matisse with a peak of her garter and bare thigh. There is something there in this work and the story behind their relationship puts the work in a familiar and very human context.

The other work which struck my fancy was not created by Matisse but by Marquet. The Blonde Woman, 1919, is a captivating painting of a blonde nude model. There is realism within the shadows and subtleties of the human form. Aside from the beauty of the model’s body, it’s the bold colors adorning the space under and behind her that, perhaps, made this painting speak to me more than others.

Another notable and distinct work is Amedeo Modigliani’s Portrait of Dédie, 1918. Anytime I see the familiar features of one of Modigliani’s models, my heart sings. This is the second work of Modigliani’s I’ve seen at OKCMOA.

Full circle, in color

Matisse Jazz
“Jazz,” Henri Matisse, 1947

Visitors come full circle in the exhibition space which takes the entire second floor of the Museum. Those bright, bold colors and shapes are on view with the entire collection of Matisse’s Jazz, 1947. Toward the end of his life’s work, Matisse was incredibly productive but not in the style of painting. While working on the decor of the Chapelle du Rosair in Vence, France, Matisse created gouache cutouts for the project. Those became works in themselves in the animated-like autobiography, Jazz. These are the works I would first think of when I heard the name Matisse.

After visiting Matisse: In His Time, I have much more of an understanding and appreciation for the artist’s life and work. The evolution of time and influence greatly impacted the work of Matisse, his comrades, and even his rivals. The entire story is being told, right now, in Oklahoma City. It’s worth the trip down the turnpike to see and experience these masterworks before they leave the U.S. on September 18. During your visit, be sure to take advantage of the audio guide Chihuly Toweroffered by the Museum in both the Matisse show and in, Our City, Our Collection: Building the Museum’s Lasting Legacy, on view through August 28. And, you cannot go to OKCMOA without a selfie in front of the Chihuly Tower, an icon in downtown Oklahoma City. The Museum has one of the largest collections of Dale Chihuly glass which spans his career and creations over time.

Tickets for this high-demand exhibition allow visitors a 15-minute window for arrival time with slots available throughout regular Museum hours. The last ticket sold for the day will be at 4 p.m. (Note: Art After 5 tickets on Thursday nights will be sold in person only and will be first-come, first-served the night of the event). The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Historic Charm Meets Delicious Food at Miss Scarlett’s Tea Room

burnett1I really love tea rooms. Anything that makes me feel like I’m part of the cast of “Downtown Abbey” is my cup of tea… pun intended! I’m always on the hunt tearooms in the Tulsa area. When I heard there was a tea room inside a historic mansion in Sapulpa, I knew I had to get there post haste.

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My friend Kelsey was in town from the L.A. area IMG_4561last weekend, so a little drive out to Sapulpa to check out Miss Scarlett’s Tea Room was a perfect adventure for us.

When we arrived, we were impressed by the outward beauty of the Burnett Mansion, which houses Miss Scarlett’s. Bates Burnett and his IMG_4569wife, Dannie Ross Burnett, built the Burnett Mansion in 1911. This Southern plantation-style home boasts Tiffany-stained glass windows and fixtures, cut glass windows and doors, woodwork from Spain and the Philippines, and hand-painted walls and ceilings. While the house is three stories, only the first story is part of the tea room and open to tea room guests.

Upon entering the mansion, we were surprised to see that the tea room was completely full. Fortunately, we had made reservations, and an entire swarm of Red Hat Ladies was on their way out. We were seated in a lovely, green colored room with a fireplace. The waitress informed us of the specials, and I selected the Quiche Special. It came with a Ham and Gruyere Cheese Quiche with a fruit cup and muffin. Kelsey chose the Chicken Salad Sandwich, which came with a salad packed with fruit and blackberry vinaigrette dressing, as well as chips.

In the meantime, we enjoyed sipping on our tea. I chose Iced Sweet Tea with Peach. It was truly some of the best peach tea I’ve ever had! Kelsey selected the Tea Service. Our waitress IMG_4558brought her a hot pot of water, a dainty tea cup, and a wooden box filled with about 30 different flavors of tea bags. She was instructed to select two, and she chose a summery Mango Coconut and a Chocolate Hazelnut.

When our food arrived, we were delighted at both the portions and the taste of everything. My quiche was tasty, but the item on my plate that surprisingly stole the show was the fruit cup. It was topped with a deliciously light yogurt topping with what tasted like homemade granola. Now that’s the way to eat fruit!IMG_4559

Kelsey also really enjoyed her meal. We soon learned that the family that owns Burnett Mansion also owns a blackberry farm, so naturally, the menu incorporates a lot of blackberries, like the blackberry vinaigrette on her salad. When it came to selecting a dessert for us to share, we opted for the Blackberry Cobbler. It was served warm with a scoop of ice cream on top. Delectable!

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Overall, our time spent at Miss Scarlett’s was relaxing, fun, and delicious! It’s definitely worth the 30-minute drive out to Sapulpa!

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