Oklahoma Road Trip – Sooners, SUP and Spandex

Ah! I am so excited to finally share my girls weekend getaway to Oklahoma.  There are so many things to share, so I’m going to try my best not to forget a single detail.  Let me just say that the trip actually started Monday for me.  Well, not the trip, but the fun!

That’s right, thanks to Drive Shop, I got to borrow a kick-ass Mazda CX-9.  Look, I’m not a car girl.  I mean I have expensive taste, but I don’t really know much about cars.  But in my mind, I had pictured the Mazda CX-9 to be rather basic.

Mazda CX-9 from Drive Shop

I was pretty blown away by the interior.  It was super nice.  Full disclosure, I drive a Range Rover Sport and the leather and appointment inside the Mazda was on par (if not a little above) the interior of my sport.  I love my sport but I have to be honest.  It was super comfortable, the leather was great quality and the details were just really luxurious.

I also loved the third row.  That’s something I miss.  At times over the weekend, we had all 6 of us comfortably sitting 2 per row.  It was great.  And I just saw that MSRP starts at $31,520.

So I got to have an extra vehicle for a couple days before we left.  Truthfully, I didn’t drive it much because I was scared something would happen LOL.  But when we finally got on the road Thursday, I regretted not driving it from the beginning of the week.

Thank you Mazda and Drive Shop

Also, Outdoor Voices outfitted us for the trip.  Talk about the superstar treatment! We got to pop by their shop and snag a cute outfit.  I had already discovered OV, so I was pumped.  I love their leggings, bras, tops, shorts…I think I just mentioned everything.  But it’s true, I love their stuff.  I wore a few different pieces over the weekend. Huge thank you to Outdoor Voices.  Go check them out if you haven’t already!

Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices

Ok so now onto the road trip.  I got invited on a blogger girl’s weekend with 5 other gals.  You can check them out here so you know who I’m talking about:

Go and give them some love, they all have such a unique perspective and really awesome blogs and social feeds.  Plus, I can attest to how freaking cool they are 🙂

Back to the trip.  We all met up Thursday afternoon and divided ourselves between the two cars.  In my car, I had Ginger and Stephanie.  We chatted and laughed our way all the way to Norman, our first stop on the trip.

Thanks to Visit Norman, we had quite the itinerary.  So I’ve been to Norman a couple of times since when I was at CU, we were still in the Big 12.  This trip was very different from my previous college trips that both fell during football season on Sooner country.  This was all about actually seeing Norman and what the city has to offer.

We were so lucky to be put up at the Marriott Conference Center at NCED.  This was quite the place.  It’s massive.  When we first arrived, we all went to our rooms and had a rather quick turnaround until we needed to leave for our first activity.  So I didn’t really get to see a ton of the hotel until the following morning.

But let’s start with our first activity.  On the itinerary, it said bowling and dinner.  Ok, cool enough, I like bowling.  What we didn’t know is that we were headed to an entertainment metropolis.  There was an arcade, bowling, trivia, and laser tag.  This amazing place is called Hey Day Entertainment.

Laser tag at Hey Day with Ginger and Stephanie

We kicked off the evening bowling and indulging in their yummy food.  Oh and yes, there were massive TVs above the lanes so I was able to watch the Penguins steamroll over the Preds in game 5.  It was awesome.  Then we made our way to laser tag.  Here’s the think about laser tag, I haven’t done it in decades and I completely forgot how freaking fun it was! HOLY GUACAMOLE.  We had a blast.  And I don’t wanna brag, but my team won.

We were all pretty pooped out so I crashed hard when we got back to the hotel.  I woke up early the next morning and made my way to the lobby for a yummy latte.  The hospitality in Oklahoma is amazing, my barista even wrote “Happy Friday” on my latte.  Such a great start to the day.

Then I decided to get a workout in because I think the most unique part were all the amenities.  If you’re active and looking for a place with a great workout facility, this is THE place.

Marriott Conference Center at NCED

It’s the largest hotel of its kind in the state of Oklahoma with on-site recreational amenities include a 60,000 sq. ft. fitness center with professional staff offering fitness assessments, group exercise classes and hands-on group activities. Additional amenities include two outdoor walking tracks, an indoor track, saline outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool and sauna, softball field, billiards room, tennis, volleyball and racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor basketball court, driving range, golf lessons, spa services and team building activities including a ropes course.

The pool at Marriott Conference Center at NCED

I had the longest workout I’ve had in a while because it was so freaking awesome and I finally had a free morning! The facilities were incredible.  We didn’t have to be at lunch until noon so it was a great morning.

Finally we made our way to Volare.  We shared super yummy appetizers.  I think. my favorite was the Popper.  Then we split 4 pizzas and my favorite there was the Big Stick.  So freaking yummy.  As if we weren’t stuffed enough from lunch, I spotted a Baked Bear across the street from Volare.  If you haven’t been to The Baked Bear yet, GO.  They have killer ice cream sandwiches, fresh baked cookies and all kinds of goodies.  My favorite thing there is the funfetti cookie.  Then they freaking press it in a flat waffle iron thing, so its warm and melty.  YUM.

Killer pizza at Volare in Norman
Baked Bear in Norman…YUM

With full bellies we made our way to the National Weather Center.   We were a little late so we joined the tour and learned a lot.  Even if you’re not into weather, this was SUPER interesting.  Plus, every time a warning is issued, we saw the people and the room that that comes out of.  Pretty cool!

After the National Weather Center it was time to say so long to Norman and head to Oklahoma City.  We packed up the cars and made the 30ish minute trip.

In OKC we stayed at 21C Museum Hotel.  And it truly was a museum.  The entire bottom floor was lined with art. It’s a loft-style hotel with massive hallways and super high ceilings.  Our rooms were also huge!  And the little mascot of the hotel were these purple penguins, that seemed to move to different locations a lot during our stay.

21C Museum Hotel in OKC

Upon checking in we got settled in and had some time to relax until dinner.  Now here’s where things get interesting for a TV-loving gal like myself.  There was a film crew that was set to film parts of our trip to OKC.  YAS!  So it all started that first night in OKC at the restaurant Barrios.  They filmed us walking in and then to our table and a bit while we were getting settled in.  It’s the closest I’ve felt to being a Real Housewife.  (Yes, I love Bravo in addition to sports).

The gals at Barrios in OKC

After the crew left we indulged in queso, guac and the most interesting cocktails.  I settled on the Frozen Avocado.  It’s a delicious cocktail comprised of espolón blanco, fresh avocado, lime cordial -blended and rimmed with tajin clásico.  I may or may not have had more than one.  I also have to point out that everyone was so friendly in Oklahoma.  But the NBA finals were going on and I completely forgot I was in Thunder Country and that many were still a little upset with Kevin Durant (who’s now on Golden State).  From a sports perspective, that state loves their sports teams, and I love that!

Barrios in OKC

For dinner I ordered (and inhaled) the beef fajitas.  Everyone had recommended we try the fajitas so we did.  The group consensus was Y.U.M.  After dinner we made our way to an area called the Wheeler District where the old Santa Monica Ferris Wheel now sits.  And this is where the adventure part of the trip really beings.  We got to ride it and take in beautiful views of the city.  You may be thinking that’s not super adventurey, Jess, but trust me, I was terrified.  But I ended up really enjoying it.

We even got to take some fun pics by the famous OKC statue.

At the Ferris Wheel in OKC

The next morning we woke up pretty early to beat the line at Waffle Champion. OK, I’m gonna keep it real with you.  I was still full from the day before that I wanted something a little lighter.  So I opted for the yogurt parfait.  Let me tell you, the waffles looked incredible and the gals enjoyed the heck out of them but if you want something lighter, it’s the best yogurt parfait I’ve had.  It was super fresh, light and the perfect portion.  I highly recommend.

FYI if you’ve read this far you’re in for the real treat: adventure day.  That’s right, Saturday somehow became our big adventure day.  First up on the agenda was white water rafting at Riversport.  There are tons of things to do there like kayak, zip line and an adventure course but we only had time to white water raft.  I went into full detail on my podcast titled “Oklahoma, Adventure Sports and Scallywags.”  SPOILER ALERT: It’s a lot harder than I expected, it’s an incredible workout, great for team building and also, you get soaked!  We had so much fun, I’m just not sure I’ll be doing that on real rapids anytime soon.

Us rafting at Riversport

We were starving from that workout so we went to lunch at Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, which is located right next to Barrios.  They sat us on the rooftop patio, it was so beautiful.  I had the yummy Not So Daily salad and again we split pizzas.  My favorite was the Saturday Night.  And, as we were leaving, they sent us off with a bag of their sweets.  I may or may not have devoured the salted Carmel cookie.  Whoops.

Hall’s Pizza Kitchen in OKC

Immediately after lunch we went to Climb Up.  As if we hadn’t had enough fun yet in Oklahoma, we now got to go rock climbing in an old grain silo.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  I’ve been rock climbing and repelled but its been a while.  Our sweet guide walked us through every step and scenario.  We had such a blast.

Climb Up in OKC

Exhausted from the day of adventure we made our way back to the hotel to rest, shower and get ready for dinner. Saturday night’s dinner was at The Drake.  First, the aesthetic was not what I expected but I loved it! It felt very LA/Miami to me with teal as the premiere color.  It was so cute.  I ordered my first Froze and for the record, I’m obsessed.  I went to order my second (don’t judge) and the waitress informed me that they were all out, that’s how dang good it is.  I don’t even know where to start for dinner.  We ordered essentially everything LOL.  We started with oysters and hushpuppies.  I only indulged in the hushpuppies and I can tell you, they’re a must.  Also amazing, the branzino and paella that we shared.  The presentation and flavors are just not something you have every day.  Plus, the chef came out at the end and chatted with us giving us his history, the history of the restaurant and how he came up with the menu.  I’ve never experienced anything like that.

Paella at the Drake

I turned in early because, let’s be real, that’s a lot of activities in that time frame!  Plus we had to be up early in the morning for stand up paddle board.

We drove out to the lake and met our Flat Tide instructor and got right to it.  I’ve been paddle boarding before so I was really excited.  We paddled out to a little lagoon area and did a bootcamp on our paddle boards.  It was a great workout.  What I didn’t know what the paddle home had in store.  So we had to paddle back to where we started, against the current with some seriously strong Oklahoma winds.  At one point, I was paddling so hard just to stay put and not go backwards.  When I finally made it back I felt exhausted but accomplished.  I also seriously regretted running before we went…paddle boarding was always more leisure than active for me so I did a little 3 mile run before we left.  Not smart.  Oh and the film crew was there to get us in our furious rowing glory! Whoo hoo!

Flat Tide Stand Up Paddleboard

After that we went back to the hotel to shower and pack up.  Our last stop was brunch at Cheever’s. First, I walked in and immediately turned into a major fangirl because I recognized the restaurant from Bravo’s newest reality hit “Sweet Home Oklahoma.”  Unfortunately, the other girls didn’t know the show so I was alone in my excitement. I had the shaved Brussels and kale salad and literally inhaled it.  It was incredible.  They also have little bread there that is so tasty, in fact, we had to ask for more.  I loved this place.

Yummy Salad at Cheever’s in OKC

On our way out of town we stopped one last place, the Oklahoma mural.  As bloggers, we love a photo op and boy was this one.

Greetings from OKC
Greetings from OKC

That was a long post and honestly, I could have included even more because it was just such a packed weekend that gave us such killer experiences and stories to share.  Thank you so so much to Visit Norman and Visit OKC, and everyone else that made our trip so memorable.  Norman is only about 3 hours from Dallas and while you may not think of Oklahoma for a weekend getaway, I hope you’ll consider it now.  There’s so much to do and so much to see.  I can’t wait to go back.


**I have partnered with VisitNorman and VisitOKC to bring you this post.  All opinions remain my own.**

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