[The title should give you an idea of what this is about, but to get some context, read the intro from Day 1.]
Pretty much all you need to know about me is that I like caves. If we were to meet for the first time, I’d shake your hand, look you in the eye, and say, “Hi, I’m Gina. I like caves.” You’d then smile politely and walk away, wiping your hand on your pants because of all the bag guano I just transferred to you.
So it was no surprise that there needed to be a cave visit during this road trip, and if it happened to be at a place called Fantastic Caverns, well, fantastic. Fantastic Caverns is billed as America’s Only Ride-Thru Cave, which meant that we all piled into a tram and were treated to the sights of the cave without having to lug our fried-chicken-laden bodies a single step. Allison and Brittany, seeing that I had gone into my Happy Bouncy Cave Mode, insisted that I sit up front. This pleased me.
“I like caves!”
That patient woman sitting in the driver’s seat was Janice, who expertly guided us through the caverns and pointed out all sorts of fun stuff, including the wall upon which the twelve original explorers–all women, so nice going, ladies–signed their names.
There was also a big open area where concerts used to be held. Now the tour guides just use it for their annual Cave Talent Show. I presume.
I took approximately eleventy billion photos of the cave, but I will spare you the endless onslaught of blurry, vaguely rock-shaped rocks and just show a couple of the good ones.
And I got a bat hat!
From there it was on to Oklahoma City. One of the must-visits there is the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, a restaurant that has been visited by multiple presidents and celebrities. Fancying ourselves equally worthy, we went too.
Lots of delightful things happened at the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. We sampled some lamb fries, which is a perfectly adorable name for lamb testicles. (Tasty lamb testicles.) Our awesome waiter brought five overflowing cups of butter to the table for seemingly no reason other than maybe he picked up on the WE-LOVE-BUTTER vibe we constantly emit. We ate some transcendent steaks. Two older and mildly intoxicated gentlemen interrupted our dinner to ask us what our favorite songs were. And then something else happened. Something…else.
A little background: Brittany and Allison had never been to Oklahoma in September. I had, the year before. So I was a little more prepared for the plague of Biblical proportions that awaited us. I am, of course, referring to The Crickets. Crickets everywhere. In the hotel room. In the lobby. In the parking lot. And, much to the diners’ horror and the waitstaff’s delight, the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.
Naturally, one of those little buggers jumped right up on our table, and with both Allison and Brittany’s deathly fear of insects, it will come as no surprise to you that all hell broke loose. There was much flailing, wriggling, hissing, the bringing up of a shoe onto the dinner table to squish it, Gina gently reminding/scolding that we do not bring shoes up onto the dinner table, a rebuttal demanding that Gina “KILL IT. KILL IT NOW.”, Gina sadly dispatching of the poor innocent bug under the pressure, and Gina getting scolded for not flailing, wriggling, and hissing along in solidarity with everyone else.
At last, the threat was neutralized.
Twenty minutes later, it happened all over again.
Needless to say, though the food was amazing, it was a stressful evening. We drove back to the hotel, prepared to recoup with a relaxing evening of tepid hotel pool swimming and Friends reruns, but of course, this still being Oklahoma in September, the parking lot looked like this:
And the panic began anew.
Tomorrow: Texas, in all its understated glory!