May 02, 2006

oklahoma city

So, as promised, here is a little more about our trip to Oklahoma City...

We really had a wonderful weekend...it was nice to get away, just the two of us, and to experience such a monumental life moment together. Witnessing Chris meet this goal was so incredible. And he himself felt a whole spectrum of emotions as he ran the race.

When we arrived Saturday afternoon, we met up with Alvino and his family and went to the Expo at the Convention Center to pick up their racing packets. We looked around at all of the booths and listened to a speaker. Also got some race information. Then Chris and I went to a pasta dinner after we had checked into our motel, where we heard the CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation speak. This was the one bad part of our trip...Chris was soooo pumped to hear this man speak, and the entire crowd was so incredibly rude. They would not stop talking. There was a constant chatter the entire time, so that we could barely hear what he was saying (and we were quite close to the front!). I felt so bad for the speakers...it was so disrespectful. And it would've been a great speech, I'm sure, if we could've heard it!

After dinner, we went to check out the Memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing. It was so touching and moving. The monuments there are so beautiful, and seeing the fence with all of the memorabilia was incredible. This happened in 1995, and it is still so fresh for everyone there. The saddest part of it all was the little mound of grass that they have fenced off, the only remaining part of the daycare playground. They had a little brass bell for every child that was killed that day, with their name engraved on it. It asked for us to ring each bell and say a little prayer for each child.

Sunday morning, we were up at 4:00 am, and to the race starting line by 5:30 am. Right before the marathon started, the entire crowd (there were 14,000 people participating, plus all of their spectators) observed 168 seconds of silence to remember the 168 people that were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. This marathon is a Memory Run to honor those people, and the starting line was right at the Memorial that they built afterwards. Macie Wainwright (I think that was her name) sang the national anthem, she was awesome. A 16 year old girl, a country singer, with such a beautiful voice. And then the runners were off...

I squeezed into the surburban with Alvino's family and we zoomed around town, stopping at the 5th and 12th miles to watch them run by. It was so exciting to see them! After the 12th mile, we headed to the finish line to see them all come in. Chris in 3 hours 47 minutes, Alvino in around 4 hours 23 minutes. Along the way, I spotted an adorable little pug, and she was quite enthused about posing for a picture!

After stretching as much as they could, Chris went to take a shower at the YMCA. They had opened their doors to any runner that wanted a quick shower, which I thought was so kind. We listened to Macie Wainwright sing a little more on the camp grounds, and then headed for the car. Along the way, we stopped and took a few pictures of the surroundings, the downtown area was quite nice. Lots of fountains and sculptures. Then we had lunch at Subway and headed to the car for home...

When we got to the car, I gave Chris a little gift I had brought for him...a sweet "I'm proud of you" card, along with a little massager. He used that thing the whole way home on his poor, tired legs...

Check out the pics below...



Here's that little pug...isn't she darling? We have named her Petunia, though we don't really know!


This was a fabulous brick wall covered in ivy...I dragged Chris over there and got some great shots of him...love the contrast of the green with the brick...and love that face even more...


Here's one of me, in front of one of the cool water sculptures...


I thought these were glorious...one beautiful chairlike sculpture for every person that died in the bombing. The bases were crystal-like and each had a light within at night...


This is the church that was right next door to the Federal Building that was bombed...all of these beautiful windows were blasted out by the force. The pastor of this church is the one who did the sunrise service before the race began...


Loved the way the evening sun was shining on this huge monument...


This chainlink fence surrounded the Memorial, and was filled with endless memories...little trinkets...little special things for those who passed away...


This is Macie Wainwright, the singer...she was cute as could be...and had a beautiful voice...

So, there's our trip...we saw some beautiful things, we experienced some amazing things. It's a trip we'll always remember...

2 comments:

PTS said...

Great to hear your comments on the trip. I am a little partial to OKC as that was one of my districts when I was at the office at Venture and remember exactly the day of the bombings and how it affected my stores. Have never been there but what I see of the memorial, it is beautiful and respectful of the people.

Always like pics of Kel but that pic of Chris is a very good one. And the rest ~ whoever is taking them, you guys have a great eye ~ beautiful pics!

Kim :) said...

Loved reading about your trip. It sounds as it was a very moving trip for everyone! I wish that the people wouldn't have been so rude during the speakers though! I know that was one of the things Chris really wanted to attend and get something out of.

The pictures are wonderful. I agree with PTS you guys have a great eye for pictures!

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