I'm going to start by being completely honest. As this trip grew closer, I seriously contemplated cancelling it. I'm not sure why exactly, maybe it was the fear that it wouldn't live up to my expectations, or maybe I was scared that I would love it too much and not want to come home.
Tulsa has been a place that I have wanted to visit for over half of my life. We're talking since 1997, at the age of 14 when I first fell in love with that song that some of you may know called "MMMBOP", by this band of blonde haired brothers named Hanson. They were from Tulsa, and since I found that out, it has always been somewhere that I've wanted to go. Hanson host an event called Hanson Day every year followed by a big festival called The Hop Jam. So when my friends suggested that we go, how could I not join them?
When talking to people about this trip (before I went and even now after the fact), people were very confused why anyone would take a vacation to Oklahoma. It's not your typical "vacation spot" but it was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. The people are all so friendly, the architecture is beautiful, the food is wonderful and unique and it's just such an artsy town that's fun to explore. Tulsa really does have a lot to offer. I would definitely go back in an "MMMBOP".
I knew this would be an emotional trip, I just didn't expect that I would cry quite as much as I did!
It hit me as soon as the plane started descending into Tulsa - I started tearing up. I can't even pinpoint why exactly, it was just such a rush of emotions. I was actually there. I had finally made it to the place that I had dreamed about going to for over 20 years. I survived the flight on the tiny plane. I was going to be meeting up with my friends, some from home, others who I'd only ever spoken to online but felt like I'd known my whole life. It was just too much for how little sleep I was running on.
When my friends finally picked me up from the airport (an hour late - not really shocking - love them anyway), the emotions and excitement started again. They had already been there for a few days and had a chance to explore the beautiful city of Tulsa. They took me to Main Street and it was better than I had imagined it. There was the cutest little store called Ida Red that had amazing treats, souvenirs and the nicest staff around.
Not to mention it's right across from Hanson's 3CG Studio which I've always wanted to visit.
We also went to a restaurant called The Tavern where we got to experience our first ever taste of Hanson's beer called MMMHops. I'm not much of a beer fan, but this stuff is pretty good!
Oh, and I don't think I mentioned that within the first hour of being there, we ran into Zac Hanson as we were walking down the street. No big deal, right?! That was a pretty fantastic way to start this trip.
The weather while we were there was absolutely incredible. It was so hot and sunny, and the best part, there was no tornado to be seen which was quite a relief (especially for the amount of time we spent outside waiting in lines).
We did a whole bunch of Hanson Day events such as karaoke (probably my favorite event even though I was exhausted), group photos (dying to see what those turn out like), a few concerts, bowling, a dance party and a fancy dinner.
As fun as the events were, the people that I was with made it extra special. I was with two of my best friends from home, then we met up with some girls from Australia who were the sweetest (and most fashionable) girls ever. I also finally got to meet some girls that I had been talking to online for quite some time. It was so amazing to actually see and talk to them in person. All of the other fans that we met in the many lines that we waited in were also so nice. That was definitely the best part of this trip for me.
A non-Hanson adventure that was a highlight for me, was a free trolley ride that we took. We got to see a bit more of the city and the different festivals that were going on that weekend. The people in Tulsa are some of the friendliest I've ever met and our driver was a riot. He turned our ride into a party! We were driving through the streets singing at the top of our lungs and having the time of our lives. We were enjoying ourselves so much, that we actually ended up running late to one of our events because we were on it for too long.
We also did a whole bunch of eating. Besides The Tavern, we went to Antoinette Baking Company which is the cutest cafe with delicious treats and coffee. We stopped for lunch one day at the best pizza and gelato place called Andolini's. And my personal favorite, which should not come as a shock to anyone who knows me, Hurts Donut Co. I went 3 days in a row. I was slightly addicted. They were the best donuts I've ever had. And the selection...I was a bit overwhelmed but I tried as many as I could in the short period of time that I was there.
The morning that I was leaving, I sat in my hotel room sobbing (and eating Hurts donuts). I was going to miss it all. The food, the friends, the fun. I definitely left a piece of my heart there. I'm hoping that I'll be back someday soon. But until then Tulsa, I'll be Thinking of You.