Monday, August 15, 2011
Stomp Dancing and Spider Man
Last week Hubby took a day off of work and we had a little staycation day. I have been wanting to go to the Chickasaw Cultural Center pretty much since the day it opened so off we went to Sulphur. It is only about an hour's drive from Norman, perfect for a little nap for the kiddos if they so chose, which of course they didn't. The grounds alone of this place are so gorgeous and worth the trip. Gardens, natural architecture, and water running through the entire place in the form of streams, waterfalls, fountains, and simple reflecting pools.
Careful, if you have kids and it's a hot day you really have to make certain they don't mistake it for those streams at the zoo that you can play in! Just sayin'. Here's mine with their little noses inches from the water.
One of my favorite parts was the Honor Garden. It is a beautiful fountain surrounded by a labyrinth garden. On the walls are photos and brief biographies of deceased Chickasaws. It was a beautiful, peaceful place. That is, when I wasn't busy trying to keep my kids out of the water! The water serves as a common theme running throughout the entire grounds. There is also an exhibit hall filled with Chickasaw art and cultural information, a cafe, a large library and research center, a traditional village, a "Sky Pavillion" with an amazing view of the surrounding grounds, and an amphitheater.
At 10:30 every day there is a presentation on stomp dance rituals. the dancers and musicians were fun to watch and very informative. I would have liked to see the entire presentation, but my blondie girl was literally wilting under the hot Oklahoma sun. We ended up spending most of our time in the exhibit hall in the a/c and did not make it to the village. I plan on going back in the fall and spending more time, and maybe trying the cafe where local produce and native dishes are served. This was such a beatiful and fun experience, I can see it being a place we visit yearly.
We ate lunch at an old-fashioned diner in Sulphur and then headed for home, the long way. As in opting for the little country highway instead of the interstate. It turned out to be a great idea because we happened upon the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley. I had heard about this little museum before and knew we had to stop when I saw it. I don't know who's zany idea this was, but it works...in a weird way. The displays consist of a humongo "bedroom" scene filled with every action figure you have ever seen, and about a thousand you haven't, then there is PeeWee's big green chair, a display of GI Joes and other "soldier" toys, a Batman through the ages display, a whole Mickey Mouse section, and a whole list of other random, strange, and fascinating toys. There is even a "hands-on" section with dress-up clothes and lots of strange and random toys, super fun if you can get over the germ factor. My daughter was tickled by the wall of action figure underwear, particularly strange as they were clearly grown-up sizes! Seriously, this museum takes "quirky" to a whole new level! I'm not sure if you are going to expand your brain by going, but you are guranteed to at least once say "Awwwww, I had that when I was a kid!"
Fun for the kid in everyone!
I'd call it a balanced day; we visited a peaceful and educational oasis and then made a pit stop in the land of kitsch!