Tuesday, January 21

Roadschool Trip to Western Oklahoma

West of I-40, wide open spaces offer a feast of visual delights!  From bison grazing near the road to sunsets that stretch for an hour or more....we enjoyed the scenic tour out west just as much the Air & Space Museum we went to visit.  A rare and special treat on the way home topped off the day with much sweetness!!

Each year, for their birthday, we let the kids pick out an "experience."  This year, his request was to visit an airplane museum we hadn't been to before, the Stafford Air & Space Museum...  Tom Stafford is a little-known name, but he was an integral part of the early space program!  One of the first things he gravitated toward in the museum was this quote (his quote : "Look mom, he's just like me!").
We learned about Stafford's history with the space program and about the history of flight itself, with these life-sized replicas of some of the pioneers of flight.  Space was the primary theme of the museum, which focuses not only on Stafford's role in the program, but the entire program itself.
We learned about how the Apollo Spacecraft functioned, and saw the development of the rocket program, from both the US and USSR sides, as part of the Cold War.
There are a few movies inside the museum...this is a clip from our favorite.  My children are still referring to me as an "intoxicated chorus girl" when I run into something!  (No - they aren't entirely sure what it means...but they know that - in the movie - it's hilarious.)
One of the more unique exhibits, the tractor caught our eye because it felt out of place.  The information was very helpful!
One of the newest exhibits is this model capsule, where you can try your hand at landing safely!  But that's not the only one...there are plenty of hands-on exhibits at the museum.
Great Books for Reading about Space....
Younger Kids
Older Kids
Braum's Factory Tour
It wouldn't be a birthday without ice cream, right?!  One of Oklahoma's pleasures is the Braum's Ice Cream Parlor.  It's a chain that began in 1933, and a part of every child's memory in this area!  Heading home, we had the opportunity to tour the Braum's Factory in Tuttle.  It's a tiny little town, but very beautiful!

The tour lasted about two hours, during which time we were able to tour all of their bakery, processing, and packaging facilities.  One of the neat things about this company is that they make everything they need, from the food products to the packaging materials, right on site!  (No photography is allowed on the tour.)
The best part of the tour?  Getting to sample cookies and ice cream, of course!!  Actually, we also found some of the facts interesting that we picked up along the way.  For example, there are approximately 40 calves born at the farm each DAY....I'll let you do the math for the year!  The photo below shows the area where baby calves are housed and raised, right by the river.  (The other one is the truck housing...all trucks return daily, so they keep their stores close.)  Find out how you can take your own, free, tour!

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