We arrived in OKC at our new apartment late on a Friday night. Jim drove the uHaul and I drove our car up from Texas. I’d never driven for more than about 20 minutes since arriving in the US, so it was an anxiety-ridden drive for me that stretched on for hours. I made it with only two minor panic attacks. Driving in the city at night when you normally only drive to Walmart during the day is a big deal. I managed to stay on the right side of the road the whole way, and that’s spectacular.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Unpacking, setting up, Jim starting a new job, finding our way around, trying to remember which box the hair dryer could be in, tracking the tornadoes, and exploring new surroundings. We live a few minutes from downtown so we are close to the Arts District, Asian District, galleries and restaurants. Did I mention tracking the tornadoes? Yep, busiest tornado week of the year.
I think that Oklahoma City is largely overlooked. It’s a great little city with a fantastic downtown area. So much work has gone into upgrading OKC and the variety of places to eat and things to do is surprising.
Last night was taco truck night and we ate plates of delicious tacos. Tomorrow is the El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival which is a huge experience. Jim has been telling me about it for years and finally I’ll be able to experience it. I don’t actually like fried onion burgers but I like festivals. There will be car shows and artists and all of those good things. Oh, and a massive fried onion burger cook up. El Reno attracts thousands of visitors to the festival, from all around the country, and world.
We have slipped in so much in our two weeks. We ate fried chicken and waffles at Nash Bird in the city, which was a taste sensation, and shopped for organic foods at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. We even had a meal at the Cheesecake Factory late on a Monday night, and checked out some of the local murals. We took a look around the stunning Capitol Building and marvelled at the architecture. It’s absolutely beautiful. There’s just so much to do and we haven’t scratched the surface. Living in the city makes things so accessible.
The tornadoes aren’t cool. The week of tornadoes, torrential rain, and thunderstorms are unsettling, but where we lived in North Texas was worse in my opinion. And I Googled it, and apparently Texas gets almost 100 more tornadoes a year than Oklahoma. In fact, Texas, Kansas, and Florida all receive way more tornadoes than Oklahoma, so that’s another myth busted. It seems that living in the midwest means that you have to live with the threat of tornadoes, but it’s not a daily occurrence. We do get periods where the risk is minimal. We have installed weather apps on our phones so that we can receive warnings and track the tornadoes. At least we are aware and when we are on tornado watch, we stay home.
Another very good thing to mention is that I’ve finally received my permanent residency so I really feel like I can settle. I have so many projects to do, and places to visit. So much excitement.