It was after 5:00 pm before we reached Oklahoma City, choosing to drive along the famous Route 66. We stopped at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger for lunch, getting our meal to go. We ate in the car, surprising Snow with the meat from a hamburger. I got a Frito Pie and an Oreo Cyclone and Chris ate three chili dogs. We shared the fries.
Because we were so close to the attraction, we visited the Blue Whale. Interesting, but not incredibly impressive. Kind of like the world’s largest ball of twine. But, still, if anyone asks me if I have seen the blue Whale, I can say, “Yes, I have.”
Snow became an attraction herself at the Blue Whale when every child who saw her reached out to pet her soft white head. Her tail wagged furiously every time she received attention.
The walk did all three of us good as we were all beginning to suffer from the excess calories we consumed on the highway. All my pants were getting a little snug and apparently Chris had the same problem when he announced that any coffee we got on the road should be just black instead of flavors and sugar. That was okay with me because I like black coffee. We decided to eat more salads and to eat less often when we stopped to use the bathroom or to fill up the car.
Chris agreed to walking every day, too.
In Oklahoma City, we left Snow in the hotel room and went in search of bathing suits because most of the hotels where we stayed had pools. Another source of exercise.
I had never been an avid exerciser or dieter. I knew many women who were perpetually dieting and always announcing right before they ate three eclairs that they “shouldn’t” or “this isn’t on my diet” or “I should apply this directly to my hips.” In actuality, they were not dieting, but making a show for everyone else and making it seem as if eating an eclair was a huge sacrifice.
I mostly tried to moderate what I was eating. For example, I would eat a handful of potato chips as opposed to a bagful of potato chips. At work, I usually subsisted on coffee and a sandwich from the the deli next to my shop. At home, I rarely ate a second slice of pizza and birthdays didn’t consist of a whole cake, but one cupcake for each of us. We rarely had dessert after dinner. We also, didn’t exercise very much. None of us. Even with a pool, I didn’t swim laps on a daily basis. Maybe once a week.
We found bathing suits in a chain department store and I picked up two beach towels, too, all compliments of Lillian. At the same store, we bought some bananas and apples for snacks, pre-made salads for supper that evening, and small bottles of juice to drink instead of fizzy sodas.
Anything to stop the endless flood of fast food.
Chris and I changed into our swimsuits when we got back to the hotel and within minutes, we plunged into the cool water of the pool. After swimming the length of the pool a few times, I was tired, so I climbed out and wrapped the towel around my shoulders to stave off the gooseflesh. The sun set and the air grew chilly, so I rushed back into the hotel to get out of the breeze, to shower off the chlorine and get into dry clothes.
My dinner salad tasted better than I anticipated and so did the banana I shared with Snow. I took Snow out for a final walk before going to sleep.
That night, I slept better than I had in a long time. Maybe the key was getting really tired before retiring instead of just sitting in a car all day.
The next morning, I ate breakfast-a single whole wheat bagel with low fat cream cheese and black coffee-compliments of the hotel and then went for another swim, consisting of several laps of the pool. Another shower, back into travel clothes and I took Snow for her morning walk. Just as we got back to the car, Chris was already putting his things in the back. His hair was still wet from his shower and he held a bagel with cream cheese smeared on the top in his left hand.
“You ready?” he asked.
“As soon as I get my suitcase out of the room,” I announced.
He held onto Snow’s leash while I went in to grab my things. My beach towel was wet from my morning swim and so was the bathing suit, so I left them out of the suitcase. A quick double check and I was ready, again.
I spread the wet towel across the back of Snow’s back seat and hung the bathing suit over the headrest in the back.
Chris drove, again, and he picked up Interstate 235 until it met with Interstate 44. Due north to Wichita, Kansas.
We stopped at the Welcome to Kansas sign and I took another selfie for Mr. Cartwright. I sent the image into the ether and we took to the road, again.