Wanderlust: Tulsa, Twin Cities, and Tour de Compadres (via KC)

I mentioned in an earlier post the whirlwind that was April for me. It appears that May is becoming very similar. During early April, I remember thinking “I can’t wait until this month is over”. This is probably very unfortunate because I know I should be savoring precious time, but April was a crazy roller-coaster of planning, preparation, and executing. I spent a week and a half of traveling away from home, seeing some really cool places, but missing my own home with a strong longing.

The first stop on my travel train was Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The four and half hour drive was broken up in both directions with stops to visit my grandparents. I attended a college fair down there and visited a few high schools, meeting some incredibly engaged students! While I was only there for two days, I had a little down time between a couple of my high school visits to search for a coffee shop and accomplish some office work. Miraculously, I think I ended up at one of the most eclectic work spaces I have ever seen! Nestled in the urban, downtown district of Tulsa called The Pearl District, The Phoenix is home to whimsical furniture including mismatched, oversized armchairs and columns made entirely from books. I knew I was at home when I noticed that many of the menu items were named after great literary works, from some of my favorite novels to a Shakespearean comedy. After whipping out my computer and plugging away for a solid hour, I bit into “The Giving Tree” – turkery, bacon, swiss cheese, granny smith apples, and a spicy chipotle ranch on a rosemary and olive oil bagel (AKA heaven in my mouth). I’ve also heard rave reviews about their cold-press coffee, but unfortunately they were out of this already by the time I stopped by. After enjoying a little lunch, I hopped into Made, a little store across the street with only local items for sale, each made by 80 different artists in the Tulsa area. It seemed like a great place to do some exploring! If you’re looking for a stop off the beaten tracks and a place to relax, I think The Pearl District definitely should be on your list of places to stop in Tulsa!

The Deli Counter inside The Phoenix

The Deli Counter inside The Phoenix

The Pearl District

The Pearl District

After a quick weekend back in “Manhappiness”, I prepared to take on the Twin Cities for the second time this year! I’d been gearing up for this trip for months. Upon my arrival, I knew I was in for an adventure when I was greeted by slow drifting snowflakes instead of April sunshine. While the snow continued to fall, the trip was full of events and even driving with my boss in city traffic (which is very stressful for a girl who grew up with absolutely no stoplights in her hometown). I was infinitely grateful when the sun decided to shine near the end of my trip, and took advantage a park I found downtown to accomplish some work outside. I’ve decided that if you need some rest in the hustle and bustle of a city, a park is the perfect place. And in Minneapolis, Cedar Lake Park was the perfect spot for me. The Twin Cities treated me well—with time spent catching up with family, work well spent, and finding the time to breathe in a city—and I was so thankful for a successful week there!

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I wrapped up my travel adventures in April with a quick visit to KC for a weekend. Ben Rector is one of my all-time favorite artists. His piano ballads speak to my soul, and his latest album The Walking in Between was an absolute knockout. Naturally, when I heard he was rambling around on tour and the closest he would get to me was in Kansas City, I knew I absolutely had to attend (even if it was the day after I returned from my marathon week in Minnesota). Thankfully, a friend tagged along. I thought Ben would be headlining the event, but he was part of a group of friends (hence the name Tour de Compadres) performing together! The concert took place at the Crossroads KC venue, located behind the bar Grinders. After a day of rain and chilly air, I was worried about the outdoor site and the mist certainly didn’t stop in the evening. The ground was soggy, and I was very thankful I decided on a whim to wear my cowboy boots. Although we were all pretty damp by the end of the concert, I think that the audience’s spirits were definitely lifted. Needtobreathe headlined the event, and I enjoyed hearing many of their songs for the first time. My favorite discovery, though, was Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Folk with a little indie flair, these are the perfect songs for a rainy day, a road trip, or a pick-me-up! My favorites are Here We Go and Shine Like Lightening! The concert was an absolute blast and definitely worth the trip. I hope to make it back to that area of KC again because I spotted a few food and coffee shops I wanted to check out!

Needtobreathe

Needtobreathe

Ben Rector performing!

Ben Rector performing!

This week, I’m off to Estes Park, Colorado for a little vacation time! Hope your travels are treating you well!

Cheers!

Taylor

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