You and Me and OKC

Married almost 19 years, parents for 16, and now seven children, equals not much time alone. So we were so excited when our friends at Visit OKC invited us on a romantic getaway media trip to explore Oklahoma City! On a cool, but blissfully sunny Saturday, after a morning of taking children to different activities, packing and getting meals ready for our sitter, we were finally on our way to Oklahoma City.

Pinkitzel

A romantic weekend away is a chance to forget the day to day and get lost in the now with the one you love. So Pinkitzel was the perfect place to start. Pinkitzel is a fantastical sweets shop in downtown Oklahoma City skirting the edge of Bricktown and sharing space with the newly restored Oklahoma City rail station. From the fanciful décor of black, white, and pink to the array of colorful candies and sweet baked treats, there is no shortage of delicious options. Chocolate seemed to be on our mind (and in truth it is probably always on our mind) so after a stroll through the shop, we ordered a Double Truffle cupcake to share. The Double Truffle has a chocolate cake with a fudge ganache center topped with a chocolate buttercream and pink chocolate curls. So yummy.

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After Pinkitzel, we drove around Oklahoma City to preview our weekend itinerary and oh, what a gorgeous Oklahoma day! The sun was shining, the never-ending sky was blue dotted with white puffy clouds and the temperatures were rising. It was the perfect weather for exploring. One of the things we love about our new home in Oklahoma is the individual identity of each town and neighborhood yet everywhere has a real sense of community that can be hard to find in big cities.

Hall’s Pizza Kitchen

For lunch, we headed to Hall’s Pizza Kitchen in Midtown. Midtown is one of our favorite parts of Oklahoma City with a compelling mix of history, food, shopping, people, and more. Arriving at Hall’s, we were greeted by the aroma of a wood fired oven. The place was lively with a mix of families, couples and large groups and all centered around the oven.  After looking over both the main and brunch menus, we decided to split a pizza. Truett, our fantastic waiter explained to us that each item on the menu bears a special name with a meaning that relates to the item or the person who inspired it. If you can’t find a pizza or menu item that fancies your taste, you can always order The Hall’s Pizza of Fame and build your own pizza. We ordered a half Samwise and half a variation on a traditional margherita pizza. The Samwise was like nothing we’ve ever tried. The rosemary roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, parmigiana reggiano and a balsamic reduction drizzle were like eating an overstuffed baked Po-Ta-To (Samwise Gamgee style) all atop fresh baked bread. It was delicious but very filling. So we saved the rest for our “Lord of the Rings” fanatic back in Norman. We were too stuffed to try any of the yummy desserts, but Truett came through again graciously giving us a cookie for later. Thank you Truett!

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After a quick stop by the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City in Midtown to check in and drop off the leftovers, which they were kind enough to keep in their large fridge downstairs, we were off to the Oklahoma Museum of Art.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

On thing we love about living around Oklahoma City is the abundance of culture. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a perfect example. From one of the largest Dale Chihuly collections in the world to classical greats such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir or contemporary artists like Jasper Johns, OKCMOA brings art and sculpture from all over the world to Oklahoma. This was our second visit to the OKCMOA. We visited previously during the Sonic Free Family Day and while we enjoyed that visit, we had skip over a lot of the museum in an effort to keep everyone happy and engaged.

We explored all of the galleries, especially some of the touring special exhibitions about Oklahoma Art and the “Question of Beauty”. Inspired by the art, we couldn’t leave without creating our own “shadow selfie” using the interesting shadows created by a suspended automobile sculpture. After taking the time to appreciate OKCMOA, we left for our next adventure – shopping!

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Shopping

Oklahoma City has a wide range of shopping options. Since we were on a romantic getaway, we had the luxury to visit some stores we had always wanted to visit, but never had the opportunity. One store we visited was Antique Avenue Market. Oklahoma has many interesting antique stores (including one aptly named Architectural Antiques and Dead People’s Stuff), but this was one we had never had a chance to explore. The store was full of memories from our childhood, historic treasures, as well as new custom creations from local artisans. We couldn’t leave the store without a pair of vintage 1970s Christmas candles which will now decorate our house for years to come!

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Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City

After shopping, we returned to the Ambassador Hotel to get ready for dinner. When we stopped by earlier, we only saw the beautiful historic lobby. This visit was our chance to really explore the exquisite room and the impressive view of Midtown. We were also welcomed by a personal note that demonstrated the staff’s incredible attention to detail.

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The Ranch Steakhouse

While the Ambassador was wonderful, we couldn’t enjoy the hotel for too long because it was time for dinner! We had to eat an earlier dinner as we were heading to the Oklahoma City Symphony later in the evening. The Ranch Steakhouse is the epitome of an Oklahoma steak house. From the inspired cowboy art on the walls to the overall Western motif, you knew this would be a great place to get a steak. Our meal started with some fresh baked rolls and while the appetizers looked appealing, we knew what we had come for – steak. Between the two of us, we ordered a rib-eye and a filet. Looking at the array of tempting sides, we couldn’t decide, so we selected a menu item where you could try three sides for the price of two. For our three sides we picked potato (mashed), potato (gratin), and potato (sweet). Everything was amazing and among the best meals we’ve had since moving to Oklahoma.

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After making a dent in everything, but finishing nothing, we were stuffed. We packed up the leftovers for when we got home (and they were amazing). We previewed the dessert menu and definitely look forward to a return visit!

Oklahoma City Philharmonic

Once again, we stopped back at the Ambassador Hotel to drop off our leftovers and then drove to the Oklahoma Civic Center Music Hall to enjoy the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. With Chee-Yun, a celebrated violin soloist, and three works from some of our favorite composers, we knew it would be a magical performance. We are so fortunate to have an incredibly talented orchestra, like the OKC Philharmonic, here in Oklahoma City.

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Filled with delightful music and delectable food, we were ready to head back to the Ambassador and get ready for day 2 of our romantic weekend getaway. Walking into the Ambassador, we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy their back patio with a roaring fire, twinkling garden lights, and downtown view. It was the perfect way to end the day.

Hank’s Coffee and Wine

After a quiet night’s sleep (something we are definitely not used to) we walked down the street to Hank’s Coffee and Wine. Temperatures dropped significantly overnight and we were looking for a relaxing morning with something warm to drink. We ordered a rich hot chocolate (for Mr. FVF) and dirty chai (for Mrs. FVF). Relaxing at one of their reclaimed wood tables, we enjoyed our drinks in comfortable colorful cups.

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Kitchen 324

We returned to our room and checked out of the Ambassador Hotel. Hungry, we drove to brunch at Kitchen 324. Kitchen 324 is a stylish, from scratch, farm to table restaurant serving breakfast and lunch M-F, brunch Sat-Sun as well as a daily dinner service. The menu was a unique take on many traditional brunch items.  We ordered the Scratch Biscuit with Chorizo Gravy (a patty of Chorizo sausage was sandwiched in the biscuit) and the Giant Buttermilk Pancake (It really was GIANT and tasty) with side orders of crispy Yukon gold potatoes and the best bacon (McCabe’s Small Batch Bacon) we have ever eaten. Ever. We enjoyed our brunch with some fresh squeezed orange juice, and another cup of coffee, this time a mocha, which was well crafted and wonderful. If the Ranch Steakhouse was one of the best meals we had eaten in Oklahoma, brunch at Kitchen 324 beat it.

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Oklahoma State Capitol

After brunch, we did something that we have wanted to do since we moved to Oklahoma, visited the Oklahoma state capitol. Nothing says romantic getaway like visiting a legislative building, right? Actually, the Capitol building is beautiful. Between the impressive Dome and other architectural details, murals depicting the rich history of Oklahoma, statues, and lighting, it is an architectural treasure. Besides the functional use of housing the House of Representatives, Senate and the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, the Capitol also featured the Governor’s Art Gallery with exhibitions of famous Oklahoma artists.

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Roxy’s Ice Cream Social

With our romantic getaway near the end, our final stop was Roxy’s Ice Cream Social in Oklahoma City’s hip Plaza District. We were stuffed from the sweets and eats on our weekend, but there’s always room for ice cream, right? Especially when it is locally made like Roxy’s. Roxy’s also makes their own soda including root beer, cream soda, and espresso root beer – yes that’s right – espresso root beer.

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Our last stop in Oklahoma City, before returning home to see our children, was a return to the Ambassador Hotel to pickup all of our leftovers. We thanked the staff for an amazing stay and their gracious hospitality. The Ambassador Hotel in Midtown was the perfect balance of close to everything in downtown, but still a retreat from the city.

Our romantic getaway to Oklahoma City was amazing. We found some new favorite spots, experienced the outstanding culture and history of the city, became a little more Oklahoman, and closer as a couple.

Interested in travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater, musicians like Amy Lee (Evanescence)Lisa LoebAndrew & PollyCaspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States)Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants)Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Tim Kubart, or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Jonathon Sawyer? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families?

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Photo credits: Full Van Fun

Disclaimer: Lodging and meals were provided by Visit OKC in exchange for our posts, but all suggestions and endorsements are solely personal. We only recommend what we personally like and experience.

Author: Full Van Fun

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