Las Vegas and Back

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Fifty-six hundred miles...that's about how long our journey took. It was a trip we'd been wanting to make for quite some time...but somehow just never found the time. Finally, this summer, just as the 2003-2004 school year came to an end, I decided that we would make the time...and the trip.

And boy...what a trip it was...from Palm Bay, FL, to Las Vegas, NV, and back...all in the scope of 16 days! We weren't quite sure what to do with our dogs, Tanner and Scruffy, and contemplated taking them with us...that was, until the AC in our minivan broke down. This left us no choice but to put the dogs in a kennel and either fly or drive to Las Vegas via our 1999 Toyota Camery.

The cost of travel would have been roughly the same...but I decided to opt for transportation via car to make the vacation a trip through time, as well as distance. Traveling by car would allow us to see many sights/locations along the way...including our first stop...a trip back into my childhood town...Midwest City, OK.

We left Florida at 11 a.m., much later than planned, on Monday, July 5th, after dropping Tanner and Scruffy off at the local Kennel. The plan had been to make it all the way to New Orleans, but we didn't get that far before the first signs of trouble developed. As we approached Pensacola, FL, Alexandria, said she wasn't feeling well...and she meant it.

We ended up calling it a night pulling into an exit somewhere near Pensacola at about 8:30 p.m. Things looked like they were okay, until later that night when Alexandria developed a temperature of 102 degress F, at 1:30 a.m.. I scrambled to find a 24-Hour Walmart pharmacy to purchase some children's Tylenol and Motrin to get her fever down.

The trip looked like it might be cancelled even though it had barely begun. Luck was with us though, and we were able to get Alexandria's temperature down to normal by next morning. We decided to press on towards Midwest City, OK, the next day.

The ride was faily uneventful, and we made it just outside of Dallas, TX, before calling it a night. The next day, July 7th, we left Dallas and began the trek towards Midwest City, OK. The ride began early, with a clear sky, but by 8:30 a.m., there were signs of a definite storm.

As I drove the family towards my past, the dark clouds and lighting/thunder made me wonder if we would actually see a Texas/Oklahoma tornado. Luckily, by 11 a.m., the storm cleared and I found myself approaching Midwest City.

What's interesting is...although I fondly remember Midwest City, I was just a child at the time and had never driven around it myself, so I was somewhat unfamiliar with the roads. I followed signs that would lead us towards Tinker AFB/Midwest City...when suddenly, as we made our way through Moore, OK, a sign popped up pointing towards Crossroads Mall.

As I remember Crossroads Mall, I decided to make a stop. It was interesting to see/be inside Crossroads Mall 21 years after having left it. The mall still looked very familiar...and the LeMann's Speedway/Arcade was still there -- although it seems the racetrack has been removed. We stayed at the mall and enjoyed the arcade, as well as the new additions to the mall, such as the carousel and playset area that had been installed in the center courtyard.


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