While visiting Luke at Fort Sill this past weekend, I learned four important lessons:
1. If you are a gambling person, the number of casinos in the Comanche Nation must be pretty much unrivaled except for Vegas; Luke and I saw at least three different casinos during the ten-minute drive from the airport to his apartment building in Lawton! Another two can be found on the way to the local movie theater lol.
2. You are never too old to act like a little kid! Luke and I had the best marathon “play” date on Saturday. And yes, it felt like we were in middle school again due to the absolutely absurd amount of fun that we had while doing “little kid” activities. (more on that later).
3. The West Point Girlfriends Facebook Group certainly has its saving graces! I had the best (and LONGEST) lunch date on Friday with Mrs. Lindsey Niblack Oliver and Mrs. Rosa Greeson Stevens while our significant others were busy at work. It was so neat to arrive in Lawton for the first time ever and to already have two girl friends to hang out (
and gossip) with!
4. Tacoklahomayo is the absolute best “fast food” restaurant to EVER exist! Tater tots with your tacos? Genius. Pure genius.
Lawton, Oklahoma. It’s a fine place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there permanently. I think that’s the best way to describe the area surrounding Fort Sill. I arrived in Lawton late on Friday night on the tiniest plane to ever exist and stepped into the tiniest airport to ever exist! Seriously. This airport has two gates (only one of which is actually used), and the same two or three employees check passengers in, guide the airplane in, unload baggage and man security. On my outbound flight, I discovered that there are not even any restrooms once you step through security (but that’s OK, because trust me, there is plenty of time to step out, use the restroom and walk BACK through the security line, even up to ten minutes before flight time!) The airport only provides service to Dallas Fort-Worth, and I think there were about 20 passengers or fewer on both my arriving and departing flights.
Anyway, so Luke picked me up at the airport, and I was able to find him in the “crowd” pretty easily! It was already 10 p.m. or so by the time we left the airport, so he took me to get some Sonic for a quick bite, drove by the aforementioned plethora of casinos, and went back to his place for an early night since he had to be up at 5 a.m. on Friday. Friday morning dawned dark and early, and Luke left me on my own for the day to explore Lawton (with no vehicle)! So, really I planned to just hang out around his apartment. I had very noble intentions of cleaning his place from top to bottom, washing and folding all of his laundry, and possibly cooking him dinner. (And watching plenty of Grey’s Anatomy, which I am currently addicted to.) But, you know what they say about the best intentions, right? I found something a little more fun to do instead :]
Around 11:30 a.m., Rosa Stevens picked Lindsey Oliver and I up to go out for lunch! I had met Rosa once before at St. Barbara‘s, and I knew Lindsey from the West Point Girlfriends webpage (basically a FB group for girlfriends and fiancees of West Point cadets to chat and get to know one another. It’s much less creepy than it probably sounds lol, although Luke might disagree.) We went to lunch at this local sandwich shop called the Silver Spoon (they have the BEST Raspberry Sweet Tea), and Lindsey acted as tour guide of the downtown Lawton area for Rosa and I, since she has been living out there for about a month now.
After (a two-hour) lunch, we headed back to Luke’s apartment complex and laid out at the pool until our guys got off work. The funniest part of the day was when alot of the military guys showed up in the late afternoon and started cramming into this tiny little pool Jersey-shore style. One group of guys wanted to set up a volleyball net, and they were having all kinds of trouble getting this net put up. They kept debating how to tie the knot correctly and tried setting two chairs on either side of the shallow end so that they could loop the net through. After about 20 minutes or so, Rosa looks at them and yells, “What? Didn’t they teach y’all how to tie knots up at West Point?” Lol. This elicited quite the response from many of the guys, who did not in fact, attend West Point. (It was really funny, but you probably had to be there to really take in all of the shocked reactions and horrified faces!) They started trying to talk to us a little bit after that, and luckily our guys showed up soon after to rescue us.
Then, we all headed to dinner at this wonderful little Mexican restaurant in town (Las something..Lindsey, help me out here?!), and they truly had wonderful margaritas and sopapillas. Then, Luke and I headed back early (about ten hours after our “lunch date” began) and regretfully, missed Rosa’s game of cornhole (which we are sooo definitely playing when I come up for Fall Break!) This group was so much fun, and I cannot wait to hang out with them again in October. I definitely had more fun than I would have had cooking and cleaning all day.
On Saturday, Luke and I got up “early” (around 10 a.m.) and began a marathon date in Lawton. First, he took me to Tacoklahomayo, which is literally the best fast food restaurant I have ever been to. It only exists in Oklahoma, and they serve yummy Mexican dishes with tater tots, of all things, on the side. I had the nachos, and it was wayy more than I could eat by myself. If we end up PCSing to Sill in the future, I will be Tacoklahomayo’s best customer! The restaurant was so good that I named this post after it, which I never do. If you are ever in Oklahoma, this is a MUST VISIT! Thank you for the great recommendation, Mrs. Oliver. :]
Next we headed to the water park, which I absolutely loved! It is a pretty small water park right off of the interstate, but it has five slides, a lazy river and wave pool. We had to buy a two-person float, since those were the only ones left, and since we weighed about 300 pounds collectively, the water slides were a REAL blast! We almost flipped over twice, and I thought I would lose my voice from shrieking so much. Of course, Luke egged it on, by grabbing the handles and rocking us back and forth, making sure we got “air” on the green tube slide and flipping me over on purpose into the pool at the bottom. It was truly a great time though, and after all of the excitement on the slides, I was more than content to float around on the lazy river with him. We eventually hit the wave pool, which was also fun, except for one unfortunate incident with a bee. It flew onto the front of our float, and I unwittingly put my legs down directly on top of it. I got bit three times by the time I realized what was going on and was able to move. My knight in shining armor killed that nasty little bee for me though, so I felt that justice was served lol.
After several hours at the water park, we headed back to his place to get ready for dinner. I had butterflies while I was getting ready, because we haven’t been able to go on a date together in so long! I got to wear my pretty new turquoise dress with the bubble skirt and white wedges, and he wore khaki shorts and a button down. He took me to an Italian place called Luigis, and I had the ravioli filled with ricotta cheese, and he had fetuccini alfredo. The restaurant didn’t offer wine or any other alcoholic beverages, so we got sodas, and Luke made the comment that it felt like we were in middle school again and our parents dropped us off on a date haha. Needless to say getting ice cream at Braum’s afterwards (mmm Butter Pecan) and then going to see Ice Age 4 only contributed to the feeling of being two kids again. But it was one of the best dates ever, and everything was just so relaxed. I think we laughed more on that date than on some of the ones at elegant restaurants in NYC where we have paid $$$$ for dinner and a bottle of wine. It was fun to mix it up a little!
On Sunday, he got up early and cooked me breakfast, and I got to watch my Grey’s marathon while he did some homework. We had an early dinner at another local Mexican place — nothing beats Mexican food out West — and then, we went to the commissary to buy some Gatorade and other items. It was such a settling feeling to be a “normal” couple again, going shopping together on Sunday afternoon. We watched some of our favorite TV shows that night and stayed up way, way too late haha but it was so worth it, even as we were dragging on our way to catch my 6 a.m. flight to Dallas on Monday morning.
The whole weekend was absolutely exceptional, and I promise to post pictures later! I have not had the chance to upload them yet, since I have been so busy packing to go back to school on Friday. The whole Lawton trip made me look forward to Fort Benning even more, when I will get to see him nearly every weekend. I can’t wait to see what the next few months will hold for us :]
Right now, I just know that I have to stay patient and enjoy the relationship that God has given us here and now, which means embracing the long distance and looking forward to seeing him in Tuscaloosa over Labor Day weekend. And then it will be Fall Break before long, and I will be heading back to Tacoklahomayo! More soon.