Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Fanson in Tulsa

This past October, my family was up for a military PCS from California to Germany. We decided that instead of flying out of the West Coast, we would drive across country to make lots of stops and visits along the way, ending at my mom's house in Maryland for a few weeks before going overseas via Dulles Airport.

Among the planned stops was Tulsa, Oklahoma – for a few reasons.

My Dad's first wife, my stepmom, Beth resides there and we are pretty close. Though I didn't know her growing up, I will always consider her family. We had stayed with her when we were in town before, but in the past it was quick overnights without getting to see the sights. Not this time! We stayed 3 nights, and loved being able to be leisurely about exploring Tulsa, instead of rushed through.

My husband already knew full how I likely had our days planned out, and for the most part, I definitely did.

It was easy, really... Tulsa OK is the hometown of my favorite band, Hanson and I already knew all their favorite spots to eat and shop and couldn't wait to experience them for myself. Judge away, no shame.

We didn't arrive until nearly 5am, after a ridiculously long drive, so the first thing we did was go straight to bed! But I didn't want to waste the next day, so we headed straight out after a short sleep.

I had a list of places to try for breakfast based on Hanson recommendations and spottings, but had to keep in mind we had a 1 and 6 year old in our midst, so needed to be sure to go somewhere they would be accommodated as well.

I should also mention that I was under no delusions that I would actually run into my favorite celebs as I knew they were currently touring on the East Coast. That said, we settled on a place called Blue Moon Cafe. It was a small place with mostly locally sourced salad and sandwich type items. It was quite tasty and gave us a quiet place to GPS plan the rest of our stops.

After our breakfast we walked just a few blocks down to a place called IDA RED. It is primarily an “I HEART Tulsa” kind of boutique, but also a well known Hanson favorite – it's even a stop on the tour during Hanson Day every May.

They had a ton of unique soda flavors from a local company and strange foreign foods and candies (like beer cotton candy!) I didn't purchase anything Tulsa specific, except post cards for my collection, but I got a few goodies.

My favorite find was my FREAKER USA!! (Jessica reviewed them a few months back so it made me pretty giddy to get my hands on one!)

After IDA RED we hopped in the car and headed to our next stop, Dwelling Spaces.

From my research this place is kind of the obvious, that all fans seem to know is THE place to be for Hanson Fans. Apparently they occasionally have Hanson merchandise, even.

 But one of the real shining lights is the coffee shop inside called Joe Bots.

Rumor has it, they can draw a mean foam Hanson symbol on your cappuccino. As curious as I was to test this theory, it was hot, and I needed an iced chai... so the mystery remains. The shop itself was awesome, but a bit expensive in my opinion.

After a short break to Geocache, we were back on our way.

Next up was Hanson's recording studio!! I was possibly most excited for this. I knew they weren't there, and that it was legit just a picture outside a building, but it was a mindset – they without a doubt, stood here, touched this doorknob, took a picture in this exact spot.

As we were looking for it, I also came across Cain's Ballroom. This is by far their most favorite place to play, and they speak of it often. We didn't bother to stop, but at least had to take a pic to say I was there..

Our next leg of the adventure was another I was quite excited for! We were headed to a site where they had filmed parts of their “Thinkin Bout Somethin” Video.

So off to the corner of N. Greenwood and E. Archer we went! It wasn't hard to find. It's just a street view with the overpass in the backround.

I wasn't able to get a replicated shot, but it's clear it was filmed quite overhead.

If you go a bit further past the bridge you'll find the iconic blues mural they used as well. It was so interesting to see how much was photoshopped and changed for it! I loved standing there. I felt very connected to my favorite band. 

Two more stops to go on my personal Hanson tour of Tulsa! 

Next up was a sweet shop. Every Valentine's day on they sell boxes of chocolates with their different iconic symbols on them. 

These are made by Glacier Confections. Although the shop is small, I was amazed by the selection! If you can dream it, they'd already made it. 

On a big screen behind the counter they even had the original Willy Wonka playing on repeat.

The lady behind the counter was one of the sweetest retail people I've ever met. She was happy to chit chat and answer anything and she was the first person all day that I told what personal tour we were on. When she said she was happy to answer any questions I say “I have one.... have you ever personally MET Hanson??” haha! 

Sadly she hasn't but she did know what I was talking about which was good enough. We spent a good bit of money for some of the most exotic artisan chocolates and truffles...a good few were alcoholic. ;)

The very last stop on my Hanson propelled tour was their childhood home. They no longer owned it of course and the address is public knowledge from when it was sold a few years back.

Obviously I wouldn't overstep any boundaries but I just wanted to SEE it. It's where it all began. It's where they got the name 3CG (Three Car Garage) and created many of the songs I've come to love.

So after a long drive to Mounds, I found that it was entirely inaccessable. Not only was it completely invisable due to the tree cover but there is a lovely sign warning people away...I'll assume I'm not the first Hanson fan to search out this sight... Le Sigh...

We ended the night with meeting up with our wonderful hostess at a Mexican restaurant in town. I had originally thought about wanting to try either Mexicali or Caz's Steakhouse which are notable to the Hanson Fangroup, as these are where the boys take everyone during Hanson Day weekend, but we settled on Cafe Ole without regret. They had wonderful food, and even better margaritas to be enjoyed on the patio.

Our second day was spent doing much needed laundry and being lazy after days on the road with many more ahead. When Beth returned after work we spent the afternoon enjoying her farm land filled with beautiful horses. 

My girls had been begging to meet them and were so happy to get on the golf cart like vehicle and go feed the animals. 

The night topped off with a delisious dinner at JL's Bar'B'Que. This place was insane! It was buffet lunch line style and they top you off like no one's business. 

We went the out of towner way and got the sampler. I believe it filled two trays with pulled pork and chicken, sausages, cole slaw, potato wedges, texas toast, corn, you name it! Between the 4 of us, we still couldn't come close to finishing it! 

After dinner we ventured into a local Amish store and bought the kids some fun new toys and snacks for the next leg of the drive we'd be facing the next day.

On day three, all we had time for was packing and a lovely last meal at a diner I can't remember the name of. 

I had so much fun on this trip with family and finally getting to experience a part of the world I've been eyeing for more than a decade and a half. I will make it back again someday and happily stand in all the same spots once again. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma is a beautiful city filled with friendly people and much to offer. Hanson fan or not, I recommend checking it our some day.


  1. Great adventures here. I watch this show on places to eat around the US and there are many in Tulsa that are recommended.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

  3. Thanks for the tour o Tulsa via the Hansons. I sound like the whole family had a great time.
    The Blogger's Pit Stop

  4. Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your field trip on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

  5. What a great place to spend some time and take some photos!!

  6. The diner on the last morning was Tally's Good Food, right on The Mother Road - Route 66.

    1. Thanks! I even did a google map search with diners in the area and nothing sounded familiar :)

  7. This chocolate looks amazing!

    Thanks for sharing at #bloggerspotlight! Come link up again tonight and see the features.

  8. How much FUN!! Tehehehe love it. And beer cotton candy, whhaaaaat? ;P I'm assuming you skipped that one?

    Thanks for sharing at #FridayFrivolity -- pinning and tweeting!

  9. I've never been to Tulsa, Oklahoma. And this sounds like a great trip. I don't know much about the Hansen's and have learned so much from you about them in the last couple posts. Really cool that they ended up still being able to do their own music and that they have so many fans that love them. That is the best. Really happy that you got to see all these places it looks like a great time.

  10. What a fun trip! Thank you for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday! Look forward to having you back again tomorrow!

    Holly @ While I'm Waiting