This morning, after taking the kids for donuts, we got into a discussion in the car about today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I explained to the littles that there was a time in our country when people were separated by the color of their skin, and not all little girls and boys were allowed to go to the same schools and play with each other. I told them that Dr. King was a pastor and loved God and loved people and stood up for what he believed was right. That he told everyone that God made everyone the same and loved us all, and gave a speech about how he had a dream that we could all live together and be friends.
I hadn't planned on attending the MLK Day parade downtown until my five year old asked a few minutes later, "So what are we doing to celebrate?"
"The holiday. You said today is a holiday, so how are we celebrating? Are we opening presents, or going to church or getting a cake, or what?"
I looked at the clock. 8:30. I was pretty sure I'd heard on the radio the MLK Day parade would be down town, starting around 10 am. I knew we still had to stop by the grocery store on the way home, and thought we'd have just enough time to squeeze in our errand, get home to change clothes (we all went to donuts in our jammies), and head out to get there just in time.
"You guys wanna go to a parade?"
"YEAH!!" They resounded in unison.
Fast forward to me trying desperately to get us to the end of the parade route by 10:15 at the earliest. We finally get there, park near OneOK Field, and start walking. We found some police officers and asked them if we were in the right place to catch the end of the parade. They said yes, but that we had plenty of time, seeing as it wouldn't start until 11:15.
My friends would tell you they wouldn't recognize me if I was on time, let alone early, and here we are an hour early to the parade! That meant we had plenty of time to explore the historic Greenwood district, and I was hoping there might be some shops open.
There were! Our first stop was at my new favorite shoe store: Sole Mates Shoe Boutique. They had tons of shoes on sale for $5, $10, and $20! I didn't mind picking up a sweet little pair of flats at all!
Ms. Arthenia Schumpert runs the store, and has to be one of the sweetest, friendliest women I've ever met. We talked and tried on shoes and had a great time. Then she told me about her shoe parties! To host a shoe party, you invite all your friends to the store, she provides snacks and drinks, you and your friends play dress up, and you get free shoes!
Anyone have a Friday night free? I think I could find one!
Arthenia was so sweet she even offered to keep my bag of shoes behind the counter with my receipt while we continued to shop and watch the parade. Thanks!
We continued on our adventure, and found The Glove Box right next door.
The newest boutique on Greenwood, it features trendy women's fashion at "college prices," so everything is affordable. They had some CUTE jeans, and the highest tag I saw was $45! Ms. Meka and her daughters had also set up a table of goodies in honor of the holiday, and my littles were happy to participate. When I asked the boys to show me their treats, Aidan said, "Alec, let's cheers!"
I couldn't help but get a picture of the owner, Meka, and her two gorgeous daughters! There's just something about a family run business that makes you feel good.
They gave me just the confidence I needed to believe I was cool enough for this hat - thanks ladies!
Needless to say, the littles were on cloud nine with their cookies, candy and pink lemonade!
At this point, the start of the parade was approaching, so we figured it was time to get outside and start watching. One last stop into Fat Guys Burger Bar, for a pit stop and a soda.
I've heard AMAZING things about this burger joint and their menu seems to confirm the reports. Must get back when there's more time (and I'm not trying to eat so healthy) to try one of their Fat & Juicy cheese stuffed burgers!
And then we waited,
until we finally saw motorcycles signalling the beginning of the parade!
Hi Tulsa Police Department! Thank you for protecting us!
We saw lots of great organizations represented, stretch limos, fire trucks, trolleys, and some great floats. Take a look at PSO's float!
My five year old pointed and said, "Look Mom, there we are on that float, like his dream. We're all together!"
Sheesh, they really do pay attention, don't they?
They had tunes blaring, and I tried to get the boys to show me their moves, only to realize Louie the Lightning Bug was putting us all to shame!
I'm so glad we showed up so early to the MLK parade. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Dr. King than to support local businesses in the Greenwood district. I'm glad my littles gained a bit more understanding of our country's history, and I'm thankful they're growing up in a society where everyone can have a dream and see it come true!
Love and Honey,