Bird and Bottle – Tulsa, OK


I used to live in Tulsa, OK. For various reasons, none I’m going to go into here and now, I moved from Chicago, IL to Tulsa, OK when I was 23. This wasn’t my first foray to the land of Oral Roberts and Rhema Bible College, nor would it be my last.

When I say I lived in Tulsa, that’s not very accurate. I existed but I never felt like I was really living there. I always felt out of place and while I connected with some truly amazing people I always wanted to be somewhere else.

That is why, to my supreme surprise, when I recently returned to visit my friends in Tulsa I was met with many of the things I loved about other places.

The farm to table movement is becoming a driving force in this country as people start to take an interest in where their food comes from, and it is very much alive and thriving in Tulsa.

That is why when my Sister-From-Another-Mister Tonya took me to Bird and Bottle, I was knocked off my ass.

Set in the corner of a strip mall at 31st and Harvard this new little gem is a must if you’re in the area.

Tonya and I stopped in for a Sunday Funday Brunch.

I started with their take on an Old Fashioned, aptly named a Young Fashioned. Rye, brown sugar, muddled lemon, blueberry, and rhubarb bitters with a lemon twist. It was good but not quite what I wanted.

Tonya had their Curry Bloody Mary.

I feel this is the moment where I need to come clean and say I can’t stand bloodies. I’ve tried and tried over the years. I’ve had them every which way and I just can’t with a bloody. After watching the ultimate bliss on Tonya’s face after one sip, I knew I had to try this bloody.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have finally found a bloody that I loved.

This little gem was made with Gin, house-made curry Bloody Mary mix, with a shrimp cocktail garnish.

Maybe it was the gin.

Maybe it was the mix, as it wasn’t as thick as I’ve had in the past.

Whatever it was, I am a huge fan of this bloody.

I felt like the only accompanying nibble would be to have the curry shrimp cocktail.

The fresh pea shoots added a nice bite of green to balance out the flavors of the cocktail sauce and this was indeed the best thing to have with my bloody.

I look forward to my next visit to Tulsa where I’m looking forward to trying their dinner menu. The duck empanadas are especially interesting to me.

Oh, Canada…


When I was around 9, my parents and I took a two week road trip to visit my Uncle and see Niagara Falls. I remember sleeping a lot, as I was wont to do during long road trips. I remember eating a pint of blueberries in the back seat, a kitten that I met at a campground that I begged to take home with me, the roaring sound of the water as it rushed off the edge of the world, and various other things.

Fast forward to 2005-ish, I was stuck in a horrible marriage and looking for an escape. One way that escape took shape was in a brief but somewhat intense love affair. We can debate the morality of my decisions until the end of time, but I was smitten and felt wanted and truly loved for the first time in a long time. Maybe it was the feeling of just being wanted, since it was obvious my then husband didn’t feel that way. Maybe it was the shine that all new relationships have. Whatever the reason, for my birthday I set off on a cross country road trip to see him on the east coast and I drove via Canada.

I wanted to see the falls again. To view them through the eyes of a woman instead of the eyes of a child. Many things had changed and some things still remained the same.

I still ate a fresh pint of blueberries as I drove, constantly having to remind myself to remember it’s kilometers not miles in Canada and 60 isn’t the same. The sound of the falls were no less strong and imposing and the song they sang as they fell to the bottom was still a sweet melody to me.

Most of all, I wanted to drive roads I had never driven before.

That is one of the things I love about driving and always have. I know I’m no explorer setting off to uncharted lands to discover something new, but in this instance I don’t need to be. New to me is good enough for me.

Now that I drive for a living, going somewhere new makes me giddy. That’s why, when I talked to my fleet manager a few weeks ago about going to Canada, I was beside myself when he said he’d put me on the list.

After my brief stop in Tulsa to see friends and family for some much needed R & R, I set off with a new perspective, a little less tense thanks to a lovely massage, and a little more stylish with new nails, shoes, and a new piercing (Yay more holes in my head!)

Yes I’m wearing one pair of glasses over another. Shoosh, you.

First stop? Pennsylvania. Le sigh… Look, I’ve got nothing against PA but I’ve been all over that state the last couple of months and I’m kinda over it. Next stop was in Indiana and when I was dispatched back to PA I sent the following message.

“Dude, I’m kinda sick of PA. What about Canada, eh?”

So instead of heading to PA, I set off for Michigan. Once I delivered my load I spent two days shuttling blueberries around Michigan. These were super easy, high paying loads. You really gotta love summer time in this industry.

After that, I picked up a load of Eggo Waffles and headed towards Calgary, Alberta by way of North Dakota. Not only was I going to Canada, I was going to be driving roads I’ve never been on and see a part of the world as yet undiscovered by myself.

When you drive across the boarder in a car it’s no big deal. When you drive over with a commercial vehicle it’s a bit more complicated. We have two lovely women who dedicate their days to boarder crossings, both North and South. I had to have a 30 minute conversation with them about what to do, what not to do, and general information I needed to make this crossing easy peasy mac and cheesy.

First off, I had a specific time for my boarder crossing. I can arrive up to 8 hours after that time, but if I missed that window I would need to be rescheduled. Due to traffic and my drive clocks I ended up rescheduling twice.

One of the things the boarder crossing women tell you is when you roll up to the crossing too turn your truck off, but don’t set your brakes. Whenever a driver sets their brakes a big whooshing noise can be heard. If you’re in a close proximity to the truck it can be quite loud. As I rolled up to the crossing booth I came across my first problem, there was no one there. Would someone be coming out? Should I set my brakes and go in? ZOMG what do I do?

As I looked over I saw the officer inside waving me in. I set my brakes and headed inside.

Another thing the crossing ladies told me was to just answer what questions are posed to me and not to add anything else or talk too much or seem nervous at all.

Ok my lovelies, many of you have met me in person. For those of you who haven’t, let me say that not being me is a really hard thing to do. I don’t like to talk to new people…I LOVE IT! I especially love making people who don’t laugh often (especially law officers) crack a smile or two and maybe chuckle. Add to that what normally happens when someone tells me to do something and, well yeah, I was cracking jokes and just generally being myself. It was cool, they were well received and in less than 5 minutes overall, I was across the boarder.

For the first 20 or so miles this is all I saw. The traffic was pretty much non-existent, and I was absolutely in love. First stop, I needed to get the much heard of Ketchup Chips.

Ok, I’m not a ketchup fan. I”m actually not a tomato based anything fan (except for the amazing green curry Bloody Mary at Bird and Bottle in Tulsa, OK and a review of that will be up shortly), but I kinda loved these (even if they gave be a bit of indigestion because in reality they are crap.)

Also, everything being bilingual just makes me happy. Street signs, labels, etc. Love love love.

After I made my way though Saskatchewan and Alberta and delivered my load, I found I had a day to myself. I decided I needed a hat (or 5 as it turns out).

Hey, there is a reason this blog is called girl hat zilla…

While in Calgary, and with my downtime I decided to hit a place called Pr0/0f and ZOMG! The food, the drinks, the bartender. As stated above, I love to talk to people and I hear I’m pretty good at it, so when I sit down at the bar and hear an Australian accent in Calgary I have to know more.

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My bartender (whose name I have shamefully forgotten) is a snowboarder from Australia who moved to Canada to do what he loves because, well, snow is not really native to Australia. Kinda like being a Jamaican Bobsled Team. He was awesome and we talked gins, liquors, and favorite drinks.

I sat and watched him mix drink after drink for the patrons while I listened and just observed.

There was a certain beauty to all of his creations.

Simple yet elegant.

The food…

Their pork belly buns were an amazing small plate to accompany any of the drinks.

The Tartar (not pictured because I forgot and it was half gone before I remembered) was a tiny happy explosion in my mouth.

It was on this trip that I decided that along with my travel stories that I would also be featuring restaurants, like Pr0/0f, that I find on the road.

My trip back to the States took me through Banff National Forest and OMG!!! It is now my second favorite drive ever and first best drive in a truck (traveling North on the Pacific Coast Highway is my #1 drive of all time).

So, I have now crossed the Rocky Mountains in two countries!

After Banff I was taking a break in the Okanagan Valley when I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye. Looking around I tried to find the source of the light, when I heard the slowly accompanying thunder tell me what it was a I saw. As I looked at the clouds overhead, I saw another flash, and then another. Lightning was striking the trees in the mountains overhead. Curious, I wondered “Is that going to start a fire?” Within moments I had my answer.

If you’re interested, you can read more here.

After Canada, I was routed down to Eastern Washington to pick up apples to take to Virginia. In my next post I’ll talk about Rogue and the amazing food of @chef_johnny.

Oftentimes, when you open your trailer after days on the road you get a whiff of staleness or, in the case of meat loads, just the overwhelming smell of meat. That load, upon opening the doors, just smelled like apples and it made me smile. To date it is the second best smelling load I’ve ever had. The first was when I took 40,000 lbs of cocoa powder from PA to GA. That one made me want to take a nap in the trailer.

As of Wednesday I’m headed back to Calgary, and now that the shine of new has worn off I’ll try to get more pictures and info.

Until next time!

Lingering death of the fireflies…


When I was a child growing up in Chicago, one of the greatest things about the summer (besides no school, shorts, bike riding, cook outs, and swimming at the lake) was catching fireflies. The magic of hunting and searching for them as they slowly floated around is something I think about whenever I see fireflies to this day.

Childhood was a simple time because the world was nothing but possibility and everything had a touch of magic to it. Catching those floating lights always felt, to me, like I was capturing a bit of magic with every one I snatched and carefully stored in my cleaned out Peter Pan peanut butter jar.

The boys I knew took a different view of the lights. They reveled in smashing them on the sidewalk and smearing them to see the trail of light that was left on the pavement. They didn’t seem to be content to let them live and exist; to stare at them in wonder on their bedside table as sleep over took them as I do often did. No, they loved the instant gratification of death and the stark evidence of it shining up on them from the pavement.

I remember one particular boy who danced around me as I looked for fireflies one June evening. He was trying to find them first and kill them so I would go home empty handed. He laughed every time he found one before I did, and then with a look of glee he would toss it to the pavement to smash and smear it with his shoe. After the third or fourth one, I was filled with an overload of rage of indignation. My body shook and my small hands balled into fists until I couldn’t control myself; I launched at him and bloodied his nose. This, unfortunately, was not the first nor the last time that I took to fists to vent my anger.

Fast forward to now and driving through the back hills of Pennsylvania. The twists and turns sometime making me break until I was only crawling ahead and making me wonder if I was really supposed to be on this particular road. The hills and fields showed me such beautiful sights as well as hiding the setting sun behind hills and painting the sky in oranges and pinks. The beauty seemed unreal at times and my favorite site was when I saw a doe eating placidly while her fawn jumped and played next to the road (all the while I was yelling “Baby Deer” and hoping it didn’t get spooked and run in front of me). Pennsylvania has the highest incidence of Lyme Disease and usually when I saw deer it was every 1/2 to 3/4 mile laying dead at the side of the road, so for me to see this little ball of ish happily frolicking while his mother looked and ate on was a beautiful site.

As the sun snuggled in for the night I started noticing slight flashes of lights in the trees on the side of the road. Knowing that I was tired after nearly 9 hours of driving and a restless sleep the night before, I didn’t pay them much attention; I had a hard enough time just trying to navigate these twisting and turning roads. All of a sudden, right in front of my eyes, I hear the splat and see the bioluminescence shining from my windshield.

No, please no…

I know it’s silly to mourn the loss of anything as insignificant as an insect, but these aren’t just insects to me. These are moments, memories, and bits of magic wrapped in a small flying case. Yes, I know its just the way they mate but I don’t care. That wide eyed child inside of me was yelling and screaming that I was a big meanie. She was fighting that boy again but that boy was now me. I was losing my grasp on reality and it was over fireflies. However these weren’t fireflies to me, these were my memories that I was watching splatter on my windshield time and time again. That’s because where there is one firefly there are bound to be more.

Splat! Splat! Splat!

With each sound came an explosion of neon green on my windshield. I didn’t dare try to wash them off knowing that it usually just results in smears and more of a mess than it’s worth. As one splatter of color would fade, two more would take its place. My nerves frayed as I gripped the steering wheel tight while I willed the torment to end.

A few hours later, I finally got to my delivery point and stopped for the night. Shaking and crying I sat transfixed at my windshield. At this point the evidence of the crimes on my childhood had faded but the memories still lingered.

While I was not that boy from long ago who delighted in the destruction he waged on the fireflies of our neighborhood, I still felt that something broke inside of me with every death. I tried to honor the light which glowed on my windshield for as long as possible, but I also had to be safe and keep my eyes on the ever turning and twisting road.

I don’t know if it was those memories or if it was something else, but I’ve been in the worst funk. It took a few days to realize that part of it is that I’m not taking very good care of myself either physically or mentally. I would say this was my first wall. I had more than one moment of thinking “I can’t do this anymore” and more than a moment or two of darker thoughts.

I’ve pushed through those feelings and I’ve made a plan for myself to take more time off. The industry standard is you get one day off for every seven driving. Unfortunately, I haven’t been taking even that. That type of behavior ends now.

I’m currently in Springfield and set to take my business course. I know, isn’t that kind of backwards since I already have my business? Well, yes and no. This class is all about maximizing profits. They schedule this about three months after you’ve been on the road as a way of using your previous data and telling you how you could have optimized your trips. I already know what they will say which is “slow down and drive 55 mph”. My sanity isn’t worth the extra savings to be honest, so we’ll see how much I actually get out of it. I will go in with an open mind but I don’t know about this whole 55 mph thing. I personally tend to think that slow trucks are a danger on the road. When so many roads are 70mph and 80mph, coming up on a driver doing 55mph can be a shock.

One of the nicest things I’ve come across was finding a rainbow in my side mirror. I tried to catch a picture of it and you can kinda see it…

I had to up the color and contrast but if you look closely it’s there.

Until next time my lovelies. Peace, love, and Godzilla.

Seasons Greetings and a clarification…


I was recently asked “What is a Zilla?” For those wondering, Zilla is my lovely retro Godzilla toy that was gifted to me years ago. He has been my co-pilot since leaving Chicago heading West in 2016.

It was not always easy keeping him entertained but he seemed to be surprised and excited at every new thing we saw.

After 4000 miles without a single argument, I realized he was the perfect traveling companion.

He is currently back home in Washington waiting for me to get my own truck. You see, he can sometimes be a bit grumpy and I didn’t want to wake up one morning and find he had stepped on or eaten my trainer. I mean, how would one go about explaining that to their boss?

My Zilla will be joining me on the road in 2018. Until then, may this holiday season bring you love, laughter, and a wee bit of weird.

How did I end up on this Greyhound?


It all started a long time ago. I grew up moving around from place to place; mostly to different neighborhoods in the greater Chicagoland area. After 12 schools in 12 years, you could say that moving was in my blood.

At 16 I moved with my mother to Tulsa, OK. There I got my drivers license and a new love of traveling was born. What my mother didn’t know was, while she was sleeping, I would sneak out at night just to go for a drive. I loved being behind the wheel and feeling, for the first time, that I was in control. I moved back home to Chicago 9 months later and there I didn’t have access to a car, and it bothered me. Yes I knew people with cars, but I wasn’t driving. I wasn’t in charge of setting the course or getting us from point A to point B. Some of my fondest memories were when we would take a spontaneous drive to Wisconsin, but those trips still left me feeling as if something was missing.

It would be several years later when I would have access to a car again and now I was married with children (insert love and marriage theme song here). I found myself back in Oklahoma. This time, instead of driving just for fun I used driving as a way of keeping sane. When my first husband would go into a drunken or drug fueled rage, I would get in the car to get away. Even if it was just for an hour or two, driving and seeing the headlights light up the mile markers was a way of feeling a bit less trapped in a marriage that was doomed from the beginning.

That means of keeping myself sane and in control, when the rest of my life was falling apart, remained with me for the rest of my life.

At the end of my second marriage I felt broken and lost. I had moved back to my hometown of Chicago but I felt adrift. I didn’t feel settled inside even though I was surrounded by some of my oldest and dearest friends. After my last child moved out, I felt even more alone and lost. While talking to a friend one night who lived out West she made the offer yet again to come live with her. This was an offer I had heard time and time again but this time, with my emotions high and my life adrift I said yes and set a date to be there. Then and there I resolved to sell or give away most of my belonging, pack a few meager belongings into my car, and start fresh in Washington.

The trip to Washington took me two weeks. I took my time, stopped and saw what I wanted to, and reconnected with friends and family. The most memorable part of that drive was the Pacific Coast Highway. The twists and turns brought me breath taking views mile after mile.

Once my trip was done I settled into life in the Pacific Northwest. Every chance I had I was in my car. I would head to the ocean, to the mountains, or just down a road to see where it would take me. I had a job, and while I hoped I would settle I never really did. I had dreams and ideas but while the fancy to do this or that might take me one minute, what I really wanted to be doing was driving.

At the start of the rainy season here I settled into a depression and stumbled across several blogs and vlogs of truck drivers. That lead me to doing some research and looking at companies on Trucking Truth and other forums about truck drivers. I thought about my extended family, spread out all across the country, and how a life on the road might give me another options of seeing them more often.

Finally I made the plunge. I was turned down by the first company I contacted, which made me sad because they were definitely the top of my list. Not a giant behemoth where I would be a number, but rather more of a mom and pop shop. I sunk into another depression and resolved to just wait until the spring to try again, as my company was heading into their busiest season. Then a good friend gave me the proverbial slap upside the head by saying “Why put your life on hold for this company? It wouldn’t put itself on hold for you.” Two days later I applied to my second choice and well, the rest is now history.

I now find myself on a Greyhound Bus headed to my next destination. I am filled with anxiety because so much is unknown, but I’m also filled with a lot of hope. I’m doing something that is completely different from anything else I’ve ever done before and I have a plan. A real honest to goodness plan for the future. Not a musing or an idea but a comprehensive plan. This trip is the first step in executing it and all I can think is: Let’s do this!