Where to begin...it all started 6 years ago on a what seemed to be a well thought out "road trip" to Panama. For some reason, it never crossed our minds that when crossing a border they end up checking more than your passports.
2,000 miles later, and after several days crammed into Minverca, short for Mini RV C, short for Mini Recreational Vehicle C, the third in a series of 20-year-old RVs my dad had purchased second-hand, we hit a minor snag at the Mexican border.
It turns out that your vehicle must be registered to someone in the car (not your dad), as became apparent when the border guard's questions turned to "Boys, are you driving a stolen vehicle?" Although, my Spanish was not too good at that point, so I'm not really 100% sure what they were really asking. Suffice to say, we did not make it across the border.
Our minds began to race with possible solutions. We soon discovered that if we could get our car retitled, we could be right back on the road. Ardmore, Oklahoma just happened to be the nearest location that would allow us to retitle our car within three days, just enough time to make the window to make it down to Panama and back to school for the fall semester. We also happened to have some connections and friends who lived there...which would be very helpful, given we were completely broke.
Let's not forget to mention that six hours into our drive from Brownsville to Ardmore, at about 3 am, our alternator broke, and we spent a night in 100+ degree weather in the Advance Auto Parts parking lot where AAA dropped us off before finding the local alternator shop the next day.
That would have been A LOT of fun if that happened six hours after we crossed the Mexican border :)
Our friends Janet and Tom Tindale from Ardmore were welcoming enough to let us crash with them until we could secure a meeting with the local judge to have the title fixed. Over the course of the next week, we never could have imagined all of the wild adventures we would have and the people we would meet along the way. Instead of writing an exposé on each escapade, here is a dossier of our wild adventure:
1. Visited the Great Southwest Historical Museum.
2. Made granite sculptures...which my mom still has in her garden to this day.
3. Visited Tom's uncle's ranch and "tended the ranch" (always wanted to say that) for the day and cut some horses' hair and did some fishing.
4. Visited a local bar and sang "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood (after which we were quickly ejected from the bar; not sure if it was our singing or song choice).
5. Took part in the 6th annual Oakee Noodle catfish festival and saw the award-winning 70-pound charmer. There were kiddie pools full of catfish and even a fish tank the size of a tractor-trailer filled with even more catfish. Not to mention the men and women diving into the tank to snag them.
6. We visited the Arbuckle Wilderness Park where John thought it was a good idea to show a giraffe how good a kisser he was (luckily he is married now) and got chased by ostriches.
7. We spent some time bass fishing and caught some amazing fish on Lake Taxoma.
Finally, the somewhat unfortunate time had come that our registration and car were fixed. But I have to admit, we spent a few days avoiding picking them both up.
After doing some digging and quick number crunching (which we are much better at now) we determined it would actually be much cheaper and faster if we drove back to NYC and flew down to Costa Rica. So we hopped back into the car, drove 20 hours back to New York, and hitched a flight to Costa Rica.
Suffice to say, that was a pretty awesome adventure and we could not have done it without the help of Ardmore.
So, thank you, Ardmore, for being such an incredible host and being part of such an incredible memory for us. We wanted to thank everyone in your town the only way we knew how, which was to send everyone a Lovepop. 12,170, to be exact, plus 12,170 extra Lovepops so that all of you can show your thanks and appreciation to someone else who has made an impact on your lives.
John & Wombi