NORMAN — We had the extreme pleasure of hosting an Australian travel writer in the past week.
Linda Bentley who hails from Sydney is a seasoned traveler. After she researched to find out that 90 percent of the international travelers to the U.S. visit just four states (Hawaii, California, New York and Florida), she set off on a mission to visit all 50 U.S. states in 50 weeks (one week per state) to give readers reasons to spread out their travel dollars. Samsonite is sponsoring her trek through the U.S.
Bentley traveled through Arizona and New Mexico before Oklahoma (she’s working west to east through the southern part of the U.S. during the winter months where the weather is more mild than the northern part of the country) and arrived in Norman on her second day in the Sooner State.
Thanks to our terrific community partners, we put together a schedule for her to visit the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Andy Alligator’s Family Fun Park and the National Weather Center with an overnight stay at the Montford Inn bed and breakfast.
I also made sure to include lunch/brunch at The Diner which was our first stop after taking a quick sightseeing tour through Downtown (and seeing James Garner’s statue and elementary school since she is a fan). When we saw Calvin Steves come into to sell some editions of The Transcript, I thought he would be the biggest Norman celebrity we would randomly encounter.
However, a little bit of Sooner serendipity struck. On our way from Downtown through campus on our way to the Sam Noble museum, she spied the football stadium.
We had a few minutes to spare so I pulled the VisitNorman SUV into the sidewalk/VIP parking area outside the Barry Switzer Center in hopes that we could get a picture or two of the stadium before anyone noticed that our vehicle did not have the proper pass.