Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Me and Ree!!!

So I finally did it! I conspired with my friend Glenna, we both took a day off work and journeyed to nearby Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit Ree aka The Pioneer Woman!

Well, we didn't actually see Ree, but we did visit her fabulous mercantile, eat lunch in her delicious Deli and (BONUS!) visited The Lodge where she films her TV shows on the Food Network.

Glenna and I left Wichita about 7:30 AM - coffee in hand - for the 2 hour drive south to Oklahoma. Pawhuska was a quiet small town until Ree and her Pioneer Woman clan almost single-handedly revitalized the historic downtown.

It was a gorgeous fall day and we were greeted by hundred of pumpkins around the Mercantile exterior. Check out the charming brick buildings in background and the classic black/white tile entry floor. It looks like my office bathroom tile! ***Just noticed the decapitated lady on left side. It was hard to snap a pic without someone getting in my frame.

I should note I originally didn't take any pictures. I was concentrating on shopping and having fun! Then later realized it might make a fun blog post, so hurriedly snapped a few quick pics.

When you walk in you're greeted by a lovely open space with high ceilings and the most charming displays. Each vignette was just a treat to enjoy with the eyes. I love cool displays, but my pics don't do them justice. Check out the gorgeous custom wood shelving - it would have been beautiful if it was empty!

In addition to beautifully curated kitchen/home goods, there's a small area with Pioneer Woman-ish clothing. I bought a cool embroidered tunic top and I'm channeling Ree when I wear it. Pretty sure I'm a better cook when I wear it. Cowboy boots optional.

After we conquered the first floor we went upstairs to the Deli and Bakery. We were there mid-morning so it was quiet upstairs. When we returned later in the afternoon for a take home snack (for our husbands/friends, of course) it was bustling. 

Here's a pic of the sunny seating area next to Deli/Bakery. My favorite thing upstairs were some large windows into the on-site bakery. I couldn't get a photo without horrible reflection, so imagine this...lots of guys and gals in matching checked shirts making/baking/frosting amazing bakery massive, delicious quantities!

Glenna and I worked up an appetite with all that driving and shopping, so we were ready to visit the restaurant. But alas...a long line! It was hard to explain to Alan why we waited 75 minutes in an outdoor line for a table at the Merc. But when in Pawhuska...

Here's a pic of the restaurant we snapped when we first arrived. They also serve breakfast, so these diners were feasting on authentic Pioneer Woman breakfasts!

When we finally were seated indoors (restaurant is in same building as Mercantile - just around the corner), and ordered, we were pretty excited. And the food was FABULOUS!!! 

I'm a little embarrassed to say what we both ordered, but it was amazing. No, we didn't have the Marlboro Man Sandwich. Maybe if the man came with it? No, we both feasted on homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese dippers ($7). Glenna's sis had suggested this entree from a previous visit.

I wish I knew the secret behind these magical grilled cheese dippers, but it's probably best unknown. There was gooey cheese dripping from the long sandwich chunks, but there was also more CRUSTY, CRUNCHY CHEESE on the outside on the sandwich. A minor food miracle that I would like to experience again.

I drank about 4 glasses of iced tea (non-sweet!!!) to wash everything down. And doesn't tea taste best when served in a Mason jar?! Oh yea...should add that we also ordered an appetizer - an olive spread baguette ($5) - because we had waited a long time. I ordered a side of spicy kale ($3), just to make sure I had my green veggies. It was yummy and definitely "spicy".

Can you believe these prices? Super reasonable, which everyone appreciates. And served with a smile from more friendly Oklahomans wearing checked shirts. 

View from inside The Lodge

But folks...that's not ALL!  After lunch (and return to deli for more take-home treats) we drove through the gorgeous Oklahoma countryside to visit THE LODGE! This is where Ree shoots her epic TV episodes. It's hard to capture the beauty of the landscape, but it was stunning. The Lodge sits on top of a hill with need-to-experience-to-appreciate panoramic views. Oklahoma is NOT flat on the Drummond Ranch.

Our greeter at The Lodge

Every time Ree and the family eat outside at The Lodge, I notice how windy it is. They kinda act like "no big deal" but I notice their clothes rippling and their hair swirling. And sure enough, it was really windy on top of that beautiful Oklahoma hill. This is the "good" picture of us. Trying to shoot a selfie seemed to encourage crazy hair.

Inside The Lodge are TWO huge kitchen areas - both with monster sized islands. There was a convenient black skillet and spatula there, so we did what thousands of women before us have done - pose for pictures.

Notice the antlers in the background on both pictures. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from the musical Beauty and the Beast where Gaston sings..."I use antlers in all of my decorating". And so does Ree!

Adjacent to the double kitchens, there were two fireplaces, a huge dining table and lots of comfy seating.

Hidden behind the kitchens was a large pantry.

And beyond all that, we found a bunch of lovely bedrooms, each with their own spacious bath...all decorated much more beautifully than the average farmhouse (at least those I've visited). We were told these are used by crew members when they're doing a TV shoot.

Alas it was time to return to the Land of Oz and Ta-town (Wichita). The blue skies and golden fields on the way home were so pretty, with acres and acres of windmills. 

Glenna and I are gathering tomorrow for one of our Pinterest craft nights. I'll sharing the "sweet" fun soon!
HINT: Our project involves multiple bags of large marshmallows. What can we be making?

*You're a Pioneer Woman fan!
*You've had your own pilgrimage to Pawhuska
*You can figure out what Glenna and I are crafting tomorrow night!

Thanks for reading and sharing our adventure!