Who is Ree? Seriously? You know, The Pioneer Woman?
I would have never driven that far by myself. 4 and a 1/2 hours one way? I considered it, but reality quickly set back in. I hate to drive at night. I hate to drive that far. But the minute it escaped my lips my husband listened and a seed was planted.
One evening I walked up behind him while he was on the computer just in time to see "Pioneer Woman Book Tour" in the Google search box.
"We're going," he said.
"No.... it's much too far."
"We're going. I'll take you."
And that is just how wonderful my husband is. He drove our family 4 and 1/2 hours, one way, just to meet Ree. He hears about her often enough. Funny things that happen at their house... things that are very similar to what goes on around here. He benefits from the recipes that she shares, most recently the Buttery Rosemary Rolls. Even Collin has made her recipes.
So we made a trip out of it. A night in a hotel, shopping, and good time spent together.
Collin was the official photographer. Autumn and I looked fresh in the morning, but by the time we walked around all day in the pouring rain we looked a little worse for the wear.
We were unsure of just how early to arrive. My friend Anne had to wait in line for 5 hours at the Mall of America, and we wanted to avoid that if at all possible. We arrived a good 5 hours early just in case. Turns out the bookstore had us in groups. 25 people per group; we were in group 10! No need to actually stand in line that long, and so we shopped. And the girls practiced the Salty Dog Rag in the middle of the mall.
We found a comfy couch at Restoration Hardware and relaxed for a few minutes. We shopped at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and walked in the rain.
And then we came back. The line started forming about 30 minutes before the event, and we got into place. Autumn was smart and brought her knitting. I served as the yarn holder.
After nearly 3 hours, it was our turn. Ree was so personable. I can't imagine how her poor hand felt. She continued to smile, and didn't rush anyone. Remember, we were in group 10, 25 people per group, and almost no one had just one book to be signed. Some ladies had canvas bags full!
So, what was our conversation like? The first thing she did as we were walking over to her was to smile at me, and say "I have to keep making sure my jeans are pulled up high enough in the back; no one wants a show!" I had meant to bring Ree some handmade soap, but forgot. I promised to get it in the mail for her.
Collin snapped away and we made small talk.
Autumn and I were excited to meet Betsy and Hyacinth, too. They were happily signing books, too, and handing out t-shirts. We were thrilled to receive those. They're so girly and cute!
I told Betsy how adorable her baby is, and she said how much she misses him.
A long day? YES! Worth it? Absolutely! If you get the chance, you really should meet her.
Check out Ree's Cooking Blog, The Tasty Kitchen, too!