Friday, August 10, 2018

Birthday Recap - Part 2

Okay, if you are a Pioneer Woman fan then you will love this post and you also need to plan a trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma.  Bridget and I planned our trip back in March.  We are both fans of PW and since Bridget and her family only live 2 hours from Pawhuska, we knew we had to go. So, we decided that my birthday would be the perfect occasion.

We arrived around 10:15 in the morning and immediately began browsing some of the area shops and at noon we went to Pioneer Woman's wood fired pizza restaurant.  Oh, my goodness, it was so very good! We had pizza with a Caesar salad.  

After lunch we continued our browsing and shopping.  Around 2:00 PM we decided we needed a break and decided to go and try out a pastry from the Pioneer Woman bakery.  Again, it was delicious.  We had a cup of coffee with a blueberry scone that melted in our mouth.  The bakery is located on the  second floor of the Mercantile.  They have a nice seating area that overlooks the small town.  It was definitely "the pause that refreshes."

After "the pause that refreshes" it was time to go and check into the Boarding House.  The Boarding House opened in mid-March and we felt very fortunate to even have gotten a room.  Bridget was online the minute their website opened for reservations and we got lucky and got a reservation.  Their website literally crashed the evening they opened it.  They never anticipated that over 32,000 folks would be trying to make reservations.  They booked up through March 2019 in a matter of minutes.  Their website is currently closed for reservations but they told us that they would be opening it up soon for reservations after March 2019.  There are only 8 rooms, so that helps to understand the wait.  But, let me assure you that it is worth the wait.  They treat you like a Queen and the rooms are fabulous.  We stayed in the Prairie Room.  BTW, the building that is now the Boarding House has been several things over the years but the last business that it housed was J.C. Penney. 

It was just beautiful as you can see from the pictures above.  Everything to perfection, very roomy and any and everything that one could need for a memorable stay.  Once we were settled in we took off to go to the Mercantile shop before we had dinner  at the Mercantile restaurant. 

AND, who did we run into????  Yes indeed, it was Marlboro Man himself, Ladd Drummond, Ree's husband.  He was milling around visiting with folks so Bridget and I took advantage of the moment.  He was so very nice and even obliged us with a picture.  Someone commented to me that he sure was mighty fit to be married to an excellent cook like Ree.  Well, I can't even imagine the calories he must burn working their ranch.  

Our dinner that evening at The Mercantile Restaurant was wonderful.  We met up with another mother/daughter staying at The Boarding House and we enjoyed their company over dinner. They have vintage looking dishes, lovely cloth napkins and a fabulous wait staff.  Bridget and I opted for one of their sandwiches and they did not disappoint at all.  We topped it off with another delicious blueberry dessert.

The next morning we checked out, very begrudgingly, and headed toward home.  On our way we stopped by The Lodge where Ree films her TV show.  It is 6 miles down a gravel road and I didn't know if we would ever get to it.  At one time it was the house that Ladd grew up in.  They refurbished it with a HUGE commercial kitchen, HUGE pantry, several bedrooms and a nice living area.  It is obviously very much lived in.  We stood at the very stove she cooks at on her show.

Above is a picture of her food, spices and staples pantry.  You name it and she had it in there.

Above is her dish,  utensil and pot and pan pantry.  Oh, my goodness, I've never seen so many mixing bowls, pots, pans, dishes of every description.  It was like being in a kitchen store. 

All the way across the back of the lodge is a wooden deck over looking a part of their ranch.  I'm sure in the early morning and late afternoons it is a wonderful gathering spot.  As with most things, our time had come to an end but we left with so many wonderful memories of a fabulous time.

Pawhuska is a town of 3200 people so it is quite small.  Ree and Ladd have done so much to refurbish the little downtown area and have even more plans for the future.  They will be opening a top notch steak house Nov. 1st and then they have another building taking shape but no one seemed to know what it was going to be.  One of the staff speculated that it might be a spa.  

Bridget and I were there right at 24 hours and did everything there was to do in Pawhuska.  So, most of the folks that visit are day visitors.  But, for me, staying at The Boarding House was the high light of our visit.  There are areas nearby that one could visit to add to their stay but we had left our men behind and once we did "all things Pioneer Woman" we were ready to head towards home.

Some interesting facts about the Drummond family:
Ladd is a 5th generation rancher
The Drummond family are the 23rd largest land owner in the US.  They own 433,000 acres of land in Oklahoma.  Yes, 433,000!!

If you are a Pioneer Woman fan then you need to read the book, "From High Heels to Tractor Wheels."  It was written by Ree about how she and Ladd met, fell in love and married.  It is such a wonderful and interesting book. 

Yes, it was indeed a birthday to remember and a most special time for Bridget and me to share.

Lea @ CiCis Corner
Lea @ CiCis Corner

Hi there! My name is Lea. I've been wife to the best Hubby for 44 years....Mom to a son and daughter....CiCi to 4 precious Grans....lover of family and friends....enjoy laughter and a good time....shopper....picture taking maniac....maker of delicious fudge....organizational enthusiast....memory maker....Southern Belle...and most importantly.....a Child of the King! Welcome to my little corner!


  1. Loved your recap, Lea! Can’t wait to visit with some girlfriends soon! And yes to Ree’s book! I loved it!!

  2. Oh, wow, I enjoyed this post. I have seen photos of the boarding house in her magazine, but staying there must have been so much fun!! And to "eat" your way though the day there must have also been such a special treat! Your birthday sounds like it was filled with special moments to treasure forever!! Lucky you!!

  3. I really want to go! My mom travels to AZ and could scoop by so I might join her sometime! We should wait until we can stay over night! What a special birthday with your daughter!

  4. I was anxiously awaiting for today so I could read all about your visit to Pawhuska. You did a great job showing and describing everything from your trip. The hotel; the food; the shopping; the sights; it looks wonderful. What great memories you made with your daughter. I did read Ree's book and agree with you that it's a sweet love story told well.

  5. Hi Lea, I am so sorry I missed your birthday. Happy belated birthday wishes. What a great trip. how special to meet the Pioneer's hubby. Have a lovely weekend.

  6. What a fabulous visit! I just love the Pioneer Woman, and it looks like you were able to see everything while you were there. How incredible that you got a photo with Marlboro Man! Have a wonderful weekend and happy belated birthday!

  7. Oh Lea, my heart is bursting for you and Bridget! What fun! Oh my goodness. You were in the cooking kitchen, you met Ladd? I’m dying over here. Heavens I thought that was their house, I didn’t realize they didn’t live there, lol. I wonder how often she films there? Well as you can see my Friday evening will be doing more research on PW! What a delight to stay at the boarding house! xo

  8. Oh my goodness....that is a PERFECT trip if there ever was one. If I ever do travel that way, I will certainly want to visit such a quaint place. The Pioneer Woman sure is a lucky gal:)

  9. This is a really fun post, Lea. I'm glad you got to celebrate your birthday in such a delightful way! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    By the way, have I ever told you that I am an Oklahoma native? I was born in Tulsa and lived there 3 times during my growing up years.

  10. I told Kent a while back that some time when we're in Edmond visiting his mom, we should drive over to Pawhuska. I'd love to see it. I had no idea you could tour the "Lodge". That pantry is something else. What a fun girls trip!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. What an exciting adventure! I've seen her show many times but didn't realize you could visit the set. The first thought that went through my head when I saw Ree's husband in the photo with you was how does he stay so fit? If I ate her recipes, I'd be gaining weight. They are so good and yummy! It sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration.

  12. So glad dear Lea that you had such a beautiful and wonderful birthday. I know you had fun on your trip. I got this feeling that you and I alike when it comes to having fun. We have fun most anywhere we go. I love Pioneer woman. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. Aww...What a heart warming post allowing us to share in your special day. Happy Birthday, precious lady!!
    Your trip sounded absolutely splendid and the food must have been amazing.
    That's amazing about the reservations, unbelievable.
    Thank you for that bit of history and her book sounds like a must read.

    Bless you~

  14. My daughters and I would love to go. Sounds like my kind of 24 hours : ) I met Ree once at a book signing and she was exactly as you'd imagine. My daughter made her lava cake recipe last night and it is yummy! I have several of her cookbooks and use them, which is not true of all my cookbooks. (I might have a cookbook problem-ha!) Glad you had such a wonderful birthday celebration!

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So glad you stopped by and hope you enjoyed your visit. I love your comments and read each and every one of them and I always try to reply to them. Blessings to you this day!