An Afternoon at the Lodge

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

As you now know, we were able to take a tour of the Pioneer Woman's Lodge. Okay, it's really the Drummond's Lodge, but when Ree uses it for her Food Network cooking show, I'm pretty sure it's probably the Pioneer Woman's Lodge! We couldn't believe our luck that tours were taking place that day and that we were even privy to that information. Honestly, it's still a dream to all of us that we were there! 

As we headed out of Pawhuska, I was immediately transported to chapters from Ree's book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Have you read it? If you haven't, pick up a copy. It's sweet, funny, heart wrenching at times, and gives such insight on how Ree became a Pioneer Woman. She talks about the drive from her hometown of Bartlesville to the range on which Ladd lived. From a two lane highway, that led to dirt roads with county road mile markers, is exactly how the directions read. Take this county road to that one, making sure to slow down for the gravel beneath your tires. But it wasn't the gravel you had to be beware of. It was the incredible view that kept your eyes off the road. The miles and miles of prairie. The lush green fields on either side of you were breathtaking. I've seen country views. Remember, I'm a southern born girl myself, but this prairie is nothing like the mountains of Virginia. You truly have to see it for yourself.

And just like all the times we had seen it on our television screens, the Lodge was right outside our car windows! We found a place to park, at the bottom of the largest hill I've encountered in a while, and hiked our way to the top of the drive. McKinley was beside himself. He immediately exclaimed, "There's the grill that Ladd used." And all this time I thought he watched along for tractor sightings and spring burning episodes! He stopped to pet Charlie, which was actually their basset hound Walter, and I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise. And then we found ourselves stepping foot inside the Lodge. It was so cool and I totally fan girled the entire time we were there. I took gobs of pictures, looked at every nook and cranny of the place, checked out her cooking station which is made of cement counter tops and butcher block cutting surfaces, and envied all of the cast iron skillets in her arsenal. I felt like pinching myself several times. I just couldn't believe we were there. Where all of the magic happens. And the fact that Ree and Ladd had opened their lives to us. It was so surreal. And it felt like such an honor.


I then lost my camera to McKinley who decided he needed to take photos of things he liked. Please note the composition of some of the photos. He does a decent job when he takes his time!

He remembered that Ree used this mixer one time. He said it was just like Mama's. Except mines red and not nearly as cool!

He also remembered her using this mixer as well.

 He then explained that this is where they celebrated Ladd's birthday one time. I think someone really likes Ladd! I mean who wouldn't. He's a cowboy that drives really cool farm equipment! 

The views continue outside. There is prairie of miles and each view is as breathtaking as the other. So serene and I now understand why Ree always says she's never leaving this range. I wouldn't either.

In addition to the main portion of the Lodge, there are bedrooms with the most amazing bathrooms I've ever seen (aside from the ones at the Merc). And then there's the test kitchen and pantry! OMG! 

On our way out, we stopped in the main food pantry she uses on the show. All I would ask is for half of that space in my own home! And the refrigerators! McKinley is in awe! Actually, he was looking at the paintings on the wall and wants to recreate the blue truck that Bryce painted.

When we got back to the hotel, we tried to put into words what the day meant to us, and all we could think of was grateful. Grateful that we were able to experience it together. Grateful for meeting Hyacinth on that afternoon at the Merc. For the amazing time spent browsing and eating while there. And how incredibly fortunate we were to spend some time at the Lodge. We both got a copy of her new magazine and read it cover to cover while sipping on champagne to celebrate. It truly was a trip of a lifetime!


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