Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Oklahoma Adventure!

At the end of June, my bestie and I took off on the adventure of a lifetime. We frequently referred to it as our "Thelma and Louise" roadtrip, but realized that probably wasn't even close to the truth!

No Brad Pitt, no driving off cliffs, waaaaaayyyyyy more tame than good ol' Thelma and Louise, but still A TON of fun!

Way back in February, when I turned 40, T suggested we take a roadtrip to The Pioneer Woman's new Mercantile store. Knowing that a visit to the Merc ranked about as high on our husbands' list of things to do as, oh, say, having their toenails pulled out one-by-one, (now, if it were a Drummond Ranch working visit, then yes, both of our hard working, farm boy husbands would be eager to roadtrip to Oklahoma!! Crazy working fools that they are!) we figured we should make the trip with just the two of us. Days and days of uninterrupted girl time...YES PLEASE!

We set off on a Monday evening, stopped for a relaxed bite to eat in the Twin Cities, and headed to Des Moines, IA to rest up for the long leg of our trip on Tuesday. 

The best thing about this trip is that the ONLY thing we had planned was that we were staying two nights at the Historic Whiting in Pawhuska, OK. NOTHING else was planned! (That makes my Type B personality soar and T's Type A personality get a little nervous.) NOTHING!

And oh my gosh, you guys...what an amazing time we had! Hours and hours of uninterrupted girl time...time to talk like we haven't been able to do since our days at college! No husbands (even though we love them dearly) and no kids (we love them dearly too) to compete with for our time! I think we need to make this an annual trip.

Some highlights...

And, we're off!!



Pit stop in "No Man's Land", MO. I had to use the bathroom SO BADLY that just about anything would do. We passed up a "Limited Facilities" rest stop for this. (I think next time I would opt for the limited facilities!!)
 

T had the brilliant idea of looking up Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives restaurants on the way down...we timed it so we were just south of Kansas City at lunch time and choose this:

 
The most amazing hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint!! I loved the rustic ambiance!

 
 
And my burnt ends??? Flippin' amazing. (And those beans!!! Gah. I need to go back.)


After Kansas City it was a long, two lane road that led us to our destination...Pawhuska! (Please take note of the party lights strung across the street...I would like these for my own sleepy little town, please and thank you.)

Straight down the road and to the left a smidge is the Merc! (Hidden from view.) As a small town girl, I absolutely love that Ree has breathed life into what (according to some locals) was a "ghost town" just 6 months ago. Lot's of little shops popping up here and there...fun to see!
 

This was our cute hotel room...very...quaint. I'm glad I wasn't expecting 5 star Marriott-style accomodations! 

 
And then...the Merc! 


This building, you guys. It was so gorgeous. And 90% of the merchandise was "every person" pricing. Very few astronomically priced items...my checking account loved it!
 

Our first meal at the Merc...road weary and thirsty, we were ready for a good meal!


(And that wall!!!)
 

Ohmygosh...this sandwich was about 4 inches thick (I swear to you there was a pound of turkey on it!!) and so delectable!

Also, please take note of the drink in the background...


  

This, my friends...THIS, is a blackberry lemonade. Gracious, I could've consumed a gallon of this! But wait...it gets even better...




Ree even does the ice right!!! Sonic style ice cubes! Bestill my heart. I think I'm moving in.
 

The next morning we had the most amazing breakfast!! If you ever visit the Merc, go hungry because HOLY SMOKES are the portions generous!!

But...the coffee. Good golly, the coffee. I want to go back soley for the coffee. Never, in all my travels, have I been to a coffee shop that makes designs in the froth. Oh, I've seen them before, but have never actually experienced it! 

Bestill my heart.


That day, we were able to tour the Lodge! And, like the tourists we were, we stopped for this shot!
 

The horses were so majestic out on the prairie...so peaceful.
 

And, the place we all know so well...the Lodge. Every bit as rustic and gorgeous as I imagined.
 

The kitchen!
 

Shhhhh, don't tell Ree, but T snuck in a rest. Our beds at the "Bed and Bath" (yes, Bath, not Breakfast) were...well...less than comfortable. We debated just hiding out in the Lodge just so we could get a good night's sleep! ;)


Please tell me I'm not alone in this...mixer bowls. Ree has multiple mixer bowls for her kitchen aid and suddenly I have a new Bucket List item. To get more than one bowl for my mixer because: Christmas Baking.
 

Best of all were the people we met. Whether we were standing in line and chatting with others who made the trip to the Merc or visiting with Ree's daughter and assistant...such wonderful people. 

Paige and Haley were delightful and kind and accomodating and so patient. A smile for everyone who walked in and wanted a picture. I loved this!
  

And then there is Ree...such a warm, kind lady she is. 


And last, but not least...the creme de la creme. The piece de resistance. The pinnacle of our trip...this:
 


This, my friends, is a Spicy Cowgirl Coffee. Ree had suggested it the day we arrive, but I didn't listen. To think that I went a WHOLE DAY OF MY LIFE without this in it breaks my ever loving heart. Even now, as I type this a month later, it pains me to know I could have had more than one if only I'd have listened.

Which just means: I NEED TO GO BACK.

Spicy Cowgirl, here I come!!  

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