This past weekend I hung out in Oklahoma with The Pioneer Woman herself, 7 other lovely lady guests, and a whole hoot-dang of other people, including the basset hound Charlie.
Yes, I realize I just included him in the list of ‘people.’
I keep asking myself, did it really happen?
The over 700 pictures on my camera say: it did.
I still have a feeling of disbelief as I look at these.
I’m telling you up front, I need to process this in tidbits. We’re going to start small: with our arrival at the Lodge Friday night. Other tidbits will include Charlie, the cats, feeding the wild horses, chocolate and cookie decorating lessons, all the lovely ladies I met, and of course Ree herself. The red headed, sweet, funny, blogging machine. And I mean ‘machine’ in the kindest, most admiring way possible.
Let’s just take this step by step–it all started with a white limo at the Tulsa airport.
Serge was our driver.
As we wended our way along dusty country roads, I suddenly realized how big the sky actually is. Chicago likes to cover up her celestial nudity using things like skyscrapers, trees, and generally cityscapes. Oklahoma just lets it all hang out–she ain’t hidin’ nothin.’
See? I even picked up a fun new accent!
Anyway, we arrived at the Lodge as the sun was starting to set.
Two kitty cats greeted us. They smelled a little funny and needed a bath, but they were the cuddliest creatures you can imagine. If you made so much as eye contact, they started purring up a storm.
We arrived at the same time as friends Jennifer and Ann. Ann kept saying “I’m freaking out!” over and over again, her absolutely infectious laugh ringing out loud and clear.
Ree had left us a note on one of the counters welcoming us.
“I’m freaking out!” said Ann.
My Mom and I got the bedroom at the end of the hall. It was gwaahgeous.
Hello, Mr. California King. Helllooooo scrumptious gift bag from Chefs Catalog.
I think we may become close friends on this trip.
Each of the four fabulous bedrooms had its own bathroom. Somehow we ended up with the most deluxe of the four.
I quickly made a date with the bathtub. “You and me, Saturday night, with a glass of wine, OK?” I whispered.
It was a magnificent experience–more about that later.
The hand lotions were soooo nice and scenty.
Once we had settled in, we scampered back up the hallway towards the main living area.
As we guests hung around getting comfortable, getting to know each other, getting used to our surroundings, and photographing the sunset, I floated around in my happy place feeling a little like Goldilocks.
We explored the pantry.
Christy from Colorado climbed the ladder. Hi Christy! You were such fun to be around!
. . . and the laundry room.
I just had to show you because–guess what–Ree and I totally have the same trash can, like!
I think it’s a sign. It either means we’re bound to be BFF’s fohevah-evah–or maybe that we both shop at Target.
I choose the BFF’s interpretation. Just let me live in my fantasty world a little longer. Please?
The crowning jewel of the Lodge, though, is the kitchen.
The countertops of poured cement . . .
. . . the funky metal bar stools and fantastic ‘island’ perfect for the cooking demonstrations the next day . . .
. . . the huge stoves and ovens . . .
Even the paper towel holder had character!
Très Old West.
Monday I am going to be doing a little expose on Charlie the basset hound. His droopy eyes, his saggy persona, and his vicious temper compel me.
Happy weekend everyone!
I’m glad you’re giving it to us in installments, it certainly is a lot to take in.
How fabulous is that pantry?
Oooo……YOU LUCKY WOMAN, YOU!!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I can’t wait to hear the rest of your Pioneer Woman adventures. :-)
OMG I loved it! what an awesome pic of ur mom too! i am still jealousing over that weekend.
Jenna, if I had been at the Lodge I would never want to leave. I could live in the pantry and be utterly content.
I am seething with envy. If I didn’t like you so much, I’d hate you!
Ha–love the last shot! I’m so glad you’re finally blogging this experience, I have been waiting with bated breath! It’s so surreal. Everything is beautiful. Can’t wait to see more!
You are so cute!!! I’m SO happy for you and even happier that you’re sharing the whole experience with us. :)
LOVED reading this! What a beautiful Lodge….You would’ve had to drag me out kicking and screaming at the end of the weekend.
Great photos…can’t wait for more!
beautiful! digging the not-one-but-two Viking stoves. Those babies mean business once you crank them up!
I have a lot of friends who read PW, though I never have, but this might inspire me to check out her blog. What a gorgeous and gracious home. It must have been surreal to spend the weekend there.
ps. I always count animals as people, they have huge personalities that you can’t ignore, and are often more engaging and compelling than some people I know :)
Oh man, you HAVE to check out her blog! It’s so much fun to read, and hysterical to boot. She makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis. What you really need to read asap is her love story which is called ‘Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.’ Brilliant and entertaining. =)
… gorgeous and gracious are the right words but those aren’t actually shots of her home! This was the guest house, aka Lodge. Her home is about 2 miles (give or take) away in that expansive, big-sky distance. It is truly a privileged set-up for PW to be able to host people from all over, but maintain some semblance of normalcy, privacy, and family life away from the public eye.
Your mom looks so happy in all the photos (the ones on PW, too) — what a wonderful gift to give her! I am glad you had a good time. It looks like fun.
btw- farm and ranch cats always smell funky and are dirty. It is the nature of a farm cat.
Growing up in a no-shoes home, I love love love that you’re barefoot in that one picture. It imparts a sort of care-free casualness (and when paired with your pose, it gives off such a happy vibe.) Random, I know.
I’m looking forward to the next installment of True Life: I Won the Best Prize Ever.
I love being barefoot, and one of the great tragedies of winter for me is that I have to wear the hated, dreaded, and despised garment called ‘socks.’
I like your title “True Life . . . ” It gave me a good chuckle. =)
EEK! I can’t wait to read more about the trip! Once again, extremely jealous that you were able to visit all of the fun. And side note, I have the same garbage can too – and it is in my laundry room!
Whoa! What can it mean that we all have the same garbage can????
Ok I have the same garbage can!! It’s in my guest bath CLOSE to my laundry uhm closet.
And things keep getting weirder and weirder . . .
Hi Jenna! I, too, have that trash can. Currently it is pressed into service in my office.
Christy, that’s just too wild. Does anyone else out there also have this trash can? (twilight zone music playing in the background)
OMG, what FANTASTIC pictures!!!!!! Look forward to more! Have a great day!!!!
Jenna, as always you want me to come back and read more so am looking forward to the next “saga”.. I am so happy that you and your Mom got to do this. God is so good at just the right time.
Amen to that!!
Jenna – LOVE your post! You have some really great photos! I’m still working on finishing up the rest of mine – it’s taking me awhile! Looking forward to seeing your next installments.
Oh – also: if you have a good shot of the whole group of us (the one we took Sun), would you mind emailing me? Mine didn’t turn out good at all. :( Thanks!
Sure, I’ll email it to you–we have a busy weekend, so I may not have time to hop on the Mac and sort through those pix until Monday or so. I can’t wait until your next installment!
Looks like fun. :D Awesome pictures–really, really good. I don’t have that trash can, but someone among my acquaintance has. I’ve definitely seen it somewhere recently.
I stopped by because you commented on my blog and wound up poking around for half an hour. Peace Like a River is a fantastic book, totally chill-worthy. And if I’d lived a little closer to Chicago than north of Seattle, I would have made an effort to attend the Red Line Tap performance. :)
Wow I am so jealous!!! I love Pdubs ;)
I’m tired today after a morning doctor visit for my husband. I almost passed your blog thinking I needed to blitz through quickly today; but then I thought, no! Jenna will have a boatload of photos for me to delight in. I was right. I can’t wait to see a photo of Charlie and hear more about this person, I mean, this basset hound. Ha! Blessings to you…
i am so beyond jealous… i wish you had packed me in your bag and taken me with you!
Also, wanted to remind you Merry Monday’s theme is Mint! Hope you can join!
What an amazing view! Thanks for sharing the photos. That was one awesome bath tub you had!
This is pure awesomeness!!!! Congrats!
I’m not speechless often but holy moly. What a place. I’d never come home.
Ahhh!!! I still can’t believe you went either! Talk about a dream come true. I ‘m still hopping up and down for you.
Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. I’m SO glad you got to go! And your photography skillz are out the wazoo–all of your pictures are so, so gorgeous. I think I’d be pinching myself too; that scenery is beautiful. That sky…wow. We don’t even see the sky like that here in Tennessee.
Eagerly awaiting your next post!
Can I tell you how COOL it is to see someone I “know” at The Ranch? Can’t wait to read about all the details!
And . . . you HAVE to make the fudge. It will change your life. I’m all about changing lives with sugar.
Oooooooooohhhhhhhh I am so so so so so jealous. And I can’t believe someone who has spent time with PW actually commented on my blog! :-) I will so be checking back for more posts about the ranch, right now I’m off to check out the rest of your blog.
I’m crazy green with jealousy – what an awesome experience
so the lodge looks beautiful etc but i’m in love with the landscape pix. i’m a major fan of big sky and country. gorgeous shots.
Beyond jealous over here! The lodge is so gorgeous!
Oh Jenna, how lucky for you – I’m beyond jealous of your weekend excursion with PW!
Thank you for stopping by Country Cleaver. I hope to read more of your stuff in the future and I hope your flood icing turns out. It will be a fun experiment, and even if it’s not perfect – it will have tasty results!! All the best!
Happy Holidays and Cheerful Bloggings~
This is so cool! And your first picture of yourself is totally PWesque. You were channeling her, weren’t you? ;) This looks amazing. Love the bathroom.
I hope I was channeling her since I want to BE her when I grow up. =)
Okay, except for the living on a ranch part (I’m too partial to the city). . . and the being married to a different man part . . . and the suddenly having 4 kids and tons of laundry part . . . heh heh. I guess I’ll stay myself and be content with the occasional channeling. =)
Wow lucky lucky you! Just came to this post from the candy-drawer ;)