I have met Candace once - it was on the wedding day - where she was the most incredible photographer that I could have asked for for my baby sister. She took care of my sister that day, in ways that I had hoped to do, but wasn't able to, because I was dealing with a gallbladder-gone-rogue and was just doing my best to make it through the day without collapsing, or turning a deeper color of goldenrod. She made sure Laura looked beautiful in each picture, she kept everything organized and the day running smoothly.
I knew I would have fun meeting P-Dubb, no matter who I was with, but I was excited that Candace didn't think it was creepy that I accepted her open invitation. (this was a very good start)! She organized the logistics, and we met up with her friend Trisha and headed into San Francisco to grab some grubb, and hang with P-Dubb.
The drive up went smoothly, and quickly, as the three of us talked non-stop about all of the Pioneer Woman trivia we could think of! Charlie, Cowboy Josh, Butter, and her brother Mike were just a few of our favorite topics.
We found street parking directly in front of Chevy's, which was directly across the street from Books, Inc., and enjoyed a very affordable Happy Hour dinner! Candace is a Chevy's connoisseur and gave us the best tips on what to order, and also noticed the funky vinegar taste to the salsa. (Replacement was subsequently requested!).
We eyed the other tables with large groups of ladies, donning sweaters with ruffles, DSLR's with ruffles, and ruffles with ruffles, knowing that we were in Pioneer Woman territory! Once we were finished we headed over to find out how we were going to make Ree become our BFF and score an invitation to the lodge (and maybe a date with Cowboy Josh).
There, we met up with another of Candace and Trisha's friends, Claire. She had figured out what we needed to do - get a ticket for the meet & greet group - we were letter I. Claire had H. When you think of the 26 letter alphabet it doesn't sound so bad, but when you look at a room of a couple hundred women, you realize you wish you had thought to check in at the bookstore BEFORE dinner (lesson learned).
Candace ended up doing a quick recon mission, and scored us seats along the wall at the very front. As in, directly to the right of where the Pioneer Woman would be speaking. This was definitely not a problem for any of us. We met a few nice people while waiting for Ree to arrive. And I (as non-creepily as possible, but yet, probably still creepily) introduced myself to Mel of The Larson Lingo. And a few moments later the Pioneer Woman herself, with her absolutely adorable entourage of her two daughters, sister-in-law, niece, and mother-in-law (yes Marlboro Man's mama!), arrived!
She was as tall as she describes herself to be - and on top of that was rocking some serious 3 inch heels! All of the ladies looked absolutely gorgeous, and Ree and her team entertained the crowd with some Q&A for almost an hour. Ree was gracious and kind, answered each question honestly, and openly - including a few "insider secrets" about the potential movie, Reese Witherspoon, and what her life is like behind the scenes.
After the Q&A, P-Dubb was in it for the long haul. She autographed her little heart out, she complimented each and every person that came up to her table, she took multiple pictures with them as well. I know this because (like a total non-creeper, right?) I sat there directly in front of her for two plus hours until group H was called. (With the exception of a quick walk around the store, where I as non-creepily as possible introduced myself to Keri of Forever Folding Laundry).
Claire & Candace had to take off, so that left me and my brand new friend Trisha holding out for BFF-dom with Ree. We ended up talking to Ree's sweet daughter
And then, finally, it was my time at the table with Ree, where I kept repeating to myself "do not say anything weird, do not say anything weird" (I also received a few encouragement texts throughout the day to the same effect. Apparently, there was an incident with John Piper, where in an awkward silence I may have mentioned seeing some cute videos of his grandkids on YouTube - totally NOT creepy right?)The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl)
And graciously smiled for a
glamor shot photograph with me.
And again with me & Trisha! (Two new friends in one adorable photo)
Moral of the Story: When you are BFF's with P-Dubb, like we obviously are, you can hang out in the
I guess our invite to the lodge is in the mail?
*Yes that is my beautiful sister in the very first photo that comes up on their site!