Monday, December 14, 2009

A road trip, a cookbook, and a really cool lady (AKA The Pioneer Woman)

So, I've mentioned on several occasions on my little blog here that i'm a big fan of The Pioneer Woman, who goes by Ree, but who revealed to us that her real name is actually Anne Marie. Not only has she helped me in the kitchen department (and everyone knows I need help there - no comments from Tony or Lisa please!!), but I absolutely love reading her blog, as she comes across as a very funny and very genuine person. Well, when next-door Lisa told me that Ree was doing a book tour for her new cookbook, I was super excited to find out if Ree's humor and genuine-ness (is that a word?) were for real.

Down-the-street Heather ended up having to cancel at the last minute, so Lisa and I packed into Tony's car (his is much bigger and more comfortable than mine ;-) and started the journey up to West Chester, PA. Due to the rain and the lovely detour/tour of Univ. of Deleware that my GPS decided to take us on, it took us almost 3 hours to get there. However, Ree wasn't due to appear until 2:30, and we still got there more than 2 hours ahead of time. We reserved our seats (in the 4th row, whoo!) and hit up the cafe for some yummy burgers. Here's Lisa humoring my attempt at pre-Ree photos:

Finally, 2:30 rolled around, and Ree walked in. Isn't she so pretty??
Ree had a Q&A answer session for about 30 minutes, at which time she discussed things such as how her family feels about her success (they're happy for her), how she can cook with so much butter and oil and still look as good as she does (she claims she put on weight while writing her cookbook, but I don't beleive it, lol), how long it takes her to do a blog entry (it can range from a 20 min. quickie "confession" to a 5-6 hour cooking post, complete with edited photos), how the home schooling thing is going (she made a very funny joke that i'll never be able to recreate, lol, about how the reality of people who homeschool is very different than her impressions before she became one of them), how she is able to "do it all" (this answer made me totally love her as she said she does not do it all and is not able to keep up with everything - that she throws clothes on her closet floor (yep, she's my soul sister, lol) and constantly has a huge pile of laundry), how she takes the photos of her cooking (she used to use a tripod but now has gotten really good at holding one arm out and shooting while using the other to cook) and when she is going to be on Oprah (she told us that the same question was asked when she was on the booktour and she gave a smart ass response saying "Who needs oprah? I'm more of a Bonnie Hunt fan myself!" totally forgetting that she was in Chicago, hehea!).

And then, at the very end of the Q&A session, (the very last question in fact), she was asked if she would do her Ethel Merman impression. And being the good sport that she is, she did.
I can not tell you enough how impressed I was with her. I think her story is so cool - she was just a "regular" person, doing her blogging thing, and now she has become very well known, put out a cookbook, and she toured around the country promoting it. I'm sure that's quite a life altering experience for anyone, getting used to sudden popularity and fame like that. She handles herself with such poise, though, and she's hysterical! She's not afraid to poke fun of herself, and she's incredibly modest. And genuine. And yep... totally real.

After the Q&A session, Ree started the book signing. They were calling people up by groups of 20, and Lisa and I were 83. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. And in the meantime, we walked around, people watched (and concocted some great stories about the other people there), chatted and laughed a lot. Mostly while we were doing this:
Yes, if you ever have about 90 minutes to kill while waiting for someone to sign your book, I highly recommend reading through a 3D animal book for kids. Just don't look at the pages without the glasses - it'll mess with your head.

Finally, it was our turn. Ree graciously took photo after photo with all her fans, and we were no exception.

It was a great day - it's always fun to get in some quality girl time, and it was even better that Lisa and I got to do something totally out of the ordinary. It was really fun and exciting to meet Ree and to hear what she had to say. I wish her the best of luck, and I can't wait to try out even more of her recipes. Thanks for making our roadtrip so much fun, Ree!

17 comments:

Danielle said...

how FUN! I loved hearing about your trip, and your experience meeting the pioneer woman! ha. thank you for sharing!

Heather Swan said...

OK - now I'm totally bummed that I didn't make it with you guys yesterday :( So glad you had a great time and glad to hear Ree is as great in person as she is "in blog". Will definitely have to go on the next road trip adventure with you guys!!!!!

Allison said...

Fun adventure!! I need to catch up on some blog reading!

Danielle said...

That is just so cool!! loved seeing your photos! Did you tell her that her lasagna is the bomb diggety!?

Jocelyn said...

Look like such a FUN DAY!!!!! I loved reading all about it!!!

Wishing you a great day!!!

LOVE THE PICS!!

Andrea Amu said...

Ha! IITA with Dani... her lasagna IS the bomb diggety! I will never ever make another lasagna recipe again! So glad you had a great experience meeting her. I watched her that morning on QVC and of course she was smokin' hot that her book sold out in no time!

Cute pix!

KimmyS said...

Thank you so much for the photos and letting us be part of your experience. I love Ree, she is awesome and like you I too love the fact that she rose from being just a normal blogger to someone so famous

scrappermimi said...

It looks like a fun day!

Amy said...

I just love her!!! Wonderful photos

The Melanson Crew said...

Staci that is just too cool! Love the photos! Want to see your thoughts on her recipes as you try them!

Pearl said...

awesome grrl ! I love her blog too ! tho' I dont read it often enough these days !

Love the pics that you gals took ! She is wonderful posing with everyone !

lisa dickinson said...

oooh that's so cool! i'm totally jealous! :)

Trisha said...

Oh super cool! She only lives about an hour from me and I missed when she did her signing here. Just ordered the book last week. lol

Marci Knecht said...

How COOL! I love her too, but she didn't come anywhere close on her book tour, at least not yet. It looks like you had a blast, thanks for sharing....I feel like I was there :)

Diana said...

WOW You are so lucky I love her blog and her food also. wish she would come down to Miami you took some great pictures.

Jen Martakis said...

How fun!!! You lucky girl you. I just love Ree.

love the pic of you two in the 3D glasses. Awesome. ;)

Cindy Tobey said...

I am SO jealous! I LOVE Pioneer Woman! So fun! :)