As you already know, Kati, Cadence and I went to meet Ree Drummond (better known as The Pioneer Woman) on Wednesday. I was so excited that it worked out I was off work that night so that we would be able to make the book signing.
A week before the event, I happened to be near the Barnes & Noble, so I stopped in to see if we’d need tickets. The nice, but clueless, man I spoke to said, “Oh no. We aren’t doing tickets or wristbands or anything. We’re not sure what to expect, but we don’t think it will be such a big deal. We aren’t expecting much.” As I stood there trying not to look as dumbfounded as I was by his response, I couldn’t decide if I should let him know what they’d be in for or if it would be better to let them be surprised at the turnout. I decided on the latter.
The day of the book signing, I was once again in the area of the Barnes & Noble. I stopped in to purchase PW Cookbooks for that night’s signing. And, again, I asked the not-so-pleasant and seemingly annoyed-that-I’d-even-asked B&N employee about that night’s event. She said, “No, you don’t need tickets. And, we think we are going to start seating people around quarter to five.” I looked upstairs and saw the little grouping of chairs and thought, “These people have no idea what’s coming…and I love it!”
Kati and I arrived at Barnes & Noble around 4:00pm as we had already planned, even though I was a hot mess after learning on Twitter (thanks, Matt) that a line had been forming for a couple of hours already. When we arrived we were about 25-30 people back, so we were satisfied with that. Sweet Cadence came with us and was so sweet during our wait.
At the last minute on Wednesday, Dawn decided to drive up from WPB to join us for the book signing. She joined us in line and participated in the people watching with us. It was entertaining/frightening to say the least. Around 5:00pm, we were led upstairs to the seating area and found a spot in the fifth row or so (there were only six rows).
Ree and her two girls arrived right on time and were just too cute. She did a Q&A session for about ten minutes and then got right to the signing. She was so sweet with each person that came to meet her. She was patient and took time to say hello to everyone; signing books and posing for pictures. It’s obvious to me now, after reading her blog for so long and now seeing her in person, that her personality really does come out in her writing. She was just as I imagined her to be–hilarious, sarcastic, honest, sweet, gracious, nervous, unassuming.
When it came our turn, I handed her my two books to sign. I told her the first was for “Amy” and she said, “That’s easy!” And, then I said, “And this one is for Chad.” And she said, “A boy?! A boy wants me to sign a cookbook? I can’t believe it! A boy?!” I explained that Chad loved her site and that we tried to convince him to come up from WPB to meet her, but that he wouldn’t skip work. And she said, “Well, then I question his love for me.” Hilarious. I wished I could have gotten Chad on the phone because I know she would have said hello to him, but his loss. He was too busy working out. (Again, does he really love her?!)
We also gave Ree a little gift–a coffee cozy from Two Florida Girls and flip flips for Florida. After realizing she didn’t have any, we thought it was only appropriate. Every Florida girl needs a pair of flips flops! As we were saying goodbye she noticed Cadence’s shirt and said, “Oh my gosh! Look at her shirt! Oh my gosh! That’s so cute! I need a picture.” Poor Cadence was so tired that she couldn’t even smile for a picture, but here’s hoping she makes PW’s blog anyway! 🙂
After our turn, it was Dawn’s turn. Which is another story in itself, that I’ll let Dawn tell on her blog. 🙂 And, when we were done, probably around 7:00pm, we went to dinner at Mimi’s Cafe where we basked in all things Pioneer Woman. And where baby car seats fit between the booth back and the table. Genius!
All in all, it was a wonderful night. I’m so glad we went, even though I was beginning to feel a little dorky about it. Who cares, right? So fun that Dawn could come up for the night and I love that Ree commented on the photo I posted to her FB fan page. (PS-for those of you who read her blog, she said she reads every comment on her posts, with the exception of the giveaway posts. Cool, huh?)
And, if you’ve made it this far in the post and are still saying, “Who the heck is Pioneer Woman?!” Get yourself on over to her blog now! You’ll be glad you did! 🙂
And, for Kati’s perspective on the day, check out her post.
Oh, and sorry…while you’re here…one more thing…I’ve got THREE (yes, three!) giveaway posts coming on Monday! All handmade. All wonderful! Don’t miss them!