Tracy and I headed to the Mall of America (MOA) on Saturday to meet the one and only Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman.
Never heard of her?
That's OK. Some people haven't.
But those that haven't--do us all a favor and head over to her corner of the internet. You'll be glad you did. You can check out her site here.
Tracy and I planned to be at the MOA at 10:00 a.m. as you needed a wrist band to get a place in line. So, off we went, cookbooks, cameras, and a goodie bag in tow. As we got in line we were surrounded by wonderful people (and not just because they now have my blog address--hi fun people from the line!). Being around them made the time we waited in line so worth it.
Note to those who may be going to a book signing in their area in the next few weeks--check ahead to see if there is a need for tickets or wristbands. We found out the day before just by checking the MOA website.
And you better be on your best behavior.
Those K-9 dogs mean serious business.
Anyway--it was a well oiled machine. Folks from Barnes and Noble went through the line asking us what they wanted Ree to write in our cookbooks. They wrote it on a post-it and it helped things go much easier. We hit the jackpot as we were up front, right next to the stairs!
There were a lot of folks there. Easily a couple hundred people, though it's hard to gauge at the MOA. Mix blogger fans in with the regular mall traffic and you'll have quite the crowd (this picture is deceiving, as I'm up on the 2nd level looking down to the left. I didn't even get the "middle" or the "far right.").
(That sounds really political, doesn't it? "Left" "middle" "Far right". ha!)
Ree, herself, was delightful. She was nervous, but just as sweet as can be. She answered some questions from us in the crowd (we wrote them down and they chose 10-12 questions) and then we got to go on stage one by one to sit with her. My question was chosen to be answered--I wanted to know besides the Marlboro Man Sandwich, what other recipe is the key to a good marriage.
Her answer: Lasagna!
Does she know the Big Guy? I think she might because she hit the nail on the head. He loves a mean lasagna and even said, "That looks GOOD" when looking at her cookbook!
Soon, it was my turn on the stage!
She had a chair right next to her where she asked us to sit and chat while she signed books. I had 3 cookbooks for her to sign. I gave her the goodie bag of stuff from Minnesota from both Tracy and I (wild rice, wine from a local vineyard, Nut Goodie candy bars, Salted Nut Roll candy bars, Caribou coffee beans, etc). She had bright eyes and a big smile on her face and said, "Oh my gosh! I can't believe it!" We enjoy her blog and cookbook so much, it was the least we could do.
She signed my books (including one for our 3-day online auction which will happen later this spring! Thanks, Ree!!), and I just kept thinking in my head, "Oh my word. It's Ree. PW. Right next to me!"
(note to self, work on when to use the flash on the camera....)
As we chatted while she signed my books I told her, "I have to confess, I'm a little star struck!" She smiled and calmly said, "Oh, please! Don't be! I'm nervous. I'm sweaty. Really, it's just me."
Yes. It is.
But you're THE Pioneer Woman.
All in all it was a great book signing and I had the best time!
And Marlboro Man and two of the Punks were there too (he was super nice, and the boys were a little wide eyed. I mean hello? Mall with an amusement park inside? I would be too!).
One more thing.
Be sure to stop by Wednesday to see what happened on the way to the book signing (you can read about it here). Here's a clue...