Sunday, March 18, 2012
We met Ree!
About a month ago, I saw that Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman, was going on a book tour to promote her new cookbook. I have been a fan of hers for at least three years now, not sure exactly.
I've featured several of her recipes on this blog, like Apple Fritters, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole, Chicken Spaghetti, Spicy Pulled Pork, and Iny's Prune Cake.
I have her first cookbook and love it, I've watched her on the Food Network, and I faithfully read her blog.
I even won one of her giveaways a couple of years ago, much to my surprise. I mean, when there are over 14,000 entries, you don't expect to win.
But win I did, a $300 gift certificate to BlueQ. Kind of a weird prize, I'd have much rather won a camera or mixer or Ipad - she does those sort of giveaways too - but hey, you can't complain about winning! I got some great re-usable shopping bags, shoulder bags, a beach bag, some lotions, water bottles, and similar gifts for my sisters, mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law for Christmas. That was pretty awesome.
But the funnest part was seeing my name as a winner on her blog - I was so excited, all I could do was laugh.
Anyways. Back to the book tour. I saw that Ree was going to be in Virginia Beach on March 17. That's definitely in my neck of the woods, at least a whole lot closer than D.C., where she stopped on her last book tour.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Annika also has Ree's children's book, Charlie the Ranch Dog, which I got her for her birthday last year and she really enjoys. So yesterday I packed up my two older girls and Miranda and off we went.
We drove about 34 miles to the Books A Million and arrived about an hour before Ree was due to arrive.
Since most of my friends have no idea who the Pioneer Woman is when I mention her, I really had no idea how popular she is in this area and didn't know what to expect as far as crowds go.
Apparently the Books A Million had been advertising her book-signing for awhile and had given out tickets the previous night for people to be first in line. 300 tickets, apparently they had given them all out within an hour. Obviously I did not have a ticket.
The folks with tickets were in line on the right side of the store, winding through the aisles. The unfortunates like myself were being lined up on the left side of the store. There were probably 75 people in front of me without tickets.
This wasn't looking so good. In fact, it was downright grim.
We still had an hour to wait before she even arrived......and then all those people in front of us.
I sat down on the floor at the end of the aisle to nurse the baby. It's not like the line would be moving for a few hours anyways. She finished soon and I was talking with the girls when a middle-aged man walked past. (There were very few men in line, as a side note. Those there were with their wives.)
He stopped and smiled at me and asked, "Would you like a ticket?"
I was confused. "What???"
"I have an extra ticket," he explained. "I'm leaving and would like to give it to you."
"You are an angel!" I gasped. "Thank you so so so much!!!"
He just smiled bigger and left.
So the girls and I moseyed right over to the right side of the store and got in line. There were very few ticketed people behind us, so I knew we had close to 300 people in front of us. Still a long wait.
Little did I know.
4 hours total before we got to meet Ree. That's right...FOUR hours standing in line holding a baby who refused to be put down in her stroller and trying to entertain a six year old and a four year old who were getting tired and bored and hungry.
We had some nice conversations with the ladies in line around us and tried to make the best of the situation. Around 4:30, the girls started begging me to go home. No WAY! I mean, once you've driven for 45 minutes and stood in line for a few hours, you just can't leave when there's only 30 minutes left till you get what you came for.
Ree was lovely. She oohed over Miranda's little bare toes and hugged the girls and when she signed Annika's book, she wrote," Love to Annika from Ree and Charlie" and drew a little paw print. It's super cute.
I wish we could have had more time to chat.....but I'm sure the rest of the waiting crowd wanted us to keep moving.
So we did it. I'm glad we did, and I'm glad it's over.