I’m tired this morning, and with good reason. Yesterday two friends, Lacey and Ashley, and I embarked on an adventure to meet Pioneer Woman, also known in real life as Ree Drummond. The day started when the alarm clock went off at 4:45 a.m. We would be driving from Birmingham, AL to Atlanta, GA for Pioneer Woman’s book signing at one of the Borders bookstores. We knew we had to get to the bookstore early in order to obtain a wristband that would put us at the front of the line, as the book signing was at 6:00p.m. Eastern Time. It was vital that we were close to the front of the line due to the fact that we would have to drive back to Birmingham after meeting and embracing Pdub.
I’ll admit that the alarm was snoozed a few times so we didn’t actually get on the road until about 6:30, but we made up some time on the drive over because we missed the rush hour traffic in Atlanta.
Our GPS lead us astray when we actually arrived in Atlanta. We ended up in Chamblee and when the GPS said, “Arriving at Destination” we were on an old street with a few random office buildings. It was not our “destination.” This overwhelmed us a bit because we needed to be there when the doors of the Borders Bookstore opened… so I grabbed my blackberry, googled the bookstore, and proceeded to call for directions. A lady named, Lilly, answered the phone and told me that she didn’t not know how to tell us to get there because no one drives to work- they take the MARTA (train). She also explained to us that they had had a rather large crowed waiting for wristbands for the book signing when they first opened. That really put the pressure on us to find the bookstore. Time was ticking and we were meandering through some place called, Chamblee. Eventually, we located the correct destination and raced inside.
We were met by a thin man with a booming voice; he was sitting at a small table awaiting the arrival of anyone looking for a wristband to meet The Pioneer Woman. He informed us that we would be in first 100 people to meet the Ree. At this point in the day it was 9:30a.m. (Eastern Time) so we had several hours (like eight) to kill until the 6:00pm meet and greet.
We decided to head over to the Lenox Mall, which was just down the street. I called up our friend, Hayden, that lives in Atlanta and planned a lunch date. At 12:00 we met her and several of her friends for lunch at The Lenox Grill, which, I’ll be honest here, included a few mimosas.
After lunch, in an attempt to pass the time, we headed to the movie theater to see The Blindside. [Side note- GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was so good. It brought a tear to my eye. It’s a great story]
The movie was over around 3:30 so we killed a few more hours window-shopping at Tiffany’s, Sak’s, Tory Burch, Jimmy Choo, and the likes.
Eventually, it was go time! We had to head back to Borders because the lady the whole day was based around was about to arrive. It was exciting. We got to the bookstore and freshened up a bit. We had to look good for Pioneer Woman- I mean, we could end up on her blog!
Right at 6:00 she arrived! The crowd went wild (or as wild as one would expect in a bookstore). I was eating it up.
She said hello to the crowd and quickly began signing her cookbooks.
As we waited in line we discussed what we would say once it was our one-on-one time with her. It felt a bit crazy to be meeting someone I know seemingly everything about, and she does not even know I exist. For a fleeting moment, it felt a bit stalkerish. However, I pushed right past that thought and applied more lip-gloss because it was GO TIME. Our number was up and we were ready.
Lacey and I were were ready. Armed with our cookbooks and eager for our turn!
Lacey went first. She was a little nervous. Her hands were sweating, but she politely wiped them off before shaking hands with Ree. Lacey's always thinking of others...
I was up next. My heart was beating fast… I was about to embrace Pioneer Woman. I wanted to invite myself to the ranch. I wanted to tell her I love Mike. I wanted to tell her that even though I’m getting married in May I have a huge crush on her husband- Chaps do it for me too, Pdub!
Once I was with her all I said was, “Hey! I’m Jessica. I love your blog. It’s great!” Not exactly everything I wanted to say, but still so much fun!
We then took a picture together. For the picture I leaned down and put my arm around her. During the picture I thought… Oh no, I think this might have been a little too close… so after the picture I apologized for getting in her personal space. She politely told me she has four kids and personal space doesn’t exist for her. We both laughed and she signed my cookbook.
(She's so pretty. She looks like she's just turned 30. She was trendy and thin and everything I want to be at 40!)
Ashley was up next. Ree told her that she favored Jenny Garth. What a compliment!
After the meet and greet with Ree, we moved on down to where her best friend, Hyacinth, and her sister, Betsy (or Wetsy if you are familiar with the Pdub's blog), were sitting. They gave us each a Pioneer Woman T-shirt and chatted with us for a bit. They were both so sweet. Hyacinth told us we looked younger than most of Pdub’s loyal followers. I proceeded to tell her that I was getting married and Pdub’s cookbook was going to come in handy since I was going to be cooking supper more often (or at least that’s what Ryan thinks).
Overall, it was a great way to spend a day out of the office. We shopped, ate two great meals, watched a great movie and to top it all off we met Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. It was everything we expected and more! What a day!