Angelia McDaniel recently became the first person to stay in all eight rooms at sold out The Pioneer Woman Boarding House in Pawhuska, Okla.

Pioneer Woman Boarding House Tubs

Angelia has enjoyed a bath in every tub in the Pioneer Woman’s Boarding House. She’s made a point of taking a series of photographs she calls “Toes in Tubs” during each of her stays. (Photos courtesy Angelia McDaniel).

That’s right. She’s slept in all eight Tempurpedic beds, walked through every two-door shower and bathed in every claw foot tub. She’s had the rare opportunity to sit back and relax in all of the leather couches and comfy chairs at The Boarding House, and now, she’s on to round two. 

Hotel staff told McDaniel she was the first to stay in all eight rooms when she arrived for her stay in December 2018.

Angelia calendar

Angelia shows us the calendar on her iPad she uses for planning, including her stays at the Boarding House.

Even more stays in 2019

With rooms booked about once a month through 2019, she’s become a Boarding House regular and the envy of Pioneer Woman fans everywhere. A wife and mother of one, McDaniel became a Pioneer Woman fan years ago when she stumbled across Ree Drummond’s blog. An Oklahoman herself, she loved Ree’s story and found she had a lot in common with the ranch wife and mom who met her husband in a bar (so did McDaniel). 

Angelia and Tim at Boarding House

Angelia and her husband, Tim, on the balcony of the Boarding House on the evening she checked in to her 8th different room.

While she admittedly doesn’t use Pioneer Woman recipes, when The Mercantile opened in Pawhuska on Halloween in 2016, McDaniel couldn’t wait to visit. She and  her husband, Tim, drove from their home in Bixby to Pawhuska, only to find long lines of people waiting to taste Ree’s chicken fried steak.

Angelia at PW Mercantile

Angelia stands in front of the Pioneer Woman Mercantile during one of her visits to Pawhuska. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel.)

“We got here and there was this long line down the block and we don’t do lines,” McDaniel said. “Instead, we ate at McDonald’s and went on to Woolaroc.”

But they would be back. 

Photograph Room bed

Like all beds in the PW Boarding house, the bed in the Photograph Room is king-sized, has a Tempurpedic mattress, and amazing bedding.

Getting a room at The Boarding House

When The Boarding House opened in early 2018, online reservations filled the available bookings within an hour. McDaniel was not one of the lucky ones to snag a room on opening day, but was told to watch the website for cancellations. So, she did. 

She kept her laptop opened up the online booking page and just watched. And watched. And watched. Finally, she noticed a cancellation for the Emerald Room in May and she booked it. “Then, it was game on,” she said. 

The bathroom in the Emerald Room features a claw foot tub and a walk in shower.

The bathroom in the Emerald Room features a claw foot tub and a walk in shower.

A data analyst by day, McDaniel said she became intrigued by the challenge of booking each of the eight cowboy-luxury themed rooms. This is nothing new for her. When her daughter was in elementary school, McDaniel located every state park in Oklahoma on a map. They started visiting the parks and didn’t stop until they seen all 50. 

Oklahoma State Parks picture

Over the years, the McDaniel family looked for affordable vacations close to home. They found them by visiting all 50 of Oklahoma’s state parks! (Photos courtesy Angelia McDaniel.)

How she got reservations

So, how did she get all those room stays when the hotel has been solidly booked since the day it opened? Well, she started by analyzing the booking process and online calendar, and then watched for cancellations. She’d wait patiently near her computer, and when she saw a cancellation, she booked it.

In fact, every stay McDaniel has booked has been due to a cancellation.

Savanah McDaniel Drug Store room

Savanah McDaniel takes in the original mural in the Drug Store room. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel)

McDaniel, who lives just a 90-minute drive from Pawhuska, stays in the hotel with either her husband of 22 years or their daughter. They check in, browse the new items at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile next door, and enjoy dinner at The Merc or P Town Pizza across the street.

Her favorite foods and room

Their favorite menu items include the chicken fried steak, turkey club, and the creme brûlée. Oh, and the not knots at P Town Pizza. They also love everything in the bakery and usually take home a little of everything when they check out. Her favorite room is the Butterly Room.

Tim McDaniel Not Knots

Tim McDaniel enjoys some not-knots at P-Town Pizza. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel)

For McDaniel and her family, one-night stays at The Boarding House are just quick getaways to relax and unwind. They’ve always wanted to travel, but didn’t do much of it for many years while they spent time with and cared for her elderly parents. Every weekend, they’d drive three hours round trip to see Angelia’s parents and take care of their home and yard for them. Then, in 2013, John and Floyace Rush both passed away at home, just two hours apart, from natural causes.

Pioneer Woman Boarding House reception desk

McDaniel is on a first-name basis with everyone at the reception desk of the Pioneer Woman’s Boarding House. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel)

McDaniel said she never could have imagined losing both her parents at the same time and was devastated. Eventually, with more time and freedom, she decided to start making new memories with her family and they began to travel together more.

Angelia and Tim McDaniel picture

Angelia and Tim McDaniel on the balcony at the PW Boarding House. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel)

A love of travel

While they’ve been on several cruises and visited big cities, there’s something about small towns like Pawhuska that keeps drawing them back. McDaniel said she loves returning to The Boarding House every few months to see the progress in the town and new buildings being renovated and restored.

Pawhuska evening sky

The evening sky in Pawhuska as seen from the balcony of the Pioneer Woman’s Boarding House. (Photo courtesy Angelia McDaniel)

“A building is just a building unless it has people and a purpose,” McDaniel said. “The Drummonds have gotten people back in these buildings and they’ve given them a purpose.”

If nothing else, they’ve given people like McDaniel and her family a place to escape the busyness of everyday life, put their feet up, and enjoy all the wonderful tastes of the most comforting foods around.

And for McDaniel, whose childhood dream was to own a china cabinet and travel, life couldn’t get much better than this.


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  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

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