Both my mom and my mother-in-law are big fans of Ree Drummond and The Pioneer Woman cooking show on Food Network. We’d been to Ree’s new Mercantile store and restaurant in Pawhuska twice this year, and when we returned home from our last trip, we could tell that both our moms were itching to see The Mercantile for themselves.
So, we planned a third trip to Pawhuska to show our moms the town and introduce them to the only chicken fried steak we’d admit was better than theirs.
Our first stop, after a getting a cold fountain pop at Handy’s, was the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce. We introduced our moms to Joni and Reba and got some ideas for things to see and do while we were in town for a few days. We checked into our Airbnb house called Redbud Cottage and got settled in this wonderful three bedroom, two and a half bath house. It had a huge kitchen with complimentary coffee and more space than we really needed.
After unpacking our bags, we headed downtown to The Mercantile where our moms had a great time shopping and buying Ree Drummond’s newest cookbook, “Come and Get It,” which was released for sale that day.
My mom is a Weight Watchers leader and just loved this tiny plate that should help with portion control. Gayle bought several gifts for friends and we all left with one of the greatest plastic wrap dispensers we’ve ever found.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner (with no wait) at The Mercantile, including queso dip, chicken fried steak, pork chops, and a salad.
With Ree in New York City promoting her new cookbook, Ladd was at the restaurant for dinner that night and was gracious to take pictures with people as he waited for his meal.
The next morning, we headed back to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile for breakfast, our favorite meal of the day. We sipped coffee and enjoyed a relaxing meal, including cooked-to-order eggs, three types of pork (ham, bacon, and house made sausage), homemade biscuits with jam, and a side of buttermilk pancakes with four types of syrup.
Needless to say, we were not going to need lunch that day. After breakfast, we headed out to the Drummond Lodge where Ree and Ladd had generously opened up their guest house to visitors. We were able to take a self-guided tour around the lodge, stopping to play kitchen where Ree often films here Food Network show.
Having watched The Pioneer Woman TV show for years, it was so much fun to see our moms in that space, reminiscing about seeing this or that on the show.
We walked around the lodge together, admiring the cozy living room, the boot-lined mantle, and the enormous pantry.
Before leaving, we enjoyed the view from the deck at the lodge and checked out the outdoor grill on which we’d seen Ladd and Ree cook the perfect beef steak.
Our next stop was at one of our favorite places in Pawhuska — the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. This local church houses some of the most beautiful stained glass windows we’ve ever seen.
The most famous window shows Father Shoenmaker bringing Catholicism to the Osage people. To even be created, the window required special dispensation from the Pope because it depicts people who were alive at the time it was made.
Next stop was the Osage Nation Museum. I’d been there a few weeks ago, so Steve took our moms inside and I was planning to go visit someone who lived close by. I never made it across the street because just as I got out of the car, a woman in a truck drove by rolled down her window to say, “Are you that blogger lady?” It was Margie Williams, one of the contestants (and winners) from the National Indian Taco Championship we’d judged a few weeks earlier.
We had such a nice visit and she gave us a few more ideas of things to see and do in Pawhuska. Before we knew it, Steve and the moms were back from the museum and it was time to head back downtown.
We dropped my mom and Gayle off at Roaming the Osage Historic/Scenic Tours, where they spent the next 90 minutes touring Pawhuska and seeing the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, The Grandview Inn B&B, and learning about the history of Osage County.
The next morning, we took one of Margie’s suggestions and went up to Lookout Mountain where we had an incredible view of Pawhuska and visited the gravesite of Chief Fred Lookout and his wife Julia.
Both of our moms loved Tallgrass Art Gallery, and my mom decided to splurge on a fetish necklace that she wore out of the store.
Before calling it a day, we had a chance to have a private tour of the Bronze Horse Foundry, which was absolutely amazing. Cindy Free showed us the extensive processes used to create bronze sculptures. It was so interesting and we were so grateful for the time she spent showing us around.
Our last stop of the day was at the legendary Swinging Bridge, just a few blocks away from The Mercantile. We’d braved a walk across the suspension bridge on a past visit and were sure we’d convince our moms to do the same. We sensed their hesitancy and pleaded with them to walk across, but they just weren’t having it.
Like we did when we were kids, we kept asking and asking and finally said, “Why not?”
The looks they gave us said it all. “Because I said so.” We love our moms very much, and we know not to argue with that.
Have you taken a mother/daughter or mother/son trip? Where did you go and what did you enjoy most about it? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.