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.

Pawhuska, Oklahoma bench

Our moms relax for a minute on a Pawhuska bench.

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.

Redbud Cottage kitchen, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Redbud Cottage has a large modern kitchen available to people staying there.

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.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks, "Come and Get It" cookbook.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks, “Come and Get It” cookbook.

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.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile portion control plate, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Carol found a plate at the PW Mercantile that’s perfect for those wanting to control portion size.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner (with no wait) at The Mercantile, including queso dip, chicken fried steak, pork chops, and a salad.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile Deli, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve and his mom anticipate dinner at the PW Mercantile Deli.

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.

Ladd Drummond and our moms

Ladd Drummond and our moms

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.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile Deli farmer's breakfast, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Farmer’s Breakfast offers a sampling of many favorites.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile biscuits, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Buttery, light, and flaky don’t begin to do these biscuits justice.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile pancakes, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

With three different kinds of butter and four kinds of syrup, Edna Mae’s Pancakes at the Merc taste even better than they look.

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.

Pioneer Woman Drummond Lodge kitchen, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Gayle had fun being in the place she’s always enjoyed seeing on TV.

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.

Pioneer Woman Lodge kitchen, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Carol has seen this stove in action on TV many times, and enjoyed checking it out for herself.

We walked around the lodge together, admiring the cozy living room, the boot-lined mantle, and the enormous pantry.

Pioneer Woman Lodge, boots on the mantle, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This boot-lined mantle was picture perfect.

Pioneer Woman Lodge pantry, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The pantry at the Lodge is well stocked with anything Ree might need for a recipe. This is one of several sets of shelves there.

Pioneer Woman Lodge back pantry, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Carol couldn’t believe how many pots and pans there are in the back pantry at the Lodge.

Pioneer Woman Lodge dishes, Pawhuska Oklahoma

Stacks of dishes line the shelves of the pantry in the Lodge.

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.

Pioneer Woman Lodge grill, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Gayle and Carol have seen many episodes featuring this grill that sits outside the Lodge.

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.

Osage Window, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Osage Window in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is simply spectacular.

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.

Ann with Margie Williams, Pawhuska Oklahoma

Ann had a great time catching up with Margie Williams while we were in Pawhuska.

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.

Roaming the Osage Historic/Scenic Tour van, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

All settled in and ready for the tour!

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.

Lookout Mountain, Fred and Julia Lookout grave marker, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The grave marker of Chief Fred Lookout and his wife Julia sits atop Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain view toward Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The view from Lookout Mountain is incredible. In this photo, you can see Pawhuska in the distance.

We spent time in some of our favorite shops, including Buckin’ Flamingo, Mudpies, Salt Creek Gallery and Marketplace, LOREC Ranch, and Osage Outfitters.

Buckin' Flamingo merchandise, Pawhuska Oklahoma

Some of the fun merchandise available at the Buckin’ Flamingo.

Mudpies jewelry, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Jewelry at Mudpies.

Salt Creek Gallery and Marketplace bags, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Both Ree Drummond and JoAnna Gaines carry one of these bags.

LOREC Ranch furniture and accessories, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

A great selection of western furniture and accessories is available at the LOREC Ranch.

Osage Outfitters boots, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Some of the unique boots available at Osage Outfitters.

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.

Tallgrass Art Gallery, fetish necklace, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Carol bought a unique necklace for herself at the Tallgrass Art Gallery.

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.

Bronze Horse Foundry sculpture, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

A statue begins to take shape at the Bronze Horse Foundry.

Bronze Horse Foundry ceramic shells, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

These ceramic shells are almost ready for molten bronze.

Bronze Horse Foundry detail work, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

All of the fine details the artist puts into the clay will appear in the bronze when it is complete.

Bronze Horse Foundry finish work, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Workers at the foundry work to finish this bronze casting.

Bronze Horse Foundry figurine, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This clay figurine is ready for the next step in casting it as a bronze.

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.

Swinging Bridge, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

We could get our moms onto the end of the swinging bridge, but no further.

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. 

  • Steve writes: When I first set my eyes on the outside of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, I was unimpressed. In fact, I thought it was plain ugly. Construction continued, and I returned several times over the years, each time finding more to like about it. Finally, on a visit with Ann, the inside of the Cathedral was open for a visit. So we went inside.⁣
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Architect Antonin Gaudi's creation is brilliant. The way he uses stained glass to bring color to the stone inside, combined with the shadows created by the shape of the stone is breathtaking. Truly, this cathedral might be the most impressive one I've seen anywhere. This place should be on your bucket list. It's worth a trip to Barcelona to see it.
  • We've been going to the @PWMercantile for a couple of years now, especially since we bought a house in Pawhuska. Over that time, we've seen a number of changes both to the restaurant and to the merchandise they have in the store. But one item has remained constant: these turquoise beads.
  • One of our favorite stops on our hosted food tour of @visitkansascityks was the @403club. Sure, they offer a great selection of locally crafted and larger production domestic beers. But they also have pinball machines. In fact, they even have a pinball league.⁣
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We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
  • On our visit to Italy, we visited the Prosecco region. While we toured a number of wineries, we actually stayed at an inn run by the Roccat winery. ⁣
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Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
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We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
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If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
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@traveliowa
  • Set in Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the city's most iconic art installations. It's a giant, shiny bean which reflects everything in sight. It's fun to walk around (and under) the bean and see how the shape distorts what it reflects.⁣
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Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
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Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
  • On our cruise from Italy to Greece, we made a stop in Mykonos. There, we had the chance to take part in a Greek cooking class in a woman's home learning from her.⁣
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We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
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While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
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Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
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Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
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Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
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@themusicmanbway

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