About 12 hours after Steve finished his last school board meeting and his ended his career as a middle school principal, we were on the road for a much-needed (and anticipated) vacation. First stop – Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Mercantile.

Once a booming oil town with claim to having organized the first Boy Scout troop in America, Pawhuska went decades with little notice after the Great Depression.

Then, Ree Drummond, a self-proclaimed pioneer woman, desperate ranch wife, mother of four, and lover of butter brought this small town back into the national spotlight.


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Creator of the weblog, The Pioneer Woman, and star of the self-titled Food Network cooking show, Ree has filled the hearts of her readers and fans for years. Now, she’s filling their stomachs, as well, right in downtown Pawhuska.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

We drove from our home in southeast Nebraska to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in a day, arriving just in time for an early supper. A Mercantile staff member greeted us as we walked up and opened the door for visitors. Small town hospitality is at its best in Pawhuska.

Hoping to get a table in the deli, we got in a line that extended down the block and were told we should be seated in less than two hours. Fortunately, I have the most selfless husband who said he was more than happy willing to stand in line in the hot sun while Meghan and I went inside to explore the air-conditioned general store.

I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity and ventured inside The Merc, as Ree often calls it.

By late in the day, the general store wasn’t too crowded and we were able to browse the wooden shelves, admiring the brightly colored juicers, nut bowls, and ramekins.

I loved these colorful juicers.

We strolled past stacks of Pioneer Woman glassware and dishes and checked out fancy dispensers for common kitchen necessities like plastic wrap and parchment paper.

 

The Merc had everything. Stainless steel mixing bowls in every size imaginable, cast iron skillets like the ones Ree cooks with on her show, and so many pretty cake plates and teapots.

There was even a small clothing and jewelry section, complete with the colorful tunics Ree has made so popular, and her signature leather bracelets and turquoise-colored beads.

The perfectly organized merchandise was beautiful, but even more eye-catching was the amazing renovation of the building that had been a mercantile way back when.

This mural from the National Biscuit Company was uncovered during renovations.

Just like an old mercantile, items were tucked away in drawers.

 

Original brick, wood, and an uncovered mural highlighted the structure and the Drummonds’ attention to detail was impeccable.

There was a gorgeous gift wrapping counter in the back of the store and a darling little children’s corner with a play kitchen area to keep children entertained and lots of jars of finger puppets of historical figures.

The gift wrap was just beautiful.

I wouldn’t typically blog about stops at the ladies room, but I have to say, this one was worth noting – and yes, I took pictures.

The bathroom was beautifully designed. It included hooks to hold your bag while you wash you hands, and would you believe it, was stocked with Charmin toilet paper (don’t you just love details).

After I was finished using the restroom had taken enough pictures, I wandered up the winding staircase to the second floor.

At the top of the staircase was large room full of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. It was furnished with comfy couches and wooden tables that made it a perfect place to sip coffee and shoot the breeze.

At the far end were a coffee bar, bakery and candy shop. And down a short hallway, you could actually peek in through glass windows at the kitchen staff preparing sticky rolls, cupcakes and maple scones in mass – and I mean mass – quantities.

We decided that we’d hold off on trying the baked treats until the next day and instead browsed the store a bit more, checking in on Steve every so often and giving him bathroom breaks.

I stuck to our pre-established budget and made it out with a few gifts for our moms, an extra-long spatula, a white colander, and one of those fancy parchment paper holders.

By that time, Steve had made it to the front of the line and we were ready to taste Ree’s creations in the deli.


Coming soon: Yes, the food is as good as it looks on TV; our visit to The Lodge; and Steve’s advice for men at The Merc. 

As always, thanks for sharing (and Pinning)!

Our visit to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile

  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
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Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
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Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
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While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
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The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
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For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
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We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
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Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
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Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
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This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
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The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
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One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
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What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101
  • Who's ready for some pumpkin pie??⁣
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The thought of digging in to a piece of pumpkin pie (served with a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer) takes us back to a small town festival we love. ⁣
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A few years ago, our town of Crete, Nebraska, began holding the Great Pumpkin Festival during the first weekend of October.⁣
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From spring to fall, local volunteers tend gardens filled with pumpkin vines so that folks who come to the festival can take home a reasonably priced, locally-grown pumpkin. ⁣
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The festival is full of games, food, performances and fun. It's a wholesome day where the town turns out to celebrate another year together in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.⁣
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Does your town have a festival? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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