[well]This post is about our visit to the Drummond family lodge where The Pioneer Woman shows are filmed. If you’d like to read about our tour of the Pioneer Woman Boarding House, click HERE.[/well]
The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and her husband, Ladd, have been opening up the lodge on their Oklahoma ranch to visitors. We were surprised that we were visiting The Mercantile in Pawhuska on a day the lodge happened to be open. And we were even more surprised with some of the things we found when we got there.
#1 – Free admission
With the popularity of everything Pioneer Woman, the Drummonds could charge an arm and a leg for people to tour their lodge. But they don’t. In fact, so far they haven’t been charging anything. That’s right, they are allowing visitors to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile the opportunity to visit their family’s lodge at no cost. All you have to do is stop by the Mercantile on select days and pick up a sheet of paper with the directions and you’re good to go.
You just show your sheet of paper to the nice folks at the front door and walk on in. Once inside, you’re allowed to roam through the kitchen where Ree’s popular Food Network show is filmed, stopping at the stove for an obligitory photo with a wooden spoon or a colorful pot.
#2 – You don’t need a GPS to find the ranch
One of things we loved most about our visit to the Drummond lodge were the directions to get there. There’s no physical address to key into your car’s GPS. No, Ree and Ladd found an even better (not to mention more entertaining) way to lead visitors to their lodge.
They wrote out detailed instructions on how to get to the lodge from the edge of Pawhuska starting with “the former ALCO store on the right is a good marker.” They also mention in the details “that bathrooms are available at the lodge if you need them (we have indoor plumbing! HaHa!).”
We found the directions easy to follow despite their warning that, “one road sign was knocked over by a cow not long ago, so we’re not sure the sign will be there.” It wasn’t. We appreciated their advice to go slowly on the winding hills and look for markers such as curves in the road and cattle guards. We found the lodge with no trouble at all and at the family’s request, kept the exact directions to ourselves.
PIN FOR LATER
#3 – The pantry includes generic spices, Ramen noodles, and canned frosting
On our self-guided tour, we had a chance to peek into the pantry full of all kinds of foods and beautiful cookware.
My eyes were immediately drawn to all of the colorful serving dishes and pots and pans, but I also noticed something so surprising. Generic labeled spices (and some other ingredients) just like we use.
We also spotted Ramen noodles and canned frosting! Ree Drummond has cookbooks full of delectable recipes she prepares for her family. Pork carnitas, shrimp stir-fry, and the best tomato soup ever. Her seemingly endless list of dinner ideas has amazed me for years and I guess I just imagined her family always having a home-cooked meal at the ready. Turns out, they may resort to Ramen every once in awhile just like us. And, they may even use canned frosting.
I was thrilled to see these items in the Drummond pantry and came to the realization that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have something like a perfect pot roast on the table every night. Here’s a video tour of the pantry in its entirety.
#4 -You get to see Ree’s dressing room
We’ve been on a lot of “back-stage” and “behind-the-scenes” tours in all our travels, but I must say, this is the one that was the most real.
On our self-guided tour of the ranch, we were not only invited, but encouraged, to step into all of the rooms at the lodge and check out where guests stay, including the suite Ree uses as a dressing room for her Food Network show. It was fun to see the rack of her signature tunics, complete with pictures from the shows in which they were worn. The coats she is seen pulling on to deliver a meal to the guys on the ranch were hanging in the closet, and there was even an extra pair of cowboy boots under the dressing table.
Her Fit Bit, turquoise bracelet, and her Urban Decay makeup were all left on the dressing table showing us how down-to-earth she really is.
#5 – The lodge was lived in
One of things I loved most about the lodge was that it was lived in.
It wasn’t a huge show house with high-end decor and pristine floors. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely gorgeous. But the beds were made, not made up with dozens of perfectly placed linens and European shams. In addition, minor scuffs on the walls served as evidence that children had really played there and we loved that they stuffed things in the closets when people were coming to visit just like we do back home.
#6 – They let you play kitchen
Not only was the dream kitchen at the lodge not off limits, they actually invited visitors to be in it! That’s right. There were pots and pans on the stove and mixing bowls and spatulas to play with. And never in my life could I have imagined watching grown women (and a few men) stand in line to stir imaginary cake batter in a kitchen that wasn’t theirs. It was so much fun!
I volunteered more than once to take people’s pictures in the kitchen and encouraged them to ham it up (which they all secretly wanted to do). Steve, Meghan, and I posed for our pics as well, and it is so much fun to remember ourselves in the kitchen when we watch The Pioneer Woman on TV now.
# 7 – The view is even better than on TV
Sometimes things look so much better on television than in real life. Not the ranch. The view from the deck at the lodge was even better than it appears on TV. The rolling green pastures on this Oklahoma ranch were just breathtaking and we took the time to enjoy the view and take it all in.
We can’t thank the Drummonds enough for opening their lodge to visitors like us and sharing so much of their lives with complete strangers. Not every best-selling author and TV celebrity would do that. But then again, Ree Drummond is not your every day celebrity. She really is a wife, mom, food writer, and photographer. And she really does welcome real people to her frontier.
Have you been to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile or the Drummonds’ lodge? What did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.