I returned home last night after a fun filled "weekend" at the McVey Ranch. It was packed full of laughter, fun, food and memories. So many wonderful memories that I will look back on fondly for many years to come. It is a given that Dawn thoroughly planned the weekend with fun activities and good eats, but one of the most special aspects was getting to spend the time with her. She is just the sweetest friend a girl could have. So thoughtful. So kind. So fun. Any time spent with her is like a new spring day, it fills your heart with joy and happiness and everything seems new through her eyes. She looks at life through rose-colored glasses and this weekend she let me try them on.
And they were a perfect fit.
Dawn & Bart were both the perfect hosts. When I arrived they had a warm, inviting guest room all prepared for me, complete with a cozy vintage quilt upon the bed to keep me warm at night. Also on that bed was a bag of goodies Dawn had put together for me, which included a new book, Dean & Deluca chocolates and tea along with a special Nell Hill's ornament as a prelude to future outings of the weekend. All in the name of pampering me. This girl thinks of everything!
As I said in my FIRST POST about this amazing weekend, one of the motives for heading to Kansas City was that Pioneer Woman would be in town herself for her book tour. We actually got to see her twice. Once in the morning for a book signing and again in the evening for a question & answer session.
This intimate event was fascinating and shed much light on Ree's sense of humor. Laughter erupted at several points throughout the large crowd. I was especially interested in how she described the viewpoints she had on "doing it all" and "finding balance". Totally things I could take away and use in my own day-to-day life.
We had to wait quite a while at the evening session to make our way up to see her again, but it was so worth it. She's so genuine and down-to-earth; she speaks to you as though she's know you her whole life. I couldn't have possibly left any happier or more content that night.
"Marlboro Man" had his own legion of fans that lined up for his autograph. He took it in stride and tried to be as accommodating as he could to all his adoring fans!
Ree's youngest boys were in attendance and provided entertainment for all. Who knew the UFC was in town the same day?
Here's Dawn & I with P-dub herself. *sigh* such a wonderful evening with fabulous company!
Any guest of the McVey's is definitely well fed. They took me to several of their favorite local eateries while I was in town. What an amazing, diverse culinary experience I had while there.
There was lunch at Andre's...
and Oklahoma Joe's. Dinner at their favorite Mexican watering hole, seafood at McCormick & Schmick's and of course, Kansas City steak at Hereford House. As Pam and I discussed (insert me waving to Pam! Hi, Pam!), and you can see from the photos, I went to bed hungry EVERY night! (said in my best sarcastic voice!).
Dawn, Bart & I headed to two different Nell Hill's stores while I was there. There aren't any in my neck of the woods, so this was an extra special treat. Especially since Dawn goes on and on about the inspiration to be had there! Both stores literally took my breath away as soon as I walked in the doors.
So many stunning color combinations, eye candy filling every nook and cranny. Personality & style emitting from every piece, as though it has a history and it's own story. Just amazing. I could have easily wandered around inside all day.
I think Dawn & Bart thought that it was pretty entertaining to see my reaction to Nell Hill's. I truly loved getting to experience it first hand, guided by my very dear friend, Dawn. I don't think it can get much better than that.
The last night I was there, Dawn and I decided that a bit of stamping was in order. After all, stamping is what brought us together when we first met, so it only seemed natural that we get a little inky during our reunion.
Before we began though, we thought a tribute to Mish was in order. Mish is ALWAYS trying to get us to do Senior Portraits when we get together. ALWAYS! In honor of Mishie, we had Bart take some shots that were truly worthy of the official "Pioneer Weekend Yearbook". Here's Dawn and her cute cheerleader pose! Rah rah rah!
And little 'ol me. I thought Dawn's glasses would be the perfect accessory to make me look more "studious". Do you think I pulled it off?
We stamped until nearly 1am, but it was totally worth the loss of sleep. (Sleep its overrated anyway, isn't it?!?!) I even helped Dawn get ready for her next color inspiration challenge, so you'll have to watch her blog for our projects!
I neglected to mention earlier that P-dub was kind enough to give everyone at the evening book signing a FREE Pioneer Woman Book Tour t-shirt! So thoughtful, so generous, SO fabulous!
We had Bart take a photo of us together in our new digs. Aren't they ca-ute! I love the pattern, the colors and the fact that it is a memory I can wear. Souvenirs are the best, especially when they're free!
So, how many of you have purchased your own copy of THE new cookbook? (coincidentally it has already reached #1 on the NY Times Best Seller list!) Did you happen to notice the last page? Dawn and I thought that this was so fitting for Ree's personality and just hysterical!
And we thought we would leave you with our own version as a parting shot. *wink*
Before I sign off, I just had to gush for a moment about David. Not only did he become the lone caretaker for all three kids, but he cleaned our entire *release neglected* house from top to bottom while I was away. He has always been so supportive of me, knowing when I needed to have some space and getaway. I owe this wonderful weekend away to him and his willingness to "take it all on". Thank you from the bottom of my heart, David. Love ya.