Last Friday, one of my best girls and I shrugged off all our responsibilities — you know, like seven kids between the two of us and a million job responsibilities and without a doubt, a ridiculous amount of unfolded laundry we should’ve been attending to — and headed to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for a much needed Girl’s Trip to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile. Yes, it was worth the drive and no, it wasn’t just because of that chocolate cake. OK, the chocolate cake didn’t hurt, nor did the chicken fried steak. Oh my heavens I’m still dreaming about that gravy. Maybe I gained a solid 3 to 5 pounds from my trip to the Mercantile but you guys, it’s P-Dub. She’s worth it right?
First things first—I’m in love with Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It’s small town Oklahoma perfection in my opinion. I made the drive to Pawhuska this past summer for the Osage Tribal dance and I was seriously blown away by how beautiful the drive was—rolling hills, open prairies as far as the eye can see, rivers and streams, and of course plenty of amazing old farmhouses I was eyeing and dreaming about rehabbing. Interestingly enough, a huge part of my book is set in this part of Oklahoma – Osage County. I can’t give away more than that but driving to Pawhuska—let’s just say it’s surreal because it’s as though I’m actually in my book. My girlfriend happens to be one of my beta readers so we were cracking up the entire drive like, OMG that house looks exactly like the house you wrote about and wow this is freaky but cool. So needless to say, Osage County, Pawhuska, and now the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, all have my heart.
Let’s go ahead and get real for a minute about the fact that Oklahoma isn’t going to win any awards for the most gorgeous of the 50 states. I get it—we have no beaches, no mountains, no National parks like Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain, but trust me on this one, there is unparalleled beauty to be found in my home state—in the land but even more so, in the people who live here.
While we were at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile we met people from as far away as Wisconsin and I just couldn’t help but think to myself – This is so cool. People from all over the US are driving to Oklahoma to see this. And to be honest, I’m just so thankful to the Pioneer Woman for giving people a reason to come to Oklahoma and see that we are good people—the kind of people who would give you the shirt off our back and are always there to help a neighbor or a friend in need; that our state is, in fact, beautiful, and that maybe, just maybe, if you are willing to look, there is beauty to be found everywhere; even in Oklahoma—definitely in Oklahoma actually. Hats off to you P-Dub even though you will never probably read this. We are oh so grateful to you for all you do for the state of Oklahoma. Oh and if by some miracle you do read this, I’m super embarrassed about the framed longhorn print I gave you and wish I had a take back. I mean, why in the world would you of all people need a longhorn print from me? What’s that saying? Oh yes — “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will end up among the stars.” I guess I got a little too carried away and was convinced if I took you one of my prints from the print shop, you would see the need to have one in your Mercantile. That was, until, I saw all your gorgeous cattle photography spanning the walls of the store and felt like a total dummy (insert that little emoticon with the monkey covering his face right here). Oh well, you can’t blame a girl for trying can you?
Well, I do believe that’s enough chit chat and it’s time to let the pictures do the talking. How absolutely perfect is this little town of Pawhuska? Oh and I need to pause and say that in typical CC fashion I made it to Pawhuska with my camera bag full of all my amazing lenses, but no camera. Sigh. What can I say? I’m never going to be a details person. So, this post was brought to you by my good old iPhone rather than my professional camera and lenses.
Oh yes and one last thing, P-Dub can we pretty please be friends?
Shop my favorite Pioneer Woman Mercantile goodies here — those tea kettles, dishes, and cake stands tho — and if you don’t have her cookbooks yet, what in the world are you waiting for? They are life changing.
Crystal Chandelier – Get the Look
Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip was my best girl getting to two step with Papa (The Pioneer Woman’s father in law). Thanks for cuttin’ a rug with us Papa! It was a close race between dancing with Papa and the chocolate cake but Papa, you won. I hope every single time I go to the Mercantile, I get to dance with Papa and have chocolate cake.
The food, oh the food. Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but that chicken fried steak was the stuff dreams are made of. We also enjoyed the spinach artichoke dip and chicken parmesan. But my oh my what I literally can’t stop thinking about is that chocolate cake in the little mini cast iron skillet with the ice cream, and I got a mocha from the coffee shop to go along. I seriously might make Mike Miller drive me up there just to get some more of that dadgum cake. It’s that delicious you guys. I would drive an hour for it without even thinking twice.
In case you didn’t already get the gist, I highly recommend a day trip to Pawhuska, and if you’re coming from out of town, I recommend you stay the night in Tulsa of course. My favorite hotels are The Mayo and The Ambassador. For dinner in Tulsa, check out CC and Mike’s favorite restaurants: Red Rock (get the buffalo shrimp and dip duo appetizer and any of their steaks), Yokozuna and In the Raw (Sushi), Doc’s (get the Prime Rib Burger and/or shrimp and grits and thank me later). For night life – check out Roosevelt’s and/or the Dust Bowl; For brunch the next day check out Wild Fork (get the breakfast burrito with cheese grits or absolutely anything on their menu). Head on over to Jenks, Oklahoma the next day and get in some antiquing at River City Trading Post, my fave place ever to go thrifting. You can also walk up and down Main Street and hop in any of the shops – Miss McGillicuty’s is another good one.
Enjoy. You guys, OKLAHOMA IS OK! 🙂 Actually it’s more than OK. Why don’t you come see for yourself?