Saturday, March 19, 2011

PW Book Signing: Great Falls

I'm so excited to tell you about my dream weekend! I got to see Pioneer Woman at her book signing in Great Falls, MT with my mom and sister! Before I get too excited, let's start from the beginning.

On Friday at 12:30 in the afternoon my mom and sister picked me up from my apartment and headed over for a tasty lunch at Five Guys Burgers (we needed our protein!) and then hit the road for Great Falls.

Around 3:30 we arrived in Great Falls, but we were completely lost because I was a complete air-head and forgot the GPS! That was a good one on my part....I had better things on my mind. I was going to meet PW!
So after getting help from a car dealer at Ford and a police officer, we finally arrived at our home for the night, The Collins Mansion Bed and Breakfast.
We had never stayed at a Bed and Breakfast before and were told that we should definitely go there for a fun experience. And boy am I glad we did! ;)

We stayed in a room called The Lavender Room.

And wouldn't you know, everything was "Lavender"!

And in the fashion of PW, I had to do a Hotel Room Tour!
Really comfortable beds and super cute room!

The toilet was so tiny and low to the ground that I think it was built for a toddler.
I fondly called it the "tiny toilet."

Besides the room being adorable, the entire place was absolutely beautiful!
The mansion was built in 1891, which made it really fun to stay in a gorgeous historic building.
This is the sitting room...

And dining room.
This is where we had the best breakfast and met some really great people!
We had individual Quiches, breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit.
It was delicious!

Around 5:30 we headed over to the Best Western Heritage Inn to check out the place where the book signing was occuring. Luckily we got there when we did....there were women already lining up! So we grabbed a quick dinner and jumped in line.

As we were waiting in line, all of us women were excitingly chatting about meeting Pioneer Woman and hearing her give her lecture.
It was hysterical, this one older lady in line said, "I'm not here for her, I'm here for Malboro Man!"
We all started laughing and agreed that we wished the "Silver Fox" was going to be there. But we were still super excited to see PW, even if her hunky husband wasn't present.

Finally at 6:30, the doors opened and we were allowed to be seated. I might have sprinted to the front and nudged some women aside. A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do!

We grabbed out seats and were dying of anticipation!

And we weren't alone!
There were over 500 people women here to see PW!
They even brought in extra chairs because they ran out of seating!

Could I be any more excited?!?!?!
I was about to see my blogging/cooking inspiration in the flesh!

And then 7:00 arrived , Pioneer Woman took the stage!
Women were screaming and clapping, men were wondering what the heck was going on and who the heck this woman was. Why were these women going crazy over this one woman?!?!?

Pioneer Woman's lecture/comedy show was fantastic! She claims that she isn't a good public speaker, but I have to disagree. All of us women we laughing so hard we were crying, especially when she did this...
A mock duet of "Endless Love" with the pictures of her dog Charlie.
If you read PW on a daily basis, you can appreciate this.
If you don't, then you just won't get it.
But let me tell you was funny!

Ree told us the story of how her blog started and developed.

She also showed us pictures of her family...

And pictures of her husbands butt!
I'm sure the older lady from waiting in line earlier got quite excited over this!
She might have been the one whistling in the back!

Now for the main event....The book signing!
We waited in line for about 30 minutes (because we sprinted to the front of the line) and got to meet Ree!
We gave Ree a gift from all of us Carroll women.
Actually it was for her children....
We got her boys some Moose Poop (Chocolate! Not real poop!) and her girls some Montana River Rock Chocolate!

It was a good thing my mom was there because I kinda froze up. I didn't know what to say to Ree in the entire 30 seconds we got to be with her. What was I going to say to her?!?!?
 "Hi Ree! I know everything about you, but you don't even know who I am. Oh by the way, my boyfriend loves your meatballs!"

Lucky for me, my mom had something in common with Ree, so she did the talking. I just stood there like an idiot. My mom was also a city girl from California that moved to a rural Montana to a cattle ranch and dealt with the traumatic transition of city to country life. So they had a "connection" as Ree put it. They had a fun chat and we also got our books signed.

She signed my beloved cookbook...

And her new novel "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels".
I will treasure this forever!

After the fun lecture and book signing from Ree, I got to meet Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver! You know, the girl who did the guest post making those mouth watering "Gimme S'more Cupcakes!"

I was just as excited about meeting Megan as I was about meeting Ree! We met online almost a year ago on Tasty Kitchen and have been chatting online via blog, Twitter on Facebook that entire time and didn't meet until last night. Megan is so awesome and such a sweetheart! You would have thought we had been friends since 1st grade with how much fun we had chatting and hanging out at the book signing.

If Megan weren't sweet enough, she took it to the next level and surprised me with a gift!
She got me the most adorable individual bell pepper casserole dishes!
They are so cute and I can't wait to use them!
Thanks again Megan!!!

After all of that excitement, us Carroll women headed back to the Collins Mansion (without getting lost) and had wonderful nights sleep in our super comfy beds with pretty canopies.

When my mom woke up the next morning and went downstairs to get coffee, guess who came out of the kitchen with her cup of coffee?!?!? 

REE aka Pioneer Woman!!!!

My mom squinted, rubbed her eyes and said, "Ree?!?!?!"
Ree was surprised by my mom too, "Yes?"
"Hi! I'm Shannon. The California/Montana girl. We met last night at your book signing"
"Oh yes, of course! We had a connection."

I'm sure my mom was dying at this moment and her heart was racing! Meanwhile, I'm laying in bed. Clueless.
Ree and my mom parted ways and went back to their rooms. My mom came in..."REE IS STAYING HERE AND HER ROOM IS ACROSS THE HALL!"

Pretty much my heart stopped and my sister shot out of bed like a rocket. We were so excited...we were going to have breakfast with Ree Drummond! I mean, this is a bed and breakfast, you have to have breakfast!!!

We got ready so fast and made sure to look our best for our breakfast with Ree. An hour later we headed downstairs for breakfast and sadly, Ree was heading out the door. She had to head back to the hotel where the book signing was for a special breakfast and art show auction. We told Ree good-bye and the lady picking her up from the bed and breakfast asked, "Have you met before?" and Ree looked over at my mom and said, "We had a jammie moment this morning!"

That's right everyone. Ree Drummond and Shannon Carroll had a "jammie moment" and I am totally jealous! I was actually just really excited that we got to see her again and say good bye! I was worried I would start talking about her meatballs out of nervousness. But we got to see her again and said good-bye. How great is that!?!?!?

Needless to say, I had such a fantastic 24 hours in Great Falls at the Pioneer Woman book signing. I got to see my blog/cooking inspiration and meet my very best bloggie friend Megan! Plus I slept under the same roof as Pioneer Woman! It doesn't get much better than that!
We love you Ree!
Thanks for such a memorable weekend!


  1. How fun is that?!! I am living vicariously through you, and totally jealous that you met Ree (twice!) and Megan in the same weekend. What a great weekend.


  2. Oh I am SO jealous! That had to be the most fun girls weekend ever! I'm so glad you got to experience that, and it sounds like your Mom had a great time too! How awesome that they had a connection like that!

  3. That sounded like the best weekend evah. What a great gal, huh? And your Mom sounds like a wonderful woman too!!
    Love the pictures- great post!

  4. Haley I just LOVED reading this post! What a FUN and exciting experience! I hope I get to meet her in person at one of her book signings one day..... and for you to be staying at the same B&B!! That is amazing! So happy for you.. and tell your Mom I'm SO JEALOUS!! lol : )

  5. Seriously love this post! I love that u did a hotel room tour :) and I love that you not only got to meet PW but Megan too! Seriously how fun! You two are some of the sweetest people I ever met through blogging! So glad u guys had do much fun and what a fun mother daughter get-away!

  6. I"m so glad that you like the bell peppers! haha I saw them, and they just screamed "Haley" so I had to get them :)

    It was such a blast finally officially meeting you, totally buddies for life - Love it!

  7. What a great weekend you had! I'm so jealous that you got to meet Ree twice!

  8. Reading this made me thinking about the time I met Ree too!!!!! So much fun!!!! We met at the Dallas book signing about a month ago… the memories will last forever :) We also got to meet her 4 punks and MM… they are adorable!!! Anyways, here's my blog post about it!

  9. Congrats again on being featured on TK this week! Very cool. =)
    And your weekend is awesome!! I can't believe the PW was staying at the same B&B you guys were at. Wild stuff! I still can't believe I got to meet her and stay at the Lodge last December. It seems like a dream.

  10. LOVE THISSS!!!! I get to live vicariously through you!!!!! congrats, and great story telling. i feel like we could be friends :)

  11. You totally crack me up. I was literally lol and got caught. I had to explain and just like your blog post, how can it possibly be explained? Keep up the great posts!

  12. OH MY GOSH! oh my gosh! That would be a bit of a dream come true for me too! How fun, how exciting! I'm so glad I found your blog through Tasty Kitchen! I love your recipes AND your writing!


  13. That is soooooo cool! I am totally kicking myself for not going to see her when she was in Denver!

  14. So jealous! I really enjoyed this post, living vicariously through you ;)


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