When my new job and I settled on a start date, I realized I had a little over two weeks of freedom -- all kinds of empty calendar squares just staring at me. At the same time, my oldest, Jordan, had recently GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE, and also had some flexibility in her schedule. We found a cheap flight (she only brought a backpack), booked it, and then I set about planning how we would spend our precious, non-working, rarely-together time. I searched for plays, cooking classes, grand adventures -- and kept coming up with nothing. Then it dawned on me -- the perfect idea -- THE PIONEER WOMAN MERCANTILE.
Jordan loves the Pioneer Woman.
I love the Pioneer Woman.
And a quick Apple Maps search told me Pawhuska, Oklahoma was a mere 8 hours and 31 minutes away. For Pioneer Women devotees such as ourselves? That's a hop, skip and a jump.
It ended up being a fabulous road trip. For those interested, here's the itinerary:
Monday, 6:30 AM: Leave Cypress
9:30 AM: Arrive at the Magnolia Silos in Waco
9:35 AM: Taste-test cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery
9:50 AM: Roam the fine, decorative offerings of Chip and Jojo.
10:30 AM: Back in the car
12:00 PM: Shake Shack in Dallas (because the trip is 98% about food)
12:45 PM: Back in the car. Here's where the situation became a little sticky. We were determined to get dinner at the Merc. But the Merc closes at 7, and we were uncertain if there would be a line to contend with. Plus, we somehow ended up on a trajectory out of Dallas that drove us through EVERY SMALL TOWN between Dallas and Pawhuska (don't take that path!). The small towns were lovely, but we had a deadline!
5:45 PM We screeched into a parking place near the Merc, sprinted into the building, and were greeted with PLENTY OF OPEN TABLES. #blessed
6:30 PM Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes + fried pork chops with potatoes (potatoes are our spirit animal)
7:15 PM Creme Brulee + Tres Leches
7:40 Stagger out the door to our Airbnb. We stayed at an ADORABLE Airbnb in an old building across the street from the Merc. We watched Parenthood, played with our digital cross stitch app, and stayed up way too late.
Tuesday, 9 AM: Breakfast at the Merc, We ordered the breakfast sandwiches, and I felt the earth shift a bit under my chair as I ate. They were incredibly good and incredibly filling. We didn't eat again until dinner around 5:30 pm. I'm including below a quick video I took for Instagram Stories AND a pic of my breakfast, which seriously changed my life (and my pant size).
10:00 AM: Head upstairs to check out the bakery. It's beautiful and the pastries and desserts looked divine. We were so stuffed that we could barely think about food, but we mustered up the presence of mind to buy some Bourbon Pecan Sticky Buns to bring home to the men.
10:15 AM: Shopped the Merc. Jordan bought some beautiful ramekins for Creme Brulee -- the same ones Ree uses in her restaurant. So, basically, Jordan's life is complete.
11:00 AM: Check out of the Airbnb and start the trek home.
8:00 PM: Arrive home dead set on NEVER EATING AGAIN.
Wednesday, 7:00 AM: Sticky Buns!!
If you read this far down, you are a true friend. The trip was fun and fattening, but mostly it was about spending time with my girl. I can't underscore enough how good it is to travel with your kids, especially one-on-one. It's fairly unusual to get days of uninterrupted conversation with your adult child -- so this was a boon to be sure.
P.S. -- A quick look at the upstairs bakery. It blew my mind.