Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How I tried to trip the Pioneer Woman with a stroller.

My sister had the great idea to go to PW's book signing in Portland yesterday. My sis, me, and PW have a bit of history if you remember the great cookbook debacle at Christmastime: click here. Suffice to say, I have a PW cookbook from my friend Laura, signed in Nashville, and my sister has a plain old unsigned copy I bought on Amazon.

My mom stayed in town an extra 2 days so she could kindly watch our 4 children and we could go up to the big city to see Ree. Andrea wanted her cookbook signed and well, I just wanted to see Ree in person. And get my cookbook signed again. 

(This super fun event was the highlight of Remi's year for sure)

We expected this signing to be as popular as all the others around the country and so we arrived at Powell's at 4pm for the 6pm start time. We stood in a long, meandering line to get tickets and were 121 and 122 for the book signing. Ree planned on talking to the group, so we really wanted seats. The store opened seating in another part of the store and we rushed over to get seats for the next hour and a half of waiting.

It was really fun chatting with all the people around us, all PW fans, cookbook lovers, and many photography lovers as well. I don't think I've ever seen so many digital SLRs in one place. There were seats for about 200 and at least that many standing here there and everywhere while we waited for Ree to arrive.

Rem started to get fussy -- even Mr. Come-What-May doesn't do well with no naps, hungry, strapped in a stroller, and too many people. I tried nursing him and he would have none of it. How embarrassing mom! I also tried a bottle, applesauce, and rice crackers. Nothing would do and I finally got him rocked to sleep at 6:00pm on the nose. The MC announced that Ree was running late, so I continued to sooth the baby into what I hoped was a deep, contented sleep while we waited. Then Ree came sneaking in the back and nearly tripped on MY STROLLER, 2 feet from where my sister and I sat. The crowd gasped, cheered, and applauded and that was the end of Rem's nap. Thankfully he didn't cry after that and we sat back to enjoy Ree's question/answer time.

She's funny, refreshingly real, taller than I imagined, genuinely humble, and even flustered by the crowd. I was nervous for her! She talked for about 15 or 20 minutes and then the book signing began with numbers being called like airline seating assignments. Now signing numbers 20-30 and so on. It took until almost 8:00pm for my sister's and my numbers to be called. As we sat, Ree's oldest daughter and mother-in-law walked around Powell's shopping and talking. Crazy!

I was so excited and jittery to finally meet Ree. It wasn't like I was seeing the Pope or something, but Ree is now quite famous with millions checking out her blog every day. I was so nervous, I handed her my cookbook upside down with the post-it-note of what I wanted her to write positioned right on a picture of her husband's wrangler clad behind. She said, "Well, that's a good page..." giggled and then turned the book over to write, "Hi again Alysun, Ree/PW (April 2010)."

(I'm especially proud that my shoulders look as wide as an offensive linesman and that I had the worst hair day on record).

Ree looked up and saw the baby and appropriately oohed and awed saying he was just the most darling boy she'd ever seen (truly). She asked his name and then, get this, she picked up her smashingly beautiful camera and took a picture of us. US. ME AND REMINGTON! And you know I've already checked her blog 46 times since last night to see if she publishes anything about last night's event and a certain super cute baby named Remington and maybe his mother who has shoulders like an offensive linesman.

(I'm pretty sure that is a Nikon D2X on the table beside her)

My sister got in on the action and we chatted with Ree for about 42 seconds like we were old friends. She sure is a friendly one. While we were there, a lady came in and interrupted, giving Ree 2 cups of Dutch Brother's coffee -- one decaf and one regular -- saying this was a NW staple that Ree just HAD to try. It was funny because those 2 beverages joined at least 8 other drinks obviously brought by adoring fans. There would be a lot of pressure being famous, but at least you would be well hydrated.

Well, that sums up the afternoon/evening with PW. Andrea and I ate a quick dinner at Pastini's and then headed back to her place where I drug the girls from the slumber party and back home to reality. Thanks mom for watching the big kids. Thank Andee for having the great idea to go on this outing. This morning the girls are playing loudly in their room, making an atrocious mess and I'm blogging in my bathrobe. Just another day in Paradise for the un-famous.



Carissa said...

Ummm, maybe I am out of the loop but who is Ree? What blog and what cookbook. Sounds fun!


Leah said...

How fun! I hope you get on her blog. I'll keep an eye out, but I'm sure you'll notice first. :)

Annie said...

Awesome! I'll be looking for you and Remi on the blog.

Our Family Blog said...

Ohhhh jealous!!! how cool! great post.

Sherri said...

I feel blessed that I got to do the Grandma thing on the spur of the moment! with the 4 of them together there is never a dull moment! I left Andrea's at 6:15 this morning and was on the job by 9AM so actually only missed 1 day of work:)

Kellie said...

How totally awesome that you got to meet Ree! I absolutely love her blog :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous you got to meet Ree!