Last Saturday I went to a book signing for the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook by Ree Drummand. I was excited to get to meet her and get a signed copy of her cookbook. I had never been to this particular book store before and didn't know what to expect. Little did I know my book signing adventure would turn into a five hour tour.
As I walked in the door of the book store I was greeted with Ree's picture. I headed to the counter to purchase my cookbook. When you purchased your book you received a letter for a group you would be assigned to to get into line for the signing. I was in group H, which meant I would have a bit of a wait till my group would be ready to get into line. My poor husband had no idea what he was getting himself into! I decided to roam around while I waited and I discovered a whole new world in this book store.
They had several restaurants to grab a bite to eat at, tons of tables to chat and play games and below the book store there were stores to shop at.
I decided to grab a table and sit and read through my book. I happen to sit at a table with another "Pioneer Fan", which is what they called us over the load speaker and I began a conversation with the woman at the table.
Meet Staci, from Kennewick, Washington. Staci drove three and half hours, by herself, to be at this signing. Staci had arrived at the book store at 1 PM in the afternoon and the signing wasn't until 5 PM. She had gotten into group E, which wasn't much further away from my group. You are beginning to get the idea of how many people were at this signing. We began to waste away the time talking together. She was sweet, friendly and it helped to pass the time with her. It didn't matter that we had just met, but it always takes one common thread that pull people together to bond and ours happen to be Ree.
We chatted and not long after another couple arrived at our table with their cookbooks and we all began to talk. It was like the time when I was young, much much younger, when my girlfriends and me would line up in the early morning hours to score tickets for a concert, except this time round I got to sit on a chair indoors, away from the rain outside.
The table began to discuss the recipes in the book and which ones we had attempted and we were successful at. About an hour and a half later they announced they would be lining up group E and we said goodbye to Staci. My husband came to my table and sat down to do the wait with me till they called my group. We continued to talk, ate California Rolls from the Japanese restaurant and by then the "Big Band" showed up to play for the crowd. You heard me right. Every Friday and Saturday night the bookstore puts on a show with bands and the community can come and dance for free. I couldn't believe it, in one place they had books, food, stores, bands, and signings. I had wondered how the book store had arrived at their name and it wasn't until I saw the banners they had hanging up.
They were building their book store around one place, the community, in which they were located and to bring everyone together under one roof. Well, their concept made an impression and the community latched right onto it. By the time the band started to play the place was packed with people ready to dance. I sat and watched a variety of ages of this community dance to the big band sounds and enjoying themselves thoroughly. I decided to get some air and a few moments of quiet time and before I knew it it was time for my group to get into line. My husband accompanied me in line so he could take pictures of me talking to Ree while she signed my book.
Okay, here is where it gets weird! My husband always picks the perfect time to say the dumbest things to me. I am three people away from getting my book signed and he turns to me and says, "You're going to start blabbering at her aren't you?" I wasn't nervous to meet Ree, but now he had done it. He made me feel insecure about my sometimes ranting I do when I get nervous. What had started off to be be no big deal turned into an insecure tennis ball match in my head of me talking to myself, "Your gonna screw it up now. Your gonna blab and embarrass yourself and say something stupid!" Well, it worked and I did!
Ree was lovely, friendly and just as beautiful in person. If she thought anything about my crazy nonsense talk, it doesn't show in her face. I am glad I got my book signed, and got to meet Ree, even if it was on a five hour tour!
I do have to say a special thank you to my husband for hanging in there with me through a very long wait, for taking the pictures of Ree signing my book and whom I suspect has a crush on her (do see me any in any of the pictures? I'm just sayin'), and for being the same nut job I married and still love after ten years of marriage, even with his morphed idea of funny.
The best part of my five hour book tour?
All of it!
All photographs have been watermarked