Now it’s time to go to the lodge!
At the store, you can ask any employee and they will give you a piece of paper with typed instructions on how to get there.
It takes about 30 minutes door to door. After about 15 minutes, you drive down a looooooooooooooong gravel road for another 10 minutes. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll see wild horses in the fields on the right. It was early morning when we went so we could only see their outlines in the sunlight.
Finally, you arrive at the lodge! On the show, it seems as if they arrive at the lodge from a long gravel road, but in reality, it’s a winding road to enter the lodge’s parking lot. Once we parked the car, we had to catch our breath and take a few moments to appreciate the view :
Once we approached the lodge, we were greeted by Walter which was very exciting. One of the golden labs was also there, but I’m not sure if it was Duke or Lucy. We walked up to the patio and took another few minutes to let the view fully sink in. There were a few other people there, but they were all inside by this point.
When we walked in, I was overcome by emotions. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that to happen, but it was an amazing feeling. To stand in one of your culinary idol’s kitchen, a place that you’ve seen on television so many times. I was there!
Her kitchen looks just as dreamy in person as it does on television. We were free to walk around and explore the living room, the bar area and the dining room. We were also allowed to visit the guest rooms (all four of them) each equipped with their own bathrooms and patio doors that look out onto the farm. Past the guest bedrooms, there is a prep kitchen and a room filled with props. I could live in that room!
Now the best room in the lodge, the one I’d been dying to see, was the pantry. When she walks into it on the show, my knees get weak. Shelf upon shelf of canned goods and baking supplies, plus a few Kitchen-Aid mixers and, my favourite feature, the rolling ladder. I had jokingly told my friends before leaving on the trip that my life would be complete if I could roll on the ladder and I’m glad to say I did. I may have teared up at this point too 😉
We took our time visiting the inside of the lodge and sat in the living room for a bit just to let it all soak in. All of a sudden, my husband noted that we were the only ones in the house so we took the opportunity and snagged a few last pictures of the empty kitchen.
Before we left, we sat on the patio one last time to “ground” ourselves and enjoy the view until we were both getting too warm from the sun. A few last moments on the rocking chairs and we were off to the Mercantile again for lunch and shopping.
We were quiet on the way back, knowing we’d just visited a very special place. Not only was it cool to see a place you’ve been on television so many times, but that ranch is definitely a very special place.
When we got back to town, there was already a line-up for lunch at the restaurant. We entered the queue and waited about an hour which wasn’t too bad. Once inside, it was hard to decide what to eat, but I settled on Pioneer Woman’s lazagna and my husband had the Marlboro Man sandwich. We each ordered a sweet tea which came in large Mason jars and we didn’t skimp on desserts either : prune cake for me and the chocolate sheet cake for my husband.
Bellies full, it was time to shop! The store was a little busier at that point, but it was still manageable. We filled our baskets with treats and souvenirs, being mindful not to buy anything we wouldn’t use : a cookie scoop, a spatula, a few pieces of jewelry, a notebook and a tee-shirt…and dark roast coffee for my parents.
All in all, I don’t regret one minute of it and I would love to go back. We took our time on the drive home too, stopping here and there to visit interesting locals including Santa Claus, Indiana and a little shopping in Wrentham, Massachusetts. We even prolonged the trip by one day so that my husband could celebrate his birthday at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, Maine after having some Cheesecake Factory the previous evening in Providence, Rhode Island (just to cross off another state = 15 states visited in total!)
When we first started planning this trip, it felt a little crazy, but people kept saying that they envied us. Now that we’ve come and gone, I’m so glad that we did! My husband has even said that it is the most relaxing vacation he’s ever been on. I mean, we sat in a car for the better part of eleven days listening to music and chit chatting. I would love to go back to Oklahoma – the people were so nice! – but next time, I might fly lol!
In the meantime, don’t wait to pursue your dreams, no matter how crazy they may be. If you want to go somewhere that is special to you, go! Follow your heart…and your gut! You never know what experiences await you!
Have you ever done a crazy roadtrip? Anywhere in particular you’d love to visit?