Watermark Books was providing a presentation by Ree and then a book signing.
Thank goodness for Facebook because my friend Meghan posted an update about picking up her tickets for the event. Tickets? We didn't know anything about tickets.
The next day, I called the store and purchased our cookbooks and requested our tickets. Whew! We knew that the first 500 were going to be allowed into the venue and we had no idea of our ticket number until we arrived in Wichita.
The store called twice to remind us to pick up our books and tickets because they anticipated a huge crowd. I left work at 1 p.m. on Thursday and picked up mom and we were off! Our goal - make it to the bookstore before 4 p.m. when they planned to move the books to the venue and then it was anyone's guess about how long we might have to wait to pick them up.
We arrived at 3:30 p.m. because we drove with purpose. And, our ticket numbers were....in the 600's! A very kind woman at the bookstore told us not to worry because they had more seats then they initially thought and we should get into the event. Whew!
With books and tickets in hand, we thought it best to grab something to eat before the event. I grabbed the GPS and searched for local restaurants. Several usual favorites were close to the bookstore, but we were craving something more local. The Bella Luna Cafe sounded interesting and it was really close. Off we went.
We pulled into the parking lot and immediately was disappointed - it looked closed. We went ahead and pulled into a stall and took a closer look. We decided to give the door a try and it was open! As we stepped inside, my mom gasps and whispers, "She's here!" She is Ree Drummond!
No kidding, it was her! She was seated at a table with Cowboy Josh and two women. Mom and I sat down at a booth a little ways away from her table and proceeded to both freak out as casually as we could and enjoy a great meal.
After we had finished our five cheese pasta and split a great dessert, we got brave. Ree and her group was leaving at about the same time we were ready to leave. I thought I should just do what I would do if I was at work - step up, extend my hand and introduce myself. Besides, she seems so kind and gracious through her blog and television appearances. What was there to lose?
She was indeed very kind and gracious as a couple of bumbling women fawned all over her. Mom and I said hello and wished her well at the presentation. She was very, very sweet.
When we left, we took this awkward, stalker photo from our car - proof we met her in the most amazing and unexpected way. What a coincidence!
Our next stop was The Forum Theatre, along with hundreds of other women (and a few men.)
We ran into my friend Meghan and she helped us with a picture.
After a lot of maneuvering to accommodate everyone wanting a seat in the theatre, Ree took the stage. Her presentation was delightful - charming, unassuming, and full of great images.
After the presentation, Ree signed thousands of books. She didn't have a limit on the number she would sign. What a trooper! Remember, we had numbers 626 and 627...they were calling people in groups of 25 people. We were going to be there for some time.
Then, the most amazing thing happened - a lady leaned over and asked about our numbers. She handed us ticket numbers 147 and 152. We were so thankful for her kindness!
And, the big moment. We got to visit with Ree again and have our cookbooks signed.
What a great way to begin celebrating my mom's birthday and to have some mom and daughter time.