Our road trip was long - we made a brief stop in Branson, Missouri on the way there - and we arrived to our hotel in Bartlesville, Oklahoma late in the afternoon. We got the lay of the land of Bartlesville - famous for two things: it' s world headquarters of Phillips Petroleum and it's home to the only skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Ever. Price Tower is 19 stories high and was built in 1956. Now a hotel - the Price Tower - you can also tour the building 5 days per week for $15 per person. Unfortunately, I wasn't there at the right time so I was only able to see the exterior. And with that we headed to our hotel to get at it early the next day.
People come from far and wide to visit The Merc so we knew we would encounter long lines. We arrived around 10 in the morning and jumped into line for lunch at the restaurant. There was an awning to provide shade for those in line and employees came out delivering water and popsicles for those waiting. We mingled with several people in line - some from Oklahoma, some from Kansas - who were all happy to be visiting The Merc. One woman was celebrating her 40th birthday there. Some had driven quite a ways like us - one had driven from Canada! If you don't want to wait, you can get in the "food-to-go" line or grab something from the bakery. In all, our wait was about 2 hours - which is crazy! - and we were finally ushered inside for lunch. The Merc is housed in a building from the turn of the century and it has been tastefully redone while still retaining it's charm. The theme is western country - Ree is known for her collection of cowboy boots - and the wait staff wear gingham shirts and jeans. My mom ordered her famous Pioneer Woman lasagna, my sister went with a club sandwich with homemade chips and I got the homemade mac-n-cheese (saving room for pecan pie for dessert) All were deemed delicious. We then strolled around the store - I didn't buy anything - and headed upstairs to the bakery and sitting area. We were told that Ree would be there in the afternoon to sign some of her cookbooks and mingle. But we were quite disappointed to find out later that she was at home filming that week. I think some member of the Drummond family can be seen at The Merc a good percentage of the time, though, if you'd like to meet some of them.
There isn't a lot to do in Pawhuska other than the Merc. There is an Osage Nation Museum and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve which we weren't able to visit - the former was closed and the latter looked to be a bit too much time in the car for us. We did walk around Pawhuska and window shop a bit. Oh, and there's a small casino run by the Osage Nation - but we didn't partake of that either.
It was a full day - and I enjoyed it very much. Would I stand in line two hours for lunch again? I don't think so. Nor would I drive the million hours to visit again. Once was enough I think. But I've heard that the Drummond family is renovating a building across the street to become a hotel so who knows? Maybe we'll have to visit. Never say Never!
Can you spot the bird building it's nest?!
How about you? Have you ever been on a long road trip - only to stay for a short while?
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This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox and The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!