Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Old Friends

If you're looking for the Hodgepodge Questions you'll find them here

Will I ever catch up here?  I feel like my blog is just out of reach and if I had about three days to do nothing I'd catch up. Course there are not three days of nothing on my calendar anytime soon so I will have to settle for blog a little, live a lot.

So this was the weekend the strangers came to stay.  They didn't feel like strangers, in fact they felt like old friends, which in a sense I guess they were. When I started my blog back in 2009 I didn't have a clue, and for me blogging has definitely been a learn as you go proposition.  The first real blog I ever read and followed was Beth Moore's Living Proof.  Somehow through a comment I left there I got connected to a fellow blogger who I'll just call Friend1.

Separately she and I each connected with another blogger who I'll call Friend2.  We're all moms to young adult children, and we've spent these past four years emailing one another, communicating via facebook, and sending little gifts now and then through the US Mail.  We always talked about meeting in person, and this year made plans to do just that.  It was time.

Last Thursday Friend1 boarded a plane in Oklahoma, and Friend2 boarded a plane in North Carolina, and by lunchtime we were face to face in the Newark airport.  I teased them I was going to have a sign like the limo drivers carry saying-"Strangers I met on the Internet", but instead I wore my orange coat so I'd be easy to find.

We commenced gabbing like we'd known each other for years, and were still gabbing when we returned to Newark to say goodbye on Sunday night. It seemed like everywhere we went someone asked where they were from, and Friend1 would say Oklahoma and Friend2 would say North Carolina, and I'd have to resist adding, 'And we met on the Internet'.

Not everybody gets it.

Truth be told, if my girls told me they were doing something similar I'd have heart palpitations and probably try my best to talk them out of it.

We packed a lot into a little over the course of four days. We spent two days here at home in the lovely NJ countryside, then trekked into the city for a two day stay in The Big Apple. The sun shone in spite of the weather forecast and we really couldn't have asked for nicer temperatures. Y'all know the weather matters, right?

On Friday I drove them over hill and dale, to see the highest point in NJ.  They took 10,000 pictures (that might not be an overstatement), and then we went to a nearby little town for lunch and shopping.

Hubs was a sport, and grilled out for us Thursday and Friday night both.  He also washed dishes, made a fire in the backyard firepit, and drove us in and out of the city so yay hubs!  

Friend2 had arranged through one of her hometown friends for us to have a tour of The Plaza Hotel.  I've been in The Plaza many times, but this was the first time I got a peek inside their $40,000/night suite.  Yowza!

We thoroughly enjoyed meandering through the Todd English Food Hall in the lower level and we indulged in the most amazing cake because you just do when you're in the city on a gorgeous fall weekend.   

We also got to wander through the Plaza's Eloise shop made famous by the children's book of the same name.  It is the absolute sweetest, pinkest, girliest little spot on the planet, and I need to bring my own daughters here to see it for themselves.  Yes they're in their 20's, but you're never too old to appreciate the stories of your childhood brought to life.  

We logged some miles around Central Park, had a fantastico! Italian dinner at Bucca di Beppo, then swam through a sea of people in Times Square to get to our seats for The Lion King. I'd seen the show in London about 9 years ago, and it is still so awesome.

On Sunday we made our way to Rockefeller Plaza, and then all the way to The Top of the Rock for just a few more pictures. Ha! If my friends are reading here I know they're smiling.

The elevator takes you to the 67th floor in 43 seconds, and there are escalators taking you up another couple of floors to the various viewing platforms.  It was a little hazy, but you still get some pretty incredible views of the city from up here.

That's Lady Liberty out in the harbor, and in the photo below you can see Central Park.

I actually prefer Top of the Rock to the Empire State Building so if you're visiting NYC, check it out.

We wrapped up the afternoon with a lovely lunch eaten outdoors at Del Frisco's Grille, right in Rockefeller Plaza.

I'm pretty sure not everybody is who they say they are on the Internet, but these girls were exactly the people I imagined them to be, the people they were in their notes and cards and emails and facebook posts and pictures.  It felt a little bit like having long time pen pals come to stay.

We met some nice people on Top of the Rock, and asked them to take our picture.  There are still nice people everywhere you go in this world, but in the era of 24/7 bad news we sometimes forget that.

Online connections are great...

Real life is better.


  1. this just sounds like such an amazing time! and I know just how you feel. My internet friends are as real as they get! Glad you got to be with some of yours!

  2. How fun for you all - I want to go back to NYC!

  3. What a wonderful experience for all three of you! I have been blessed over the years to meet 14 of my blogging friends, and they are all genuine and just like they are on line. I created a page with the photos, if you are on my site - check it out! Meeting in person just strengthens the friendships, I think. I've seen a few of them more than once, now.

    You took some great photos, and thanks for sharing the fun with us!

  4. FUN! I've met one friend in real life that I met online. Maybe someday you and I can meet!

  5. Sounds like you all had a great time! I would like a tour of The Plaza - what fun!! High Point is great this time of year.

  6. Oh, I'm so, so jealous! What a great time and I do love your orange jacket! Happy day!

  7. That sounds like so much fun! And, win-win for everybody: you got to enjoy a fire & hubs got to show off his Eagle Scout Skills! :)

  8. Wonderful. I smiled too. You girls have made some good memories and I'm glad you had a great time. Thank you for sharing.

  9. What a fabulous weekend. I've never met any of my blogging friends. Your experience went so well, maybe I'll get brave!

  10. What a special time for all three of you. I have been able to meet a couple of blog friends and it was the same way....like we had known each other for years. I get together for coffee or lunch with one of them once a month or so. Glad you had such a great time.

  11. What fun! I have a dream of one summer taking a trip around a few states to meet some of my bloggy/online knitting friends. I'm so glad you had a wonderful weekend!

  12. OK, I must admit... I'm SO jealous right now... I'm missing my besties so much... and even those I've met over the internet are oh, so far away... I'm glad you had such a wonderful weekend together!

  13. wow that is so awesome!!! congrats...I am an OKIE gal, so your friend from OK is just that OK :) us okie people are one and the same, we all stick together and are true friends to the end

  14. I haven't even finished reading this whole post and tears came to my eyes. I have a few special woman that I've become friend with through blogging, we know each other in and out yet I haven't meet them in person yet. I get it!!! That cheesecake looks amazing and how sweet your husband is for cooking. He definitely knows how much these two ladies mean to you. What a great time you showed them, the views are so wonderful and I am so happy for all of you.

  15. What a fantastic story! You look like you've been BFF.

    Your pics reminded me of the trips I have taken to NYC and how much fun it was and such beautiful country there. Would have been cool to see what goes into a $40,000 suite!

  16. I connected with 12 online friends met in a knitting/crocheting forum in Sept. 2012. My kids thought I was crazy and asked what I would think if they did the same thing. I said, come on we knit and crochet, how dangerous could we be? We met in the middle of the U.S. and enjoyed each other for five fantastic days. These women aren't just my friends, they're also now my sisters.

  17. Loved this post and ALL THE PICTURES!!

  18. Our family lived near High Point NJ 20 years ago. How fun to see all of your photos. It looks like you all had a wonderful visit!

  19. That sounds wonderful! I really want to meet my online friends someday!