I’ve had opportunities to get to know several of you a lot better lately, and I’m loving it.
…Meridith has been, by request, making me aware of differences in dialect and habits between me and Australia.
…EleanorJane, my resident differentialist between New Zealand and I, just moved to England and, therefore, has a whole new set of interesting facts to share.
…and Kristin has been enabling me to reminisce on my college days, as she’s a professor at my alma mater.
(We were even able to put together that I took a class from her Dad 12 years ago! I love our small big city.)
I’ve also had the opportunity to meet several of you in real life recently, which is nearly as exciting as Leo unveiling a new piece of Toenail Art.
…We stopped off in Greenville, SC on the way to our family vacation to meet Lindsay, who was an excellent tour guide for her awesome city.
…After years of tweeting, I was finally able to meet Brandi at our Alabama Blogger meet-up last week, as well as hang out with some of my favorite local bloggers, Jamie, Kat, Robin, Amy, and Matt, and a new local blogger, Michael.
…And our whole family has deepened our relationship with Giann, who has become our beloved babysitter, even scoring her own line item in our family budget.
I love y’all.
All of you.
And those of you I don’t know yet, I love you too – in advance.
So it makes total sense that, last weekend, I packed up my whole family and drove to Atlanta to meet a Washington State blog reader and her family.
One of my longest blogging friends, R (who is wisely more cautious with her online identity than I), was on vacation with her husband, kids, Mom, and Aunt. We’ve been in nearly daily blog contact for the last four years and have both always agreed that if we had happened to live near each other, we would be best friends.
So we knew that if either of us ever got even relatively close to each other, we absolutely MUST take the opportunity to meet.
They were flying out of Atlanta and back to Washington after a trip to Disney World and the Florida Gulf Coast, so we booked rooms next door to each other at an Embassy Suites in Atlanta the night before they left.
And, even though we had a 2.5 hour drive from Birmingham and they had a 7 hour drive from Orlando, they didn’t have to drive through Talladega…on race weekend.
That, my friends, is sacrifice.
A sacrifice that R clearly couldn’t comprehend:
But, shockingly enough, we must have hit it at exactly the right time, because we were able to pass by without getting a single beer thrown through our window, or peed on by any dudes standing on the top of their campers yelling “yee-HAW go Number Ayety Ayete!!!” while they relieved themselves from the roof.
At which point, Chris asked, “See, aren’t you glad I’m just a football fan? I could drag you out to NASCAR on the weekends.”
“No, no you wouldn’t. Because we would not be married if you were a NASCAR fan. That would have clearly been a deal breaker. Being a football-fan-by-marriage is very near the precipice, but NASCAR would have been over the cliff.”
But we finally arrived, and transforming our relationship from screen to IRL was as natural as I had always assumed it would be.
…except for the fact that I am never more aware of how ridiculously often I say “y’all” until I’m around a bunch of people from Nonyall Country.
Y’all know what I mean?
We were able to take them to one of our favorite Birmingham-based restaurants, Jim N Nicks, that just happens to have locations in Atlanta. After telling them everything that was delicious and southern and fabulous, I asked R my favorite question for visitors.
“What’s the weirdest thing y’all’ve noticed about the south?”
(Besides the word ‘y’all’ve’.)
“All of the ‘boiled peanuts’ signs along the highways!!”
“Oh – you mean the ones that spell peanuts ‘P-Nuts’?”
“YES!!! It only saves one character – why do they do that?!?”
“I’ve wondered that very thing myself for years.”
(And anyway, P-Nuts sounds like some manufactured, laboratory peanut, or perhaps “made from peanut product” or something. Buy peanuts, not P-Nuts, people!!)
Ali and K are the same age, and they immediately bonded over pestering Noah.
…something that he doesn’t seem to mind so much.
When we left the restaurant, we had a 25 minute ride to the hotel. Ali and K were already inseparable, so K rode back with us.
As we were getting in the car, Chris whispered, “I don’t know if I would be that trusting. I mean, we just met these people, and they’re letting their kid ride with us?! Wow!”
“Babe, R and I have been friends, talking daily, for four years. We DID NOT just meet. It just seems that way.”
“Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense.”
At the hotel, they increased their closeness over technology. Because that’s the medium that kids use these days to get to know each other, you know?
(Well, at least that’s what her mother and I used.)
Meanwhile, Noah and S were also getting cozy.
Later, the kids had a rousing game of Wolf and Sheep, where those ridiculous cylindrical hotel pillows actually came in handy – as a battering ram to protect the girls from the Big, Bad, One Year Old Wolf.
Over the cacophony of our children, the parents also bonded – nearly as much as the kids did. Chris and I kept them up way too late talking (as southerners tend to do) and then felt terribly guilty about it (as southerners also tend to do).
And it was sad for all to say goodbye.
Because that’s the thing about blog friends – it’s both wonderful and heart-aching all at once. You make close friends that live thousands of miles away, and then you find yourself wishing with all of your heart that they could all move next door, immediately.
Yes, all of you.
35 thoughts on “Typically 2,310 Miles Apart.”
Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. I think it is so great when we make new friends in such a fabulous way. One question, what happened to that shy, not so social girl? I love to see this side of you now.
I know, right? Blogging has definitely changed my personality quite a bit. But then when you put me in an unfamiliar or intimidating situation, I go right back to my old self.
What a sweet post and that is nice that you actually got to meet a blogging friend. Wish I would have known you were going up I-85 to Greenville, SC, I am about 3 miles from the highway in GA, we could have met at Starbucks or something.
I have met some GA bloggers before I had moved to AL and we still get together as much as possible since we are opposite sides of Atlanta. I consider them really good friends and feel lucky I have met them all.
Oh that would have been wonderful! I’m glad I got to meet you when you were in Birmingham, anyway!
I’m in ATL again this weekend, but I’m in Midtown. If you’re around, let me know!
There have been a number of times that I’ve told my husband that I have found a new potential best friend… just by finding a new blogger who is so fun to read and relate to… like you :D
Thanks for all your posts! Maybe we can meet one day, as well.
That’s so great that you got to meet finally meet your long time blogger friend! :)
There have been several times where I have told my husband that I found a new (potential) best friend… based entirely on my ability to relate to and/or find humor in a blogger’s blog and writing style, like YOU! :) It’s funny how you can feel like you already know someone without ever actually spending time with that person!
Oh the intricacies of the Age of Technology.
Thanks for all your blogging! Maybe we can meet at some point, too!
well… I posted a comment, then I got a message that my comment didn’t post, so I posted another comment… sorry! I’m just blowin’ up your comment section this morning! Ha!
I would love to meet in person!!
And don’t worry – it wasn’t your fault, it was the blog’s. It was doing something funky with comments this morning, but it seems to have righted itself since.
Let’s definitely meet up sometime!
That is really great. It is nice for us introverts to be able to make friends using technology such as blogs I think it would make it a little easier when we do finally meet in real life not feel quite so self conscious. Could be me though.
I too notice my use of the word y’all way more when I am around my friends from none y’all places.
It really is unbelievably helpful for us introverts. I hate small talk, so getting that out of the way BEFORE we ever meet IRL is seriously awesome!
Honored to have met you via blogging about 4 years ago!! :) Thanks for including me in your post and spreadsheet!! (which I found quite comical when I told my mom I had my own line/column. lol :) )
We’re honored to have you around now, too! And to give you all our money! ;)
Love it!! One of my oldest blogging friends had her husband drive 2+ hours out of their way back from Disney to meet me & my crew in Montgomery. We just hung out all night & let the kids swim in the hotel pool. It was amazing how we all (husbands included) just clicked!
Isn’t it fun?? I’m glad y’all have gotten to do that as well. Seems like Disney is an IRL Meet-Up feeding ground!!
There really is no greater joy than meeting blogging friends IRL! And it’s funny to watch the reactions of those around you- ie family and friends, you are flying to where?! To meet and stay with someone you don’t know?! Of course we know each other, often deeper than the ones we see every day! When I met up with one of my bloggy buddies, people kept asking if we were sisters. Yep, Sisters in Christ, sure are. :) Glad you had that opportunity!
Yes!! You either get it or you don’t – there’s no in-between.
Aww, I’m SO SO glad we finally got to meet in real life!!! And yes, we may have just met but we’ve known each other for years! Love the pictures you got of the kids! Especially the one of S and Noah. Too cute! I’ll have to reference this post when I get to this part of the trip…I have a ridiculous amount of pictures!
Oh, and I love the way you say ya’ll! It seems so much more natural than “you guys” and especially ” you guys’es” when referring to the possessive. :) We never did try the boiled peanuts, but soggy nuts just don’t sound appealing. :) Oh, and you didn’t keep us up any later than we would have been. I felt bad that I was packing and sorting while we were talking!
Anyway, it was so great to meet you guys! We’ll have to do it again someday. It’s your turn to come visit us. :)
It IS hard to say “You Guys”. I’ve always found it awkward. Perhaps you could start saying “y’all” and start a trend?
That pic of S and Noah is my FAVORITE, too. I also have one right after it where he’s pushing her away – priceless!!
I would LOVE to come up that way. I hope we can do so sometime in the future!
So when is it my turn?
I’d love to meet!! I thought we were getting close a few weeks ago, but then you changed directions. :)
What a sweet post — that’s awesome that you have made so many friends through blogging. I hope to have the honor of meeting you IRL someday.
I was actually just thinking about you this morning – I’m in ATL by myself, and as I was driving here, I was thinking, “I sure wish Sarah still lived here. We could totally meet up! And I need more blog readers in Atlanta. I have none now!”
Ok – I live in the Vegas valley (in the next town south of Vegas). I do not do NASCAR. I think it’s big for the people that come here to see it. Just sayin’. Love ya!
I live in the heart of NASCAR country, and I have nothing to do with it either. Thank goodness!! :)
Great post! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and since we are practically neighbors, we need to meet in person soon! And I’ve been showing everyone at work that I got mentioned in a blog. My head is so big now, there’s no talking to me! Lol! Seriously, though, it’s been great getting to know you!
Ha! Thanks – it’s been fun to reminisce. You’ll have to pull up my transcript sometime and confirm whether or not I had your Dad…
Ooh, I’m famous! :)
But seriously, one of the things I love abour your blog is finding out about real life in the US, not just what you see on TV in more or less unrealistic shows. The only show I can think of that I watch that’s set in the South is True Blood, but a) I think it’s in quite a different state and b) you don’t really have vampires and werewolves wandering about there do you?!
I’ve not SEEN any Vampires and Werewolves, but one never knows…
I actually came here today planning on contacting you for a bit more beyond-the-blog contact, only to find this post! Here’s the thing, I’m helping a neighbor’s child with her school report on Alabama, and she needs to find someone from there to interview. She’s in second grade and pretty shy so it will be a challenging conversation for her (as you’d be a perfect stranger to her and all.) I was a bit afraid this request would seem intrusive, but after reading your post, maybe not. Still if you don’t have the time, no problem. If you are up for this please let me know by email and we can exchange phone numbers and figure out a schedule.
Absolutely!! I’d be glad to!
I’m kind of hard to catch on the phone, but the best time period is naptimes – 2-4pm my time or so.
Just let me know!
Its so lovely to meet new friends from different walks of life and places I’ve never been!! I love the y’all thing & the southern accent it seems so warm & friendly. We don’t have different accents in different states/territories here that would very noticeable to anyone from another country..thanks for the mention :-)
So all Australians sound the same?? That’s interesting. I thought I’d heard different dialects, but maybe I’m getting it confused with British accents…
There are some that are more ‘ocker ‘ but primarily we all sound very very similar. The Brits definitely have a lot of different accents!!
I have “meet” alot of my friends through a forum that I joined 5 years ago and have been able to meet several of them IRL; but mostly I just tell my husband that my friends are in my computer!!
I am from the coast of NC and we would have people on the side of the road selling boiled peanuts ( wich I miss eating very much, they dont’ have that here in TX) but never seen them spelled P-Nuts, funny.
Oh, and I’m sure I say ya’ll as much as you do!
Yes, I guess boiled peanuts aren’t one of those things that would ship very well, or I’d offer to… but nobody wants to get a soggy box!