I was recently privileged to enjoy a blogging “perk” on a trip to Europe. The first part of the trip was a fantastic cruise on the Rhine river with several couples from my college days. But it was the second part of the trip which held the greatest anticipation. I was to meet face to face with five bloggers from different parts of the United Kingdom.
For five years I have been in contact with these lovely folks as we have followed each other in the blogosphere, the name we bloggers use to identify our not-so-private secret society. People who don’t blog tend to look askance at us and some consider the blogosphere as some kind of netherworld for frustrated writers, which it very well may be, but it is also a world of enjoyment.
British humor and language is rewarding in its own right, and it is provided in no small dose by each of these talented people every time they post an article. What they see in my blogging efforts remains unclear to me; all the more reason I was flattered that they would travel so far to meet with us in London. I suspect, since many of my blogs are about my charming wife, it was she who drew them in. Two of my new friends had a half-hour train trip from the outskirts of London, while two others had two-plus hour train trips from Northern England and the fifth, a flight all the way from Northern Ireland!
Unfortunately, all five could not meet on the same day so we split our rendezvous into a two-day meet-up. On the first day Patty and I and the couple we were traveling with met with two of my new friends for a delightful lunch near our hotel, then a short train trip over to see Hampton Court, the famous digs of a king whose reputation was being unfaithful to his wives…..Henry something-or-other.
The next day we met with the other three at Covent Garden in London, again for a delicious lunch. We were serenaded by a wonderful band, a soloist with a booming baritone voice, then a walking tour around the center of town, culminating with a visit to another writer’s hangout (William something-or-other) called the Globe Theatre.
I could make this a lengthy blog describing the excitement we all felt at finally meeting each other after over a year of planning. But in short, it was an extraordinary chance to talk firsthand with incredibly nice people I have considered my friends for these past five years.
As Shakespeare himself might have said, were he alive today, “If writing be the food of life, blog on!”
P.S. I wasn’t going to post this picture due to the fact it was photo-bombed by a very elegant lady. But she was celebrating her birthday, so why not?
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It looks like you had a wonderful time, Al! How nice to meet so many blogging friends!
It was a hoot.
Leave it to Liz to photo bomb your group pic. She has a “thing” for international playboys, you know… 😉
As if she wasn’t getting enough attention during her nationwide 90th birthday celebration. How needy can one be?
I have a theory. A woman’s high maintenance factor is directly related to how many tiaras/crowns she has in her castle. I used to have a tiara but I got rid of it. I used to have a big-ass broken house but got rid of that, too. So my high-maintenance factor is pretty low. 🙂
If a woman has a low maintenance factor, she doesn’t need a tiara, she needs a halo. I wondered what that aura was around your head.
Oh, that. It’s the sun reflecting off my naturally blonde hair. Be sure to wear sunglasses around me when we eventually meet, Al…and we WILL meet one day. You, me, and Peter!
What an exiciting trip ths must have been Al, hank you so much for sharing it. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to meet some fellow bloggers in real lfe and if it would throw a serious kink in the space/time continuem or something. Glad to see everyone made it through ok and with big smiles!
Thanks, Tricia. It was a great time. I’ve met three other bloggers in the U.S. One in Denver, one in D.C. and another here in Virginia Beach. It’s fun.
Thanks for sharing this story of your wonderful trip, made super special by meeting fellow bloggers!
I lived south of London for 2 years – you certainly managed to see some of my very favourite places!
Strictly by coincidence, it had been 50 years to the week since my last visit to England. That kind of made it even more special.
This is so fabulous – all of it. The trip to Europe (so jealous) and the meeting with other bloggers. I’ve only met one, the delightful k8edid, some years ago.
You and Patty are so cute, and in matching shirts!
Tell me about the Rhine cruise. That’s my someday-when-I’m-retired-and-old-enough-to-afford-it-but-young-enough-to-enjoy-it goal in life. Did you love it?
Wow. That’s the dashiest goal I ever saw! But a worthy one. You know those annoying circulars you get almost every day from Viking Cruise Lines? The ones that look like they cost thousands of dollars to produce? That’s the cruise we took. It’s our second one. We did the Paris to Normandy cruise on the Seine back in 09. Let me tell you, they are worth every penny. I don’t know if all the two-for-one deals plus airfare are a gimmick or really a deal, but you owe it to you and your hubby to do it. And please don’t wait for that dashy goal. You will be pampered and treated like the goddess that you are. (I’ll get a commission check from Viking for that one) Seriously, we like them far better than ocean cruises. And just think, if the ship sinks, it’s only a hundred feet to swim to shore. The food rivals any ocean cruise and its more intimate. You get to know most of the ship’s officers.
Anyway, thanks for the comments on the blogger meetup, it was a blast and yes, Patty is very cute.
As for meeting up, when are you coming to Virginia Beach??!!
I see you and Patty are beginning to dress alike. I love the purple. And what were those unearned perqs?
It’s actually quite scary how often we dress similarly without realizing it. Is that an age thing do you think?
The perk was getting to meet those folks through blogging. Just like we did!
David and I often select the same color for wear on the same day. Of course, I buy most of his clothes. All that playing with dolls when I was a kid found an outlet. Of course, if I didn’t buy new clothes for him, goodness knows what he would wear. Nothing probably..and that’s a scary thought.
I’m inspired to travel to the UK next year and crash at Linda’s.
I recommend you come bearing Maltesers.
I’ll leave that to her. Anything I could buy in the US can’t match what she can buy in Stockton.
It was a real pleasure to meet with you and Patty, Jane and your old friends who I’ve read of before in your Blog. It was such a treat and I will look back on it with great fondness. Hope you are fully rested after your adventure 🙂
We are finally acclimated to the time zone we live in. All the fuss going on over there right now does not diminish what a glorious time we had in your country!
You are a treasure my Bro and it was a special time being able to meet Patty (Ohh I do love her), Ellen, Les, Ducky and you after all this time. Hearts know no boundaries and an ocean between us? Pah…what’s that!! It was lovely to be with you, Patty, Ellen, Les and Ducky and I am so grateful you could make the trip. I love you ❤ Xx
It was indeed a special time for us as well. Now I feel we are truly speaking directly to each other, even though it is through social media.
❤ always xX
Al it was wonderful to meet you, Patty, Ellen & Les as well as Linda. Barbara and I had the added bonus of a week together filling in gaps of our recent lives… The stuff that never makes it to a phone call.
As I have often said: Through blogging we get to know the person from the inside without the distraction of the outside packaging. This time I was not disappointed and the conversation continued in a very comfortable way. Thank you for organising the meet-up and sharing part of your vacation with us.
The pleasure was all ours, Marie. I loved what you said about finally meeting a blogging friend, “it’s just a comfortable continuation of an ongoing conversation.”
What fun for you to meet up with cyber “kinda” Pen Pals. Remember at Riverside when we were assigned Pen Pals? Fifth grade I think. I wrote to mine, she replied, I wrote again and she replied “why did you send me another letter?” I’m sure your Blog Pals were much nicer to you. Great to see you and Patty looking so great!
Thanks, Jeri. It was a real treat. Your comment was funny. As I recall, my “pen pal” actually did end up in the pen.
Your comment, Jeri, was funny and jogged my memory. My pen pal quit writing after a few letters. My sister or mom, said “You wrote too much slang, Bernice. She didn’t understand you.” Or words to that affect.
How wonderful to be able to meet! Blogging is great fun and a great way to “meet” people.
It truly is Marie. So when are we getting together?
Not everyone finds a passion in life, Al. You found two. Your wonderful, patient wife, and blogging. Amazing man. Ypb
You are very kind, Bernice. My sincerest thanks.