Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Taking Online, Offline

I've read about blogger meet ups where a large group of awesome bloggers get together for fun things like beer pong, eating cupcakes, dinner and drinks (Yes, Chicago bloggers I'm talking to you! You always fun at bloggy events). I've read about one blogger meeting another blogger to hang out with for a day or evening. But I have never had the opportunity to meet another blogger face to face-- until yesterday!

About a month ago one of my blogger friends mentioned that she was going to be visiting her in-laws in a city about an hour and a half away from me.Small world right? What are the chances a blogger from the Pacific Northwest would have family in my neck of the woods? As luck would have it I had already planned to visit a college friend in the same city, she and her family would still be in town and before we knew it we had plans to take our blog friendship offline!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Trina (who along with her sister Cameo and mother Beya make up one of the coolest families I have the honor of knowing through their blogs)! I met up with Trina, her husband Josh, and son Asa at a Cracker Barrel. I was incredibly excited to get to finally meet them and a bit nervous. What would they be like? What if there was an awkward silence? Would we have things to talk about? Would they like me? Honestly, it was like being the new kid in middle school and wondering if the cool kids would invite you to sit at their table. We pulled into the parking lot at the same time and I knew as soon as I heard Trina say "Hi Mandy from Ohio" things were going to be just fine!

If you read her blog, you already know how awesome Trina is. Let me just tell you that awesomeness carries over in person. Part of the reason I love her blog (as well as her sisters) is because like me, they are total mama's girls. They have an incredibly close knit family. When Trina would talk about Sissy, Valentina, and Beya her love for them shined through. Josh is great too! It was so much fun to hear him talk about growing up in my area of the country and then moving to the Pacific Northwest. He was a great sport about taking our pictures too. And Asa? Where do I begin about Asa! He is such a little gentleman and so charming!! He is 4 going on I don't know how old. He had such perfect manners and was so so well behaved while we all sat there chatting. Trina and Josh are amazing parents! As for awkward silences? Forget it, there were NONE. We talked about growing up, our families, books, movies, life, work, etc. We were able to talk about her niece's adoption (how I first found their blogs) and a special project of their friends who run a non-profit Global Orphan Team are working on in Guatemala in her honor. You never would have known that it was our first time meeting face to face. The conversation flowed as if we were old friends seeing each other after a long absence and just catching up on each others lives. At one point Josh asked "How long have you two been reading each others blogs?" We just sort of looked at each other. In truth I was probably a lurker long before I had the nerve to comment but its been over a year, a year and a half maybe?

Meeting Trina and her family was such a great experience! I wish I could have met the rest of their crew. This family is the real deal. What comes across on her blog is exactly how Trina is in person. We had a wonderful time visiting, swapping stories, taking pictures (Asa is quite the little picture taker and scrolling thru the pics he took reminded me I need to hit the tanning bed ASAP!) and laughing. I am so glad that our schedules worked out!

I was unsure of how meeting another blogger would go. After this experience I cannot wait till the next one! Chances are if you enjoy a fellow bloggers blog, have a lot in common, and share email conversations that you will have no problems taking your online friendship offline into real life. The sense of community bloggers develop with other bloggers never ceases to amaze me. We become invested each others lives -- offering advice, asking opinions, turning to them when we have a bad day or good news to share. Over time, we become friends. Its also true that people who don't blog, don't get it. I'm glad to be part of such a community.

Have you ever met up with another blogger, how did it go? Or is meeting in real life something you wouldn't consider?


Nikki said...

That sounds like fun! I read both Trina and Cameo's blog and agree- awesome family! Funny you mention it because this weekend I, too, met my first 'blogger buddy'- Jill of http://jillsly.blogspot.com/ We had a great time too talking about all the places and trips we have gone on!

Rachel said...

Chicago bloggers rule!!!!!

I'll admit it though, every meetup I head to I get a little nervous, but every one has been a blast.

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

blogger meet-ups are great! i never though when i started blogging that i would form real life friendship.

talk about an awesome perk! : )

Little Fish said...

I already know Chickbug in real life and "Tea-Veaux" on my blog roll is my awesome amazing cousin, do those count? Probably not.

Well, if you're ever in New York we're going out!

Unknown said...

blogger meet ups always sound like such fun! i haven't been to one and haven't met any of the bloggers whose blogs i peruse but i am totally open to it. hopefully i can make it to a meetup when its close to my city.

Auburn Kat said...

When I was living in Northwest Arkansas I met my fellow blogger Kelly. She grew up in the area that I was living in and was visiting her family there. Like you, I was extremely nervous before I met her but once we started talking all of the nervousness went away! It was so much fun meeting her in person, she was exactly like her blog!

WE still need to meet up seeing as we really don't live that far away from each other!

There are definitely some other bloggers that I would love to meet too!

Amanda said...

That is just awesome that you guys got to meet! They are a truly great family! :0)

Anna said...

How fun! I wish I could meet some of my bloggy friends!

Bayjb said...

Aww that's sounds like a great meet up. I love bloggy meet ups. It's usually weird for like 2 seconds and then you're talking about your blog and suddenly you're besties.

Andy said...

Hmmm.... I have to start planning a trip to the US Midwest fro a major blogger meet-up.


Mandy said...

Nikki--Woohoo for blogger meetups!

Rachel -- One day I am coming to Chicago for the sole reason to meet all of you!

Alexa-- me neither and yes it is an awesome perk.

Little Fish -- you know Chickbug in real life? Very cool! And hell yes to the meet up in NYC, I may be headed that way in April.

Kay -- I would love to go out with a big group of bloggers!

Auburn Kat -- it is fun and YES we do need to meet up! Since we both detest driving in snow I am guessing it will be Spring? LOL.

Amanda-- I am jealous you get to hang out with them all the time. I fully intend on becoming an honorary member of the family, they rock!

Anna--it was, I never thought I would get a chance to either, you may be surprised.

Babyjb--ditto and I love reading about all the fun you Chicago bloggers have!

Andy -- What the hell are you waiting for? LOL.

Beya said...

I wish I could have been there too! Trina said you are gorgeous and nice. She had a great time also. I am pleased that you saw my Asa, isn't he a sweetheart? I hope to meet you someday also.

MeLaNiE said...

Sounds like fun! I might have to check her blog out :)

Mandy said...

Beya-- I wish you could have been there too. I seriously wish I had a grandmother like you. Asa and Valentina are incredibly lucky!!

Mandy said...

Melanie-- you definitely should, read Cameo and Beya's blog too!

Katie said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets jealous of the Chicago bloggers...well maybe not glad. But you know what I mean. :)

I know a lot of people on my blog roll, and we get together. But as far as meeting someone through the interwebs and then meeting them, that would be a no.

I did see Dooce once in Target and was totally star struck. Does that count?

LBluca77 said...

How fun!! I don't think there are many Long Beach bloggers.

I always wonder if there are any bloggers that have met and fell in love, well maybe not fall in love but dated or hooked up. I was thinking about that the other day and I started a post on it, but i didn't have my computer then so it will be a post for the future.

Cameo said...

AWwww.... thanks for taking care of sissy for me! She went on and on how "normal" you were. You know us (well, you do and you don't, LOL) we *seem* normal but you never know. And I know Andrea (The Parent Files) in real life and let me tell you, she is a hoot and I love her to death! Our kids are already betrothed.

Princess Pointful said...

I've had several blogger meet-ups now, actually... a few came to my city, and a bunch when I (surprise, surprise) went to Chicago this summer. Yep, it is nervewracking for a few seconds, but mostly I am blown away by how smooth it feels in a matter of instants. After all, you do know each other relatively well...

Frank said...

The only other blogger I met was...my sister. Unfortunately, most of the blogs I read regularly are from people on the other side of the country.

...or Ohio, which I try not to visit whenever possible :P

Lauren Elizabeth said...

That sounds fun! I've never had a "blogger meet-up."

Trina G. said...

You are too sweet Mandy from Ohio. I LOVED LOVED LOVED sitting next to you and talking to you in person. I was a bit nervous too, same anxiety's....will there be nothing to talk about..will Asa be an animal...will I annoy you with my chatter....It was a great visit and a highlight of our trip. You are such a cool gal, and Josh said that you were just like a relative that we hadn't seen in a while, but caught up on old times. I have always thought that you are a pretty girl, but in person you are just gorgeous. I love that you are close to you mom and we have that in common. I feel that you are a part of our family. For REALS! I am jet lagged, and will probably blog over the holiday. Thank you for the kind words girl....you are special:)

Mandy said...

Katie--yes the Chicago bloggers have tons of fun! You saw Dooce at Target -- thats cool!

Lbluca77--That is a good question, I will be looking forward to that post. :-)

Cameo--well I am not exactly normal but its good to know. LOL. It was awesome meeting Trina, Josh and Asa!

Princess--I cannot wait to have more of them! You are right, bloggers do know each other very well.

Frank--you never know when one of them may be visiting. And really, OH isnt all that bad.

Coconut-- you should! And if I am ever your way, there will be lunch or drinks!

Sissy--Thanks for your words! It was a ton of fun. So that means I'm like an honorary member of the family now? How cool is that? WOOHOO!

kc mom said...

This just makes me look forward to April even more. QVC might never be the same again!!!!
I can't wait to meet you in person and blog all about it!!!!
Then, if you go to NY after QVC, I can meet you there too.

Mandy said...

kcmom--Meeting up at QVC for the beauty bash will be fun. The trip to NYC will probably be made during the same trip. :-)