Monday, May 18, 2009

Blog Fest NW

So any of you that have had the chance to meet other bloggers can probably appreciate how fun it is to finally sit across the table from someone you've read and commented with, and at times only known by a screen name. You've no doubt wondered: what does their voice sound like?, are the pictures they show of themselves what they really look like?, what does it sound like when they "LOL" for real?, are they really axe murders you've just invited into your home. . . you get the idea. Well, yesterday I had just such an opportunity. I was able to meet not just one, but three of my blogging friends, and I'm happy to report that not one of them showed up on my doorstep wielding a sharp object! Nope, just four (Starr's daughter joined us) very cool people I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit better.

We had one of those picture perfect weekends where the rain took a brief vacation and the temps climbed into the low eighties. It made for a beautiful afternoon yesterday to hang out on the back patio sipping beves, enjoying a BBQ, and of course, plenty of laughter. (By the way, as I type this, the skies are turning gray again, it's cooling off quickly and before the night is through, it will likely be wet outside. Katherine and the Teamster, your timing was impeccable!)

Did we talk about other bloggers? Just you and you annnnnnd you over there in the corner, yeah your name came up too. Sure, we talked about how fun it would be to have some of the rest of you around the table. We didn't do the live blog or Skype anyone though, sorry Songbird, Matt and Vinny.

My youngest boy Matthew fell in love with Katherine. After showing off all his tricks as any eight year old boy will do with a new audience to perform for, he coaxed her out onto the back lawn after dinner for a game of badminton. She was such a good sport about it too. I think everyone enjoyed watching Anthony and I try to set up the net without looking at the instructions. I also think the Teamster took a picture of the instructions lying on the ground next to us as we struggled with that #%&*

Yesterday also happened to be Lisa's birthday and she enjoyed having a party of sorts for her day. We don't generally do big birthday celebrations for her or me, so it would have otherwise just been a quite night at home. Having some friends over was much more entertaining.

Here's a picture of the cake. Feel free to enjoy a slice.

Matt-Man, this picture is especially for you. From left to right Kat, Lisa and Starr. . . and that lucky devil behind them. . . moi.

Another highlight for both of my boys was getting to put on the motorcycle helmets and pose with "the cool bike!"

The Teamster and Katherine kicking back

Starr (and Kidlet), Katherine, The Teamster. . . it was an absolute pleasure getting to know you all more and I truly hope we have the chance to get together again. One afternoon just wasn't enough time.


Desert Songbird said...

Where do I start? Do I start with how envious I am that you all got to meet and eat and drink together? Do I loathe you over your gloriously cool weather? Do I get pea green with jealousy over the laughter and more laughter that was shared by all? Grrrrrrr.......

I'm glad you all had a great time. Truly I am. *begrudging smirk*

Starrlight said...

We had a fabulous time and your house is wonderful. Not to mention you wife who is a pearl amongst women for doing this on her birthday!

quilly said...

I'm glad you had a great time. You know, I have never read about a blogger met-up that was anything but fun. That can't be because they've all been wonderful -- can it?

I can tell you that when I told my sister I was meeting Amoeba she flipped out and forbade me. I was like, "I don't think you can do that. Last I checked I was 47 years old." And one of the old ladies from my church told me he was probably an axe murderer -- and that was after she met him! LOL!

So, this fall, my blog friend Jientje is coming from Belgium to spend some time at my house. How cool is that?!

Jeff B said...

Songbird- Even if you didn't get Skyped, you were thought of and missed. And if it's any consolation, it's friggin raining outside as I type.

Starr- Feels weird typing in your screen name instead of your real one. Yes people she does have a name!

It was so cool to meet you and your daughter. You're both so damned hip!

Quilly- The good news is if Jientje is in fact an axe murderer, the airport security is likely to confiscate any axes she might be packing.

There really are two very different camps on the meeting people via the net. Those of us that embrace it and those that think we're nuts.

Thumbelina said...

Sounds like you had a fab time. It is an adventure this blogging thing isn't it?
I had a couple of meets and both were very enjoyable. I have only read of positive experiences in meet ups. Then again, if some one met up with an axe murderer, I guess the blogger would no longer be around to warn us..... aaaaarrrrgh!

Thom said...

Well Quilly I suppose I'm chopped liver or stale old meat now LOL. Anyway Jeff it is awesome to meet other bloggers. The day I met Quilly and OC was great. They have become great friends. And I'm looking forward to meeting Jientje as well.

Matt-Man said...

Don't you all just look so damn cute together. Glad you all had a good time. Oh and Happy Belated B-day to Lisa. Cheers Jeff.

BJ Roan said...

Great weather, food and friends, sounds like a really great time! And Happy Belated Birthday to Lisa.

Bond said...


What fun...too bad about the Skype...hoping I get to meet some bloggers this year.

Jay said...

Fun times! I haven't met any other bloggers yet, but I hope to soon. And I hope that when I do, it goes as well as your meet up went. Of course, with such cool people how could it not have been a great day!

Sandee said...

How fun. We love Katherine and The Teamster very much. Great folks for sure.

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Lisa,
Happy Birthday to you.

Have a terrific day. :)

Dr.John said...

Well Happy Birthday Lisa.
Having just had the experience of meeting a blogger face to face I agree with you it is a great thing.
Obviously yours went well.

Starrlight said...

Vinny I still maintain we should all just converge on the geographical center of the USA for a United Blog States of America conference.

Where IS the middle of the USA anyhow?

Ron said...

This is SOOOO cool, Jeff!

I'm SOOO glad you guys had this wonderful opportunity.

There something magical about finally meeting people who you've been sharing your lives with via your blogs, isn't there?

The anticipation leading up to it is strange because your mind is thinking so many things, yet when you finally meet...everything becomes relaxed and you bond on an even deeper level.

I've had the chance to meet two blogging friends so far, but look forward to meeting more.

Glad you guys had such a special time!

Happy Belated Birthday Lisa!

P.S. that cake looks fabulous!

nitebyrd said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all!

Happy belated birthday, Lisa! (The cake looks too yummy!)

Akelamalu said...

How wonderful that you got to meet up! If you ever get to the North of England you're welcome to my house! :)

Kelly H-Y said...

What a perfect afternoon ... and Happy Birthday to Lisa! We wanted to stop by ... but after gardening and outdoor clean-up at three different locations (church/office/home), we were covered in grime and didn't want to scare anyone! :-)

Jeff B said...

Thumblina- It really does become even better when you get to meet friends.

Thom- It makes this big ole' world seem just a little bit smaller doesn't it?

Matt-Man- I was a thorn among roses.

BJ- It was waaaaaay cool.

Bond- We talked about how fun it would be to get a bunch of us together one of these days.

Jay- You're so right. Couldn't go wrong with that group.

Sandee- they are great down to earth folks for sure.

Dr John- It did go well. Hope to meet some others soon.

Starr- I think the center is San Diego. Warm, sunny, the ocean. . . yep, it's definitely the center.

Ron- You're right, the anticipation part is kind of interesting, but once you sit down and start chatting, it's like you've known each other for ever.

Nitebyrd- My mom picked up the cake at a local bakery and it was awesome!

Akelamalu- Should we ever make it across the pond we'll look you up. thanks

Kelly- We were hoping you'd be able to make it by, but I certainly understand.

Starrlight said...

Hey I LOVE San Diego!

Travis said...

It sounds grand spankin' wonderful!

Mel said...


Some of my favorite people...

Oh, I'm so glad for all of you. And don'tcha all look so darn happy......LOL I'm sure the chocolate cake and Dr. Pepper didn't hurt...LOL

Happy Birthday to Lisa!! What an awesome way to spend it--in the company of several keenly disguised axe murders. Mwahahahahahaha....LOL

JUST kidding! (I hope!) ;-)

Monica said...

Well, now that others have visited you and lived to tell the story, how far are you from Spokane?? *grin*

Glad you had such a wonderful time!

Jeff B said...

Starr- Now all we have to do is convince the rest of the blogging community to come out west!

Travis- Wish you could have been with us, it was fun.

Mel- Kat (and the others) is every bit as sweet in person as you would imagine.

Monica- Probably about two or two and a half hours away. Welcome to the blog!

Gene Bach said...

We have a breakfast date with the dynamic duo this morning at 9:30.

Dianne said...

Happy Belated Birthday Lisa

the boys look fierce on that bike ;)

sounds like a wonderful day for all!!

jay said...

Oh, I love meeting up with fellow bloggers, and other internet friends! It's great, isn't it?

I'm glad none of them came with an axe though! LOL!

Desert Songbird said...

Hey, San Diego! I'm all for it! I can be there in six hours. In fact, I'll be there next week - c'mon down!

Jeff B said...

I was hoping they'd be able to meet you. Both of them are really nice people.

Dianne- The boys were itching to go for a ride.

Jay- I was very nice to put a voice to the faces behind the blogs they write.

Songbird- I would love nothing better than to hang out there with you and the surf and sun.

The Teamster said...

i thought I commented on your post.....first and fore most....thanks to Lisa for sharing her birthday with us...and Jeff what a perfect day to hang out, get to know one another and eat some great food. Thanks so much for including us on "the tour" and hopefully we can meet up again sometime soon...

buffalodick said...

Sounds like a good time! Glad you all had fun!

jennifer said...

Aw, looks like y'all had fun. Happy Birthday to Lisa.

katherine. said...

the afternoon with all of you was truly one of the highlights of our trip.

I still cannot believe it was Lisa's birthday...she is wonderfully gracious.

Anthony and Matthew are great and welcome in Santa Cruz anytime....I better practice my badminton skills.

It was fun to meet the Psycho Mom responsible for you and Gene...I know she had a hand in helping prepare the party.

Starr and the kidlet were two peas in a pod and just as quick-witted in real life.

The bike had no room for my axe...or hairdryer, iron, you lucked out.

Thanks again...hopefully I'll get my post up in a day or two.

CrystalChick said...

Happy Birthday to Lisa!
Glad you all had fun.

Raven said...

How very cool to meet blog friends. When I moved to Arizona in 2000 - way before I discovered blogging - I met some people who I knew from message boards. One of them became my good friend and a true life-saver at a very difficult time in my life. Glad you had such a fun gathering.

Mel said...

They visit--you disappear...



Just sayin'........

San said...

Jeff, what a sweet day! And what a sweet cake. Thank you for offering me a piece.

So, tell us. How DO they sound when they LOL? Something tells me there was a lot of LOLing.

Bond said...