Thursday, January 20, 2011

Face to Face

About four years ago, I did an Artella swap and was paired with a woman named Beth from Nashville. She had a blog -- it was the first blog I visited, and she often mentioned the blog of her friend Rosemary, which I quickly added to my list. A bit later, she asked me to join her online ATC swap group, where I also met Annie and Jill, among others. I also discovered Jess through Beth. Beth and Rosemary were the first bloggers I knew and they encouraged me to start my own.

On Thursday night after my conference, I had dinner with Rosemary. Neither Beth or Jess could come that evening, unfortunately. Another good reason to go back to Nashville, though it was indeed disappointing.

I think lots of bloggers have had this experience -- we meet and it is as though we have known one another forever. Truly, Rosemary and I have shared more than I do with many people I see every day via this thing called the blog and the Internet. So, face to face wasn't in the slightest awkward. It was just the way it should be!

After a drive through some lovely Nashville neighborhoods, we headed toward a lovely town called Franklin with its totally charming downtown.

We window peeked. The stores were closed by the time we arrived. But one look at Franklin and it's another great reason to go to Nashville! Check this one out --

And this!

You'll see the Valentine displays next month!

We had dinner at The Red Pony. I wish I remembered our waiter's name. He was astounding and most accommodating. Knowledgable about the food, and most personable. Of course we asked him to take our picture!

We enjoyed wonderful drinks. Mine, the Pink Cougar, was lemon laced with a splash of cranberry. SO good! Rosemary had "The Parisian" -- a bit like a Mojito with a bit of champagne.

And dinner -- I mentioned before I fell in love with shrimp and grits earlier in my Nashville visit. It was on the menu and despite other wonderful choices by Chef Jason, I had to have it.

It SO did not disappoint -- Applewood bacon, mushrooms, scallions, shrimp on the creamiest grits! I think there's a bit of Southern Girl in me!

Rosemary enjoyed the beef tenderloin pizza.

We were surprised when our waiter brought us a surprise appetizer from the chef.

And like good bloggers, we took lots of pix of each other and the food!

I simply love the fact that I have all kinds of friends in all kinds of places. The friends I've known since early childhood, then later high school and college. The friends who are family -- both from birth and from marriage. Friends from work and community. The book club. The Cork Poppers. My good women friends.

Then there are the bloggers. Some -- like Joanne, Karen, Anno, Jen, Ruth and Tara, I've been fortunate to meet face-to-face. And every single experience has felt so genuine. No awkward moments of "where do we begin this conversation." Skip the shallow, get straight to the deep.

How I wish everyone had that experience. I look forward to many more wonderful encounters!

The next morning, Rosemary took me to the airport (but first, a quick tour around Nashville's downtown where she showed me Oprah's high school...

...where you could imagine the young, unpolished Oprah walking up these steps every day...

...the Ryman Auditorium (the original Grand Ol' Opry)...

...and the fun streets I didn't get to experience feet-on!

It was the best! Thanks, Rosemary -- with all the smiles, I am confident we will meet again!


Sugar Bear said...

Looks like lots of good food (love grits!) and good friends and great scenery! I've wanted to go to TN. Looks like a beautiful and friendly place.

Retired English Teacher said...

Oh, I want to go to Nashville. I am in awe of all of your experiences. I am discovering that blogging friends are the best! I am inspired daily by all that I read and see.

Karen Owen said...

I love Nashville! I know exactly what you mean about meeting our fellow bloggers and online friends. That's how I felt when I finally met you in person. Hopefully, it won't be too long before we can see each other again.

Janet said...

Rosemary is wonderful! Like you, I "know" Rosemary through our blogs. I'd love to meet her in person. She seems like such a fun person.

Deb said...

How fun to meet a blogger friend. The picture of you and Rosemary in the restaurant was beautiful. I think it was worthy of framing. Fun post.

Dogwood said...

What fun to be able to meet some of your blogging friends. I would love to do that some time! I love my blog friends. They are the greatest.
Have a fun weekend.

Lovely pictures of shops.

Privet and Holly said...

It IS great to meet
friends from our bloggy
world, isn't it? Looks
like you two had a lovely
time....and now I want to
go to Nashville, too!
xx Suzanne

BECKY said...

How fun! Some day I know that I will be able to meet some of my blog friends in person, too! And I know it'll be just as you we've known each other for years!! I keep saying I'll cross the country, doing book signings and be able to see lots of friends that way! Wish me luck! :)

Biz said...

I was just cathing up at Privet & Holly and saw she mentioned you.
Stopping by to say Hello!
I hope you have a Blessed Friday!

Wrightboysmum said...

That Parisian drink looks good. I thought you would have had that one. It's great meeting blog friends in real life. I'm meeting a couple later on this year at a scrapbook retreat and I'm really looking forward to it.

Becca said...

Boy, this looks like a good time! Makes me want to plan a trip to Nashville, as well as a blogging friends get together.

I've been blogging for almost five years, but have never met any of my blogger friends in person.

Marilyn said...

Isn't it the best to meet fellow bloggers and pick up the conversation face to face. Just the best! This looks like a great visit and the food amazing! I feel certain one day we will meet face to face.

Bella Rum said...

This sounds like so much fun. Isn't blogging the best? It wonderful how we all make that connection.

I love shrimp and I love grits, but I've never had them together. Wonder if I could find a recipe online. I have tons of shrimp in the freezer. Okay, not tons, but about ten pounds. Wouldn't it be great if I could find a recipe?

I want to visit Nashville now.

Another great post, Jeanie. This is a happy place to visit... not that it always has to be that way. I'd come over to hear your troubles anytime, too.

robin bird said...

hey you! i had been over at rosa's blog and was so delighted to see the two of you together! you know i know how much fun it is :) you got yourself a lot of great photographs while on your trip too!

Joanne Huffman said...

Blog friends, like you, are, indeed, the best! Love the photos; it's like being a fly on the wall of your time in Nashville.

Kitty said...

I visited Nashville several times while Dan and Sarah lived north of it but never saw it like you did. Awesome! I think I probably attended the Grand Ole Oprey back in its heyday on the way home from Florida, probably late '40's. I don't remember much about it but I do remember my Dad's excitement at being there. So glad you had a great trip

~*~Patty S said...

Oh what fun is so true about finally getting to "meet" blog friends in person or even on Skype which I just had occasion to enjoy over the weekend. Technology certainly is amazing and has opened up whole new worlds.
Looks like you both had such a great time!

Relyn said...

Such fun! There is nothing like meeting blogging friends, is there?

paris parfait said...

Yea! Two of my favourite people getting together is a wonderful thing! xo

Vagabonde said...

I’m making a note of the restaurant The Red Pony in Franklin. My daughter lives in Brentwood, which is very near and this restaurant sounds very nice.

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