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 --
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!
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