I’ve had the benefit of being part of my local blogging group, Pittsburgh Bloggers, for the last 2 years, plus a newer mom bloggers group in the area. With Pittsburgh Bloggers, we meet quarterly at a watering hole down by PNC Park for drinks and conversation (and, ironically, no blogging). It’s been a great way to put a face with a name, to network and meet new friends. Heck, it even helped my love life! But I’ve always wanted to meet some of the other bloggers I read — those in cities far, far away. So, back in January when I first found out I would be going to San Francisco on business, I boldly decided to pay for an extra night in the hopes my favorite bloggers in the area would like to meet.
(Or, they claimed they did!)
Actually, I think these are the only bloggers I know from San Francisco, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I was — and still am — pretty darned geeked about meeting Dadshouse, Depot Dad and Single Mom Seeking in real, offline life!
First, I spent the afternoon with David from Dadshouse. We met in North Beach, where we had lunch outside in the sun at one of the many wonderful cafes, and then a delish steaming cup of cappuccino at the famous espresso landmark, Cafe Trieste. Aren’t you impressed already?! Seriously, it really didn’t matter where we were; David is smart, funny and easy to talk to. And talk we did, about blogging, love/dating — if you read Dadshouse, please let me state for the record that his dating tales are FAR more interesting than mine ever were! — kids, and writing. I find it interesting and a bit of a relief that I’ve found someone who apparently writes his blog posts as slowly as I do! It was interesting, too, to hear more about his novels and their (his?) journey towards publication.
The one thing about David that didn’t impress me so much was his skills as a tour-guide. We walked by this beautiful cathedral across Washington Square and he made a sweeping gesture like he was about to tell me its history, and proclaimed something like, “And over there…is a really old church.”
(That’s for you, David :) )
After a brief stop back at my hotel, I met Rachel from Single Mom Seeking and we headed back to North Beach, this time to the equally wonderful Cafe Divine, to have dinner with Jim, aka Depot Dad. (Sidenote: Jim knows Chef David Wees from his Omaha days. Funny how they both ended up in SF. Highly recommend the restaurant, btw.) Let me say that Rachel and Jim were both as I pictured — down-to-earth, warm, funny and very genuine…and genuinely likable. (Rachel also has the most beautiful blue eyes!) Again, the conversation was easy and relaxed, like we’ve known each other for a long time. We talked about so much in a relatively short period of time: what’s happening in our lives, our kids, the blogosphere, and love — dating, relationships, and I suppose in not such an obvious sense, the love of friends. Perhaps even new blogging friends.
We didn’t stay out late, but it’s amazing what you can fit into a few hours. Jim and Rachel had to pick up their kids, and Jim was a little worn out after his latest rounds of treatment. But, it was so worth it, and I hope to vist again. If you ever get the chance to spend a few hours with the bloggers you’ve connected with, I say go for it! Really, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Friday the 13th. Lucky me!
P.S. For those of you who read both Dadshouse and Single Mom Seeking, you know there was…oh, how shall I say… a bit of hubbub last week between the two. I’m not going to comment except to say, yes, I talked to each of them about it; yes, they’re both moving forward; and, no, I didn’t have to break apart our meet-up plans; we planned separate outings on Friday due to scheduling, which always seems trickier for single parents. What I will say is that while each of our “voices” sound different, I believe our intentions in blogging are the same: to express ourselves and our opinions in a manner that is geniune to who we are. As readers, we’re going to like some styles and stories better than others — maybe some of the time, maybe all of the time. As writers, we know just how powerful the written word can be.
Which is why I hope that, someday, they’ll have a chance to talk…whether they decide to blog about it for us or not.
PPS. Would you believe I brought my camera to SF, but forgot to bring it both times I went out. Definitely a double Doh!