Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blogger Mini Convention

Island Rider, FC, and Vicki at Crackers Restaurant showing they are not afraid of being photographed in the mid-day Florida sun.

Last week, I was lucky enough to meet two fellow bloggers down in Crystal River. Each of us have been regular readers and commenters at the other's sites for years. The week before, an email invitation to meet for lunch popped up and since I felt like I already knew them, I accepted the invitation. That feeling of knowing someone you have never met took care of any "first meeting" awkwardness and the conversation flowed over lunch. In fact, I talked alot more than I ate, which is pretty weird for me.

... but when you are in such charming company and at ease, it's easy for a relatively quiet guy to converse.

Now, ... I knew I was meeting 2 ladies, and ladies tend to be thoughtful and gifty, so I figured I'd better not show up empty-handed.

A quick trip to Dakotah Vineyards, our local muscadine grape vinter, gave me a pair of Noble wines to take along for my friends.

Here's my stash from our lunch meeting ... not shown is the amazing bread, delicious parmesean cheese, and squid ink (remember?) pasta that Vicki brought along. The Florida Cracker bumper sticker actually came after the meeting in an envelope addressed to my JEEP. I can honestly say this is the first time my JEEP has received personal mail.

"Spartina" is next on my reading list, and was chosen by Vicki. I think the main character made her think of me ...

... I see why.

This beautiful bit of glass artwork was created by Cathy (Island Rider). She honored me by using a photo of a reflecting little blue heron I had posted as her inspiration for the work.

She also honored me by doing this piece twice as the first piece did not survive the post office.

Cathy also created a piece for the missus as I have let slip a few times here that Mrs. FC is a rabid UF Gators fanatic.

The little blue heron piece fits perfectly with our rustic Florida living room and should be relatively safe from Bear's amazingly high browse line.

It was a nice visit and none of us turned out to be axe-murderers, which was a great relief.


Anonymous said...

The Noble is a favorite of STEB and myself. We split a case the last time down. It's just about time to replinish that on the wine rack...thanks for the reminder!

Dani said...

What a great visit! I think we were all a little envious(in a good way)when we read about it over at Cathy's Blog. :)

And WOW! Cathy does such beautiful glass pieces!

Pablo said...

"inchoate" is a good word.

amarkonmywall said...

I know I was relieved. I can't get over the beauty of the heron piece, with the reflection and it is a perfect fit with your lovely new mantle. Have you thought about enlarging the original photo?

It WAS a nice visit and the Noble is a new favorite of ours, so thank you for that, too!

Curious. There's no pix of Bear in this post. I would still like to meet HIM.

Miz S said...

I love blogger meet ups! And yes, it's always a relief when the online friend turns out not to be a complete freak in person.

Alan said...

Great blog post. Dakotah is my favorite Florida winery. Its hard to beat. Have a lot of respect for the old man running the joint now. He said he used to be a counselor and quit it because it got to him too much.

Nice presents to boot!

amarkonmywall said...

What do you think Mary means,"not a complete freak?"

lisa said...

That is so great!! Even better that no one was an axe-murderers. He, He

robin andrea said...

I read about this over at Vicki's blog. I have to admit I had a pang of envy. How cool to meet up with fellow bloggers. It's truly like a reunion, isn't it, and not a blind date at all. Sounds like fun, wish I'd been there.

Cathy S. said...

I don't use axes. Too unwieldy. Fortunately for you, my chain saw was out of gas. LOL. I would not have pegged you for the quiet type knowing how you regularly wrestle gators and middle schoolers, but you are which made it even more special that you drove an hour to meet two strange (yes, Vicki,we can be strange) menopausal women. It was a great day, and I enjoyed hearing your side of the story. Next time, I guess we better get a larger room. Sounds like we will have some company! Cathy S. aka Island Rider

Thunder Dave said...

Ok maybe they weren't axe-murderer's, but you were pretty quick to know right where the "poachers" dumped the carcus' on my property! ;-)
Vicky the pasta was awesome, I'm glad FC gave me the chance to play with it!

Floridacracker said...

I'll be pickin my own muscadines soon.

It was a lot of fun! Cathy really has that glasswork down!

Yes, yes it is.

So glad you enjoyed the Noble wine! It was a joy to meet you two.
I have Bear posts out the wazzoo.
His next one is a little risque.

LOL on your second comment!

Miz S,
I am an inchoate freak perhaps?

I agree, the folks at Dakotah are really nice.

I know, it's always a drag when they turn out to be psycopathic axe murderers.
Not this time!

It was fun and we missed you!

Cathy S,
LOL! Yes, I find a chainsaw does the work quite nicely. This could be the start of the Gulf Coast Blogging Convention.

Floridacracker said...

And you did well.

Ericka said...

very cool! it sounds like a great time was had by all... and her glass work is beautiful! if you're ever in eastern north carolina...

Deb said...

Sounds like a great time with two new old friends! It always amazes me how much of a community we have online. I'm with Cathy, I would have never pegged you as the quiet type.

Floridacracker said...

It was great. I'm very partial to Norcalina from my days in the NPS.

That community was the big surprise when I started blogging. Quiet is relative I guess. I tend to be that way, but have been known to blather on. :)

Aunty Belle said...

Hrumph! I is miffed!

Ackshully, them ladies look like a lot of fun an' thanky fer sharin' that ya had a summit --now that ya practived, why not organize a FLORIDA wide blogger summit??? Huh? huh?

I read Spartina. you'll like it. (onc't I got finished howlin' over the name Dick Piece, the story was a good one.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, what fun - Vicki is a hoot in person as well as online. I've not met Cathy, but I'm blown away by that glass work.

I can also say that in more than 20 years of meeting online friends, I have met more weirdos in real life than online. Your mileage may vary.

Floridacracker said...

Where are my manners? Actually, I thought I could handle two axe murderers at one time, but 3 axe wielding women might have been tough ... you know, just in case they BOTH were axe murderers.
I'm looking forward to Spartina, after I finish my summer read action novel.

Love that comment ending LOL!
I haven't met that many folks in person, but they have all been nice.