Epic Bloggah Meet-up Sends Maine Spinning Off Into The Atlantic

Too much awesome for one photo.

Too much awesome for one photo.

Yeah.  No, really.  This happened.  And it was every bit as magical as you can imagine, times 5 bazillion.

My niece, Kelly, recently moved to Maine.    My daughter, Liz, and I made plans to fly out and visit her and my sister-in-law, Becky, for Labor Day weekend.   It didn’t occur to me until the week before our trip that my bestie blogging buddy, Miss Darla of She’s a Maineiac fame, also lives in Maine.  We were only going to be there a few days, and I had no idea how far apart they lived but, heart thumping, I emailed Miss Darla to see if a meeting would be possible.

It was possible.  It would be done.  And there was much squeeeeeeeeing!

Things got even better from there.  Because Darla revealed that equally awesome blogging buddy Jules, from Go Jules Go, had already contacted her to say she would be travelling to Maine that weekend.  Double squeeeeeeees! all around.   The world’s most epic bloggah (that means “blogger” for those not from Maine) meet-up was on.  This meet-up would be so awesome-sauce that it would cause the entire state of Maine to break clean off the mainland and go spinning into the Atlantic Ocean.*

It’s funny how close you can get with someone in an online community like WordPress.  Y’all are part of the daily fabric of my life, as, I flatter myself, I am part of yours.  Sometimes it seems we get to know one another more intimately than most flesh-and-blood people in “real” life.  The distance and relative anonymity of typing words, as opposed to saying them, face to face, helps us to be true and honest.  That freedom to strip away the social conventions is both the worst thing about the internet and its major strength.

Having the opportunity to attach faces, bodies and voices to people I had loved for years because of their ideas, was more than I had dreamed could happen.

We decided to meet for lunch in Portland and Darla picked a great restaurant right on the wharf.  My family and I got there before they opened and waited out front as a big line formed to get in.  I was nervous.  Then someone walked up and stopped to fiddle with her phone about 20 feet down the sidewalk. “Darla?” I asked.  No response.  I abandoned my place in line and moved in closer.  “Darla?” I asked louder.  I sure hoped it was her because she had barely looked up before I had my arms around her and was squeezing the stuffing out of the woman.  It was her!

I don’t know who was smiling wider – Miss Darla or me.  We kept hugging and grinning like big doofuses, saying “I can’t believe it’s you!” over and over again, right there on the sidewalk in front of God and everybody, including about 300 people waiting in line for this great restaurant which only contained a couple of tables and…yikes!  They had opened the doors while we were slobbering all over one another.  I had to knock down an entire family of South Korean tourists to reclaim our spot in line and snag a couple of tables.

There were people, and dogs, and lobstah.

There were people, and dogs, and lobstah.

Just a few minutes later, an adorable dog trotted down the aisle toward us, followed by his wonderful owner.  Jules and Uncle Jesse were in the house!  Darla and I both hopped up and there was more hugging, squeeeeeing! and repeating, “I can’t believe it’s you!” all around.

Lunch was fabulous.  As a resident of Maine, Darla is required by law to promote the state’s three primary resources to all guests: lobstah (that’s “lobster” for non-Maineiacs), blueberries and moose.  We had lobstah rolls along with blueberry beeyah (that’s “beer” for non-Maineiacs), but we didn’t see any mooses.  Must have been scared off by all the tourists packed into the town for the holiday weekend.

It turns out Darla’s birthday was the next day, and Jules brought her a special present: a neon-green fringed t-shirt inspired by Jules’ recent post about the New Jersey fashion scene.  It fit Darla like a glove.  I would show you photos, but I can’t because Darla is in negotiations with MTV for a remake of the popular reality show, “Jersey Shore.”  The spinoff is tentatively titled:  “Maine Shore: The Darlooki and Jim-Woww Story.”

Awkward. Yet thoughtful.

Awkward. Yet thoughtful.

Then Jules surprised us with more gifts – one for each of us.  Darla and I tore into the packages to find personalized lobstah vibrators.   I’m not gonna lie.  It was a bit awkward.   But after our first, stunned silence, everything was good.  I know Jules’ heart is in the right place.

My blogging buddies are just as I pictured them, but more so.  Jules is a statuesque, blonde goddess.   Darla is cute-as-a-button and surprisingly tiny.  And Uncle Jesse’s fur is even more luxurious than photos can do justice.

Some thanks are in order:

Thanks to Darla’s husband Jim, and their two kids for driving her to Portland.   Although they weren’t able to take the time to actually stop and meet us, Jim was kind enough to slow the car down enough so that Darla didn’t break any major bones as she tumbled out into the roadway in front of the wharf.  Catching sight of the backs of their heads in the car as they sped off as fast as possible, given the traffic, made me feel we made a real connection.

Thanks to Uncle Jesse for coming along.  Although he didn’t really have much of a choice since Jules was driving.  And he is, you know, a dog.

Behind the scenes in Wardrobe.

Behind the scenes in Wardrobe.

Thanks to my wonderful family for putting up with this nonsense.  Becky, Liz, Kelly and her honey, Nick, took time from a very packed, short weekend to drive up the coast and stayed to have lunch with us.  I know they were thrilled to be in the company of three such distinguished bloggers even though they sat at a separate table and hid behind their menus.  When we donned our matching mustaches and plaid earmuffs embellished with yellow yarn hair, and our fellow diners stared in horror,  I’m sure my family loudly said things like, “I have no idea who those 3 women are” and “shouldn’t someone call the authorities??” merely to hide how proud and deeply moved they were by the event.

Fellow diners were….wary.

Finally, thanks to Darla and Jules for making this happen and for being so, so fabulous.  I’m still smiling like a big doofus, and probably will be until the next annual Bloggah Lobstah meet-up.  Can’t wait for 2017!

*Maine didn’t really split off the mainland and go spinning into the Atlantic ocean.  That type of “hyperbole” is something we writers do to make a point.   If Maine really had broken off from the rest of the country you probably would have heard about it on the news. 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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71 Responses to Epic Bloggah Meet-up Sends Maine Spinning Off Into The Atlantic

  1. Go Jules Go says:

    I dunno. It was all okay, I guess. (The other advantage to online communication: You can’t see my massive, dorky grin.) Pssst…Peggles, did you see Darla try to cover up the origins of my ‘gift’? There’s no shame in it ladies, NO SHAME.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome! That’s all I can say! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Al says:

    Other than the three of you looking like the usual suspects at an unlawful gathering, sounds like a great meet-up! You three have certainly entertained the rest of us all these years, glad you got to entertain yourselves for a change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back it up a sec–you didn’t realize until the WEEK BEFORE that I lived in Maine?! Oh, I get it now. This was all about the lobster. Fine. Did you forget about me because I’m so “surprisingly tiny”? (And thank you for that compliment — I’m thinking of putting it on my resume. Although “statuesque goddess” sounds so much better)

    A few more things:
    1) Our time went by way too fast.
    2) Lobster vibrators.
    3) I love you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • pegoleg says:

      To tell the truth, we didn’t book the trip until a couple weeks before. Then it took me a solid week to figure out where Kelly lived and where you lived and triangulate on MapQuest to see if it was anywhere nearby. After all, from my research I learned that Maine is the largest of the New England states, and that all the others can fit inside it! (fun factoid for everybody there. You’re welcome.)

      Then it took a bit of hemming and hawing to decide if it was way too much of an imposition to ask my sister-in-law, who was hosting and driving us, to do this. And if my daughter would turn up her nose at the entire scheme. But they were great about it, as were you and Jules.

      Love you more!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Peg not realizing She’s a Maineiac lived in Maine until the week before has got to be discouraging. Marketing evangelicals would have a tough time reconciling that oversight with commonly held beliefs on the power of branding.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    WordPress is the U.N. of the 21st century!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. What a great story, so glad you all could meet. Reminded me of the 60’s when we had pen pals. (For those of you who don’t know what a “pen” is, I’m thinking millennials here, it’s an instrument used for the purpose of putting actual words on paper, using ink.)

    Any chance you could send some of that delish Maine lobstah out west coast way????

    Like

  7. susielindau says:

    Looks like an amazing meetup of my favorite bloggers!

    Like

  8. Bill the Praise and Worship Guy says:

    I’m sure you laughed, you cried, you made memories — although after the 4th or 5th blueberry bee-yah your memories might be a bit, er, foggy….

    Like

    • Bill the Praise and Worship Guy says:

      Although the blueberry beeyah probably tastes better than the moose bee-yah and the lobster bee-yah….

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        I think you’re right, although the blueberry beeyah didn’t have much of a blueberry taste to me. Maybe you don’t care about such things after you finish off the fifth moose-antler full of the stuff.

        Like

  9. Elyse says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….

    Like

  10. mistyslaws says:

    Still jealous…..

    (Although I have met Jules before. Twice. So there).

    Like

  11. List of X says:

    I’m sure that the restaurant patrons were going to call the authorities, but once the lobstah vibrators were out, they knew that there’s something serious going on and it’s better to keep quiet and keep their heads down.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Well, to tell the truth, they were those deals that restaurants pass out that light up and vibrate when your order’s ready. But we thought somebody was missing out on a prime marketing opportunity with that kind of narrow thinking. They would make great phones, vibrators…the list is endless!

      Like

  12. Margie says:

    How wonderfully awesome that you young gals could get together! It isn’t really a surprise, is it, that friendships can form and thrive in the blogging community!? That level of communication is often more frequent, and deeper, than what can be said at the family dinner table, or during a coffee break with a fellow worker.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      So true, Margie. I was thinking the same thing. So much of our daily contact with people is entirely superficial – and I kinda want it that way. It’s hard to bare your soul to someone you might cut in front of the next day at the grocery store.

      Like

  13. I realize how much I love your blog, Peg.
    You and Darla and Jules and Katie and Al and so many more….forgive me for not naming you all,
    how much I enjoy your twisted minds.
    And the fact that you share that with me. Love!

    Like

  14. Lenore Diane says:

    Oy. Oy. Oy. I had to look up my WordPress password to leave a comment. I had to LOOK UP my WordPress password, y’all! (Throwing in some Southern speak to mix with the Maine speak.) I have not accessed WordPress in over a year. *gulp* But, this could not keep me away. I am thrilled you guys took advantage of the time in town and got together. Yay you guys!!
    I have no doubt it was fun. I’ve driven passed Darla’s side o’town for 2yrs now, and I’ve not managed a stop. 2017, Darla. It. Is. On. 🙂 Join Peg and Jules!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      LD! You’re aliiiiiiiivvvvvvveeeee! Nice to see your smiling avatar again. Funny, you don’t look any older after all this time. How’re the kids? 2017 fo sure. Bloggah meetup extraordinaire!
      Thanks for reaching out to Darla with Katy’s sad news – she let me know, too. It’s so, so heartbreaking.

      Like

  15. charleen says:

    How fun!!! Well, Maine *is* one of the states that I have never been to; I’m looking to finish them all this decade.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Hey, Charleen, how nice to see your smiling face again! Same for me – I’d never been and was delighted to go there. Now I want to go back and spend some time way up north where only the mooses roam.

      Like

  16. It sounds like a venerable tsunami of estrogen. If only we could harness the energy of the squeals. If only.

    I love blog meet-ups. The first thing that I find jarring is the voices. They never match the faces.

    Like

  17. I’ve had the opportunity to do IRL meets of online community folk too – always a lot of hugging and squeeeeeeeeeeeeing and occasional groping…

    Didn’t have the lobstah vibrators, though. Now I feel cheated… 😦

    Like

  18. It’s interesting to hear you’ve met Darla in person and have disproved rumors that she’s not an actual person but merely an AI algorithm created by the Maine tourism board. Indeed, some Internet conspiracy theorists have tried to confirm whether anyone could independently verify Maine existed as a state prior to her blog.

    Like

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