Saturday, March 12, 2011

City girl? Country girl? In between girl?

I have always considered myself a city girl. The name of my blog is supposed to be humorous because I don't live amongst cornfields, when I tell someone that I live in Iowa they immediately think, "Corn!" "Farms!" or "Potatoes!" (which is Idaho, btw. Not Iowa).

So, when I visit somewhere like the twin cities, Minneapolis/St. Paul I am extremely humbled by the fact that I am closer to "country girl" than "city girl." There are stoplights on the entrances to the freeway and cars and intersecting interstates/highways/freeways (what's the difference?!) everywhere. It is overwhelming and completely out of control for me. Each time I visit, although I have visited several times before, I have no clue where I am going. I am forced to message my friends, "Should I be passing Eagan?" "Where is 4-94?" "Am I supposed to be going WEST?!" All the while cars are zooming by me at ridiculous speeds. Minneapolis, your drivers are out of control. (And so is Kansas City - Missouri AND Kansas sides. Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL)

(Don't mind my self taken portrait in the car....)

Friday morning I headed up to the cities to meet up with two very special bloggers and see one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, speak about her new book, Sing You Home. This trip very quickly became more about meeting friends, than about seeing an author speak about a book. I met my very first blogging buddy, Lesli, at this very same event three ago, and we have made this somewhat of a tradition! We eat at the same Perkins each year and usually do some shopping too. Lesli couldn't make it to the book reading, but I didn't have to attend alone! I finally got to meet Lisa, from Lisa's Yarns!! I have only met one other blogger before in person, so I was extremely nervous but so excited! All day I kept telling myself that it would feel just like an old friend and that it was no big deal. I was right!

The two years before when I went to this event I made the three hour drive back home the same day. This year at the last minute I decided to get a hotel room. This year's event was at the same time as last years, and in 2010 I didn't make it home until after 1am. That drive was rough and I was really dreading doing that again. Lesli made me realize that that was silly to drive and I should just get a room. So, from my iPhone I got on Priceline and successfully bid $50 on a 3 1/2 star hotel and got it! I had never used Priceline before, but I will definitely do it again.

I stayed at the Le Bourget Aero Suites in Bloomington, MN and was really impressed with how nice it was!
(The best appliance in my room... Second to the bed for being my favorite item in the room)

Funny story, I specified "Mall of America and Minneapolis airport" (they're across the street from each other) when I chose a location for my hotel so when we finished our lunch we hopped in Lesli's VW Bug and headed to MOA to get checked in. Once we got to the area we planned on just driving around and looking for the Le Bourget Aero Suites. When we didn't see it I punched the address into my phone to get directions and was shocked to see where the hotel was.... It was around the corner from the Perkins we were eating at, 5 miles down 4-94 where we just came from. Oops.

In rush hour 5pm traffic we turned around and headed back to where we had just come from. Silly girls. We thought we'd be like men and not need directions! Ha... Ha...

We (well I) got checked into the room and inspected my digs for the night (which were pretty fantastic if you ask me) then Lesli and I had to part ways and I headed to Edina High School to meet up with Lisa!

I was really early, so I settled in and got lost once again in Ree Drummond's pioneer world, in her book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Thirty minutes later Lisa showed up and we were ready to head into the auditorium and wait for Jodi Picoult.

Sometimes it's so shocking to me that anyone is even paying attention, so when Lisa asked thoughtful questions about what was going on with me I was sort of floored. Doesn't she make the most thoughtful comments on your blog? She's the exact same way in real life! She easily makes you feel special and like you're an old friend picking up where they last left off. I really hope I didn't talk her ear off, but I'm 99.9% sure I did!

I went up to Minneapolis to see an author speak but the highlight of my day really turned into spending time with good friends. I enjoyed meeting Lisa so much, and I love how close Lesli and I have become. All of my friendships found online through blogging have become so important to me and I am so grateful for such a wonderful community of women (and some men!). I just cannot gush enough, you all know how I like to gush. ;)

(My view on the way home. Can you see the windmills?)

I had such a great time with both ladies and only regret not getting pictures of us together! I really need to get better at taking more pictures. I always remember later when I am by myself and am forced to take shameless pictures of myself or of coffee makers that make me swoon...

Have you met up with very many bloggers in real life? What was your experience like? Are you a city girl, country girl or in between girl like me?


Mandy said...

I am so glad that you were able to meet Lisa. She is absolutely amazing and I adore her. I met her last August, she was a wonderful tour guide around her beautiful city. She's a true gem and now one of my real life BFF's.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Basically I adore Lisa and I can't wait to meet you in August!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad you got a hotel room, long drives late at night are ROUGH! And $50 is a steal!!

Lesli said...

This was a great recap of your visit! I am glad I got to see you, even if it was just for 3 hours or so and part of it stuck in our lovely traffic jam on 494--ha ha! Your hotel room was so cute & pet friendly. I might want to stay there!


Jessica Lawlor said...

So exciting that you got to meet a blogging friend and go to an author event! Very cool.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

That's so awesome that you got to meet fellow bloggers! I've meet a few and it's always so fun! Glad you had a great time minus all the traffic.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Aw, you are so sweet! I had a wonderful time seeing you - it really was just like catching up with an old friend! I am so glad that you let me know you were coming!

Meeting blogger is awesome. So far everyone I have met comes across EXACTLY like they do on their blog/in their comments. I am so thankful for blogging because i have made some amazing friendships!

We'll def have to do that again!

Kimberly said...

Fun Trip!

I haven't met any blog friends in real life, but have emailed/written, kept in touch in ways other than blogging with a few.

Shoshanah said...

I have to saw I'm a little jealous of your meet-up. I've yet to actually meet any bloggers, but it's something I'd love to do someday!

Oh! And in Louisiana people call them interstates, but in California it's freeway. But there's really the exact same. I just try to say whatever's "correct" for the place I'm in.

d.a.r. said...

You know where I stand on this one, haha! Literally!! :)