Friday, August 7, 2009

Visiting Columbus

Usually, when Gizmo and I go somewhere, it is to visit somebody we know or do sight-seeing at some nationally known location. But last weekend, when we went to Columbus, we had no plans to see anything of note and our sole intention was to meet people we'd never seen before in our lives. We were there to visit our Twitter friends.

They treated us like visiting royalty. Our first stop was at the home of @shpef and @UR_AY_GAS. They not only had a wonderful lunch spread (and brownies!!) set out for us, but they invited us to spend the night there. We spent Saturday afternoon visiting with them and @leann_purdy before setting out for the evening tweetup at the Crimson Cup, an excellent little cafe.

The weather was perfect and we sat outside sipping beverages and munching goodies. My drink of choice was the frozen hot chocolate, which I highly recommend. I was amazed at the number of people who came out just to meet little old us! As cohesive a group as the Columbus twitterers seem to be, I was surprised at how many in our little group said they weren't following others who were also there. Of course, they pulled out iPhones and other twitter gadgets to rectify that situation that as soon as they could. There was even one who created a Twitter account on the spot!

Gizmo and I were thrilled to meet @taz288, @leann_purdy, @hesster56, @aharperhess (who runs the @crimsoncup account), @jlh_photo, @cherylharrison, @1datarecovery, @jconley21, @alonglens, @nicolegiaco, @billygiacomelli, and @1grrlrevolution and her family. Seeing how they mixed together made it obvious why the Columbus social media scene works so well.

Sunday morning saw us at Christian Life Church with @rockson and @mrsrockson. People at the church greeted us like long-lost friends (and commiserated wryly about our mutual friendship with @rockson). Lunch afterward at the historic landmark Bun's Restaurant in Delaware was delicious. I actually let some of the others at the table have some of the bread that was served.

Crowning the weekend was our Sunday dinner at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse with the Mind Bleach crew: @alonglens, @Goodguy76, @jconley21, and @klab. Goodguy's wife and two daughters were there too (the sons were occupied elsewhere), and it made for a great dinner. The highlight of the evening was when a zealous server knocked Goodguy's beverage all over Conley, making for an uncomfortable evening for the poor fellow.

But we didn't let that get in the way of a good time. We talked together as if we'd known each other all our lives, and the capper of the evening was Gizmo and I going to @alonglens' apartment for the live broadcast of the Mind Bleach podcast. We sat in the comfort of @alonglens' living room with a laptop computer typing snarky comments to the podcast's chat room while @alonglens attempted (mostly successfully) to do the podcast with co-host @Goodguy76.

Overall, I'm happy to report that all the people we met are exactly as they seem online: warm, friendly, funny, and willing to do anything for you. In addition to being my online friends, I am proud to now call them my real life friends as well. The residents of Columbus, Ohio are fabulous people and they live in a great town. (It's not college football season yet, so it's OK for a Michigan fan like me to say that.) Thank you for an unforgettable trip, everyone!

P.S. Go Blue!