Saturday, April 6, 2013

Our England Trip ~ Day 2

Perhaps you're wondering how I ended up with friends in England.
Back in 2009, I randomly came across a link for an online class called “Blogging for Scrapbookers” {with Shimelle} and it immediately caught my attention. I was still new to blogging, and I thought a class like that might be just what I needed to figure out how to do some basic formatting on my blog.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when the class started, when I found out there was an online forum for class participants to converse and share links to their blogs. That was really my first experience reading and commenting on blogs. Up until that point, I was mostly reading the blogs of “big bloggers” and not interacting much in the blogging community.
There were three bloggers whose blogs I found through the online class, and the three of them happened to be friends in real life - they live in England. Every month, each of them would publish blog posts telling about the lovely time they’d spent together cropping {scrapbooking}, and every time I read one of their posts I would think {and usually comment}, “I want to crop with you ladies someday!!!”
So, when Carrie and I began our planning process for our trip to England, I contacted Deb, Denise, and Karen and put in my request for a gathering that would include scrapbooking together. They made it happen for us! Another blog friend, Alison, was also coming from Spain that weekend, and they graciously included her as well.
England ~ Day Two
From my travel journal:  "We took the train to Bishop's Stortford to spend the day with Deb, Denise, and Karen. It was snowing like crazy when we left London, and continued to snow throughout the day at Deb's. Cold, cold, cold. But happy! I was so excited to finally be meeting these ladies in person, and so grateful for the time we were able to spend together!"

es, I was cold, but do I look miserable? Nope. I was happy!!! 
Carrie, Alison, and I left London early on Saturday morning and walked several blocks in some crazy falling snow and blowing wind to get to the underground/subway station that would then take us to the train station where we would purchase tickets and continue our travel to Deb’s town.

I remember being extremely overwhelmed at the train station. There were signs everywhere with information overload and details about platforms and departure times. Carrie was taking it all in, learning the ropes that would prove to be very helpful when we didn’t have Alison by our side guiding the way.

{on the train to Deb's town}
When we arrived at our destination, there was one excited Debs14 waiting to pick us up. {Actually, there were two excited Debs, but I digress...} ;o) We walked out to her car and decided I’d ride in the front seat so by habit I walked around to the right side of the car as Deb was opening the door. Whoa! There was a steering wheel there! Haha. It felt very strange to have the car and roadways switched from what Carrie and I are used to!
When we arrived at Deb’s house, Denise and Karen were there waiting. The table was arranged with scrapbook kits, and we shared some excited hugs, lots of chatter, a delicious lunch, and took lots of photos. Deb’s husband took a photo of the six of us together, and she printed a copy for each of us to use on our own scrapbook pages. 
It had been a while since I’d made a 12x12 scrapbook layout. I felt rusty and a little embarrassed because, uh, hello? I was sitting right next to Karen whose scrapbooking skills have been admired by myself for the past 3+ years! She made such a beautiful page, of course!
One of the things I also wanted to experience were the cupcakes that Karen makes every month to take to their crops. While we were finishing up lunch, Debs announced, “Guess what’s for pudding?” and we all had a laugh about what American pudding is and how that word is used instead of “dessert” in England.
After a few hours of scrapping and visiting, we cleaned up our mess and got ready to head to the local pub in Deb’s town for dinner. Oh yeah, there may have been a small glass of Debs' homemade sloe gin consumed by Alison and me prior to leaving her house. {Yum!}
Anyway! Dinner was fantastic! I had the best fish and chips of my life, and I tried mashed mushy peas for the first time ever and liked them! Carrie and I shared a yummy brownie for pudding {wink} and we talked about blog land and other friends we have grown fond of over the years. There was even a sweet conversation about our blog friend Cate – she lives in Australia and is expecting a baby this summer. We tossed around some ideas for an online baby shower for her, and I love that this project is going to be the result of our collective input.

We’d had such an amazing time with our friends. Since we'd been blog friends for almost four years {as well as Facebook, Instagram, emailing, and occasional happy mail}, being together in person was not the least bit awkward! Being with these ladies felt like seeing local friends we hadn’t seen for a while.
After our yummy dinner we headed back to the train station, said our final farewells to Debs14 {by the way, I am known as DebTurtle to these ladies, and I love that!} and headed back to London. We were deliciously tired and happy.

Travel journal: "It was such a great day, and I loved meeting and spending time with my sweet blog friends. It really was a perfect day!"
Tomorrow would be a big day for us! We'd be meeting more blogging friends for lunch in London. I was so excited that, even in my exhausted state, I had a hard time getting to sleep that night!


Fiona@staring at the sea said...

I'm loving this series of posts Deb :o) Of course, I now have to go and find out the alternative meaning of pudding!

JO SOWERBY said...

I am loving how all the years of blogging with friends has now ended in proper meetings. It's a fun thing to do. Love Bishop's Stortford, used to go there drinking when I lived in Cambridge
Love Jo xxx

Alison said...

Smiling from ear to ear, Deb!...great recap!
Alison xx

Becky said...

Lovely installment of your trip!

traci said...

that is so great that you finally met your blog friends across the pond. so very special!!

Ruth said...

You've described your day perfectly; I was right there with you!

Rhona said...

I love how you've described this day, I think we're all enjoying reliving the holiday with you :). xx

alexa said...

So lovely to see you happy and smiling and delighted your visit to the UK has been so rewarding. You have some glorious photos to scrapbook!

Karen said...

Just traveling to a foreign country would be exciting enough, but to get to spend time with blogging friends too---just over the top! No wonder you were smiling ear to ear!

Denise said...

I love your blog post more than pudding :-))

Margaret said...

I'm intrigued by those mushy peas.

debs14 said...

Love, love, LOVE this post! Such happy memories. Thank you SO much for visiting. What a great day we had x

Anonymous said...

I'm so enjoying reading about your trip and recognizing so many of those names. :)

scrappyjacky said...

Wonderful post, all look so obviously had such fun.

Irene said...

What a great day you all had. Love the bag and the tiny turtle is awesome.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

It looks like a great trip! Lucky you to connect with so many blog friends on one trip. One day!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Great post! so many details.
Don't you just love the trains in Europe?

Lizzie said...

Lovely, lovely! I am so enjoying your posts about your & Carrie's trip to England.

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