How Many Bloggers Can You Fit In a Phone Booth?

That’s a trick question. Phone booths are largely a thing of the past.  Wouldn’t it be fun to try though?

Instead I did the next best thing. I packed my bags for Washington, D.C., Virginia and New York and met with bloggers everywhere I went.

After an extraordinary 48 hours in Atlanta visiting The Carter Center and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I flew to Washington, D.C.

Another airport, another flight delay. No matter. I sustained myself with chocolate and a large bottle of water along with the knowledge that Laurie would be waiting at the airport.

Laurie behind the camera

Laurie is a women’s health practitioner, a biker, an extraordinary photographer and an all around wonderful person. She’s quick with a laugh, sharp and funny. I admire her involvement in her community of Radford, Virginia and all she does to improve the lives of others. If you’re not already following along, please check her out at Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things.

My sense of direction is abysmal, so though we made it to the hotel courtesy of Google maps, it took us another twenty minutes to sort out the maze known as Dupont Circle. I knew that our hotel was in the same building as Starbucks (it wasn’t) and I knew that we were so close. Good grief, it’s a wonder she’s still speaking to me. I find it uncomfortable being directionally challenged. Thanks to Laurie, we made it.

Kelly, who blogs at Boomdeeadda and Kelly’s Korner already had the wine chilled. She arrived from Canada earlier in the week to visit with Julia. Kelly and I became fast friends through our mutual blogs nearly five years ago. We’re kindred spirits who love to travel. This holiday marks our seventh visit, even though we live in different countries, hundreds of miles apart.

Kelly in Times Square (Kelly’s husband treated us to a Broadway play called Waitress)

Saturday we joined Julia of Defeat Despair, and her son Matt for lunch in Old Town Alexandria. Julia’s been through a difficult time this past year with the loss of her husband, Jeff after a long illness. He died  a few months after he retired. Kelly and I planned to visit Julia in the spring after things were more settled, but life continues for her on a difficult path. I’m glad we could see her.

Old Town, Alexandria: Laurie, Matt, Julia, Kelly and me

Arlington Cemetery with Julia and Kelly

On Tuesday,  Julia took us to see Jeff’s grave at Arlington Cemetery.  It was beautiful and sobering, and we all abandoned pretense and gave in to our tears.

Alexandria, Virginia: Lisa, Laurie, Kelly and Me draped in Pauline King’s Scarf design

Lisa of Arlingwords joined us for a glass of wine, dinner, and a romp through Old Town, a place filled with beauty and history. I love the brick buildings, some of them nearly 300 years old. What a testament to building practices of the time. Tulips were up everywhere.

Tulips in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Lisa lives in Arlington and works for the State Department in DC. Lisa participates in the The Arlington Food Assistance Center’s (AFAC) Plot Against Hunger project. Some of the produce she grows helps supplement groceries for community members in need.

We spent five days dividing our time between Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. before boarding a train for New York City. Joe is an incredible photographer. He blogs at The Visual Chronicle and Monochromia. He’s an all around nice guy, who welcomed us to New York, greeting us at Penn Station. Joe and his lovely wife Terry hired a cab to our hotel, then waited in the hotel bar while we settled in.

Grant Central Station, New York: Terry, Joe, me and Kelly. photo credit: Patricia Fogarty

The Rare Bar & Grill Murray Hill, Affinia Shelburne Hotel, New York, NY. Patricia, me, Kelly, Terry and Joe. Photo credit: Patricia Fogarty

Joe invited Patricia to join us, and join us she did. We wandered around Grand Central Station and enjoyed watching Joe and Patti, both photographers, compare cameras and snap pics.

Joe and Terry treated us to a round of drinks, then later took us to dinner at a fabulous place called Eataly (think Eatery + Italy). We dined on amazing pasta, browsed the shops and got to know each other over dinner.

We’ve all said it before and it’s worth saying  again: how about this big, beautiful world of blogging? My heart is full.

The Bloggers

Alys at Gardening Nirvana, California

Joe at The Visual Chronicle New York

Julia at Defeat Despair, Virginia

Kelly at Boomdeeadda and Kelly’s Korner, Edmonton, Canada

Laurie at Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things, Virginia

Lisa at Arlingwords, Virginia

Patricia (Patti) at Nylon Daze,  New York

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55 thoughts on “How Many Bloggers Can You Fit In a Phone Booth?

  1. What a wonderful meet up Alys! I’m so glad you were able to spend some time with Julia and I’m sure you bought some cheer to her. Difficult as it would have been I am pleased that you have visited Jeff’s resting place in Arlington. I wish I could have been there with you all.

    I have found it vaguely satisfying that you all got together again almost exactly two years after our initial visit. That scarf has been well travelled and well worn – I’m also pleased that you loved it enough to wear it to the Carter Centre. I love the pic of you all wrapped in it!

    The NYC leg of your journey sounds like a whirlwind – I can picture you and Kelly laughing and loving every moment of it. You were certainly well looked after by the lovely Joe and his wife and Patti – all those talented photographers!

    What a wonderful lot of people you have gotten to meet up with – all through deciding one day to sit down at your computer and start a blog! Who knew!! The world is so full of really good people – who never make the news headlines – isn’t that odd! I’m sure you and Kelly will continue to travel and meet up with more wonderful folk who blog. It’s such fun!!

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    • Pauline, it was wonderful getting together in DC near the anniversary of our first blogging extravaganza. Its hard when special people like you live so far away. I’m so grateful for the time we all had together two years ago. You would love Terry and Joe and Patti, too. Patti is Australian, raised in the UK and now an expat living in New York. That scarf is an extension of you, Pauline. It’s soft, warm, beautiful and light. You’ll be happy to know I wore it in Atlanta, Virginia, and New York, and if you want to count airports, Denver, too. 😉 New Zealand, 2018!

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  2. Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. You can see the joy on everyone’s faces in the photographs. Glad you didn’t end up stuck in Atlanta forever. Your Carter visit sounded amazing. Thanks for taking us with you!

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    • We did, Karen! And since you know Laurie well, you know how she lights up a room. I loved that she drove all that way for less than a weekend. It was great catching up. The Carter Center was amazing. The entire two weeks away were one for the books.

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  3. I’ve often said that the single best thing about blogging is the other wonderful bloggers one meets (like YOU!) — and you’ve certainly proven that with this post. Thank you for this day-brightener, and for introducing us to your lovely community of blog-friends.

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  4. Alys I want you to know it was Laurie who started all of these blogging friendship meet ups. She was one of my first followers on The Visual Chronicle years ago and we have been friends ever since (by the way Laurie is directionally challenged also, LOL). It was a pleasure to finally meet you and Kelly. Terry and I had such a great time with you two girls. Isn’t it funny how this strange world of blogging brings people together from all corners of the world ? Whats even funnier is how we all come away from these meet ups with the feeling that we have all been close personal friends for life. Thank you both for the wonderful company that day and I want to also give a big shout out to my NYC “bud” Patti who always livens things up another notch – Hey Patti its always a blast !

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    • Joe, by the time I started following Laurie, I just assumed you had known each other for years. You’re right: we all feel like long-time friends. Of course we share a lot, too, in this blogging world of ours, creating an intimacy that non-bloggers don’t fully comprehend. I love the friendships, the shared experiences and knowledge, and even the camaraderie. Thanks for introducing us to Patti as well. I’m now following along on her posts, via her blog and Instagram.

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    • I sometimes have to really think about who’s introducted me to who in WordPress. You’re right, it’s funny how bloggers gravitate to each other only to find in a meet up, that we’re all totally compatible! I mean there’s over a million blogs at WP and we’ve all found each other! Mind Blown. It was awesome to hook up with you, Terry and Patti ! What a treat to arrive to your smiling, friendly faces in big and bold NYC. I hope you know there’s a standing invite for a very exclusive, Boomdee Drive-by Rockie Mountain Lookie-Lou Tour when ever you folks find your way to Canada 😀 <3. I'm not even kidding! I always wish to have more time here at WP, but I know, like most good friendships, we can pick up right where we left off last xox K

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  5. My heart is full from reading this. Your virtual phone booth is quite large indeed. I felt like I was there with all of you and shed some tears at the photo of Jeff’s grave. What a wonderful trip that included so many. Thanks for taking us along. I had a great time. 🙂 Hugs to you all.

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    • Thank you for traveling with us, Marlene. I can’t wait for the day when we meet in person as well. We need a west coast gathering next, don’t you think?

      Julia is pleased that Jeff is buried in the old part of Arlington on a gentle, sloping hill. She thought he would be buried in a newer location. We spoke with another gentleman that day whose wife recently passed. It was quite an emotional time for all of us. Hugs back your way. xo

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      • A west coast gathering would be fun! My parents are both at the military cemetery in St. Louis. I haven’t been back since we took moms ashes there and my brother handled everything. I have never been to the cemetery. My parents are not there. They are in my heart wherever I go. I’m just odd that way. Never stop missing people.

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        • Marlene, I often forget that you have a brother. I hear more about your sister and of course she lives closer, too. We scattered mom’s ashes at sea under the Golden Gate Bridge (what she wanted). I didn’t know for many years that my father was buried in a pauper’s grave since there was no money for any of the finery. When I visited (only once) they offered to exhume and upgrade (GROSS) and I declined. Dad was a gardener and would have loved the ashes to ashes, dust to dust. He returned to the earth, befitting a gardener. I’ve never been back either. He surrounds me when I garden and that is enough for me. You never do stop missing people. Everyone we’ve cared for touches our lives and remains in our psyche. xo

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          • I actually have 2 younger brothers, Alys. One left the family in 1999. The other is just a very busy man with a full life who tries to keep in touch. His daughter and granddaughter were here visiting not long ago. I agree with your decision not to move your dad’s remains. My mother is all around me and my dad is lingering around my library. We often read the same books. By the way, have you read “A man called Ove?” Just finished listening to it and loved it immensely. 🙂

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            • I’m sorry to hear you lost a brother at such a young age, Marlene. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. I’m please to hear that you are surrounded by those you love in different forms. And yes, not only have I heard of “A Man Called Ove” but you are the second person to suggest it. It’s on my bookshelf in my to read pile. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing it, too.

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              • He didn’t die, at least not that I know of. He refused to see us or speak to us. No phone calls and he kept moving so we can’t find him. Not sure why. I still miss him. His daughter will not return any contact either. He wouldn’t talk to our mother her whole last year or two of her life. Nuts, if you ask me. Sad too. I listened to the book. Easier and actually brought it more to life. Hope you enjoy it too. Hugs a bunch.

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  6. I am so happy for you being able to meet up with dear blogging friends! Sounds like you had a great time! 🙂 I hope you will get to Germany one day too! 😉

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  7. Oh geez Louise what travels 😀 Especially for you starting in Atlanta then DC then NYC !
    Thanks for being such a great travel partner hon. I fear I was less energenic most days. I wonder now if I ever recovered from the cold I got in Vancouver the weekend before my travel to DC, that whole week was nothing but cold medicine and sleepless nights. Then all the very late nights with Julia, so fun, but I think I was really in recovery mode most of the time. No matter how I tried, I just kind of felt tired. Maybe all the work projects I tried to cram in before the trip was too much to? It was one big fun blurr, if that makes sense. Maybe I’m just not a great traveler. It’d be great to see distant places within a week, LOL. I need a Trekky Transporter to eliminate those airport days, ha!

    I don’t remember that peeking photo, ha! What a goof. The resturaunt brunch was probably one of my favourite parts of the trip. Slow, casual, great company and food and a beautiful day to meet Matt. Is he not just adorable? I also loved that Stanton Island Ferry for the fresh air and being on the water away from the hub bub. But time with Laurie, Joe, Terry and Patti was such a joyful gift too. It’s hard to pick.

    I’ve been thinking of the gentleman at Arlington a lot actually. My heart really took a hit in DC. I worry about things out of my control. Which is so futile. I must learn to channel those vibes into good.

    I’ve been missing you since I got back. It almost feels like I was never away. I did several late night boomrooming in an attempt to get organized for work. I just don’t want to miss an opportunity 😀

    OHHHH and how lovely to send wine for Mr B !! ❤ ❤ ❤ I believe it came Wednesday but I've been at work, today too. You're so very thoughtful, he was surprised and tickled. Thank you ((Alys)) for being truly kind, I love you xo K

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    • Oh, how did I miss this comment! I’m sorry you were under the weather for so much of the trip. you seemed full of energy to me right up until those last difficult days in New York. You sounded miserable with that cough and congestion. Mike is still sick so whatever it is this season, it does seem to hang on. I’m not as sick as he is, just feeling low energy with a sore throat. I hope you are good and done with that cold.

      I’m so glad Mr. B enjoyed the wine. He sent me a nice email to let me know.

      There were so many fun days on our trip. I liked both of our hotels and all the restaurants, too. Of course seeing and meeting everyone was the best. It’s funny, too, once you drop back into your regular life how quickly the time goes by. We’ve already been back for a month! That’s crazy. It’s late here so I’m heading to bed. I’m so glad I found this comment. xo

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  8. Reblogged this on Life on the Bike and other Fab Things and commented:
    Hello Everyone! I’ve been on the road (or working or volunteering) so much that I’ve not had a moment to share the incredibly brief but amazingly wonder visit to DC where I was able to see Aly, Boomdee, Lisa, and Julia.
    Today I am visiting all of you and I hope to post soon! For now, enjoy this great post from Alys!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m Finally Here!! And Ive got so much catching up to do.
    This blog post is so perfectly wonderful AND your photography is super! I cannot wait to catch up with you and all those that I love and have missed.
    XO

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I missed this post because I was on holiday, but I’m so pleased to have seen it. I was actually looking for your post about visiting the Carter Centre when I came across this one. How lovely to see you and so many other fantastic bloggers getting together. I’m glad you managed to visit Julia – she has been on my mind a lot recently. I’m in the process of making her a gift which I hope to have finished in the next few weeks, but it’s no substitute for a real life visit. Lovely to see that Pauline was there in spirit, if not in person too.

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    • Julia will be delighted with your gift and the kind sentiments behind it. How lovely. Yes, Pauline was with us in spirit. I can’t wait to see her again next year. The upside of blogging is meeting wonderful people around the world. The downside is that they often live on opposite ends of the world. We’ve done remarkably well so far given the distance.

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  11. Alys, I was “prowling” your blog for help with my fairy garden when I saw this and realized I hadn’t read it. It’s perfect that I read it now as I had dinner with Julia last night and she was telling me an idea she is working on for her thesis. It’s not complete so I won’t reveal too much but it does involve writing and blogs and good friends. This is a great look at your trip. So very sorry we didn’t get to meet up. You must come back or I will have to do as I keep threatening and come to CA. I think you know my dad is buried in Modesto so maybe I can talk my mom into a road trip this fall and we can come by San Jose.

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    • Hi Amy! I’m excited to hear about your fairy garden. Are you planting in a pot or directly in the earth? It’s so much fun. I hope you catch the fairy garden bug like I did. I’m excited to hear more about Julia’s theses. That sounds intriguing. I did not know your dad was buried in Modesto. I would welcome a chance to meet you on either coast, so be sure to let me know if you are headed this way. I love our small world.

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