On a recent Friday I got to meet these two lovely gals in real life. I met both of them through the cyber world of blogging. Patti G., on the right, of My Happy Place and Deanna of Snippets from Springdale. Patti and I only "met" recently when we started emailing after a post I wrote. It was quickly discovered that we only lived an hour apart, so it was inevitable that we would meet up. Deanna and I run in the same blogging circles, so I have been reading her thoughts for a while. She lives near Chicago, about three hours away.
Patti and I threw out some dates that might work to meet before she heads back to the classroom full time in the fall. One of those dates happened to be when Deanna was coming up to stay and visit with her. They decided they would love to come to Holland for a day. I was elected the unofficial tour guide.
When you have lived some place your whole life and have photographed just about everything, it is hard to look at it with fresh eyes and think about what a visitor would like to see. I racked my brain for a few days trying to come up with a plan. Since they are both photographers, the photographic beauty of a place played heavily into my decision making process.
In the end I chose to start with Windmill Island. An authentic working Netherlands Windmill, you aren't going to find one of those anywhere else, and you can actually do a tour of the inside.
Also Deanna being a flower lover, I knew the gardens would not disappoint.
Lunch was enjoyed in our lovely downtown, where you can't wrong with any restaurant you pick. After lunch, a quick shopping excursion through the store where I use to work and then a stop at Kilwin's for Patti to get a chocolate covered apple to bring home with her.
Deanna announced a desire to go to the beach. Even though she doesn't live all that far from Lake Michigan, for her to drive through Chicago to get there is an all day adventure. I know I take for granted the fact that I live a mile from the lake.
We knew we wanted to end the day in Saugatuck, a place that is special to Deanna. On our way there we stopped at the Felt Mansion, a beautifully restored estate.
The day ended much too quickly. I had to get back to attend a concert in the park with some friends and they needed to drive back to Patti's place.
It was such an enriching day, being able to discuss photography, blogging, dreams and life. I know that we will meet again. Deanna is already working on us to come visit her. This encounter just confirms that I want to meet more of my blogging friends in real life.