I've written before about how much I value my online connections. Those friendships mean as much to me as my "in real life" relationships. Sometimes more.
Having the opportunity to meet an online friend in real life? Awesome. That was evidenced by my meet up last year with writer friends Tawna and Cynthia. And again when Lindsey, her hubby and their adorable daughter came to visit with us a couple of times.
This week, it was Mae I got to meet. We'd been interacting online for some time when one day, suddenly, I realized we live just two hours apart. I immediately began to work out how we could get together.
Our girls are just eight days apart. And, after showing each one pictures of the other, they declared themselves to be best friends. They could not wait to meet.
When they did, it was instant friendship, with a liberal dose of cuteness:
It was pretty much the same with the mamas. Although we are not quite as cute.
We met approximately halfway between our two homes, each driving about an hour. It worked out very well. The places I had found online to get together were not exactly as I had expected, but we had fun nonetheless.
We went to a museum which had a hands on children's section. There was some fun stuff there. The girls enjoyed cooking and "eating" pretend pizzas. And all four of us enjoyed making this massive fort:
Seriously. It was awesome. Then it was time for lunch, followed by a visit to a chocolate factory where they make their candy by hand. For real. We watched them. Then we ate some of their goodies.
SB is not smiling in this picture because she is too busy stuffing her face with chocolate. And then we had two three year-old girls who were tired yet high on sugar. And you know what that's like.
I didn't really want the day to end, but it was clear we needed to load up the kiddos and head for our respective homes. Before the sugar wore off.
To all the naysayers who claim people are not authentic online, Mae was exactly as I expected her to be. And someone I wish I could hang out with regularly. I'm sad now that we've met that we don't live in the same city. But we will see each other again. Soon.