Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't Worry The Town Is Still Standing

On Saturday a group of American expat bloggers descended upon the quiet Essex town of Saffron Walden. Don't worry, nothing nefarious happened. The group was made up of Michelloui from Mid-Atlantic English, Mike from Postcards From Across the Pond and his lovely wife, NFAH, and the Nappy Valley Housewife, oh yeah, and me.

My day started by picking up my buddy NFAH on my way to Saffron Walden. Well, first I called to make sure she was awake. She doesn't keep normal hours so our 11:15 start time was quite early for her on a Saturday morning. She had also just arrived back from Switzerland the night beforehand and was most assuredly a little weary from the British Airline travel hoops she had to jump through. We then made our way to our destination relying on my SatNav to get us to our destination. Thank goodness, the bitch in the box* (SatNav), got us there without us even getting lost once; which I say is a victory in itself.

The real victory was meeting with people who I have only "met" via reading their blogs and emails. I had already met Michelloui and she was as lovely as ever. I have always found the Michelloui is just like her online persona; friendly, thoughtful, sweet, well spoken and independent. I secretly want to be just like her when I grow up. She spent a lot of time putting together this meet-up. She consulted us on what type of foods we would like and picked a fabulous Italian restaurant called Ask. Seriously, the rissoto was to DIE for.

Mike and I have exchanged emails over the last couple of years. When I first got here from America I would email him about little things that confused me or ask him about places that I should take visitors coming to the UK. He has always been a wealth of knowledge. In case you didn't know, Mike, wrote a book called Postcards From Across the Pond, which is wickedly hilarious. It was really nice to find that he is just as funny in person as he is in his writing. On Michelloui's blog she said that he looks like what an American writer should look like, and she is right. Mike is a class act.

Nappy Valley House wife was my question mark in the group. She is a new blogger and though I had heard her name here and there I had never engaged her in a conversation. My question now is, why did I not meet her sooner? She is brilliant. She is friendly, charming and down to earth. She also has a five year old who would definitely get along famously with my two heathens. Her search for Twizzlers will not be in vain. I might just bribe her with them to ensure that she comes to the next meet-up.

What else can I say about NFAH, she is my partner in crime. We are already plotting to meet up soon so that she can have some quality time with the girls. She loves them to death and they love her right back. Plus, she needs to prove to The Man that she is not my imaginary friend. I am sure that antics will occur, of course.

After a 4 hour "lunch" (I am sure the wait staff of Ask were ready to toss us out) (but they were really polite and let us have the entire back room of the restaurant to ourselves and didn't bother us too often)(not that they could have gotten a word in edgewise because we were a chatty bunch), we had to part ways back to our little corners of England. Saffron Walden lived to tell the tale of the American invasion.

*I have a love/hate relationship with my SatNav. Her name is Karen. Ya know, like Plankton's computer wife on Spongebob.