Fresh off the fun that was Smart Girl Summit, I didn't expect I'd be tweeting up with friends again quite so soon. However, I learned last week that some of my favorite tweeps (@mamswati, @DinaFraoili, @OHCONSERVATISM & @alwaysonoffense) would be in town this afternoon for lunch and such with fellow St. Louisan @NKCamp. I checked my calendar and verified I could spare some free time today, so happily agreed to join in on the adventure.
After some back and forth over dining locales, @NKCamp came up with the splendid suggestion of The Boathouse at Forest Park. This is a lovely little restaurant set on a small lake in St. Louis' version of Central Park. There are boats one can rent, and ducks and such quack-quacking around outside. Nothing fancy, but the food is decent and not unreasonably priced. With the meeting place set, I once again found myself giddily looking forward to seeing my new friends.
I did my best to be productive at work this morning, so I wouldn't feel overly guilty for taking off this afternoon. Once I got the word that the gang was en route to the Boathouse, I packed up my stuff and headed out. I arrived a few minutes before the others, but soon saw them rounding the corner to the entrance. The nice thing about this crew was that they were each recognizable from their Twitter avi's. Those who've met me know I'm a hugger, so quick huggie greetings were issued and we made our way inside to dine.
I know @alwaysonoffense was happy to see that nachos were a featured menu item -- olives notwithstanding. A fairly nice-sized serving of them, too -- I was almost jealous I'd not opted for them myself. Lunch breezed by with light chatter -- some Twitter talk, some political patter. The crew had plans to return to @NKCamp's house for the remainder of the afternoon for some video gaming and the like. I hesitated at this -- I really could have gone back to work; perhaps should have. And, as the granny of the group, wondered if it wasn't a bit on the silly side to opt for playtime with the kids, but I was enjoying their company. And work is...work!
So, I agreed to follow @mamaswati, with @OHCONSERVATISM as my co-pilot. Have a mentioned how much of a kick I get out of GQ?! (That's my nickname for him -- I'm not referring to that *ahem* racy publication.) We chitter-chattered the whole way back to @NKCamp's cozy little cottage, like old friends. Frankly, that's how I'd have to characterize most of my interactions with my tweeps, thus far. Though we may share political philosophies, we're a fairly diverse group geographically, chronologically, religiously, ethnically. And yet all seem like pals I've known for years. And, no, I don't think I'm a particularly difficult person to talk to our get along with, but still...it's a bit of an odd, but welcome, phenomenon.
Back at Camp Camp, we made our way into @NKCamp's amazing man cave. The perfect video game set-up (massage chair included), pool table, ping pong table, Foosball table, air hockey table and PacMan/Galaga table game. Also a wet bar (which we won't worry about much until our adorable host is of age), a nice bathroom, (and a special room under the stairs for Dina!) While @alwaysonoffense kicked my butt at billiards, @mamaswati showed us why she's the PacMan Queen of Baltimore. Then, @alwaysonoffense and @OHCONSERVATISM got serious with the table tennis. Meanwhile, @DinaFraoili gained an ardent admirer in Ginger the Golden Retriever.
Did I feel like a bit of a schmuck when @NKCamp's mom (who's my age) brought us down brownies -- warm brownies?! Yes. Yes, I did. I'm not quite sure how I regressed back to fourteen in the span of an afternoon, but there I was, drinking Coke, snarfing brownies, and playing games with my new pals while playing hooky -- from work, not school. But still!?!
Well, so be it. I had a delightful afternoon with some lovely, lovely people: @alwaysonoffense - who's bright and engaging, and anything but what his name suggests; @DinaFraoili - the teeny ninja, whose impish sense of humor is adorable and contagious; @OHCONSERVATISM - who's both puppy and sage, and sartorially splendid, suit or no; @mamaswati - whom I feel more than honored to consider a "for real" friend; and @NKCamp - who's truly one of the coolest kids (and I hesitate to call him that, because it doesn't really do him justice, but "young man" sounds so formal and stuffy) I've ever met, even if it does feel weird to him to call this so-called "adult" by her first name. What a gracious host he was, and just flat-out fun person to be around. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his adorable younger brother (and photographer extraordinaire), whom I've already tagged as my future son-in-law. MiniQ's a bit young for him now, but we'll give it ten years, or so, and all will be well.
In any event, I had a lovely day. And once again, this silly social media tool known as "Twitter" has introduced me to some mighty fine folk. 'Tis a good thing.