Monday, December 13, 2010

Ferd and Gail

It was Thursday, December 9 at about 3:45 in the afternoon when we pulled out of our driveway en-route to Encinal Yacht Club to meet with Ferd author of The Best Parts and Gail author of Gail Birdtale. We had plenty of time as we've made this trip to Encinal Yacht Club so many times before. We had smooth sailing all the way until we got onto Interstate 880 in the bay area. There were posted warnings that there had been an accident and three of the lanes were blocked. Well we were committed so we continued on. It's a seven mile trip on 880 to our turnoff in Alameda.

We made it 3 miles and then the freeway became a parking lot. We crawled along for a very long time and every time we check the GPS we still hadn't traveled a mile. Hubby said I'm getting off the freeway and taking surface streets into Alameda. We ended up in Oakland and it was dark, and it was in a seedy part of town, and we passed a hooker on the street corner. It was unnerving. In the bay area commute traffic runs from about 4 until 7 every workday. It's bumper to bumper and you have to have patience to get where you want to go.

I knew as I watched the GPS and the time that we weren't going to make it to Encinal Yacht Club by 6pm. Ferd and Gail, if they are on time, will not find us where and when we agreed to meet. Hubby gets on the cell phone and calls the bartender to let him know to be on the lookout for Ferd and Gail and that we are in heavy traffic. He hangs up, then calls back and tells the bartender to buy them a drink and we'll be there as soon as possible. Hubby hangs up and Ferd calls to tell us that they are crawling along heading our direction. You see Ferd put our cell number in his phone, but did I? Well no. Thank goodness he called. Big sigh of relief.

While we were stressing over all the traffic jams, and we were safe, here's what happened that caused this traffic jam:

One person died and another suffered major injuries Thursday evening in a two-car collision on northbound Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland, a California Highway Patrol officer said. The crash happened at about 4 p.m. north of the Jackson Street exit, Officer Sam Morgan said. It occurred near the area where northbound I-880 merges with westbound Interstate Highway 980, near the Oakland Police Department and the Glenn Dyer Jail.

Finally we all get to Encinal and ordered a drink after some hugs and then we settle in for some good wine and great conversation. Meeting Ferd and Gail was like meeting old friends and just catching up on what's happening in each of our worlds. There wasn't any awkward moments whatsoever.

Ferd and Gail brought us some gifts from North Carolina. How cool is that? The first thing was a great bottle of wine from Childress Vineyards. Along with these gifts came a history of what lies behind each gift. Childress Vineyards is named after the owner, Richard Childress of NASCAR. According to Ferd everything revolves around NASCAR where they live (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). If you want to read the history of Childress Vineyards then click HERE. Likewise if you want to learn about Richard's racing career click HERE.

I didn't know any of this, but I do now. Now this is a very nice bottle of wine. Hubby and I intend to open this bottle one of these evenings and enjoy this very appreciated gift.

Next was two different kinds of Moravian cookies.
Moravian spice cookies are a traditional kind of cookie that originated in the Colonial American communities of the Moravian Church. The blend of spices and molasses, rolled paper thin, has a reputation as the "World's Thinnest Cookie." They are related to German Lebkuchen; original recipes can be traced back to the 18th century.

The cookie is especially popular around, and usually associated with, Christmas in communities with a strong Moravian background such as Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which still maintain the two largest Moravian communities in the United States. Although there are a few bakeries that still roll and cut the cookies by hand, some now use a mechanized process for making the cookies in order to meet the demand. While this does not affect the taste, the machine-made cookies have been criticized for not being as thin as their handmade counterparts.

While the spice recipe is the most traditional and well-known of the Moravian cookies, other versions have appeared over the years, including sugar, lemon, black walnut, and chocolate varieties. Source: Wikipedia
I didn't know the history behind these cookies either. See I'm meeting friends and getting a history lesson of where they live. We liked that very much.

Lastly we got a North Carolina Christmas tree ornament.

The four of us had an excellent meal. Ferd and I had the Fillet Mignon with baked potato and fresh veggies, Gail had salmon and hubby had Beef Wellington. Hubby and Gail also had shrimp bisque that was excellent. Of course Ferd and I had to sample their soup.

We talked about many things during our just over three hours together. From love, marriage, family, work, friendship, travel and a long list of other things. It was great to see how much alike we were. Hubby and I are working very hard to get them to come along on the Bloggers Cruise 4 and we hope they do. They will be a fine asset to the rest of us bloggers.

Finally as we watched Gail fading rapidly (it was past midnight her time), we hugged each other goodbye and they headed back to their hotel in San Francisco and we headed back home. It was a fun evening. For those of you that get a chance to meet other bloggers I highly recommend it. It's so special to actually see someone that you've communicated with in the blogosphere and get a big hug IRL (in real life).

As I was working on setting up this post for tomorrow morning (12-13-10) the phone rang and guess who it was? Ferd! They had just landed in Charlotte and were getting ready for their hour and a half drive back home but they wanted to call and say thank you for our evening together last Thursday. According to Ferd it was the highlight of their trip. Now that's a very nice thing to say, especially when you are staying in San Francisco. Now aren't they just the nicest people? Yes they are. Thanks Ferd and Gail! We are proud to call you our friends.
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  1. I just love these posts where we get a glimpse into your life. Accident like that really shake me up--makes me realize how precious life really is! Happy Monday to you!

  2. Meeting your online friends IRL is one of the bestest treats evah! I'm so glad you all had fun!

    I didn't know that about the Moravian community in NC. That state is just full of cultural diversity!

    Isn't it always true that the traffic detours always put you in a not-so-hot part of town? I did that once in St. Louis... won't do it again.

  3. I glad that the evening turned out well for everyone.
    See, I told ya that all of your imaginary friends are on FaceBook. Your real friends are your bloggin' buddies! Just sayin'.

  4. Bravo for everyone finally getting together. Love Driller's comment--yes sirree, real friends are our bloggin' buds, and meeting IRL is so fun. I hope F&G will join us on BC4. They sound like folks we'd like.

    Sending big hugs from snowy Mayberry...

  5. oh how lovely for all of you! and you didn't let the traffic get you down either. good for you. i just love meeting bloggers in person and can't wait for the bc4! see you soon!

    smiles, bee

  6. Awh, Sandee. Ferd and Gail sound like lovely people. How nice that you were able to meet them and enjoy great conversation and a meal together.

    You look so good in the pictures. I guess Zane was taking the photos. When I met some blogging buddies, I ask the waitress to take a photo of us. I hope the take the cruise with you.

    Hugs back to you, Sandee.

  7. That sounds like a fun evening when you finally made it. What fun to meet other bloggers. It was fun hearing all about your evening. And I have had some of those moravian spice cookies and they are the best ever. They are really, really skinny and just delicious. Glad you got to meet those people. Take care and have a great week.

  8. I'm glad that you had a great evening.with Ferd and Gail.Hugs.

  9. I love these personal shares also. It looks and sounds as if you had a wonderful evening.

    Our SIL grew up in Oakland and even he doesn't go back. We have been there in the rig also. There are some pretty rough areas down that way.

    We don't even park anywhere near. We always try our best to get at least 50 miles ahead to park.

    It's very sad about the accident. Some family's holidays will be tarnished forever!

    Big hugs,

  10. Sounds like you had a very nice evening with the old-yet-new friends.
    A bunch of us met at Blogstock '08 a couple of summers back. We all knew each other before we met. Even the non blogging spouses clicked in right away.
    That slowdown happens on our freeways and tollways here in Houston too. I generally can find a way around the mess.

  11. A rough start but it turned out to be a wonderful meeting. Glad you guys had a great time.

  12. so are ya sharing the vino or what?

  13. How wonderful! Looks like everyone had a great time... love the photos!

  14. That is so cool. It looks like you had a wonderful time.

    It would be great to meet other bloggers and see the face behind the avatar or in the case that a face is the avatar, be able to see the lips move.

  15. This post inspires me. I haven't met any blogger yet in person. :)

    You really had a lovely evening with Ferd and Gail. Nice gifts you received from them. :D

  16. We had a wonderful time Darlin


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