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:
OAKLAND, Calif. -- 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.
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.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.
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
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.