Playdate with a Pal

on July 23, 2012 in Misc

What I will not talk about in today’s post is what happened here in Colorado. I am too furious, too heartbroken, too sick of it.

So on a more cheerful note…

This last weekend I had a first – I got to meet an internet friend.

Have you ever done that? Through your blog or Facebook or whatever, you build up a casual, long-distance friendship with someone. You live in different states, and maybe there’s no reason for either of you to go out of your way to get together in the real world. But then an opportunity arises.

That’s what happened to me when my Internet pal Robert emailed that he and his wife and kids were coming to the mountain town of Breckenridge in Colorado for a family reunion. Was there a chance I could swing by to meet them?

Of course I could.  I met Robert through my blog, and eventually he volunteered to read and critique The Compass Master when I was getting it ready for publication.  That’s when we talked a couple times on the phone about details in my book, and he sent me two of his manuscripts (they were entertaining and so smart).  He also guested here once when he wrote about his passion for Olympic weightlifting.

Anyway, I drove up to Breckenridge, met Rob and his lovely family, and it seems we both made the momentary adjustment to how each of us looked and sounded and acted in real life.  Then in no time we were talking about Layla action hero stuff.  This meant sharing our painful physical experiences in parkour classes (that’s how I launched my Layla plan), and we did some fencing.  He’s done just a tiny bit of foil while I’ve had years of epee, but he wanted to have some bouts so we had several goes at it with my two epee blades.  Damn, that was fun!

At his request I also brought along my lock picking tools and some padlocks, and sure enough Rob quickly learned to pick open (four times!) one of the smaller locks.  We talked about archery, some climbing (he’s more serious while I’ve been a slacker), studying foreign languages, you name it.

Granted, some of the time the two of us were like a couple little kids getting together to play.  But I really enjoyed it.  And of course we also talked about writing – I’m still at it, but Rob has set his own writing aside to concentrate on inventing, which I think is really exciting.  I’ve mentioned his blog about inventing for the public good, which can show you how serious and good he is at engineering.


So that was my playdate on Saturday with my internet pal.  I hope all of you have had similar great experiences.

12 Responses to “Playdate with a Pal”

  1. Glad you got to meet a blogger buddy!

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    It’s awesome when you meet one of your internet buddies. They are so amazing. I’ll have to look you up if I’m in Colorado one day. :)

  3. Is that a pic of him on the left? He’s hot. I love blonds.

  4. Helena says:

    Alex — I am too.

  5. Helena says:

    Ciara — It’d be a blast to meet you.

  6. Helena says:

    Michael – No, that’s just a general parkour pic. Rob has black hair.

  7. I’ve met a few online buddies. So far it’s been fun, but not fun like bouts with swords. That’s really cool!

  8. Helena says:

    Carol — It was also a little bit painful.

  9. Hart Johnson says:

    That’s a trip, isn’t it? I have been REALLY fortunate. I’ve been MAKING internet friends since 2005 and have a trip almost every year through work, so have met about a dozen now. Two have even come to stay at my house (one from Australia, one from Norway). I plan to meet a couple more in Phoenix next month. Glad you had such a good time!

  10. Helena says:

    Hart – Wow, you wild social animal! How great to meet so many pals.

  11. Old Kitty says:

    Yay for such a fun playdate!! Picking locks, fencing, action movie stuff….!!! Wonderful!!

    Take care

  12. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – It really was fun. Hope Charlie your kitty is doing much better and can play again.