As the plane landed in Charlottesville, Va I had zero expectations. I’m not sure if it was because I had only booked my ticket a few days earlier, or because I had been working up to the very last second before I left for my trip and had never actually taken the time to process the absurdity of just how crazy flying from Washington State to Virginia to attend a party with a group of complete strangers (minus Jane & JJ) was. I had simply read one of JJ’s posts announcing she was having a party… and spontaneously accepted an invitation.
As I had stepped off the plane and retrieved my carry on luggage all I knew was that I was going to rent a car, and drive to Jane’s house and then the next day attend JJ’s pie party. That’s it. That’s as far as I have gotten in my mind.
I had met Jane & JJ online about 2 1/2 years ago thru blogging. We all shared an interest in gardening, our children and PANERA. And now I was going to meet the two of them… in real life. In person. Face to face. I had talked to Jane a few times on the phone but never to JJ. And if it were not for the map app on my (stupid) smart phone I would have never made it out of the parking lot. I estimated the drive time to be about 1 hour. And as I drove past the old houses, farms and wide open spaces, I suddenly felt as if I was on a movie set.
All I could think about was The Waltons. Walton’s Mountain. The Blue Ridge Mountains… and how odd it was, I was there.
After driving for about an hour, I finally reached Jane’s road. I pulled over. I stopped the car. Looked in the rear view mirror and said “Mavis… you.are.crazy”. Then I started the car and drove past Jane’s house. Not once, not twice, but three times until I finally found it.
Jane, Jamey, and her 3 children turned out to be just as I imagined them. Kind. Sweet. Humble and Real.
They showed me around their garden, feed me dinner and helped me look up some Virgina State trivia for a little project I was working on.
After the kids went to bed… Jane and I made our pies, cut out fabric (for party hats) and stayed up late talking about life, kids, blogs and anything else that came to mine. It felt like I had been there before. And I had been… just not in a physical sense. At times I felt as if I was stepping into one of her daily blog posts. I guess “surreal” would be the correct word. It felt surreal. I was comfortable and I felt at home and by the time my head hit the pillow it was about 3am.
Breakfast came and went and soon we were all out the door. Jane and her family were headed off to church, and I decided to take a little road trip out to Luray caverns. The plan was to meet up later at JJ’s house for the Pie Party.
To be continued.
And let’s not forget these three related stories too: