This past weekend, I went to Washington, DC to visit my friends Julie and Carolyn. How do I know them, you ask? Well. This has been something I haven't talked about to people in the past, but I'm ready to come clean now. I am sure some people won't get this...but we met on a message board.
When Brett and I moved to Maine 2 years ago, I was so bored and lonely that I started hanging out on the Knot.com's message board. The Knot is a wedding-planning board that I had discovered when I was planning our wedding.
Shortly after I found the Knot board, about 30 of us formed a private, subscription-only board called the Snarkies on MSN. Julie, Carolyn and I were three of the original members (the board has now grown to about 42 girls) and we are now the managers of the board.
I know this sounds weird, but I am friends with these girls. For a while after we moved here, they were the only friends I had. We are online together pretty much every day, we email, we talk on the phone. We have shared the best and the worst moments of each others' lives since March 2004. Weddings, divorces, the deaths of parents and grandparents, the death of one woman's niece, the death of one woman's husband, illnesses, recoveries, promotions, raises, being fired, miscarriages, pregnancies, births...just about every day-to-day joy, sorrow, or frustration you can imagine. I hope that gives you some idea of the depth of our relationships so that it doesn't sound like some random message board.
Anyhow, I have met two of the other girls (Andrea, in Portland, OR and Minda in Seattle) and decided I really wanted to meet Julie and Carolyn. The feeling was mutual so I used a bonus from work to buy a plane ticket to DC for this past weekend.
Not only was the city great, but so were Julie and Carolyn. It didn't feel like last weekend was the first time we had met in person. It felt like we'd known each other much longer. And really, we have. The three of us agreed that the "girls on the board" know us better than many of the people we've known in so-called real-life for years.
So why is that? I think part of it is that it is so much easier to be brutally honest about yourself and those deep, dark things inside you with people you can't see. And on the same token, it's easier to respond to that kind of a thing when the person isn't right there in front of you.
If I ever go to grad school, I'd love to write my thesis on how the Internet is changing and redefining community. But anyway. Enough theorizing.
We had a great time. Here is a photo essay of the weekend:
In the front: Julie, Katie, me
In the back: Julie, Carolyn
This was at our ill-fated Thai dinner on Friday night. I will have to post about the hilarity and weirdness that was our dinner another time.
Notice the typo on this menu...the so-called "blush" wines are referred to as "brush" wines. We laughed so hard when we saw this.
Airplanes inside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Julie and Carolyn ponder the oft-thought-of, rarely asked question...how do you go to the bathroom in space? Even after seeing this exhibit, we still weren't sure.
We prepare to see the 3-D IMAX movie, "Magnificent Desolation," narrated by Tom Hanks. It's about man's journeys to the moon. The glasses, as I am sure you'll agree, are oh-so-sexy. ;p (l to r: Julie, me, Carolyn)
The Washington Monument and Smithsonian Castle from in front of the Air and Space Museum
Carolyn, me and Julie at the Smithsonian National Zoo
Me, in front of the elephant fountain at the zoo.
Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal church. Unfortunately, we couldn't go in the nave because there was a concert, but we got to walk through the garden and go in the bookstore. It was really beautiful.
Carolyn shows off our amazingly tasty bruschetta. It was this soft, crispy pizza dough, topped with cheese, olive oil, baby arugula, pesto, marinated tomatoes, and parmesean shavings. It was incredible. The picture does not do it justice.
Me, Julie and Carolyn at Paolo's, the Georgetown restaurant where we had our last meal together. It was so good!
I had such a great weekend. It was really nice to get away and be somewhere different, to get a bit of a vacation. I hope I will get to see Julie and Carolyn again soon.