When Bloggers Meet – 3.0

Many posts have been written about the great community we develop as bloggers.  The people we meet online start to feel like true friends and if we’re lucky, that friendship spills over from the virtual world into the real one.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting 2 blogger friends over the past year, and this weekend I had the opportunity to meet a third.

My post on Niagara Falls in the winter triggered a response from Torrie at A.PROMPTreply about how she would have loved to join me in this adventure at the Falls had she known I was going.

After I questioned whether she was serious, we exchanged a number of emails and it was agreed we would meet – on the American side of the Falls.  We had chosen a perfect day – sunny and not nearly as cold as it had been for weeks.

I was 10 minutes late arriving at our arranged meeting point – compliments of the backup at Customs on the Rainbow Bridge – but Torrie was waiting for me.  I met her husband and son who had made the 2 hour drive with her and together we went to explore the American Falls.

We spent the next 4 hours chatting as we strolled through the Niagara Falls State Park, taking numerous pictures of the winter wonderland around us, and finally having a very nice lunch in a nearby restaurant hidden away from all the tourists who had flocked to the Falls on this beautiful winter day.

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It was a great story that could have ended there … but I still had to return the short distance back into Canada.  It seems that nothing ever quite goes the way you think it will. The conversation I had at Canadian Customs put an exclamation mark on how truly odd these virtual friendships sometimes sound.

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Traffic backed up on the Rainbow Bridge returning to Canada.

HIM – How long have you been away from Canada?

ME – 4 or 5 hours.

HIM – Where do you live?

ME – Toronto.

HIM – Have you purchased anything or returning with anything acquired from outside of Canada?

ME – No.

{Silence}

HIM  – What exactly were you doing in the US?

ME – Visiting the Falls.

HIM – Did you meet anyone there?

ME – Yes.

HIM – Canadian or American?

ME – American.

HIM – Have you ever met them before today?

{What?! Uh-oh.  I know where this is headed}

ME – noooooo.

HIM – Then how do you know them?

{Oh crap … I’m going to get pulled over}

ME – Online.  I’m a blogger.

HIM – Really?!

{ok – did you have to make that sound so incredulous?}

HIM – What do you blog about?

ME – ummmm …. living a life outside my comfort zone …. ?

{very long awkward silence.  NOOOO! I’m getting pulled over, I’m getting pulled over ….}

He finally handed me back my passport, smiled, and wished me a nice day.

RELIEF!

It’s bad enough trying to explain virtual friendships to non-bloggers … try explaining it to a Customs agent.

So I’m back home safely after another amazing day at Niagara Falls.  Thank you Torrie for making the long drive to meet me.  I look forward to our next meeting – perhaps this time on Canadian soil.

You might want to start working on your border crossing story.

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About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in 52 New Things, Adventure, Outdoor Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to When Bloggers Meet – 3.0

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  4. Su Leslie says:

    Great photos; and such a funny story. Maybe it’s a Kiwi thing, but our border security people seem a teeny bit friendlier than the others I’ve encountered in the last few weeks. The US airport folks really freaked out the kid and me; they were armed!!!! Scary stuff for we folks from down under.

    Like

  5. Phil Taylor says:

    What? You went to the falls and didn’t tell me? I’m only an hour and fifteen minutes from there! ( I’m not sure how long that is in metric time)

    Like

  6. I have nominated you, Joanne, for a 5-day black and white challenge. A less adventurous challenge for you! The rules are easy – just hop on over to my site and have a look. I’m sure some of your great images would suit black and white. And it’s only five days. But no obligation, only if you have the time and the inclination. ~Carol 🙂

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  7. bkpyett says:

    Interesting border interaction! Love the way you finish your post. 🙂

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  8. Pingback: THE THING ABOUT JOANNE IS….. | A.PROMPTreply

  9. TheLastWord says:

    I’ve just started looking for blogger meets in the Toronto area. I’m afraid, though, that I’m not much of an “outdoor in the cold” kind of person. I did live in Niagara Falls, ON for 2 years and used to work across the border. I also spent another 2 years flying into the US every Monday and flying back every Friday, so I have a load of border crossing horrors to talk about.

    A couple of things I’ve learned:
    1. Never be flippant. Border guards are not known to have a sense of humour while on duty.
    2. Be short, terse, to the point, matter-of-fact, do not rabbit on.

    i’ve been holding off writing a post about my daily experiences crossing the border.

    Like

  10. Oh Joanne! You make me laugh. That last line was a cracker! And beautiful pictures. I just love those snow scenes at the Falls. How great that you got to meet Torrie as well!

    Like

  11. Sue Slaght says:

    That’s fabulous Joanne! How fun to meet another blogger. Your dialogue with the customs agent cracked me up. There are so many bloggers out there perhaps it’s just becoming routine. The photos of the falls, especially the one with the rainbow is exceptional! What a great day and a great post!

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on Explore America with Kids and commented:
    The pictures of the falls are amazing! I was there in the summer, but I think i may need to revisit in the winter.

    Like

  13. beeblu says:

    How funny! 🙂 Maybe his wife blogs as well.

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  14. Well, you’ve beat me to the punch, haven’t you? Yes, I’ll get moving on a post in the next day or so…….have to tell all that you’re even more amazing in person! 🙂 It was so worth it just to read your border crossing story here……you do have a knack for ending up in the most awkward situations, don’t you? Very much enjoyed this post as always….but of course, the post is nothing on the experience of meeting you!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      That is such a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. I really enjoyed our time together yesterday. You are as warm and friendly in person as your posts and comments 🙂 I’m so glad we decided to do this … in spite of winter. As it turned out, winter gave us a gorgeous palette to photography yesterday.
      I’m looking forward to reading your post. Mine wrote itself which is how I managed to get it up so quickly. This should have been an uneventful crossing.

      Like

      • Joanne…..I know we just met, but why do I get the feeling that nothing is “uneventful” with you? 🙂 I think you’re very much like me and chaos seems to follow us! Just kidding you. But you’re absolutely right…..it was an amazing adventure with cameras…wait till you see some of my captures!

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        • joannesisco says:

          It’s all perspective isn’t it? It’s a cliche, but we can sleep-walk our way through each day and experience nothing … or we can really experience every hour and find fun, joy, puzzlement anywhere 😉

          I’m sure your photos are amazing and I’m looking forward to seeing some of them 🙂

          Like

  15. Ha ha, great stuff! Those pics are amazing, especially the first, very dream like. I love the way friendships begin, and what a fabulous place for your first meeting 🙂

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  16. What a brilliant story, Joanne. Not only for the fact that you had a chance to meet someone you’ve long had a penpal friendship with, but also because the story is so wholly blogworthy. I hope Torrie was as lovely in person as she appears in print.
    Lucky lasses.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mickscogs says:

    Great story, as I expected. Us Aussies aren’t used to border crossings, unless we are really travelling; then we expect to get held up.

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  18. No! Your “oddness” meter should remain in its usual position as it is part of your charm. There. I have spoken. Loved this post, Joanne, first of all for the spectacular photos and secondly for the hilarious meet-up with the customs agent. The thing is they are all so humorless nowadays, aren’t they? You don’t dare tease them or string them along because you just know you’ll end up in Guantanamo or something. So I would have done exactly like you and answered all the questions correctly. Also wonderful that you’ve gotten to meet another blogging friend. I’ve met two so far, both from Virginia, and hope to increase the number this year. Hint, hint.

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    • joannesisco says:

      So glad to hear that my oddness is considered ‘charm’ by at least one person 🙂

      I appreciate that Custom agents have an important job to do., but they have a remarkable knack for slowing me down.

      I have a few bloggers on my list this year too – hint 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Heyjude says:

    Sensational photos Jo! And a very amusing story – I think I may have just lied and said I’d met up with an old friend 😉

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I’ve had some experience crossing the border at Detroit visiting a former university room-mate. Honesty is the best policy because you can get dug into a hole really quickly ….
      What’s their name?
      How did you met?
      When did you met?
      Where do they live?
      What’s their address?

      Maybe I have a guilty looking face and that’s why I tend to get interrogated 😉

      Like

  20. Sammy D. says:

    Hilarious, Joanne!! I love the ‘I know where this is going’ exchanges with officials. Especially these days.

    How nice for you – perhaps I will meet up with a blogger or two some day. The Niagara photos are spectacular. To think that body of water actually froze over this year!!

    Like

  21. Mrs. P says:

    How fun! I am so glad you got to see the falls from my perspective! 😀 I love your winter photos, especially catching the rainbow over the bridge. Your border crossing experience was hilarious and scary at the same time. I miss the days when we could go see a friend across the border as easily as going to the neighborhood grocery.

    My first experience with the virtual world occurred a little over seven years ago when I discovered my husband on line via a dating forum. I knew the day I read his words that we would be together. It was the first time I had ever read a forum and that night, I read just about everything he wrote on the site. I was fascinated that you could get to know someone you never met so intimately. My gut instinct was right…he was a great guy….his words told me so. So I sent him an email in response to a post reply I saw and we became fast “friends”, speaking every day…though I left out the part about my knowing we would get together. After all he lived 3000 miles away and if he really was as wonderful as I thought I didn’t want to scare him off. 😀

    We met about two months later…he moved in with me three months after that and we’ve been together since. It was all whirlwind, romantic stuff between two very down to earth people and we are just as crazy about each other today as we were back then.

    When I began blogging and getting to know people I really wanted to meet some of them. Last year I met my first one when I went on holiday as he lived near my daughter, in an area that I grew up in. He is a great person and I am so happy that I ventured out of the blog world to meet him as I now consider him to be an in real life friend as well.

    This year I have already scheduled two meet ups with bloggers and hopefully a third will accept as well. My dream/goal before I die is to meet as many of my virtual friends as possible. 😀

    Like

  22. terryb says:

    What a great story – to meet up with a blogging buddy!
    And your dialogue with the customs officer is priceless! It had me laughing out loud, and it reminded me of the one time I crossed the border into Canada, also at Niagra Falls and for only a few hours, and came away from the experience with a funny story to tell.
    Thanks for the Sunday morning chuckle! 🙂

    Like

  23. So wonderful to make new friends! Blog friends, especially. I was a little worried about your exchange with the Customs guy. You sure have to be on your toes. I think the guys are easier than the females. Don’t know why. I haven’t been across the border for years but when I did get pulled over, it was always by a female and not because I had anything I shouldn’t have.

    Thanks for sharing you glorious pictures. Brr. All that snow. I especially love the rainbow over the falls. Wow. Nice capture. ❤ ❤

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Tess. The rainbow was quite spectacular yesterday and I was really happy with how well the photo turned out.

      I should have predicted that someone travelling alone over the border for a few hours without anything to declare on the return trip would get asked … who did you meet? 🙂

      Like

      • I haven’t yet but there’s been four of us e-mailing back and forth and it feel like a real friendship. One of these days…all are tied down in one way or another right now. And, they’re far away—I should say scattered all over the U.S.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. jannatwrites says:

    That sounds like fun, and it looks beautiful. Had to chuckle at the exchange with the customs agent, though!

    Like

  25. First of all, I am a big fan of Torrie’s blog and so impressed and jealous all at the same time that you two got to meet. Also…Wow! That story did not end the way I thought it would. Good thing you didn’t tell him about the briefcase!! (Ha, ha)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. aleksawal says:

    Awesome shots of the wintery falls. I’ve seen it dozens of times from the Canadian side in warm weather but this is a cool new vantage point (no pun intended lol). Love the story that goes along with it.!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      This was my first time to the American side and it was a completely different experience. So much attention is given to the view from the Canadian side that I think the opposite side of the river is often overlooked … at least by Canadians. It really was very beautiful 🙂

      Like

  27. Joe says:

    Great post and images Joanne 🙂 I have only met one blogger friend so far Patti, and she is also a member of the Monochromia family also. I really wish I could meet all of my blogging friends 🙂

    Like

  28. You are very enterprising – what a great thing for the two of you to arrange. The photos are really enticing – makes one WANT to go out in the cold and the falls looks very different from the other side. Why do border guards always make us a little unsure – guess that’s their job. So has this knocked off any more of your 52 new things?…explain blogging friendships to a border guard!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I hadn’t appreciated how different it was going to be to visit the Falls on the American vs Canadian side. Both are worth the trip 🙂

      … but Border guy is definitely not going on my 52 new things list! Unfortunately I’ve had more than my fair share of awkward interactions with Customs and security agents. A post for another day 😉

      Like

  29. NancyTex says:

    Fantastic! I’m imagining how much worse that could have gone. Like imagine if I was hand delivering a blog contest prize. “Oh I was just meeting a fellow blogger I’d never met before to deliver some cock soup.” 🙂

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  30. LOL! Why does it still produce so much awkwardness in others when we admit to having met up with someone we met online?! I’ve done it dozens of times, and it’s always been a nice experience. Surely, this is the NEW NORMAL of meeting new people who we have interests in common with these days, especially after college.

    Anyway, sounds like a fab day out 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Why do many people think it’s so odd? I know several married couples who met through online dating sites and are embarrassed to admit how they met. A few of them have even developed cover stories. Sad – because it IS the new normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Mara Eastern says:

    What a lovely story! Despite the rather awkward ending to it…

    Like

  32. This makes me smile. It makes me wonder, too. Can you imagine a blog written by a customs agent? I bet they’d have tons of stories!

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  33. Fantastic! The falls look amazing. 🙂 I hope Torrie posts her side of the story.
    I often find myself caught short having to explain that the ‘friend’ I was just rabbiting on about is, in fact, Canadian/American/English/etc and we’ve never actually met. 😀

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      … and then you get ‘that’ look in response — the one that suggests you have imaginary friends and talk to yourself.

      I’m expecting Torrie will write a post. I’m looking forward to it too … although maybe I should withhold comment until after the fact. She did after-all meet me. Hope I cranked down the ‘oddness’ meter enough 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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