Sunday night saw us arriving home after dark and pouring a tired Bella into bed. But our Labor Day weekend adventures were not over yet. Monday morning saw us up bright and early and on the road by 9:30 on our way to Newport, RI and an appointment with fellow blogger Karen Hall who was in town visiting her good friend (and yet another great Catholic blogger) Barbara Nicolosi.
We made good time, encountering surprisingly little traffic and actually arrived at Karen’s hotel about fifteen minutes early. She wasn’t there and so we made ourselves comfortable in the lobby. Isabella circled our chairs quietly and winning over the concierge who gave her a little stuffed rabbit. Turns out this wait was a really good thing. We were able to change a diaper and stretch our legs before Karen, Barbara and Barbara’s sister arrived to lead us to Barbara’s parents’ house in Connecticut.
Isabella amuses herself in a rocking chair on the front porch of the hotel while we wait for our car to be brought round.
Bella was a trooper. Even though she’d spent several hours in the car on Saturday and even more time on Sunday, she was pretty calm and collected during our drive, only getting a little cranky when we stopped at the Newport docks to get some lobsters (which sadly didn’t materialize). I’d never been to Newport before and am now determined to go back for a real visit. From the little I saw, I can tell it’s a place I’d enjoy exploring.
We had a wonderful lunch at the Nicolosi’s house. Steamers, scrumptious chili (made by Barbara’s policeman brother-in-law), steak and shrimp and asparagus, with an absolutely fabulous pound cake that stole the show. Though the main course was the fabulous conversation.
It’s funny when you meet people that you’ve only known previously from blogs and emails. There are many details that surprise you (Dom said he didn’t expect Karen’s southern accent, for example) but the essentials are exactly what you already knew. You can’t blog day after day while maintaining a facade. And so in some ways when you meet someone you’ve known via a blog you feel like you’ve known them forever.
Soon we were sipping wine, Karen was sharing photos, and by the end of lunch grand plans were being made for another meeting, this time with a couple of dozen of our other blog friends. It was great hearing Barbara and Karen’s LA stories and movie biz insiders’ insights. My only regret was that I kept having to duck out of the conversation to take Isabella for walks. She’d stand at the door chanting, “Go, go. Go, go!” and could only be delayed and distracted by toys for so long. (Though Barbara’s mother graciously dug around and found some toys to share and even let Bella play with her trolley car.)
The day passed all too quickly. Other than the frequent need to go outside, Bella hung in there remarkably well. Soon, though it was time for us to depart for home and for Karen to head back to her hotel. I could have stayed there for five times as long and the visit would still have been all too brief. Still, now that we’ve made contact maybe we’ll be able to meet up again sometime.
Dom, Bella, and myself with Barbara and Karen.