I do love meetups! In the more than (gulp) 15 years since I have been using the internet I have had the occasion to make and meet many great friends online!
I have one group I met online at least 12 years ago, most of whom live in my city. After getting together many many years ago we became fast friends and while we don’t get together often enough, we do try for at least once a year…and still keep in touch regularly online.
I also recently had a fun meetup with some other local Miami healthy living bloggers…meeting people for the first time you feel you “know” because you have been friends online or at least following them online is so much fun!
So recently when one of my favorite bloggers, Angela from Oh She Glows announced she was coming to Florida, and was going to have some blogger meetups I was seriously excited!
Since she was coming to Ft. Lauderdale, not Miami, it was going to be a bit of a drive for me. She wanted to meet at Sublime, THE vegan restaurant to go to in South Florida, taking my excitement level up another notch…I had been looking for an excuse to drive all the way to Ft. Lauderdale to try Sublime for a while!
I emailed her and offered to make the reservation for our group…when she emailed me back and told me to go ahead, she had me make the reservation for 15 people…meaning I would also get to meet 7 other South Florida bloggers! This was getting better and better!
After going back and forth a bit with the restaurant and the party size, they told me our large party would be at two tables side by side in the back of the restaurant.
Wednesday night I piled my family into the car (we usually come as a package deal!) and up to Ft. Lauderdale we drove.
Our reservations were for 8 p.m., but because we had such a long drive and knew were going to be hitting major rush hour traffic, we left really early! So we got there really early! We were the first ones there!
Other than Angela and her husband Eric, I had absolutely no clue who else was coming!
As we walked up were greeted by these beautiful windows…the water falls down them on the inside, although you can sit and watch the water stream down the outside. FabPreteen has declared she wants these in her room. I told her I would see what I could do.
First to arrive after us were Eliana and Marc from Not All Who Wander Are Lost. I heard them ask the front desk about the table and the front desk pointed to me and told them their party was here…so they looked at me and since I didn’t look like Angela, they seemed like they thought the front desk might be wrong!
I went up to them and asked if they were with our party, and when they said yes I introduced myself and asked who they were…their names didn’t mean anything to me, but when Eliana had told me about their blog I knew who they were right away…I had visited their blog!
At this point the hostess seated us and we chatted while we waited to see who else would arrive. It was like a continuous blind date…the hostess would head towards our table with someone who would look sort of lost (the only one we all knew was Angela!) and we would introduce ourselves and ask who she was…and what her blog was! Not everybody had a blog though…some people just followed Angela’s blog and came to meet her.
When Angela and Eric arrived everybody was very excited…yes, she looks even more glowing in person! She sat down at our table, which by now was getting a bit crowded.
But even though our table was for 8, as people arrived we kept scooting over, closer and closer together (and ignoring the second table), until we had 12 people seated around our table. I noticed that even though the restaurant had specifically told us we couldn’t put the tables together, they kindly overlooked us all cramming into the one table and eventually even seated another party at it!
Here we all are…our server was great with the pictures. She happily took pictures with at least three different cameras…and even looked to make sure they came out good, retaking when necessary. She was so patient with it I wondered if she was a blogger herself!
Here we all are around the table…starting with FabHubs, Me, Marc, Eliana, Lesley, Angela, Eric, Jelena, Stacey, and Kelly.
It was so much fun…and I was excited to find out that everybody else was actually from Miami (except Stacey who is from Boca but lived in Miami) so I know a Miami blogger meetup is in our future!
Now on to the food….FabHubs knows I love eggplant, so he ordered the eggplant rollatini for me, filled with “ricotta.” This was really delicious and I thought the filling was remarkably close to ricotta…if I didn’t know I never would have guessed!
FabStepson and FabPreteen each enjoyed a Caesar salad. FabSS devoured what he told me were tofu croutons, but FabPT didn’t like hers…when I tried one I found it wasn’t tofu but artichoke! No wonder Miss Picky didn’t like them! I was happy to relieve her of those…I love artichoke! The beers all had some funky names like Hazed and Confused and more. I love dark beer so I ordered a Mocha Porter Rogue which was so good! A surprise from the kitchen, compliments of the chef! Pesto Polenta! We passed this around and shared (two plates of it). This was really good as well. I have been wanting to make polenta for a while…this reaffirmed for me and I know I will be breaking out the cookbook to give it a try.My unadventurous family all ordered the same thing…Margherita Classico. Yes…all three of them. The same thing. I did try a piece and while the crust was a little thinner than I normally like the pizza was excellent. Looks like cheese, doesn’t it?
It was rather humorous to hear the discussion going on between these two about the cheese. FabPT (who always seems to get what’s going on..she is a girl) told FabSS that it was not real cheese. He, on the other hand, insisted that yes, this was real cheese, real mozzarella. They went at it for a little while on this issue. But again, if you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t guess…it was that good!!
I ended up going with the “Four Sides” dish, because I loved all the sides. I am surprised I ended up being a bit disappointed!
The sides I chose were the grilled asparagus, whipped potatoes, blackened tofu, and garlic broccoli.
The asparagus was great…everything else was actually kind of bland and looking back I wish I would have chosen the tofu grilled instead of blackened. The “blackening” was actually a dry powder coating on the outside, not blackened like I am used to. Next time I would try one of their signature dishes instead. After dinner, Angela passed around her Glo Bars as a wonderful treat for everybody. The kids promptly tore into theirs…FabHubs and I waited…until the drive home where we shared ours!
Leaving the restaurant we had a couple more photo ops, and then very slowly chatted our way out to the parking lot.
What a fun evening!!!!
Two more blogger meetups I one day hope to have…with my Losing To Win buddies (mostly out in Utah and Colorado) and my SBI support group, spread all over the eastern part of North America!
Since so many great bloggers give away so many fun things, I have decided to add a little giveaway section at the bottom of my posts.
Click through to check out some new blogs and enter some giveaways:
Gliding Calm is giving away a raw food book to try some new raw food recipes!
Tricia at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical has an amazing Kettleworx Essentials package to give away. I sure want to win this! While you are there read her incredible story of how she lost over 100 pounds. She is very inspirational (and since she lives in Ft. Lauderdale I was quite disappointed she was out of town and not here for the meetup!)