by Laura Crum
I have been reading horse blogs for four years now—ever since I was invited to join the newly created equestrianink blog (thank you, Jami!). During those years I have gotten to “know” many other bloggers. I read their posts, I comment on their blogs, they comment here. Sometimes we start emailing each other. And now that I am doing facebook (I know, I said I never would, but my publisher insisted I had to), we comment on each other’s facebook pages. Some have become real friends. And once in awhile I even get to meet that friend in real life. After years of online friendship, this is a pretty big thrill. (I’m pretty sure that most of you out there know what I mean—having has this experience yourselves.)
One of the blogs I have followed for a long time is Funder’s “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time”, listed on the sidebar. When I started reading it, Funder lived in Memphis. Over the years she moved to Ohio, then to Reno, Nevada. Her horse Dixie went from being a goofy, green critter to a good endurance mount (completing 50 mile events). Funder chronicled all this with humor and grace, always keeping it real. Her blog became one of my very favorites. And she became my personal “go to” consultant for questions about the cyberworld and cyberworld relationships, since I am old enough and inexperienced enough in this area to feel bewildered a lot of the time. Funder has been a wonderful internet friend. So I was thrilled when she moved to San Francisco last month and we set up a date to meet.
Schedules and such being allowed for, Funder drove down from her home to visit me here (near Santa Cruz, on the Monterey Bay) this last Weds (trip takes a little less than two hours). And when she got out of the truck, it was as if I’d known her for years. It was pretty amazing. And a great lesson in what cyberfriendships can create.
We toured my humble abode and Funder met my horses. Here we are trying rather unsuccessfully to get Sunny to pose with us.
Funder and a sulky Sunny.
We talked about going for a trail ride then and there, but my local trails are thick with poison oak right now. I’m not very susceptible to the rash, but Funder was pretty sure she is, based on past experience. We agreed she would haul Dixie down at a later date and we’d ride on the (poison oak free) beach. Then we headed out for Mexican food and margaritas by the bay. Though since we are responsible adults (!) and we had to drive, we only had one apiece.
After coffee and lots and lots of yakking about everything and anything, we marched to the edge of a convenient cliff for a good look at the Monterey Bay, which Funder had never seen. Here she is, looking out at the blue, blue Pacific. If you look real close, you can see my reflection in her sunglasses, taking the photo.
It was an absolutely lovely, breathtaking day. Sunny, brilliant, 72 degrees. I was so happy that Funder got to see my part of the world at its very best. Here’s what it looked like.
And after that Funder drove home along the coast in the spectacular sparkling weather. I’m sure she saw some more lovely things. And I was really tickled that we got to meet and hang out. Can’t wait until she brings Dixie down to ride with me.
So, fun with Funder was had—I absolutely couldn’t resist that title(!) I’m so glad we got to meet.
Sounds like you guys had a great time! I read both of your blogs (rarely comment though), and it's always fun when two people get to actually meet in person! And I enjoy reading about your adventures because I only live an hour or so south of you (Paso Robles). :)
:D I had a great time!! Can't wait to bring D down for a beach ride.
-Funder, on my phone
That looks like fun. Can't wait to see what happens when you go for that trail ride!
Breanna--I love reading about bloggers meeting in person, too. Paso is great. I lived near there (San Luis) and kept my horse in San Miguel for a few years. Did a lot of riding in the riverbed. Thanks for reading and your comment.
Funder! Yep, I had a blast, too. Am looking forward to the riding. Hope you are surviving the DMV ordeal with flying colors.
redhorse--Well, we've got it all planned out. Dixie has been ridden by/in a big lake, so has seen large bodies of water. My horses are all very solid at the beach. We'll go at low tide on a calm day and we're guessing Dixie will be fine. And if Funder wants to take off at a flying gait of some sort down the beach, well she'll have room to fly. We'll just catch up to her at our own sort of pokey pace eventually.
I've never met any of my blog friends, would love to. Glad you had an awesome time!
Wow! Your worlds (cyber and real) collided and the result was a new friendship. :)
Glad you two got the chance to meet up in person!
Sounds like you guys had a great time. We should plan a California girls weekend of riding and yakking. :)
Wonderful that you guys met! Thanks for the gorgeous beach pics. You know it's a beach in America when there is just ocean and sand, and no people (or very very few) to be seen. Can't wait to go back to the Oregon coast in August!!! German beaches (yeah, there are two places Germany touches saltwater: the Baltic and North seas) are cluttered with people as far as the eye can see.
Isn't it interesting that our favorite bloggers are really as cool in RL as they are online?
Susan--Funder is the second blog friend I've met in real life and both times it was great fun.
Kate--There are so many of you I'd like to meet, but mostly distance gets in the way. I was lucky Funder happened to move relatively close to me.
Kel--I am eagerly awaiting your visit. You just have a slightly longer drive, unfortunately.
lytha--Yep. It was lovely to find Funder exactly the (very cool, as you say) person she is on her blog. And our more touristy beaches here are crowded, but one CAN get away from the crowds--thank goodness.
Very cool. New to the blog but I too "met" Funder through our endurance blogs, and then met her in real life at an endurance ride. I was so excited to meet her I had no idea what to call her (Funder? She must have a real first name..right?) So I just said "Hey, are you Dixie's owner?" And a friendship was born.
How cool that you have "known" her through the years of her moves etc and now you are almost neighbors!
Bird--It is really cool. And its funny, the first thing I said when she stepped out of her truck was "Hi Funder!" And then, "I do call you Funder, right?" I mean I knew her first name from emailing, but I wasn't sure which name to use. She reassured me that even her husband calls her Funder.
And I found your blog recently through Funder's blog and have been reading about your endurance adventures. Which has been very cool, too. I know nothing about endurance, but I love reading those 50 mile sagas. I feel like I'm right there with you--you guys are both such good writers (!)
Sounds like you two had a great time.
*sigh* 72*... Oh.. sorry! :) Got distracted there!
Hey! You got to meet FUNDER!! Man alive, that is awesome. You two are two bloggers I'd *love* to meet someday, but with distance being what it is, who knows when that might happen.
Cant WAIT to hear the beach ride stories!!
Brilliant! So far, I've only met one internet friend in real life, our very own Jami Davenport. We met on the Internet before either of us were published,and had dressage and a bit of an obession for Ricky Martin in common (OK, so mine was way worse)! We read each other's manuscripts, and emailed each other pretty regularly, and then finally met at the RWA convention in San Francisco about...five years ago?! (time soooo flies!). Just like your experience with Funder, Jami also seemed just the same in real life as she had in her emails. I wish we could have spent more time together, but I was on vacation with my family and moving on down the coast. Wish I could have come and hung out with you, Laura!!!
Glad you had such a great time together.
Grey Horse--We did!
Mrs Mom--When are you flying out to the West Coast?Its in the 70's every day here. I know, that was evil of me (!)
Cesca--If you get back over here, do come visit. I'd love to meet you.
good post thanks :)
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