Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Feel Like Pinnochio

I keep meaning to tell you all a little about my trip, but wouldn't you know it -- things are actually happening in my life that are worthy of talking about. Or at least I hope they are.

My first day in Chicago I met my very first online friend -- Amy Nathan! She's already posted a recap of our meeting (along with pictures -- check it out because I didn't post the same ones she did) but I thought I'd give my take as well.

Prior to August 2007, I'd never talked to someone I didn't know online, so it's still a little strange to me that I have friends that I've never met in real life -- some of whom I'm closer with than the people I've shared oxygen with. When Amy found out I was coming to Chicago, she suggested we meet. After a lot of back and forth, we settled on meeting at the Bean.

Here's me waiting for her.


We'd seen each other's picture online so we knew who to look for, and we immediately headed off to lunch. I felt a little silly because I could not for the life of me figure out where to go, and I consider myself a Chicago girl! Amy suggested the food court at Macy's (formerly Marshall Fields) so we could sit for hours without anyone rushing us from the table. (We had sushi.)

We chatted like old friends about everything under the sun -- we even talked about writing! -- then had a bored bookstore manager take our picture in front of the books.


Afterwards, we stumbled upon a cupcake store. I've been craving baked goods for quite awhile now, so when I saw the baked goodness I knew I had to have one or twelve. I settled for this:


It's a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter flavored frosting. Divine! I stared at the monstrous goodness, trying to figure out how to eat it, when Amy gave me a great tip: you remove the top, then flip it over and stack them together like a sandwich. It's not pretty but it's oh so good…

After all the sushi and sugar, Amy had to catch the train home. As I walked her to the station, we passed a corner completely roped off with police tape. Apparently the police had just shot and killed an "aggressive panhandler" who put a knife to a passerby's throat. Scary! Of course, we had no clue any of this was going on RIGHT OUTSIDE FROM WHERE WE WERE EATING.


I could even see the little markers on the ground indicating where the bullets had fallen. Yikes!

I was sad to send Amy on her way. We got along so well -- there was no awkwardness and definitely no uncomfortable silences -- that I could have chatted with her all afternoon!


(In case you don't get the title of this post, it's because I made a REAL-WORLD FRIEND!)

23 comments:

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I love your recap of our day. And now - I want another cupcake! I find myself wishing I could jump on the train and meet you for lunch!

Janna Qualman said...

What a fun time! I wish to someday be part of such a meeting. :)

And that's an awesome cupcake idea! A good way to more evenly distribute the frosting through the cupcake's thickness. (Am I a nerd, or what?)

LurkerMonkey said...

Um, that cupcake just made me hungry ...

Melanie Avila said...

Amy, I've fantasized about those cupcakes. I should have brought a box of minis home, $20 bill or not!

momcat said...

I'd hoped it wasn't because you were about to tell such a humongous lie that your nose would start growing out of control! lol. Congratulations on finally meeting up with a real life blogging buddy.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, you're on my list of people that I WILL meet in the near future. We'll make it happen!

And the even distribution is the whole point. :P We can all be cupcake nerds together.

Melanie Avila said...

Lurker, join the club.

Melanie Avila said...

Momcat, that's why I figured I should include the disclaimer, especially since there's always fears that online friends are lying about themselves...

JLC said...

How fun! (Except for the shooting part) It looks like you and Amy had a great time! And... OH LORDY, I love chocolate and peanut butter together! That cupcake looks awesome. I can't imagine a better way to hang with friends. Books and chocolate = FUN!

Natasha Fondren said...

Oh awesome! That looks so yummy. I am SO BUMMED I didn't get to meet you. :-(

The not-fixing of my car actually reduced the squealing, but now the engine light keeps flickering on and off, so I guess it's a good thing. Still. :-(

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, if there's every a peanut butter & chocolate combo I'm all over it.

It WAS a great afternoon!

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, it's too bad you couldn't drive up, but your safety really is more important. There will be other opportunities, I'm sure. :)

Janna Qualman said...

I just ate a brownie thing (surprised?) and thought of you with your cupcake (but not your toe). *grin*

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I don't know if you looked through my facebook pictures, but there's one where I'm eating a brownie. I also had a chocolate chip cookie and caramel-apple-pecan pie. YUM.

ElanaJ said...

Very cool! It's always so fun to meet up with people in real life. And dude, that cupcake looks amazing.

Benjamin Solah said...

Meeting people you know online is always so fun. Though, I'm always heaps awkward about it.

It looks like you guys had fun. And Amy's blog looks awesome. I might have to go have a read.

EriCan said...

That's so awesome. So glad you had a great time ;) The way you took that photo of the cupcake made it look like it was the size of that car in the background!!! Yummy.

I love Chicago. I need to go get that cupcake!

Robin said...

That's so nice! I want that cupcake!

I'm starting to see a link between you and violence involving police intervention. You might want to rearrange the furniture in your apartment or something, to change your karma. Or get used to wearing a bullet proof vest.

Melanie Avila said...

Elana, it was a very positive experience and has left no scars for future meetings. :P

Melanie Avila said...

Benjamin, she always has something interesting to say & her posts are well thought out (unlike mine, lol) -- definitely worth the read.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, someone else said that about the cupcake picture on FB. :P

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I've noticed this pattern too... the bullet-proof jacket might be a wise investment.

Nadine said...

So fun!! Loved the cupcake photo!!

I look forward to meeting you someday!!