We really should have met at an Italian Restaurant (you can read why in the archives). But having eaten at an Italian Restaurant in the heart of North Jersey the night before, Deb and I were wanting something different. After all…this was a HUGE occasion! It’s not every day that you meet a very good friend who you have never really met before.
Actually…that’s not entirely true. I have loads of clients, many of whom are kinda friends, that I have talked to, and with whom I have done business online and over the phone for years. But, I haven’t written a book with them. Or foiled a dastardly villain. Or maneuvered the maze of insanity that is the world of blogging together. Or poked trolls in the eye with them. Or kept me laughing, almost nonstop since the first time we talked. This guy is special.
And so it was…that after what has to be hundreds of phone conversations, thousands of emails and shared posts…and a general sense of adventure that took us down roads we could never have conceived individually…it was time to meet Ryan Kagy in person.
This is not an easy feat. We live a meer 2916 miles away (according to Google Maps), and we both have incredibly busy schedules. Plus…let’s face it…in TSTO time, we have spent DECADES (TSTO Time is 1 year/20 years of Life Currency) of time in real life “moving on.” When people are “moving on,” by the very nature of the term, they are moving, and therefor less likely to cross paths. Unless that path is arranged by Google Maps and the nice lady on my phone who tells us how not to be killed on the New Jersey turnpike in rush hour.
Deb and I, after a long day in “the city” (NYC) doing Time Square, and another lunch with Uncle Dave, got back just in time to shower (walking in the city, in 85 degree heat, wearing nice clothes for a nice lunch, creates the need for a shower), we put Ryan’s address into our map-thingy on our phone, and started off.
For reasons unknown…the nice lady stopped talking to us from the phone, midway down the New Jersey Turnpike. Most likely because she was tired of having me scream at her for telling me directions too late to get over the three lanes of traffic traveling at between 70-90 mph, while texting and flipping one another off.
But we got there, almost exactly to the time we were set to meet. “There” being the lovely town of Englewood, NJ, which is one of those bucolic little townships that people who watch “Jersey Shore” or “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” would have a hard time believing exists in the “Garden State.” More Norman Rockwell than Rockie Bimberino, it is a gorgeous slice of green, just off of the Turnpike (which has nothing gorgeous about it).