I am proud to say that I am the one who found the luxurious house where we stayed in Jamaica, though I can't actually take any real credit since I found it through Amalah. She went there last year with her family (gratis of the company) and wrote about it during what was a particularly snowy and bleak winter. I clearly remember sending CG, who gets hundreds of work emails a day and prizes brevity, a brief email that included just a link to one of her posts and the words START SAVING NOW.
So save we did, for a trip that would hopefully prevent the four of us from the succumbing completely to February, ie. The Darkest Days. By the time we were seriously planning, my parents were just coming out of my dad's latest round of radiation and were ready to celebrate and relax. So we joined forces, invited my brother and his family, and made it a whole famn damily trip.
Though we were all sad when my brother and his family were waylaid by a stomach bug and couldn't make it, Z was truly bereft as she misses her cousin deeply and had been looking forward to seeing her for months. Staying in a rented house was perfectly private for us antisocial adults, but Z really longed for other kids to play with. (E couldn't have cared less, she was either clinging to me or trying to climb out the window.)
So we did something we NEVER do: we went to the Bluefields Villas cocktail hour. WITH STRANGERS. Who presumably would want to TALK TO US. And we brought the girls.
(That last part was not our brightest idea ever, in case you were wondering. E was just too clingy to leave with the nanny and Z didn't want to be left out.)
We hoped there would be a nice family with small children staying in one of the other houses, perhaps even ones close in age to our girls. Dare to dream right?
Did we ever hit the jackpot.
Upon entering the cocktail hour, we met J and S. With no other kids in sight, I immediatley assumed they were newlyweds, they looked too refreshed and bright-eyed to be parents. But lo! I was wrong! Their daughters, ages 4 and 6, were upstairs with their nanny (perhaps this explains the "refreshed' and "bright-eyed" part)! And they were friendly! And nice!
My first question, I'm not sure why but maybe I have some deep intuition I'm completly unaware of, was just how they found and chose the house. S said "Oh, from a mommy blog I read...." and I said "Amalah?" and she said "YES".
We chatted for a while, until Z started whining about being bored, guzzled her smoothie and insisted on pulling the hem of her skirt up over her head while laughing manically. (*Ahem* Time to go!)
It wasn't until later that we each admitted that not only did we read mommy blogs but we EACH HAVE ONE.
Now, I have met a blog friend in real life (Holla B!) but this was brand new territory. Stephanie and I exchanged blog addresses and made plans to meet on the beach with our girls later in the week.
As CG and I sat in bed that night and checked out S's lovely blog, the bizarre nature of the time we live in blew me away. It's crazy to be sitting on a bed in Jamaica, reading about the private world and thoughts of someone who lives many states away, someone I had just met. To be able to read the private thoughts and feelings of a virtual stranger, things that they have never directly told you themselves, and then see them in person the next day...it's odd, right?
The Luddite in me wants to hate this. To find it wrong. Backwards.
But honestly? It was lovely.