I’m warning you, this is really long but I want to document the events so I apologize in advance.
Earlier this month a woman I've been stalking on the internet for a few years now, came to visit San Francisco from her hometown of S. Calif. More specifically, The O.C. I don’t recall how I found Twenty Four At Heart but I was immediately hooked on her stories and tales of events. She’s funny, blunt, truthful, has the most crazy things happen to her. I read her blog daily at work as I drink my morning coffee. DAILY.
She started off as this anonymous blogger making fun of O.C. people and has since become quite the popular blogger and very well known in real life as well. So well known in fact, she’s spotted around her town, recognized by her readers. She’s an amazing photographer too.
So imagine my delight when she told readers how she was taking a trip up to San Francisco with a girlfriend and wanted to meet up with some of us. Squeee!
Now, she and I have emailed back and forth a few times. We're also Facebook "friends". I was pretty sure she'd want to meet me but you just never know. She may have some secret belief I’m a crazy person.
It’s been known to happen.
So, I mentioned in her comments section how I have a pretty busy weekend on those dates, but would love to meet up with her if possible. She sent me an email later saying that would be great. Phew! My stalking has just been amped up! I get to actually MEET her.
I did have a very schedule that day. I was snack parent for Shawna’s basketball game, both girls had track practice in the morning, Paula and I needed to sell her Girl Scout cookies at a booth sale that afternoon (picture below), then Paula had her own basketball game. To top off the night Paula was going on a sleepover.
I was pretty tired by the time the evening came around. But I REALLY wanted to meet Suzanne. So, when I came home from Paula’s BB game I threw on jammie pants, grabbed a glass of wine and texted her. I knew she was out~and~about taking pictures of the city so we hadn’t established a time/place to get together.
Now, before I continue I have to tell you, I was not thrilled with going into the city alone. Not because I was afraid of meeting her by myself, but because BART at night is creepy! Walking the streets of San Francisco alone is not my thing either.
I emailed my friend Kim and asked if she could go with me. She knows I’m a social media
Hey Kim, want to go to San Francisco on BART at NIGHT with me to meet someone I sort of STALK who I’ve NEVER met before but who I only know online??? Do yah huh, DO YAH?
Thankfully Kim was totally up for it BUT she had her boys that weekend and couldn’t go. Dang!
Next I emailed my friends Dina & Susanne. I turned both of them on to Twenty Four At Heart a year or so ago, but didn’t know if they’d want to go meet her like I did.
Thankfully they too were up for it BUT, had plans already that afternoon with one of their moms and wouldn’t be available to go.
My husband needed to stay home with Shawna. If I went I was going solo.
Suzanne texted me back that she’d be in her hotel around 6:30pm and we could meet in the Hyatt’s lobby area. Sweet!
I dolled myself up a bit since I was definitely nasty from a day of running around and I couldn’t meet her looking all hag-like.
I drove to BART and would be in San Francisco in about an hour. I’d be late but thankfully it didn’t ruin anything. Heading there was a no brainer. It was still day light and BART was packed with people. I got off to switch trains, got on the 2nd train. I arrived on schedule.
Walked down the street to the Hyatt and anxiously waited for her to appear. I took some pictures with my iphone while I waited. Check out this Atrium and the lights hanging from the ceiling.
Suzanne appeared and looked just like her pictures. She was immediately warm and friendly like I knew she would be. Her voice was much softer than I expected. Not sure why, but I just expected her voice to be deeper. Louder. She has a very soft voice. We visited a bit then her friend Nike came down to join us.
Nike looks like Jamie Lee Curtis. Even one of the hotel personnel mentioned that to her.
All of us decided on some wine and dinner. Nike was in the mood for Chinese food so we went to the concierge who recommended Oriental Pearl in China Town. He said their Peking duck was infamous. Alrighty then. Lets go.
The three of us shared a cab to the restaurant. Suzanne immediately started a conversation with the man to get to know him better. Our chauffeur was a trained engineer who was now a taxi driver. He was pleasant to talk to and didn’t get us lost. Win win.
China Town’s lights weren’t all lit up yet so we ventured into the restaurant and immediately seated. It wasn’t packed, but it was crowded. We all agreed we should order the peking duck since it was famous. The waiter also helped us to pick other “popular” delicious menu items. We shared our food choices, Suzanne took pictures of the food, as did I, we chatted. It was a great night out with friends.
Our peking duck came with this center piece. It's a carving out of carrot. Swear.
We closed down the restaurant so we had to leave. Suzanne took some shots of the red oriental lights in the street before we walked back down to the hotel. During our walk to she took many more photos.
Nike and I discovered we both stay in the same resort in Cabo every year. What a coincidence.
Once back to the hotel we each ordered a cocktail and chatted more. I really enjoyed these ladies.
Sadly the last BART train at 11pm was coming soon so I had to take off. We did a few pictures, I gave them each hugs and I was off!
Suzanne kindly walked me to the BART entrance. She told me to text her when I made it safely home. I really appreciated her concern for my welfare.
Now is when my story gets creepy.
The first BART train was fine. We got off at the 19th St station where I had to change trains. Thankfully my guardian angel was watching out for me because two guys passed by talking about the lower level.
What lower level??
Shoot! If I wanted to catch my next train I had to go downstairs! If they hadn’t come by right then I’d have for sure missed my train. I followed them and stuck closely. I choose a seat which I thought was in a good open area.
I have to say BART was packed for 11pm at night.
Then some freaky guy got on.
He sat right in front of me and stared at me wayyyy too much. Started creeping me out! I had police issue pepper spray in my purse (thank you brother) just in case too.
He turns to me and says “Ma’am, are you going to Fremont station?
Do you know when the 403 arrives?
Uh….Is that a bus? Sorry. No.
I turn back to my phone and play solitaire but kept my peripheral eye on him. I wanted him to go away.
As we got closer to the station he stands up and continues to stare at me way too much.
Ma’am? I just want to tell you I like your lips. You have nice lips.
OMG! He’s a total weirdo!!!! I start to think how I can get my pepper spray into my pocket without him seeing. I don’t need to alarm him or get him all agitated. I’m not sure he’s going to kill and rape me at this point but the thought crosses my mind!
We arrive at the station and he moves out first. I immediately transfer the spray to my coat pocket. I’m hoping he’ll exit the right hand side doors instead of left which is where I need to go to reach my car.
Dang, he goes left.
I stay behind him at all times. I see a janitor by the exit and smile nicely and tell him to have a nice evening. I wanted him to SEE me in case I screamed or something! Ha!
I quickly walked to my car and got in, locking it behind me. Phew!! I’m alive!
I text Suzanne to let her know I arrived. I told her later about the weirdo!!!
Even though the end of my trip creeped me out I’m still sooo glad I traveled to meet her and Nike.
Being a blogger (and I use that term loosely when it comes to me!) and following blogs is a funny thing. I’ve met some amazing people thru online connections. I’m a more educated and enhanced person for the stories I read and the things I learn thru the personal experiences people share with me. To get to meet some of these amazing people in real life is an extra bonus.
Suzanne and I. Don't we look cute and like we could be sisters? :)