I decided since I didn't find time to write more about last week's trip, that I'd shake up the chronological order of my writing, and write about the final days first, since that's when I met some of my blog friends and ex-Mormons that live in the Salt Lake City area. Vegas memories can wait...
I decided to post on FLAK, asking if anyone would be interested in an exmo get-together. Immediately there was more interest than I ever anticipated or expected, which was a sweet surprise. It was determined that some could not attend an evening get-together, and some could only meet in the evening, so we planned two different gatherings.
Nom de Cypher, a good friend and charmer of many on FLAK, helped me coordinate the lunch, and we ended up meeting at Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square per Christy's suggestion. My kids and husband went with me (the kids were thrilled to be there, thanks for asking!). I had a great time. Dartman didn't seem uncomfortable there, which was good. We weren't sure what to expect, but there were no awkward moments as could easily happen, I imagine, when strangers meet.
They gave us a big table in the back room, and it was perfect for our group. There were 13 in all:
Me, Dartman, Nom de Cypher, Christy (Degenerate Elite), From the Ashes, Mr. From the Ashes, Amber Ale, Magic Cicero, Radioactive Wrath, Garbageboy, Demon of Kolob, and my two kids. We ordered our food, and had an interesting moment when Radioactive Wrath ordered a beer that was apparently stronger than 3.2%, causing the waiter to inform him they may not serve anything stronger than 3.2% before noon. It was 11:50 a.m. That gave us a good laugh, and we talked about that and other things until our food came.
It was so awesome meeting these people! A few thoughts on each one, based on way too little time to form really good opinions:
Nom de Cypher: Charming, funny, witty, and handsome in a classy way just as his Cary Grant avatar suggests. He stayed longest, and was the last one to leave. A great guy...you should get to know him if you can. His conversation skills are quite good.
Amber Ale: He is a musician who slightly resembles Billy Joel (woo woo! which is my version of a whistle), as his avatar suggests. He's a very nice man, who runs the Zarahemla City Limits website. The first time I ever communicated with Amber Ale, it was when he asked me in an email if he could post my If Joseph Smith had the Internet post in the Satire section of ZCL. I'm so glad I got to know AA better during lunch. He has a great laugh, and he uses it often. Oh, and I found out he loves drinking amber ale. Go figure!
Christy: Our very own sweetheart of Degenerate Elite fame! She is beautiful, on the inside and out. I was sad that she ended up sitting three people away from me on the same side of the table, so we weren't able to chat as I'd have liked to. She did manage to take a quick photo of the two of us smiling into her cell phone camera (the only photo taken at all that day), which she sent to our good friend, Sideon, via text message. No, the photo is not available. You must be president of the SML Fan Club to be able to view it. Sorry. I was impressed with Christy's bubbly nature and her poise and ease with which she greeted all of us when she first arrived. She's great!
From the Ashes: I was so thrilled to meet my friend From the Ashes while we were in Utah, especially since she just moved there recently from living back east. I really admire and love her! She's also beautiful, inside and out, and much younger than you'd guess when reading her deep thoughts and wisdom on her blog. I'd encourage anyone to meet her if given the chance. I was bummed that she was sitting at the other end of the table as well, so I wasn't able to chat more with her too.
Mr. From the Ashes: I was highly impressed that he came to our lunch, despite the fact that he had injured his ankle recently, and was sporting crutches. Bummer, dude! I was sad to find out that his ankle was too overworked during our lunch, causing him to miss the evening get-together. Next time, I hope! He seemed very nice, and the two of them make a very cute couple. I could say he's as beautiful as his wife, but that might make him uncomfortable.
Demon of Kolob: Demon of Kolob is a blogger whom I never heard of before joining FLAK. He sat across from Dart and me and engaged us in some very interesting discussions. He is pretty tall, and has very nice eyes. One thing I remember ~ he told us that people simply don't drink outside in their front yards in Utah. They do so in their backyards, to avoid being picked up by the cops for questioning. I can tell you, this is NOT how it's done in Montana. We can drink wherever we want, except in our vehicles. ;) It was very good to meet Demon, too.
Radioactive Wrath: He was a very interesting guy, who sat just far enough away from me to limit getting to know him better. He seemed like someone with a great sense of humor. He's young, handsome, and pretty easy-going, I'd say. He had a manner that reminded me of Jack Black, I don't know why. I really like Jack Black, I can't help it, and that's how I feel about RW too. It was very good to meet him in person.
Garbageboy: Another FLAKer that I hardly knew of before meeting him at lunch. He's very likeable, with a huge smile that makes you want to get to know him better, because you just know he'd be a great guy to be friends with. He's young, tall, handsome, and married (sorry, ladies). He is married to a TBM woman, so send some good karma thoughts his way. Someday, maybe, they'll both be on the same page religiously. I hope so. I don't wish that kind of experience on anyone. I was glad to meet him.
Magic Cicero: Of Magic Cycero's Odyssey, writer of one of my favorite blogs to read. He's got a great sense of humor, and words things very well. I wish I had his intellect! He's a very interesting person to talk to, which, since we sat so far away from each other during lunch, we were able to do after lunch outside the restaurant in the quiet mall. He's tall, dark, and handsome as well, with a wife and small child(ren). I've been reading his blog for some time, and was very glad he came to lunch so I could meet him in person. What a great guy he is.
I was going to post about the evening get-together we went to later that day, but it's pretty late, so I'll have to write that up tomorrow!