A Milliver’s Travels Historic Moment: First-Ever Staff Meetup!DINING, MEMORIES, OUR FOODIE, STAFF, USA MAINLAND — By Milli Thornton on July 13, 2012 at 01:13
Story by Milli Thornton. Photos Copyright © Ann McElfresh. Feature photo by Milli.
STAFF WRITERS who blog for Milliver’s Travels live in Canada, Romania, the UK, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and California. Needless to say, we are a virtual community. We know one another from Twitter and Facebook, from off-site blogs, email and comments here on the blog.
So it was an exciting moment when two of us finally got to meet in person: site owner Milli Thornton (that’s me) and staff writer Ann McElfresh.
Ann lives in Florida and I live in Ohio but, fortuitously, Ann’s husband Tom (aka Honey Bunny) was born and raised in a small community south of Pittsburgh. Brian and I live only an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh. So a visit by Tom to his old stomping grounds enabled us to make plans for a meetup.
There was some discussion about desired types of food before everyone agreed on Brian’s suggestion of brunch at Bistro 19 in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Besides being one of my staff writers, Annie is a friend, so we’d had extensive contact by email as well as a few long phone calls. Meeting her in person felt completely natural and we immediately began talking up a storm.
Fortunately for me, Annie took all the photos for this post. Unlike the usual travel story where I’m multi-tasking—taking notes and photos while simultaneously trying to wring every ounce of pleasure from the adventure—for once I could relax and let someone else do the work. Annie has a much better camera than I do, and she’s a photo-taking maniac, so this was a swell deal.
Correction. Honey Bunny did take some of the shots. He took several very good ones of the two of us (see above) and it was difficult choosing which one to publish here. (I left out the scandalous ones, lol.)
A member of the Bistro 19 staff agreed to take some photos of the four of us. Brian was compliant, and Honey Bunny was generally well-behaved (nothing scandalous there) . . . but I did bypass the photo where he was making peace signs above our heads in favor of this more official-looking group photo.
Speaking of Honey Bunny: he was a hoot to tease! I felt I knew him pretty well already from reading about him on Ann’s former cooking blog, and he was just as much fun in person as he was to read about.
All four of us approved of the food at Bistro 19. I went for the Bananas Foster Pancakes—I adore Bananas Foster but don’t get the chance to order it very often—with a side of eggs for protein so I wouldn’t croak from plummeting blood sugar after mainlining all that sugar and starch. Mine was delish!
Everybody else ordered Eggs Benedict with various sides (Ann asked a lot of questions first so she could avoid anything that would trigger her food allergies) and, judging from the empty plates, that was a superb choice as well.
The four of us yakked up a storm and had a blast. It was over all too soon: Ann and Tom had another social event to go to.
But first we took a stroll outside. Brian and Tom (who got along famously) continued their conversation while Annie and I did another photo shoot. I needed some new photos for online profiles and Annie was glad to oblige. You can see one of the shots she took at my new About.me profile.
You may be shocked to hear it, but Brian and Tom did not talk about the amazing features and benefits of Milliver’s Travels, or even the fabulous photography or writing talents of their wives who blog here. Evidence suggests they talked exclusively about guy stuff . . . but I guess we’ll forgive them.
This time, anyway.
Meeting Annie was SO much fun, I can hardly wait to hang out with her again! And it makes me look forward even more to meeting other MT staff whenever I can.
Which I realize would require some travel, but sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices for your friends.
Ann McElfresh has had the opportunity to travel and live overseas during the course of her husband’s career in the military and they didn’t stop after he retired! An enthusiastic home cook, she has an extensive “bucket list” of places to see, foods to eat and dishes to cook. A recent physical required that she focus her attention on cooking healthy foods and living a healthier lifestyle. At this time, she has lost 20 pounds and when asked how she lost the weight, she tells people, “By cooking like mad! Who knew losing weight could be so much fun?”
Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse.