Our surprise diabetes meet-upIt was only a few short years ago, but it feels like a lifetime. In February of 2009, I was able to extend a business trip in the Los Angeles area to visit George Simmons and his family. That trip was fantastic in so many ways.
I didn't know it at the time, but George is the master of making sure his guests have a great visit. We only had a few short days together, but there was a lot of action packed into them. We spent time at his house near Los Angeles, and then drove for a few hours into Las Vegas to meet Christel. Both George and I will go through a lot for a quality diabetes meet-up, and meeting Christel ranks way up there. In fact, it ranks right up there with our next diabetes meet-up.
Meeting Karen face-to-face
It may sound crazy, but after Las Vegas, George and I spent another five-plus hours in the car bound for San Diego to meet with Karen and Pete for dinner! The fun part about all of this was that George didn't tell anyone that I was coming along.
It was all a surprise!
We met Karen and her husband, Pete, at a Denny's if I remember correctly, and it was such a blast watching Karen's reaction. George didn't tell her anyone was coming with him. As we were walking up to them he casually mentions "Hey, I brought a friend with me."
Her face went from being ready for the required polite social pleasantries, to recognition, then surprise, then confusion (because I was so out of place there), and finally excitement! It was something I'll never forget.
We held court in that Denny's for what seemed forever. Luckily, we had the sweetest waitress who took such good care of us. She even tolerated my poking fun at her by saying that the four of us travel around the country eating at as many Denny's as we can find. She even brought out an entire carafe filled with Diet Coke.
You should take another look at Karen's post about all of this from back then--there are some great pictures. It was, by far, one of the best diabetes meet-ups of all time.
Why diabetes meet-ups are special
A diabetes meet-up with someone you know from the diabetes online community is really a special thing. It is a testament to how they share of themselves so openly when you can meet them in real life and are already good friends. That even extended to Karen's husband, Pete. It didn't take any longer than a few minutes before both George and I felt like we had known both of them forever.
Since then, I've had the pleasure of seeing and visiting both Karen and Pete several times.
I'm so thankful to have them in my circle of friends. They are worth their weight in gold. And insulin.
Thank you so much for the great post, Scott!! It was a lot of fun to revisit my memories of that meet-up, which was among my first few and forever holds a very special place in my heart! And any time you and George are ready for that cross-country Denny’s tour, just let me and Pete know!! We are so in!
Please be sure to stop by The Diabetes Collective for some more great posts by some very talented bloggers! And be sure to visit DiabetesMonitor.com as well!