How is it that people you meet in person after chatting online are always exactly like you imagined them to be? Oh, I remember back in the day, like in 1995 -- which doesn't seem all that long ago to me but 17 years have passed since I met my husband online -- everybody talked about how dangerous it was to meet a stranger from the Internet. Because they might not be what they seem. Yet, every person I have ever met has never been different than I suspected.
Well, perhaps more charming, more beautiful and more delightful in person, but not the other way around. I had the extreme pleasure yesterday of meeting Mary Douglas from United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. She lives in the mountains near Fort Collins. Since I was on vacation in Nederland, Colorado, Mary drove all the way down I-25 and back up Boulder Canyon on Highway 119, which is now called the Peak to Peak Highway. When she hit Boulder, she said her heart fell when she saw the winding canyon road and a sign that said 17 miles to Nederland. She wanted to be there already, yet it was another half hour of driving. Tell me about it. I used to drive the Canyon 5 days a week to go to work at First American Title in Boulder. Snow, ice, blizzards, stuck in second gear in The Narrows.
We headed out from the Best Western, across a wooden pedestrian bridge, and up the hill to the New Moon Bakery. Sunday traffic in Nederland was atrocious. Tourists swarmed the streets. Guys dressed as comic book heroes turned out to actually be bicyclists and not aliens from another planet. Families with little kids in tow jammed the shops. The rains poured for 10 minutes just as we ducked inside the bakery to talk.
There simply isn't enough time in the day to talk anymore. But it was enough to cement my belief that the way Mary expresses herself online is the way she is in real life. She's honest, funny, warm, intelligent and sensitive -- all the traits you would want to find in a friend or in a real estate agent. I've always liked Mary, especially after reading her blog. Blogs let personalities shine through. Don't ever discount the power of blogs.
Mary says Red Feather Lakes is about 40 minutes from Fort Collins. If you're looking to buy real estate in the mountains, give Mary Douglas a call. Don't just wander into some real estate company in the mountains and grab the first guy you see, ask for Mary, for crying out loud.
After stuffing our faces with fattening bakery treats, we grabbed a booth at the Pioneer Inn. Just to prove that we can take photos without stealing anybody's spirit. Didn't see that drunk guy this time around. But we were ready for him if we did.
Thanks for coming to visit, Mary. It was an experience I will always remember and treasure. And, to whomever is reading this particular blog, if you've ever wanted to meet somebody you've talked to online, give them a ring and ask to meet. You won't be sorry.
Photos: Adam Weintraub, Nederland, Colorado