Yes, you read that right. I met our beloved NieNie.
I have so much to tell you all about from our AZ trip, but as I have no photos of this event to keep it fresh in my mind, better to share earlier than later.
So where was I? Oh, yes. Nie.
After a long and unfortunate series of events, which resulted in me running from the Phoenix airport to the rental car shuttle to the actual car rental only to be turned down by the car rental agency because my name wasn’t ON the rental reservation (grr…), I was running back to the rental car shuttle so that I might take a cab over to my brother's dorm to wait it out till Ty arrived from Dallas.
Ty flew in from Dallas, I flew in from Oakland...the fact that we had to fly to another state to meet, well let's just call that the story of our lives as of late. But that's another post altogether.
But I'm getting off-track. So, there I was - huffing, panting, and exasperated beyond all measure to not have successfully rented the car, and all my plans of having a nice evening all ready for Ty completely thwarted, and about to board a rental car shuttle for the second time in an hour - when who should I see, but Christian and Nie! (I realize now, with the slight rhyme, which was totally unintentional, that this last sentence reads like a line from a Christmas tale...but I guess it was like Christmas for me, so I'll leave it.)
Now here's the interesting thing about the story, it wasn't like I had a moment where it was like "Is that Christian and Nie?" Nope. There was no questioning. In fact, it was more like "Oh, Christian and Nie, SO nice to see you here!" Like I was running into an old college roomie at a cocktail party...so familiar, like long-lost friends.
So I reacted thusly, as long-lost friends would. I yelled (yes, yelled out) as we were passing (remember we're at the rental car shuttle, it's a LARGE place) "Stephanie and Christian SOOOOO nice to see you!" Please note, I didn't say "meet" I said "see" as you would do to a friend whom you have ALREADY met. This is critical.
Now I had their attention, because they didn't know who I was, but I indicated they should...But shoot, immediately I could tell they were in a hurry. (If you go read Nie's post she says they missed their flight.) At this moment my inner dialogue is a frenzy, but logic is no foe to my Nie-induced state of excitement. So I ramble loudly, and quickly, all while moving past Nie and Christian (we were all walking past one another as this scene takes place, and I couldn't make them stop, they were in a hurry, remember?) and I say, in under 20 seconds: "It's sooo great to see you, can't believe I'm running into you here, I used to live here, but moved, and I always wanted to meet you, I love you guys and have read your blog forever, and wow - SO SERENDIPITOUS!!!!!!!!!"
Wha?? Wha? What??? Hold the phone. Serendipitous?!? Really? Ty thinks this part is just hilarious. When I recounted the tale for Kelley, Patrick, and Ty in detail he was all "Who uses serendipitous like that in casual conversation to total strangers?" And you know what, he has a point. I don't normally go all "serendipitous" on people from day-to-day, but there was really no other word that could sum up my feelings in that exact moment.
So there I was, having just yelled at Nie that things were sooo serendipitous, and I boarded the rental car shuttle. I was sitting there trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I just acted like someone with a joyful case of Tourette's and was about to call Kelley to spill the news of meeting Nie, when I looked up and saw Stephanie and Christian walking back towards the rental car shuttle I was on and climb the stairs to come on board.
Uh-oh. Time to face the serendipitous music.
Stephanie smiles and heads right to me after she boards the shuttle, and I did a quick round of self-deprecating humor saying something like "Oh no, now you have to sit next to the crazy lady." And she laughed, and then she came and sat right next to me.
And there I was, sitting next to Nie and Christian, on the rental car shuttle. Thankfully, all awkwardness was already put aside by this time, and we had the most pleasant conversation on our ride over to the airport. We talked of Fall (how splendid!), her adorable kids, the blogging universe (so small!), and her purse, my moving to Texas from Arizona, my love and adoration for her sister, my large family and her large family, etc...
And the fifteen minutes or so that it took from the shuttle to the airport were just delightful, so natural, and thankfully, I do believe I saved myself from any further embarrassment. We parted our ways and as they went off to try and catch their flight, I thought to myself: had I been able to rent the car, or had I not haggled with the rental representatives for a good 15 minutes, or had I not then proceeded to call our reservation hotline and tell them their policies were unacceptable and I would never be using their services again (take that, Priceline!), had not all these things happened....I would never had met Stephanie and Christian.