It was a bit like deja vu, last weekend was. I had told my husband he needed to keep the entire time free for parenting duties. None of that lying down on the sofa of a Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours. Oh, and don't plan anything for the Friday night either. I didn't tell the kids what was going on until the day before though, as I knew it would be just like when Brit Gal Sarah and the hubster came up to Chicago last year.
This time it was:
Queenager: Meeting more of your stalker friends then?
Me: I know them. Don't be silly.
Q: Oh yes? We know what your version of "know" means. Have you actually met any of them?
Me: Yes, of course I have. I met them at that writing conference in London last year. (Lies upon lies. The "writing conference" was CyberMummy, and I only met one of them there.)
Q: Are we going to have a house full of people you met on the Internet then?
Me: No, They're staying downtown and we'll be doing the sites.
So last Friday night I legged it downtown to meet some expat blogging gals - all of whom seem to have beaten me to the post and blogged about it already. Iota, Calif Lorna, Geeky Mummy, Nappy Valley in New York who flew in from various places in the States, and Nicola, who lives a few miles from me.
The Chicago weather was a tad brisk but the sun shone beautifully and Chicago looked very sparkly from my car windows as I gave the Saturday morning tour. We even drove past my house, although at a safe distance so you couldn't see the state of the windows.
I haven't talked so much for years. As Nicola and I left the hotel on the first evening, she wryly remarked, "Well absolutely nothing to talk about there then?",- so it wasn't just me who'd been astounded at how easy it had been to just jump in and well, chat. Sometimes, as an expat, you find yourself in a group of people you would probably run a mile from back in Blighty. Literally, the only thing you have in common is your country of birth. The Chicago Six, to quote Iota, was a very diverse group of gals, but we blended so well, and shared our lives with each other so comfortably.
And it was all over much too quickly for me.