And the world got a little smaller!

When I started writing a blog five years ago, I never would have guessed that the people who came by to read my stuff, the people whose stuff I’d make a routine of reading, would someday become people I would consider friends. I never imagined that. And furthermore, I never imagined I would meet these friends in person. But I have now actually had that privilege; several times. It is always an honor and always so fun to see my blog friends in person, to see live and in person those personality traits that are so easily displayed in their writing.

Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Agg! He was in town for work but made time to squeeze in a visit with me. We made plans to go out for lunch at a place Agg was quite sure he’d read about on my blog, although I assured him it was not me who’d written a review. When he suggested we eat at The Nook, I was excited. I had seen a local news story on this little bar/restaurant a while ago. There had been a fire, and some ensuing renovations and then a grand reopening. It was while watching this news story that I learned this little corner place is locally famous for their burgers, the Juicy Nookie in particular! I made a note to self to go eat there sometime, but just hadn’t made it happen. Agg’s visit was the perfect excuse!

Agg arrived at my house in the late morning and let me just tell you, my very first impression was, “Holy cow, this man is TALL!”

I didn’t want to be rude though, and so I kept my thoughts to myself. (Agg, how tall are you anyway?) And just so you have some perspective, I am a tall woman at over 5′ 9″, so a person must be pretty tall to strike me as being very tall!

As Agg was getting out of his car, I came out to the driveway to greet him. You might think it would be awkward meeting in person when you’ve never done so before, but it wasn’t awkward at all! We hugged like old friends and then I hauled him inside to meet the members of the family who happened to be around. Brad and Heather were home for the weekend, and of course, Agg had to meet Lucy Pie and her pal, Dacotah! It was too early yet for lunch, so we had some coffee and swapped stories and Brad and Heather got to know Agg a little bit. And Agg is a great storyteller too. He swapped hunting tales with Brad and told us the stories of how his various dogs had come into his life. I hope someday that Agg will write on his blog the story of the dog who kept digging up ┬ápaving bricks and scattering them all over the yard! It is quite a comical tale!

Soon it was time to head to lunch and we all piled into my car and headed for St. Paul and The Nook!

Once inside, it was clear that there would be a wait for a table. The host informed me it would be a half-hour wait unless we cared to go down to the lower level where there was open seating. Everyone was agreeable, so we headed downstairs where the first thing we saw was the old school bowling alley!

I thought we might give the old school bowling a shot, but it just didn’t pan out. I definitely want to try it another time!

Just beyond the bowling alley was the bar and an area full of tables. There was an open spot for four and a friendly waitress quickly passed out menus. Brad, Agg and I all decided to try the famous Juicy Nookie. Heather opted for a Philly cheese steak style burger. We didn’t have to wait for long before our food was delivered, along with a warning from the waitress that the Juicy Nookies were extremely hot and that we should use caution before partaking.

I figured I could munch on my onion rings for a while and let the burger cool a bit. The onion rings were delicious – crispy and greasy as all good onion rings should be with thick rings of onion inside the delicious batter. After a few rings, I wanted to try that famous burger, so I threw caution to the wind and took a nice big bite. It was delicious, stuffed with cheese which exploded out the backside of the burger when I bit into it. MORE NAPKINS!

The conversation remained lively as we all enjoyed our burgers and more stories were shared about Agg’s various travels, his time in Germany, and experiences on the Autobahn! As we talked, we all noticed the ceiling of the bar. It was covered in dollar bills that had each been signed or personalized in some way before being stuck to the ceiling.

Agg asked the waitress the significance of the bills. I thought I’d heard her say there was another bar where people stuck money to the ceiling, but there was a bit of a challenge to it. She said someone decided to start doing it at The Nook. The ceiling is low and easy for most people to reach, and so the trend caught on quickly. (For the record, our little group left without parting with any dollar bills.)

Before we left the restaurant, I asked Agg if we could have our picture taken together. I reminded him that when he’d met Rock Chef, they’d failed to take a picture together and I wasn’t going to let him get away with that this time. He easily agreed!

After lunch, it was back to the house where Agg got to meet a few more family members, Mark and Jake. He also chose this time to bring in a few gifts. Lucy loved hers and refused to let Dacotah play with them at ALL!

Lucy is shown here with the rope toy Agg brought for her. Rope toys manage to survive quite well around here. The little stuffed duck with the squeaker inside? Didn’t last 20 minutes before the squeaker was dead and stuffing was being removed. I had to take it away!

Soon it was time for Agg to head back to the airport. I walked him out to his car and we talked about how fun it would be to meet with some of our other blog pals one day. I’m sure Agg will do so sooner than me, considering how well-traveled he is!

Thanks for the visit, Agg! We had a great time!