Some of the TB's Who Have Impacted My Life

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Mel and I - Tucson meet up, Nov 08

Here are a few of the TravBuddies I have met over the past year who have impacted my life and become some of my closest friends.   They are in order of meeting them not importance! LOL.

Melanie (Mellemel8)

Well, it's no secret that Melanie would be on this list!  Not surprising she is also one of the first TB's I met back at the Los Angeles meet up in December 2007 but we really did not become close until after the first Vegas meet up in March.  People think we've been friends for years but in truth, we've almost known each other one year!  LOL.  Obviously we've traveled together and almost been roommates since she puts up with me for weeks at a time while I am visiting Vegas.  We are often known as the Mel and Erin show and I think it's hilarious!  As long as our antics, pictures, and blogs continue to bring smiles to people, we will keep posting our crazy adventures.

With Roger and Judy @ their house - July 08
  From foodie stops to cow hunting, I predict another year of craziness with this girl.  Thanks for being such a good friend and part of my life....you've seen me at my best and my worst and I will always cherish your friendship! :-)

Roger (x_drive) and Judy (Hummingbird)

Roger and Judy were in attendance at the first Los Angeles meet up and the subsequent San Francisco meet up in January.  They are incredibly awesome people and like my adopted parents (lucky for them though I haven't come to them for help like I do with my own parents....ha ha). 

I was lucky enough to see them again a few months ago on one of my road trips back from Las Vegas.  I wish I had been able to stay longer but enjoyed hanging out with them in their home and seeing the real lives behind the infamous x_drive profile!  Roger and I actually grew up in the same city and he was one of the first people to tell me about the LA meet up and why I should come!  He and Judy are also the reason I went to visit the Columbia Gorge waterfalls earlier this year (although my blog still isnt' done on that trip!) 

Angel (Jelly)

Angel and I met at the Los Angeles meet up in December as well.

Angel and I - Long Beach, Aug 08
  OMG...just as soon as I met her I knew we'd become friends at some point.  She was so genuine, so outgoing, and just a blast to be around....you can't help but like this girl!  I came back down to Orange County just for her OC meet up in February (ok, yes...an event at Disneyland too...haha).  And I saw her again in March in Vegas and we did dinner one night with a couple other TBs in Orange County.  We've both dealt with some personal stuff this past year and she's definitely been a rock for me through a lot of it.  I had a blast at our weekend slumber party for the June meet up and can't thank her enough for planning such fun times when I am in town.  One of these days I will make it to Das Bunker with you...promise!!!!!

Tracy (Tre69)

Tracy and I met at the original LA meet up in December 07 as well.

Tracy and I - Hollywood Bowl, Sept 08
  We didn't really have much of an opportunity to chat but we certainly bonded over our fancy champagne drinks at the March Vegas meet up. HAHA.  We had a blast on the dance floor and I got to see what a fun and crazy girl Tracy really is!  We partied again in May, bunked together at Angel's in June, and another meet up in August.  We also have hung out for dinner and other mini TB meet ups!  One of the best nights just Tracy and I went to the Hollywood Bowl for a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance!  It was awesome!  Shortly thereafter, we had a side splitting adventure at sushi and ice cream at Rite-Aid (old Thrifty) drug store.  Anti Monkey Butt Tracy!!! HAHAHAHA

Will (W_clemmons)

Will and I started talking a few days after I joined TB because I saw him on the list of Bdays for that day and saw he lived in Vegas.

Will and I - SF meet up, Jan 08
Ironically, I was sitting at my friend Lisa's house in Las Vegas when I sent him a Happy Bday msg.  He was going out that day to buy a camera and we started talking more and found out he was going to the LA meet up in a few weeks (Dec 07) as well.  Since the initial meet up, Will and I have ventured to the SF, Vegas, May LA one, not to mention the KC meet up in June!  WOW.  In between meet ups, we hung out a few times in Vegas when I was in town....pretty much before he really started hanging with Mel and the Vegas Core Crew.  I traumatized poor Will though when I was out in Jan 08 and drug him to an art show that he probably still hasn't forgiven me for!! HAHA.  And although Will has moved cross country and we don't talk as often as we used to, he is a great friend and thank him for his support over the past year.
Mark and I - Belize BBQ, Oct 2008
 

Mark (Travelman727)

Everyone knows Mark of course - he's the king of TB meet ups! :D Mark and I met at the original LA meet up Dec 2007 and have since met up again in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and the biggest one of all - a week in Belize. What a great time!  And now, we will be cohosting the annual meet up in October down there.  We've bonded over Belikins, Barrel One rum, chicken poop, and crazy golf cart adventures! LOL.  Can't wait for our 2nd annual event next year!  Maybe we can incorporate your performance at the Kansas City meet up into our Belize adventures..maybe Dennis Wolfe will let you perform alongside him! LOL

And let's not forget...the biggest of the big meet ups are yet to come - Ket's Dec 30th Idols meet up and the NYE AMS party boat.

Julz and I - Her Bday Celebration in SF, June 08
Whoo Hoo!

Julz (flygurl)

I met Julz at the San Francisco meet up and like with Angel, we instantly clicked.  She was there with her cousin Leah (Leah151) who was also a blast to chat with.  Julz and I found we had a lot in common...mostly with our adoration for men with lots of ink!! HAHA. 

Julz and I kept in touch and partied together again in March for the Vegas meet up.  Getting together with her, Angel, and Melanie was just a crazy combination!  We had such a good time and I couldn't wait to see her again....and I didn't have to wait long! LOL.  We road tripped down to Los Angeles for the May meet up and that was an adventure unlike any other.  Julz is forever known as the Squirrel Whisperer after that trip! 

Since then, Julz and I have gotten together more often for Bay Area adventures and I am looking forward a real vacation next year with her! She's been by my side through a lot this year and her friendship means the world to me!!!

Joy (PVTJoy)

Besides being my "PIW" (partner in wine) - Joy is just an amazing person.

Joy and I - LA pre meet, May 08
  We originally met for a few seconds at the February OC meet up as I was late and she had a prior commitment that night but drove all the way down anyways just to meet everyone.  WOW!  She was super nice and we continued to communicate on the site.  When the May meet up rolled around, she included me in her slumber party at TB HQ which was incredibly generous.  We spent several late nights talking about life and some of the crap we've all been through and Joy and I share a number of things in common which has made her a great shoulder to lean on in rough times.

Seeing her so happy now with meeting Rob (Robthetraveler) off the site warms my heart.  She's a great person and deserves all the happiness in the world.  I've seen her a couple times since and hope to catch up with her my next trip down to LA!!

Heinz (Jdax57)

Heinz was actually the first TravBuddy I spoke to on the site.

Heinz and I - LV meet March 08
  Heinz welcomed me to the site the day I joined and we spent some time emailing back and forth that night since I was home bored and he was stuck at work.  HAHAHA.  We talked quite a bit over the next month and I helped him out with some stuff around the holidays so I really wanted to meet him once he came back from deployment! 

I was very excited to finally get to meet him at the March meet up and say hi to the first TB I really had contact with.  Heinz is a very kind, generous, and wonderful person....although not a good listener!! Dress code for meet up: No sneakers Heinz!!! HAHAHA  :-)

Sal (Sincitytraveler)

Initially, Sal and I did not have much of an opportunity to talk at the Las Vegas meet up in March but we became close at the LA meet up in May.

Sal and I - LV main meet, Sept 08
  :D After our weekend bonding and faux wedding in Kansas City at the meet up, Sal has become a good friend and I've come to rely on him quite a bit.  We've had some foodie and fun adventures back in Sin City and I love our recent dinner and movie nights at home. :-)  Sal and I  have explored San Francisco a little bit and can't wait to do wine country since we've found we share quite a passion for some of the same wines!

Sal and I also have some more fun to look forward to before year end as we will be meeting up in Europe to do a little country hopping and ring in the New Year in Amsterdam with 100 of our closest friends! HAHA. 

RJ (RJ82)

Hmmm, where do I begin about RJ?!?! We barely talked at the March Las Vegas meet up but became closer friends at mini meet ups and just getting together whenever I would come to town.

RJ and I - LV Core Crew Dinner, (July 08)
  Although RJ is somewhat quiet at times, he manages to get me quite often with his playful witty banter.  RJ is like the brother I never had......and not sure I wanted! HAHA  JUST KIDDING! :P 

Being around RJ - you can't help but smile and have a great time.....he always lights up the table with his infectious smile and I thoroughly enjoyed our mini meet up on the flight to the Kansas City! He managed to diffuse Mel and I who were cranky and sleep deprived the morning we arrived at the airport.  We've had some fun times and I am really looking forward to meeting up in AMS with him around the holidays - another country for us to invade!!!  :-) Plus, we have an overdue pool rematch! Watch out RJ..I am gonna win this time! LOL

James (Pearcetoyou)

James and I met at March Las Vegas meet up and didn't have much of an opportunity to talk but we certainly did at the Kansas City meet up he cohosted in June.

James and I sharing a Sonoma Cab, KC meet up (June 08)
  Let's just say that James and I had some quality time chatting...although only one of us remembers the conversation! LOL.  I pulled double duty babysitting that meet up! :D

It's been a rough year for some of us and it's always good to know you have people you can lean on and talk to.  James has been such a good friend and although he likes to run around with "Jose", he's redeemed himself and is one of my definite Partners in Wine!  James and I have the best bonding trip to look forward to yet as we break in the new year together in Europe....we will be visiting several countries and now even flying back from AMS to Houston together which I am sure we will create some havoc on!  Can't wait and all the other adventures we will embark on in 2009!

Shane (Mr_shanet)

Shane, Shane, Shane.

Shane and I - Seattle, July 08
...where do I begin!?!? LOL.  Shane and I started talking because of Seattle and potential meet ups in the future.  I was going through a pretty rough time in my personal life and Shane talked me into coming to visit for a week and helping him scout out places for future meet ups.  We had a great time and didn't kill each other after a week together!! HAHA.  He showed me quite a bit of Seattle and the surrounding areas!

I got to see Shane again in July on my 6 hour layover on the way to Alaska.  He was kind enough to come get me from the airport and we spent all afternoon at a restaurant chatting and catching up on his recent trip to Indonesia (thanks again for the awesome gifts you brought back for me) and it was nice.  Although we don't talk for hours every day like we used to, he knows he's still one of my good friends and I look forward to future adventures together.

Jilly and I - LA/SF road trip, May 08
  Now, if he'd just get down here to visit me already!!! LOL 

Jillian (JillianJ)

I have to admit I was very nervous about meeting Jillian even though we had talked on the site quite a bit.  Here we were going to road trip and spend the weekend together at Joy's and we've never even talked on the phone - just traded voicemails!!! LOL.  She was at Julz' house already and when we met, instant friends!  We had such a great time on our weekend trip, especially the trip back home!  16 hours in a car with her and Julz is one way to determine whether you can remain friends or not!! HAHA.  Jillian had me in tears the whole way home from her silliness and crazy antics.  The road trip home had so much to it that my blog is literally just an entry of various Jillian quotes and recaps from the day.

Mr Squirrel enjoying his chocolate - road trip, May 08
  One of the best is the mad squirrels at Morro Bay where Jillian wanted to play with them but freaked out every time one came near her.

Our subsequent trip to San Francisco with Julz, Sal, and David was also a repeat of the great times only weeks before in Los Angeles! And after Sal and David left, us girls had a great day of bonding!  Jillian was one of the ones who was first to console me when things got really rough at work and most of my friends were laid off with no notice. 

Alice (alicegourmet)

I had heard so much about Alice and couldn't wait to meet her and see her unofficial TravBuddy cookies!  I finally got the opportunity to meet her on the pre meet up Hookah night in the May meet up.  She's one of the nicest and most generous people I've ever met.

Alice and I - Torrance, Aug 08
  I have really enjoyed hanging out with her again at the June and August meet ups.  We've also got together outside meet ups with sushi nights, our mini meet up with Eric and gang at Father's Office in October, and most importantly....just for coffee.  Alice has been such a good friend through everything with my Mom's recent surgery, even offering to go over and check on my Mom if need be.  It is not often you find people who are so genuine and unselfish. 

In addition to Alice practically being a saint, she is an incredible cook and baker!  OMG....she is seriously our resident gourmet. She is my resource for recipes and pairing ideas and thus far, she's never led me astray!  Watch out though..hanging around Alice will blow your diet! LOL

Melissa (Melissa919)

I met Melissa at the May meet up in LA originally but had heard lots of great things about her from Melanie beforehand.

Melissa and I in Sedona, AZ - Tucson Road Trip weekend (Nov 08)
  Poor Melissa....I really thought she hated me after meeting me since I tend to be a little "wild" at times. Hee Hee.  Melissa earned high marks with me after that meet up and I learned that she scored the BEST photos of some embarrassing moments throughout the night! :D

Since that weekend, I've seen Melissa a number of times on trips back to Vegas and we embarked on our bonding weekend road trip to AZ just a few weeks ago.  Melissa has become a good friend and I really enjoy our foodie, fro yo, and cupcake adventures together.  She's a super loyal friend and always willing to do for others (when she's not having a princess moment...LOL).  She's put up with a lot from me, especially on our road trip and she's still my friend so I am a lucky girl! :-)

Adrian (Acowboy)

Adrian and I began talking his first day on the site and I found him very easy to talk to.

Adrian and I - LV Main meet, Sept 08
  He has a thrist for travel and is quite an interesting guy.  I talked him into coming out for the May meet up except Mr. Broken GPS got himself pretty lost and I spent much of the evening calling him over and over again to find out where he was lost on the way now!  HAHA.  He finally made it and we instantly hit it off.  Since then, he's become a good friend to me and I am the lucky recipient of his drunk dials which often bring me laughter in my time of need! 

He's been quite a rock for me through some hard times and emotional upheavels and I owe  him for that.  And of course, he knows he will always hold a special place in my heart for his matchmaker skills.....whether it was inadvertant or not, he knows I am incredibly grateful.

Tim and I - pre meet, Tucson, AZ (Nov 08)
 

Tim (TYoungTX)

Tim and I had been chatting for sometime online prior to the KC meet up about potentially traveling together in 09.  I've since figured out that Tim might be a little too adventurous for me (white water rafting in Iceland?!?!?!)  but perhaps lower key adventures like our meet ups will work just as well!!! LOL.  Tim started talking to me after I won a couple awards in a row and gave me grief about whether I was going to continue adding content to the site....be careful what you wish for, huh Tim? Now he teases me about the amount of stuff (mainly pics) that I post!

As we prepare for 2009, something tells me I will be seeing more of Tim...perhaps no white water rafting or snake rangling but I am thinking a nice dinner in Mexico might work, what about you Tim? :P  Thanks for being such a good friend and always looking out for me.

Julie, Mel, Dana, and me - In N Out Sunday after the main meet up Las Vegas (Sept 08)
....I am lucky to have such great friends like you!!!

My East Coast Girls - Julie (Pinchora) and Dana (Jerseygirl67)

I met both Julie and Dana before the September Las Vegas meet up and OMG...these two are crazy!  We instantly hit it off and I really enjoyed the time we all spent together before and after the meet up.  It was very sad saying goodbye to Dana Sunday and then Julie on Monday.  We tried to convince Julie to stay a little longer but she her dedication to work won her over!

We've already started making plans to all see each other again soon!  I'm looking forward to some of the plans we are already talking about for 2009 and thanks for being there for me through thick and thin....you both have seen me at my best and worst and are still friends with me so that says a lot! LOL

Brett (metsbwd)

Brett and I had talked a couple times only back and forth on the site and we started messaging a little more as the September Las Vegas meet up approached.

Brett and I - Las Vegas main meet up, Sept 08
  I was coordinating airport arrivals and departures and offered to pick him up if he helped Melanie and I out by being one of our "bodies" needed to hold spots for the pre meet up at Blue Martini.  Somehow in there, Adrian decided to play little matchmaker and as they say, 'the rest is history!' :-)

Suffice it to say, life is good and I could not be happier!  I managed to charm Brett into coming back out for our glorious road trip to Tucson a couple weeks ago and we had a really wonderful adventure with Melanie and Melissa!  Now I am preparing for my lengthy visit for the holidays in a couple weeks....hopefully he will still like me after 25 days together!  HAHA  We are going to do some country hopping with some other TBs, I am attending his Bday Bash meet up on 12/13, and of course, we are attending the biggest of the big TB meet ups for NYE in Amsterdam! Whoo Hoo!!! :D :D :D  

metsbwd says:
Great blog! Thanks :-) Gonna have to expand the entry after December :-)
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
Jelly says:
Thanks Erin!! I'm glad to be your ROCKstar when you needed me! :-) You were just as amazing during that icky time this year for me, so thank you!!! xoxoxoxox
Love sharing the "happy" times just as much too ;-) hee hee

And we will definitely party it up @ Bunker!
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
TRE69 says:
Gee...thanks alot Erin...Anti Monkey Butt is forever emblazoned on this website! But seriously thank you so much for your energy and friendship...I am truly blessed! Any day you want to grab some chocolate malted crunch at Rite-Aid I am SO THERE!!! =D
Posted on: Nov 26, 2008
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Mel and I - Tucson meet up, Nov 08
Mel and I - Tucson meet up, Nov 08
With Roger and Judy @ their house …
With Roger and Judy @ their house…
Angel and I - Long Beach, Aug 08
Angel and I - Long Beach, Aug 08
Tracy and I - Hollywood Bowl, Sept…
Tracy and I - Hollywood Bowl, Sep…
Will and I - SF meet up, Jan 08
Will and I - SF meet up, Jan 08
Mark and I - Belize BBQ, Oct 2008
Mark and I - Belize BBQ, Oct 2008
Julz and I - Her Bday Celebration …
Julz and I - Her Bday Celebration…
Joy and I - LA pre meet, May 08
Joy and I - LA pre meet, May 08
Heinz and I - LV meet March 08
Heinz and I - LV meet March 08
Sal and I - LV main meet, Sept 08
Sal and I - LV main meet, Sept 08
RJ and I - LV Core Crew Dinner, (J…
RJ and I - LV Core Crew Dinner, (…
James and I sharing a Sonoma Cab, …
James and I sharing a Sonoma Cab,…
Shane and I - Seattle, July 08
Shane and I - Seattle, July 08
Jilly and I - LA/SF road trip, May…
Jilly and I - LA/SF road trip, Ma…
Mr Squirrel enjoying his chocolate…
Mr Squirrel enjoying his chocolat…
Alice and I - Torrance, Aug 08
Alice and I - Torrance, Aug 08
Melissa and I in Sedona, AZ - Tucs…
Melissa and I in Sedona, AZ - Tuc…
Adrian and I - LV Main meet, Sept …
Adrian and I - LV Main meet, Sept…
Tim and I - pre meet, Tucson, AZ (…
Tim and I - pre meet, Tucson, AZ …
Julie, Mel, Dana, and me - In N Ou…
Julie, Mel, Dana, and me - In N O…
Brett and I - Las Vegas main meet …
Brett and I - Las Vegas main meet…