"Meeting BerniShand and RexVaughn for the 1st time" Top 5 Page for this destination Padova Travelogue by mapakettle
Padova Travel Guide: 640 reviews and 1,756 photos
I have visited with these two characters on the misc forum for ages, shared countless laughs, and expressed words of wisdom that were never taken seriously, so to finally have the opportunity to meet them in person, was a great joy for Ma Kettle and I.
Needless to say, I was a tad nervous, because one never knows what the outcome of such a meeting might be. After all, I had suggested in past chats with Berni that I was tall, slim, rather good looking, and possibly had neglected to mention that I have an over active imagination, and that gravity has taken its toll. Oh well, let the chips lay where they fall. (?)
I was meeting Ma Kettle at the bus stop first, and from there we had a short walk to the Al Cason Hotel where our infamous VTers were awaiting our arrival.
Here comes 'our' #13 bus with Ma on board. Let the adventure begin...
We approached the doors of Al Cason with mixed feelings of excitement and worry about the outcome of this evenings dinner. We did so wish to offer a taste of Italian cruisine unlikely to be experienced by the typical tourist in Padova, and were hoping that appetites would be primed by now.
Ma has met many VTers recently, and found every instance to be one of great pleasure, however she had not chatted with Rex before this evening. She had shared a couple of short emails with Berni previously, but to no great extent.
On the other hand, I'd lied and embellished stories, posted pictures of a Brad Pitt look-alike, and basically created a persona that I sold to these unsuspecting people as being 'Pa Kettle'. All this was about to come to an end. I also assumed if I coloured the truth a tad, Berni and Rex had to be even worse liars than me, because they are downright interesting to chat with on the forums. Berni french kisses porpoises for heaven sakes. On purpose, she kissed a porpoise. (sorry, I just like the way that sounds). Berni claims it was a dolphin, but what the heck, a fish is a fish. (I know they're mammals, don't nit-pick)
I grit my teeth, took a deep breath, and pushed through the hotel entrance door, gripping Ma Kettle's hand with great force. What will be, will be.
What a pleasant, pleasant surprise...
We weren't even through the door before we heard loud greetings from two different parts of the world. Berni with her strange, rather odd accent which she denies, and Rex with a touch of a slow southern drawl. I knew of course that Berni would sound 'English', but oddly, I wasn't prepared for it. Rex on the other hand, was exactly as expected.
Cameras were raised, photos were taken to record this moment forever, and a great relief surged through my body as I realized these were actually normal people we were meeting (normal at least in the sense of VT normal).
Berni is every bit as fun in real life, as she is on VT. She has an amazing sense of humour, and a gift of gab that I'd give my left arm to possess. We immediately embraced, and our bond was now complete.
I felt at ease with Carl the moment he opened his mouth. Quick to laugh, always smiling, and left no doubt as to his adoration of Berni. No warming up period was required. I thoroughly enjoyed his company this evening.
The picture says it all. Sacra is a genuine, warm, southern belle. She has a smile which would be the envy of any Miss World Pageant participant, and every word from her lips was an expression of appreciation and joy.
Rex is a true gentleman, soft spoken, with a twinkle in his eye. Always happy, always laughing, every bit the persona you see on VT. I hope to visit with him again. One evening left us wanting more.
Paola (paoseo) is our VT adoptive daughter. Originally from Trieste, Paola is currently living and working in Padova. It has been our great joy to befriend her, and we visit quite often.
Paola met us at Al Cason shortly after our arrival, and upon introduction, proceeded to drive Berni, Sacra, and Rex to our dinner destination. Ma Kettle and I introduced Camcorderman (Carl) to old faithful # 13 bus, and rejoined the rest shortly after.
I admit I was a bit concerned seeing her drive away with such precious cargo, because Paola has a tendency to get lost in our fair city. However techology has provided us with the wonder of cell phones, and being Italian, she'd be driving with her mobile in her left hand.
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