When I was in the 7th grade, I was on a penpal website and asked my Dad what country I should pick. My Dad had been on a work trip to Finland before I was born and absolutely loved it; this is how I began writing my Finnish penpal Selja. She introduced me to blogging on Diaryland and I was always impressed with her maturity and English abilities. We went back and forth through letters, post cards, emails, and blogs over the years. In high school, we lost touch, and I was always a little embarrassed to write her since I was the one that had stopped writing.
When we moved into our house two years ago, my parents brought all of my childhood things. Out of all of the things I sorted through and went through, I found a few stacks of our letters and decided to see if Selja was on facebook. I thought about it every day for a week or two before I had the guts to add her. She added me the next morning and told me that her and her boyfriend Marko had ironically just had a conversation about me.
Ever since, we have been writing back and forth! When she said that her and her boyfriend were coming to Florida, we were ecstatic and knew we had to meet them!
I knew meeting her and Marko had potential to either be very awkward or really amazing (it was definitely the second). I imagined meeting them in a hotel lobby, but instead, their hotel only had Valet parking. I thought it very brave and very humorous that the first time they were meeting us they were hopping into our car; they handled the situation very gracefully!I was nervous to pick out activities for us so I made a list entirely too long and let them pick which things were of most interest. We spent the first day together touring Villa Vizcaya …A HUGE historic home on the ocean. The architecture of the home was amazing (no photos allowed on the inside) and every time it would begin raining, we would look at more rooms in the tour. The house was so much bigger than I had initially realized it was and I would definitely recommend visiting! These are photos from the gardens outside.
We took the self-guided tour and it was a great opportunity to leisurely stroll and talk. It was a wonderful way to get to know them and definitely a must see on a trip to Miami!