This last weekend, we had a group of people at our house in Mendocino. Altogether, there were 8 guests, we had a lot of fun, cooked and ate amazing food, enjoyed good wine, great conversation. A pretty typical party. The difference was, we’d only met 3 of these people in person before. Of the other 5, one came from Ohio, one New York, two from Maryland one from Texas They were all friends of my wife and/or I on twitter.

Friends we knew, @Ann_Steckel @CreativeSage and @MarantzGuy we’d met a while ago, and all of them had been over to the house before on several occasion. They were close to the area, and so were friends we knew we got along well with. Of the "new friends", one of the guests @PreppyDude, was the reason for the far-and-wide turnout. He’s wanted to visit California, and especially Mendocino county, for a long time, and he finally had the opportunity to come. We scheduled it to coincide with @geosteph and @fireton’s visit to California for the NASA 40th anniversary festivities surrounding the moon landing. @ChazFrench was about to start culinary school, and was able to arrange to come out and surprise folks at the last minute, in particular @PreppyDude, and @AnnOhio who popped up to complete the roster.

I’ve been to plenty of gatherings at neutral public locations, but having people to your home is a bit different. Being a bit paranoid, we’d gone to some measure to invite folks, but only send out directions to people who someone we trusted in the group knew. That worked out well, we were comfortable that we weren’t inviting anyone we’d rather not have know where we live!

We had @ChazFrench come into town on Wednesday, had a great time with him, while keeping is arrival a secret. Picked up @PreppyDude on Thursday, and headed up to Mendo. @geosteph and @fireton stopped by Thursday with super tasty Racer 5 beer, and we had a great Salmon dinner. Then @Ann_Steckel stopped by Friday bearing wine and snacks galore. We had a dinner on Friday night at one of our favorite local restaurants (the Albion River Inn) with the whole gang. People got to meet each other, and have a great local meal, and those interested got to do vertical scotch tasting’s as well!

It had been foggy Thursday and Friday, weather is very unpredictable on the coast, and it’s often foggy in the summer (as it gets hot inland, fog forms on the coast creating natural air conditioning. Tourists who go to the coast are often surprised by this). We hoped for, and got sun all day Saturday. The fog would start to come in, burn off, and it stayed lovely all day, so we were able to hang out on the deck together and enjoy the day.

People began arriving in the early afternoon, and the appetizers started flowing. Spiced snack mix, baked brie in puff pastry, pesto and tomato on pastry, cheese-stuffed roasted jalapenos,  goat cheese and raspberry on toast, spicy chicken wings, Caribbean marinated chicken with mango chutney, light cake with fruit. We only took pictures of some of it, since we were having such a good time eating it all!

Had a great time meeting everyone, and a fun time hosting them as well. Thanks everyone for such a nice weekend!