Before I was on LJ, it would never have occurred to me to do something like that. But I had such fun meeting up with redbird so I decided to feed it forward. And it turned out that draconid had never met up with anyone she knew only through LJ, but she was game. I must admit that I don't normally arrange to pop down to Edinburgh for the evening on impulse like that, but it happened that the date of draconid's visit was the evening after I was to give an end-of-year presentation to the medical faculty. So I knew I wasn't going to be tied up with lab work that day, and I felt I would probably deserve a nice evening out. (Incidentally, the presentation went well.)
Actually meeting draconid turned out to be a little more difficult than I might have hoped, partly because I have a hard time dealing with the three-dimensional layout of Edinburgh, and mainly because there are three hotels from the same chain on the street where she was staying. The first hotel I tried (the wrong one) were terribly snooty; even in my 'dress-up' clothes (formal skirt and blouse which I was still wearing from the presentation earlier) I clearly wasn't classy enough to be in that hotel. Eventually a nice receptionist bucked the trend by being helpful to me. We established that there were several different hotels on the same street, and she said she'd check her records to work out where draconid was staying. At this point, I had to admit I didn't actually know draconid's surname, which was somewhat embarrassing.
Anyway we did finally meet up, by which time it was definitely supper time, so we headed to Annapurna, which is a really, really lovely vegetarian Indian restaurant. The food is really novel, it's a long way from the expected Indian-which-is-actually-Bengali-adapted-B
So we had a lovely evening chatting. Both of us are talkative and had plenty to say and it was generally great fun. We have a lot of shared background as well as both being the sort of people who will happily babble at relative strangers. I had been slightly concerned that we would end up talking about LJ the whole time, but in fact this wasn't remotely a problem; the only LJ-related topic was a comparison of amusing stories about trying to explain to our respective friends that we were meeting someone we knew through LJ. And draconid was suitably impressed with how lovely Edinburgh is, particularly of a summer evening.
That was a lot of fun. Many thanks to redbird for putting the idea in my head. It's not something I shall make a habit of; with the train fare it was rather more money than I usually spend on an evening out, and I'm having slight twinges of guilt about spending nearly eight hours not thinking about my thesis. But as a one-off treat it was great!
I hadn't actually read draconid's account when I wrote this, mainly because I'm incompetent and managed to remove her journal from my default view by mistake. But you should read what she has to say about the evening also!