As recently as four months ago, Amy Pridgen, a lifelong Texan, had no plans to ring in the New Year 1,500 miles away, much less to navigate her way through Pennsylvania snowstorms to move into a new home in Pittsburgh. But love can bring lots of surprises.
Pridgen, 36, made the move from San Antonio to be with her partner, Rhea Whitfield, whom she met in a chat room in October. "We just started casually talking," Pridgen says, "and everybody else [in the chat room] disappeared."
After a week of phone calls and E-mails, Whitfield, 49, was so smitten that she took a break from her surgical residency and flew down to San Antonio in mid November.
"I thought, OK, we'll try this," Whitfield says. "If I don't like it, I can always get back on a plane and go home." Instead, what Whitfield found difficult was getting back on the plane at all.
Pridgen says the …