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Once Upon the Internet

A Wild and Crazy Tale of Online-Turned-Real-Life Friendship

This book is available for download with Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. Apple Books on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


The internet gets a bad rap―with good reason. But as the weird and witty Marla Taviano will tell you―there’s a warm and fuzzy side to the web as well. 

Marla dipped her toes in the pool of social networking six years ago at the gentle insistence of her web guru husband. And―wait for the cliché―it changed her life. Since that first blog post in late 2005, she’s connected with oodles of people in real, personal ways, including meeting a couple hundred of her new pals face-to-face. 

In the summer of 2008, Marla and her family spontaneously embarked on a year-long quest to visit 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks (yes, they’re wackos). As they shared about their Zoo Journey via blog, Facebook, and Twitter, people were surprisingly eager to be a part of their Big Fun. 

When all was said and done, the Taviano Five had stayed with 31 different families, 17 of whom they'd never met (except online). Countless others met them at zoos along the way. Today some of their dearest friends are ones they first met on the internet.

Marla is just another wife/mama/friend/giraffe lover straddling the proverbial fence between the virtual and real-life realms, trying to strike that elusive balance between the two. While her methods might seem a bit unconventional (read: ridiculous), there’s a little something in her story for everyone.

Low on lofty platitudes, high on zany plot, this totally-true memoir will keep you chuckling, nodding your head, and occasionally rolling your eyes, page after digital page.

Customer Reviews

Can you believe she did this?

Marla the mother of 3 has a dream to take her family to 52 zoos in 52 weeks. The Taviano's are a young family. Marla a blogger and author. Her husband Gabe a tech loving web site designer who loves photography. They don't have the money to make this dream happen.

Yet Marla feels inspired and reaches out the only way she knows to make the trip happen. She prays, and then schedules their zoo trips around the kids school schedules. She then does the wild thing: She asks people she's only met via virtual connections to take her family into their homes to spare the expense of lodging.

The book ends up being more about the unique way Marla's dream comes true rather than about zoos.

"Once Upon the Internet" is the humorous inspiring account of the Taviano's year long adventures across our country and the generous people who help them make this happen.

It was only 4 years later when she's published her e-book that I find out that our story is included! You'll have to read it to see how my husband and I end up being the focus of one chapter!

Once Upon the Internet may inspire you to follow your dreams and trust God to use His people to provide for you along the way.

Maybe her next book will be about the really neat zoo's we have in our country and include Gabe's great pictures!

This book is an easy and exciting read that your whole family will enjoy.

Once Upon the Internet
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  • $2.99
  • Available on iPad, iPhone and Mac.
  • Category: Family & Relationships
  • Published: Apr 12, 2012
  • Publisher: Marla Taviano
  • Seller: Marla Taviano
  • Print Length: 58 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, or an iPad with iBooks 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later.

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