Finally sharing some of my thoughts/experiences from WDS. Here we go with Part 1…
What. A. Weekend. I have SO much to share with you guys from my WDS weekend in Portland. You know how when you have a good thing going on and sometimes it just seems like the energy is flowing right and all kinds of cool things happen? That was this weekend. Just… so much. I’m kind of in awe. And I love it. But let me tell you about it. Or at least start telling you about it, because there really is a lot to tell!
So my weekend at WDS kind of started before I even left. If you are registered to attend WDS, then you get emails about it. And there were increasingly more the closer it got to this weekend. One email that I got this week before I left was about something called the Unconventional Race. Now, I had no idea that they did this until I got the email. But it is the type of thing that is right up my alley. It was basically like an Amazing Race/scavenger hunt type of game that they were doing at WDS. It included all sorts of tasks that you could earn points from. Some of the tasks were for before the actual WDS event and included things like dressing your pet up as a WDS mascot, borrowing a metal spoon on the flight there, and taking photos with your flight attendant and pilot (all of which I did and earned points for, BTW!). I started doing a few of the tasks and realized – hey. I’m actually near the top of the list here! So of course, I had to keep going. ALL weekend. Because I stayed in the top 3 highest point earners until… about a half hour before the deadline. Doh! I only missed being in the top 3 by 1 POINT. What. The. Heck. But… while I did honestly miss out on some things because of competing in the race, there were also a lot of cool things that I DID make it too, and also a lot of cool things that happened because I was in the race. So, we’ll get to all of that, because I do have a lot to tell.
I boarded my flight prepared to start knocking out some more of these tasks for the race. First up, borrow a metal spoon. Now, did you even know that they had metal spoons on flights? I’m pretty sure they are for people in first class, because I know I’ve never seen one before. But I asked the flight attendant about it when they came around to bring drinks, and she was nice enough to let me borrow and take a picture of it for the race. Which also sparked a conversation with my seat mates, earning me more points for making friends on the plane. Then, when we landed, I asked for a picture with the flight attendant as well as the pilot. Did you know that pilots are actually really nice people in pretty thankless jobs? They were so friendly that I’m pretty sure that people on their flights rarely talk to them. They were all about the picture and even invited me into the cockpit to sit in the pilot seat! So, so cool. Between all of that and the amazing scenery I got to see (we flew over the Grand Canyon and right next to Mt Hood), I’d honestly say it had to be the best flight I’ve ever been on, hands down.
Taking a step back in time for a minute, I had actually been following the #WDS2014 hashtag on Twitter the last couple of days before WDS, and tweeted with a lot of cool people and talked to some on Facebook in WDS groups. There were a lot of meet ups planned for before the summit, and I was actually kind of sad to not get there until Friday morning. But, someone tweeted at me that figured out I was into craft beer. If you are into craft beer and don’t follow @brewexplorers on Twitter, do it! They are a really cool couple that are into beer and adventure, and I hope to meet up with them again next month while Ricky and I are in Portland. They said to me and a couple of other beer lovers, “hey, let’s meet up at this place at noon on Friday!” So I said “Sure!” Now, coming back to the race… one of the tasks was to create a meet up. And since this one wasn’t official, I decided to make it official and earn some points. It worked out well because I found out that @brewexplorers (aka Jon and Kimberly) actually weren’t even going to WDS this year. They just like the mindset of it and had been following the hashtag and found us. But creating the meet up prompted several others to come join us, and we ended up with a great group of beer lovers and had a lot of fun discussing life over great food and great beer. It was a perfect way to start my weekend!
As you can tell, this is going to involve several posts to tell you all about this, since I’m only up to Friday afternoon right now. But I hope you might keep following along, because it was a weekend that I want to share and if you’re interested, I think you might get something out of it too. So please – stay tuned! Part 2 on the way soon…
Also, if you’d like to view ALL of my photos from WDS and you’re friends with me on Facebook, go check them out here.