WDS Recap Part 3

I know, it’s been a while. But I’m determined to finish this series and tell you all about the rest of my WDS weekend. So, here we go!

Saturday morning I woke up early to head over to Voodoo Doughnuts to 1) see it and get a doughnut there because I’d heard plenty about it, and 2) to check another thing off my race list by ordering a “naughty” doughnut. I figured out what this meant after I got there and saw that the menu listed a “cock ‘n’ balls” doughnut. Yikes, what was that? I was soon to find out. I ordered it and ended up with this massive doughnut in the shape of… well, you get it. I was only able to eat part of it, though. I saved the rest, and actually ended up giving it away. Yes, I gave my balls away at WDS 2014! And yes, this doughnut was also filled with Bavarian cream…

After getting the doughnut, I headed back to WDS headquarters for the first sessions of the summit. The first speaker was one of my favorites, A.J. Jacobs. He’s written several books already, including The Know-It-All and A Year of Living Biblically. I haven’t read any of them yet, but I love the concept and ideas that he gets for them. His next project sounds very interesting too. He’s started using websites to do some genealogy and is trying to show people how we are actually all related somehow. Basically, we are all cousins. And he’s planning a big family reunion for next year. You can find out more about it here. But I loved what he had to say, and he was a very interesting speaker.

Right before the first break of the day between speakers, I got a message from a friend about one of the many Instagram photos I’d been posting. My friend Fia (who is also from Indiana, but now lives close to San Francisco) had realized I was in Portland… and she was too! She happened to be in town for an illustrators’ conference that was basically right across the street from WDS. She was nearing a break time as well, so we ended up meeting at a Starbucks just a couple blocks away. What a great coincidence! It was nice to catch up with her, since it’d been a few years since we’d had a chance to get together. Very cool.

After meeting up with Fia, I ended up deciding to skip the afternoon’s speakers and instead take part in the scavenger hunt that had been posted on the WDS website that would earn me 25 points in the race for completing. It took me a while, but I made it to the last scavenger hunt location, only to realize the last clue was gone! I waited around and finally someone from WDS showed up and fixed the issue. My 25 points was secure! My only regret about this is that I missed that afternoon’s speakers. While my experience doing the race this year was a lot of fun and challenging, the way it turned out was very frustrating for me, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it next year. I’m good at it, though, so I might try it again the next year after that. I mean, it did result in me doing some nice things for people, trying local tea, coffee, beer, cupcakes, and visiting the local library (which had some really cool steps I was very impressed with).

After finishing up the scavenger hunt, I met up with Gwyn! Gwyn is actually someone that I met through gRegor years and years ago. I only met her that one time, but we stayed with her when gRegor went to visit some friends in northern Indiana and I tagged along. It’s silly, but I remember her making us chili with rice, which I still make once in a while when I want an easy meal. Gwyn and I hooked back up recently when she found my blog and realized I was into craft beer. Being in Portland (a craft beer mecca), she is too. So we bonded over that and met up to check out some of her favorite craft beer spots in Portland. I’m hoping to hang out with her (and her new hubby!) a bit more when Ricky and I visit Portland again at the end of this month.

That evening, I’d made plans to attend another WDS meetup, this one for craft beer lovers! (Can you see a theme besides WDS in my visit to Portland?) We visited a few locations, including Deschutes and Lucky Labrador. What a fun night. I never knew I could have such a blast drinking beer with people I’d never even met. But we had a blast, that’s for sure, and then shared a cab ride back to our respective hotels. It was great hanging out with these people, and I hope to hook up with them again at WDS next year.

That’s it for this part. I was hoping to finish it out with Part 3 here, but I actually have more stories to tell from my last day! So stay tuned for Part 4, coming soon. This really was an epic weekend!