It occurs to me, staring out the window of seat 21A once again on a JetBlue flight, that I probably should be thanking the airline. I’m en route home from Portland, Oregon where I spent the weekend to celebrate the wedding of a friend which is not all that unusual, I suppose. And, yes, I should thank the airline for carrying me back and forth across the country to attend. But it is also thanks to the airline and, more specifically, the All You Can Jet promotion in 2009 and 2010 that I had reason to be at the wedding. I met Luke (the groom) because of AYCJ. Our travels overlapped a few times during the AYCJ days, including both attending the US Open (tennis) in NYC one day and in various other cities along the way. It is a long-distance friendship, but it is a friendship in the true sense of the word.
Trying to explain that to family and other friends over beers after the ceremony was interesting to say the least. It got easier after a couple more beers (also, showing up to the after-party with a case of beer helps make a lot more friends) but it still seems strange trying to describe the evolution a friendship built mostly online. It certainly works and this is not the only such relationship I’ve built in the past decade of what could be considered my travel addiction. But I still find it bizarre as I tell the stories; I can only imagine what those hearing it must think.
Slightly related, the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland is a stunning event venue (and I’m sure beautiful during the day in general, too) and the city remains an eclectic destination to visit. Portland’s new bike share program is pretty cool and the food & drink options remain spectacular. Though so does the culture which encourages waiting in lines for such, something I’m not a fan of at all. I don’t know that there is any ice cream worth a 30+ minute wait, for example, and I really like ice cream.
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