Portland February 2015 - Day 1




My company is all about wellness. They are always promoting healthy eating, exercise and having positive mental focus. That's a good thing. I'm proud to work for a company that actually gives a shit about their employees. So in January when they asked us to submit our wellness goals for 2015, I wrote mine down and put it in the box. Now I won't reveal what I wrote down, but I will say that I'm still working on it. I did it because I honestly needed to work on a few things in my life. I wasn't expecting any reward except for a happier and healthier life. But then out of the blue I ended up winning two tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines flies. The one stipulation is that travel had to be completed by the end of February. Many possibilities and destinations came to mind, but in the end Jenny Reck reminded me of a promise that I made - to visit my cousin Kelly and good friend Sarah in Portland, Oregon if I ever got the chance.



This was my chance. So I worked with my Team Travel Department and booked our flights. I talked to Sarah and Kelly and made sure that they would be around Thursday February 19 - Monday February 23. We were all set, but we weren't quite ready for the adventure that lay before us. Regardless, I treated this just like every adventure that I take. I set up my "Gone Fishin'" sign at work, hugged Korben Dallas and then picked up Jenny Reck and went about our merry way. Could Oregon handle the Recks? We shall soon see.
















Because I booked these flights 2 weeks before travel, I had to take what was available. We changed planes in Phoenix and had a delay, but that just gave us more time for overpriced airport beers. The pilot gave us these "What I want to be" essays from a 5th grade class. One kid wanted to be a football player like Darren McFadden. Another wanted to be a biochemist. Strangely, both are aiming high. These kids are so realistic it's scary. When I was 10, I wanted to either be a dinosaur or a Ghostbuster. I'm neither. The flight attendant also didn't charge us for our drinks, so this was one of the best flights of my entire life.


























We didn't land until close to midnight and Kelly picked us up from the airport. We got to her house and even though it was well after 2am our time, we didn't feel like going to sleep yet. So we sat up and talked. Even though it was in the high 50's, I insisted that we sit outside on her front porch. We left Milwaukee in the single digits, so it felt nice to just be outside without your face hurting. It was then that I questioned why I live in that Godforsaken state (because already Portland was amazing), but it is my home. For better or for worse.