So after an action-packed 2 days of entertaining pretty pretty princesses, Uncle Bruce and I hopped the Pacific Surfliner to Irvine.
If you’re ever in Southern California and you don’t want to deal with traffic on those infamous freeways, I recommend Amtrak highly. You’ll sit back and relax. You can read. Listen to music. Enjoy refreshments. Treat yourself to stunning ocean and mountain views as the train chugs along. You’ll arrive at your destination and feel like you’ve had a mini-vacation.
Waiting at our destination was our long time pal Shane. Bruce has known Shane slightly longer, although only maybe a year. He is our perpetual bachelor friend, the one with beautiful bikini-clad girlfriends galore. He has many So Cal dude toys like motorcycles and jet skis. He goes to clubs and underground parties. His life is always story-worthy and after dinner with him your stomach hurts from all the laughing you’ll do.
Shane is the reason why Bruce and I met at all. Through a very loose introduction, our Southern California pal gave a guy in Toronto and a gal in Northern California a reason to chat on the phone, write letters and fall in love. If we would have had a best man and maid of honor at our wedding, Shane would have been it.
Bruce met Shane on a Contiki tour of Europe. Yes, the bus tour infamous dragging hungover 18-34 year olds past all the famous sites in record time. Shane and I met at CES when I was working in a booth. He was quite mean to me, trying to stump me with all sorts of technical questions he thought I wouldn’t know (wrong!). He wouldn’t leave me alone, but later sent an apology package filled with t-shirts and stickers from his company.
For a bit more than 20 years, we’ve all been friends. And while its easy to keep in touch via Facebook with pithy comments, photos and likes, it’s not the same as a conversation over dinner.
At Shane’s favorite Thai restaurant we laughed a lot. We talked about how our jobs were going, we heard about Shane’s love life/upcoming guys dirt biking weekend/crazy ex-girlfriends who still pop up from time to time.
And for a moment time stood still. The moment has repeated itself many times over the years. Sometimes all three of us are there. Sometimes it’s just two. But when dinner’s over and the waitress is eager to get us out of there so she can flip the table, it makes me happy that such a random connection endures after all these years. And while I was sad to say goodbye, I know we’ll all see each other again, perhaps randomly while traveling for work or maybe a more lengthy planned visit. With Shane one never knows.