Saturday, July 19, 2008

The End; A Recap

The year anniversary of Ira and I finishing "the trip" came and went without so much a notice from us. It wasn't until a couple of days later, I remembered the date. Hum, I thought, "thats strange". When we first got back, I used to always be thinking, a year ago today, we were here. Now, we're back in Chicago and reintegrated into regular lives; the trip seems so long ago, like another life time.

Not that coming back was easy. It sucked. Looking back, it was by far the worst element of the trip for me. When we came back to Chicago, everything seemed different, as I chronicled in the last couple of posts. We had apartment trouble, which felt like it would never end. I did a lot of complaining. I mean, even if we had faulty electricity, horrible water pressure, a broken furnace and a verbally abusive downstairs neighbor who redefined noise pollution, we still had a roof over our heads right, so who's complaining? But, after being homeless for so long, I yearned for a safe nest. The lack of this left me feeling almost more vulnerable to the elements then I had ever felt out on the road with nothing but my bikes and the bags on it.

We finally moved and got settled in our current apartment located only a couple blocks away from where we lived before the trip. I love this neighborhood and I am so happy to be back. Our new apartment is wonderful and we are SO much more comfortable here.

Getting festive last Christmas!

Ira started back immediately to his old job with full benefits and a promotion! I took a little longer getting settled. I initially reintegrated myself into the work force by dog walking, and although, it was a good transition, to be working outside all day, dog walking didn't do much to satisfy my ambitious personality. In December, I was contacted about going back to work as a paper conservator (art restoration not recycling) for a firm I had worked for years ago. I decided to take the position to reestablish my career and financial situation. Going back to our old jobs has worked out for both of us, although we definitely get antsy and rebellious with the old 9-5!

From all endless hours on the saddle thinking, I realized I wanted to pursue my love cooking food, so I decided to start a food blog and start organizing underground restaurant events.

This past June, I launched, and have successfully hosted one food event and have another planned for the first weekend in October.

Ira, being the chicago socialite he is, has directed his blogging energies into Being Totally Sweet In Chicago!

This summer, Gertie the 110 lb. mastiff decided she wanted to live with us. How can you say no to a face like this.

So we are now a family of three

I have had multiple people, after meeting this sweet lovable hooch, volunteer to dog sit her if we ever want to go on an extended trip again, so I guess we have back-up!

So as you can see, by giving ourselves time, we have reintegrated into the Chicago social scene, and once again, we feel surrounded by interesting and diverse friends. So life is good.

Since we weathered the storm, surviving all the peaks and valleys of the trip and persevering the aftermath of reintegrating, we decided we can take pretty much anything that is thrown at us. So, after 7 years (I was tempted to add "long" years), Ira and I have decided to get hitched.

Yup, we're gettin married, Memorial day weekend '09.

People keep asking if we're going to bike across Asia for our honeymoon. The answer is, unfortunately, no. We are slaves to the working world now. Three weeks of vacation is all we get. Ahhhhhh! Sometimes I look down an interesting road, or I'll feel the breeze on my face as I am riding to work, and I get so wistful for our days of freedom and exploration.

We WILL go adventuring again, and it will be on bikes.

Don't worry, I am not riding on the street with no helmet. This is my parents' driveway.

But I have a feeling like the bikes will have motors!

Thanks again, to all of you who supported us throughout our adventures. We really appreciated the feedback on this blog, it made taking the time to document our experiences even more meaningful. One adventure over, another yet to begin!


Anonymous said...

Andrea & Ira,
What a ride!!! I can't tell you how much for it was for me and my friends to take the trip vicariously with you. You did such a great job keeping us posted with interesting and funny & sometimes introspective blogs. I can't tell you how proud I am of you and look forward to many more "forkable" blogs. Love you both, Mom

carl said...

Hi Andrea it's Carl in Vancouver. I'm glad you guys are doing well and getting married! It was fun to be a little stop on your trip and I hope it's not years more before I see you two again. That honda twin you're on looks so much like my bike that they've got to meet! If you point those bikes west at some point let me know and I'll head east...


Mike Handorf said...

Congratulations. I hope you are happy forever and ever.
It seems like only yesterday you were starting your journey. Uncle Frank and I always looked forward to reading about your exploits in the paper. Holy shit.... 2 years ago. seems like yesterday was IRA F'N DAMAGE!

my, how you growed.

best wishes

brent said...

hello from Maine. nice work.