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Katherine & Michael Visit

by Going Slowly

In 2010, while we were in Tunisia riding our moped Habib across salt flats and Star Wars sets, we recieved an email from an Australian couple who were following our journal. In the message, Katherine and Michael introduced themselves, and told us a bit about their own adventure: buying a motorhome in the UK for an open-ended drive across Europe. They too, had escaped to Tunisia for the winter.

Michael Tyson & Katherine Herriman Us on Chott el Jerid Salt Flat (on Habib)

Though our paths never actually crossed, we quickly became internet friends, emailing back and forth as our respective journeys took us to very different places. We returned to America in 2011, Michael and Katherine continued traveling until about six months ago. It was during a brief return visit to Australia—their first in over three years—that they realized: they were done traveling.

So, they cancelled their return flights to Europe, and arranged storage for "Nettle", their motorhome. Having given up a life of travel to immerse themselves in the company of friends and family down under, we figured it would be a very long time before we'd actually meet in person. Happily, it turned out we were wrong!

A few weeks ago, Michael, a successful iPhone app developer, booked a flight to San Francisco for Apple's yearly developer conference. He and his partner Katherine wanted to visit us after the event! After we confirmed that they knew Vermont was on the complete opposite side of the country (they didn't care!), a plan was made.

Hey guys!

We are coming to the US! Next month!!

Already bought my WWDC conference ticket and booked accommodation for us in SF from 8 June to 16 June. So - how do you feel about visitors after that?

If the answer is "good", what's your availability like? We were thinking it'd be great to spend something like a week in the area hanging out, maybe (although we have no schedule requirements). Also - what is your address!


Before we knew it, it was time to pick them up from the airport!

Katherine & Michael

The fun started right away—they saw our land…

Katherine & Michael Loooking at Slate Katherine & Michael Katherine Michael & Katherine

…and they helped out a bit, too. Together, we moved the knee-braces for our workshop-to-be out of the woods and into our clearing so the sun could dry them out.

Katherine & Michael Stacking Workshop Knee Braces Katherine & Michael Stacking Workshop Knee Braces Katherine & Michael Carrying Workshop Knee Braces

On their first morning in Vermont, we taught them how to make pancakes, which we ate with crispy bacon, plenty of butter, and loads of real maple syrup...

Katherine Making Her First Pancakes Measuring Pancake Batter Buttering Pancakes Pouring Maple Syrup on Pancakes Michael Pouring Maple Syrup on His First Pancakes

…later, checking another item of their USA to-do list, we tried chewy, New York-style bagels.

Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

One evening, we enjoyed burnt marshmallows and roasted hot dogs around the fire, and they witnessed lightning bugs for the first time!

Katherine Playing w/ Fire Katherine, Michael & Tyler Around a Fire

They met some of our friends, too. We had game night at Jenna's farm

Micheal Playing Dixit Katherine Playing Dixit Tara Tyler Jenna & Gibson

…and a barbecue at Jeremy and Hercilia's place.

BBQ at Jeremy & Hercilia's Place Grilled Corn on the Cob Roscoe Michael & Katherine BBQ at Jeremy & Hercilia's Place Michael's First Miller High Life

For their last American experience, we went to a drive-in movie theater for a double header. After filling up on burgers, fries, and deep-fried cheese, we watched the big screen from the comfort of our truck bed.

Katherine Eating Cheeseburger At Drive-In Movie Theater Michael Eating Cheeseburger At Drive-In Movie Theater Hoosik Falls Drive-In Movie Theater Katherine & Mike at Drive-In Movie Theater Us w/ Michael & Katherine At Drive in Movie Theater Hoosik Falls Drive-In Movie Theater by Moonlight

After an action-packed week of fun and fellowship, it was time to drive Michael and Katherine to the airport for the next leg of their American adventure: a week in Wisconsin visiting with another set of friends. On our way back to Albany, we shared some of our favorite music, and chatted quietly, still very groggy from our 2AM movie outing.

Katherine & Michael

For all of the stuff we did, we'll remember most fondly the quiet time we spent together, chatting and laughing. We feel so grateful that Michael and Katherine took the time to come see us, and are thankful that we've created a real-life friendship with a couple we've known on the internet for years! Now we have the bittersweet pleasure of missing them, and looking forward to the day we'll meet again. In Australia, perhaps?

We'll miss you two! So much less than three!

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Isn't it great when people you talk to via e-mail turn out to be so nice in person?
BTW .... if you ever do make it out to Australia, there's an open invitation in Perth for you :)
We are about to head back after a year in England, via a 4 month cycle tour of SE Asia starting Sep .... so excited at the thought of being on the road again.
Posted by Jim & Sandra on June 28th, 2013 at 4:29 AM
Yes it *is* great. Hopefully one day we'll have that same experience with you two! If you ever make it to the States, do let us know. And rest assured we'll tell you if we plan a big Australian adventure. Thanks for the invite!

We're so excited for you and your southeast Asian bike tour. We'll definitely be following along on your journey!
Posted by Tara on June 30th, 2013 at 2:49 PM