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.
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.
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!
The fun started right away—they saw our land…
…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.
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...
…later, checking another item of their USA to-do list, we tried chewy, New York-style bagels.
One evening, we enjoyed burnt marshmallows and roasted hot dogs around the fire, and they witnessed lightning bugs for the first time!
They met some of our friends, too. We had game night at Jenna's farm…
…and a barbecue at Jeremy and Hercilia's place.
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.
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.
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!