Laura and I are doing the Tour d’ Parents this week for Thanksgiving. Yesterday we rode from Long Beach to Orange and spent the night at her dad’s house. This morning, we hopped a few trains to get from Orange to North Hollywood and rode to my parent’s house in Sunland.

It feels nice but a little strange to be “back.” We don’t have an apartment and no real home and are rotating home stays with friends so we don’t burn anyone out. We are getting comfortable, resorting to our old familiar habits and haunts. However, at the back of our heads is that gently prodding voice reminding us that we aren’t done quite yet. There is still a multitude of places to visit, of people to meet, of great vistas to behold, or country roads to ride.

What this break has afforded us, however, is a period of time to reflect on our trip so far. I wrote in an earlier post that when we got back, it was hard to distinguish if our trip was a dream or if being back was the dream. We’ve been back for a week and clearly, now it feels like the past four months is the dream.

I recently got some photos that one of our hosts took of us in Trinidad. It was good to see them. To remind us – Yes, we did go on that trip afterall.

It is funny to get nostalgic about something we are still in the middle of doing. It seems oddly premature and yet, when I flip through my Flickr account of the images of our trip so far I find that I already have a longing for places we’ve been and people we’ve met. I like to think of all the great riding we’ve done, all the beautiful sunsets and sunrises we were witness to, the nights where we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean or a river.

Mostly, I think about the wonderful people we’ve met. I remember that within the first 30 minutes of getting off the train in Portland we ran into a blog reader on the street who bade us well; of Donna, another virtual stranger, who loaned us some U-locks for the week; of Wayne and Rose who were the first to open their homes to us, of Jonathan, who help set up a presentation at a brew pub to kick off our trip – and that was just the first few days!

I think of our fellow tourists on the road who we shared some miles and some laughs with, of a couple who gifted us with a great Krebs cycling map, of that great feeling of community every evening at camp. I think of all our generous hosts along the way who let us into their lives for a short intense period of time. I think of our chance meeting with a reader in Arcata who gave us a place to stay. I think of our chance meeting with another reader at an REI in Seattle who led us to the best coffee in town.

There are so many memories to remember already. Pulling out crab traps for dinner, hearing galloping horses at night on Orcas Island, the unbelievable warmth and openness of Adam and Julia from Berkeley, spending time with my old college roommate and seeing the paths we’ve taken, our nightly dinners with Logan and Tammy while we were convalescing in Sacramento…it just goes on and on.

When I think of everything that we’ve seen and experienced in just four months it is almost beyond words. My heart swells and I get a lump in my throat when I think of all the kindness we’ve been so privileged to receive. This world can surprise you with kindness.

We have a lot to be thankful for – the things we’ve seen and the people we’ve met. We also want to thank you readers for following along, for your comments and for donating. When Laura and I are feeling down and out, there’s nothing quite like your emails and comments to keep us going.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope all of you get to live out your dreams whatever they may be.