Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Welcome Home from Louie and Rudy

One question we've been asked a lot since arriving home is "How did the dogs react when they saw you?" Mel's mom picked us up from the airport when we got home, and we had her walk in the house first and capture their reaction on here it is!

I think it's safe to say they were happy to see us :) We missed them like crazy!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Post Ride Day 9 - September 6, 2013

Ahh, the day we've been waiting for - Raise the Roof day!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Raise the Roof, it is the annual fundraiser for Brandi Carlile's Looking Out Foundation.  The foundation we were raising money for on our trip!  Our awesome pals at Again Today coordinate the event each year in Seattle, and it brings in a ton of money for the foundation, not to mention the fact that it's a really fun evening of entertainment and education.

We picked up Erica's parents from the airport in the early afternoon, grabbed lunch at Mel's favorite place (you surely know what that is by now!), and headed to The Triple Door...we hadn't had time yet to prepare any visual aids to go with our short talk about the trip, so we needed at least something for people to look at instead of just us standing awkwardly on stage!

We threw together a short slide show with some photos from the trip (huge thanks to Susan for letting us use her laptop and flash drive!), then in no time, people were filing in and the event was about to begin.  It was so good to see so many friends in one place at one time!  It was also satisfying to bring Looking Out Across America full-circle - we had first introduced the trip publicly at the 2012 Raise the Roof, and a year later, we had finally completed the adventure of a lifetime, and got to announce to everyone that we raised over $6,000 for the Looking Out Foundation!  Through the generosity of tons of amazing people, we also raised over $2,000 to cover our personal expenses during the journey through t-shirt sales, and had tons of gear purchased for us through Amazon.  Thank you all for donating, buying shirts, and helping out with gear and encouragement!!!

We survived our on-stage time (mostly because I (Erica) made Mel do most of the talking) - then enjoyed the musical entertainment of The Flumps, Jen Hopper and Khaled Tabbara, and Pretty Enemy.  There was also time for a Q&A with Brandi Carlile and band, raffle drawings, and then a 90 minute set by Brandi, Tim, Phil and Josh.  We had a great night with our families, got to see so many friends that are typically spread across the country, and had a great night celebrating the end of Looking Out Across America!  I know there is video of Raise the Roof floating around, and if I can get my hands on a video of our portion I'll post it here.

We'll stop our daily updates here...we stayed in Seattle until September 15th, spent more time with family and great friends, and fell more in love with the Seattle area.  We didn't have much down time - there was sightseeing to be done, tattoos to get (ooh, maybe I'll blog about our LOAA tour memento tattoos...), dinners, breakfasts, and lunches to attend, people to drop off at the airport, and a wedding to attend.  We had a blast, and such a great time unwinding from 3 months on bikes!  Thanks to everyone who made our stay in Seattle so fantastic!

Here are a few photos from the remainder of our stay: