The first, most obvious and general statement is just simply that the trip was amazing. The fact that we got to meet a bunch of people from the internet because we asked if we could show up on their doorstep and work on their house is just the coolest thing. There were some partners who were a little skeptical of what their partner had signed up for ("you mean some random stranger is coming to work on our house that we've never met?"), but when we didn't destroy their house I think we were able to win them over ;) But seriously, I am so thankful for the amount of trust all of our internet friends put in us to let us arrive on their doorstep, sleep in their house and work on projects with them.
The second most wonderful and amazing thing is that I feel like we made 9 new friends. I'd like to think Franca and Ashford are my friends too, so let's count that at 11
Wouldn't you want them to be your friend?
Truly though, I consider Nikki, Marc, Katy, Brandon, Kit, Sara, Shaun, Heather and Greg all my friends now. I had wonderful, memorable experiences with each of them. What makes me sad is that so many of them live so far away. We've got Heather and Greg in Portland, which is about a 90 minute plane ride (or a 10 hour drive, which we know so well ;) so it's wonderful that the ability to see them is very simple. But, the sad thing is that so many of our new friends live many, many hours away from us and the probability that we get to hang out again in the near future is not likely. If we could somehow plan a renovation reunion so we could all hang out together, that would be awesome.
The crazy thing is we'd love to do it again. Of course, "regular" jobs make scheduling difficult, but it would be amazing to get the opportunity to take another renovation roadtrip. We've already thought of ways we could make it happen a second time (a contest to find out who we visit is our favorite idea). There are certainly things we learned this first time that would make planning and executing the second one a little easier. But the fact of the matter is, if we were somehow able to con another company into sponsoring another adventure, Chris and I would absolutely leap and dive at the opportunity.
Chris and I always love roadtrips together
Seriously, I have so much fun with that man. Over the 7 1/2 years we've been together we've taken many roadtrips: across the southwest, across the whole US visiting all the major league baseball parks, many in California, across New England and a couple others. I love driving around and exploring with Christopher. Certainly there are fights (most of the time it's when I turn into a cranky bitch, in which case Chris knows I either need food or a nap - because I'm 3 years old). But I think Chris and I are at our best when we're on an adventure. We like discovering, solving problems and just having an adventure together. We talk about so much stuff, listen to music, visit cool places and just have fun. Roadtrips are the best.
One big thing that the trip made us think about is where we want to live and how we want to live our lives. We both grew up in cities - Chris in LA and me here in the Bay Area (though I grew up in a small town in the Bay). But the idea of living in a small town outside of the city has some great appeal. And frankly, both of us are a little tired of California, Chris a lot more so. There are so many damn people here, our state is in a bit of disarray, and well, we like adventures. While on the trip Chris fell in love with Michigan. I know I've mentioned it many times before, but seriously, he loved it
Many people have asked if we would sell this house when we're done with it (several years ahead of us, but still, we're planners). I don't think either of us ever intended for this house to be our forever home. Don't get me wrong, we love it, but we've also loved the process of taking a home that needed love and breathing life back into it and would love to have that experience again. Now, that also doesn't mean that the second this house is done we'll leave. But it means that we'd be open to it and thinking about what the next adventure would be. That next adventure just might be Michigan. Who knows. I have to admit, the scenery and the people were wonderful. So I'm open to it, but I'm also scared of it. You see, I don't like change, and that is one, big change. We'll see. But the trip definitely made me think about what I want from life and how I want things to change and how I want them to stay the same.
All in all, the trip was seriously the trip of a lifetime. It's cheesy and nerdy, I know, but it's pretty awesome that we spent 2 weeks traveling the country, meeting people and working on their houses. We loved every second of it.