Family Reunion Minus One

July 16, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, Julie and Eric/family were to meet us in West Lafayette, IN upon our arrival. And they did. We had a wonderful time with them¬†and also¬†with some friends and neighbors we knew while living there.¬†We went to a great water park,¬†visited Purdue¬†and old friends, took family photos in front of¬†Purdue’s main fountain,¬†rode past the old homestead wishing we could get inside for one last look, relaxed with neighbors in their back yard, had a¬†great dinner out with friends,¬†and attended an Indianapolis Indians baseball game¬†while stuffing ourselves with junk food until it hurt. It was a jam-packed two days but we enjoyed every moment. Julie and Ian left Sunday (will explain Ian’s departure later) and Eric and family left Tuesday afternoon.

The biking started again on Monday and Eric joined¬†us for two days of riding. Karen and the kids did various kid things while he rode then joined us at the end of the ride for the rest of the evening. What a trooper Karen was to shuffle kids around while waiting to be with¬†us at night.¬†Those little grand kids, Kirsten and Cameron, are as cute as they come and so much fun. I miss them already. Eric did great with the ride¬†and kept up with the others as though he had¬†biked all the way from the west coast too. Oh yes, we also had a former student of Dan’s, Zach,¬†who rode with us for one day. He’s a big biker and did 80 some miles as though it were nothing. Thanks for joining us.

Well, Ian left the bike trip and went home to Wisconsin with his mom because he has lots to do to prepare for his freshman year in college, like orientation, selection of classes, buying books and clothes, and much more before leaving for that important year. He also wanted to be with his high school friends again before they all scatter too so when mom Julie came, that was a good time for him to leave.

We tried to change his mind, of course, but mostly¬†for selfish reasons. He was so darn much fun to have around. We couldn’t imagine finishing the trip¬†without him. His subtle sense of humor¬†just cracked us¬†up and when¬†he was¬†the lead rider¬†and well ahead of the pack, he’d hang out with me at the car waiting for them to catch up. He and his¬†Uncle Peter kidded¬†one another¬†which always brought waves of laughter from the group.¬†When he rode¬†in the car¬†while recovering from the flu, we’d talk about the generation thing and choice of music¬†because he’d listen to the most god awful¬†music¬†imaginable…..or I¬†would drive him¬†nuts with¬†my need for news.¬†He spent hours text messaging friends and texting¬†at night, under the covers, thinking we didn’t know.¬†Our threatening¬†to throw that thing away didn’t phase him a bit.

Our little foursome became¬†close¬†because of¬†this bike trip and the thought of¬† losing one¬†during the journey was out of the question.¬† So when he decided to leave, I must admit, we were disappointed. But¬†when we looked at it from his perspective, we knew, in our collective hearts,¬†he did the right thing. And you did, Ian and you need to know we have adjusted to being three. So,¬†enjoy¬†the rest of the summer with your friends and when we dip that front tire in the Atlantic, we’ll toast to a heck of a journey and thank¬†you for adding to our lifelong memories of a job well done. We love you.

Take care everyone.

  1. zach Said,

    hey guys…i must say that it was an honor to get to travel a small portion of this trip with you…so to peter and dan…keep turning those pedals over…and jean you are certainly a saint for all the support you offer…even offering goodbye hugs as i’m certain i smelled like the stuff you scrape from the underside of the sewer…keep chugging…will your way through appalachia and cruise in to delaware…you’ve come a long way…keep going!…good luck and good riding…you all amaze me…and jean exaggerates my strength as dan pulled me through the end of that ride on tuesday…thank you guys for a wonderful day out of my washed out summer…ride on……..

  2. Lyss Said,

    Dear Dan, Pete and Jean,

    Just to let you know we continue to follow you in our thoughts and on the web. Good to know you had such a great time in Indiana, as planned. Good to know Ian knew what he wanted most and of course you all were behind him. I think Harry and Alex enjoyed connecting for a day–as, obviously, Zach did. Best wishes for tailwinds and sunshine–as I said at the beginning. Thanks, again, for our time “drafting” on your epic ride.


  3. Ebru Said,

    Hey all. We have been following since your start. Just had a chance to write.
    You are almost at the end and what an experience. I especially liked the blog about West Lafayette.
    All these memories:) Sorry that you had to let Ian go, but it is another fun moment to remember.
    Take care.

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