On The Road Again

August 24, 2008 - Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Once again, I find myself in the air on a Sunday night, getting a bird’s eye view of a beautifully setting sun. My wonderful summer with Rachel is over, and its back to our ‘normal’ routine, which is anything but.

You, my faithful and faithless readers may have forgotten about me and my blogish tendencies, but I have not returned the favor. I’ve grown to enjoy our time together, mine writing while I fly, and yours reading whenever you get around to it. Since I last posted, I wrote a few more entries about my amazing time in India, but I wanted to post them with their associated pictures, and I just didn’t have the time. It turns out a person can get pretty busy right before they get married.

But I didn’t stop traveling, and I didn’t stop writing, and I didn’t stop thinking, when faced with an absurd situation, as we often are in life, ‘I’ve gotta blog this!’

So I think this first post back, just to get us all warmed up, will be a short one on what I’ve been up to since I last posted. Hopefully not too boring, just bringing you up to date on me. Then I’ll follow with some of the posts I’ve written about India, and some of the in-depth stuff I want to share about my many experiences this summer.

This summer was all about getting married. Yay! July 13th was the big day. Everything before that was ramping up. Everything after that was ramping down. Fortunately for many reasons, Rachel was on summer break from grad school, and had a lot of freedom. The wedding was in Washington, D.C., so she spent much of June there, after school was out. So for most of the weekends in June, I too went to D.C., rather than home to Chicago. In fact, neither Rachel nor I were home between June 22nd and August 21st. That was a long time to be away from home!

It’s interesting. I’ve done my share of traveling, some long, some short, and I always love it. But it is always right around the two month mark that I start to really be ready to be back home. It was true in Israel, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, and even this summer. I guess without having a ‘normal’ life, travel just isn’t as special.

So June and early July was D.C. and preparation time. When I wasn’t in DC I was working in Atlanta, and at night I was slaving away in my homebrew sweatshop. We had the brilliant plan of quilting our Chuppah from squares decorated by our friends and family. It was a great plan, but took a little more time than we had budgeted for. So I brought the sewing machine down to Atlanta in my suitcase, and in the evenings after work I would work on the quilt each night until 11:00 or midnight. It was delightful to spend so much time focusing on so many squares made with so much love. But I’m glad it’s done, because it was a lot of work, and a lot of stress worrying that I might not finish. In fact, it wasn’t finished until about noon the day before the wedding. But in the end it was (and will always be) one of my favorite parts of the wedding. We will be hanging it in our home. Thanks to all of you who helped to make it so special.

The whole wedding weekend was, of course, amazing, fun, filled with emotion and love, and like all good things, over before I could blink. I might post an entry about my thoughts on it. But I might not. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out, I guess. I will too.

After the wedding we took a 5 night mini-moon. We plan to take a full blown honeymoon later when we have more time, either this winter or next summer. We went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and Acadia National Park in Maine. It was an amazing, if short, time to start getting used to referring to each other as our wife and husband. Then it was back to Atlanta, back to work.

The really nice part about Rachel not having class over the summer was that she was able to stay with me for a month after the mini-moon, rather than me having to keep traveling home every weekend, and not getting to see each other during the week. We definitely took advantage of everything available to us during that time, and traveled around Atlanta on the long weekends. In fact, except for all that pesky work, it seemed for all intents like a continuation of the honeymoon. Two weekends we went camping (in tents) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we went hiking in Shenandoah National Park with Rachel’s family one weekend, and our last weekend we had a ‘points’ weekend and flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, stayed at a nice place, and lounged on the beach.

Every weekend was terrific, but by the end, we were aching to get home. There is a reason we live in Chicago, and that is that it is (objectively speaking) the best city in the country (maybe the world?). And the best time to be there is in the summer, and we all but missed that. But we’re home now, and trying to squeeze in as much summer in to the next few weeks as we can! The weather is very refreshing after all that Hot-lanta heat and humidity.

Allow me to pause for a moment to send some praise to my endlessly patient and loving wife (and it’s still weird to use the ‘W’ word). She loves Chicago even more than I do, and didn’t have work to distract her from the heat during the days. And for the first few weeks she was down there, we were in a hotel. She was pretty miserable. We didn’t have a kitchen, she couldn’t really walk much of anywhere without fear of being hit by cars, and she didn’t have any friends down there. But she only complained a little, it let us be together all the time, and allowed us to continue our honeymoon on the weekends. Thanks, Rachel.

So now here we are. Back to the weekly routine. Already looking ahead to our next vacations this winter and even as far out as next summer. Yeah, we love traveling and being outdoors. Given how much we loved being in the mountains and at the ocean this summer, I’m not sure how we love Chicago so much, but what are you going to do?

I’ll close with this: When I got back to work after our mini-moon, I somewhat sarcastically put up an away message on my instant messenger program that said ‘Successfully married 8 days… 24,992 to go…’ I didn’t put a lot of thought into the specific number; I think I did a quick and dirty estimate of how long I was likely to last. Some people seem to think it is morbid or depressing to think about counting down the days ‘till I die. I started doing it as a quirky little message to make people think. But then I kept doing it, lowering the second number by one each day. I admit it is a bit morbid, but I have really grown fond of doing it. I think it really reminds me to appreciate each moment I have, both my own and especially the time I have to spend together with Rachel. It might be a bit morbid to think about how many days I have left, but it would be far worse to get to the end and realize that I’ve wasted even one.

And anyway, let’s face it. With my genes, there’s no way I’m going to make it to age 95. Go ahead science, prove me wrong.


August 27, 2008
Great to see you back online We are all sorry summer is over but benefit from your time blogging.
August 29, 2008
I wish you would have asked for a square from me. I would have been delighted to send you one. Oh well. As I have said before, "Mazel Tov!" See you around Bengie.
August 29, 2008
Home, home you'll arrange.
While you're flying from Midway anywhere
And never is heard
A discouraging word
Cause you'll see Rachel every Thursday.
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