Beginning bonding

This first part is a little wordy-I am ever so sorry. Sometimes brevity just doesn't work  ;)
When my break for Thanksgiving finally started I was ready to pack up the bunnies and head to my parents house, to hopefully bond Sam and Dan. There were so many reasons I wanted them to bond so I had my fingers crossed.
* I went into this process knowing I would need more than just luck to get my rabbits to bond. That is one piece of encouragement I would give anyone else attempting to bond: do your research, set yourself up for success by making a plan, and be patient with your bunnies. Your diligence will pay off, it just may take time. I didn't bond my bunnies over night and it wasn't love at first sight. I adopted Dan without knowing whether he would love Sam or not, but I made sure I gave them the best possible chance of having a successful relationship.*
So I put the buns in their 2 separate cages and loaded them up into the car right next to each other. I always put blankets over their cages when we travel, so I covered them up together. After a verrrry long drive, we got to my parent's house. Let me just say; I have the best parents in the whole world (I know, so do you). They were so excited to see the rabbits again-well, actually meet Dan for the first time- and were more than willing to assist in the bonding process. As with so many things in my life, I couldn't have done this without them. I got to their house late at night and immediately brought the bunnies in to get them settled. I decided to just let them out together and see what they did while I got them all settled in. They were mostly just curious about this new place and hopped around together exploring. I don't think they even realized they were together and that that was different. They did all their normal kissing, sniffing, licking of each other, so I decided not to separate them for the night. I had supervised them for about an hour and a half and they had settled in fine without any aggression toward each other and had never shown any in the past. I felt comfortable with this, you just have to judge your specific situation.
*This is using one of the basic principles of bunny bonding which is to put the buns in a slightly stressful situation (normally just a SHORT car ride) together, and then put them into neutral territory at home (like a kitchen, hallway, bathroom) while you supervise their bonding. I really believe this idea works and makes sense on so many levels. If you have buns that just don't seem to get along try this.
This is a great resource from the House Rabbit society to check out if you are bonding:

I checked on the bunnies throughout the night (like any worried mama) and they were almost always snuggled down somewhere, sometimes together, sometimes not, but there was no evidence of any aggressive behavior or disturbance (ruffled fur, fur pulled out on the ground, food dishes flipped over).

When I came down in the morning Sam hopped right over to be pet, so we settled down on the floor together. Because I have had Sam for a long time, I knew I would best be able to judge how things were going by what she told me through her body language. Like I said before, we are very in sync with each other so reading her emotions is fairly easy for me, which really helped in this process. We snuggled for quite awhile and she was totally relaxed. Not irritated or angry (expect much thumping and back turning), or upset or hurt. She was pretty normal.

Dan was asleep but eventually came over for pets too. Sam gave him a little kiss hello, and then they both just settled in for some pets from me. After they both fell asleep, I got up and left them alone for awhile. I was so excited by how good they were, that I had to remind myself to take a step back and let them be. They needed to be comfortable together without my presence, and we were getting there. Check back for the rest of the story, and how we dealt with a bump in the road.

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