Headed to Tennessee!!

Hey y’all……We are heading to the mountains in Tennessee over memorial day weekend.  If any of you are in the area hit me up and maybe we can meet up!!!

Also…if you know of a not to miss road to ride please let me know, we are working out our route this week.

Alligators and Champagne

We flew back to Fort Myers and picked up the newly updated bike.  We added new foot pads for Kirk, moved the controls forward and added an engine guard with highway pegs.

After getting everything settled with the bike, we headed towards Everglades City, Florida.  Things were going well until a storm suddenly appeared….and when I say storm, I mean lightning, thunder, the biggest rain drops ever, and even hail.  We could barely see, and it was like being hit with a million bugs and rocks at the same time.  There is not a lot between Fort Myers and Everglades City, and we couldn’t see so, when I saw a small strip mall I pointed Kirk in the direction and we rode up onto the sidewalk to try and get some cover.  Luckily all the businesses there totally understood.  We waited for it to pass, at least enough to move on.


I checked the weather radar and knew another one was coming fast so we headed out trying to make it to the hotel before the next big wave.  We ran into a few more small storms and just kept riding.

Finally, soaking wet, we made it to the hotel.  Unfortunately they did not have a washer or dryer, nor was there a laundry mat in the small town.  So after pouring the water out of our boots…..literally, I rigged them up on the heater and tried to dry our clothes the best I could.


On the up side, the hotel was very nice and clean and the restaurant next door had good food and friendly service.  We did ride to the local little grocery store (if you could call it that) and got something to drink….we really needed a drink after the day we had.  We got our food to go and holed up in the room waiting out the rest of the rain and trying to get warm and dry.

The next morning, Kirk’s jeans still weren’t dry so he opted to wear shorts and his chaps for the day’s ride. We were headed to Key West but had a private airboat tour in the Everglades scheduled along the way.  It was really an amazing experience….and it finished drying my jeans and boots…haha

It rained off and on during the day but we kept going determined to make it all the way to Key West.  We crossed the long bridge that leads into the Keys and stopped just on the other side at the first and last stop in the Keys for a late lunch, some rest and to dry out a little bit.

Once we were well rested we were on our way.  We still had 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. We traveled over the famous 7 mile bridge, and arrived at the southernmost point in the continental United States. We made it to our hotel where we were greeted with sparkling wine and a beautiful room.

We explored the hotel a bit and then walked over to a cigar bar that I had heard about.  It was an ok place, but what was really interesting was watching the girls at the “gentleman’s” club across the street fight over who knows what and watching the drunk people walk by.   We checked out another little bar down the road a bit ( this is the place where I went to the bathroom and found someone’s underwear thrown in the corner…quite interesting…haha) before calling it a night.


We were exhausted when we walked back to the hotel but we had a great first night in Key West.

Side Trip to California…and Some Horrible News…

I was excited to get away from the snow and cold and head to sunny LA.  My son was fencing with Arizona State University in the Championships there so it was a good excuse to get back to California for a bit.  Unfortunately the weather was so cold while I was there and it was super warm in Ohio…just my luck.  On a good note, my grandson was in Anaheim that same weekend with his other grandparents to go to Disney so I was able to get to spend a day with him.

I picked him up and we headed to Cal Tech to watch “Uncle Boo” fence.

It was nice to see my son and spend the day with him.  The team did well.  The saber team took second place.  My son was a little upset because his best friend, Ryan, decided not to go to the tournament.  He wouldn’t tell Kylar why he wasn’t going…just that he had plans.  Kylar was sure that they would have taken 1st place if Ryan had been there.  All in all though it was a good day.

After we all had In-N-Out Burger, I dropped Leon back off with his other grandparents and got ready to fly back to Ohio.


I returned to Ohio on Monday night. On Tuesday night (or early Wed morning about 1 am) I received a text from my son. His best friend, Ryan (the one who had plans instead of going to fence) went to Sedona, Arizona and jumped off of a bridge and killed himself over the weekend while we were in California…… That was the “plan” he had.  He left a note for my son, but he didn’t find it until it was too late.  It is very tragic.  We all have been dealing with the aftermath of this horrible event.


Being so far away from my son has been the worst because I worry about him every day.  I was not able to go back to Arizona for the funeral because the cost of the flight was outrageous, plus we realized that my son really needed to be with his friends at this time and we would probably be a distraction.  He was surrounded by his girlfriend’s family and the fencing family and had lots of people there for him and. that made me feel better.

A few weeks after the death, my son had a fencing tournament in Cleveland, where we were staying, and I got to spend the weekend with him.  His spirits were good, but there was a sadness in his eyes.  It was his first big fencing tournament since the death and it is something that they would have been doing together.


There were a few moments that broke my heart watching him and seeing the sadness in his face.

If you know of anyone who is depressed or even hints of suicide please take it seriously and know that there are many hotlines and resources that you can reach out to.



I know that this is not the uplifting and fun post that I usually write but this is a hard thing that we are dealing with now.  Our hearts are sad.  It has been a few months now and I am still worried about my son.  He is not the same.  He is going to counseling and we did get him moved out of the dorm room which will help, I am sure.  He is in a place now that allows dogs so he has adopted Ryan’s dog and that helps too.  Sorry this is so long, there was a lot to tell.