Fun day, LATE night!

On our first full day in Key West, I started the morning by sitting out on the balcony at the amazing H2O Suites.  It was so relaxing.  Around lunch time, we ventured out into the city on the bike to explore. If you have never been there it is very hard to describe.  There are narrow streets with lots of people walking, riding bikes and taking in the sites, but no one is in a hurry.

 

We rode by the “southernmost point” marker and the line to take a picture was crazy so we skipped it and decided to go back late at night.  After making the rounds, we headed back to the hotel to sit by the amazing pool and have some free drinks.  It was a wonderful experience.  The pool is so beautiful and sits on the third floor level above the parking garage.  They had so many unexpected amenities like free sunscreen…which Kirk did NOT use unfortunately…..

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As the sun was beginning to go down we headed to the room to take a short nap and shower before going to dinner.  Well, after being in the sun all day, the short nap turned into a long nap.  It was very late when we woke up and got ready for dinner.  We were starving. The turn-down service staff took pity on us and gave us a whole box of dove bars instead of just 2…….

We found an interesting little restaurant called Blue Heaven (that was still open) and had a delicious dinner.

After dinner, I wanted to go to a few of the fun night clubs that they have just for a short time because we had to be up and hit the road in the morning…..That short time turned into 4 a.m…..It was a ton of fun though.  We made it back to the “southernmost point” for a picture on the bike, hit Sloppy Joe’s and a few other places, had a Marine (who was there in his dress uniform for a wedding) buy Kirk a hot dog from a stand, and then made our way back to the room to crash.

We slept in the next morning as long as we could, got our stuff together, checked out and headed over to Ernest Hemingway’s house for a tour before leaving the Keys.  It was an interesting place.  I had no idea that 6 toed cats were his thing….

 

On the way out of the Keys, we stopped for some dinner at Alabama Jack’s…a well known biker stop.  The band was good.  There were a ton of older people there in square dance gear having a blast and dancing with some older biker dudes… so that was fun.

 

 

We spent the night in Homestead and headed up to Orlando the next day to store the bike and hop back on a plane. We had to head back to Ohio so Kirk could get back to work.  It was a very eventful trip and we had a blast.  I would love to go back to the Keys again someday.  There is so much more to see and do.

Old Friends, Giant Steaks and an Orange Bird…..

Kirk has been working in Ohio for a while now and it seems that whenever we try to fly out of there to go somewhere else, it snows…..a lot!  So this time, when we woke up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to head to Orlando we were happy to see that the skies were clear.  We got in the truck and headed to the airport….we were almost there when the snow started coming down, and coming down hard.20170303_074717 By the time we reached the airplane, it was almost a blizzard.  We ended up sitting on the plane for quite a while waiting for it to get deiced. This caused us to have to miss our connecting flight.

We, at least had sense enough to call the airline while we were waiting to take off and get booked on a later flight, but because everyone was trying to do the same thing we couldn’t get one out until late in the afternoon.

The plan originally was to get in early in the morning, pick up the bike from the Orlando dealership and ride to Sanford to enjoy some pre-Daytona bike week festivities at the Harley dealership there.

We made it to Orlando with barely enough time to run and get the bike before the dealership closed…or at least we thought…we called as soon as we landed and found that the service center actually closed an hour earlier.  After much begging and pleading we got someone to agree to wait for Kirk to get there to pick up the bike.  It was so late by the time we got to Sanford that we missed all of the festivities we were going there to enjoy, but at least we had the bike.

The next morning we headed over and had some fun listening to the band and looking at the vendors.  I’m glad that we got to at least spend a little bit of time there.

About lunch time we left Sanford and headed to Lakeland to visit an old friend, Tammy, and her new husband, Steve.  We spent the day relaxing by the pool and catching up.  Steve grilled us the biggest steaks I have ever seen.  They were like steaks from the Flintstones…lol…..They were good though and we enjoyed them.

 

 

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Did I mention that the area that they live in is near a place called Itchepackesassa Creek? We couldn’t pronounce it so we just called it Itchy-poopy-scratchy…haha.

After a good night’s visit and rest, we headed to Sarasota to see the Baltimore Orioles play in a spring training game. Kirk was in heaven.  The weather was amazing and the game was lots of fun.

 

After the game, we headed to Fort Myers to spend the night, drop the bike at the dealership there (to get some work done) and then head back to cold Ohio.  We stopped along the way at a waterfront restaurant for some dinner and live music.  It was a good day.

Harry Potter, Mickey, and a Burning Bus…

What do these things have in common?  Not much except that we encountered them all when we went back to Orlando to get the bike.

We decided to spend the next 4 days in Orlando and see the sights there before moving on.  We got in late on Thursday so we just picked up the bike and went straight to bed to rest up for the fun of the next few days.  In the morning we got up and decided to ride to the coast before heading to our hotel at Universal Studios.  It was a nice ride and we found a very out of the way little dive restaurant in Titusville to sit and eat at.  It had a great view of Kennedy Space Center.  The food was good too.  It was a relaxing afternoon.

 

On the way back to Orlando, we encountered an incredibly huge traffic jam.  The traffic was stopped…and by stopped traffic I mean literally people out of their cars and sitting around…with no place to turn around. Apparently they had been there more than an hour.

 

We made our way towards the front of the pack and settled in for a wait.  We ended up only having to wait about 30 minutes before traffic was able to slowly start moving.  Turns out a tour bus caught on fire. No one was on it except the driver and no one got hurt, thank goodness.

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We finally made it to the Polynesian Hotel at Universal Studios. IMG_20170211_102256047_HDR I love this place.

 

We bought a 2 day pass to Universal Studios so we could really enjoy the parks. The cool thing about staying at this hotel is that you get a fast pass for each person.  They cost about 80 bucks each per day…so that is an amazing perk that most people don’t know about.

 

Brandi and Tom (my niece and her husband) met us at the hotel the next morning to head out to the park.

 

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We had a great time riding all the rides and spending time in The world of Harry Potter.  The Hogwarts Express is a great way to travel between parks.  It is really cool.

 

After a long day at the park, we headed over to the Contemporary hotel at Disney World to have dinner with Chef Mickey.  (My niece is crazy about Disney so we had to go of course.)  I had never been to a character dinner before.  It was so much fun.  If you have kids and want to meet the characters and get good pictures with them all, this is the way to do it for sure.  I do think that Goofy is my favorite though.  We had a great night.

 

The next day, Kirk and I headed back into the park and just rode the water rides.  We were soaked but had a blast.  At the end of a super fun weekend, we took the bike back to Brandi’s place, parked it, headed to the airport and back to Ohio for a few more weeks of work.  Can’t wait to get back and on the road again.

Back on the Bike….Florida

After the holidays, we made our way back to Savannah to pick up the motorcycle and head on our way.  We were heading to St. Augustine, Florida (State #31 for us so far) to meet up with my niece, Brandi, and her husband, Tom, for a fun weekend.  We rented an apartment on AirBnB.  It was a very old house transformed into apartments.  It was nice but quirky to say the least.

 

We took a day to tour the city.  There is so much to see in St. Augustine…so much history.  It is one of my favorite places.

 

One of the highlights of this trip was touring the St. Augustine Distillery.

We had a good dinner and then went on a ghost tour.  What would a trip to such a historic city be without a ghost tour.  It was fun scaring Brandi once we were back in the house after the tour too…haha

 

On Sunday, Brandi and Tom had to head back to Orlando. Kirk and I were left alone…..with a storm rolling in….tornado warnings and blaring wind and rain all around.  We needed dinner, so we cautiously walked a few blocks to the ocean side to see if anything was open. Almost everything was…

We settled in at an open air restaurant/bar and enjoyed the evening.  The storms blew over with no significant issues and we had a nice evening.

Monday morning we headed out along the coast towards Orlando.  We stopped at a nice little restaurant on the water for lunch and a break.

We finally made it to Orlando and dropped off the bike at Brandi’s place until we returned in a few weeks.  It was such a fun time, I forgot to take a lot of pictures..sorry.

 

 

Day 2 in Savannah

After getting a good night sleep at the Inn, our pre-ordered breakfast was delivered to our room and set up on the balcony for us to enjoy.  It was the perfect way to start the morning…beautiful views, great weather and delicious food.

When breakfast was over, we packed up our stuff and went on a sightseeing ride along the water.  Next time, I want to go back when I have more time to relax and hang out down there.  It is a a very interesting place with lots to see and would be really good for people watching.

Then it was off to meet up with my friend, Michelle…the one that gave us the carriage ride the night before.  Her house had been destroyed in Hurricane Matthew. We created a go fund me account for her to raise a decent amount of money to help them make it through the hardship.  We took a ride out to her house to see the damage.  While we were there, her son found one of his favorite toys and it was really sad that he couldn’t take it with him.  The fiberglass insulation had contaminated almost everything they owned.

 

We sadly said goodbye to Michelle and headed to Savannah Harley Davidson to drop the bike off for the holidays.  They stored it for us and did some much needed maintenance on it.

I know these posts are late being posted and this one is short, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

 

Savannah

After spending the two days in Charleston, we headed to Savannah.  We took a scenic route, driving past many of the beautiful plantations.  We didn’t go into one but did drive around and take some cool pictures.

Along the way we came across an old military base, turned regional airport, with a very cool memorial so we stopped to check it out.  We almost missed it, but I’m glad that we didn’t.  It is Low Country Regional Airport and it is located just off of I-95 in Walterboro, SC.   It is where the Tuskegee Airmen trained….It was very interesting and I’m glad that we stopped.

We continued on our way and made it to Savannah.  We booked a room at The Keyhoe House.  It is the oldest house in Savannah and I highly recommend staying there.  The service was great and the rooms and balconies are amazing.

Kirk enjoyed the fact that you had to step through a giant window go get to the balcony.

Once we got settled in our room and enjoyed the delicious happy hour we went on a fun and romantic carriage ride through the historic district.  It just so happens that one of my best friends from high school, that I hadn’t seen in years, was a carriage driver.  She hooked us up with a great night.

After the carriage ride we headed to dinner at The Olde Pink House.  It was a very cool old historic house that had been turned into a restaurant.  The food was really good.

When we finished dinner, the waiter told us about the bar in the basement.  It was full of ghost stories and a very unique vibe.

When we were done exploring for the night we hopped on a pedi-cab and headed back to our room.  We finished off our bottle of wine from dinner on the ride (because you can do that in Savannah) and slept like babies in the comfy bed. It was a great day!

On the Road Again

 

Sorry it has been so long since my last post.  I have been very busy AND I need a new more portable laptop (working on it).  I also have been busy helping to raise some money for a friend in Savannah who lost her house in the hurricane.

After the OC Bikefest, we flew back to Ohio so Kirk could work for a few weeks…gotta fund the fun….but soon it was time to head out again.  We booked a flight on Friday from Cleveland into Salisbury, Maryland.  The plan was to get in around 5pm and have a yummy seafood dinner with family, spend the night and then head out towards Charlotte, NC on Saturday morning.  As usual, nothing goes as planned.

Our flight out of Cleveland was delayed so we wouldn’t be able to make our connecting flight in Philadelphia.  They rescheduled us for a later connecting flight which still wouldn’t have been bad…but….when we arrived in Philly, that flight was delayed too.

We avoided the bar at the airport that had the iPads at every table.  I thought it was a cool concept, but the last time we flew through there, we ate there and I thought Kirk was going to throw the iPad across the room.  He is not very good with technology and got so frustrated at having to order on the iPad and then having to watch a commercial after you order.  He was so upset that time, I know his blood pressure was going through the roof.  SO…this time we just avoided the place.  We ended up getting to Salisbury around 9:30 pm.  It was a long day and our yummy seafood dinner became a stop at Taco Bell.

We got a good night’s sleep and got up refreshed and ready to go on Saturday morning.  We packed up the bags and headed out to get the bike loaded up.  Of course, it started raining.  We threw on rain gear.  I still don’t have rain pants, so I put on a rain jacket and hoped that it would stop raining soon.  Luckily it wasn’t a huge downpour, it was just a steady medium rain.

We headed down the road to meet up with Kirk’s Great Aunt June, cousin Shaun, his late mother’s best friend, Rosemary and her husband Johnny for lunch.  Along the way we passed the house that his great-grandparents lived in when he was little.  It was a trip down memory lane!

The tables in Rita’s restaurant had old pictures of local people on them under glass.  We happened to be sitting at a table with his Aunt June’s picture from high school.

After a nice long visit and meal at the restaurant, we put our shoes and socks back on (we both had taken our boots and socks off, rung them out, and hung them out to dry on the chairs..lol) and we were back on our way towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Thank goodness the rain had moved on and the sun was out (well, sort of).

We stopped at the rest stop on the bridge and took in the sights before hitting the road again.  Yes, there is a rest stop on the bridge. One cool thing that we saw was the USS George Washington returning from deployment.  The men were manning the rail.  It was quite a site.  The pictures don’t do it justice. We didn’t have too far left to go.  We were only going to Emporia, Virginia and then stop for the night.

We made it to our hotel without any problems, dried out our boots the rest of the way and had a good night’s rest.

 

OC Bikefest

We woke up tired and moved slowly getting ready.  Kirk of course was happy because he got more scrapple. (How he eats that stuff I will never know.)  Once we got things ready, we headed to the coast in Delaware and followed it along until we got to Ocean City, Maryland for the festivities.

We started out at the convention center and checked out all of the vendors there.

It was way too hot on the pavement there so we headed to a restaurant for some air conditioning and food.  When we were rested and fed, we rode over to the pier to check out what was going on there.

It was a little bit of a mess.  The website said that you would have to pay 20 bucks to park there unless you had the weekend event pass, but I believe that it was such a confused mess that they decided not to charge anyone anything.  We went where we were directed and the people directing the traffic in the parking lot were at odds about where we were to go and things were very crazy.  We finally found a place to park and headed into the venue area.  I have to say, I was not impressed.

I have been to several bike events and this one was probably my least favorite.  There were not very many vendors and the area was small. We walked around a bit and of course Kirk had to go and get some famous Thrasher’s Boardwalk Fries (soaked in vinegar of course).

We saw some interesting sites and things.

We watched the Three Doors Down concert, which I was excited about, then it was time to go.  They closed down the pier area at 9pm and everyone had to get on their bikes and go which was crazy. We did manage to find some new low profile, DOT approved helmets, so that was a good thing.

When we had to leave the pier, we stopped at a place called  Fish Tales. We met up with Kirk’s cousin there and had some dinner and a few drinks. (They did have a few vendors there too)wp-1475262018062.jpg

When we were done for the night, we headed back to Delaware and stopped at a crazy bar that apparently during the day, for bike week, had midget gator wrestling and midget paintball.  You actually shoot a paintball gun at a midget while he runs around and tries to hide behind different objects, after he wrestled an alligator.  Needless to say, the media criticized them over these politically incorrect events. We didn’t stay long. It had been a long day (and the place was weird.)

All in all, I would go back to Ocean City, maybe even during bike fest, but I wouldn’t pay the fee to get into the specialized area.

                      YOSEMITE!

People often ask me where my favorite place to ride has been.  My answer is pretty easy.  Yosemite…at least so far….

A few summers ago, during a two week 2500 mile ride through central California, we spent two days riding through Yosemite.  It was the most beautiful ride.  I honestly don’t think I would ever want to drive through there in a car, unless it was a convertible.  There is so much to see that would be obstructed by a car.

The first day we drove up CA – 120 and traveled across Yosemite to Lee Vining, CA.  We spent the night in a cute little inn called Lake View Lodge across from Mono Lake.  It was clean and comfortable and quite relaxing.  It wasn’t fancy, but a nice big room with a nice garden outside to sit and relax.  We stayed in a hotel room.  They also have cabins and cottages.

The next day we backtracked some on 120 and then went down into the Valley.  I am going to just post the beautiful pictures so you can enjoy.  I highly encourage you to go if you get a chance.  It is absolutely amazing.

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Before we headed out for the night, we stopped to see the Giant Sequoia Trees.  Pretty Awesome.

Then we headed out to the town of Oakhurst and spent the night at the Best Western Plus Gateway Inn.  It was a very interesting hotel.  The layout was unusual as it sits on the side of a mountain.  It has an indoor and an outdoor pool, and a very nice and secluded hot tub.  I highly recommend it if you go.

We would like to go back again when we are on that side of the country and this time stay inside the Park.  They have cabins and a nice hotel.  Maybe we can get a group together to go sometime, but for now, we are headed to Maryland to join in the festivities in Ocean City, for OC Bikefest.  Look for the new post soon!  capture_2016-09-15-13-49-28-1.png.png

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines…

Sunday morning we actually woke up early. No, really we did.  Kirk was excited because he got some scrapple for breakfast (I think that’s why he got up and moving so early).  After breakfast we all got on the bikes and headed off to Skippack, PA for the 2016 Rock and Roll Charity Ride (It benefits children with Autism and children with Spina Bifida). We had to check in by 8:30, and believe it or not, we made it.  After some coffee and donuts, a raffle or two and some instructions, we were off.

 

The ride began in Skippack, went 92 miles and ended at Pocono Raceway.  It was a beautiful but long ride.

 

Once we arrived at the raceway, we were fed a big lunch in the infield.

 

After lunch we were led onto the raceway in smaller groups and allowed to ride 3 laps around the racetrack (as fast as we wanted).  It was really a thrilling experience (and a little scary).

 

When it was all over we headed home, exhausted.

Monday came, we slept in, relaxed and packed up to leave.  We had such a fun time with Tom and Gisele, and are grateful that they opened up their home to us….17635-1.jpg

 

…so here is a shameless0905161409-1.jpg family business plug…. If you are ever in the Pennsylvania area and are looking to buy a home be sure and look up Tom McCabe.

 

We loaded up and headed to Philadelphia.

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We dropped the bike off at Barb’s Harley Davidson to store it while we went back to Ohio for Kirk to work for the next few weeks. We had to be there to drop it off by 4pm and our flight wasn’t until 9:30 so we had some time to kill.  We took an Uber to Moshulu to have some dinner and drinks.  It was very relaxing and the food was good.

We made it to the airport on time, only to have to run around trying to find a ticket agent.  We followed the signs to American Airlines, went into the terminal and there was no one working.  We found someone, and asked where we check in for our flight.  They told us to take the employee shuttle to Terminal F and then there would be someone there.  So we loaded onto the shuttle bus with all of the employees and finally made it to check in. On the bright side….we did see Hillary and Donald at the airport…haha.wp-1473808413482.jpg

Turns out the flight was delayed about an hour so we didn’t make it back to Ohio and to our hotel until around midnight.  Needless to say, we were exhausted, but we could check another great adventure off our list (and state…we had to cross into New Jersey to drop the bike off at Barb’s)

Peace Out!