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2019 Vacay with the Harley (Part 2 of 2)…this is a long one folks.

Morning! We are headed to Washington, DC! So excited, I’ve never been. I do have some anxiety about what we may encounter, what with all the crazy stuff in the news. But in the meantime…We got the truck and trailer loaded, jump in and look up….there’s something stuck in the wiper…

Funny, funny….if you read the first part of this journey you’ll know why. 😆Off we go, we’ve decided to take the route Google has suggested, which takes us through NYC…little excited, shouldn’t be to bad for a Sunday.

Moving along, no major traffic issues…

Made it to Pohick Bay Regional Park outside Washington, DC where we will be camping with 2 of our most favorite people. Let’s get this party started!

We are all so excited about going to DC, but how do you fit in everything? Well, honestly you don’t unless you have 7 or 8 days to spend. We don’t, so we all talked about what was our #1 must see places, which were: Arlington, Museum of History, Library of Congress and Vietnam/Korean Memorials.

Having coffee and I have to take a few test shots…

Monday morning we went straight to the local train station. We rushed up to buy tickets and activated them, THEN we checked the train schedule…wanna guess what happened next? If you guessed, THERE WAS NO TRAIN COMING after 9am (we were basically an hour late) you’d be right! LOL

So we improvised and drove 2 hours to Colonial Williamsburg. This was on our list if there was time…neither my hubs or I had been, What a Cool Place!

To think people lived here in to the 60s and 70s in these original buildings. What I mean is, in some cases, descendants of the original families that built or founded this area lived in these homes that we now tour is mind boggling! Definitely would love to come again and stay here to have a full experience of colonial life.

Tuesday, July 2 we Uber’d to Union Station to play it safe this time. Lol

Wow! Ok, I am from Florida and am used to tourists wondering around with their mouths open, ok that was totally me.

But our next experience goes in the books as the weirdest, nastiest thing I have personally ever witnessed…and no it isn’t anything you could imagine AND thank goodness there is NO pictures…in short, I witnessed a lady washing her lady parts in the public restroom in FULL view of the doorway!!! 😱🤯🤢

I couldn’t believe my eyes, when she saw us she stopped and waited for us to go into a stall so she could finish “Freshing up!”

Moving on, Union Station was absolutely beautiful!

We arranged for a Capital tour through our local Congressman, I highly recommend this otherwise you will be in very very long lines. This was a major highlight of our trip. I would like to say at this point, I have never been prouder to be an American. Washington, DC is a place of History that ALL Americans should visit and know about. In some cases, it will help you brush up on the Historical facts of how we came to be.

In other cases, it will help you educate yourself on the sacrifices made for our country so that we all have rights and privileges that others don’t have.

I am going to do a separate post of this visit, so many pictures to share. We can’t wait to come back again❣🇺🇸

We got our picture taken in front of the White house…

I am drawn to the amazing architecture of all these magnificent buildings. Then we head to the mall area where the memorials are:

World War I:

World War II

Arlington National Cemetery

Vietnam War

Korean War

The Reflection pool (I was having a Forest Gump moment and a guy was coming from the other direction yelling “Jenny”) and Lincoln Memorial, because of the July 4th festivities we were not able to go up close to the Lincoln memorial.

We also spent time in the Smithsonian National History museum

and the Library of Congress which has the original collection (what was left of it) Of Thomas Jeffersons extensive Library. They are in the process of digitizing it. He had books from the year 1555!

It’s an amazing American Heritage story. This was my personal #1 place i wanted to see, I bought the book about its history and I didn’t realize it’s actually 3 different buildings.

And to cap off this years adventure, we head to the Charlotte area to visit our newest granddaughter.

And just like that vacay is over! For the record we still walked a total of 65 miles on this trip, even after all the Driving, Ubering, and Train/Subway riding. Woo Hoo what a journey❣

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2019 Vacay with the Harley (Part 1 of 2)

First, I am not being compensated in anyway. These are my experiences and my opinions only.

Now, let me share…This is 1 of 2 posts on our vacay this year.We started out June 21 from Florida headed to Boston area.

We stopped twice on the way up. Those stops were memorable only because the Super 8 motel’s were cheap but let me tell you, they were sketchy as hell! In this case BELIEVE the online reviews. Ok, that’s all I am going to say about that, rest assured, NEVER AGAIN!

Here are a few pics of a beautiful rest area we stopped in.

Here is my car project I finished on the first day, I’ll definitely make a couple more of these.

At one of our stops, we went to this little place by the hotel, the caveman wanted a cheesesteak hoagie. So he saw a picture of this and thought if it’s close to the picture it’ll be good. I can tell you it looked exactly like the picture and he said it was great! It was cheese, steak, shrimp and chicken…yum!

I haven’t been this far north in a very long time. I was able to snap some pictures along the highway, that honestly doesn’t do the scenery justice. In some you’ll notice vehicles or motorcycles but look in the background. I am also always drawn to rocks and there are plenty of those to see sticking out of the mountainsides.

As I anticipate getting to Boston, I can’t stop thinking about the Revolutionary war. What it must have been like to live during that time. The only modes of transportation were by horse or by your own two feet. When I look out at scenery like this, I think about the people that walked or rode a horse around these mountains and hillsides looking for a better existence.

I also give props to the surveyors that plotted these roads from way back then to modern times, what adventurous souls they must have been.

We Made It!!!

Now for a train ride into Boston!

As I take pictures around Boston, I can’t help but to switch back and forth between color snaps and Black and white because old places just look better.

We hit 3 historical places: The Bell in Hand and the Green Dragon. These 2 in particular were places that Freedom strategies were discussed…total goosebumps!

And the 3rd… well…

We also walked around Boston Commons Park. What an amazing green space and let me tell you the people watching did not disappoint.

One of our guided motorcycle rides went to Minute Man National Historic Park. What, an amazing experience, we only wish we had more time to explore; future trip for sure. Brush up on your History…

To say I took many pictures is an understatement! Please let me know if you’d like to see more. This place is beyond special….We then drove a few more mile’s to the visitors center…

Then we went to the historic town of Lexington for lunch…

A few of us had a few hours to burn so we took a ride to Salem!!! Definitely would like to explore this place further!

I had to buy a new Hat and Broom!!!

Stay tuned for our next leg, going to Washington DC (for the first time ever!) for 4th of July!!!

Lady Rider – Carpal Tunnel Recovery

Good Morning! How was everyone’s weekend/Father’s Day?

We live in Florida and it has been a very wet few weeks. Its officially been a whole month since I had Carpal Tunnel release surgery on my right hand.

You know as a motorcycle rider, that’s a pretty important hand. Those who drive a motorcycle know this, but for my non-rider friends, with your right hand you control the throttle aka the gas and your front brakes.

I have to say, I didn’t expect it to take this long to recover. I am mostly chalking it up to “the older you get, the longer it takes” theory. I am not saying I like it, but I haven’t ridden my bike in 3 months. I’ve been a passenger a few times, but haven’t driven because of various reasons that include carpal tunnel issues and the after effects or recovery from this surgery.

90% of the carpal tunnel issues I was having before is completely gone! Thank Goodness!

I am wearing a compression glove during the day mostly to help with swelling. Once it starts to swell then it gets really sore. I’ve been also using a 3lb weight ball to try and strengthen my hand and to help the scar tissue flatten out.

So I went for a nice easy 40 minute ride down to Harley to buy a new rain suit; I know you get what you pay for but those things are expensive!

My hand was pretty sore after that first leg of the ride which I expected, “No Pain, No Gain”, right? I did have the compression glove on. It felt like I had a rubber ball (the size of the ones you get in a gumball machine, hell I can’t recall seeing those anymore lol) stuffed in my glove all the while working that throttle and brake. I worked through it, because that’s what we do, right?

So we bought the suit and headed back the way we came because the rain clouds were building. We did get wet but not the worst we ever experienced. I took the glove off this time to see if that helped, at first it did but overall, No.

So here we are on the verge of our yearly motorcycle trip and I will not be taking my bike. Poor Aengus is going to have to sit this one out.

Overall, this recovery has been slower than I expected but, it has been a relief without all the other issues from the carpal tunnel.

Stay tuned for my blog posts on this years trip, it’s going to be Epic!

We are going to UpState New York briefly, Boston/Danvers, Washington D.C. and Charlotte, NC in a little more than 2 weeks. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

Camera Clicks – Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

I am participating in the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge and the topic with week is “Inspiration”.

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So let me introduce one of my favorite inspirations, my Aengus! No you are not seeing things; yes its a motorcycle!

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Riding is a special thing to me, in a nutshell, driving makes you put all that stuff you have rolling around your brain, aside for a while. You get to smell all the smells of nature, some good and some not so much LOL. But when we get home, I feel like my soul has had a thorough dusting.

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I enjoy riding a lot…so much so, that I have blogged about our Vacations on the Harleys for the last 2 years, see links below.

2018 Vacay with the Harley’s (Part 1)

2018 Vacay with the Harley’s – Louisville (Part 2)

2018 Vacay with the Harley’s – Ohio (Part3)

2018 Vacay with the Harley’s – Michigan, Georgia & Home

Our 2 ½ weeks on the Harley’s (Part 1)

Our 2 ½ weeks on the Harley’s (Part 2)

Our 2 ½ weeks on the Harley’s (Part3)

Our 2 ½ weeks on the Harley’s (Last but not least Home!)

 

BB&Y Book Review By Dixie

Gloria, A Lifetime Motorcyclist

By Gloria Tramontin Strick

• Published in 2018

• 256 pages

Synopsis:

At the age of 92, Gloria Struck becomes an author to tell her story. A story that includes a detailed family history as well as her many journeys on a motorcycle.

My thoughts:

What an absolute amazing tough Lady! This book is full of lots of family history and how her family came to the United States. She goes into great detail on how she started riding a motorcycle and the many many places she has ridden; including Europe. I would highly recommend you read this book and if you would like to have a conversation about it please let me know, because I would definitely like to be in on that. I hope I get to meet Gloria one day, what a serious inspiration.

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Gloria and her daughter Lori

Gloria says “I never worried, I always acted like a lady and I was always treated like one.”, when talking about traveling by herself. Now isn’t that refreshing? Here is a lady who likes to ride a motorcycle (a male dominated sport) who doesn’t feel the need to show how tough she is. Who I might add exudes confidence and doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone. Now don’t peg me for a diehard feminist because I am no such thing. I am just saying there is no posturing here, she is who she is!

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Gloria is a lifetime member of the Motor Maids motorcycle club

  “It’s never too late to live your dreams”

Our Lovie

So our granddaughter is 3 weeks old❣ WHAT, an amazing journey, so far. We are all twisting in the wind over this little being. I have seen so many amazing transformations in all of us, its been, well AMAZING❣😁

I love coming up with nicknames for the kids in my life. I have a Mooshka, who has the mooshiest cheeks, a Lizzy because she was always sticking her tongue out, a Ms. Thing because she was always in to something, a Princess PJ because she rules mightily, a monkey because he is all boy and i could keep going….but Lovie, now that one just struck me. I made a few “lovies”  while we were waiting for her arrival. And as these last few weeks have flown by she became our little security blankie.  We are all just so attached to her already. 💞

If you can envision a human pyramid with this little one being on the top with all the rest of the family holding each other (and her) up, this kid has one hell of a posse!

We are so incredibly humbled that all of her family members on bothsides, not only get along but truly are her village. To help make her one of the next generations greatest citizens, whatever her path.

Our Lovie❣

Grandparents question

Morning all! So we have 2 grandbabies coming. One is due around Thanksgiving (EllieJo) and one is due in April. 

EllieJo may be coming a couple weeks early, which has thrown me into MEGA NESTING PHASE for some reason. No they dont live with us, but i have a serious urge to clean EVERYTHING ! Is this normal for a grandparent? I am telling you this is not normal for me lol. I love a clean house but this is off the chain. Please lend me your thoughts and experiences on this my friends.

Lets add alittle more anxiousness to the mix by talking about the one due in April. They live in Texas, we live in Florida and i want them to come home badly. Of course i miss them and i want them to follow their path, but now we’ll have a grandbaby, waaayyyy far away. Yes i know planes fly there and roads lead there but….any advice here? Besides get some Medication?! 😁😁😁

I have a great book review coming about an amazing lady who has ridden her own motorcycle over 60k miles all over North America and Europe, over a span of 75 years and shes 93 and still riding her own ; so stay tuned!

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

Soul Rider
By Carolyn Fox

• Published in 2017
• This story took place in 1994
• 265 pages

Synopsis:
A story of a woman who went on a life-changing journey. Carolyn Fox was a single mother and lawyer haunted with grief and secretes and facing her fiftieth birthday. So she decided to changer her life by facing her fears: she bought a Harley, packed it with a sleeping bag and tent, and set out to ride through all fifty states alone!

“Facing fear and finding redemption on a Harley”

My thoughts:
So I thought I would approach this book differently by giving you my thoughts on each chapter. So this is an experiment and I will need your input on whether you find this helpful. Also, this book in particular speaks to me because I ride and have ridden across country albeit not alone.

Prologue: “Haunting Cries” – Luckily I read the authors note – she talks about her publishing journey and how she was ready to print but still thought the book was missing something so she had a literature service take a look and sure enough there was a suggestion to include her struggle dealing with a child she lost. So when I started reading the Prologue I thought “Do I really want to read this?” But I am a firm believer that our dreams are trying to tell us something and here she’s riding her motor cycle and reflecting on a reoccurring dream about open doors and crying presumably by a baby and guilt. It’s a short passage and I am still thinking “do I want to read this?” But I press on.

Chapter 1 – Dancing with the Wind – She’s on the open highway and a big truck is rolling past her. I know from experience this is nerve wracking and it’s this feeling that draws me in further to this story. I can feel the wet wind on my face as well as getting pelted by the road debris kicked up by the bigger vehicles. Now I am a bit awestruck because I realize she is by herself on this journey and I think “what a brave sister!” As the chapter title suggests dancing with the wind on a motorcycle is a not only nerve wracking but exciting. She found out you have to work with it not against it, it’s a control thing. Most of us have learned there isn’t much you can control and the wind blowing around an 800lb motorcycle definitely isn’t one of them. That’s the glory in riding, you find the happy place or you learn to cooperate and enjoy the ride. Now you learn she is loaded with camping gear and is sponsored by the KOA to make this trip. Although I love to ride, usually with my man leading the pack and the solitude that come with driving my own bike and riding my own ride, I can tell you now I would never do a ride such as this by myself and especially not in a tent! Now I am definitely hooked and want to read more.

Chapter 2 – Chasing elusive love – Who really trusts their GPS fully? Ha ha ha I think Ms. Fox and I could be friends! On to her next stop and she “smokes” right by the GPS turn because that didn’t look right, so an hour later she had to turn around and retrace her route. See this is why I love following me hubs; I just don’t have a good sense of direction. She moved on to relationships between men and women. She points out that women can be “hint based” conversationalists where men are the “Joe Fridays” of the world, Speak it Sister! Why don’t men see that the last thing we want to be is needy or imposing? She says “this deprives men of being chivalrous” I do love me some chivalry! She starts thinking about a previous time she went on a trip with her boyfriend and nothing can test a relationship like a road trip.

Chapter 3 – The Lone Archer – This chapter starts out with anxiety on the reader’s part, as she ventures into Yosemite national park. While she manages to survive her trip through Yosemite she overhears a man ranting about his son cutting his hair in a non-traditional way and she offers some words of encouragement. Which did not have the intended effect, but she mounts up and continues her journey. So far I like this book and author but I am very concerned for her and her lack of concentration while driving her motorcycle across country.

Chapter 4 – Ancient sentries beckoning – Lord! Now she is driving through Death Valley! Word to the wise, don’t dally when it’s hot. I can appreciate the scenery however, if you are not used to riding in heat and humidity you will or can have a heat related episode. We live in Florida so we take steps to be safe and sometimes that means you just don’t ride during the day. Who in their right mind would hike down a 1,000 foot rock formation in full biker gear complete with boots and back pack? I fear for her and just can’t stop reading. This woman has balls of steal and just doesn’t realize it!

Chapter 5 – A Death in the Family – Yikes this chapter is absolutely heart breaking. But sometimes you just need to get it all out. This trip for the author is turning out to be cleansing in so many ways.

Chapter 6 – Collecting Passengers – Vanity and being a biker chick just don’t go together. This lady surprises me with each chapter…still reading. As Ms. Fox is recuperating from a cold she meets a young woman at the camp ground who has MS. The woman used to ride but is unable to now because of her MS but she asks her to “take her with her” figuratively. This absolutely melts my heart. But it also reminds me that we carry our people with us always, not sure that’s just a mom thing but for the sake of this book and this journey that’s what I am channeling right now.

Chapter 7 – mothers worst nightmare, the biker – Ms. Fox tells her story of her maiden motorcycle ride, albeit short, and this has me remembering my first driving experience. Well it was more like an episode of Benny Hill. Ha ha ha She says after all the aggravation of teaching herself to ride, they finally got another car and she knew she’d never be on 2 wheels again…fast forward 20 years and here we are.

Chapter 8 – The woman in the mist – Asking the universe for guidance can be enlightening if you pay attention. But you “have to ask” and be open to getting an answer you may not agree with or understand fully.

Chapter 9 – A gun or an attitude – I am seeing her evolve as a rider here, showing more caution. She is riding some good “hills” by the sound of it. Hmm, might have to put Kansas on our radar. She been on the road “only a couple weeks” and has started to settle down as she is driving through Oklahoma. She reflects on a few instances that made her uncomfortable. Although she is armed, she is approached by a few sketchy people that she gets weird vibes from; luckily she trusts her gut and gets the hell outta there. But this brings up a valid concern for anyone that is traveling alone. Keeping yourself safe is something you have to actively must do and the best thing and the first thing “I think” you should do is removed yourself from the situation Quick, fast and in a Hurry!

Chapter 10 – The Burned man – (A Very Prolific Chapter) – As the latest “jerk” moves on she talks about how the American people have been duped by the news outlets (by their scare tactics) that the only thing going on in our world is nothing but negative and hateful. But by traveling rural roads she discovers that the majority of people are great, helpful and hardworking. A hand up means more than a handout! She really hits that nail on the head in this chapter about how riding a motorcycle “incites the senses and demands” that you participate in life. I have said this repeatedly, that motorcycle riding requires you to put all that stuff you have rolling around your head aside, in order to be safe and the benefit is incredibly cleansing to your soul.

Quote pg 111 “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain” by Emerson

Chapter 11 – Reality Check – One of the main worries she hopes to find an answer to is her fear of being alone. She is about to be 50 years old and she thinks she has to have an answer to what bugs her. She is a busy person with so much on her mind. So to her I would say at this point you’ve just got to stop carrying all this crap on your back. Put it down and walk away from it. Deal with what is in front of you because that’s all you can do.

Chapter 12 – Taming the Heinous Beast – Well the title of this chapter had me very curious; she tells her story of taking the motorcycle driver course. Holy smokes! You’ll really want to read this one. Now of course this has me thinking of when I took this class. A few days before my class, my hubs wanted to show me a few things and let me take it for a spin. Well in short I did a Benny Hill impression in the middle of my street which in short means I fell over!

Chapter 13 – Deaths Premonition – Riding in bad weather is never a good idea, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and you just have to “suck it up buttercup”! She’s been on the road for 18 days at this point and has experienced just about every danger possible. She is just realizing that she needs to think differently and be more alert. Also, I am just realizing that in 1994 when this trip took place, you just couldn’t map quest your route. So bless her heart she’s doing it “real” old school with a real honest to God map!

Chapter 14 – A conversation of substance – Well she’s made it to my neck of the woods in Florida. Let me remind you she started out in Oregon. A friend try’s to be match maker and although they are a good verbal match he isn’t the one. But she did get to swim with manatees.

Chapter 15 – “Do the Thing you fear” – Turning 50! Reflections…my dad always said when you ert in your 30s you will begin to philosophize about your life. When you turn 50 you really begin to take a look at the trajectory of your life. Where did you start or what did you want to do with yourself versus where did you end up? But the cool things about looking at your life, you can really appreciate the journey. Oh the possibilities are endless.

Chapter 16 – 50 and alone – Although life can beat you up and leave lots of scars, I learned you really have to find the optimism. Life can always be worse; someone always has it worse than you. I leaned you absolutely cannot keep carrying all that shit on your back.

Chapter 17 – People are like Frogs – As much as I hate to admit it, people are like frogs (Note: I am not a fan of Frogs) we go through many changes, physically and mentally and you just can’t rush that process.

Chapter 18 – Elizabeth – Forgiveness & Redemption – This chapter is so heart wrenching. When a person is so deeply hurt and cannot forgive themselves for circumstances that are just beyond your capacity at the time, it’s just gut twisting awful. But this is what this whole journey is for, it’s liberating and cleansing. It’s not that you can forget the circumstances or feelings but you can move on. Use this whole experience as a stepping stone to get out of the hole you’ve wallowed in for so long.

Chapter 19 – The Predator – The trials of traveling alone brought her to the attention of a very seedy character. This reminds me of a saying “if you look like a victim you will be a victim”. This chapter had me on the edge of my seat.

Chapter 20 – Cousin Shirley’s old dog – Lord, if you think chapter 18 was tough on your feels, get a box of tissues for this one. The situations are totally different but…this one took aim at my heart and hit its mark.

Chapter 21 – Breaking Free – This whole trip she has been worrying herself sick about being alone. Her boys are living their life, her BF broke up with her while she was on this trip and to make matters worse she sent all her warm clothes and extra jacket back to Oregon. Now she’s in the UP of Michigan and headed to Minnesota! Yikes, I tell you I have never met someone so hell bent on doing things the hard way!

Chapter 22 – Winds of Change – Dear me she drove off into a damn storm again! But she swears she won’t do it again. She found this quote at Mount Rushmore by Theodore Roosevelt “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.…Here she goes again!

Chapter 23 – Deadly storm on the high plains – Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ on a cracker!!! Holy Hell, that was the scariest yet! I doubt anyone can really know how bad a storm is on a bike unless you have been there. I personally have been there and it’s utterly frightening. You reason with yourself, remind yourself to breathe and to just survive. It is exhausting.

Chapter 24 – My Solitary Shadow – Boy isn’t that the truth “…it is important to remember my roots. I believe it is the mixture of our past and present experiences that makes us who we are today.” (pg 260) You have to come to terms with being comfortable in your own skin.

Epilogue – Turning 50, you can make it a happy occasion or a depressing one. Ms. Fox turned it into a happy one because she was able to resolve issues that she needed to come to terms with.

 

2018 Vacay with the Harley’s – Michigan, Georgia & Home

This is the final installment of the 2018 Vacay with our Harley’s.

     The first few days are spent relaxing, doing laundry and etc we did take the bikes out but weather is again an issue so to play it safe we alternate between the cage (aka truck) and the bikes.

Oscar and his couch
Chilling out with this guy…check out those beautiful trees!

     Let me just say Western Michigan is one of the best places to ride a motorcycle. First, the roads have a tendency to be wider and I suppose it’s because you have to have a wide shoulder to plow all that darn snow. However, I do not recommend any riding on the interstate system the potholes are numerous and deadly. All that being said, if you get a chance to drive the Eastern rim of Lake Michigan, do it!

     of the roads we traveled were: M63, The Blue Star Memorial Highway and US 31. You will sometimes see Lake Michigan, which totally looks like the Ocean. If you don’t see it, you will smell the clean air; not sure if that makes sense to you. There are areas you can pull off and look out at the lakes vastness of which you cannot see the other side, which happens to be Chicago. There are parts of the road that are tree covered and if you are not from these parts better have a jacket of some kind because it gets chilly. Yup no kidding, it gets chilly when the fog is rolling in off the lake.

     The other things you see a lot of are farms and orchards; I know that’s not what you think of when you think Michigan. I might have mentioned how cool it is to actually see an orchard of Cherry Trees full of cherries in last year’s blog post; I just find it really cool. The Western side of Michigan you have lots of historic places, Beach towns, sand dunes, farms, orchards, wineries and craft beer. We will focus our time on this trip visiting family and Craft Breweries. Did I mention there might be some libations? LOL

     During our last two vacays my hubs (aka Fred) and his cousin (aka Barney) have made it their mission to sample as many craft breweries as possible. I think their count at the end of this trip is about 24 and can you guess how many there are in this area; 136! So we will have many more to sample for the next 10 years! So Betty and I road along to about 9 of these places, we tasted several different things and enjoyed most of them. Here is a list of the ones visited this time around: Lucky Girl Brewing, Latitude 42 Brewing, Silver Harbor Brewing, Three Blondes Brewing, Brix Corner Oven, Arcadia Brewing, Red’s Sports Bar, 5 Lakes Brewing and Bowling Alley (The Cherry and Apple Cider was my ultimate favorite), Paw Paw Brewing…

     One of the most incredible places we went to, twice, was Cranes Pie Pantry. OMG, so darn good! It’s a 150 year Family Farm and Orchards and they take their fruit from their orchards and make fresh PIES! Ok and they also make wine and cider; you can go for lunch or just dessert.

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Lake Michigan

     For July 4th we went to visit family in the area but our daughter and son in-law made a quick trip to Chicago (from Dallas, Texas) and in doing so they made a side trip to see all of us! So exciting! They took the train from Chicago over to Michigan City and we picked them up, so cool! 

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Waiting on our kids…
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Anticipation…
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They’re Here!
Family Discussions...
Family Discussions…hanging out, I Heart these people!

     Now we are heading South to visit my most favorite person, my Aunt in Rome, Georgia. This place is so special to me I cannot put it into words properly…this place has gone from sleepy little industrial town to an amazing Baseball, Tennis and College town. I follow this place on Facebook because I don’t want to miss out on all the revitalization they are doing downtown.

     When we hit town we look for a couple craft breweries I know that are popular. The first place we go was just a cool family atmosphere with all kinds of Georgia wines and craft brews on tap and for sale (I am not being paid to make these statements, I am just telling you my thoughts) called the Foundry Growler Bar. I wanted to make a stop at a winery in Southwestern Georgia but guess what this place had the wine I was after and YES I made a total ninny out of myself when I spotted it too! People stared! I grabbed the last 2 bottles on the shelf! LOL

     We went downtown and made a stop at the Rome City Brew house Music & Grill, now this place is COOL! So here’s a bit of history about this place: The original structure was an Opera House and was built in 1880 which was the principal center for entertainment for the Dresden, Boston and New York Symphonies! Of course there’s more to this story, it burned down and was rebuilt and has been everything from the Opera House to a 5 and Dime store back in the 50 and 60’s. When you walk into this place there is just a feel of a lot of history and the old wooden floors tell a story that you can’t help but to speculate about.

     One of the coolest places in downtown is the Masonic Lodge, the story on this place is basically, when the union troops burned through town they had to burn it down but they felt so bad (the masons of the Union) took up a collection and sent the money to the Masons of the Confederacy to have it rebuilt! Did I mention this place was special?
So anyway, our next stop is to Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, which has become a bit of a regular stop for us. I always share a drink with my Aunt here, lol. The building is old of course, and they have a band inside which makes it a bit loud to have any convo with people who are hard of hearing but its just wonderful people watching through the giant windows.

     The next day we go visit my Great Aunt Bernice aka Bunt, she will be 99 at the end of August! I had a college History project about FDRs plan to put people back to work, I asked her about it and she told me that’s how she ended up in Rome from Alabama. She convinced her mom and dad to leave the farm to work in the “city” at the cotton factory. Yeah, did I mention this place was cool? I think I said that already…
And then it’s time to leave, headed home to Florida and I just hate leaving this place, just hurts my feeling something awful.

     That’s a Wrap – What an Adventure, I want to send special thanks out to our friend that saved our vacation by allowing us to use his beautiful new truck (you know who you are) and to my Caveman for doing all the driving, I am the luckiest gal!

~Home Sweet Home ~

Lady Rider – U-turns on a Motorcycle

Hi Everyone! This is my 2nd post about riding a motorcycle from a Lady’s perspective. 

     There has been recent discussion in my Lady Rider circle (Facebook groups) and with my local lady rider friends about U-turns and what freaks us out about them.

     I will be the first to admit, Left U-turns really make me pause and I can’t say that I ever remember making a Right U-turn. Boy was I relieved to also see that there are many others that feel the same way. After much discussion on the matter, I actually feel less stressed about the subject; I’ll let you know when I have the opportunity to do a U-turn again.

     For this discussion, the only people that weighed in were Lady Drivers of motorcycles so let’s hear from passengers too, so please comment below. I feel less stress because it wasn’t 5 minutes this post went up that ladies started giving advice and encouragement. My own advice on the post was “Look where you’re going, don’t look at the ground and Breath!” well that’s what I tell myself every time I have to do it.Uurns2

     The discussion also went to “counter balancing” in the turn, what!? I had not heard that term before and the thought of shifting in my seat really never occurred to me and the thought of it now is a little unsettling to be honest. However, I have personally talked with experienced drivers about the art of counter balancing (that’s what I am going to call it, because it takes lots of practice to get comfortable with the technique) which was very eye opening. So it doesn’t have to be a huge shift in your seat but you need to skooch (technical term LOL) to the right of your seat a bit just before you make that tight left turn, turn your whole head (not just your eyes) towards your shoulder or in the direction you want to go, do not look at the ground and breath. You will also hear advice about only using your rear brake (your right foot only) and feather the clutch to keep your momentum. Sounds simple, right?Counter Balance

     One of the people I talked with said, he thought the reason that people are uneasy with making tight turns, especially to the right was your right foot is lower or closer to the pavement while in the apex of the turn and on occasion you will scrape the floor board. (Side note: scraping the floor board is kind of fun but scary all at the same time, ask me how I know? LOL) Even making the tight turn to the left you can scrape the floorboard which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you do have to be careful not to lean too far for obvious reasons.

     That brings me to a little nugget about being right or left handed and which turn do you feel more comfortable doing. There was a small discussion about it where the person said that people who are right handed are less comfortable making right U-turns and if you are left handed you are less comfortable making left U-turns. So now I am curious because I am right-handed and I have been nervous making any tight turn, so what do you think? I really thought it only had to do with your skill/confidence level.

     Now being a passenger during one of these turns myself, I can tell you in my opinion, you should sit up and lean into the drivers back and look in the direction you are going. As a passenger, it is paramount that you pay attention. Hmm, this might be another topic to talk about.

     How do you feel about U-turns? Do you have any advice about them? Do you have any topic suggestions? Please comment below…Ride Safe!

Ride Safe to Ride Again