So the next leg of our journey was to Ohio to spend a couple days with our besties! It took us about 5 hours from Louisville KY to Tiro, OH. First order of business was a grocery store trip for, you guessed it, beverages! The theme continues…What amazing air and it’s a bit chilly! Yes its chilly and its nearly July 4th! Unfortunately the weather is still not cooperating so the HDs aren’t getting a work out on this part of the trip.
We are only here for a couple days so we are on a mission to make it count. After breakfast we head towards Sandusky, we literally did a sightseeing tour up to the front gates of Cedar Point; definitely need to go here the next trip up.
Then we head to the Ferry to go to Put-in-bay, OH, yep that’s the name of a place on South Bass island in Lake Erie. It has a huge Memorial and International Peace Memorial to commemorate the battle of 1812; there happens to be a large Column or tower you can go up in for some absolutely amazing views and you are only 5 miles from Canada.
We rented a golf cart and toured the whole island, looking at old homes and even ran across a little girl selling her coloring pages. The history is just incredible this place reminds me of Mackinac Island in Michigan except you can drive gas powered vehicles here. What a fun place, I would love to come back and explore the other islands; allegedly there is a winery on Middle Bass island. We hop the Ferry back to the mainland, did I mention is was chilly, and head for one of the most interesting places yet; the Thirsty Pony.
The Thirsty Pony is in Sandusky near Cedar Point and is a hotel, bowling alley, laser tag, casino (of sorts), restaurant ALL under one roof! The food was great! You’ll have to take my word on this because after a long day sightseeing no one took any pictures of our food or even a group picture inside LOL.
Day 2 in Ohio, we went to the local Harley Davidson shop and toured around town. Our besties are from these parts so they showed their old stomping grounds. I tell you seriously, we will be back to do more exploring. This area is so rich in history as well as farms and just amazing people.
Leaving in the morning for Michigan; this will be an epic adventure so stay tuned!
Parrot Head shenanigans? If you don’t know what this means, I highly suggest you experience it for yourself at your earliest convenience; you will not be disappointed. Honestly, I love the music but the tailgating is totally where it’s at! Here we are with some of our most favorite people and we are all in various stages of inebriation (plenty of time to sober up later); concert doesn’t start till dark and it’s like 11am. We set up our canopy and began sharing our treats with others as they share with us. Who knew you could soak gummy treats (like those blue and white sharks) in Moonshine? Holy moly those were good! We are all dressed in appropriate Parrot Head attire and some people push the limits on what’s appropriate, but that’s all I am going to say on that. Skip forward to the end of an awesome concert, two of our crew members are missing. We find one of them, eventually. The other one, well let’s say security helped get our lost sheep headed in the right direction; honestly there was no sun to navigate by and those beer goggles weren’t helpful. The parking lot clears out and we head back to the camp ground.
In the morning, the Hubs and I saddle up to start the 3rd leg of our journey headed to a friend’s house in Harrodsburg, KY. This was about a 4 hour ride, monkey butt was quite happy. So here I go again, when you drive around in this area you see gorgeous landscapes and horse ranches. I was absolutely awestruck at the stone and split rail fences which being a bit of a history buff had me imagining platoons of military and militia from the revolutionary and civil wars walking around these areas. You read about these areas and the events that took place here but when you see where they took place it’s surreal. (Soap box: maybe what we need is to really teach History again?) So we arrive at our friend’s house for the night; which is set on some of the most beautiful property I have ever been on.
Now we are heading to Nashville, TN to take in all that is Country Music and then some. This was a 3 hour drive through more amazing countryside; seriously pictures just don’t do it justice. We are checked in and changed and hopped on the shuttle to downtown in record time. Can I just tell you now, if you like Savanah or New Orleans you will LOVE Nashville MORE! We spent 3 days but totally needed a full week. The first place we stop for a drink was BB Kings Honky Tonk. So let me tell you now they call Bars “Honky Tonks” and by definition (thank you Meriam-Webster) are “a usually tawdry nightclub or dance hall; especially: one that features country music”, don’t get me started but that’s what the dictionary says. On to the fun, we saw and experienced so much and just cannot wait to go back. By and far our favorite Honky Tonk was the Orchid Lounge aka “Tootsies” and our favorite eat’n place (hey just speaking the language of my people) was FGL’s new restaurant. We took the trolley tour and saw Music Row; my mouth hit the floor it looks like a residential neighborhood. We went to the Ryman; the atmosphere in that place gave us goosebumps. That’s how we ended up at Tootsies by way of the back alley from the Ryman; the short story here is there is no “green room” at the Ryman so artists would hang out in the alley and Tootsies. We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame; holy crap that place is Huge! We visited many other Honky Tonks up and down Broadway in this 3-day period but shucks darn we didn’t get them all; well we had to leave some for next time!
By the end of the week we are saddling up again headed towards home.
So we made it to the cabin and we began our first leg of this adventure with some of our closest friends. On the third day, I have a mishap that totally threatens my being able to ride my bike the rest of the trip; I twist my ankle, badly. The Hubs makes alternate arrangements for Aengus (that’s the name of my bike) to ride home with a couple friends but I don’t like this idea. As nervous as I was about riding my bike on this trip, it never entered my mind that this could happen nor did I want to ruin this adventure because my hubs spent a lot of time planning out all our stops. So by Sunday morning, which was checkout day and the start of the second leg of the journey, I was determined to “suck it up buttercup!” So I told my hubs I was riding even if I did have some discomfort. Truth be told, I had a lot of discomfort but a compression bandage and a tightly laced boot got me through it for the remainder of the trip.
If you remember in part 1 I told you about that trip UP the driveway, well now I get to drive down that sucker. Luckily, I had ridden on the back of my hubs bike up and down that thing over the last few days so I was prepared. So off we go, slow and steady wins the race and when we got to the bottom I was able to breathe again! There are 3 of us on this leg and we are headed to Shelby OH then on to Michigan in the morning. It was a 12 hour day in the saddle and holy moly we had Monkey Butt! We saw some of the most beautiful scenery so far, if you ever took a long trip and drove in or around the mid-west you would agree that you saw a lot of corn growing. But the advantage on a motorcycle is you get to associate certain smells with this amazing scenery as well. Let me just add here, that each state (and some Cities) has its own unique smell but more on that another time. We pulled in for the night and the fellas wanted to sit by a fire to drink a brew; me, I wanted to not SIT anywhere!
In the morning The Hubs and I strike out on our own heading to South Haven MI to visit with family. It ended up being about a 6 hour drive on some non-interstate highways, just beautiful (you might get sick of hearing me say that lol) as we started out not much past daybreak. I am not sure I can adequately describe what it’s like to see a sunrise or sunset while riding through vast open areas. It is something that you should experience yourself even if it means you’ll be in a car. We got a little concerned when we drove nearly a hundred (yes! 100) miles without seeing a gas station! But just when we were starting to sweat it, bam! A gas station in the middle of God’s country! I kept thinking “where do these people gas up or buy lottery tickets” but when you live in a place like this what more could you possibly need? Have you ever seen an orchard of Cherry trees? These things amaze me and mean a lot since we live in Florida, where you see all kinds of groves of citrus or peaches but never orchards. Moving on, we reached our destination in the early afternoon just in time for a family gathering and it was a good thing because monkey butt was starting to act up. Ha ha
We rest up for about a day and a half and we head out on another short adventure with cousins; so we all ride in a four wheel vehicle (monkey butt said Thank you!) to test out some Microbrew/craft beer locations. So this area of Michigan has some excellent choices and I think our favorite was a place in Grand Rapids. As a matter of fact there are a few great ones but this one was at the top of the list for the fellas. I am not a huge beer fan, I do like dark beer (like Guinness) or ciders (like Angry Orchard) but I tasted all kinds this day. By the end of the week we are back on the bikes following the cousins who are pulling a big motorhome headed back towards Cincinnati OH for a Parrot Head gathering the next day. On the way we hit some serious weather and end up loading our bikes into their “Toy Hauler” for the rest of this part of the trip. But we make camp and the weather clears and we prepare for shenanigans!