Coming off of our outstanding mini-vacation in Panama City Beach on 4 – 6 October, we weren’t sure how we’d be able to top some of great times we had down in Florida. Well, I’m not sure that we “topped” those moments, but we certainly were in the ball park this past weekend.
Friday I was up early and had most of my work-work done by around 9:00am. Next, it was off to sit in queue at Costco’s Tire Center by 9:30am so that Debbie’s little Honda S2000 could get some new rear tires while I knocked out some shopping. As much as I’d like to say that it’s because my sweet Debbie drove the wheels off her little car, the truth is the soft tire compounds were worn down by lots of stop and go’s on her 20-mile, round-trip, daily commute. Such a shame that it lives a rather sedate life, but then again that’s probably why it’s still in such great shape — cosmetically and mechanically — at 10-years and 100,000 miles! Anyway, 45 minutes after they opened up the Tire Center her little car was done and I was “out of there!”.
My original plan was to meet Debbie for lunch at noon and swap her little car back for my truck, but the car really needed to be buffed-out (red=oxidation) and given a couple fresh coats of Zaino. And, well, it was so darn nice out that I really felt the need to get the cobwebs off the Wide Glide and get in at least a short “knees-in-the-breeze / bugs-in-the-teeth” ride. Needless to say, I took the long-way to The Red Eyed Mule for our every-other-Friday lunch date & burger at Sabra & Joe’s place. I just love seeing my sweetie in the middle of a “work day” and the food is so darned good at The Mule! Add-in a nice motorcycle ride and it’s hard to beat!
Friday afternoon was pretty-well consumed by a quick trip to the Georgia Firing Line for a little tune-up, then back to the house and working-over the finish on Debbie’s car plus a few other chores around the house. Before I knew it, Debbie was home and it was time to go and meet our friends David & Deb for “finally a Friday” at On the Border. A great time, as always, but then a fairly early evening.
Saturday started off early again with some home-office work and then out to the garage to give our Calfee tandem some much-needed attention. The shifting had gotten pretty lousy, there was a “tick” in the front wheel and the handlebar tape was in dire need of replacement. That also gave me another excuse for a short ride across town to Free Flite bike shop on the Road King around 10:00am, as I needed some bar tape: the three rolls of black tape I had at the house were not the type of tape I like on the tandem. With the tape pulled off the handlebars, I went ahead and replaced the shifter housing, in-line adjuster and derailleur cable and had the bike all buttoned-up and ready for our afternoon ride before the Georgia game kicked-off.
We had a really nice afternoon tandem ride from the house, nothing too dramatic: just a 25-mile loop at a nice pace. After that Debbie returned to her chores in doors while I fired up the lawn mower for what I’d like to think is about the last time before the grass goes dormant.
In no time at all it was getting close to 6:00pm and it was Loco Willy’s night; whoo hoo… Ahi Poke tuna! Well, and more fun & games with David & Deb, as we never really know what we’ll do on Saturday nights until we’ve gotten to Loco’s. Actually, David & Deb had a different plan for Saturday that would have left us on our own at Loco’s and for a while before meeting up at Brewsters where the “Atlanta Crew” who we met at Toucans in Mexico Beach would be hanging. But, just before 6:00pm they decided to pass on their original plan and joined us at Loco’s.
Debbie had a REALLY good time at Loco’s, which put her in great spirits for the rest of the evening. Our next stop was Guston’s to check-in with Vic and his band Shyanne. It was a mere 10 minutes from Brewsters, so we were well positioned for Saturday night. Guston’s was actually a bust on our first visit around 9:00pm — still a lot of families filling all of the tables having late dinners and not exactly the nightclub crowd. So, we called an audible and headed to Brewsters… and had a BLAST. Good band and great company: just can’t say enough about how enjoyable the folks who we met in Florida are. They’ll all very comfortable in their own skin and it makes for some great chemistry.
David & Deb left a bit earlier than usual, as they had big plans for Sunday and wanted to get some rest. We stayed at Brewsters just a bit longer, did some dancing and then bid our a du’s and headed back to Gustin’s to catch Shyanne’s last set. Man, do they put on a great show! Excellent musician’s, great song list, killer light show and another good crowd with lots of dancing. I think we finally called it a night around 1:30am and were home by 2:00am.
Sunday actually started early, despite the late night on Saturday. During our visit with our new friends at Brewsters, it was either Tom, Bobby or Carrie Ann that invited us to join them for a ride up to Helen, Georgia on Sunday. They would be heading out from the north side of Canton at noon. Just doing some quick math I assumed it would be after 6:00pm before we got back home, so I started knocking out some of the weekend chores while Debbie did a few things inside the house! We had pretty much everything that we needed to have done done around 10:30am and were in the process of getting ourselves ready to head out for Canton by 11:15am when David called with some bad news; ugg. We were crushed. No one was hurt, ill or in duress but it was just… well: bad news that threw a huge monkey wrench into both their Sunday and some long-term plans. I’ll leave it alone at that.
We debated calling off our trip to Helen, but decided there really wasn’t much we could do right then and there to help make David & Deb’s situation any better and could, in fact, keep things stirred-up by extending the discussion about “the event”. So, around 11:20am we headed out and met up with 16 or so other folks on 12 other bikes up off Canton Highway in North Canton at noon, as planned.
We headed North on Canton Highway and took Routes 53, 9, 129 and 75A through Dahlonega to Helen, Georgia on some very nice roads which were quite twisty at times: gotta love carving corners on the Road King; it just carves corners as nice as you like! Our destination was Paul’s Margarita Deck. We arrived around 1:45pm and found a couple of tables where we stayed for the next four hours or so before finally calling it a day. We’d been up early on not a lot of sleep and really needed to get home before too late given Monday was a work day that also started with an early get-up at 5:00am.
Again, just a fantastic time with some really fantastic folks: as nice, loyal and loving a group as you’ll find. We rolled out around 5:45pm and rolled back in our driveway around 7:45pm. After “de-bugging” and parking the bike back in the garage we headed over to Olde Towne Tavern & Grille for dinner at the elegant hour and while we were there kinda figured out that our friends were still in Helen! As best as we can tell, one of the gals ended up having a problem with her bike. As is always the case with this group, adversity is viewed as an opportunity to be embraced and they apparently figured out how to resolve the issue over dinner and a few more hours socializing up in Helen before heading home sometime after 9:00pm.
Just an awesome weekend…. and it just keeps getting better!
Oh yeah, and I forgot the darn camera! We GOTTA get better about taking photos!!!