Yes, just another weekly journal. No epic trips, major upgrades to motorcycles or bicycles or anything else that warrants a headline. That’s not to say it was a boring week and weekend, but in terms of a weekend where we might look back in several months it probably won’t stand out from the others… well, except that we did get some much-needed rain on Sunday!
To pick up where I left off last week with my two post scripts…
Flooring Project: While I struck-out with the Amazon.com purchase of clear-satin polyurethane and now have a gallon of product that I’ll never use, I was able to find 2-gallons of what should be the right clear-satin polyurethane on ebay that will arrive this week. Assuming it arrives and is the right stuff, I’ll be putting down the second coat of clear early on Friday so that it will hopefully be dry enough to walk-on by the time Debbie arrives back at home at 5:30pm. I’ll just need to remember to pull my laptop out of the family room and stock a cooler with some drinks since those were the two things I couldn’t get to when I did the first application! If the second coat goes down with minimal bubbles I may quit while I’m ahead, so to speak, and leave it be. I can always apply that third coat in a year or so if the clear doesn’t seem to be holding up well. At this point I’m anxious to get the clear part done so I can cut and install the splice joints and moldings that will allow me to check the box on this project and begin the next one.
Weekends in October: After thinking long and hard about the three weekends out-of-town in a row, where two of them were long rides on the motorcycle to bike rallies in Daytona and Panama City Beach on back-to-back weekends – never mind a request from Debbie’s employer to reconsider October vacations in light of several co-workers being out on medical leave – we decided to drop the Daytona Bike Week trip off our calendar. It was probably a bit of a stretch to do the back-to-back bike weeks and we’ll instead look forward to making the trip down to Daytona in March for the real Bike Week: might even need to start looking for our accommodations! Overall, this will be a much better plan that will give us time to enjoy a normal weekend in between the Southern Tandem Rally in Tennessee and the motorcycle rally down at Panama City Beach, Florida, which is always a good time. And, when I say a normal weekend, here’s a brief recap of this past weekend’s normal weekend.
As mentioned, our regular place for dinner and socializing with friends for Friday nights has now been closing at 5:00pm every day since August 24th. Or, looked at another way, Friday was day 23 of the Loco Willy’s lock-out of 2016. This is the second time since we began going to Loco’s back in 2011 that their owner has gotten out of sync on tax payments with the offices that hold their liquor license, i.e., no they weren’t serving to minors, etc. It’s purely a tax and licensing issue. The 2014 lockout lasted 42 days and it wasn’t really a lockout, we were still able to go there and enjoy the wonderful food in the evenings. Not so this time as it’s just too hard to pull-off in terms of staffing the kitchen, etc. Sure hope they’ll be able to weather the loss of revenue and potential loss of some patrons, as we truly do enjoy spending time at Loco’s and the food is fantastic; far better than anything else we’ve been able to find.
So, given Loco’s wasn’t an option we met our friends David & Deb over at a local Applebee’s bar & grill. The bar was empty when Debbie and I arrived and pretty much stayed that way for the first hour. We were eventually joined by a gal who was another Loco Willy’s refugee, met another gal who was there to pick up a take-out order and Deb & David recognized another couple who came is as Applebee regulars from the days when they’d leave On the Border and stop at Applebee’s on the way home.
Needless to say, we always have a great time when we’re out with David & Deb, even when the restaurant may be lacking in some aspect. Applebee’s worked out well because the gal working behind the bar was really good and attentive, the food was “good enough” (no better or worse than Twin Peaks, On the Border, Chili’s, Rafferty’s, etc.) and cocktails are cocktails wherever you go. Well, not exactly; Debbie’s Strawberry Daiquiri was pretty bad… but Loco’s hasn’t had those in over two years so that’s a wash. Given that we had a full day planned for Saturday we didn’t stay at Applebee’s all that late. However, I will note that it was interesting to find via Facebook that another group of our Loco Refugees – about seven regulars – were camped-out up the street at Hildago’s, a Mexican place. Kind of interesting to see where we all migrated to once our regular spot wasn’t available.
Debbie and I were up and out the door on a tandem ride by 8:30am so that we could enjoy the cool temps. It was a mostly cloudy morning with temps in the low 80’s and very low humidity, which is about ideal for cycling. This is, in fact, my favorite time of the day for cycling: not the crack of dawn but early enough to be done riding in the morning. Once again, we didn’t set any speed records but it was a far better performance than we had last weekend and we both felt pretty good afterwards. Of course, it was a shorter ride than usual so that may have had something to do with it. Oh well, we’ll take it! We’ll need to try to get out on both Saturdays and Sundays for the next two weekends since we’ll be headed to Cookeville, Tennessee, the second weekend in October for the Southern Tandem Rally. Normally we’d team up with our friend Lisa on the triplet for this rally, but with our very limited riding time over the summer I think she’ll have a better time riding with our friends Linda & Eric who, being retired, are able to get lots of miles under the belts and can ride with our faster friends. Debbie and I will just be happy if we can ride the middle distances well on Friday and Saturday and if we’re lucky, maybe a short ride on Sunday before heading home. We’ll see.
Following our ride, and as we did a couple of weeks back, I put away my laptops and phones (aka, went off the grid) and headed to a small private club in the North Georgia Mountains where we grabbed a little lunch then spent the afternoon relaxing, getting a little sun by the pool while keeping up with the various college football games. Late summer and early fall is a wonderful time of year here in Georgia in terms of the weather as it’s still usually quite comfortable in the afternoons with warm temperatures and low humidity. Couple that with college football and it makes for the best 10 weeks of the year. The Kentucky / Florida State game definitely came as a shock to the loyal Florida State fans and alumni: don’t know that I’ve even seen a Facebook post from our FSU alumni friends since their loss to Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals. After an afternoon snack we camped out at the outdoor bar to watch the Georgia/Missouri game: Mizzou was definitely ready to play whereas the Dogs were not but somehow salvaged an ugly victory. Again, so many good games to watch at the college level. After about 30 minutes at the outdoor bar we wandered by a small on-site boutique to see what they might have that caught Debbie’s fancy. Sure enough, they had a couple of things that looked stunning on my sweetie including one keeper and a pair of sparkly shoes that she’d be wearing to the evening’s DJ & dance. As dinner time rolled around we were in line promptly at 6:00pm for the buffet line at the main lodge and found a few things that suited our diet as they seem to serve food with a lot of carbs which isn’t what either of are used to. With dinner behind us we headed over to our hotel so we could get cleaned-up before returning on the shuttle bus for the evenings various different activities and venues: it’s nice not having to worry about driving after an evening out! Our first stop back at the resort was the sports bar to watch the evening football games and listen to a couple different musicians who provide live music on the weekends: they’re quite good. It was shortly after 9:00pm when we headed back to the main lodge for the DJ & dancing. The DJ got off to a bit of a rocky start with some unusual music selections that left the floor empty; however, he finally got to some better music that quickly filled the dance floor to capacity. It must have been around 11:00pm when we headed over to a smaller club that had a much better selection of music and, as a result, was filled to capacity in no time. The small club had a great vibe and we were able to visit with a few of the folks we’d met earlier in the day. I think it was around 2:00am when we finally decided we’d had enough and headed to the shuttle bus stop, picking up a coupe pieces of pizza on the way: good pizza too! Again, it was great to be able to take a shuttle back to our room and not to have to worry about driving: just a great end to a great day.
After our late night out on Saturday we slept in a bit on Sunday. Amazingly it was raining when we woke up: hard to believe the forecast for 40% chance of rain actually netted us some much-needed moisture for our parched lawns, shrubs and trees. It was probably around 9:00am when we checked out of the hotel and headed for home on what turned out to be a very rainy morning all over the North Georgia and northern Atlanta metro area. Of course, a rainy day meant we’d be leaving the motorcycles and bicycles in the garage once we returned home. After arriving back at home we had the laundry well underway and took care of a few other small errands and honey-do’s around the house before seeing where several of our friends would be heading over to Twin Peaks to watch their teams – Bobby with his Steelers and Julie & Chuck with their Patriots – on their big screens. Sadly, unless you subscribe to the pay-per-view channels your NFL games choices at home are slim and none, far worse than even the college games on Saturdays.
I’m guessing we arrived at Twin Peaks around 1:45pm or so where we found Ryan, Bobby, Zack, Julie & Chuck just getting settled-in. We’d actually run into David when we arrived, but he was just picking up his truck after he and Deb left it in the parking lot and got a lift home on Saturday night: good call! After a couple of hours our friends Cowboy and Matt rode in on their Harley’s after making a wet ride back to Atlanta from the Angel City Motorcycle Rally about 2.5 hours away, south of Macon, Georgia: it was a good group to be with on a rainy day in Georgia. Of course, what was interesting was once again seeing several Loco Willy’s refugees hanging out at Twin Peaks.
We camped out at the Peaks until around 5:30pm or so, during which time there were several thunder showers that came through, including one that was strong enough to bring down all of the satellite receivers for about 15 minutes. And, wouldn’t you know, that particular squall hit during the final two minutes of several very tight games: unbelievable!! Thankfully, the last 2-3 minutes in a pro football game take about as long as the last five laps of a NASCAR race so most of the games were still in their final seconds as the satellites came back on line. Speaking of NASCAR, it was pretty much Ryan, Debbie and me who hung around until the bitter end and watched the Chicagoland NASCAR race finish. Debbie and I split a yummy hot brownie and ice cream sundae to top off our afternoon and it was goo-ood, but it didn’t look anything like the masterpiece at right: it was a sweet mess. We dropped Ryan off on the way home and pretty much crashed on the couches and ended our day watching Sunday Night Football. No idea who won, as we were both drifting in and out of sleep all evening as it was just that kind of day.
- Like I said, nothing epic to share about our weekend but trust me when I say there was an abundance of goodness buried in it all.
- The kids had a bit of a roller coaster ride over the weekend as they worked through the sale of their home and “thought” they had a winning bid on pretty much the home of their dreams. Sadly, about the same time they received the “punch list” from the acceptance inspection their offer on the other house didn’t pan out. So, they’re feeling like they got thrown from the coaster at this point which is tough.
- Our grandson, Jacob, began his first job on Saturday: wow, could he really be 16? Very much a major change in his little world and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’ll adapt to the work routine and begin to find his niche in that always challenging world of the working high school student.
- About the only other thing of note is I finally went and had my back x-rayed to make sure a lifetime of abusing my poor back hadn’t done any real harm. I’ve found that it’s been a bit sore over the past year after pulling it rather severely back in May of 2015 and then getting it tweaked pretty good when we had our collision on the motorcycle in Daytona last October. Thankfully, my Ortho said he wished all of his patients were as healthy as I was and what he was hearing from me, seeing in the x-rays and could tell from his physical examinations didn’t suggest my back had anything other than normal wear and tear with a few old fracture indications to prove it. Adding planking or some back exercises to my normal routine would definitely be helpful.