It was good to have a weekend where we stayed pretty close to home. In fact, the furthest away we went was probably on our two tandem bicycle rides. Otherwise, I didn’t even get in the truck except to go to work on Friday morning and to Loco Willy’s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think the only place Debbie went was Pike’s nursery, another short trip and the short drives to Brewster’s, Guston’s and SuBourbon’s on Friday & Saturday nights. The Loco’s thing, yeah… that was a little excessive but there’s a story behind Sunday’s visit.
The day began with a trip into the office, as there was a small event taking place around 10:00am I needed to attend. It actually worked out pretty well as I was able knock out a couple of hours of work on the network servers that would not have been as easy to do at home via my laptop.
The event was over around 10:45am and Debbie and I had discussed meeting for lunch at The Red Eyed Mule on Thursday night so the timing was perfect. I rang her as I walked out to the truck and invited her to come on. Interestingly enough, she made it to The Mule before I did; I would have never guessed it took less time to make the 7.6 mile drive from the house to the Mule than it did to go the 4 miles from work. Anyway, always good to see Enrique and the rest of the crew at The Mule and the Jakes Big Daddy is still the best burger we’ve ever had. To our regular readers, yes, we still split just the one burger: it’s more than enough for the two of us!
Now back at home after lunch, it was around 1:30 when we headed out for an afternoon tandem ride on our 25-mile loop from the house. It was sunny and warm, but not too humid: near perfect weather for cycling. Amazingly, I don’t believe we had any upsetting encounters with motorists on Friday’s ride and the tandem performed pretty well with just one slight adjustment to the shifting made on the fly.
Back at the house I shifted into yard care mode as there were several bushes and shrubs that needed to be trimmed and the back & side yard also needed to be mowed. Much to the amusement of our neighbors, I didn’t even bother to change out of my cycling shorts as I went about my yard chores. It was just that kind of weather.
We wrapped up what we were doing at the house around 5:00pm and were cleaned up and headed to Loco Willy’s for our weekly ‘Finally a Friday’ celebration & dinner around 6:00pm. Word was, we’d have about 8 friends joining us at Loco’s for dinner. We started our evening off at the bar and had the large table for 10-12 reserved. I believe it was our friend Dave who was the first to show up around 6:15pm. Shortly thereafter David & Deb came in followed by Ryan, Jeanette, Bobby & Carrie Ann. Another friend, Matt, came along a short while later. As always, we had a grand time. Debbie and I split a green salad and fish tacos as usual. I’d brought along a dozen Petit Fours so we could celebrate Brian’s birthday (Brian is our friend and usual Friday and Saturday bartender), but to our surprise he’d gone to Florida to celebrate. So, we shared the small cakes with the rest of the staff at Loco’s and our friends: yummy little suckers and only 120 calories!
The reason behind the dinner get-together at Loco’s was a post-dinner drive over to Brewsters Neighborhood Bar & Grill where another friend and his band, Stacey and “The Wanted”, would be playing a gig. It had been a long time since we’d seen Stacey and his wife Marla and equally as long since we’d gone to Brewsters on a Friday or Saturday night. We ran into a lot of the folks we’ve met from the local area who run the biker-bar circuit and make the trek down to Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach for the bike week events. Again, just good to see old friends and Stacey’s band was really good. In fact, they played a lot of music Debbie and I could actually dance to and there was just enough room in front of the band for 2-3 couples to tear up the floor… so we did! It was a great night out!
Much to my surprise, Debbie and I both slept in. It’s rare for me to sleep past 7:00am even on a weekend, but son-of-a-gun if we didn’t sleep the early part of the morning away. I even missed the start of the 24 hours of Le Mans; endurance racing is the best! Thankfully, the 24 hr is a long race and I’d be able to catch up during the frequent recaps throughout the next day. It made for some very nice background noise later in the day.
I want to say it was just around 11:30am when we headed out for our second tandem ride of the weekend. We both seemed to be a little less fresh than we were on Friday and I suspect being out with our friends on Friday night may have had something to do with that! But, it was another beautiful day and it felt good to get two back-to-back rides on the tandem during the weekend. Unlike Friday, we did have a couple close encounters with motorists who want to get just a bit too close to us as they speed by at 45 mph. Seriously, we’re talking inches not feet and I have no idea why someone would tempt fate like that. Are they oblivious to us? Do they think they’re going to intimidate us by putting us in fear for our lives? What possesses someone to take such a huge risk by putting the lives of complete strangers in harm’s way?
I just don’t get it. Oh well, it just reminds me I need to position our bike further into the road so as to remove the temptation for motorists to pass against on coming traffic instead of waiting until it’s safe for them to pass. Putting that aside, we were able to relax back on our breezeway after the ride and it was absolutely delightful as we actually had a bit of a breeze plus the overhead fans going.
Once we arrived back at the house one of the other big events that graced our Telly was the second day of America’s Cup from Bermuda. We watched the work-up to the Americas Cup with the Louis Vuitton series and were amazed to see how the Cup’s yacht racing technology and format had advanced: they have truly figured-out how to bring the excitement and tactical nature of sailing to the masses in the closed-course formats where a race lasts 20 minutes, not several hours. Once the Cup racing was over for the day – the US cup defender Team Oracle having lost all of its races thus far against New Zealand – I switched the telly on our breezeway back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and headed out to the garage to spend a little more time getting our Honda S2000 ready for going on the market while Debbie headed off to the nursery to get some flowers for the yard.
Sadly, this would be the last time I put a coat of Zaino wax on the S2000. It’s a bitter-sweet moment in that the little red Honda has been Debbie’s daily driver since March 2005. In its 12.5 years with us, it’s never once left Debbie stranded on her daily commute or while out running errands. Amazingly, I think there was only one time during that 12.5 years when we headed off in the S2000 for a pleasure drive: I know, shocking isn’t it!?!?
Of course, bear in mind during that same time we also had motorcycles for two-up pleasure rides: the Honda CBR1100, followed by the short-lived BMW R1150RT and then came the Harley-Davidsons. Add to that how much time we’d spend cycling and it becomes clear why there’s no point in holding onto the S2000: it’s just going to sit in the garage collecting dust. And, while some S2000 enthusiasts have suggested the little cars are appreciating in value every year, I’m not sure the increased value will ever outstretch the cost of insurance, maintenance and storage solutions needed to free up valuable garage space, e.g., a lift or leasing a place to park it.
So, all that said, I gave the car a good cleaning on the inside, put another coat of Zaino on the outside, pulled the tonneau cover out of storage (No one, and I mean no one ever uses these on an S2000 because there just awful) and took a few photos for posterity after pulling out of the garage so I could move Debbie’s Accord into the middle bay for a wash.
The Accord has been a great car that Debbie really enjoys. In some respects I’m amazed she stuck with the S2000 for as many years as she did. While they’re fun cars to drive, getting in and out of the S2000 is not easy since you’re sitting only about a foot off the ground and truly do have to climb up and out of the car. Then there is the manual transmission with the very heavy clutch that becomes a curse during stop and go traffic: Debbie encountered more than her fair share of stop and go traffic over the past 12.5 years! And then there’s the lack of storage space and the inability to put all but the most limber of people in the passenger seat. Yeah, just not a practical car. In fact, we have a friend who is looking to put is daughter in a car for college who asked about the S2000. As much as I’d like to sell it I had to tell him, “I can’t think of a less practical car for a young person headed to college than an S2000.” I think he knew that, but it’s just one of those cars you want to have when you see it. Anyway, the S2000 is pretty much ready to be dropped off at the dealer’s lot which will free up the center bay of the garage for my truck. And that means I’ll be able to resume commuting to work via motorcycle.
The motorcycles have been sitting during the week since, with just the three garage bays but no parking pad, I’ve had to take the truck or S2000 to work just to make sure Debbie could get her Accord in and out of the garage. Well, that and I don’t like having a car parked out in front of the house. So, this will be goodness, as will canceling the insurance once it sells since a Honda S2000 is one of the more expensive cars to insure.
Washing cars may not seem like a big deal, but we’ve had so much rain of late I don’t think I’ve bothered to wash Debbie’s car since perhaps early May. The Zaino wax products I use do a great job of keeping grit and grime from collecting on the car’s finish and the color of the car also hides the dirt that is there. These things have made it easy to skip washing the car as it’ll just get dirty again when the rain comes in during the upcoming week. However, you do get a point when they just need to be washed and that was where both the Accord and my truck were on Saturday. So, good to have them both clean again. The Accord even got a second coating of Zaino!
While all of his was going on Debbie had been out buying flowers for the garden and was setting those out while I washed the truck. She’d wait until Sunday to plant them as it was getting close to 5:00pm and we needed to clean up for dinner at… you guessed it: Loco Willy’s. Yeah, we (a) probably go out to eat too much and (b) always seem to go to Loco Willy’s. There will be an occasional visit to Henry’s Taste of Louisiana, JD’s BBQ, The Red Eyed Mule or one of a handful of other restaurants friends will suggest, but Loco’s is our go-to place. On the bright side, the food prices at Loco’s are very reasonable to the point where it’s hard to make the same meals at home for the same money. Of course, the cost of the adult beverages is another story… cest la vie.
With Brian still being out on vacation Christian had Josh filling-in behind the bar: Josh is another great barkeeper who worked with Christian years back at the Wild Wing Café in Marietta. Just to keep it interesting, we ordered our usual green salad but went with 8 hot wings for a change of pace: yummy! It’s not a lot of food, but just enough to keep us fueled and that’s how we like it! Our friends David & Deb joined us for dinner and we had a grand time with them and all of our other friends who frequent Loco’s. Yeah, it’s not just us who are there a lot. Loco’s has a huge following of regulars, some who are there every day!
Around 8:30 we headed over to another local bar & grill called Guston’s where the band 3 Left Standing was playing. I’ve probably mentioned them a few times in previous blog entries, as they’re an exceptionally good cover band that play nothing but music you can dance to. That’s our kind of night out! We met our friends Bobby & Carrie Ann, Ryan & Jeanette, Mike & Betty Anne, Matt, Scott, Katelyn & Zack, Danielle and Morgan who had also gone to Guston’s for dinner. The band was great, we ran into a lot of friends whom we know from the local cover band nightclub circuit and we did a lot of dancing! Our dear friend Kreg was also on hand with the lovely Miss Linda who didn’t make it into Kreg’s photo-op with us.
I think it was around 11:30pm when we said our goodbyes and started to head home. However, Debbie said she could really go for some pizza – a habit we got into in Key West after a night of dancing a few years and trips to Key West back – and the best place I could think of for some good pizza was SuBourbon’s in Kennesaw. We ran into our friend and owner Dave as we arrived, not realizing in addition to being the owner and jack of all trades around his clubs, he was going to be the DJ once the live band packed up at midnight. In addition to getting a couple slices of Pisano’s loaded pizza as a midnight snack we also were able to get in a few more dances, with both the band and then after Dave took over as the DJ. It was a good way to cap off a great night out with great friends.
We were up at a reasonable time so I could watch the end of the 24 hours of Le Mans. And while the weather was looking quite nice in the morning for Father’s Day the forecast and weather radar suggested it would be short-lived. We spent the morning working on the yard so as to take advantage of the nice weather.
Debbie worked in the garden along the front retaining wall while I pulled-out the pressure washer to tackle the front sidewalk. While it might seem a bit odd to power wash a public sidewalk, I know of no other way to make sure it remains safe to walk on while also looking fresh. There was a little bit of something starting to grow in the shady areas that would eventually become slick so it had to go. And, when they tore out our old front lawn and installed the new Bermuda sod a few weeks back the sidewalk got scuffed up a bit. So, this two to three-hour project would hopefully fix all of that. It was a mess at times but the final results were spectacular!
Debbie finished up with her flowers about the same time as I finished the walk, so that was pretty good timing.
As we finished the America’s Cup came back on for the second day of racing. The rain was just about on top of us as well so we decided to wrap up things in the yard and move to the breezeway and veranda where we could enjoy the cooling breeze from the rain while staying dry and watching yacht racing on the telly.
Debbie headed upstairs to get cleaned up for what would be our 3rd visit to Loco’s for the weekend while I finished watching the America’s Cup. About the time we were both almost ready to head off for a late lunch we heard a transformer short out then explode quickly followed by the shutdown of all our electrically powered stuff. Yeah, well no sense in sitting around without lights, air conditioning, or network access so we moved up our departure time by about 30 minutes for the soggy 8.3 mile / 15 minute drive to Loco Willy’s. We knew they’d have the FIFA Gold Cup match on along with the NASCAR race from Michigan, Braves baseball and pro golf.
We also know we’d find a few friends there as well and could have a mid-afternoon meal in place of lunch and dinner. Well, to make a long visit short, we arrived around 2:30pm, split the Reuben for our late lunch, ended up being joined by our friends Ryan & Jeanette around 7:15pm, Debbie ordered some nacho’s when they ordered their Ahi Poke and I went with the fish tacos, but only ate one.
Apparently it’s true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun and we were having a lot of fun! We had Christian, Ashley and the Loco’s crew along with a gaggle of friends who kept streaming in and out for most of the afternoon before Ryan & Jeanette arrived and we always have a great time with Ryan & Jeanette! It was truly an amazing way to spend a rainy afternoon and it was a perfect ending to a pretty darn good weekend. I think we finally left around 8:30pm.
When we arrived at home it appeared as though the power had remained off for about 2 hours, just going off the lag time on the appliances with built-in clocks. So, yeah… getting out of the house was the right call.
Although we do like to get away now and again it was good to have a weekend at home. We’ll most likely stay close to home again next weekend unless we decided to make a quick trip to a cocktail party some friends are having on Saturday evening. It would be a about three hours of driving for a two-hour gathering, but it would be great to see this group of friends again sooner rather than later.
The 4th of July weekend is looking pretty busy and with five days off it was REALLY tempting to jump on a plane to Key West on Friday and come back Monday. However, we had already cooked up a less expensive, alternative plan that will likely be just as enjoyable and may allow us to visit with a few other friends over the long holiday weekend.
The week of 9 July we’ll head to Pennsylvania to visit with my folks for a few days before heading down to Manheim, PA, for the Tandem East “Tour de Chocolate” tandem cycling rally on Friday-Sunday. Still trying to decide if we’ll try to make it all the way home on Sunday or break up the 750 mile drive with a layover somewhere else. We are even considering heading back to my folks on Sunday afternoon to squeeze out one more day before doing the one-day drive on Monday.
We’re still mulling over the details of a possible trip to Costa Rica in late July / early August. Debbie and I have never left the Continental United States for a vacation trip and just being in relax mode for a few days strikes fear into my heart; I’m not good at sitting around… despite our recent 6 hour visit to Loco Willy’s! We’ll see how this plays out.
I think we’re at home the rest of August and have not yet cooked up a Labor Day plan.
We have the Southern Tandem Rally as an option for 22-24 September up in Salisbury, North Carolina but haven’t made a firm commitment for that.
We’re also looking at Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida on 19-22 October and investigating lodging options. The HomeAway site is showing 89% booked so far and it’s truly slim pickings on multi-bedroom condos or home rentals… which is about the only way to do the bike rally without dropping $1,000 for three nights in a Hampton Inn.