This summer’s getaway: better than ever

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Sep 27th, 2014
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I’ve often said that I need to record events in my life so that I won’t forget. This years vacation is not the case. It was the definitive “unforgettable” trip. A trip of a lifetime.

This year we packed up and headed west. (That was pretty much the sum total of our planning. West. How could we fail with a rock-solid plan like that?) Weather and finances be damned, we boarded the dog, tucked the children away with other people, and proceed to pack up the Harley with what we hoped were enough clothes for roughly ten days.

From our neck of the woods, heading due west will take you straight to the St. Louis area. And while it’s a lovely area, we had been there within the last year so we made no effort passing through to stop. Except we had to stop. Under an overpass.

A torrential summer rain had me wetter than Shelley Winters during the filming of the Poseidon Adventures.

153048__shelley_l

 

 

 

 

 Twinsies.

 

 

 

 

Yep, that’s just what I looked like by the time we found a place to get out of traffic and pull over. You can just bet that I was stunning.  But the rain didn’t last and we journeyed on.

 

Further we drove into Missouri and Kansas loomed in our future.  I sat on the back of the bike searching my brain for whatever knowledge I could dredge up about the Missouri/Kansas area.  My educated mind came up with the following items:  a large river, Sunflowers, Leavenworth Penitentiary, barbeque, and something about Mark Twain.  Ya’ll, it’s a wonder Mensa isn’t beating my door down wanting to vote me their next president.  Don’t you just know that somewhere there is a history teacher knocking back tequila shots and looking up hand baskets on eBay for all his former students to ride to hell?  I apologize, Mr. Sixth Grade teacher.  It’s not just you, I can’t remember geometry either.  And the only way for me to remember anything about government is to sing that Schoolhouse Rock song from Saturday morning cartoons.  Maybe you should get a song?

schoolhouse rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

( I don’t remember Bill saying this!)

 

 

As we ventured into Kansas, I suddenly remembered something about Kansas.  Something wonderful about Kansas.  A Kansas Superstar!!!  The lovely Sherri Bailey lives in Kansas!  Ans suddenly I knew what had to happen.  I had to see Sher LIVE AND IN PERSON!  (For those of you not in the know, I met Sher online and instantly wanted to be her best-friend/side-kick.  She’s smart and funny and one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.   Sher and I had joked for a couple of years that we needed to meet up and spend some quality time together creating a ruckus.  So I pulled out my phone, jumped on the internet, and sent a virtual shout-out to Sher.  While travelling 75 mph down the interstate.  Ain’t technology wonderful?

Long story, whatever….The Man and I made it to Sher’s house and she even greeted us just like we were regular people.  Now knowing that I just landed on her doorstep out of the clear blue and looking like something that washed up during low tide, I should have been shy and embarrassed.  But folks, I ain’t never been shy, and if you had put your own swollen-from-the-wind-and-rain eyes on the sight of Sherri squealing and dancing on tiptoes in her driveway as YOU pulled up, you wouldn’t have cared either.  The good Lord above has to love a woman who shouts ” If I had known you were coming, I would’ve built a cake!” the first time she lays eyes on you.

We were fed some delicious Kansas City bbq (which is the best bbq, in my opinion) and got to spend about an hour or so chit chatting about this and that.  So the next time you read about some cool person on-line and think to yourself, “boy would I like to meet that person”, just know that it can be done.  Or better yet, go to http://sherbailey.com/ and see for your own self what I mean.

Back to the trip, after leaving Sher’s house, owe spent the night about an hour away.  Not a bad day’s ride all in all.  Three and a half states away, a new/old friend, good eats and a comfy bed to lay in and reflect on the day.  Vacation is good.

 

(Shout out to JD for going to get the food.  I do love me some tall guys with bbq.)

 

Tomorrow:  Headed north.

Seven things about me that you never wanted to know

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Aug 30th, 2010
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I read alot of blogs. Big blogs, small blogs, humorous and informative. With all this reading, I’ve run into a fair amount of lists. And since it’s been a very (*ahem) long time since I’ve written anything, I thought I would try one of these new-fangled listy things all the kids are raving about.

So here are seven (unless I run out of things that are interesting or someone flashes a shiny object in front of me)things about me that you probably didn’t need to know. If you’re not a fan of useless information, you should just go ahead and clickity-click on that little red “X” up there in the corner. Go ahead. I won’t cry. Much.

1) I have cartoon feet. The patron saint of Hanna-Barbara bestowed upon me the feet of Fred Flinstone. The are wide, squarish appendages with round, stubby toes. (You totally want to make out with me right now, right?) Plus, I can stop a car. Probably.

2) I like to touch things. Now before you call the cops, it might not be what you think. I am a very tactile person and certain textures just make my brain happy. Let’s just say that I’m far better being at the Children’s Museum, instead of the Art Museum. Also? Certain fabrics can give me the hhhhuuuuzzzzzz. You know that spine-shaking, creep-fest that crawls up and down your skin? That’s the hhhuuuuzzzzz. Trees, flowers, kitties, marble, linen, and the softest leather? Love. Them. Hard.

3) Food. I love it, but on the other hand I may be the most non-picky person about food EVER. Animal, vegetable, mineral, blue, green, chunky, pasty? Whatev. Gimme. Just throw some groceries down my throat and let’s move on.

4) Due to the nature of my job, I have acccess to some of the most exotic and eclectic alcoholic beverages in the U.S. I have a full stocked bar at home that would make the local tavern jealous. Lagers, and porters, and bocks and beers. Imported, domestic, micro-brew and craft vineyard. But. But. I drink the same bourbon every single time. I don’t know if this a habit or laziness or loyalty. I choose not to think about it too much.

5) If my bra doesn’t match my panties, I’m uncomfortable all day. Also, I cannot bear cheap underthings. They make me squeamish.

6) If there is less than 3/4 of a bottle of laundry detergent on the house, my teeth hurt. From the clenching. With worry. I might run out. I feel much better knowing that if there is a zombie invasion or a plague of pestilence that would keep me from leaving my house, I will have aleast 1.75 bottles of detergent at my disposal.

7) I would rather have someone beat me with a large pissed off squirrel than do dishes. So it’s a good thing that I have teenagers in the house to do my bidding. And load the dishwasher. When I was a kid, my parents had a dishwasher but we weren’t allowed to use. My dad made is known to one and all that that “contraption” wasted water that he PAID FOR. So I did dishes every night. It was good training for me because I know have the stamina to tolerate the whining from the teenagers when they have to put dishes in and push the button. O, the agony.

So, there are seven things about me that you really didn’t want to know. You may now consider yourself my very good friend. The kind that bakes me cakes and tells me I’m pretty as they brush my hair.

Hot for Teacher

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Jul 8th, 2010
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Day 4: Washington, DC
Temperature: 102
Likelihood of heat-induced brain trauma: 75%
Likelihood of me fanning my T-shirt so vigorously that I inadvertantly flash a senator’s aide during his lunch: 90%

I’m feeling not funny today, so this post is likely to be full of suckage. But whatev. I’m committed to finishing this thing. I jotted down a few notes yesterday, so the chances of this being mildly coherent are up slightly. So at least there’s that.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, Capitol Building. We parked there and died. Not really, but now that we were no longer moving, the air seemed stifling. (Gah, I need spellcheck. Is that right? Stifling? Doesn’t seem right.) Looking around the Mall, we personafied typical tourists, all gape-mouthed and whatnot. As we stumbled towards the big fancy buildings, this approached us.

This is Dave. Everybody say hi, Dave! Dave is a high school science teacher and may have saved our lives. He kindly offered to pedal our sweaty asses around the Mall for an undetermined amount of money. Dave drives a Pedi-cab when he’s not teaching science to adolescents and works for tips. Since we have cash and looming heat-strokes, we take him up on his offer.

I’m quite sure that Dave is the hot teacher at his high school and all the girls giggle whenever he talks about positive ion attraction and big bang theories. He is a fountain of information and told us more about the area and buildings than we could have gotten from any tourist-y booklets. Since he knew we were in town for only a few hours, he filled us in on which places were best and which would not be worth our time.

I have lots of pictures like this. I didn’t want to lean too far out of my seat and take a chance on swaying the Pedi-cab rickshaw thingy, thus causing Dave to get irritated and throw me out, leaving me to die along the street.

After pedaling 2/3’s of the way around, we disembarked, paid the cute teacher and started to head into the first of many Smithsonian biuldings. This is when we overheard Dave the Cute Teacher negotiating with his next client. He offered to take the couple HALF the distance we had just ridden, for well OVER the price we had just paid. Clearly, we are cheap and he is re-thinking the whole “working for tips” thing. But in our defense, he told us to just pay whatever we thought was fair. Meh. I hate being cheap. I also hate being guilted into paying more. FAK!

We loaded up our guilt and plowed into the first building, surrounded by middle schoolers on field trips and Griswold family vacationers. First up, the Air and Space Building.

Then the Museum of Natural History


RAWR!

I think this one looks sneaky. I suspect that dinosaurs were assholes like that.

And that’s when it happened. You know how you can go somewhere, somewhere far away, somewhere no one ever goes and then you see someone you know? Well there he was. My Ex. The Milkdud himself.


Hi, Asshat.

After that, it was time to change buildings and hope The Milkdud wouldn’t find us. The Museum of American History. (My apologies for the poor quality of pics, it’s really dark in there and my camera is ashamed of the fact that it is smarter than me.)


You can almost smell the napalm and weed.

I have oodles more pictures, but I’m afraid this is turning into a slideshow at Aunt Liz’s house of their trip to Bumfuckville while eating crappy appetizers and inhaling Uncle Raymond’s second-hand cigar smoke and beer farts.

A few more buildings later, as our blood reached the temperature of lava, we headed back to Chesapeake Bay and comfy beds and air conditioning.

Stop back by tomorrow, there will be bears, hikers and funeral processions. Not neccesarily in that order.

Bye Dave! You’ll always be my Capitol Crush!

A New Bright Shiny Day

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Jul 3rd, 2010
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After spending the night fearing for my health and safety, not to mention dousing my entire body in 38 gallons of Purell, we headed out for rounds of antibiotics…I mean a hearty breakfast. Making our way eastward we proceeded towards the coast, with our only planned stop for the day being York, Pennsylvania.

Now you may ask what is in York that would attract two happy vacationers? Why it was the birthplace of Christine. Are you still puzzled? Christine is the name that The Man has given to his motorcycle and York is the home of the Harley-Davidson factory where it, I mean she, was born.

We arrived there that afternoon and signed in for a factory tour. We were only allowed a limited tour since the factory was currently making the 2011 models and they had not released them to the public yet. We browsed around the lobby until the tour was ready to begin and after a short introductory movie, we were fitted with protective eyewear and earpieces so that we could hear our tour guide.

Let me be the first to say that this may not be a girly-girl place. But on a coolness scale, this place still rates pretty high. The large machinery, the cool robotic technology, the brawny men walking around in tight shirts……wait. Where was I? Oh yeah, the gorgeous paint colors, the acres of bright shiny chrome…it was still enough to hold this girl’s attention.

No cameras or recording devices were allowed inside the factory, but I have a few pictures from the lobby that show the process.

Pieces and parts

Frame (This factory only makes the larger touring bikes.)

The Man gets a look in his eye when he’s surrounded by this much chrome. It’s the same look I get when I walk in a designer shoe store.

It’s starting to look like….something?

What I find completely amazing about this whole thing, is that it only takes them two hours to build one of these beautiful pieces of machinery. No matter what paint color, no matter what emission stardards (different countries have different requirements), no matter what bells and whistles you require, it’s still two hours and out the door. Hell, I can barely get ready to go out in two hours! But then again, I’m an older model and they don’t even make some parts for me anymore.

After again succumbing to the lure of the gift shop, we loaded up (I pushed The Man kicking and screaming) and headed back out on the road. Rural Pennsylvania is actually quite pretty and I enjoyed the scenery until we crossed into Baltimore.

Word of warning: Do not announce that you are from Indiana while in Baltimore. Especially if you are wearing a Colts shirt. They are apparently still quite bitter.

We tossed a coin, or followed a tractor, or came to some conclusion that we should head south. Another hour of so of wandering around found us here:

We did it! We made it all the way to the coast! We were on Chesapeake Bay and there we would stay for the night. In a real room, with clean sheets and hot water and eveything! Room service! Soap! Down-filled duvet on a king-sized bed!

Edited to add: Mileage totals Day 3: 853 miles
Condition of hind-quarters on a 1-10 scale: 6.5
Median Outdoor Temp: 418 degrees Farhenheit (estimate)
Number of poor meal choices: 3

Tomorrow – The Beach

How to pack the whole world in a Ziplock bag

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Jun 8th, 2010
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So, in a few days the man and I are leaving on vacation. Being the free spirits that we are, we will not hesitate to jump on the Harley and zip off for ten days with no particular destination. Yep, ten whole days. On a motorcycle. Two of us.

While on the surface this sounds idyllic, let’s look at the practicalities. Here is our mode of transportation for said ten days.

Notice the failure of adequate packing area? Holy crap! And this has to hold everything for TWO people. The last trip was for seven days, and I’m pretty sure I had to buy new underwear to make it through. Now it’s time to make a plan of attack on this issue. Let’s start at the top and work our way down. (That’s what he said.)

Hair and various products to make it not appear like a taxidermied pelt. Travel size washing and rinsing agents are readily available. And cute. Various blowing, drying, curling and straightening tools. Not gonna happen. Most reputable motels with the exception of Chunky Bob’s Love Palace provide hair dryers, so I guess that just leaves curling my hair around empty beer cans before bed every night. It’s like recycling, folks! Hopefully the motel dumpster will provide enough Old Milwaukee cans to leave me looking like I’m ready for civilization.

It takes a daily plethora of potions and volatile solutions to prep this face for the world. I will be culling this down to the bare basics. I will only be packing the necessary items needed to not scare and/or scar children and/or small animals. The rest of world should just look away.

Clothing. Herein lies the problem. Sure, we could skip on undies and ride commando, but over a thousand miles on a small leather seat with the seam of your new cool jeans wrapping around your ovaries makes one testy. Seam chafing your labia majorly? Seam rubbing the jay off your vajayjay? “Insert your own disturbing phrase here.”

Since we will not be attending any grand affairs or red-carpet events, comfy jeans and cute tops will suffice. Throw in some t-shirts for the man, and we will be all ready for All-You-Can-Eat-Barbeques and roadside flea markets.

Shoes. There will be arguments over the packing of shoes. Namely cute shoes. I choose to live in denial for now. Or at least until the fighting begins.

Various technological devices. *sigh* Dear Laptop-on-which-I-am-typity-typing, I will miss you. Please do not think that I have abandoned you for another. I promise to return to you with tales of wonder and will google all the places that I’ve been. I will upload pictures for you to see and download any new music that I find while I’m away. Yes, the new camera and the newer ipod will be making the journey with me, but only to keep me amused while we’re apart.

The man will probably make me pack practical things like rain suits and sunscreen. I will argue for cute shoes. He will win as soon as I realize that it’s vacation and I dont’ care. Just don’t expect any pictures of my feet.

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