Let’s go for a ride

Let’s go for a ride

Last week, I was in Florida working and extended my trip through the weekend to spend time with my friends. Taking a mini-vacation! Like super mini. We had things planned out pretty much, but a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle to the beach totally turned my head. 

It has been so long since I’ve ridden I can’t even recall the year. I just know it was with my dad. When I was a little bitty thing my parents put me on a bike in a diaper and a dew rag…favorite picture ever! The picture is gone thanks to a house fire when I was 15, but the memory lives on. That last time riding with my dad I remember I was finally tall enough and strong enough to hold his bike up. Well I still had to lean heavily to one side. Those short legs of mine and that Yamaha didn’t go together. He had more than one so he took one sister and I took the other! I was excited because I’d finally earned the right to ride by myself on one of his bikes. Dad would normally take two of us or one at a time. Off we went for a ride down the back roads enjoying our time together. As a kid of divorced parents sometimes it was tough, so I loved those times with him. I miss the opportunity to spend time with him but cancer is a real bastard. 

I didn’t realize until we were tooling down the road how much I would be reminded of those times and would miss him in that moment. It about brought tears to my eyes and I didn’t want to ruin a happy time with sadness. I sucked it up and knew that it was going to be another awesome experience to go along with the times I spent riding with my dad. There was a huge grin that could NOT be wiped off my face…my joy was apparent cause my dimples were showing! 

I’m on the controlling side so it says a lot when I have trust in the driver because I never worried or got anxious. There are people I’ve ridden with that I never wanted to get behind again, or I wanted to take over! He wasn’t one of those – because I got on that bike any time there was an opportunity. Cold as hell that last time out but totally worth it. Too bad for him I spent most of my time sight seeing, so I didn’t say a whole lot. I know my head was on a swivel. I had never been to the Tampa area and I was taking it all in. Lots of farm country – more than I expected. Well I did give notice to be prepared for my cold hands cause I tucked them anywhere I could. Lol No shame my fingers were freezing!

The tiki bar was fun and the music was interesting. Karaoke would’ve been way more entertaining. The views of Tampa Bay were exceptional. There was a cruise ship coming out of Port so the sun was an amazing backdrop. Food was good…my shrimp tacos were delicious. On another day we saw the manatees. I had never seen them in person or mangroves so that was fun. Check out the video of the manatees swimming around by the coal plant. They like the warm water this time of year…it’s about 20 degrees warmer. 

The horticulturalist in me was excited to see and touch the mangroves. I did not remove any since that’s against the law fyi. I’m a bird watching enthusiast – my nerdiness knows no bounds. Really. Did a little bird watching, saw a sea turtle and some huge redfish. Ummm just hand me a rod and reel cause redfish are good eating! I’ll just need someone to bait it and remove the fish. Yes I have high expectations when it comes to fishing, but I will catch a ton if they’re biting! After some wildlife adventures we were off to the Hot Tomato. Holy cow the BLT has 10 pieces of bacon on it. Excellent little hole in the wall. Highly recommend that place. Sorry I ate the sandwich and never thought about taking a pic. Just trust me on this one.

Cruise ship in the distance

Mangrove roots
Brown Pelican

So the weekend didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was what I needed and didn’t even know it. It was relaxing and I enjoyed the people I was with and the places we went. Obviously I need to do this more often – find that work/life balance. Don’t get me wrong I would’ve had a great time with the original plan this was a fabulous alternative. Go for a ride on a Harley with a fantastic person or just tool down the road on your own!

HAVE FUN! Enjoy life’s little moments!

-G.

Life’s Highway…

Life’s Highway…

It makes for a pleasant day when you get an unexpected surprise of the good sort. I waltzed into the tax collector’s office to pay my taxes and discovered the amount  was significantly lower than what I estimated in the spring. I’m pretty sure the collector has never had anyone questioning a lower amount nor willing to pay more. We both got a surprise that day.

It did make me think of times when I’ve been on the receiving end of some unpleasant surprises. I might even be willing to call it out right shock and devastation depending on which incident. Life is just screwy like that – you think your life is going along pretty good, then WHAM everything you thought was true turns out to be a lie. There you were thinking everything is finally falling into place and the road is pretty straight, which is miraculous all on its own.

I don’t know about you but that’s when I start analyzing every conversation, text, email, and facial expression to figure out how I missed a major clue that could’ve prevented this wreck. Or even more importantly so I could get off this highway to catastrophe long before the wreck even occurred. FYI just in case you’ve been looking there is no clear sign saying ‘yield or take a different road’ to let you know . If there is I keep missing the darn thing because I’m going too fast or I’m that ostrich with its head in the sand. Life is feeling so great that if I’m not looking then nothing bad will happen….ummm don’t believe that bull. It does happen because I didn’t get my head out of the sand or yield just to make sure I was on the correct road in the first place.

Rose colored glasses are wonderful but you’ve got to take them off on occasion and make sure the perception is the true reality. Today my reality was to be able to wear the rose colored glasses and savor the fact that my taxes were less than expected. Don’t worry I’ll be ripping those off pretty quick because I’m a planner, and I like all the facts and a clear view of what’s going on.

Obviously I’m just as fallible as anyone else and can be taken advantage of, lied to, and disappointed beyond belief, but it’s all in how you react to those moments in life. Do you let the situation or person keep you down or do you rise above? It took me a long time to realize that when I rise above I’m in control of my life not someone else. I’m the driver, and I’ll decide for myself if I drive pedal to the metal, yield, stop or take a new highway. That’s the glory of being in control – I can make the decisions going down life’s highway not someone else.

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-G.

*Photo taken by BStill and used with her permission.