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.

Sparks start fires

Sparks start fires

True statement – I don’t think I have the power to tell anyone what to do, but if I can spark a thought, a change in attitude or even make you wonder I’m doing the job I set out to do with this blog. Ok maybe that wasn’t my orginial purpose but I like the idea. 

I know I can’t get everyone on board with Star Wars…Lord love ya! I do want to spread some positivity. Am I positive all the time…ummm no. I have my moments of being in the pit of negativity, but it’s all about how we pull ourselves out and move on. I did say I would try to keep it real. I’ve held to that even when it’s a bit on the personal side, and feels very much like I’m exposing parts of myself I’d rather keep hidden. This is a journey, an experience, a voyage possibly to a new frontier…well maybe not space but in a direction inspiration takes me. 

I’ve been inundated with Star Wars memes this evening and they’ve obviously gone to my head. Along with the Stars Trek movie I watched. As for travel I’m about to hit the road some more. In some cases to places I’ve been and other times it will all be new. With the new year I plan to incorporate both blogs into this one. Just easier to keep up with. Plus I’m sure a little travel, food and adventure will interest a few. 

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes…my roll as a parent and mother gives me plenty, work has its own set, and then there’s my personal decision to make new choices or take the road less traveled because I can. As I start this new year I hope to continue in those choices. I realized as I started writing the travel blog that I had to do more than just travel. I needed a plan or idea of what I would like to see or do in the places I visited or else nothing would be seen or experienced. Yes it’s tiring and requires some serious motivation when you’re working and putting in the hours but it’s worth it. Go with some places or ideas in mind, ask locals for suggestions, be willing to get in the car and drive till you see something interesting or take a walk. 

This year includes some bucket list states for my son and I. A pirate adventure….for real I’m going to Gasparilla. Got a wedding in Colorado in the mountains to attend…omg you know there will be pictures galore. Plus so much more!

So fire up your inspiration and find your inner spark and light it up! Let’s start 2017 off with a flourish and finish with a bang!

Continuing to keep it as real as possible.

-G.