Thursday, July 30, 2009

TC and Home



What a great time we have had on the trip. From great weather (only one real ride in the rain) and time to be together. Thanks to all of you who carried us in your prayers. We ended up traveling 5,200 miles over 30 days. Last night was in Traverse City and we made it home today. Robin is already cleaning and David is working on the last chapter of the manuscript. So, it looks like we are home. We can't wait until next year. Not sure where God will take us but we know it will be another wonderful David & Robin's Harley Adventures.

PS: There is a lot of riding still go this season. In fact, David thinks Friday looks like a great day for a Harley ride. Robin wants to peddle bike. Yep, we're home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birch Run ... 4 out of 5 stars

We landed in Birch Run, MI. It is good to get to our home state. We knew were home immediately when the bumps on the road ever 30 yards or so shock our helmets off. We also had our first near miss accidents on the highway when, not one, but two different drivers tried to change lanes without seeing us. It's good to be home.

But, Birch Run was a great choice to stop. It gets four out of five stars on our stop-o-meter. What are the five stars, you ask? (We know you want to know). One star is a great hotel (Every hotel has its own star system, however. So, as to confuse you on that point a this was a 4 out of 5 hotel we stayed in. The five stars for a good hotel ... not to be confused with the five stars we are still explaining for the stop ... has a warm pool, a good writing area, free wi-fi, hot breakfast and a laundry. This one didn't have a laundry).

Now, back to the topic. One star is a great hotel, another is a Starbucks in walking distance. The third is a Harley dealer within walking distance. The fourth is a good selection of restaurants. This place had all four of them. But, it didn't make our fifth stop-o-meter star because if failed to have a Barnes and Noble. So, if you want to use our stop-o-meter for your trips (and why not ... it has to be the things everyone wants in a stop) you can come to Birch Run. Oh, and if your own personal stop-o-meter has a sixth star and it is shopping, this would be a five out of six star stop.

See you tomorrow on our last day and night in Traverse City,

(No pictures today because when David bought his new Harley boots ... the old ones broke ... and tried them on with his short-shorts, Robin didn't have the camera. Let's just say he looked as good in his new boots, knee high black socks and short-shorts as Robin did hers. But, since he has no picture and Robin won't let him put her picture on the web you will have to take our word for it.)

PS: The stop to see the client in the Toledo area went very good and David will have a contract with the school district there. Remember, the new client called us the day before we were going to go by the school district. Can you say "miracle?"

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cleveland OH ... best burger on the road

We'll we finally left Niagara Falls, NY after three days and landed 210 miles southwest in Cleveland, OH. We thought we would go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For all you rock and roll fans this may sound disheartened, but we didn't go see it. We arrived in Cleveland early enough (noon), but David wanted to write and Robin wanted to swim (she hurts so much from swimming twice a day ... but, yet, she keeps going). So, David wrote and Robin went swimming. For dinner we took in a local pub called the West Park Station. We were able to get there early enough to have a cheeseburger for $5.00 with fries. Not only was it the best burger we had on the trip, we also spent the least we have for dinner anywhere. All that in the Buckeye State. David has to hold his nose just going through the state. (Just kidding Jeremy).

The good news is David had a new client contact him this morning via email and wanted to meet with him tomorrow. On vacation that is tough. But, the client just happens to be one exit off I-80 prior to the one we would normally take to Michigan, in Toledo. So, David is making a call on a client. It took 4,250 miles to get to the client (via Myrtle Beach, SC and Bar Harbor, ME) but he is going to get there. Wonder if the IRS will buy this?

Tomorrow we head for Birch Run, MI after David's appointment and then Wednesday onto our favorite hotel in our favorite city; the Park Hotel in Traverse City (it is our favorite city next to Chicago).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Niagara Falls

As you can see from the pictures, we made it to Niagara Falls. However, the trip from Utica was almost as wet as the trip to see the "mighty thunder" (that, we understand, is what "niagara" means for the indians who named the falls). We were in rain on and off for the 280 mile ride. But, it was worth it. We actually decided to stay a few days here to capture the beauty and power of the falls. We will let the pictures speak for themseleves. In one of the videos David actually takes a shower in the falls. If you can't spot him, he is the one in the yellow puncho.

On a lighter note, we do know we are getting closer to home and away from the more "enlightened and liberal" part of New England. We saw people wearing the following t-shirts yesterday: 1). "Freedom, Family and Firearms ... Welcome to my World." 2). "Old Guys Rule" (David's persoanal favorite). 3). "If you mess with me you will have to mess with the whole trailer park." When you see these kind of shirts you know you are getting close to home.







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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Utica, NY

Today we put almost 300 miles on the road and found the perfect place. We found the perfect place for David to write but also the perfect place to not eat, play or be. We landed in Utica, NY and found a nice old hotel called, appropriately the Hotel Utica. It is a grand place and the perfect place to write for David. Check out this picture of David writing in the hotel, or click on the name of the hotel above and visit their photo gallery. You can see why we decided to stop in Utica.








However, the rest of the town reminds us of Muskegon three years after the downtown mall moved out to Sternberg Road. It is like a ghosts town. We should have ridden 350 miles. Maybe tomorrow we will. But, David did make some progress on the book.

Tomorrow Niagara Falls, NY.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moose Tracks

We finally got a chance to ride the Harley today after about five days of puttsing around. We traveled from Bar Harbor, ME to Lincoln NH. We have several pictures below from our trip as we went over the White Mountains and the Kancamagus Scenic Parkway. We road through rural towns, a few small cities, the turnpike, a dirt road and a mountain climb. Good day for people who ride a bike.

You can see the pictures below. They are self explanatory. However, we thought we would post the pictures we wished we would have taken if we would have had a camera when we saw what we had a camera when we saw the event take place.
1). Like when it started raining in Maine and we pulled over in front of a fire department. Robin was going to put on her rain gear pants and fell right on her butt in front of the firemen. Wish we had a camera.
2). Another one was when we went to that expensive Bed and Breakfast in Cap Code. They have these plush white bath robes hanging in the closet. So, David put one on after a nice shower. Either B&B travelers are all really small men or David is really getting fat. If we had the camera for this it would be illegal to put that picture on the blog. Let's just say the robe was a size 7 and David isn't.
3). Then there was the picture of Robin trying on the her new Harley boots (the olds ones split on the soles). She had on her new boots, her black Harley socks, a short pair of Kakki shorts and a black tank top ... Can you say, "Harley Chick." (David actually took the picture but has been strickly warned what would happen if he post it to the blog ... stay tune some day after we return home.)
4). Then, the picture we didn't get that was the best picture of the worst moment of our trip. Tonight David was so upset that he hasn't seen a moose (although we have seen at least 100 signs warning us about moose crossings) that he went to the ice cream store and was forced to order a very large "Moose Tracks" ice cream cone. Robin, so she cna fit into those tight little Kakki shorts and her Harley boots, ordered a yogurt in a waffle cone. As David was feeding on his Moose Tracks tripple scoop, Robin decided she didn't like the yogurt and was going to toss it in the garbage and just eat the waffle cone. Now, here is where we needed the camera. As she knocked the yogurt into the garbage can she also knocked 90% of the waffle cone into the same can; worse moment of the trip ... a whole waffle cone gone ... just like that. David felt so bad that she lost her entire cone (who throws any type of ice cream away ... really now?) As we walked back to the hotel in silence, remembering this terrible moment, David ate all three scoops of his moose tracks and his entire waffle cone. He never offered one bite to Robin (should have had a camera for that).


Here are the other pictures we did get. Tomorrow we head for Utica, NY. (P.S. we only had rain for a few miles today.)






Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Answer to quiz and lobster looking at you.

We missed the rain again today and made it as far north as we are going: Bar Harbor, Maine. We took Highway 1 up the coast and saw some great ports in Maine.

First, to answer the quiz from yesterday. Bobby was correct in that grandpa was trying to trick our young grand-daughters. But, he was wrong on the way. Grandpa did say that Florida and Michigan were islands, but that was just a old man's mistake. He meant that they were "pennisulas." However, he did try to trick you. The quiz question was which state has more "coast lines?" It was not which states have more "shore lines?" Coast lines means the land when it toaches the ocean (Grandpa learned that from the Captian of the boat we were on). Maine has more "coast" lines because they have almost 3,000 islands off the shore of the state. That gives Maine more coast line then Alaska or Florida. Michigan doesnt' count because it only has "shore lines." All this is based upon the Captain of the boat, however.

Second, we have been along the Atlantic Ocean for almost two weeks. Each place we stop has numerous places to eat that serve Lobster. However, since Robin is highly allergic to fish we have not bother to order or investigate. The problem is that David loves fish. Since we are heading in-land and back toward Michigan tomorrow that made tonight the last chance to order it. So, here are some pictures. The first one is of Larry. That was the name David gave to the Lobster he ordered. Larry arrived on a plate with rice and brocolli (who knew lobster liked rice and brocolli?).















The second picture is of David in his bib eating Larry. (Robin wished David would wear a bib when he eats ice cream, pies, food, any thing).





















The third picture is the picture of Larry after David ate him.







David did better than Larry. Larry was a mess when David finished. But, he still had that long, dark stare at David. However, David would prefer to look at a hamburger ... there is nothing to look at after he eats that.
Tomorrow we head home. We have missed everyone and can't wait to get back. However, we have a ton of rain to fight through. So, prayers would be nice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quiz for Eyliana and Gabby from Portland, Maine

We decided to spend two days in Portland so David could write and Robin could swim in the warmest pool she has found (Robin likes warm pools). And, since we returned to Portsmouth last night to retreive the "perfect-swim-suit-that-could-never-be-left" we didn't get any time to investigate downtown Portland. We discovered it was a great idea to spend the extra time. We took the third boat ride of our trip to visit all the local islands and forts on the outer islands of Portland. So, here is the quiz for our brillant granddaughters, Eylianna & Gabby (Not to imply the other granddaughter, Katie, is not brillant ... it is just that we doubt if she will want to play our quiz). Eylianna & Gabby, which of the following states has more coast lines? 1). Michigan (an island) 2). Florida (an island) 3). Alaska (a ... piece of land) 4). Maine. Return tomorrow for the answer.


Here are some of our pictures. There were three or four forts on the island and some were even used in the war of 1812. We also took a picture of a very large barge carrying tons of crude oil and a nice boat that David would like to buy. We also took a picture of the second oldest lighthouse on the east coast and the most photographed light house in the country. So, we took a nice picture to keep light house in first place.


Tomorrow we move to Bar Harbor and answer the quiz question.






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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Opps ... not again

NEWS FLASH ... David and Robin left something at a hotel. This is really not a news flash. Hotels are used to having us call to ask if they found something we left there. Let's do a little inventory of our trip. 1). Personal tolietries left in a hotel in Louisville. We left the stuff there. You can always buy more. 2). Night light for when David gets up at night to go _____ left in a hotel in Tennesse. We left it there and didn't even call. The light was too bright anyhow. Since we left the light however, David has stubbed his toe twice. We really should think about gettting another light. 3). Robin's thumb drive that contains our entire itinerey and a back up of our money program left in Pigeon Forge, TN. Panic. Panic twice. Panic three times. Called hotel and waited an entire extra day in Ashville, NC for them to look. Called the hotel at least 10 times. Called the people who were in the room we were in at least five times and asked them to look. They couldn't find it. So far no one has been seen following us on our trip because they found our schedule; or, wiped out our entire bank account. 4). Swim suit cover-up left in Massachuetes. Getting used to leaving things meant we didn't need to panic. So, Robin just went to Kohls in New Hampshire and bought a new one. 5). Left swim suit in New Hampshire. To cover our bases we bought a new one at a Pennys in Portland, Maine and then ... now get this ... rode the Harley back to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to retrieve a swim suit that already was fading due to the cholrine but fits Robin better than the one we just bought. 6). We actually haven't left #6 yet but thought we would plan on it and put it on the blog.

The good news is David hasn't left Robin behind and Robin hasn't left David in a hotel room under the covers. There have been a few times that David has reached back on the bike to make sure Robin was still there. She tends to fall asleep while we ride. She did report once that David hit a bump in New York City so hard she almost fell off. (She really can't fall off from a bump but David lets her think she can. So, when every time we hit a bump now David likes to reach back to see if she is still there. She is!). We miss you all. 3,200 miles down and about 1,000 to go.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

There She Blows!!

What can be better than living on a boat and driving a Harley on vacation? (At least on this side of glory?). Taking the Harley from Boston to Gloucester, Mass. and boarding a boat to go whale watching! When we boarded the boat we were told that we "had a chance" to see three different types of whales. The smaller (25 ft.) Minke whale, the famous and most desired to see (according to the ships crew), Humpback whale (50 ft.), and the second largest mamamel on earth, the Finback Whale (75 ft.). After a 1 1/2 hour ride from the Gloucester port heading on a bearing of 45-75 degrees NNE we landed directly over the Stellwagen Banks in the Gulf of Maine. Within minutes we not only saw one of these whales but all three at the same time. The day could not have been clearer or the trip better for seeing whales. These huge animals are amazing to see. The only negative on the whole trip was we have a very poor camera for capturing pictures of whales (but Robin did an exceptional job with poor equipment) and there was no Starbucks on board. Not a bad day. Here are some videos of what we could see and a couple of the other passengers boarding the boat in the harbor. Of course we knew we would have a great time as our three-year-old grandson, Aiden, prayed that Meema (grandma Robin) would be safe on her "field trip."







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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Boston
















This is an alley in Boston. It is actually a "Pub Alley" which technically is an alley where there are lots of pubs. Hence "Pub Alley." A technical term in Boston.

Today we arrived from Cape Cod and landed just a few miles short of downtown Boston. So, we took a train ride to downtown and found much to do. Street theater was popular. Here is a picture of some guys on a ladder doing a balancing act. Kind of reminds you of life, doesn't it.



However, David learned the hard way not to wear a Harley shirt and stand too close to the act. He was "volunteered" to help out. It began with some push ups (Yes, if you watch David did one more than the other guys and did finish the required 10 before they did ... watch closely Daniel).

The point of the pushups was to get strong enough to hold a roop that this juggler was going to stand on while he juggled swords. So, thanks to Daivd (and 10 other guys not seen on film) the show went on as scheduled.

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There are plenty more videos to add demonstrating David's strength and skill (and the guy juggling who kept trying to steal the show) but we didn't want to publish them and embarrass Dan).

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We ended the evening with a trip to Mike's Pastry which is a "must see and buy" pastry shop. After all that work David needed to fill up on cannoli and frosting.

Tommorrow we go to Gloucester, Mass to take a boat to Whale watch. "Gloucester!" Now that is a New England town. So, return to the blog tomorrow as we will have plenty of pictures. Assuming the weather is good, the ship's GPS is better than the one on the Harley and the Whales are up early enough to be photographed on our camera.

David Crashed

Not the Harely! What were you thinking? NO, the Harley is fine but David's computer did crash. He had a very special imprecatory prayer for whoever created the virus that attacked his other machine. As a result of the computer crash, however we spent the entire day in New Haven, CT waiting for a computer guy to fix it (Another, 3s are wild day). He was able to patch it and we finally were able to leave at 3:30. So, basically David forced Robin to spend an entire day of her vacation waiting outside a computer shop. No, she didn't do him harm but as you can see from the picture when we finally got to Cape Cod and a very nice Bed and Breakfast she did try to coax him to jump off the rocks an into the ocean. We were able to read books at a book store right next to Yale. David always wanted to go to Yale.











Despite a long day, however, we were able to stay at the marvellous Bed and Breakfast we had made reservation (and an expensive B&B ... we won't talk about how much per hour it cost us to stay there since we arrived so late. It was kind of like buying high price tickets for a concert and only showing up for the last part of the show). But, we had a great time and were right on the ocean and just off Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. So, it was fun. We stayed in the same place as Dan and Kristie did two years ago and thankful they didn't remember Dan. So, we didn't have to pay a surcharge for being related to him ... by marriage. Today we are off to Boston.





Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Threes are wild

Before we left on our trip David was talking to his daughter Jamie about what you do in life when life does not deal you four Aces. I told her you just yell "Threes are Wild" and you move forward. Well, the last couple of days we called "threes are wild" and had a great time. We left our 8 x 8 cell on Chincoteague Island and landed in Atlantic City. We got the only hotel in Atlantic City with no wi-fi so that is why this blog is long and we had none yesterday.

For a couple of kids who don't gamble, however, Atlantic City was not all that great, although the boardwalk was great for watching people. So, that is what we did. At one of the boardwalk a guy asked us for some change. David almost gave him some money and decided not to at the last minute. Well, an hour later here is what we saw from the same guy. The caption under this picture should read, "What do bums do on their break from begging ... check their email on their iPhone." (click on picture to enlarge and see what is in his hand).







To get to Atlantic City we took an 80 minute ferry ride. David was thrilled that he didn't get sick (remember, we live on a boat) and the Harley didn't get wet. We did see some dolphins dancing off the stern but too far away to get a picture.















We were going to have lunch in New York City but to tell you the truth the Harley does a great job on the Tail of the Dragon, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Beartooth Pass. But, it is not good on the streets of New York. We were lost for quite awhile (the GPS doesn't work between skyscrappers). We finely gave up trying to find a hotel (either all too much money or full). This place builds highways under buildings and puts roads only nuts go down. We saw more people in that city than we saw almost our whole trip to the west coast last year. We could go miles and miles on the West Coast trip and see some cows or a wild horse but never any people. Today we couldn't get down a street because of wall to wall people and cars and trucks and taxis and carts and ... you get our point. We took a good picture of a tall building (one of a million) and what we think was the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe not but it was a bridge we didn't go over and saved paying a toll.


















We did have a safe arrival in New Haven, CT however. After about four major traffic jams and a hundred tolls. When we arrived in our room of a very nice hotel the backboard on the bed collapsed onto the bed. If we would have had our heads on the pillows we would have been knocked out. But, God was good. A block from the hotel was a Starbucks. The pool was wonderful for Robin. The book is not moving far at all as we are spending all our writing time on the road and in traffic, not at all like going out west. But, we think since these people on the East Coast had since 1776 to get this traffic thing messed up they had plenty of practice. We hope now that we are in the New England-Maine area we will have less time in traffic, more time seeing better scenery and more time to write. Since we only have two weeks and a few days left David has to really work more than vacation.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pictures tell it better

It is Sunday for this post to the blog but we wanted to post some pictures of our extra day and night in Virgina Beach on Saturday. A nice walk on the beach showed some interesting creatures. The first is someone Robin and I thought we knew:









We also meet someone who had no backbone at all:









There is much to do on the boardwalk at Virgina Beach. But, hugging your gal is the best:









After a night on the boardwalk there was some heavy driving. We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel System. It is a marvelous bridge over and tunnel under the Chesapeake Bay. It is 22 miles long and you are above water for awhile and then below water for awhile. Here is a little video clip. Robin is good at this ... but remember, David is the one driving so careful for her to get the perfect clip:

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Once we got over, or under, the water, we stopped on the Island of Chincoteague (Chi-ka-tee-gee). We are staying in a Bed and Breakfast and the room is actually smaller than the Stateroom on the Boat back home. We feel right at home.

There is a huge wildlife preserve where wild horses run free on the island along the ocean. We could see them but they were too far away to capture on film. We did get some great shots of a Bald Eagle; Deer (like we don't see those); and, water fowl (that we see each day outside our boat at home). But, another great day on the Harley and the East Coast. Tommorrow, Atlantic City via the highway and a ferry ride. Miss you all.











Friday, July 10, 2009

Wow!! What a ride.

We took a great ride today (almost 300 miles) from Morehead City, NC, through Kitty Hawk, NC on the outer banks and then up to Norfolk, Virginia where we have a great hotel right on Chesapeake Bay. We are going to stay here two days because it is so nice. Here is the map of our travels up from Myrtle Beach on Wednesday. The trip out to Kitty Hawk was worth they extra 80 miles it added to our trip. No wonder the Wright brothers tried to fly out there. The wind on the outer banks is so strong the Harley wanted to fly. We had some great scenery (check out the video at 70 miles an hour going along Aligator River which flows from the outer banks to the
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The money people have our there must be amazing as you can see by the boats they own with the condos they own. (If you click on the pictures you can see them a lot better.) Last night we spent the night in Morehead City and I took a great picture on my camera phone of Robin in front of some of the fishing boats. Isn't she a hottie!!! Notice the name of the boat in the back ground over Robin's shoulder. That says it all for me!! This was a good trip that included buying two more Harley shirts (we already mailed three home) at Kitty Hawk Harley Davidson.We took several very long bridges to get to the outer banks:
Sand Castles someone made on the beach:
This is a battle ship or air craft carrier we could see from our balconey in Norfolk that was coming in. Click on the picture for a better look. If you think that looks small, it was way off the horizon for us and you can see the boat to the right to compare the size. There were three boats like the one to the right of the big boat escorting it in.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So, that's why they call it "salt water"

Well, we went swimming in the ocean. Now we know about salt water. We did discover somethings about body surfing in the ocean, however. 1) Fat people go farther riding a wave than thin people ... David smoked Robin every time. 2) If you body surf on your back you get salt up your nose. 3). Either the ocean is warm or a lot of people next to us were peeing in the water.

David did decide he could surf, however. He decided he could surf if: 1) the surf board had a chair. 2) Waves were handicap assessable. 3) The wave slowed down or stopped long enough for him to take the elevator to the top of the wave and get in the chair. 4) There was a remote control on the chair. He seems to have more control in his life if he has a remote control


We went north today from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Morehead City, N.C. It is about 180 miles and 80 of it was through a pretty big rain storm. We were over due to ride in one, however. Last year to the west coast and back (30 days) we had no rain. So far we had 10 days of no rain. So, it was our turn. David took a picture of Robin and her rain gear. She told him not to take it. He did anyway.

We also took some pictures us crossing the bridge to the Outer Banks and some housing on the coast. Some people have some nice houses.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Myrtle Beach

We made it to Myrtle Beach, S.C. And, although we are going to be next to the Atlantic Ocean for the next two weeks, we enjoyed being by water again. When you live on water it is always nice to see water on vacation. You think you are home. Here are some pictures of walks on the beach, dinner at Damons (up on stilts), under the boardwalk, a shark caught by a fishermen on the boardwalk and some lame suffer dudes who had no waves and no game to surf. Oh, and this morning Robin locks us out on the deck of the hotel. There is a picture of the deck but we were already rescued. She shut the slider and it went into full lock position. To make matters worse the door to the room was bolted and had the safety on. So, they had to come and break in to break us out. The worst part is that David had to go pee. It came close to going off the balcony or waiting to be rescued. He waited to be rescued. And, a picture of Rodney, the maintenance guy who rescued us off the deck. He said in 19 years he has never seen someone lock themselves on the deck. Rodney has never met us! He left just shaking his head on how a sliding door could be completely locked from the outside. We wondered that as well.

We also added a video of Robin Swimming. For every hour David eats and writes, Robin swims. Guess who has the better figure? video


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