Monday, May 25, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 25, 2009

Sunday May 25th - Day 31. We left Lancaster, PA with a goal to get to the NY border by end of day.

We were up at 6:30 a.m. and had the bikes packed by 8:30 a.m. - new record for C&S.

Stopped for lunch at Irene & Tom's diner in Port Jarvis, PA... inches from the NY border. Considering it was only midday we decided to return to the “Paradise Inn“ in Stephentown, NY...the initial turning point of our journey. Nine hours and 352 miles later, after dodging hail, thunder, and heavy downpours we arrived to an empty household tired, hungry, and thirsty....the hostess was nowhere to be found. At least there was Becks in the fridge!!!

Upon waking the next morning, we enjoyed coffee and diet cokes on the Paradise Inn deck overlooking beautiful mountain vistas. Then the "CHORE LIST" came out...all 745 tasks broken down by priority order - A's (must do's), B's (should do's), and C (who gives a shit if they ever get done). Holiday? What holiday? Five hours and twenty one seconds later, Shar showed up with icy cold Becks, so Cin and Rie decided the chores were completed for the day. PARADISE is now ready for summer! Let the fun and games begin!!!

Horseshoe competition - Sharie Lynn - clearcut winner, Rie Rie - fierce competitor, Cin - don't give up your day job! Oh wait, you don't have one!

Ended the day with a delicious BBQ....steak, chicken, potatoes, and fresh veggies. It was so good to have a home cooked meal!!

Seriously, it was a great day and we are soooooo glad we spent the last day of our journey with our VBF Marie!

Stayed tuned for one final wrap up entry including "Trip Highlights" and "Trip Lowlights"!

Looking forward to being home and seeing our kitties tomorrow!

Cin & Shar

Is that Lucy Stomping the Grapes???

Paradise Inn is Ready for the Summer Party Season!

Cin & Rie Rie Preparing for American Idol!

Let the Competition Begin!!!

Winner, Winner, Winner!!!

The Ultimate "Party Animals"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 23, 2009

Great riding day on Friday. We left Roanoke Rapids, NC and took multiple back roads (RT's 46N, 614N, 609N, 522N) Very scenic roads each with a smile factor of "10"...rolling hills with sweeping curves. Absolutely gorgeous countryside framed with clear skies and light wispy clouds. It reminded Shar of the more rural areas of northern Maine.

We stopped at Namaws Diner in the small town of Amelia, VA for lunch. I opted for the "mini" 1/3 lb burger with all the fixins and a side of turnip greens w/vinegar (excellent). Since majority of the menu was beef and BBQ, Shar opted for one of her staples - turkey and cheese on rye. We had an extremely friendly and innocent waitress who gave us excellent directions as well as the diner phone number to call her if we got lost. Too cute! The diner owner, Jeanne Namaw was apparently well known in her day - the diner walls were covered with personalized autographed photos from the likes of Lucille Ball, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Roy Clark, etc. We were two tired "tessabees" when we landed at the Best Western in Culpeper, VA.

Considerably more traffic today (5/23) as went rolled along Rt 15 and Rt 30 from Culpeper, VA through Frederick, MD and Gettysburg, PA, ultimately stopping in Lancaster, PA. After a quick dip in the pool and hot tub, we grabbed an early dinner.

Earlier in the day, we visited another popular lunch spot - Chubby's BBQ in Emmitsburg, MD. Sat at the table David Caruso from CSI Miami sat at... funny they didn't ask us for an authographed pic :-). Chubby's ranks right up there with Winks. Cin tried the pulled pork with sauerkraut on top and a side of green beans (Chubby’s signature dish). No surprise for Shar - standard BBQ Chicken (her only option).

Throughout yesterday and today (5/22 and 5/23), we continued to meet more bikes heading to Washington DC to participate in the "Rolling Thunder Rally" - a motorcycle tribute to all vets for Memorial Day. Last year they had a half million bikes participate. This year they anticipate 850,000 bikes. It felt like we were on the outskirts of Laconia NH during bike week.

We wanted to see Josh, Betsy, and Cole in Accokeek, MD on our return trip but with all the Memorial Day traffic and the Rolling Thunder Rally that will have to be a another trip :-(.

Congrats to D & D who got married yesterday! Wishing you both many more years of happiness!!! Love you both.

Cin and Shar

p.s. We passed the 3000 mile mark yesterday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 21, 2009

What a difference a day makes! Beautiful day on the Outer Banks. Little cool starting out (high 60's) but by 11 am the sun was warm and the there was little wind.

We we're both tired today and wanted a low key day.

After breakfast we took the bikes (minus all our luggage) for a nice ride down Rt 12 N to the end of the outer banks. In order to continue we would have had to have 4 wheel drive - this is the area that the wild mustang horses roam....another trip.

Stopped at Fishbone's Sunset Grill overlooking the water. Beautiful spot...we lingered here enjoying our lunch as if we were in a fine dining establishment. I think if hammocks were available we would have stayed the entire afternoon!!!

It's funny...after a month on the road, we have determined that Cindy is definitely the "foodie" and during the initial draft of the blog always includes lots of details re: the lunch and dinner entrees that eventually get edited out. Shar is all about including ride details. Ultimately we try to provide a balance.

After lunch we stopped at a couple of places looking for Becks and water. Apparently Heineken is the beer of choice on OBX. We finally stopped at the "Brew Thru"...yes it is like it sounds a "drive through beverage center". Jackpot....they carried both Becks and Fiji water. I even got a "Brew Thru" shot glass for my collection!

After leaving the "Brew Thru" we headed back to the hotel to enjoy a quiet afternoon on the pier listening to the ocean, watching guys fish and have a couple of pops.

We decided that based on the extended forecast we would leave the outer banks tomorrow vs. Friday.

Headed out early on Thursday and spent some time at the Kitty Hawk Wright Brothers Memorial (pretty cool) followed by a quick stop at Kitty Hawk Harley Davidson.

Sun was shining and there was minimal winds so crossing the bridge was NO PROBLEM!!!

Stopped in Elizabethtown NC for lunch at Van's the towns oldest pizza joint. Landed in Roanokes Rapids NC for the evening after a long day of riding through many small towns and lots of farmland.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Tim/Mike - Have fun in Palm Springs!

Cin & Shar

Fishbone's Sunset Grill

Self Portrait - Good Thing Shar has Long Arms

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 19, 2009

We didn't get the best start today - Shar woke around 5:30 am with the start of a migraine. After some tea, breakfast and additional rest, we finally departed New Bern around 11:00 am.

To be honest with y'all (yes we've spent enough time in the south to be able to adopt the yankee version of the southern dialect), this was without a doubt the most challenging day (physically and mentally) we've had on the road so far.

In addition to Shar not feeling her best, there were 25-30 mph winds and significant crosswinds all day. From the rear, Shar looked like a drunken sailor as the force of the wind moved her from one side of the road to the other. This was one day that having the heavier bike paid off.

When we stopped at the visitor center in Columbia NC and realized our choices were a) two dated motels where the fisherman stay, b) turn around and drive over 100 miles back to the nearest populated area, or c) continue to the outer banks approximately 45 miles ahead. Of course moving forward also meant going over three bridges totalling 9 miles (two from Columbia to Roanoke's Island and one from Roanoke's Island to Nags Head) with major crosswinds. We chose to get to the outer banks. There was no turning back for these girls!!!

In addition to the winds, shortly after leaving the visitor center, we entered a wildlife sanctuary (aka very remote area) and started seeing warning signs....deer crossing, watch out for bears, followed by red wolf crossing for the next 10 miles. Not sure what we would have done if we had encountered any of our wildlife friends. It was a very narrow road with trees to our left and right and no shoulders to pull off. Bears, deer, wolves oh my! Luckily they were no sightings.

Although it was very much a white knuckled day, we were really glad when we arrived sat out on the balcony watching the ocean and hearing the waves crash into shore. Very peaceful way to end the day!

One additional highlight of the day was stopping in the small town of Washington NC at Landier's for lunch. Landier's is another great find that we just stumled upon. Waterfront restaurant in another community that is trying to refurbish their whole downtown area. Many people walking their dogs or running along the riverfront walkway. A myriad of sailboats, catamarans, houseboats, and powerboats lined the waterways.

Cin & Shar

P.S. At breakfast this morning, we met a father and son who were also on motorcycles. The father bought the son a new bike and they are touring NC as a college graduation gift. They were scheduled to leave yesterday but extended their stay because they were apprehensive about riding over the bridges due to the high winds....babies!

ALSO - Congratulations to Lauren who completed her first AVON walk this past weekend. Chrissy thanks for kitty sitting while Lauren was in Boston.

Love the Ocean!!!

Packs of Pelicans Hovering Over The Ocean - Even They Were Struggling with the Wind!

One Loner In Search of His Buddies!

Kitty Hawk Pier in Front of the Hilton

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 18, 2009

Alright all ready....enough with the rain! We were packed up and on the road by 9 am on Sunday. That has to be a record for Cin & Shar. Since everyone was at church there was NO TRAFFIC on the road! Continued on Rt 17 north with a goal to get as close to the outer banks and also find a hotel with laundry. We had traveled 125 miles before noon and stopped at Morgan"s Tavern and Grill in New Bern NC for lunch. Apparently we were meant to spend some time in this historic town because as we were leaving Morgan's it began to sprinkle. Thunder and pouring rain ensued so we decided to trust our instincts and checked into the hotel on the riverfront. The temp dropped 30 degrees between Sunday and Monday morning so we decided to spend another day and head out early Tuesday.

Ventured off on foot Monday mid morning with our trusty umbrellas in hand. With the winds, this proved to be a futile effort and as the rain subsided we bagged the umbrellas.

New Bern NC is home to Tyron Palace, the original capital of NC and the residence of the fourth Royal Govenor of NC. We toured the palace and several homes dating back to the revoluntionary times.

New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi...who knew? Caleb Bradham created "Brad's Drink" that was later marketed as Pepsi-Cola in 1898. Aunt Pris the ultimate Pepsi fan would be impressed but as a dedicated Diet Coke gal, I declined the 50 cent Pepsi's being offered at the original pharmacy.

The townspeople are very friendly and proud of their heritage. The downtown has been refurbished and they are quick to mention that Good Morning America voted New Bern NC as one of the five best places to live in the U.S., with it being the "Best Undiscovered Place to Live".

Ended a nice day of sightseeing with a couple of pops and dinner at Morgan's.

We have enjoyed our time here but tomorrow we will definitely head to the outer banks.

Cin & Shar

Tyron Palace

Tyron Palace Gardens

Birthplace of Pepsi

Sunday, May 17, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 16, 2009

We enjoyed two days in the beautiful and historic town of Charleston, SC. Our welcome to Charleston was a $45 parking ticket for each of us at the visitor center. Motorcycles aren't allowed in the parking lot so we parked in an area where 3 other bikes were parked. Not the best decision!

The following day we grabbed a cab and headed to the heart of downtown Charleston exploring Market Street, the old slave market, rainbow row, and the Battery. Stopped for lunch and a couple of pops at Fleet Landing down by the waterfront. Then hailed a pedicab to give us a mini tour of the downtown neighborhoods. Beautiful architecture and sprawling gardens. John our pedicab driver is planning is own cross country bike trip with his buddy....bicycle that is! Hauling our butts around town was great training.

We checked out of the Marriott the next day (Amie's birthday) intending to tour one of the old plantations (Magnolia) and then head north in the afternoon. Apparently Mother Nature had other ideas. Before we got close to the plantation it started to pour. By the time we could safely pull over to get out of the rain and put our rainsuits on, we were already soaked. We decided to bag the plantation and try to skirt more rain by heading north immediately. We no sooner got on Rt 526 when the sky opened up again. We took the first exit and immediately saw the North Charleston Marriott and decided maybe we should spend one more day in Charleston. This proved to be the right came down in buckets with thunder and lightning all afternoon. Ended day 2 with a delicious dinner at Hank's Seafood (curried shrimp for Cin and grilled salmon for Shar...mmm mmm good) followed by an after dinner drink at Henry's where we met Randy, our friendly bartender who grew up in Bedford NH!

We headed out bright and early the next day (5/16). Clear skies, plenty of sunshine and low humidity were all the ingrediants needed for a fantastic riding day. We hopped on Rt 17 heading north across Sullivan's Island, Mt Pleasant, and Pawley's Island. We stopped briefly in Myrtle Beach for lunch and to buy discounted bike week t-shirts. The town of Myrtle Beach decided to cancel bike week but many bikers showed up anyway. We can't say that we blame them for cancelling bike week, all the bikes were extremely loud (boy do we sound old). 95% of the bikes were Harleys...don't think we saw one BMW. Myrtle Beach's finest were out in full force stopping many of the youngins for excessive speed.

Checked into a Best Western on the Cape Fear river in Wilmington NC. Another quaint riverfront area with many restaurants, cafes, shops and boatrides. We strolled along the riverfront area and dined at George's Riverfront. I decided to be daring and try the shrimp and cheddar cheese grits since it was one of George's signature dishes. Although tasty, it was extremely could feel the arteries slamming shut.

Heading towards the outer banks tomorrow.


Cin & Shar

Welcome to Charleston, SC!!!

Shar - Ready for a day of sightseeing

Our new Winter Residence????

Shar and our very sweaty pedicab driver John

Aqua - Rooftop Restaurant/Bar, Charleston SC

Shar Ponders - Should we stay or should we go?

View to the South

View to the North

Cin, Shar and Randy (Henry's bartender from Bedford NH)

Cape Fear River, Wilmington NC - USS N. Carolina Battleship in Background