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 decision...it 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 rich...you could feel the arteries slamming shut.

Heading towards the outer banks tomorrow.

TTFN

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 13, 2009

In order to get to GA while my father was visiting we did a lot of interstates (lots of trucks and cross winds).

Leaving GA we agreed to get back to taking the scenic routes, so yesterday and today was all about ”THE RIDE”. Once we hit SC, we took the Heritage Corridor - Discovery Route...beautiful rural scenic roads. No traffic, perfect weather, sunny, mid 70's, low humidity and best of all ...no rain!!!

This route confirmed that small town America still exists. Town squares with beautiful gardens and fountains, local pharmacies (not CVS), breakfast/lunch diners and cafes and in town parking on a slant vs. parallel with the curb. As we roll through each small town we reduce speeds to 25-35mph to take in the sights and then back up to 55 mph in between towns.

Being from the Granite State, yesterday we stopped for lunch at the Granite Restaurant in Eberton SC . This is the local hot spot. They have an all you can eat lunch buffet for $4.99 (Biscuits and gravy, chicken pot pie, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese etc). Just a tad heavy for lunch while on the bikes. So we told the waitress although it looked and smelled great, we were looking for a little lighter fare. We no sooner hit the parking lot and the cook and waitress are following us, offering to cook something special for us. Talk about genuine southern hospitality! After a tasty lunch (fried chicken for Shar and a burger for Cin) we hit the road again. Stayed at a Quality Inn in Aiken SC. Quick dinner at Mi Rancho and back to the room in time to watch the Biggest Loser final!

We checked in to the Marriott in Charleston SC this afternoon for a couple of days of sightseeing.

Just a few observations about our journey through the southern states....
> People have been extremely friendly, warm, and genuine

> Haven't met an A type personality yet (excluding the GA Caldwell's)

> Now I understand why they call it the bible belt- there literally is a church on every street corner...all sizes, shapes and denominations

> Sweet tea is the drink of choice - don't worry they have converted us yet - ours is still Beck's

> Southern version of healthy fare is creamed corn, fried zucchini, coleslaw etc...right up Sharon’s alley

> They have a nice way of tempering things by prefacing it with "Bless Your Heart Darling"

Cin & Shar

East Coast Tour - May 12, 2009

Arrived Saturday in Duluth GA for an extended visit with the GA contingent of the Caldwell/Sligh family. After two weeks on the road it was exceptionally nice to spend some time resting and relaxing with family. The GA contingent consisted of my dad (visiting from MA), brother Dave, his wife Nancy, their son Jason and Nancy's sister Jeanne and her husband Dennis. Oh and we can’t forget the pets (Gwennie, Cloe, Herky, and Sadie).

Nancy and Jason had major parts in the local theater production of “TLC aka Tender Loving Care” which we attended on Mother's day followed by a family BBQ.

Sharon and Cloe (Dave's Cockatoo bird) truly bonded but Shar was unsuccessful in getting Cloe to say ”Hi Sharon” during our visit. Dave you need to keep working on that.

Dave and his 150cc scooter "Tammy Twister" escorted us out of town as we left Duluth on Tuesday.

Onward to South Carolina!!!

Cin & Shar

P.s. - Dave and Nance you have a beautiful new home. Thank you y'all again for your southern hospitality!


What's Wrong With This Picture - Shar's the One With the Sore Neck!


Dave and Shar's New Best Friend "Cloe"


Dave, Nancy, and Gwennie!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

East Coast Tour - May 8, 2009

Spartanburg SC - birthplace of my BMWZ3. Today was supposed to be the day that we met my brother Dave and Dad to tour the BMW Zentrum (factory tour) where they made my Z3 and bro's Z4. Long story short we missed it :-(

Dad and Dave drove 2 hour from Duluth GA and really enjoyed the tour :-)!

Cin and Shar on the other hand stayed at a hotel close by and left an hour early to complete the 17 mile journey. Multiple mishaps such as forgetting the printed mapquest page at the hotel and having the GPS in simulation mode left us totally LOST and heading in the wrong direction. Definitely a blonde moment!!!

I must admit we were both very disappointed but in the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world.

Dad and Dave did join us for lunch after the tour - it was great to see them!

Evie - exchanged emails with JB and Mike. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. I'll be giving you a call later today.

Cin & Shar

The "Three Amigos in Spartanburg SC!!!






BMW or Harley - which should I ride today?

Friday, May 8, 2009

East Coast Tour – May 7, 2009

Awoke to a absolutely gorgeous day....sun was shining, temps in the low 70's with no humidity.

We headed south on Rt 29 with little traffic. We hit Greenboro NC by 10:30 and were on track to be in Charlotte around noon and then hit our final destination Spartanburg SC by 3ish. We'll that was the plan anyway.

We stopped in Salisbury NC at a local BBQ place, "Wink's King of Barbeque". Now Shar was a little skeptical on whether Wink was really the King but after a tasty lunch (Shar-BBQ Chicken and Cin-Chopped BBQ Pork Sandwich), we both agreed that Wink deserved the title. It is by far the best darn BBQ that we have had in the south. Of course, it also is the only BBQ we have had on this trip! :-)

Headed south to Charlotte...that's when things started to go slightly south (no pun intended). I won't say that we got lost because all are routes are "subject to change" but I will say we spent a lot more time exploring Charlotte than we wanted to. At 3 pm our mood and the heat was rising and we finally stopped at a Charlotte gas station to get directions...and you thought only men were the ones that didn't stop for directions. Three and a half hours later, we finally arrived at the Marriott in Spartanburg SC tired, hungry, and parched.

Why the rush to get to Spartanburg SC? Stay tuned......


"Wink's King of BBQ"

East Coast Tour – May 6, 2009

Hit the road by 9:30 am hoping to get a jump start ahead of the rain. Headed south on Rt 29 and took a quick ride through downtown and the historic areas of Lynchburg VA. We had lunch at a cute deli "Phili Deli". The owner grew up in Phili, went to school in VA and started a deli specializing in authentic Philly Cheesesteaks....go figure!!!

We spent most of the afternoon skirting major downpours on our way to Danville VA (pronounced Danvulle by the locals), a border town to NC. Ended the day by celebrating Cinco De Mayo a day late with a nice dinner at Los Tres Megueyes. Best bargain to date. Three Negro Modelo beers (Shar), three margaritas (Cindy), appetizers and two fajita dinners for $47! Good day for the budget!

Are we having fun yet? Love the rainsuit!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

East Coast Tour – May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Today was the day we finally said "Adios" to Gettysburg. We knew it was time to leave when all the room service servers started calling us by our first names. Actually we really enjoyed Gettysburg but had it not been for the weather we would have hit the road two days ago.

Originally we were headed for Colonial Heights, VA as an interim stop prior to the outer banks. After seeing the weather forecast (yes, more damn rain for the remainder of the week), we opted to head directly south via Rt 15 and then Rt 29 to Charlottesville VA.

This was one of those days that I totally appreciated Sharon's Girl Scout preparedness. Prior to the trip, she insisted that we have the right equipment such as waterproof boots, rain suit, full face helmet etc. She also insisted that this rain gear should be packed on top and easily accessible. So Sharon, I am going to give you your well deserved "I told so" moment. The last hour and a half of our ride was pouring rain but we were smart enough to put gear on before it started raining. Keep in mind this rain gear was on top of four layers of shirts and a leather coat to deal with the cold and the wind. Putting on the rain suit brought back memories of Mom dressing us to play out in the snow...somewhere between the Pillsbury doughboy and the Michelin man. But on the plus side we were both toasty, warm and dry!

Stopped at lunch at Pete’s Park & Eat (interesting place) for a quick sandwich and reserved a room at the Charlottesville Hilton Garden Inn. Good thing we did...only a few rooms left by noon.

When we arrived, we learned that Springsteen ("the Boss") was in town for a "one day only" sold out show. Shar suggested we call the box office since sometimes they release tickets reserved for VIP's last minute. Low and behold ten minutes later we have prime aisle seats no more than twenty feet from the stage. He gave a phenomenal concert playing for 3 hours straight without a break! We wish we had that much energy!!!

Yahoo – crossed the Potomac in MD and hit VA all in one day!!! Total mileage was 196 for the day.


TTFN


Cin & Shar

Sunday, May 3, 2009

East Coast Tour – May 3, 2009

We spent the last two days in Gettysburg relaxing, being a tourist and exploring many historic sites. Since it was pouring rain on Friday we decided to rent a car. Checked out downtown Gettysburg, the Civil War Museum in the house General Lee took over for his headquarters and drove through some of the battlefield areas. Nice lunch at Herr Publick House and Tavern...the Battle of Gettysburg began in the fields around the tavern.

Saturday morning we stopped by Battlefield Harley Davidson. They were having an open house event with demo rides, food etc.

After lunch we took a three hour guided tour of the battlefields on Segways! What a blast!!!

Originally we were planning on hitting the road Monday morning but Mother Nature is not cooperating. The forecast for today and tomorrow is heavy thunderstorms, lightning, and up to 3" of rain.

So...we've decided to stay one more day and head to Virginia early Tuesday (really). We're just taking one day at a time!!!

Safe travels for brother Dave and Dad who are on there way to Georgia. Bro Steve & Carol I hope you had a great visit with Julie & Ryan. Enjoy your Hawaiian cruise!!!

Editorial revision - we may have been too harsh in judging the Choice hotel chain as a whole. The Mt Pocono place left a lot to be desired...bad sign when Shar went to open the curtain and the entire curtain and rod (including screws) fell from the wall. With that said, we have driven by many of the Choice Hotels in Gettysburg and they looks nice. :-)

Cin & Shar

Gettysburg Battlefields - C&S show off the latest fashion in Segway helmets!



Friday, May 1, 2009

East Coast Tour – April 30, 2009

We were up bright and early. One advantage to staying at the Quality Inn, we didn't dilly dally in the morning. We couldn't wait to leave!

It was overcast and a little on the nippy side (55) when we left. The forecast for Friday was rain so we wanted to get to Gettysberg by the end of the day so we could spend a few days there.

We took mostly highways today but got off on 209 to eat lunch and met a very friendly gentleman, Bill. He and his wife are planning a trip around the U.S. next June on their Gold Wing. He suggested taking Rt 325 on our way to Gettysberg. What a hidden gem! He also told us about a website that highlights great roads for motorcycle riding in each state.

www.motorcycleroads.us.com

After our experience in Mt. Pocono we opted to call ahead and make reservations at the Wyndham Resort in Gettysberg for the next two days.

Upon arriving, huge smiles came across our faces. This is more like what we were looking for. The valet (Jordan) was very eager to valet park our bikes but we told him we had it covered. He was very sweet and allowed us to park our bikes under the portico knowing that rain was forecasted for Friday.

We really like this place, full restaurant and lounge, room service, massage services etc. Decided to extend our stay through the weekend so we can take in some of the local attractions.

Ended the day with dinner at the 1863 Restaurant followed by a couple of drinks in the lounge.

Life is good again!

Total Trip Miles So Far – 835 (Definitely NOT Iron Butts)

Cin & Shar



Safe and Dry!!!!

East Coast Tour – April 29, 2009

After a great visit with Marie, we were rested and ready to resume our journey south, aiming to get the hell out of NY before the end of the day. Paul - guess we'll have to meet up with you in Providence on our way back! :-)

We had a great day of riding logging about 210 miles. Took a very scenic route...Rt 22, hopping on 90 for a couple exits until we reached the Taconic Parkway which ran parallel to the Catskills. Gorgeous mountain views! Added bonus - this road is closed to commercial vehicles and we went miles without any other vehicles in sight. We picked up Rt 44 crossing the Hudson river in Poughkeepsie NY. Once over the bridge, Rt 44 had a lot of twistees. Ron - you were right, when we hit the twistees, Shar hit her stride and I was a blur in her mirrors. Upon entering PA, we rode along the Delaware Water Gap (Rt 209) - another great riding road.

We ended our day in Mt. Pocono PA. It was late, it was cold, and we were tired, hungry, and thirsty. We knew the moment we walked into the lobby of the first hotel, we weren't staying. Ultimately we landed at the Quality Inn (NOT!), part of the Choice Hotel chain. We think the reason they chose the name "Choice Hotels" is because they put them in areas where there are no other choices. ;-)

Luckily the hotel was located right next door to the only really nice restaurant in town - Bailey's Steakhouse.

Thanks for posting comments – we’re getting a kick out of them. Marie mentioned that some folks have been having trouble posting comments. Paul/Mary/Amie/Jim – any guidance or suggestions on how to post comments?

TTFN

Cin & Shar

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

East Coast Tour - 4/29/09

Well we are 5 days into our trip and so far it's been more of a New England tour.

On our way to Gettysberg, PA, about 15 minutes after we left Fishkill, NY, Shar's neck and shoulder pain was was so intense that we decided to head north towards home.

We rode north through the western part of CT and MA landing at the Paradise Inn...a great little bed and breakfast in Stephentown NY. Actually this is the home of one of our VBF's, Marie.

Monday night started with a couple of Beck's on her deck overlooking the Bershire Hills. We then headed to dinner at a favorite haunt...the Olde Forge restaurant famous for it's chicken wings and extensive beer selection. Marie and Cin ended the evening au natural in the hot tub...surprise, surprise!!!

Marie decided to take the day off. It was great catching and spending time with her. Lunch at the Adirondack Grill followed by Marie's favorite past time - shopping! What were we shopping for? Riding lawn mowers...no purchases today but lots of information. Shar and Cin now know more about riding mowers than they ever wanted to know.

Shar has rested her neck and shoulder and we have decided to resume our journey heading south this morning (minus two large bag of gear we are leaving behind). Going from a high of 92 yesterday to 65 today. Guess we will keep our cold weather gear handy today.

Marie - many thanks again for all the hospitality! It was great to see you!

C&S

P.S. Keep an eye towards the current weather icon as to where we are. We tend update that before the actual blog postings.


Club Cadet or John Deere - SO MANY CHOICES!!!





















Ginger (calico) and Skipper - Buoy and Keeley's sister and brother (Marie's kids)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Departing Windsor, CT

video

East Coast Tour - April 26, 2009

After bidding adieu to Denise and Darlene, we hit the rode shortly before 10 am on Saturday. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning. We spent a good portion of the day exploring some of the suburbs of CT (Avon, Simsbury, Litchfield, Torrington) making our way west, and riding along portions of the Housatonic river before crossing over into NY state.

By now it was mid afternoon, the heat and humidity was rising and it was getting close to cocktail hour. After looking at the map, we set our sights on the town of Carmel. Let's just say the only thing Carmel CA and Carmel NY have in common is the name. After seeing Carmel's finest lodging accomodations (Heidi's Motorlodge) we headed to Fishkill NY and landed at the Hilton Garden Hotel at around 4:30.

We decided to lay low on Sunday for two reasons 1) Shar pinched a muscle in her neck/shoulder and needed to ice it and 2) the forecast was hot and humid with temps in the low 90's.

Spent the day relaxing, reading etc then headed to Newburgh, NY to have dinner on the riverfront (recommended by our friendly Hilton bartender). We stopped at an outside cafe overlooking the river and met Ronnie and her husband Theo, a very entertaining greek couple. He is a professional photographer and they love to travel. They recommended the Cena 2000 Restaurante & Bar for dinner. Excellent choice - Italian fine dining with a great wine selection.

Ended a lovely evening with cab driver bizarro. In the 15 min cab ride, we learned that he started working for the government when he was 11, had his PhD by the time he was 18, owned a very profitable company. Not quite sure why is he driving a cab! We only had 3 times that he nearly ran off the road.

Heading out early tomorrow towards Gettysburg PA.

Cin & Shar

No pirates on this Ship!

Shar & Cin at Ceno 2000 Restaurante & Bar

New friends Ronnie & Theo

Friday, April 24, 2009

East Coast Tour – April 24, 2009

First, thanks for all the emails and comments wishing us a fun and safe trip! Technically this would be Day 2 of our road trip but Day 1 was more like a “dry run” or in golf terms a bad shot that needed a “do over”.

We had all the best intentions and really thought we were ready to leave yesterday…cleaned the house, paid the bills, packed what we thought we needed and most importantly went for a pedicure at Cassandra’s salon.

Thursday morning we were up at the crack of dawn (7:30 a.m.) but it seemed like the odds were stacked against us and we were not meant to depart on that day. As we were completing all the last minute tasks which included loading the packed bags, we made a one major decision to BAG THE CAMPING GEAR which meant repacking all over! Yes your reading this right….I said we decided to BAG THE CAMPING GEAR!

Ok, I’ll pause here for most folks to either stop laughing or finish saying “I told you that camping gear would never be used”! Honestly, after loading each bike with one bag for camping gear and another bag for clothes, we both looked at each other and said either the camping equipment or clothes/HBA’s (Health & Beauty Aids) need to go. For those of you that know us well, it was a no brainer that the camping equipment would be nixed.

By the time we finally left the house it was after noontime. So after traveling less than 10 miles we were hungry and stopped for lunch in Milford, NH. After lunch, we were heading over the mountain towards Peterborough and it was becoming increasingly cold, windy, and rainy (Cindy’s favorite – NOT!). We anticipate riding in each of these conditions throughout our trip but having all three on Day 1 was not a good sign. We were less than 1 hour from home and the extended forecast starting tomorrow was warm and sunny. So long story short, these two candy ass gals retreated to the warmth and comfort of their home, vowing to get an exceptionally early start Friday morning….and we did!

So Take Two – we did actually leave the house by 9:30 a.m. (that is a record for Sharie Lynn). Great ride to Windsor, CT via Rt. 101 to Rt. 202. Arrived at our friends Darlene & Denise’s house to find cold Beck’s in refrig….nothing could be finer! Excellent Chinese food and watching the Red Sox vs. the Yankees on TV capped off the first REAL day of our trip!

That’s all for now…

Cin & Shar



The Eagles Have Landed in Windsor CT!!!