Oops, forgot to blog WE'RE HOME!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We made it home on Saturday afternoon, sunny but cool, nice ride up from outside Chattanooga. We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Crossville for a late lunch/early dinner. We both opted for comfort food - Stu had chicken and dumplings and I had meatloaf.

As we rolled down the quiet little one lane road to our property, Stu called out over the intercom. Our little buddy Snausage was running alongside in the woods. I called out to him and watched in my mirror as he came out of the woods, ears up and listening. I called out a bit more and he took off on the run. It was so good to see him and know he was okay.

We didn't do much the rest of the day, unpacked our luggage and relaxed. Sunday we did a few more things around the rig, started laundry and got some groceries. The trip caught up with me, I took a three hour nap.

Monday I did all the laundry then we picked up our mail from our neighbors and chatted. They've put a little doghouse out near the end of their driveway with food and water. They're still hoping to befriend him and we hope so, too.

More chores today, I got all my files moved from my old computer to my new one, got the new one backed up, cleaned up the old one for Stu to take over and worked on sorting through our motorcycle gear. We have a large tote that we'll take into the laundry at town to wash with a special preservative solution. Then they can all be packed away.

Tomorrow Stu's motorcycle goes in for its 20k service and when we pick it up, I'll drop mine off next. Then we get to winterize them for storage. The list of chores go on and on, we just tackle a couple each day as we prepare for the cruise on 12/1 and our move to Ecuador.

Oh yeah, one more piece of news....from left to right:

 ~ Three years ago this fellow came into Stu's youngest daughter's life....
 ~ Two years ago he proposed at Halloween...
 ~ One year ago they got married at Halloween...
 ~ This year they announced they're PREGNANT at Halloween...

Yup, we're going to be grandparents again - this will be our 26th (between our wonderful extended/blended family). The date is in early June....

LA, AR, MS, AL TN, and GA, almost home! - Trip Home

Friday, October 25, 2013

No pictures, just a quick check-in. We stayed in Greenwood, MS and Russellville, AL before stopping last night just outside Chattanooga, TN (we are actually in GA). The weather has gotten quite cold for us, nights are dropping into the upper 20's and lows 30's. Today the high in Jamestown is forecast for 48...nope, not going there. LOL! We extended a night and will make the last leg on our trip home tomorrow when it's due to be in the upper 50's. Much better for us, even with electric gear.

Our conversations are filled with thoughts of our cruise and move to Ecuador. Much to do before then but will try to drop a post here once in a while. Oh, for those that wonder - Miss Sadie is loving her new home and her kids to watch over. In return, they love her and take her camping with them whenever they go. They also gave her a Halloween costume. LOL!

Thanks to everyone who has bought and read "Barely a Spark". I hope to have the print copy available in a couple more weeks as well as making it available on Smashwords. The reviews have all been positive and I appreciate each and every one! If you have read and enjoyed it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and PLEASE tell your friends. The best marketing is word of mouth!

NM, TX, LA: rolling through - Trip Home

Monday, October 21, 2013

The weather has been decent if a bit on the cool side in the mornings. We left Las Cruces NM and headed to our next stop in Kerrville, TX. Beautiful country, decent hotel and a good night's sleep and it was on to Carthage, TX. On our way, after surviving a trip through Austin traffic, we had a nice lunch at the Cafe 290 in Manor, TX where Stu got to chat with some firefighters from McAllen TX. Nice guys...we arrived and left at the same time.

Here is a pic of my windshield - the tiny bugs looked like little hairs growing out when viewing from the side. Needless to say, the photo doesn't really show that. LOL!

Why Carthage? Still avoiding the worst weather - rain and coldest temps. Things held for us and we had another decent hotel and a good night's sleep before moving onward to Monroe, LA. That's when things fell apart a little bit... We were about 70 miles out of Monroe when we stopped for a break. I went to get something out of my left saddlebag....

The back bolt holding it on was completely sheared off. Stu attempted a roadside fix but we finally opted to remove it and strap it on top of the trailer until we got to the hotel. Oh, did I mention the fact that the roads in Louisiana ARE THE WORST EVER? No? Well, they are...and not just judging from this trip. LOL!

By the time we got to the hotel we agreed that if the room was nice, we were staying an extra day. It was and we did. We headed out to Logan's Roadhouse for a late lunch/early dinner.

Then we took in a movie, "Carrie". Not as good as the original but good enough to bring the story of bullying (albeit a fictional story) to a new generation. Tomorrow we head out again, taking back roads and avoiding the interstate. Weather is cooling but looks to stay dry. We can layer up but we both HATE riding in the rain. We should be home by Friday!

PS, Stu got the saddle bags bolted back on with Stage 8 bolts. That ought to hold them.

Las Cruces NM - Trip Home

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just a quick note and a few photos. We enjoyed our stay in Las Cruces, NM so much we extended a second night (not really, we were just trying to avoid the rain in Texas). Seriously, the hotel was gorgeous! Built in the mid 1940's, it was full of the old Southwest feeling with stenciled walls, tile decorations and handmade furniture.

We took the extra day to take in a movie. Last week we saw "Rush", which we really enjoyed, so this time we tried "We're the Millers" and weren't disappointed. We were the only ones in the theater which was nice because we were both laughing out loud. When we left, my stomach hurt and I still had tears in my eyes. (NOTE: if bad language offends you, don't go!)

From there we moved across the parking lot to have some beer and a late lunch/early dinner at De La Vega's Pecan Grill and Brewery. As we pulled up we saw this interesting custom bike.

We had to try the samplers - nothing really stood out but we found a few we thought were "ok". Dinner was great, seafood taco for Stu and Mediterranean salad for me.

Oh, almost forgot...before we arrived at the hotel we stopped at Barnett's Harley-Davidson and browsed around. Nice store and I snagged a great t-shirt. This is the back...

So we continue our way easterly, dodging rain, layering up for cooler temps and still enjoying the ride!

Wickenburg AZ - Trip Home

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What a PERFECT day we had, riding from Las Vegas down to Wickenburg, AZ where we planned to spend one night. We took US 93 down and it was an absolutely amazing ride. The scenery was constantly changing from mountains to rocks to Lake Mead to Joshua Tree forests to cactus of every variety and size....never ending! Unfortunately, no photos were taken because we were on two bikes and trying to make time.

We pulled into the Best Western in Wickenburg before dark but tired. While looking at the map for routing, we realized our good friend Nick and Terry Russell were not too far up the road from us in Cottonwood, AZ. We hadn't seen them since last winter in Arizona and shot off an email to see if they were available for lunch the next day. They were and we started to figure out the logistics of visiting them.

Long story short, we ended up extending one night here in Wickenburg. It made the most sense - we didn't have to rush our visit with them, we could take one bike (and no trailer) and last but not least, we had a bed to sleep in. Upon checking we were unable to find any hotels rooms that would have kept us on our proposed route.

So we enjoyed a nice breakfast and headed north to Cottonwood around ten. The ride was about 2 1/2 hours long and gorgeous (thank you Nick for the routing help), a good portion of it up hwy 89. Lots of motorcycles out riding and we enjoyed the quick run through Prescott. Only photo snapped was this adorably painted rock. LOL!

When we arrived at their motorhome we sat and talked for almost three hours before we all realized we hadn't had lunch yet and headed out in their car to a cute little 50's burger spot. Great food! We spent almost two more hours there. Of course this was expected, happens every time we get together.

Nick took a couple of good shots of us and we snagged a couple of them. Then Stu said CHEESE!

Relaxing in Las Vegas - Trip Home

We had four wonderful, relaxing yet productive days in Las Vegas. I continued to rest my ribs, making any trips out on the back of the Trike. We found a close Sam's Club and I picked up a nice HP Envy 14 Sleekbook that will replace my heavy laptop at home (which will go to Stu to replace his older laptop).

The only downside is that it came with Windows 8 - bit of a learning curve but after loading the free app, Classic Shell, things are going much more smoothly. I can now function in an environment similar to Windows 7. I'm still learning things and when we get home, there are a lot of apps that will need to be loaded as well as moving my data and cleaning the PC up for Stu.

Oh, wait. We were talking about Las Vegas, weren't we. Sorry, got a bit distracted. LOL! We didn't run the strip, been there and done that several times. But we did do a little local sightseeing, visiting two businesses that have TV shows we watch from time to time.

The first was Count's Kustoms where we got to tour some of Danny Koker's personal vehicle collection. Really nice stuff! Neither Danny nor Horny Mike (my favorite character on the show) were there, they were off at a show. The final stop was in the gift shop where we got a coffee mug for our collection.

From there it was a mere hop, skip and a jump over to Rick's Restorations. (I should note that BOTH businesses gave us priority parking for the motorcycle.) We could take photos outside and in the waiting area but not in the actual shop since some of the items in there hadn't even been seen by their owners. (Oh, and they were shooting the show while we were there.) The tour took us through the facility where we saw actual work being done. We got waves from Cowboy and Rick himself.

Back outside, Tyler and one of the other guys were getting supplies from a cargo container and we snapped a few shots. Tyler came over and offered to pose for photos so we snagged a good one of him with Stu.

From there we headed to the strip to grab some lunch at the Harley-Davidson Cafe. We'd been eating at the Tuscany in the casual restaurant up to this point. As always, the burgers were great, the beer was good and I even had a small shot of rum/melon/pineapple so we can snag a shot glass along with the beer glass. We have been there twice before but the overhead conveyor wasn't working. This time it was and we really enjoyed watching the motorcycles parade over our heads, in front of the amazing metal chain American flag display.

Our last night there we went to the movies and saw "Captain Phillips". We HIGHLY recommend it, EXCELLENT movie. We also recommend "Rush" which we saw last week...especially if you are into cars/racing. Both movies were based on true stories and thoroughly enjoyable.

We both felt refreshed and invigorated after spending four nights in our studio apartment style/size hotel room. We would definitely go back to the Tuscany again - wonderful service, amazing security, HUGE comfortable rooms, and tons of great amenities. Here are a few shots of the hotel, one of the cold front storm sky moving in and a fun little Vespa.

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