Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Solo Ride In The Sunshine State

Honestly, I am happy
even though I don't look it
This year the BF left on a “All Boys” vacation to Nicaragua. Yes, I was a tad bit jealous, especially seeing he was also going to explore it on a motorcycle. I wouldn’t have been so forgiving to let him take off for a week if I were stuck back home in Ontario Canada under a mountain of snow. But seeing I am here in Florida and best of all with my motorcycle, I was actually going to enjoy having some ‘alone’ time.

Today’s ride was my three-hour sabbatical of sorts, and it certainly emptied the cobwebs out of my head.  It was like achieving a ‘Zen’ moment, only I felt at one with my bike, body and mind. 

“I can see clearly now…”  (song lyrics that just popped in my head, it happens)

One thing that became apparent after eight years of riding, today was the first “longish” ride I have actually taken alone. Sure, I have puttered around but never strayed too far and never for very long. The more adventurous rides have always been with my BF. This little birdie has finally begun to “spread her wings”. Not to say I don’t like riding with my BF, we just have different riding styles. For instance, I like to stop and snap a picture when something interesting catches my eye, he on the other hand never seems to notice and zooms by. Motorcycling and pictures just naturally go together (obviously from a bloggers point of view) and I was thinking when I started out today that I would end up with dozens of pictures of interesting things along the way. Funny thing happened though, I never did. (Hence the lack of pictures.) I only stopped once, okay that is wrong, twice. The first stop was to top off the tank, so that really doesn’t count. 

Now on with The Ride…
Motorcycle Route: Treeline Ave. – Three Oaks Parkway – Immokalee Rd. 


The actual route time will vary depending on where you are coming from


I took Treeline Ave. which is a two-lane road and has a moderate amount of traffic in spots. It is also one of the few roads around here that has some decent sweeping curves, which are hard to find in Southwest Florida. This is also a very popular route for motorcyclists because of that, and judging by the number of bikes I seen today, quite a few had the same idea as me.

When I got to Alico Rd. I made a right so that I could connect at the start of Three Oaks Parkway. It is just a short ride past the on ramp of 1-75 and you can only turn left onto it. However, it looks like one day this road might eventually go to the right. Three Oaks has even less traffic and is a pleasant ride through gated communities with manicured lawns and park like settings. Somewhere along the line the road morphs into Imperial Parkway. (If I had to pinpoint it I would say once you cross Coconut Rd.) Then it does another metamorphous and becomes Livingston Rd. I think this road just can’t make up its mind on what to call itself. Anyway, the entire way is nice, but there are a few traffic lights that might bog down the ride. I hit a few, but it wasn’t as irritating as riding on 41 through Fort Myers.

When I got to Immokalee Rd. I turned left.  The shops and housing developments soon give way to Orange groves. Once it opens up be prepared for it to get a bit windy. I pulled off for a small break, mainly to chug down some water and to finally take a picture. I noticed that I had stopped at the ‘Corkscrew Island Neighborhood’ sign, a place that is basically in the middle of nowhere and landlocked as far as I could tell. So what I really wanted to know is why is this area called an Island? ahem, moving on... this road will take you by the Immokalee Casino, if you are so inclined to make a stop. I then made a left on Main Street in Immokalee and headed towards home. 




By the way, besides the liberating feeling of independence I had on this ride it also made me realize just how much I need (not want) I really need, to get another motorcycle when I get back to Canada, purely for therapeutic purposes of course. Hmm, wonder if OHIP covers that.  

(I know, soon you all will be telling me to shut up and just get another bike already)









Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride

Monday, January 30, 2017

Yeehaw Junction Florida and the historic Desert Inn

My reason to visit ‘Yeehaw Junction’ was to explore more of the history surrounding one of "Old Florida's" rural areas. Who am I kidding, it was just because of the funny name.  

Anyway, I also really wanted a full day trip, one of those “oohhh my body aches, but what a ride” type of cruise. 235 miles (378 km) later I had gotten what I asked for. 

(FYI: If we had come in from the other way we might have seen a town sign, but we didn’t so I had to rummage through the Internet to find one.  The Yeehaw Junction Welcome Sign –Photo by Jim )

Our road trip started like so many of ours do when we venture north, using the starting point in Alva and heading out along North River Road we connected onto FL-29. From 29 through 27 it is mostly Orange groves between flat open fields. (Note to self: check wind velocity before leaving) Eventually all that gave way to the open range of Cattle Ranches along FL-70 with the air getting a little ‘ripe’ in spots. 



Shortly after passing the Cracker Trail Country Store, (which by the way, had gas pumps) my gas light came on. Really, it couldn’t have warned me before. 

I was resolved to cross my fingers and hope that another gas station would appear on the horizon. A good lesson to learn, it is always a good idea that when riding a back country road, don’t pass up a gas station. You never know when you will find another. 

As I was running on fumes it would be 22.4 miles (36 km) later until we would finally come across a Sunoco Gas Station on US 441. Totally relieved that I made it we filled up and took a few minutes to stretch. Little did we know that it would only be a short ride, 13 miles (21 km) before we pulled into the Desert Inn Bar & Restaurant.  

History of the Desert Inn Bar & Restaurant
The Desert Inn dates back to the 1880’s when it was established as a trading post along a four-corner trail system used by the areas cowboys and loggers. The Desert Inn serviced the locals in more ways than one as it also doubled as a brothel.

Eventually actual roads made their way to the Desert Inn in the early 1930’s, and the area became known as “Jackass Crossing” or “Jackass Junction” in honor of the ranchers and lumbermen who relied on mules to work the cattle or haul lumber. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when the Florida Turnpike passed through that the state legislators felt that the name was a little too risqué for the influx of winter tourists and changed the name to ‘Yeehaw Junction’ which also tied it into the nearby railroad depot. 


There are several versions of how the origin of the name ‘Yeehaw’ came to be. One suggests that it was named for the Seminole language word meaning "wolf".

But I am more inclined to believe the version that suggests that “yeehaw” is similar to the noise a mule makes. It even ties in nicely to the original name from when the area was referred to as ‘Jackass Crossing’. See,even the Desert Inn agrees.



A plaque stands proudly in the front of the weather-beaten building proclaiming a bit of its history (Funny there was no mention of it having being a bordello on the sign) and in 1994 was registered in the National Register of Historic Places. 


Click to enlarge image

Exploring the grounds
We had no intention of eating there, so we didn’t venture inside for a photo op. I imagine it would have been interesting judging by the exterior – “C'est la vie” (That's life), opportunity missed.







Met a few chickens wandering the grounds out back. 

-Fresh eggs or chicken for the restaurant?  




The motel out back has recently (how recent I can’t say) undergone an exterior face lift by adding a painted log wood façade. 

Not sure how the inside of the rooms look.  (I got the feeling that it is more likely used as an “hourly” stop over – remnants of the ‘good ol’ days’ perhaps). 

But their website does proclaim to have clean rooms  and it is good to know that it always “passes the health inspection”. 


Well in that case, who wouldn’t want to vacation on a busy road smack dab in cattle country…

Homeward Bound, but first let’s eat
On the way back we varied our route to take us through Okeechobee and then on into LaBelle. 

The wind had really started to pick up and extreme gusts pummeled at me making for a very hard ride back through the vast openness of the countryside. (I just held on real tight).



We stopped for supper at The Log Cabin in LaBelle on FL-80.  We got there shortly before 5pm and already the place was filling up fast.  As its name would suggest, it looks exactly like a log cabin on the inside, with rows of picnic tables and rustic decor. However, they seem to be a little slow on taking the Christmas decorations down. Even the inside was decked out in Christmas garland. 

The restaurant offered a nice selection of smoked BBQ fare. The prices were reasonable and I was amazed when they offered a free cup of soup for a starter and free ice cream for desert. How often does that happen now a days? (For the record, I declined both)


“Hog” Parking  - reserved for Harleys - haha

Yeehaw Junction Florida Route







Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...



History Sources: 
Florida Rambler  Studio Hour Glass  Wikipedia  Desert Inn Restaurant 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Ave Maria… a little town in the middle of nowhere


At first glance the sign that proclaims Ave Maria looks like all the other gated communities that boast 'resort style' living in Florida. 


Most gated communities around here usually have tropical names like Pelican Preserve, Gulf Harbour and Majestic Palms so when I had seen ‘Ave Maria’ (Which is a Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary – Hail Mary) It sparked my curiosity and warranted further investigation. 

After a little digging, it became apparent that this place wasn’t at all like the other gated housing developments that hide behind lush landscaping throughout Florida.  

It was in fact a bonafide fully functioning town established in 2007. The town sprung up basically in the middle of nowhere between Immokalee and Naples. Its entire concept is based around it being a Catholic University Town and was the vision of the devout orthodox Catholic Tom Monaghan who is the founder of Domino’s pizza. 


Upon entering, the streets are immaculate, flowers in bloom and perfectly manicured grass flows alongside the road. Not one leaf is out of place. We even passed a crew pressure washing the sidewalk.

Parked in Town Center across from Church


We made our way to the Town Center where all the shops and businesses are situated around the main focal point, the Catholic Oratory (private chapel owned by the Towns Catholic University). 

The front of the Oratory is reminiscent of a monolith with a 30-foot sculpture depicting the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary created by Marton Varo. 


[Fun Fact: 54 tons of Carrara marble was extracted from the same quarry used by Michelangelo to construct the sculpture. The sculpture was unveiled at the Oratory on March 25, 2011. – On Jan 19, 2017 Ave Maria University sold the Oratory to the Diocese of Venice making the transition from a ‘quasi parish’ to regular parish.] 



The shops and professional businesses were of what you expected in a small town, from a lawyer to a bank, a clothing store, a little coffee shop with a sidewalk patio, along with a local ‘watering hole’ called The Pub, (What else would it be called) and of course a religious gift shop.
It had the feel of a small village that I had visited when we had gone to Italy, which obviously was the way Tom Monaghan had intended. 

The big difference was that there was very little traffic or people for that matter. I certainly wasn’t complaining






The 4,000-acre town is Golf cart friendly which also just happens to be a popular mode of transportation for the community inhabitants.  (Golf cart garages are even an option for a new home here)

I found it to be a surreal little town making me feel strangely peaceful yet leaving me with an unsettling under current as we sauntered around the town centers quaint streets. As we wandered along the ‘Stepford Wives’ flashed across my mind. (A horror thriller movie about an idyllic town where the women have been turned into obedient robot housewives). Maybe I just watch too many horror flicks…


But seriously, walking around this town truly felt like I was walking around on a movie set, it was so picture perfect it just felt like a fictional town. Don’t get me wrong, I could see the real sense of community pride and the few people that we did come across were very polite and genuinely happy to see us. A family pulled up in a golf cart as we were about to get on our bikes to explore more of the town. The woman struck up a friendly conversation about motorcycling with us while she waited for her children who had gone into a store to get back. 

We continued on our bikes exploring some of the neighbourhoods . All of which have a specific designation, from family friendly to 55+ and even one for the more affluent offering luxury estate homes. Each section offering its own unique form of recreation within the neighbourhood from private golf courses to nature trails. However, most of the development is still heavily under construction and the town is only at 10% of its capacity. (That explains the lack of people)

We then drove over to the far end of the town where the recreation facilities, North Park and the Water Park is located. This area is for the exclusive use of the residents of Ave Marie. However, there is no restrictions on driving around to have a look.

A sign caught my eye on the way to check out the Water Park,
and then I noticed something in the background… 

 FYI, this is NOT the water park
The sign read – “...The feeding, harassing, or other disturbance of alligators is strictly forbidden”. Really, do you need a sign to tell you to leave an alligator alone!

the resident alligator

                                                                                             
A Bit Of Ave Maria History  
A ‘Gated community’ that becomes a complete town ….

After a decade since its inception this small town is still not without its controversy. Ave Maria is actually a planned community based on strict Catholic ideologies. It is owned and governed by Tom Monaghan in partnership with the developer, Barron Collier Company.

When Tom Monaghan first announced his plans for the town he expressed that there would be a complete ‘ban on contraception and pornography’. He later rescinded that comment when construction got underway. To this day, some still consider the town a “religious-centric” community and “unconstitutional”.  According to the town it welcomes everyone regardless of religious denomination.

My personal thoughts after reading the opinions and stories that surround this little community and actually visiting it,  I just think that it comes down to people wanting to live within a safe community. This one just happens to have a strong Catholic presence and for some they actually like a more controlled environment in which to live.  - After all no one is forced to live there or are they…. 

Ave Maria motorcycle route



Sources:
Article: Ave Maria 
Article: Ave Maria Herald 
Article: Daily Mail 
Article: Daily KOS 
Article: Wired 
Article: Wikipedia  







Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A mixed bag… of rides

I have been in Florida almost 4 weeks and I haven’t really been on any epic rides yet. Or at least none that are blog-worthy. So, in order to give you something, anything to read about I will attempt to write about them anyway. 


Cape Coral
I was over to Cape Coral twice, once to find out about getting a new back tire and the other to get it installed when it came in. 


Naturally the route taken back home was more along the lines of the ‘scenic’ route, so at least it made for a couple of nice little rides from there to here.



North River Road
Then there was the trek along River Road, that has become a yearly venture and one that we always seem to do a few times when here. We did the “long version” going through Buckingham and covering the entire river route from 31 to 29 into Labelle.  As always it is a nice ride, but it is not like I can say anything new about it after doing this route for the last eight years. Wow, I can’t believe it has been that long already.  



A Jaunt To The Motorcycle Dealers…

Last week, we decided to check out a couple of motorcycle dealers, other than Harley. (Really, it doesn’t always need to be about Harley, does it?) 

We had a failed attempt at going there last year, lucky this time around I remembered that motorcycle dealers are like hairdressers and closed on Mondays...so we headed out on a Friday instead.

We first went to Gulf Coast Motorcycles. They deal with BMW, Ducati, and KTM. We were more interested in looking at the BMW adventure style bikes. I eventually came to the conclusion, all the models they had in the showroom I would need a step ladder to even try to sit on it. Also, if I would even consider this style of bike I would have the added expense of purchasing a lowering package, especially if I were to truly feel comfortable on one. 

Don’t think it is fair really. Short people are penalized for being “height challenged”.  I know what you are thinking… I have also read that no matter how short you are you can ride any size bike. Sure, you can ‘ride’ it, but eventually you have to stop! What are you going to do when you get to a stop light and your feet don’t touch the ground, jump off? 

The next place we stopped at was Sun Sports cycle and watercraft offering Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuski.  My interest was in the new 2017 Honda Rebel. I came across it on Twitter and it sparked my interest. Just our secret... I am still thinking about getting another motorcycle for back home in Canada. If you recall, I was seriously pondering about getting a bike last summer.  Obviously I never did. 

2017 Honda Rebel
Anyway, I started checking the Honda Rebel out online and found that it has a seat height of 27.2 “ (691 mm) Short people let us rejoice!! It is about time that motorcycle manufacturers took notice that not everyone has long legs or likes them stretched spread eagle over a seat. The Rebel is considered a ‘starter’ bike with a 300 but to my surprise it also comes as a 500 (471cc) which I think is decent enough to give it a bit of ‘get up and go’. Also, I like the price, even in Canada. It would be an affordable alternative to, dare I say, Harley. I also like that it has a sleek narrow frame and over-sized tires. I really like its sporty look and for exploring on my home turf it would be perfect! I think I have almost convinced myself…

So, there I was all excited to see it in the “flesh” and perhaps even test it out. I have been drooling over it for a week on the Internet and now I would be able to actually touch it… NOT… I was crushed, they didn’t have any in yet. I was told to come back in a couple of weeks…I hung my head and shuffled back out the door.

Bike Night in Fort Myers


Sat. Jan 14 the first Bike Night  of 2017 was held in Fort Myers. We got there around 5:30 pm and it was already in full swing. Start time is actually 6 pm and finding parking was already getting tight. We at least found our usual spot, seems we always get a spot there. (Maybe I shouldn’t jinx myself by saying that)




The most photographed statue... Man & Dog pee on post

There were the usual booths set up along the closed off roads selling their trinkets. The restaurants and bars spilled onto the sidewalks and set up booths offering beer to the masses. Motorcycles roared and weaved through the thick throngs of pedestrian traffic while the bands blasted through large speakers trying to be heard above the din. 



Motorcycle pup striking a pose...
We made our way along and seen what there was to see. As night began to descend we started to get hungry. Since we have been coming to these Bike Nights we have always managed to snag an outside table from some restaurant and grab a bite to eat. It is also a chance to sit and people watch, there are always a lot of interesting characters at these events and the entertainment is endless. However, this year there was just way too many people, and every restaurant we tried had a two hour wait. 

After roaming the streets for another half hour, we gave up and decided that we would leave and stop at Mugs N’ Jugs before going home. We have eaten there once before and the food is ‘eatable’. We sat at a table in the patio bar area and I had the wings, a little too saucy for me, but there is always a roll of paper towel that sits at the tables, so problem solved. The BF had the Meatloaf dinner, he had no complaints. Don’t worry, I have no intention of posting food pics. 

I actually enjoyed the night ride home this time. Come to think about it, this was like my 3rd time riding at night in my 8 years of riding. The last two times it had rained on the way home and nothing dampens the mood of a nice ride faster than when you are soaking wet. 

It would have been even nicer if my BF’s tail lights were working. I actually had noticed as we left Bike Night that he had no tail lights. Not much we could do, so I rode directly behind him to make sure any car coming up behind could at least see my tail lights. Made me nervous for him but we made it home. [FYI: If you are wondering, he ended up having to replace the tail light and fix his brake lever].

I sure hope my adventures get a bit more interesting for you and for me too…

 
Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride…

Thursday, December 29, 2016

HOME AWAY FROM HOME…

ON THE ROAD TO FLORIDA

It was finally time to leave the frozen tundra and dreary gray sky for the warm gentle breezes and bright sunshine that livens up the landscape of the south. 

We rolled into Florida on Thursday (Dec 22) after three days on the road. (FYI: Actually, from where we are it could be done in two days but over the years we need the extra day. It is just easier on the ole body). At least the motels we eventually stopped at were decent, when we found one.  


We decided to take I-75 down as opposed to the alternative I-95 route because of the possibility of winter storms through the mountains in Virginia at this time of the year. 

EXCITEMENT ON THE BORDER
After eight years of travelling to Florida most encounters at the border go without incident and are pretty much a mundane experience until this one…

We crossed the border in Windsor over the Ambassador Bridge. Traffic was moderate as we pulled up to Customs around 5 pm. Along with the regular questions of citizenship, where and how long we were going for, this particular Customs Officer decided to inquire about my cat. 

This was the first time I had ever been asked for the paperwork on my cat’s vaccination. Not a problem, I always get Fred’s rabies shots before we leave. Then I was asked what the brand of cat food I had with me. Of course, my mind decided to go totally blank at that moment. That prompted the Customs Officer to order us to shut off the car and stay put. We automatically unbuckled our seat belts out of habit, which immediately had the Officer shout at us to “STAY IN THE CAR”.  Flustered at this point I threw up my hands like I was being arrested.

Another Officer came around the car to the passenger side and opened the back door. 
The car of course was jammed packed to the roof with suitcases. Fred was in his carrier in the back wedged in the middle between the front seats. I always pack a ‘food box’ which I keep directly behind me and it was leaning up against the back door. (FYI: The ‘food box’ is filled with various snacks, my kettle for tea, tea bags, sugar, cups, and of course a few tins of cat food and a small baggie filled with some dry cat food). The box nearly fell out when the Officer pulled open the door.

The Officer in the booth kept barking at me to name the brand of cat food I had. I quickly swiveled around in my seat and yanked Fred in his carrier to the front and stretched into the back between the front seats.  I proceeded to dig through the mounds of luggage to locate the bag that I had stuffed with Fred’s extra food. Finally, after rummaging for what seemed like an eternity I retrieved the original bag of dried cat food to show the name to the other Officer who was still refilling through the ‘food box’.  After all that fuss the main concern was if the cat food contained “lamb”, it did not. (He could have said that from the start, Fred only likes fish and chicken – at least this week) By the way, the brand if you are wondering, Purina. Geesh, why could I not remember that! 

ONWARD BOUND
It was going on 9 pm and we decided that it was time to stop for the night in Ohio. The first night we stopped at a Comfort Inn, most accept pets, however this one that we stopped at in Monroe was okay with dogs staying but wouldn’t allow my cat. (Discrimination if you ask me) Apparently, the owner is allergic. We then went back out on the highway and travelled until the next exit, but this Comfort Inn did not allow any pets! At least the clerk directed us to a Best Western down the road. Beautiful room, although it was much more expensive. Maybe because the bed is softer… doesn’t really matter I never sleep well in motels. I might get a couple of hours sleep if I am lucky. So is a soft comfy bed worth the extra cost for me, NO.

The second night we made it to the Florida border but with another five hours to drive we stopped just past the Welcome Center for the night in White Springs. Overall I couldn’t really complain on this trip. The traffic moved fairly well, except through Atlanta. There always seems to be a traffic jam of some sort going on through there. 

By noon the next day it was a balmy 28 C (83 F) when we pulled into the driveway. Good to be home. Over the next couple of days would consist of unpacking and opening up the house. Lots of dead spiders and other strange black dots in the corners to clean up. 

On the 24th the house was sparkling and fully unpacked. Now we  just needed to pick up a few groceries.  Of course, being Christmas Eve day it became a monumental task. Normally I would never set foot in a store the day before Christmas, but we really didn’t have a choice. So, fighting the crowds we managed to get enough supplies to get us through Christmas. 

CHRISTMAS IN THE SOUTH
Christmas day I set out breakfast under the lanai, now that is something I can never do back in Canada, the snow is piled high and the average temperature is below 0.  

By afternoon all the “Christmasy’ stuff was out of the way and more important things like getting my bike out of storage was on my mind. 

Two days have gone by since getting to Florida and I still haven’t even been able to ride my bike, or in the very least gaze upon it. 

My BF really likes to torture me when it comes to getting my bike out, he pretends to be uninterested and gives me that ‘I could care less’ attitude. Deep down inside I know he misses his bike as much as I miss mine. 

After getting the bikes out of storage it was time to get them fired up. I watched as he hooked up the fuel line and battery. I guess I could do that myself, although then he wouldn’t feel needed if I did. 

As he turned the key and pushed the ignition the dreaded sound every biker doesn’t want to hear, click-click-click. The battery was dead. He dragged out the battery charger and plugged her in, I crossed my fingers. It managed to turn over and run for a bit, but once again it sputtered and died. Maybe it just needed a bit more time on the charger… not to be. On closer inspection, it was in dire need of a new battery. 

As to change the battery I suggested that the spark plugs should be replaced. As he pulled them out the rusty tips were an obvious sign. (Almost embarrassing really) Then I noticed that the slow leak in my back tire was a lot worse this year. Can’t put that off any longer. As soon as the stores re-open I will have to also get that taken care of. Well at least I got to see my bike on Christmas day. (And I of course sat on it for awhile)



GETTING SPORTY BLUE BACK ON THE ROAD
Finally boxing day arrived and it was off to the Auto Parts store. The first one we stopped at didn’t have the size I needed. Lucky for me there is practically an Auto Parts store on every street corner around here. After a short jaunt down the road we turned into another Auto Parts store. It must have been meant to be, I snagged the last one on the shelf.  After my wallet was $118 lighter I was rewarded with the delightful roar as my Harley came to life. Now to deal with the back tire. 

But first things first, the next day I had to get my license tag renewed before it expired on the 28th.  After filling air in my back tire, we headed off to get my tags. It was just a short ride into town, but oh what a feeling to be back on two wheels! 

On the 28th we headed over to Cape Coral to Soul Rebel Cycles on the bikes to see about my back tire.  It was a beauty day to go for a ride. As suspected I did need a tire so after ordering a new tire, which should be in by Friday, we decided to head over to the Fort Myers Harley Davidson before going home. I couldn’t resist in buying myself a T-shirt, after all it was a birthday gift to me and I am worth it. 

Shouldn’t be too long now before I can start plotting my riding adventures again!

I can hardly wait….


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Game of 4's

My last entry was a few weeks ago, more of a filler blog that went over what I had been up to since doing my series on Vloggers. I really had not planned to write anything until I was back in Florida and re-united with my motorcycle. But this morning as I was doing my usual ritual of checking my social pages I came across a posting in Facebook from my vlogger friend The Tartan Visor.

Seems ‘The Tartan Visor’ has nominated me to play this Game of 4’s. I have to admit, I had no idea what it was at first. Lucky for me he explained it at the start of his Vlog because doing a Google search for “What is game of 4’s” was useless! Although, I am now knowledgeable about the Game of Thrones and Fallout 4.

Anyway, this game is just about answering 4 questions with 4 answers to each question and then nominate another four people to do the same. I am not so sure how it works with bloggers, but it is very popular with the vlogger community.
What the heck, I will give it a shot.


Oh and before I forget,  here are my nominees to play the Game of 4’s.
Jeff – VRIDETV 
Eric – Indian48   
Dar – Princess Scooterpie  
Sonja – Find me on the road Thanks Sonja for stepping up and playing!

Q1: What is your favorite food?
Well as far as food goes I am not one of those people who ‘love to eat’. I am so fussy when it comes to food it is amazing that I eat anything at all. If I were a vegetarian I would starve to death and as a carnivore I don’t really make a good one because if I think too much that I am eating an animal I can’t swallow another bite. Besides, I have a lot of quirks when it comes to eating, so many that I won’t even get into it, but I am sure you will get the idea …


Steak: I like steak, but here is the catch, it has to be a lean one, like a sirloin never a porterhouse and has to be cooked very well done. Even a hint of pink in it and my throat closes up. And don’t doctor it all up with spices either. A bit of salt and a dash of pepper is plenty of seasoning for me. (I am not a big fan of pepper, but over the years I have seasoned meat with it because other people like it, so it is more from habit than something I like. (But if there is too much pepper, forget it)


Potatoes: I love potatoes, boiled, mashed, baked or fried. Must be the Irish in me. I like them so much I have been known to eat a Potato Sandwich. For those who have never heard of one I will explain. Of course, you would cook the potato first, (although as a kid I loved eating raw potatoes) then mash it or slice it, doesn’t really matter, just as long as you can get it on the bread. Add a glob of butter on the potato before putting it on the bread. Then butter a slice of bread, put them together and yum! 

I have to give an honorable mention to French Fries. Fries with salt and vinegar to be exact. I have been told it is a Canadian thing, but probably has been passed down from Britain. And no, not that cider vinegar that they serve you in the states, has to be white vinegar.  Another thing I do is when I eat a hamburger I put French fries (vinegar included) on it. I have been doing that since I was a kid, way before it became a trend at restaurants. (Let’s just say it started a very, very long time ago) And for the record my hamburger is always plain. It is actually a bonus to like plain hamburgers; when you are at a fast food place, you are guaranteed a fresh cooked burger! 


This is what Scoobi-doo macaroni looks like
Macaroni & Cheese: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, as opposed to the stuff you get out of a box,  (You know who you are… Kraft Dinner) and made with Velveeta or Cheddar cheese with Elbow macaroni or my new favorite, Scoobi-doo macaroni. (I do confess, I did go on a Kraft dinner binge as a kid but I am an adult now, sort of...)




As close as I could find without having to cook it

Eggs & Potatoes: This is a creation I have made when I don’t know what to eat or I have left overs. I fry up some left-over potatoes then crack an egg over it and scramble it in. If I have some left-over meat like pork or beef (pretty much any kind of meat will work) I will throw that in too.  When I am really adventurous I will melt cheddar cheese over it. 



Q2: Favorite Drink
I probably drink a lot more than I eat. Not that water is my favorite, but I can’t leave the house without a bottle of water, especially if I am on my motorcycle. 


Tea: Tea is my caffeine boost in the morning, I never liked coffee.  And none of those fancy herbal ones either. Has to be Red Rose (which is a black orange pekoe tea).  Milk and sugar please.







Pepsi: I don’t drink as much of it as I used to, probably a good thing. I am down to one a day now, and sometimes I don’t even finish a whole can. Must be an age thing or maybe it is more because I don’t use it as a mix with my alcohol anymore. 



Vodka: Up until a year ago my ‘go to’ alcoholic drink of choice was Smirnoff Vodka and Pepsi, with lots and lots of ice. Never cared for the taste of alcohol so naturally Vodka was the perfect choice.  Maybe I just like Vodka because it is made from potatoes…





Wine: I have replaced my usual afternoon cocktail with wine. I feel so grown up now. Not just any wine though, has to be White Zinfandel mixed with Tonic Water and has to have some ice in it. 






Q3: Places I have been
I have only been a few places, not near as many as I want to. But I do have a bucket list started that I continually add to. Maybe I should get working on it... 

Quebec: Within my own country of Canada, I have only been to one other province. That was when I was a kid and went on a student exchange to Quebec. I can hardly remember most of it now, but I recall I stayed with a very nice family in Laval and they took me to the Laurentian Mountains. In case you are wondering, my French never improved from the experience.


Germany: My BF is from Germany and we visited his hometown of Oberboihingen a few years back. Germany is an awesome place and is rich in history. I fell in love with the architecture and the quaint villages. Everything is so accessible there, either by walking or a train ride. Visiting the wineries was amazing, and so was the wine! 




Italy: While we were in Germany we made a side trip to Italy and stayed for a few days. I loved exploring the quaint villages and I ended up with an obsession of taking pictures of the unique doors on the old buildings. We stayed in Eppan in South Tyrol and I was surprised to learn that most of the community also spoke German. The area where we stayed just happened to be a popular vacation spot for German tourists. Too bad I speak as much German as I do Italian! But my BF is fluent in German and translated, besides as long as I could order a glass of wine.. “Ein Glas Wein bitte” (A glass of wine please) What more did I really need to say.


Florida: Florida as you may know is more of a ‘home away from home’ for me now. The weather is of course my favorite part. I love seeing the Palm Trees and it was in Florida that I really got most of my experience riding a motorcycle. Also, everything just seems so bright and colourful there, especially coming from a wintery Canada where it seems there are more dark and dreary days than sunny ones at that time of the year. 


Q4: Names that I am known by
I actually have more than four names that I have been known by, but the game says only four... 

Sandy: I guess first and foremost the name I am most known by would be ‘Sandy’. I was given that name at birth and it stuck. 

Sandy Beach: When I was in High School I used to get called ‘Sandy Beach’. A friend even made me a T-shirt with that name on it for my birthday. I still have it somewhere, I never throw anything out, the problem is where the hell did I put it!

River: Years ago, like back in 1996 when there was no such thing as Twitter or Facebook, people used IRC (Internet Relay Chat) the one I gravitated to was Microsoft Comic Chat (Who remembers that?) I had a screen name that I went by, ‘River’. I came up with that name because I lived near the Niagara River at the time. I know, so original (sarcasm) Anyway, that name has since disappeared into the cyber wasteland, kind of like comic chat has.

Frozen Canuck: I guess now I am more known by ‘The Frozen Canuck’. At least when it comes to the Internet. (And if I would consider myself known at all) However, my Twitter friend Fernando likes to call me ‘Snowflake’ and it kind of caught on. Okay, that makes five, but 'Snowflake' sounds so cute!

Well that was fun...