Mid Week Ride

Last week we took a few days and went for a ride, we started our journey by heading out to Woodstock. We got such a late start that we decided to take the 401, although it is a main highway and pretty busy, I really enjoyed the ride. First of all, it just felt good to be heading out, the day was turning out to be a good one, the sun was starting to come out and the weather was perfect. We went to Woodstock to pick up a pair of highway bar's for my bike, the person was selling them on kijiji. We ended up buying them and I left his place with the bars on my bike.

By time we were done, I was pretty hungry, we stopped at Montana's in Woodstock and I had a great dinner. We started looking for a hotel in the area and was really surprised that everything was booked, I was told there was a farming convention in the area. We ended up finding a place in Brantford, so after eating, we took some back roads and headed east, the sunset was so glorious, the cool part was that it reflecting in my mirrors.

The plan for the next day was to hit a few stores in the area, the first one was in Hamilton, which we did and then Larry changed the planned, we took some back roads and enjoyed a great scenic ride. We went to peacock point, which is on Lake Erie, such a pretty ride.

The next stop was for gas, in Port Dover, a pretty little town that has become famous as a destination for bikers, especially on (any) Friday the 13th.

We still had a bit to go to get to our end destination, Port Stanley. We had booked a hotel earlier that day,  I was looking forward to relaxing by the beach and going out for a great dinner. For some reason, the last hour (or so) I found ride a bit difficult, I was getting pretty sore and tired, I felt like I couldn't get there quick enough. I was surprised that Larry was feeling the same way and he was experiencing the same relief I felt as we slowly got off our bikes.

After a warm shower we were both feeling better and headed out to look for some dinner. We went to the beach first and enjoyed the view of this awesome sunset, it felt good being there.

Finding a place to eat wasn't as easy as I had hoped, the town seems to shut down early. We ended up having dinner at The Wind Jammer Inn, we sat on the porch and started off with the 'soup of the moment', and because it was getting chilli we ended up moving inside, it's a charming place to eat. Larry ordered the Cheese Stuffed Portobello Cap for his main course, he enjoyed it so much and said he never had such a good meal, all the food was so good - we couldn't resist dessert which was indescribably delicious. It was a great, relaxing way to end the day.

The staff was particularly patient with us, when we got there the server checked with the chef to see if it wasn't to late to order, she was gracious enough to feed us, we were the last order of the day and the only customers for most of our meal, we were really appreciative.

The next day we had a great breakfast at the Buccaneer Restaurant, which was included with our room, which was kinda cool.

Then we headed home on Highway #3, which we've done a lot. We enjoyed the inland ride from Hamilton to Peacock Point and also admired the view of the shores of Lake Erie.

The change of seasons was apparent, leaves were starting to change, lot's of pumpkin farms and of course some cooler temps, but not uncomfortably so.

 

Thunder Bay, Day 2

Sunday was amazing! We had a great day. We are now in Midland, Ontario after riding what felt like 'all day'.

I woke up early in the morning, it was 7:30, with energy and determination, we decided to get going as quickly as possible, it surprisingly took us an hour to 'hit the road'. There was a lot of dark cloud cover, our hope was to out run any potential storm, so we made small goals. The first goal was Goderich, Ontario, which we did in good time, the clouds look less menacing as we rode on.

In Goderich we stopped at McDonalds where we tried the  'True North BLT McMuffin', it was the best breakfast I ever had there. I was hurrying Larry, he ended up taking his coffee in the bathroom with him, I thought that was pretty funny.

We went from Goderich to Collingwood, it was a great day of driving, we had clouds over head the whole day but the ride was breath taking at times. It got pretty hilly which is something that doesn't happen in our area, looking ahead the road appeared like a ribbon stretched out before us, going up, always leading the way. It was so fun reaching the top of a hill and getting an incredible view of whatever was below.

The most impressive site was when we reached an exceptionally high hill and just before we went down we got a clear view of Georgian Bay and Collingwood, it was breathtaking. Then we went down hill and up again and were treated to the same view.

We found ourselves at A & W for lunch, it was seriously so good but I could have just been super sonic hungry. Once there, we googled for a potential place to stay. That's when we decided to go to Midland, the ride from Collingwood to Midland was about an hour, the best part of that trip was a small area that was lined with massive pine tree's, it felt very majestic.

Leaving A & W and getting ready to go again

We got to our hotel in Midland, relaxed a bit and then went across the street to Kelsey's for an evening snack, it was a beautiful night, we sat out on the porch, and toasted our success for how far we came that day.

A sunset picture that did not do the sunset justice.

We went for a walk after wards, and came across this sign, it was directly opposite of, what looks like a two tire  dirt path.  The sign seemed random.

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Around 2am the predicted storm woke me up with its loud thunder, so glad I was in bed by then.

I need sleep for the long day tomorrow.

Day 3

 

Chatham Ontario

It's June and I think it's safe to say that biking season is upon us, it has been a long time coming! I'm starting to plan some trips for the summer ahead, and looking forward to getting out and exploring the world. We already did an overnight trip back in April, when the sunshine came out and smiled on us for a short time.

We decided to go to Chatham which isn't a long ride but we were looking for something low key as it was our first trip of the season. The trip can be done in a little over an hour if you take the highway but we followed the water - starting out on Riverside Drive - it was a delightful ride, a bit chilly but I was well dressed. We followed the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair and then Thames River, we got to Chatham around 4:00pm.

We were really excited when we saw our hotel, The Retro Suites, we were so intrigued with the outside and could hardly wait to go in. While we were registering we couldn't stop looking around, the hotel had a fairly big foyer with a huge majestic staircase, one couch that had the British flag pattern on it with 2 pillows on either side, one with the American flag and the other, of course was the Canadian flag, there was another couch that was more of  a Victorian style, with a couple of chairs for a great sitting area that was very popular with guests.

It was a bit of a maze to find our room but the directions were clear and when in doubt there were signs to point us in the right direction, as we were walking we were so distracted with all the art that surrounded us,  when we got to our room we were so pleased, it was well decorated, very comfortable with a kitchenette, every detail was taken care, this is truly a very unique and amazing hotel.

We even decided to stay another night just to enjoy the hotel a bit longer, every room is decorated differently, so it was interesting to stay in a different room the next night. Also, the room wasn't ready yet when we left for our ride, so it was fun to come back to a room we hadn't seen before.

The hotel is located right downtown and we were able to walk to our favorite Chatham restaurant, 'Mama Maria's', the food was wonderful as always and the walk back was part of the charm of the night.

The next day we headed out for a ride, it was a pretty day, we kept going on #2 and basically just 'winged' it, a right turn here and random lefts eventually brought us to Erieau, a line up of bikes had taken over the parking lots in this small town by time we had gotten there, restaurants were full and people were milling about, everyone was as excited about the sunshine as we were.

We had a quick lunch at Bayside Brewing Company, it was expectantly busy for the staff but they handled it well.

It was fun to check out the county, riding some very familiar roads and discovering some we hadn't been on before, after we left Erieau we followed Lake Erie for a while and then cut across the county to get back to Chatham, The Retro Suites and to check out our new room and relax for a bit before we headed out for dinner.

Monday morning started with breakfast at the Chilled Cork, a restaurant attached to the hotel, it was a nice treat to find out that breakfast was complimentry on weekdays. We had a fun journey home, we again cut across the county and followed Lake Erie and ended up on one of my favorite highway's #50.

It was very exhilarating to be out on the bikes and riding together - it was a great 1st ride!

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The Retro Suites.

 

Adventure

387079_10152033547680232_1284054146_n A few years back I took a trip to Brampton and stayed with my good friend Carolyn, I spent a couple of days exploring the back streets past Brampton, places like Georgetown, Glen Williams, Caledon and beyond. I was surprised how many streets there were that were not paved, I enjoyed just driving, exploring territory I've never seen before.

There are so many times I would love to take a picture, however stopping and pulling out the camera just seems like a pain, but every once in a while I make myself. I saw so many beautiful sights on this trip, for the most part I drove down winding roads, some with hills, I enjoyed views of small bodies of water but mostly it was farmland on either side of me - everything was so green and lush - I stopped at a couple of points and took a picture because I wanted to remember the feeling of excitement I had as I was about to embark on a road that I'ld never been down, what was around the bend? I was about to find out.

530062_10152033546750232_317432605_n-1And the adventure continues,....

 

Snow and Brochures

The other day I stopped at the  Windsor Tourist Information Centre, I was hoping to find some local postcards and while there an idea popped into my head - I asked about biking maps and I was pretty excited to come home with a handful of brochures. My Brochures

 

So now, I'm sitting here in front of the fire with a coffee in my hands day dreaming of summer days and doing some cruising, while outside many people are digging themselves out of the record breaking snow fall we just had.

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The brochures have pictures of clear days, groups of bikers riding and beautiful views, I want to jump into the picture. All the brochures are from Ontario, which is handy because that is where I live, however some would be quite a drive to get there.

My handful included Cruise the Coast (I already did a blog about how much I love that one), I'm enjoying The Top Ten Motorcycle Routes in Ontario, also Deer Trail Touring Route looks pretty great and very remote and I'm looking forward to diving into Ride Grey Bruce. I think these brochures with be worn out and dog eared before long as I drool over the maps and plan for summer adventures - can't wait.

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Erieau

One day, it seems like a long time ago (sometime in July, when the weather was warm) -   before the summer got busy, we decided to go on a quick get away. We didn't have much time so we decided to go to Erieau, which is about 2 hours away, if you take the long way - which is my favourite. Larry came home from work and we left soon after, it was a great ride, when we landed in Erieau we checked out our hotel room at Erieau Motel and then quickly (because I was so hungry) went to find some place to eat, we decided to eat at a restaurant close buy at the recommendation of our hosts. We ate at the Bayside Brewing Company, and it was a great choice. It was a hopping place but we did get a seat on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful night.

Our patio view

Although we did have to share the table with a cute guest, who turned out to be irresistible, so I may have shared my meal.

Our dinner companion

They make beer on the premise, so we sampled

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It was a beautiful evening, even the cat was satisfied.

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We then went for an evening walk, which was very beautiful and peaceful

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It's funny how you can be less than 2 hours away from home and feel like your a million miles away. It was such a relaxing time, and so much fun.

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Lake Erie Circle

Lake Erie, states side It was day 3 of our mini vacation/adventure, we decided to continue our ride around Lake Erie, we crossed the border in Fort Erie at the Peace Bridge, took 190 to highway #5 and we were blown away at the different views. We followed the Seaway Trail which was delightful, we got some great lake views, saw lots of trees and natural beauty as we rode along the windy, twisty road.

The Skyway

After driving for a couple hours we were surprised that we only clocked 67 kilometres, we still had a long way to go so we decided to take a slightly more direct way. We drove in 3 states, stopped at Tim Hortons in Erie Pa, experienced downtown Cleveland, as we slowly inched along through the many traffic lights that were always red and stopped at 2 gas stations before we reached our destination, our b&b in Milan Ohio (near Sandusky) and it only took around 9 hours. Needless to say, I was very hungry and sore when we arrived and was more than ready for the short walk to the 'The Wonder Bar', I was looking forward to chatting with my man about our day while eating some yummy food and sipping on a glass of wine. It was a good time once I got over my disappointment that they didn't serve wine on Sundays, it is against the law - that's right, there was a hand written note on the hard liquor and wine section stating that, nope, no matter how much you wanted a drink you could not have one. However they were able to serve beer and coolers, can anyone explain that to me?

  • The Ohio Drinking Laws, are different on Sunday, one can only buy wine from certain retailers who have a particular license- despite the fact the other retailers may be able to sell wine all week. A few stores must be given special waivers to sell on Sunday, but they are few and far between and sometimes non-existent in communities.

 

Enough about drinking, we spent  the night at Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast and plotted out our plan for our last day, still sore and tired from the long ride we decided to take the ferry from Sandusky to Pelee Island to Kingsville. We required a lot less driving and a lot of time on the water, it turned out to be a great day. We had dinner at the Pelee Winery, again I had no wine but this time by choice, we had a fellow traveller join us, we enjoyed learning about his upcoming adventure of circling Lake Erie on his bicycle.

  We didn't get many pictures on this ride, however we did find more time while on the boat so check out these pic's

My bike all tucked in for the ride.

My camera man

On our way to Pelee Island

Cedar Point

A great mini trip, check out day 1 and day 2 in case you missed it.

 

 

Lost

My throw back Thursday post; July 2012

We were lost somewhere between Port Stanley and Port Dover, sometimes being lost is an adventure, other times it's just frustrating - this was a good time and a good memory.

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I thought we should have of made a right at the last intersection but uncertainty crept in and I kept going straight, I knew I was wrong when the scenery change and became much prettier.

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We came across this cool wooden bridge.

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We had such a good time, we got off our bikes and explored the area, took a few pictures, we never saw another person or car drive by the whole time we were there. It was such a nice break, we got back on our bikes and eventually found our way.

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Weekend Ride

We decided to go for a weekend trip, which was extra fun because we did an overnight trip the weekend before - sometimes you just need to get away and have some fun. This time we decided to head to the St. Jacobs area, we arranged to stay at a B&B in a little town called Conestogo, Ontario, just outside  the Waterloo/Kitchener area. We headed out Saturday morning but ran into some delays, so after having breakfast at Marija's (my favourite breakfast place) we headed out on Riverside Dr toward Chatham and set the GPS to scenic route, which was fun although we got turned around after coming across a couple of detours, I'm sure we were retracing our steps a few times. We came across roads and tiny towns that we had never heard of before but we persevered and had a lovely trip. Our first break in Chatham, Ontario

When we got to Stratford we stopped to eat at a chain restaurant because I was starving, then we drove around the city a bit - it was a very pretty, I think the next we go that way I'ld like to stay there. It didn't take us to long to get to our B&B after that - but we did get there late, it was just turning dark. This is basically the route we took;

Headed to our B&B in Conestogo

 

The room was very cute, located in the upstairs of a rambling older home, our bathroom was across the hall but it was private.

The B&B

 

We had a great night sleep and were ready to start out again in the morning, this time we were concerned about the weather, rain was predicted and the sky was cloudy. We drove through St. Jacobs, Elmira, Elora (where we stopped for breakfast at Uptown Cafe - very good!), Fergus, Georgetown just skirting the rain then ended up in Brampton just before the rain hit and meeting up with some incredible friends who are the most gracious hosts.

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The next day, Monday we again started out, this time we headed home, the long way. My good friend suggested we start out going out the back roads and we followed her directions and we throughly enjoyed the ride, we stopped for breakfast in Waterdown at Angels Diner, seriously such a good breakfast.

Our Journey Home

We talked to a helpful server at Angels and she gave us directions for a great scenic ride, it was breathtaking. After we left Waterdown, we went through Hamilton, Dundas, Cope Town, Caledonia, Simcoe, LongPoint, Port Stanley, Blenheim and McGregor - where we were able to stop at Allens Grocery Store to pick up a few beers and a bottle wine. The ride got a little difficult as the heat of the day set in, we stopped at Long Point for a bite (do not order the fish sandwich - just sayin). After Long Point we got gas in Port Stanley and we took a much needed break at Tim Hortons in Blenheim, the rest of the ride home was fun as we found a new route trying to get to Allens, and the weather cooled a bit. After we left Allens we were home in about 20 mins and 10 mins later I was in an epsom salt bath with a glass of wine. Awesome weekend!!

Riding in Costa Rica

I'm sitting here at Kiki's restaurant in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, enjoying some coffee, warm breezes and free wifi. I am fortunate  to be able visit my daughter who is about to have a baby here:) I got the opportunity the other day to borrow her and her husbands bike, and went for a delightful ride along the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is so beautiful here, and so much fun to be on a bike again after a long winter.

I have an iphone 'book book' wallet and I was using my phone to take these pictures, I stopped a one point to take a picture of a huge iguana, that's when I realize that I no longer had my iphone wallet with me. There were so many bumps in the road, I could have lost it anywhere. I retraced my steps, stopped and asked people along the way but no luck, I was really starting to panic, all of my credit cards, license, and important info plus my phone, after a couple of hours I went to my daughters house and we went out looking together, she drove and called my cell, which we hoped would find it - one time someone answered the phone! So here is what happened, I hit a huge bump in the road and it fell out of my pocket, someone saw it happen and picked it up but there was no way to catch up to me. He was trying to figure out who the phone belonged to and went through my pictures, he recognised some of the pictures I had and tried to call my daughter but wasn't able to get through. Sweet relief!! And an answer to prayer!

A native Tico found it, and tried to return it quickly, we make it difficult by making all kinds of frantic phone calls. Costa Rica is a county of wonderful, friendly & honest people. I am blessed!

 

 

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Victoria

It's Christmas time and I'm in Victoria, BC -  How lucky and I? Today was sunny with a high of 46°(F), I rented a car - imagine my jealousy when I started noticing all the bikes around. With the mild temperatures I imagine people can ride all year around.

So I did a bit of research on the 'world wide web' and found this site, there are some really fun trips that I would love to try! I will defiantly come back out with my bike and do some exploring, hopefully this coming up summer.

Ride Motorcycle Roads in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Instead of riding I was walking, enjoying downtown Victoria, doing a little boxing day shopping and having lunch with one of my favourite people - all in all a very good day. Victoria, BC is a very charming and beautiful city, I recommend a visit soon and can't wait of post about some rides in this area.

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