Book Ends

We finished the riding season the same way we started it, we were delighted to have such  wonderful experiences, both times. They were pretty similar but also different, the first one, we were looking forward to a wonderful riding season ahead and anxious to get it started but this weekend, the one we just experienced, we were excited to get a great weather weekend and have one more chance to get away.

We got a late start on Saturday, but we were okay with that, the temputures were getting warmer with each passing hour.  As our journey started, we took the scenic route the whole way there, beginning with Riverside Drive, with a pit stop for a delicious breakfast at The Sandwich Nook, in Tecumseh. Once nourished with eggs, bacon and lots of coffee we continued through Belle River, Stoney Point, and a short side trip to Lighthouse cove, as we continued on our way we throughly enjoyed all the autumn sights, the colours of the leaves, the sun reflecting off the water and at one point a flock of birds flew over head, it was quite a sight to see.

 We were surprised how quickly we reached our destination, once in Chatham, we checked in our new favourite hotel, Retro Suites, we loved our room - the amazing thing about the hotel is that each room is decorated uniquely with touches that make it charming and delightful - after unpacking we decided to go for a walk, which was really enjoyable, we explored downtown and had a lot of fun checking out the different stores, following the path along the Thames River and enjoying the sights along the way.

For dinner we choose our favourite restaurant, Mama Maria's, we didn't have reservations and therefore, couldn't get a seat, however we sat at the bar, had an appetizer and ordered our dinner to go. It worked out well, we sat in our room, ate wonderful food and watched a movie, after dinner Larry got dessert from The Chilled Cork for us both, such good food.

Sunday, we drove home after promising to do this again as soon as possible, and enjoyed it thoroughly, almost at every stop light we looked over at each other and said what a great day it was, again the weather was perfect and the views amazing. Larry wanted to be home for 1pm to watch the Lions game and we pulled in the driveway right on the minute, the Lions won, which made Larry very happy.

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Thunder Bay (or bust)

We started our journey yesterday, (Saturday) I was working all day, so the plan was, that Larry would meet me after work and we would head out. We communicated all day via texts, we were pretty excited to get started. I received this text from him in the middle of day.

Ready to go, loaded down bike (please don't look at the messy garage)

Other than starting late, everything went according to plan. My sister took some pictures of us heading out.

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off we go

We headed out on Riverside Drive and drove to Chatham, by time we got to Mama Maria's, I was over hungry (I should have listened to Louise who was 'suggesting' I eat more) and because I was so hungry I ate to much warm, yummy, white bread which meant I got full faster, then when the main dish came out I couldn't eat very much of it but it was delicious!

Then we continued to Sarnia, we were travelling the county roads which was really picturesque - at one point, while looking toward my left, I was able to watch the sun set into some pretty dark clouds. It was an amazing ride, the temperatures dropped quite a bit and it felt so good to have left the heat behind us and feel the cool breezes.

We stayed at my sister-in-law's, who generously let us stay there in her absence - Larry jumped in the pool right away. The next step was to plan out Sunday's journey, we checked the weather, it's pretty hard not to get obsessed about the weather when riding. The weather network predicted rain and storms that were to start fairly early, we checked all the cities that would bring us to our first destination, it looked like the rain threats were going to follow us all the way to Collingwood.

We talked about staying in Sarnia an extra day, and trying to beat the rain but, in the end we went to bed with a wait and see attitude.

We do have a goal, we want to be in Thunder Bay in 4 days to visit with my beautiful daughter, it's like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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Don't forget to check out day 2 ;)

Best of Friends

Yesterday I got busy, I had intended to go for a ride but as the day went on I started readjusting my thoughts, feeling good about what I was getting done. Then my good friend Carolyn, who lives close to Toronto,  texted me around 2:30pm, she was driving to  Chatham on business. Her plan was to head right back home but there was an opportunity for us to have a small visit, I decided to drop everything and meet up with her, how could I resist a ride and hanging out with Carolyn? With a big smile on my face, I got ready quickly, I pulled on my new kevlar jeans, boots, and the rest of my gear and headed out. I decided to take the 401 highway, thinking it would be the quickest and I wanted to make sure I was there on time so I wouldn't miss a minute.

The ride up was pretty uneventful, there was some construction on the highway but traffic was pretty smooth. We got there about the same time, it was great seeing her! We went to my favorite Chatham restaurant, Mama Maria's for delicious Italian food, that never fails to please and of course to catch up.

Sitting on the back patio of Mama Maria's, overlooking the Thames River

We spent a fun hour together, I gave her a tour of downtown Chatham which did not take long, and then we went our separate ways again.

It was pretty cloudy out when I left Windsor and it got cloudier the closer I got to my destination, it has been looking like it's going to rain a lot lately and then it doesn't. I was pretty happy that the rain held off, although I am sure the farmers were disappointed. The ride home was really enjoyable, I took the scenic route and followed Thames River to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River. The sun played peek a boo with me all throughout the day but showed up about half way home which was nice, it was a good ride.

The 'loop'.

Once home, I had an overly excited dog on my hands so we went for a walk, it was a good way to move some of the muscles that had been sitting for a while, plus it was an enjoyable walk with fireflies lighting our way home.

Charlie

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.