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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Post Script

Just a quick post, a follow up to the last one (First Long Ride 2015) where I may have spent too much time whining about the cold - Wednesday (the next day) turned out to be the beautiful day that was predicted. After catching up with some work I found myself free at 4:30pm and took my very clean & shiny bike for a ride along Riverside Drive, it was all I was expecting - I throughly enjoyed 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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Port Stanley

We woke up last Saturday morning and spontaneously decided to go for an overnight ride, the weather was promising to be beautiful, after seeing rain pretty much all week I was ready for some sunshine also we both were ready for a break from our busy lives. So we put a few essentials in the saddlebags and started out, we decided to go to Port Stanley - it's about a 2 hour drive if you take the highway, but about a 4 to 5 hour ride if you take the scenic route and stop for a leisurely breakfast. After reserving a hotel in Port Stanley, (which took a bit of work to find a place that wasn't booked) we headed out, we drove for about a ½ hour or so and stopped for breakfast in Essex and then carried on, after Leamington we took highway #3 most of the way. We arrived in Port Stanley around 4ish, checked into our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with the room.

We went for a walk along the beach, it was surprisingly crowded, lots of people, tents and umbrellas.

Busy beach day.

Busy beach day.

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Creativity on the beach, seen during our first walk.

 

Dinner was nice, we sat on the patio at a local restaurant and worked off the creme brûlée with a walk around town and  on the boardwalk.

Two guys catching minnows for bait.

A memorial to The Olga Disaster.

Dusk

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Oh, and just for the record - it's illegal to drink on the beach, uh oh

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Sunday morning we had breakfast on the patio, I had eggs with perch, so good and very relaxing. We headed home around 11:30, we took the long way and got home around 5. It was short but a great time :) Can't wait to do it again.

 

Essex County Road 50

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County Road 50

One of my favourite roads is county road 50 between Amherstburg and Kingsville, it runs along Lake Erie and goes through a few cute towns, the first one is Essex and then Colchester, Oxley and it eventually leads to Kingsville.

Signs along the way

It's a small 2 lane highway, approximately 30K's long, starting at county road #20 and ending at county road #20, it's the long way but scenic. On a nice day you'll have lots of company including fellow bikers, sight seers in cars and bicycles, as you drive along, farmland, vineyards, cottages, road-side stands, wineries (at least 8, many offering samples), restaurants and beaches will line the road. There is a b & b, called The Bell House, a blueberry farm and John R. Park Homestead (a step back in time), and once a year this highway is celebrated with an Explore the Shore weekend festival.

A pit stop at one of the very small beaches along the way.

We'll often take this way and find someplace in Kingsville or we'll go a little further to Leamington for a bite to eat, a fun night out. We've had breakfast at the beginning of this route at Ure's County Kitchen, a place that serves up good food as well as gas, firewood, and it has a convince store.

The beginning of County Rd 50

I also enjoy cutting this route a little bit short and making a right on Cull Street and then another right on Queen Street and you'll find your self at Lakeside Park, a park that has a small beach, a play area for the kids and a bathroom - it's a good place to take a break and have a snack, which is exactly what I did last time I went.

Lakeside Park, Kingsville

Roller Skating

About 3 years ago I joined the local Roller Derby team as a referee, I joined because  I love to skate and was excited to have the opportunity, through that experience I found out that there was an arena in Livonia Michigan. I was pretty excited, the first time I went it was to a referee clinic, we went early to skate. As I walked in the doors I felt like I stepped back in time, it was very exciting, the walls are covered with carpet, there was a disco ball and they were playing oldies. Skating at Riverside Arena for the first time with a fellow referee.

Since then I started going fairly regularly on Thursday mornings, usually I go with my sister however yesterday I went by myself, it was a beautiful day so I decided to take my bike. I took the scenic route my gps directed me to take, it was a fun ride, I seen a different part of Detroit as well as a lot of unique graffiti, it brought me through areas I've never been before.

After talking to a fellow skater I was introduced to Hines Road, a group of us drove on it on the way to a restaurant in Pontiac and then I followed it most of the way home. It was quite scenic, especially compared to my ride there. LgQnLl8yNt-2                       LgQnLl8yNt

I outlined it red in the maps above to give you an idea where it is.

I'm pretty excited to discover some great routes in Michigan, anybody have any suggestions?

St. Clair Parkway

 St. Clair Parkway

We drove home from Sarnia on the most beautiful day, which was a treat because it hasn't been that nice lately. We started our journey taking River Rd. which is a part of the St. Clair Parkway, a nice drive along the St. Clair River which connects Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron. It's approximately 40k long and provides a scenic ride to Wallaceburg, it passes through some small towns, Port Lambton, Sombra, Courtright and Corunna. An enjoyable part of the ride home.

Riverside Drive, Windsor Ontario

riversidedrive The weather has not cooperated with my desire to ride, it's been a bit gloomy and rainy but I've manage to get out a few times. My favourite local ride is Riverside Drive, it is one of the main roads here, in Windsor, Ontario, travelling along the Detroit River and it ends in St. Clair Beach, it's a pretty ride, you can usually see the river on one side and the other has homes, office buildings and apartment buildings. There is almost always another biker on this stretch which makes it fun, the speed limit is 50 k/h for the most part and depending on the time of day the traffic isn't to bad. The busiest area is downtown, there are a few traffic lights in a row, so depending on your luck it could go quickly or not. I find the ride relaxing and if you choose, there are many parks along the way where you can stop, take a break and enjoy the view. The 3 main parks starting west are Windsor Sculpture Park, then downtown there is Dieppe Gardens and Coventry Gardens which has our Peace Fountain.

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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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Baby, it's cold outside!

Today, December 7th was a beautiful sunny day with a high of -4°celsius, when I heard the roar of a motorcycle, I was really surprised to see my neighbour take his bike out. How I long for the warmer temps so that I can take my bike out - I just have such a hard time imagining myself enjoying the ride when I'm freezing.  

Anyone else (besides my neighbour) like ride in below 0° temps?

My New Bike

This year, just a few short months ago I bought a new bike, it is a beauty! A 2009 Suzuki Boulevard M50, okay it's new to me :) Sometimes Kijiji really works for me. I love my 'new' bike, it's a smooth ride and easy to handle.  I have spent the rest of the summer months getting use to it, and checking out South Western Ontario, which offers so many beautiful rides. Now I'm disappointed that summer is coming to an end but I'm planning next summer starting now, I'm looking for some fun rides - any suggestions?

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