Well, it may not have been the most elaborate Debbie Fest in memory, but I think it was a pretty good one just the same!
While I would have very much enjoyed every day to have included a tandem bike ride, weather and work schedules conspired to keep us off the long bike until the Sunday morning after Debbie’s birthday. It wasn’t even a long ride, but it was a definitely an up-tempo ride – perhaps the fastest short loop for us in well over a year – and that’s always good for the mind, body & spirit.
As for what came before, being a sweet down home country girl – just like my mother – roses are a must for all birthdays, Valentine ’s Day our anniversary and every once in a while “just because.” To ensure she could enjoy them as long as possible, I had her arrangement delivered on the Monday five days ahead of her birthday. I’m told they were still going strong when she left work on Friday.
We both took off Wednesday afternoon to attend to a couple of appointments. After our first meeting we headed home to change into more casual clothes for our first introductory ballroom dance lesson at Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio. We’d always talked about wanting to learn how to ballroom dance – you know, the rumba, waltz, swing, etc. – and Debbie finally found a way to get us off the dime by purchasing a gift certificate for the intro dance lesson as a Christmas present for me/us. We had a good time and as intended, the reasonably priced intro lesson lead us to sign-up for a basic dance instruction package: Happy Birthday to us! This will provide us with a few more private and group lessons over the next month or two, subject to our schedule more so than anything else. We’ve been doing a little home-study on the Texas Two-Step and have it in mind to start attending the free Line Dancing class on Wednesday nights at Cowboys, so perhaps all of this dancing stuff will gel. We’ve always enjoyed dancing; perhaps we’ll enjoy it even more once we have a hot clue what we’re supposed to be doing vs. just making it up as we go along!
The original plan / assumption was that after our lesson we’d just go home for dinner and have a usual evening. However, seeing that it was Debbie Fest I decided to see if she’d like to have dinner out at either one of our favorite white table-cloth restaurants – Capers on Main – or to perhaps give Henry’s (a Cajun place) in Acworth a try.
We’d eaten lunch at Henry’s in the past, but had never given it a try for dinner. So, after confirming a table for two wouldn’t be hard to snag in the early evening that’s where we went. We were seated as soon as we arrived and the meal was truly amazing. While I’m not sure it was the best we’ve ever had, it was certainly right up there and in a category all of its own: the seasonings, preparation and presentation were all right up our alley! However, the portions were huge and we over achieved by ordering two entries and an appetizer. In the future we’ll probably need to split an entrée and skip the appetizer, as neither of us are big eaters by a long stretch. In fact, we probably split about 80% of our meals these days.
We both thought about heading over to Cowboy’s after dinner for the Line Dancing class, but decided we’d had a pretty full day of it and headed back home. It had been a great afternoon and evening together, but we were gassed.
Thursday was a relatively normal weeknight and gave us both some time to catch up on a few things ahead of the weekend.
Friday ended up being a work day for both of us, but I was able to finish up at the plant in time to meet my sweetie for lunch at The Red Eyed Mule. We did our usual and split a medium-rare Jakes Big Daddy, it’s simply the best burger “ever!”
After stopping at Costco in route to the house I had an itch to go cycling. However, I didn’t want to deal with school buses and soccer moms on the roads. Thankfully, for the first day in nearly a month, the local trails were finally not closed due to weather. I threw the Dean hardtail in the back of the truck and was able to get in a fast, short loop then did some errands on the way back home in time to get cleaned-up before Debbie got home. Well, OK, I also took time to enjoy a post ride Newcastle Brown and THEN get cleaned up for dinner out!
Our ‘Finally a Friday’ at Loco Willy’s with our partners in crime, Deb and David, was a joy as always and allowed us to finalize our respective travel plans for next week’s trip down to Panama City Beach. Deb and David would likely head down on Wednesday, which would allow them to travel at their own pace… probably not a bad idea since I still can’t seem to embrace that idea. I’m always driven to get to my destination which makes for a minimal number of stops that tend to be “splash and go’s” without extra down time off the bikes. I really need to learn how to chill on road trips; perhaps I’ll be less obsessive about trip times once I move into semi-retirement! One can only hope. Anyway, we decided to head home instead of going out to a club and watched Thor on the BlueRay player; always a great flick!
Saturday was a bit of a dreary day as the rain came in early and the skies stayed cloudy all day. Our only “must do’s” were to drop Debbie’s little Honda S2000 off at the body shop owned by our friend Jerry who’d take care of getting the hail damage repaired. With that errand taken care of, Debbie went off to do some grocery shopping for a pot luck at her parent’s house on Sunday where they’d be celebrating her Dad’s 80th birthday.
While she was out, I ran over to the bakery to pick up some Petits Fours as a birthday cake substitute for our dinner out with the kids that night. Again, neither Debbie nor I eat all that much anymore and having a full-size cake is a waste. So, the Petits Fours give us a nice little sweet treat for everyone at the table without the hassle of a big cake. Well, that and everyone seems to like them! Best of all, they’re easy to pack into a motorcycle saddle bag!
Once I was back at the house I turned my attention to our Road King “Blue” to make sure she’d be ready for our round trip to Panama City Beach. Since Debbie’s little car wasn’t in the garage I had plenty of room for Blue since I was able to park the other two motorcycles where her car was usually parked.
After verifying the fluids, electrics and tires were all up to snuff for the trip I decided I really needed to clean the grime off Blue from our Daytona trip. After a solid four hours of cleaning, polishing and waxing all of the chrome and painted surfaces I put on a final top coat before heading inside the house to get cleaned-up for dinner, as we’d be meeting the kids and grandkids at 6:00pm.
Instead of going to Olde Towne for dinner, someone got it in their head that Marlow’s would be a nice change. Well, we all had great meals, a good server and a nice time but ultimately decided that Olde Towne was hard to beat. But, as I said, we had a great time with Wesley, Julie and the three girls: Caroline, Charlotte & Vivian. Miss Debbie is always a glow when she’s surrounded by those little girls!
As we drove home from dinner – and noting that Marlow’s did not serve frozen drinks – I asked Debbie if she’d like to hop on Blue and head over to Loco Willy’s for one of her Strawberry Margarita’s, noting she’s been anxiously awaiting a chance to get back on the big bike for a ride ever since we got back from Daytona. So, as soon as we were back at the house I buffed off the last top coat of sealer on Blue while Debbie got changed and then we headed off to Loco Willy’s. It wasn’t all that busy at Loco’s, so we were easily able to find a couple of seats at the bar and had a chance to visit with some of the other regulars: it’s just that kind of place. It made for a nice end to the evening and we motored home in the dark around 9:00pm, although I had to fight the temptation to head over to Cowboys since Sunday was going to be a busy day!
Sunday began with the usual weekend ‘inside the house’ chores, but we decided that we’d sneak in a short tandem ride at 9:00am as the weather was just too nice to pass up. Moreover, we both needed some time on the tandem for all the right reasons! It was an awesome ride, perhaps overly compensated by shifting winds and it felt like we had tailwinds going out and coming back (Debbie says, ‘Nuh uh; that was all us!!’). Whatever it was, we’ll take it as often as we can! The ride really lifted our spirits as well as our heart rates and that’s a good thing.
Once we were back at the house it was back to weekend chores and, for Debbie, making a casserole and salad for the pot luck at her folks. She headed off around 11:30 so she’d be there about a ½ hour before guests were to arrive at 1:00pm. I left around noon on the Wide Glide, but took the back ways so I could enjoy the ride vs. saving 15 minutes by taking I-595. I don’t mind riding the windshield-less Wide Glide on the freeway, but if I can avoid it I do! Let’s just say, it was well worth it: it was a wonderful and therapeutic ride. I arrived shortly after 1:00pm and visited for about an hour. Around 2:15pm I quietly slipped away so I could get back to the house and take care of the weekend yard work, remembering that Saturday was a wash-out. About the time I finished edging, trimming, hitting the weeds with Round-Up and cutting the front & back yard Debbie rolled in; I think it was about 4:45pm.
As promised earlier in the day, we both got cleaned-up, jumped on Blue and made our 3rd visit of the weekend to Loco’s for some hot wings & frozen goodness to round out our weekend. Again, the weather was about as nice as you could want for late April, with temps in the mid-70s and lots of late day sunshine.
Back at home we settled-in on the dual recliner and watched Thor – The Dark World, which I could barely recall seeing before. I’m guessing we must have gone on a Friday night when my faculties weren’t fully operational! It’s quite rare for me to forget any details from movies that I like and I (we) really like the Marvel Studio movies!
It was just a great, relaxing weekend to top off a really good week. Three more days at work and then it’s off to Panama City Beach where we’ll put a punctuation mark on Debbie Fest with friends during bike week!
Life is good when you have a wonderful person to share it with who likes pretty much everything you like, i.e., tandems, motorcycles, simple places and simple food/drinks and time spent with good friends in casual settings. I sometimes think it might be fun to do more ‘dress-up’ events, but at the end of the day… being in blue jeans and getting to/from on the Harley trumps a tux and black sedan, which we don’t have: just a lifted black 4-door truck & a little red sports car!