We had a bit of a whirlwind week that bears some documentation, if only so I can one day read this after my memory begins to fail. After all, that’s really why we do these blogs, as a back-up copy of our memories! No, really… you’d be amazed how often I go back to find out where we went, who we were with, etc. when I’m a little bit fuzzy on the details or even when something occurred.
Anyway, this past week was one of those weeks that really does require a little documentation as it was jam-packed with highlights. It all began last weekend:
Friday, May 8th: Every other Friday Debbie and I meet for lunch at the Red Eye Mule and the 8th was no exception. However, what cracked my sweetie up in this photo was her realization after sitting with me for 10 minutes that I was clean-shaven again. Yeah, I’m guessing I’ve been struggling a bit with managing the appearance I’d like to have with the one my employer expects me to have. I pushed the boundaries for two years with hair down past my collar and a bushy goatee. But, more recently went high & tight + clean-shaven. Of course, as soon as I’d cut my hair I wished I hadn’t so I’ve had a few fits and starts with the facial hair. So, over the course of two to three weeks I’d gone from fuzzy to spit-polished. As I write, I’m headed back to fuzzy… fuzzy is good. The clean-cut corporate look might give folks the wrong idea!
The rest of Friday was consumed by “stuff at the house” plus a nice ride on the Wide Glide (yes, I still have it) and then ‘Finally a Friday’ at Loco Willy’s with Miss Debbie and our friends David & Deb.
Saturday, May 9th: We started off the day thinking that it was “our day” where we could do whatever we wanted. So, the first thing we did was to go out for a nice ride on the tandem. Without the tailwinds that we were treated to a few weeks back — going out and coming back — our average speed was more in line with our usual expectation for the relatively low number of miles we’ve been racking up. Once we returned home Debbie figured out that she’d gotten the dates for our granddaughters piano recitals confused with another weekend (which almost caused us to cancel out on the Georgia Tandem Rally) and we had to do a quick-turn-around at the house to get ourselves up to Reinhardt College for the recital.
Of course, being with the family for the recital also meant that Nama got to have some quality time with Wesley & Julie’s little-one, Vivian Rose. It’s amazing how the right stimulus can bring us back from the brink of exhaustion, noting that neither of us had eaten lunch after our tandem ride and were in dire need of sustenance.
After getting back home we changed clothes and headed off to dinner at Loco Willy’s and followed that up with a movie: The Avengers: Age of Ultron. We’re both huge fans of the Marvel Studios productions, but both of the Avengers movies have struck us as a bit too ambitious. I personally believe they’ve figured out how to make sure as many Marvel fans go back and see the movie again to pump up box office receipts because there’s no way to catch everything that’s going on in these movies in just one viewing. Once you know the storyline you can pay more attention to the lines and other things going on in the background which makes the movie a bit different on a second viewing. Anyway, we’ll wait until it comes out on Blue Ray to watch it again.
Sunday, May 10th: We started off with a quiet morning around the house doing that ‘weekend stuff”. We planned to meet Wesley & the three granddaughters for lunch around 11:30am at Loco Willy’s. After confirming that they opened at 11:00am per their Facebook page, and given how nice the weather was, we hopped on Blue for the ride over. Imagine our surprise when we arrived to what appeared to be a very much still not open Loco’s. We stuck our heads in the door and saw Christian behind the bar who informed us that they didn’t really open until 12:00 / 12:30. Whoops! We sent a note off to Rex who manages their social media suggesting an update to the hours of operation for Sunday were in order, and then redirected Wesley and the girls to Olde Towne Grille who we knew would be open.
We decided to sit outside on the patio since it was a bit too early for the smokers to be out having lunch so that we could enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Debbie loves being with her little granddaughters and had a great time helping Caroline & Charlotte with their project books and coddling Vivian for a while.
After lunch we headed back home to enjoy Mother’s Day afternoon with a tandem ride that I covered in detail in a previous blog entry, so no need to revisit that: just watch the video!
We got back on Blue for a return ride over to Loco Willy’s in the late afternoon for our weekly wing fix and ran into our friend Gator: always a pleasure to visit with him. There’s a guy who either needs to write a book or be the subject of a biography.
Monday, May 11th & Tuesday, May 12th: Work days and nothing special about that; however, I should probably note that Debbie’s dad has been waging a battle with health issues for a few years and is now receiving hospice care at home. So, Debbie has been spending time visiting with her dad. It’s put a lot of stress on her, both physical and emotional… which is true of the entire family. We’re scheduled to attend the Georgia Tandem Rally next Thursday through Sunday; however, that’s all subject to change if her dad should happen to make his transition to whatever’s next between now and then. Yes, life is filled with all kinds of challenges. We try to take them all in stride and give them the proper context.
Wednesday, May 13th: Wednesday was special because it was our 2nd scheduled dance lesson at Arthur Murray’s in Kennesaw. Our instructor last week had been Mr. Edwards who had us brush up on the rumba & waltz that we’d learned in our introductory lesson and he then introduced us to the swing dance steps. So, on Wednesday Mr. Q had us do a few rumba & waltz steps to see if we had committed them to memory — we did pretty good — and then he introduced us to some new turns with the swing dances. I struggled a bit as I’m more of a visual learner and just couldn’t seem to make the connections between what I was seeing and trying to do: I was trying to add steps where they didn’t exist. All-in-all, we learned a lot — although we’re still robot dancing — and had a good time keeping it lighthearted but still learning.
Thursday, May 14th: The Geek turned 55 today! My co-workers were kind enough to surprise me with a birthday celebration in the afternoon that I almost derailed when I had to run off and get my cell phone fixed. Thankfully, I was only gone an hour which left a few minutes between meetings to slip in the surprise, some cake and a little social banter before diving back into work.
Debbie had asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate and my druthers were a nice dinner for two vs. having the entire family around, etc. As for where to go, I offered up Capers, Henry’s, Aspens and Fish Thyme and we decided to give Fish Thyme a second try because Debbie saw where they offered charbroiled oysters on Thursday nights! Sadly, the chef had to go over to their other restaurant (Capers) so no oysters! However, the ahi tuna & crab stuffed salmon that we had instead were excellent! It wasn’t as quiet as we’d hoped (probably need to stick to Capers for quiet), but it was just so nice having dinner at a table across from my sweetie!
We’ll do dinner with the family at some other time in the future, as the weekend ahead was already booked and we’ll be out-of-town the following weekend.
Friday, May 15th: Friday was a normal Friday right up and until we hit the front door at Loco Willy’s for our usual Finally a Friday / Fajita Friday celebration. I had a pretty good idea that Debbie was up to something, but wasn’t sure what she had planned: lots of text messages (and she rarely texts), phone calls made from upstairs, etc… Hey, it doesn’t take a federal agent to figure out when someone’s making plans and, well, I was a federal agent so it’s all pretty obvious. Of course, when I got home and saw what she was planning to wear — a killer dress with killer high heel shoes — it was clear that we’d be doing something special at some point that night. My guess was, we’d do dinner at Loco’s and then she’d suggest going over to Jimmy Mac’s where friends were already celebrating another birthday for Robyn, one of the gals who took care of our needs on Friday nights, or perhaps to Brewsters, where most of our motorcycling friends congregated on Friday nights.
Loco’s was packed when we arrived and I was anxiously surveying the bar to see where our friends David & Deb were sitting in the hope that they’d been able save seats for us. As I kept scanning the bar David finally caught my eye and pointed down to a table where our friends Ryan, Chuck & Kim were seated along with David’s wife Deb: you could have knocked me over with a feather, as I was truly surprised. I was also a bit peeved since I don’t like surprises, especially when they disrupt my routine! I also don’t like sitting at tables when we go to Loco’s because it takes too long to get served and, well, other things tend to get screwed-up. However, the gal taking care of us got up to speed, got me my soft drink and side-car and I finally started to relax and other friends kept arriving. I think we had 11 at the table by the time all was said and done: Jeff & Sharon and Bobby & Carrie Ann rounded out the crew. Kim, Chuck & Ryan were all stag, which made for a lot of fun at our end of the table. Given how chaotic things were I decided to pick up the tab for everyone — hey, it’s my birthday and that means I get to do what I want — and that made getting checked-out very easy for all concerned. Out next destination was Brewsters.
David & Deb rode along with us in the truck and we carved out our own piece of real estate near the back of the place and had a good time listening to the live music and enjoying each other’s company until around 11:00pm. Nothing all that obnoxious; I drank a ton of Diet Coke and sipped on a single shot of Patron and Debbie nursed a Fireball shot: pretty sure that was the smallest tab we ever had at Brewsters! Debbie signaled it was time to leave since she had to be up at her folks house by 8:30 so we headed off before Ryan arrived with Jeanette who he’d had to go to the airport to collect.
It was a great evening and I’m ever thankful for our friends taking time out to help celebrate! And, of course, a huge thank you to my sweetie for pulling it all together!
Saturday, May 16th: As mentioned, Debbie had to be up early so she could go and visit with her dad while her mother went and had her hair done on Saturday morning. I spent most of the day working around the house: bleached & power washed the porch columns and other “white” trim, power washed the breezeway and veranda furniture, walls, rugs, etc., to flush away the pollen that had been collecting all spring and then hit the yard: trimming hedges and cutting the lawn before calling it a day.
Debbie had been signed-up to sit with the grandkids from 3:30 until midnight while the kids hosted a retirement party for Julie’s mother. So, I was going strong doing much-needed yard work up and until 7:00pm. I did my best to stay awake until Debbie came home just so she’d have someone to come home to: it had been a long day for my sweetie.
Sadly, where I really wanted to be most of the afternoon and evening was the Shaky Boots Country Music festival at Kennesaw State University’s Soccer Stadium. Most of our motorcycling friends were there and, well, it was honky-tonk music to the max. Yeah, no wooden floors to dance on, but good friends & good music make for a good time. Maybe next year! It was a two-day festival, but Sunday would also be a non-starter since Debbie would be in recovery mode most of the day while I did pull-ahead honey-dos to get us ready for being out-of-town from the coming Thursday through Sunday.
Sunday, May 17th: Priority #1 for Sunday was a tandem ride, since Saturday had been a bust due to other commitments. We targeted 9:00am for our ride start, but were keeping an eye on the weather as local radar suggested rain squalls were popping up all around us. Sure enough, about the same time that Debbie came down ready to ride the skies opened up for a good 20 minutes. However, looking at the radar and the sky seemed to suggest that while the roads might be wet for the next hour or so, the skies would open back up and give us some sun.
With that being our biggest opportunity, I quickly threw-on the mud guards so that we’d be able to ride on the rain-soaked roads without getting soaked or covered with road grime: gotta love the SKS quick release mud guards!
We were able to enjoy a nice 25-mile / 1+ hour ride with lots of blue skies and increasingly dry roads, which made it all worthwhile. I’d also rotated the timing rings front to back / back to front on the Calfee and that eliminated the lingering chain noise I’d mentioned in some prior blog entries.
After finishing our ride we jumped on Blue and rode over to Loco Willy’s for our weekly hot wing fix. I’d stashed the rain gear in the saddlebags as the weather forecast called for more showers in the early afternoon. The wings were hot and the drinks frozen, so it was a good lunch date to be sure. After lunch we headed over to see if we couldn’t catch our friend Doc at the new Indian Motorcycle dealership in Marietta.
The new Indian dealership had moved into the store space just vacated by Atlanta BMW Ducati, a place where I’d spent way too much time and money over the past five years. Doc wasn’t on hand, but his buddy and former co-worker at the local H-D dealer who had also come over to Indian was on hand and showed us around the fairly sparse showroom and back shops. It was hard to believe it was the same space formerly occupied by BMW, as the BMW dealership had every square inch of floor space filled with fixtures and merchandise. The one Indian that continues to catch my attention — the Classic in the green & cream color scheme — was only to be found in the back shop where it was being assembled for display. Just looking at their Facebook page, it would appear that color scheme is a very popular choice, which is to say, perhaps not as desirable as I originally thought. Anyway, it was good to see a familiar face at the dealership even though we missed Doc.
After that we stopped by to visit with our friend Nick at Hellbender Harley Davidson. It’s always good to see him, they don’t come any better than Nick! After taking a stroll through the store — it’s definitely not the same place it was a year ago — we said our goodbyes and headed for home, hoping to avoid the rain.
Yeah, well… no such luck. We made it to the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and surrendered to the fact that we weren’t going to end-run the rain. We threw on the rain gear and were rewarded with a warm, dry ride home in a pretty good rain storm. About the time we arrived home the skies really opened up with a vengeance: thunder, lightning and a pretty good driving rain. However, it was all gone about as quickly as it blew through, which was good news for our friends over at the Shaky Boots festival.
I spent the better part of the afternoon working on our tandem (swapping out Debbie’s saddle and doing some derailleur adjustments) and then turned my attention to our three-seat / triplet which we’d be riding on Friday – Sunday at the Georgia Tandem Rally with our friend Lisa Davis. We only ride the bike about two to three times a year at the regional rallies or when heading up to ride with friends in Tennessee. The rest of the time it’s stored up in the “rafters” between two garage doors, collecting dust as it were. So, today was the day it got pulled-down, cleaned and prepped for some serious riding.
I always get a bit more excited about the cycling events as they draw near. Fingers crossed, we’ll be able to attend most if not all of this event!