Thursday, June 18, 2015

Miami to Tennessee in 18 hours

What can I say, this was a long trip,  but worth every moment.   By chance, we came across the Old Time Country Buffet.  What a treat and a great stop.

For people that don't know me, I despise chain restaurants.  Even though I eat at them, occasionally, I do leave disappointed most of the time.  I have a real problem eating at a place where for the most part, the people that work at the restaurant don't really share in the profits.  Where there is some group of people sitting in an Ivory tower collecting most of the money. 

So if you happen to travel to Florida on Interstate 75, take exit 18 in Valdosta stop at Old Time Country Buffet for the best country cooking around.

So 8 hours later, we make it home; what a great trip to Florida.  Seeing Family and riding motorcycles was a lot of fun.  Eating at this restaurant was an excellent finish to the trip.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale to Key West

It is simply the duty of anyone that rides a motorcycle to make the trip to Key West.  This a once in a lifetime ride for us.   This trip has been planned for a while and it turned out to be well worth the trip.

The bikes start the trip in a trailer from Clarksville Tennessee to Ft. Lauderdale Florida.  From Ft. Lauderdale it is a short 180 miles ride to Key West.  The first 60 mile ride to Key Largo via US Highway 27 and Florida Highway 997 we slide around the outskirts of Miami through the Everglades.

On the way, we take a short detour to see the Everglades National Park Visitor Center.  So we can get the National Park Passport stamped.  Then it's off to Key Largo and the start of the 120 miles ride through the Keys.

Four lanes of US Highway 1 turns to 2 lanes once you leave the large Island of Key Largo.  Then it is a series of bridges and Islands.  Then there is 7 miles bridge which is the longest in the Keys.  In about 3 hours we finally reach Key West.  The end of Highway 1 and the most southern point in the USA.

We made reservations at the Blue Marlin Motel with a boutique feeling. More importantly, we park our bikes right out front of our motel room.  It is located in the heart of the action and a great choice for motorcycle riders.

Well, we have 4 fun filled days in store in which the bikes will not move until the return trip to Miami.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Motorcycle Ride Around Lake Okeechobee

There are rides and then there are rides!  The ride around Lake Okeechobee is something all motorcyclist should experience.   Not widely talked about, but one of the best roads through a diverse natural setting. This ride takes you around the 4th largest lake within the United States.  Reachable on a day trip from either Miami or Orlando.  It is a fun ride that takes you through farmland and parts of the Everglades.  

The ride around this lake will take you through sugar cane fields, the Everglades and old growth cypress forest.  This ride envelops the senses, if that wasn't enough, once we reached the top of the  lake we took an Airboat ride seeing live Alligators in there natural habitat.

Leaving Weston near Miami Florida it is a quick 40 mile ride on US Highway 27 north towards Lake Okeechobee.   We stopped in Pahokee at the southern end of the lake, for lunch at Poppa Jimmy's Catfish.   It was a quick lunch and off to the North end of Lake Okeechobee where we took an Airboat ride in the Everglades near the lake. 

On the way back to Miami we had the pleasure of meeting an Alligator on the side of the road. Needless to say we didn't stop for conversation.  Please if you are in Florida make this ride around the lake. Sure the ride to Key West is cool and the thing to do; but while you're down south make sure you get that Lake Okeechobee notch in your belt. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Hemingway House in Key West

In life, not many things make me go WOW!!! But the Hemingway House in Key West has been one of them.   Yesterday after riding our motorcycles from Miami to Key West, we made our way first thing to the Hemingway House.   It did not disappoint.

Hemingway, a figure larger than life, was a lover of life.  A traveler, a writer who led a tumultuous life during a turbulent time.   Being bipolar, everyone in his life was one roller coaster ride.

The $20,000 pool cost him more than he paid for the whole house, which cost $8,000.  On sort of a revenge spending spree, his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, had his boxing rink replaced with a pool in the backyard.  This was all done while he was with his mistress Martha Gellhorn covering the war in Spain.   Needless to say, she was not happy when he returned.   Throwing a penny into the pool telling Pauline here is my last red cent so you can spend it.  Pauline jumped in the pool and pressed the penny into the still unset concrete. It is on view there today.

Key West is one of those places that will stir the soul.  It seems everything is simple and larger than life all at the same time: great seafood, great architecture, great beaches, and great people.  You can keep Hawaii, I'll take the Florida Keys anytime.