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Days 223,224, 225,226

This is the last 4 days. Even tho were home now, I figured its worthy to put them up.

20140208. Day 223. Saturday

Back to reality finally

Today we woke up kinda early, as we have to head outta here. :-(
Its time to go north for a final time. Back to Dads in Jacksonville again. One might think he might be sick of us by now!
We had coffee, and a couple tree eggs in an omelet, and started packing the van man. We had a full house to move out, or at least it seems that way! Once we had everything outta the condo by 10am, we still had to load the bike. Luckily I waited till it was raining, so everything would be slippery and a real pain in the ass. It took me a while, but I finally got it on the trailer and secured in place. We got outta there about 10:45, and headed to Interstate 4. Last time in Orlando cant come soon enough. Its not really a very nice place. Sure, the weather was OK for a couple days, and there is a lot to do around here if you have a fat checkbook. But, we dont have one, and the nice weather didnt win us over enough to suggest its nice here. Lets get outta here. we jump on the interstate, and hammer down, away we go. East on I-4 takes us back to the “world famous Daytona beach”. Crappy weather still, so we dont stop, just a quick wave as we jump onto I-95 North for the final run away from here, and into Jacksonville we go. Its a fast run thru here, everyone is honking along at 80+ mph, and were barely able to keep pace. Were in the van, with a trailer, so we settle in at 70, and cruise along. The exit for St.Augustine road shows up soon enough, and thats us. A left, then a left, then a left, then a right, then a right and were there in the cul-de-sac.
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Cant back into the driveway cause there is a big fat Four letter ford in the driveway with the hood opened. Must be waiting for a tow truck? Roland and Kurt take our arrival as an excuse to ditch the cat lady next door and welcome us back to town. Kurt is showing off his 2013 Raptor by Ford, and dam, thats one hell of a truck. (Did I really just say that?) For the prices they get, it should come with a massage lady in the back. 
I didnt unload the bike, I was to pissed off, all the fork oil was on the bed of the trailer. Puked it all out. Whatdafuck? That blows. Big time. As you recall, I ad the seals done about 6 weeks ago. Screw it. So we brought the trailer into the back yard, and left it there till we leave.
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We unloaded the van man, with the food going inside, and all the riding gear going into the campah. After finishing all that up, we had to get some suppah in us, and majority rules, so away we go to Sonnys Bar-B-Q pit. And of course, Roland and I over ordered and over ate. While we were in having dinnah, Roland did a battery test on the van man. Fail. Luckily we had some jumper cables and one of the FHP gave us a jump start. Back at the ranch we went, and had a round of cabbage before bed time. 
Weather today was lousy again, rainy in the low 60s
Total miles today was 148 on the van man
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Tomorrow we gather up the loose ends, and prepare to depart. The game is over, time to go home :-(

20140209. Day 224. Sunday

The last day in Floriduh

Were leaving tomorrow, so today is the day we wrap up all the loose ends. We slept in a bit, and then had the usual french press full of coffee, and a few eggs.
Roland wanted us to go to the new car show downtown with him, so away we went to stroll thru the convention center, in beeyouteafull sunny scenic downtown Jacksonville Floriduh.
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The auto show always brings a dose of reality and some serious sticker shock to the game. Its nice to see all the new models and kick a few tires.
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The sad reality of it, I doubt I will ever buy a new truck, when the one I want runs over $50,000 bucks. I mean, really? Once we were finished with the stroll, we hoped back in the RAV4 and headed outta there. A quick stop at the Treaty
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Oak (which never happened there) and we was done with the tourist activities for the season.
I had to get the aluminum trailer apart and mounted onto the flatbed trailer. Lucky me, Dad volunteered to do that, while I was repairing the transmission coolant line that was seeping. Not leaking, but wet and worrisome. Hate to have it blow out on me on the road somewhere. Once that was patched, and the trailer was disassembled, we had everything ready. We attached the trailer to the campah, and moved it to the front of the house so it would be easy to leave in the morning. Everything was loaded up except some refrigerated stuff and our suitcases the general consensus was to have an early-ish dinner then retire to the card table. Sushi and a Birds Nest, and some yellow curry with tofu please! Another great meal at Banana Leaf out on San Jose BLVD.
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Our last meal in Floriduh!! We did get to the card table, and even with a new old deck of cards, nothing was going well for anyone, so we switched off to Dominoes and frittered the night away. 
Dinner was the aforementioned Japanese/Chinese/Thai 
Weather today was OK, in the 60s, and partly everything.
Total miles today was none by us, some by Dad to towndown.
Tomorrow we hit the road, back to the real world

20140210. Day 225. Monday

Going where the wind blows oh so strange

Were heading towards home today. Our plan is to stop into Savanna and spend some time being tourists, then camp at a State Park into South Cackalacky. With only 300 miles due for the day, we didnt hurry in the morning. Nothing new about that I heard more then once, eh?
It didnt take long to do a brew in the french press, and gobble up some goatmeal. Load all the suitcases, transfer stuff to the fridge, and were good to go. Not soon enough for Dad I suppose, but nonetheless, about 10am we headed North. :-( 
Out to I-95 we go, and pointed the autopilot towards Probbydense Row Dylin please, with a stop in Savanna, a campground in South Cackalacky, and maybe a motel6 or 7 around ballymore. We got outta Jacksonville, and Lauren snatched up the mobile device and started looking at the weather. And was shocked. Tuesday in the Cackalackies looks horrendous. Snow, ice, cold, crap, shit! That throws a monket wrench into the works? Whatta we gonna do now? 
Wave at Savanna on the way by, and just git as far north as possible tonite, or hole up in a campground as south as possible? The executive decisions agreed. Hammer down in the northbound lane. 
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We passed Savanna, and cruised towards Pedro’s, south of the border, ok.
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What is all that fuckery anyways? Nonsense not needed thank you. We stayed on I-95, passing by, Florence, SC, past Lumberton, Fayetteville, and Rocky Mount, NC. Darkness caught up to us, and we kept plodding along. We had some dinner in a rest area near Fayetteville, NC. We were Clicking off good miles, one after the other. We thought about getting to Petersburg, VA, but after stopping for Petrol in Roanoke Rapids, NC,
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we saw a Days Inn for under $60/night. Deal, book us in please. Done for the long day that was gonna be a short one.
Weather was sunny and 60 when we left Fl, but by the time we got here, it was cold, and dar in the low 40s and dropping
Total miles today was 532
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Tomorrow we bring it home to “The great state of row dylin”!!

20140211. Day 226. Tuesday

Suckin gas and hauling ass. 

Woke up rather unrefreshed today, thanks to the loud rednecks that arrived in the next room about 2am, and there TV on loudly for way to long. Thanks assheads :-(
The alarms went off way to soon at 7:30, but we got thru the showers and the inroom VIA. Loaded the suitcases, and got thru the continental breakfast and out the door by 8:45. A quick stop at the Starbucks nearby, and before we knew it, were Northbound and into Virginia. Moving along as rapidly as possible, trying to outrun this storm thats happening behind us.
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We got thru Virginia and hit DC traffic just after the morning rushing hour was well done, but construction hour well underway. We got past all that noise, and headed towards Ballymore. We figured the outer loop would be good, but gridlock hit
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as soon as we entered I-695, whatda F? Stupid road construction, 2 outta 3 lanes closed?
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That cost us 35 minutes, and started us on the paying tolls diet. There everywhere here. $4, then $6, then $8, then $13, but at least were thru Delaware
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and in Doity Joisey now. A quick exit at exit 10, and were doing another Loop. I- 287 runs along the outer perimeter of the metro area, and sends us towards the NYThruway and the Tappen Zee Bridge.
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Although it adds miles, we avoid the GW bridge and the Cross Bronx Expressway. Yea for that. Were kinda heavy on the auto pilot now, and just clicking off the miles now. 287 to 87 to 95 thru NJ, into NY, into CT and finally, into RI!!! Exit 5 couldnt arrive quick enough for us. At 10:30, we rolled onto the top of Weaver ahill, and shut it down.
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One peak outside, and we almost froze our beejeepers off. Shit its cold here. We dragged the suitcases into the house then Plugged in the camper so we could keep it from frezering up overnite. I tried to run 2 heaters, but its just to much pull and popped a fuse. I hope one will work. (But it didnt. It was frozen the next morning). It took a while to wind down and find the bed. But, glad to be home finally. 
Weather today was clear and sunny and COLD. Brrrr
Total miles today was 644 in the RV, the biggest mileage day on the trip, and 8 states day!
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Tomorrow we clean out the campah and pahk it outta the way, and write our final posts! 

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Days 220,221,222

20140205. Day 220. Wednesday

No go no where today. 

We had to get to the airport this morning to drop off the bike, so we managed to have some coffee and off we went. I followed Dave up I-4 and then onto the Beachline Expressway. We jumped off Exit 8 and he returned the Harley to the rental joint. They told him he rode 505 miles. Not to bad for 3 full days! Not bad at all.
We got back to the condo, and had some bacon and eggs. There flight was scheduled for 8:30 tonight, but due to inclement weather in RI, it was canceled. Wow, so they need to reschedule it. They decided if they had to wait till Thursday, why not just wait till Friday, and call it a week. To bad the bike cost so much, it would be great to have it still. But the weather isnt that nice, so maybe it wouldn’t be that cool to have it sitting there running up a bill. In fact, its kinda chilly out, and cloudy, and drab. So, we end up killing the afternoon hanging out bullshitting and killing the bottle of Grey Goose. Done that but good. Lauren made some good ass pasta for dinner, then we hit the hot tub and the chilly pool for a night cap.
Thats all for wednesday folks.
Dinner was the aforementioned pasta yum.
Weather today was blah, grey and dreary-ish.
Total miles was just 35 on the van man
Tomorrow were not doing much at all, no plan man. 

20140206. Day 221. Thursday

Go kart attack ack ack ack

Another slow morning relaxing, with no plans at all. Just hanging loose, and enjoying the coffee, company, and frenchy toasty. Yum. We really didnt have much to do today, again it was a crappy day, dreary and drizzling. Blah. No interest in going anywhere thats outdoors or fun-ish. Oh Orlando, what do we do. I thought Walt and all the illusionist at the Mouse House had a way to counter this nonsense!
After much laziness and general lack of do anything anytime soon. We got a plan man. The plan man involved lets hang out and not do much of nothing for a bit, then go raise a little bit of hell at the indoor go karts. What a hoot those were. All good fun.
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Inside and electric carts. All torque when they turn you loose. Lauren had never been on a go kart before. Imagine that? I couldn’t.
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We had 3 races, and its more about racing the clock and not each other. Yea, right.
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Super Dave had the fastest lap in Race 1, Stan DaLoan had the fastest lap in the second and third races. Lauren got the most improved award, and Dawn got flipped off. What a laugh. 
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After the Karts, we headed back to the condo to work on the bottle of tequila and have leftovers for dinner. And some super good nachos. A dip in the hot tub after 9pm sure was refreshing in the cold air
Weather today was crappy again. Cold, dreary, drizzle and fog, temps in the low 50
Total miles was just 20 in the van man
Tomorrow we hang out and relax, then get themz to the Airport, and get us ready to get outta town Saturday

20140207. Day 222. Friday

Downtown Dizzy before Italiano Dinnah for lunch

The last day of sleeping in at the condo, the last day of the vacation in Orlando, and our plan is to do as little as possible. We had some coffee brewed up, and stumbled our way thru some more cackleberries, then had some more coffee. We tried to think of what would be fun to do, but ran out of ideas. The weather was pretty shitty again, cold, cloudy, dreary. Someone suggested finding a place to walk around, so we jumped in the van, and headed to the Orange store for our dose of entertainment.
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Nothing to see here folks, move along. We figured The only free place in Disney is DownTown, so we drove over there and pahked the cah. In we went,
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and as quikly as we got there, we realized what a huge mistake it was. Loaded with people, stupid happy music playing, and a loud sucking noise from the wallet vacuums they have there. We looked at the Lego store,
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and peeked inside the gift shop store,
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and before they could turn on the vacs, we screwed outta there. Horrified at the nonsense there, we escaped as quickly as possible. What a horrible way to spend 30 minutes. Never again please thank you please.
We was all hungry, so we found an Italian Place on RT192, headed in and had a tasty dinner for lunch. Back to the condo, packed them up, and off to the airport we went. We got them there about 7, for there 8:30 flight. We went back to the condo, and got ourselves ready to depart in the morning. A quick dip in the jetted tub in the bathroom, and were done for the day and week and with Orlando.
Weather today was another bummer, cloudy, drizzle and cool, in the low 60s
Total miles today was about 50 in the van man.
Tomorrow were heading back to Jax. :-(

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Days 217,218,219

20140202. Day 217. Sunday

A Funday Sunday cruising to the Beach.

Ahh, the familiars sounds of friends, here in the condo with us. Yes indeed! It was easy to wake up and hang out, and fill the french press with tasty coffee. And BACON and eggs over easy. Woo-Hoo. Dave and Dawn head to the rental place to get a Harley, and Lauren and I spend a sunday morning doing what we do best. :-) 
We are all in favor of a ride to the beach today, so we all gear up to go. Were in pants, boots and riding jackets, there in shorts, sneakers and t-shirts ! Crazy New Englandahs! We decide the east coast for today is good, so we head to RT192 and away we go. East Bound. Its a lot of commercialization thru here, and about 10 miles past ST.Cloud it thins right out to a bunch of nothing. Swampy and cattley, and not much more. We move along well, speed limit is 65, traffic is light, and moving at 75+ so we carry on. 4 lanes, divided road, with at grade intersections here. We cruise along thru here, enjoying the warmth. I am glad for Dave and Dawn, coming out of the cold and snowshit of the NorthEast, its just what they needed. Before we know it, I-95 is right in front of us, and were close to our destination. We cross under the interstate and continue east, past the big box stores. Over the intracoastal water by the big bridge. We cross over RT A1A and land at a parking meter
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right at Melbourne Beach.
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Its about 80 degrees out, and it feels GOOD. We feed the meters, and set our sights on the beach. One of us had there flip-flops with us, one of us was in sneakers. Whatever, we headed right into the water to get the feets wet.
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It felt a lot warmer then up at Daytona last month. We stayed in long enough for a wave to get Dawn waist wet. DoH!
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We strolled north a bit, enjoying the feel of sand under our feet,
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and waves tickling our toes. Eventually we walked back to the bikes, and was convinced by the meter patrol we needed to feed some quarters, or screw. Option 2 please.
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We geared up and headed north on A1A. Along side the beaches and past the Air Force Base, right up to Cape Canaveral where the cruise ships dock. We were running short on time, so we stayed on RT528, the Martin Anderson Beachline Expressway. I needed fuel, so we jumped off at RT520, expecting there to be a gas station. This was were we found out this is a toll road, and they expect you to have exact change. Only. No toll collectors, exact change or fast pass only. Guess what? No exact change here. Either one of us. And guess what else ? No gas station. Bullshit. And then we find another toll when we get to RT417, the Central Florida Greenway. And then another when we get to the Osceola Parkway. It was probably $10 each in tolls to get back by the no traffic way! Either pay the tolls, or sit in traffic. Stooopid.
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Once we got back to the condo, we ordered pizza and watched the Seahawks spank the Broncos, just like I said would happen 2 weeks ago. 
Weather today was warm and sunny, low 80s
Total miles were 156 on the bike
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Tomorrow were relaxing, maybe the pool, maybe a short ride. 

20140203. Day 218. Monday

A lazy Sunny day hanging loose

Monday morning, bright and early were up and good to go? Go where? Why right To the table for bacon and eggs please yes thank you. We brewed up plenty of coffee for us all, and I had the honor of doing the breakfast cooking. Over easy please, for four! Hell YA. We chowed out pretty good for a couple few hobos. We didnt plan a big ride today, because we had a 2pm appointment in Celebration for Lauren to pick up her new glasses. We had ordered them 4 weeks ago when we were here with Ms. Kathleen. 
We headed to the pool for a couple hours to absorb some sun and fun.
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Well, more sun then fun. But after all the crappy weather we have put up with lately, it felt pretty nice to bake in the sun a bit. About 1:30 we hoped in the van man, and headed over to the store. It was quick and easy to do it. And I gotta say, nice glasses. She looks HOT!
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Very nice color and sleek design. I approve of this message.
We got back to the condo and gathered up Dave and Dawn and hoped on the bikes. They were a bit curious about that little village of Celebration, so we headed there first. We went into the center of the world there and stopped and had a fast coffee in the Starbucks. As we were departing, Lauren suggested we cruise thru the town a bit to check out the different homes there. Bad Idea. As we headed up Campus Street, traffic can to a grinding halt. After several minutes of no movement at all, the truck in front of me jumped into the other lane, and hauled past the gridlock. I looked past the traffic, and saw a car sitting in the middle of the road with the 4 way flashers on. So, I jumped into the opposite lane also, and passed all the gridlock. When I got thru the mess, I looked in the mirror and noticed Dave didnt follow along. Odd. So I pulled over and waited. And waited and waited. Finally I spun around, and went back. He waved me off, but it was to late, I was approaching him. I pulled along side him, and said, hey, lets go. He just waved me off again. As I was pulling away to wait him out, Lauren heard someone calling her. Luckily I stopped just in time to get chewed out by a cop. For crossing double yellow lines in a school zone. Apparently that behavior is frowned upon around here. When Lauren asked if it was perfectly acceptable to stop traffic and just create total gridlock, the occifer got enough of an attitude that we left as quickly as possible. Dave finally broke free, and we got the hell outta there NOW. We decided to just cruise for a bit, so we headed west on RT192 until it gets to RT27. A left on 27 and we rode southbound. Its a busy road here. Well, every road here is busy it seems. Its a mix of new residential sprawl, and new commercial sprawl. The further south we got, the less sprawl there was, until we crossed Interstate. Then it filled in again. Uggh. We got to Hines City and jumped off 27 and picked up RT17, and headed north to complete the loop. Lots of low rent trailer parks this way, stuck side by side with big cookie cutter developments. Just more sprawl. Pretty discouraging here. Nothing fun to see at all. We completed the loop
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and got back to RT192, took a right and sat in 5 oclock traffic and the way to the Golden Trough! We chowed out on the big buffet. Then rode back to the condo. We decided to hit the hot tub and swimming pool. The pool was pretty nice after being in the sun all day. And the hot tub felt nice between laps in the pool.
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We retired to the condo about 11pm. Relaxed
Dinner today was the buffet.
Weather was nice, maybe a few clouds, in the mid 80s
Total miles was about 15 on the van man, and 67 on the bike.
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Tomorrow we head west to the coast to see the Gulf of Mexico.

20140204. Day 219. Tuesday

Wikki Watchee wicked wonderful wide 

Dave wanted to ride early today, so he rang my phone about 7am, and we got an early start to the day.
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It was foggy and 63 degrees out. Very humid and damp. I plugged in the heat, and away we went. We went east on RT192 for a bit, then took a left on Michigan Ave. just poking along really, no hurry, just having a ride. We got to East Osceola Parkway, and took a right, and continued east thru the thick suburbs. Lots of cookie cutter developments here and every on has a shit ton of kids out front getting on the bus gus. We ended up at Boggy Creek Road and took a left and followed it east to North Narcoossee Road. Took a right and headed south around Fells Cove. We saw Rummell Road and took another right. We cruised up and stopped at the boardwalk on East Lake Tohopekaliga for a spell.
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Just a quick ass break really. We watched the joggers and walkers pass by.
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St.Cloud is a neat little area here. Some houses are little, some are big, some are double wides, some are Mini McMansions. They have it all here. We followed LakeShore BLVD back to RT192, and cruised back to the condo.
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We had some coffee and Dave made Banana pancakes for everyone. Wow, good stuff. And I didnt have to cook it! 
We geared up again, and decided to head west now. It was just noon time and we headed west on RT192 out to RT27 past all the suburban sprawl. We took a right on RT27 and headed north to RT50, a left and were heading west now on 50. This is a nice route here. Pretty low volume of traffic, lots of agribusiness, and plenty of cows along thru here. We followed RT50 thru the Small towns, nothing being developed out here yet. We bypassed Brooksville, and rode RT 50 right to the end were it connects to RT19. In North Weeki Wachee, I saw a sign for a picinica table, so we continued out on Cortez BLVD. Eventually we ended up in Bayport, right on the Gulf.
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We clomb off and had a well deserved ass break.
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We walked around, and hung out a bit.
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After a while, we headed to have a look at the boat ramp, but it was crowded with a bunch of fishermans, so we skeedadled on outta there. We saw the Bayport Inn, and decided we was hungry. So we had lunch.
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A big lunch. I had stuffed fish, with a creamy holiday sauce over it. Wow. No idea what anyone else had, guess I was to busy enjoying mine to much to notice.
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It was getting to be a bit after 4, and we had some miles to go, so rather then continue to explore, we decided to head right back the way we came, RT50 East bound all the way. Trying to beat the sunset. Almost made it. We pulled back into the condo about 6:30, and welcomed the end of the ride for the day.
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A nice idea to hit the pool, and hot tub was voted on, and won. It felt great to soak for a while, and swim some laps. Then crash early-ish-sorta.
Dinner was fantastic fish in Bayport.
Weather was great, mostly sunny, mid 80s.
Total miles was 180 on the bike.
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Tomorrow were hanging loose, Dave has to have the rental back by 10-ish.

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Days 213,214,215,216

20140129. Day 213. Wednesday

Hibernating in da frigid tundra of Nawt Floriduh

Last night after we arrived here, the temperatures were dropping way more then usual for this area. Certainly glad we rode in yesterday, cause today the temperatures never went over 39 and it was rainy and raw. After being down in Cape Corral where it was 30+ degrees warmer, this is a big difference here. 
We had no plans today. Really. Just hang out, and try to stay warm. After having our coffee pressed frenched, we worked our way thru some eggers and then retired to the couch. After noontime, we pulled ourselves together bundeled up with everything own and headed on out. We headed to the library on San Jose BLVD. Lauren always wants a few books to read, and I wanted to get a particular book also. We got there and hung out a bit. Lauren had 137 books within minutes, I found one I liked, The one I wanted to borrow was at a different branch on the other side of town. They reserved it for me. We checked out Laurens 238 books and headed over. When we got there it wasnt ready yet. Boo. Wasted ride to the other side of town. Blah. We headed back to the ranch for a bit. We all decided to have Thai and Sushi for dinner. Right up the street at the Banana Leaf restaurant. I’d say we all enjoyed it but good
After dinner, we got out the cabbage board and one of us had a good evening. Two of us didn’t.
Weather today sucked
Total miles today wasnt any
Tomorrow were gonna do, umm, not to much again :-)

20140130. Day 214. Thursday

Cooling the heels 

Another cold day here in Nawt Floriduh. Again. The cold weather seems to shadow us lately again still? Whats with that. We have been avoiding it for months now. Sometimes yes, sometimes not. 
We had coffee, and stuck to oatmeal today
We really didnt have much to do today. We needed to look at the van man. Strange noises in the front when the brakes are applied. Dad and I pulled it into the garage and took the wheels off. Found nothing unusual. It wasnt a big deal to do, but took a little while. We also switched the wheels over on the trailer and checked it over so I can pull it behind the van man when we go down to Orlando Saturday. 
Once that was done, I ran to the market for supper groceries. 
Turkey burgers, salad, and forserious baked potato skins that Lauren created.
Weather today was crappy again. Cloudy, humid, and temps just up to 40.
Total miles were zip
Tomorrow I have to check out the campah and see why the generator doesnt start, also check out the side stand on the bike.

20140131. Day 215. Friday

Warming up and fixing things up

Finally the temps are rising. Forecast for today was hopefully low 60s
We lingered in this morning, slept late, then had coffee and cackleberries. Easy enough. I went out and dug into the generator. Its not starting, just cranking over. I pulled the plug, its running rich, but not fouled out. And its sparking. I checked the electric pump and it works. When Roland got back, I had him listen while I pushed some air thru the feed line. No bubbling, just air. No way? We dumped in some fuel, and just like that, the generator was running again. Boo-Yaa!
I pulled the sidestand apart on the bike, and fixed the spot that was binding while it was rotating down. Also the small oil leak doesnt seem to be any worse, in fact it looks like its gotten better. We will see.
We went back to the library that didnt have my book on wednesday, and then stopped for pizza on the way back to the ranch. 
Again one of us had a good night at the card table! 
Weather today we decent, low 60s, mostly cloudy, but nice enough after the last few days
Total miles was none again
Tomorrow were heading to Orlando again, for another week in a timeshare. Should be fun, Dave and Dawn are flying in to spend a few days with us riding. 

20140201. Day 216. Saturday

Southbound again, loaded up an truckin, we gonna do what they say cant be done, we got a long way to go, anna short time to get there, we southbound, watch ole bandit run!!.

The last vacation style week is upon us. Were heading to a time share resort in Orlando for one more week of vacation. After this, we recalculate, and probably head north. Boo.
We were up kinda early, for us at least, and got the french press cooked up. Mmmm
As I was preparing the gear, Dad was outside already hooking up the trailer and fiddling with the lights.
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Mission accomplished. Were good to go. We put the rig in the driveway and load up. I put the bike on the trailer and tie it down. Ready or not, here we go.
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It was about 12:30 when we left Dads. We were gonna take the back route outta town. But, at the last minute we decided to head to the interstate. It just sounds easier. We traveled the back roads last month on our way down here. So, to I-95 we go. Easy enough. Southbound, hammer down. The van man tows along just fine. You definitely know there is a trailer behind you, but keep it steady, and its easy going.
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We cruised right down I-95 to Daytona Beach, then hit I-4 west towards Orlando. Easy traffic today, some volume, but not to heavy. We went right to exit 64, back to RT192, Super-Sized-Buy-Shit-Row.
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Crazy traffic here. Uggh. We got to the resort
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and found our way to check in. Along with every other idiot.
OK, we get the room, and it looks pretty decent. It felt like the heat was on? Its 83 in here!! We call service desk, and they send 2 guys over right away to fix it. They fiddle around for a few minutes, and then head out, told me “Its all set”. We turn the A/C on, unpack, and get to the airport to pick up Dave & Dawn. It sure is GREAT to see them. Vow Dylinders!! Cool beans. Really fun to have them here. They even talk like we can understand. We throw there suitcases in, and away we go. Back to the resort and in we go. Still at 83 degrees. Those bastards! I am all over the phone. And there not even helpful. They sent the service dudes up again. Apparently I was a little loud when I addressed them on the balcony. Apparently I was upset very loudly. Rightfully so tho, they told me it was all set, and that was complete bullshit. No need for that shit. At all. We looked into a different room. But decided not to move, as it was not as big as this unit. We will deal with it overnight, and hope they get it fixed right away.
We went to El Tapitio for some Mexican.
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With Juan the guitar singer One man band.
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And cockroaches. Oh boy
Weather today was rainy ish and cloudy, but 70+ degrees.
Total miles today was 153
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in the van man.
Tomorrow were gonna hang loose in the morning, then take a ride towards the east coast beach in the afternoon. We hope :-)

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Days 210,211,212

20140126. Day 210. Sunday

Back to the Cape. Corral that is.

Sleep great at Super8?? Hmm, maybe yes, then again, maybe not. It was a twisty turning kinda night again. This is not the most comfortable place to sleep. But, it is what it is, isnt it. We poured some Via and pretended to enjoy it. Then into the free breakfast sunday morning before church. Well, for everyone else that is :-)
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We checked out and headed north on RT997 thru the center of Old Town Homestead. Lots of bikes on the road today. Everyone is enjoying the weather today. The sun is shining and the weather is awesome.100_5952
We got to the intersection of RT41, our planned route west thru Alligator Alley. But traffic was backed up a bit, and we noticed the Florida Highway Patrol had the road shut down. 100_5953
We realized, no way were going that way. The PD told us it would be shut down a few hours, best bet is the Interstate. :-( Bummer, how are we gonna see the Everglades? We curse the circumstances, but realize we pretty well screwed. So begrudgingly we continue north on RT997 along side the Big Miami Canal.
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It leads us right to RT27. Another 4 lane divided road with variable speed limits. This runs straight up to I-75. Boo. The interstate. Ugghh. This sucks. We were really dont wanna be on this road. But, whatcha gonna do? So, we jump onto the Interstate and point the bike west. Alligator Alley on the highway. Turn up the throttle, and lets go. Luckily the speed limit is 70, and the rest of the world is doing 80+. We stop once in the middle for an ass break, and notice its warm, and humid.
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Oh fun! We continue on, luckily the boredom is broken by Lauren announcing each Gator sighting in the canals. There everywhere in there. We stopped in the area that was called Big Cypress Reserve, but didnt have the balls to go thru the fence?
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At the end of Alligator Alley, we had enough, and jumped off the Interstate and headed west towards Naples on Golden Gate Parkway. We figured riding north on RT41 would be better then more highway. Its a nicer visual ride, but, the reason we avoided it last week was still true. Super-Sized-Buy-Shit-Row. And lots of Red lights. And traffic. We got to Bonita Springs and Stopped at Pinchers Crab Shack. We hoped Lisa was working there, but she went home early :-( So we didnt stay. Instead we decided to cruise along the beach route, so we went west on RT865, and enjoyed the ride again. Past all the big money houses on Bonita Beach, the over Big Hickory Island, then over Lovers Key State Park, and onto FT?Meyers Beach BLVD. Over the Bridge back onto the Main Land and up to we get to the Cape Coral Bridge Road. A right onto Santa Barbara BlVD, a right onto SE23RD Terrace and were back on the canal.
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Just in time to help Bobbie work on the Fuel Pump and lines on the 53. We re routed it and hoped it will avoid some of the heat build up we had previously. 
Dinner was spaghetti built by Pattie 
Weather was humid, warm in the high 70s, mostly sunny early, then cloudy later.
Total miles today was 181. 
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Tomorrow were hanging out to recharge the batteries and get ready to head north. 

20140127. Day 211. Monday. 

A quickie in the bright warm sunshiney day

We woke up pretty easily this morning, to an empty house. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. Its awfully nice around here. We didn’t really have much to do today. So, we didn’t. After a quick shower and quick smiles, we had to run a few errands. Well, we didnt “have” to run any errands. But we had beautiful weather, and a convertible Corvette sitting there, so we jumped in and away we went.
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A quick stop at Starbucks to exchange the Tea we had, and then we decided to take a ride to the beach. We went to Sannibell and Captiva Islands. Slowly we headed over the Cape Coral Bridge,
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then south on McGregor BLVD. A $6.00 toll!! Holy Fuckoly, thats enough, eh? We paid the ransom and over the bridge we go,
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onto the causeway. We stopped for a quick business break on the causeway and counted some seashells she sells.
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Continuing on, we got onto the island and right away noticed a ton of traffic heading off the island. Oh shit. Its gonna suck when we head back? Whatta ya gonna do. The sun was shining, the convertible top is down, the ocean smells fresh and were in a nice place.
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We cruised along the main boulevard thru Sannibell and headed north towards Captiva. Beautiful place out here, but awfully snooty. Hi dollar snooty in fact. When you see 6000 SQ ft houses bordering the beaches, you know its stacked here. Whatever, were just passing thru. It does make you think a bit more about the 1 percenters in this country, and income inequality. It stinks of it here. You know the people working in the service businesses along thru here can not afford to live here. We got further north and crossed over to Captiva Island. Even bigger houses here. Barf! Sorry but I just cant really get it there. Anywho, we cruised as far as we could northbound,
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noticed the unwelcome mat was out. We looked around like a true tourist, then spun it around and headed back. We (I) had hoped to find some ice cream here, but my fat ass determined no need for that. So we headed for the traffic jam on the way out. Took us an hour to sit in traffic and get off the island. About 5 miles. Yup, that sucks. Once we crossed the bridge and got back to the mainland, we boogied up McGregor BLVD and headed back over the Cape Corral Bridge, back up the Santa Barbara BLVD and headed towards the ranch. We diverted quickly to the supahmahkit so we could get some fixins for dinnah. Then called it a good day.
Weather today was sunny and warm, almost 80
Dinnah was Lauren designed build your own tacos!
Total miles today was about 50 in the drop top
Tomorrow were outta here. Back to reality, or Jacksonville anyways

20140128. Day 212. Tuesday

Outta the south, into the colden tundra of nawt floriduh

The weather outlook isnt looking the best up yonder. But our options are limited. Its gonna be cold and ugly wednesday and thursday, and not good days to ride. So were heading back today. Were gonna do the run in one long day today.
We were up early, about 8am, and got the day started. After washing away the hobo dust, we started packing up stuff. I shuttled everything out to the trailer while Lauren got the cackleberries cooked up. Once we stuffed ourselves full, we geared up and got ready to go. We said thanks and goodbye to Bobbie and Pattie and hit the road right about 10:30am. We debated what route to take as we headed north on Burnt Store Road. Should we go up RT17 towards Lakeland, or just ride the interstate all the way. RT17 thru Arcadia saves 30 miles, but no time. I guess the thought of alternating speed limits and two lanes road swayed us. Its gonna be an interstate day today.
We got a long way to go and a short time to get there. 330 miles estimate
Burnt Store Road heads into Punta Gorda. We veered off a bit, and crossed over RT41 and headed to the highway. Northbound onto I-75 we go. Twist it up, and away we go. Hammer time. Boring time. Miles start clicking off one a minute or less. Were motoring along around 75-80 mph. Moving With traffic, or slightly ahead of it. We stopped for an ass break around Tampa. Were at the 100 mile mark already.
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We stretched a bit, did some bizzness and got back to the road. I-75 North takes us to I-4. Were heading east on I-4 towards Orlando, home of the Dizzy Mouse. Boo-Yaa.
Were cranking pretty good still, average speed is about 80, except in the middle of Orlando where is slows to 60-ish. No problem, were just clicking off the miles. When we get near Sanford, we stop for the second Ass break in the states worst rest area. Were around 215 miles now. We hang loose for about 1/2 hour, then get it together to finish the run. Back onto I-4 Eastbound, hammer down towards the World Famous Daytona Beach.
The weather changed quickly when we got to I-95, like a switch was flipped. It was cloudy, very humid, very blustery wind, and down right chilly. We stopped in Palm Coast for some petrol, and to pull on the heat, and rain gear, just in case. Luckily we didnt need the rain gear, but the heat sure was helpful. We motored right up I-95 to Old St.Augustine Road, and jumped off there. Its only a few miles to Loretto Road. A quick left, then a nother and were in Byrd Landing. Phew. Its 5:30. 7 hours to get from Cape Coral to Jacksonville. Not bad all things considered. We managed to stuff the suitcases into the bedroom, just in time to go out to hit the buffet. Were done. Still a bit of road burn from that run. Its good to be back here again. :-)
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Weather today was nice in the south, warm and clear, humid and partly cloudy in the central part, then cloudy, sprinkles and cold in the north part. 
Total miles today was an ass bustin 333
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Tomorrow we chill out here. Weather forecast is for cold, rain, and colder rain :-(

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Days 207,208,209

20140123. Day 207. Thursday

Exploring the little island here

What a great place to wake up here. This little cabana is small, warm, and cozy, just like one of us!

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We didnt have much planned for today. AJ offered to let us use a scooter, or an electric car from the place she works, but we have a good set of two wheels under us. So, we lingered over the fresh brewed french press full of Casa Cielo, mmmmm. We figured we would cruise around the little island today, and end up at Fort Zachary, down on the southern tip of the island. Its suppose to be a nice beach, and a historic fort. I heard If you stand on your tippy toes, you might even be able to see Cuba! 
So, we put on our sneakers, and jumped on the bike. It sure is a small place. And densely populated. I dont think there is one empty lot here, or any open space on this island.
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Except maybe the cemetery in the center of the island, and the buffer zones at the runway in the International Airport. Its wall to wall people. There everywhere, there everywhere. It took us a very short time to see what we hadn’t seen yet, and then we headed to the State Park. We paid the $5 toll, and in we went. The biggest part of the park is the beach area. Its pretty nice. Clear blue water, and white sandy beaches. We wandered around a bit, then settled down and hung out on the rocks for a spell.
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We had our lunch here.
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Very relaxing to hear the surf crashing ashore.
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After some forserious relaxation, we headed in to see the fort.

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It certainly is not as nice as the one in North Florida. Fort Clinch puts this place to shame. But, its different down here.
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This place is not restored so much, its more preserved what was left after WW Two.

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Its cool.

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We clomb up to the top, and stood on our tippy tip tip tip toes, but still couldnt see Cuba. 

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After the Fort exploration, we headed towards Old Town
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to watch the sunset on Mallory Square,
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and to meet AJ and the boys. We found the free parking for bikes,
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and wandered over to the waterfront. There sure are a lot of street performers here.
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Jugglers on tall unicycles, guitar players,
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comedians, crazy cat man,
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fire dancers, you name it.

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Its amusing to watch. The best one was the lousy guitar player with the cool dog. Chase got a buck from me.
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After the sunset,
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We wanted to take AJ and the boys for dinner, so after some debate, we went for Thai food. It was very tasty. I think they liked it. The boys had never had it, and AJ was a little unsure also to begin with, but everyone ate well.

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When we left Duval Street, we headed off in search of the Southernmost Point in the US buoy. Its a bit tough to get pictures in the dark, but we managed.

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Then a cruise along by the beach on the lower side of the island, and were done for the night. 
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Weather was nice and sunny, a bit chilly early, but 70 in the afternoon
Dinner was good Thai food in town
Total miles today was 14

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Tomorrow were hanging out relaxing and going to the beach, after all, its Island time mahn

20140124. Day 208. Friday

It IS Island time Mahn, So Life is a beach today

We slept in again, sorta. No hurry today to do anything. Having a place to stay has been awesome, so were sneaking one more day in here. And after a fresh brew in the french press, we had some over easy cackleberries even. We slowly got it together to shower outside

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and move on along. Island time is sinking in. We grabbed our bathing suits, and the sun screen. Were going to the beach. We put on our sneakers and jumped on the bike. 
We rode by the Southern Most Buoy again, and it was jammed with people. So glad we stopped there last night. No chance we would have even gotten close to it with the bike today. We headed to the State Park again, and paid the $5 toll.The inside tip is this is the best beach to go, because there are no homeless people here. Because of the toll. Works for us. We parked the bike, grabbed our towels and went to find a spot in the sun. We put on our bathing suits, and settled down to relax.

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And relax we did. In the sun all afternoon. Seriously. We decided to stay here all afternoon so we could watch the sunset here. We didnt swim,
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but we did get knee deep in the water.

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Its about 70 degrees. A lot warmer then in Daytona, but not as warm as in Acapulco. Still, we got wet enough. In the Water that is!
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Then settled down and did just nothing.
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Seriously, absofuckinloutley Nuttin! And we liked it! About 5:30 we walked over to the rocks and staked out a spot to watch the sunset.
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It was awesome.
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I just cant never get enough of watching the sun sink into the oceans.
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Its so peaceful and refreshing to me. 
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I am so lucky I get to share all this with my beautiful wife!!

After the sunset, we rode back over to Old Town. I had a hankering to get some fresh seafood. And was not disappointed. Its a bit difficult for us to find a place that we both can eat at. Italian always wins. Virgilio’s it was.
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After a snappy Antipasta,

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I had probably the best Zuppa I have ever had in my life. Lauren had some delicious Gnocchi.

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And the crowd was fun. We talked with a few couples from up north. Crazy bastards.
After dinner we walked down Duval street, enjoying the scenery no doubt.

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It is Friday night, and its party time here.
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All the best are out in there best, um, yea…….We stopped so I could have Key Lime Pie on a stick.
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Yes indeed, I sure liked it. Thats a wrap for the night.
Weather today was sunny and 75, just perfect.
Dinner was italian! 
Total miles today was 15

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Tomorrow we head back north :-( 

20140125. Day 209. Saturday

Cant go any more south, time to head back north

As much as we like the laid back latitude and attitude of the Keys, we just cant stay here to long. Its expensive around here. Even tho our lodging is taken care of, everything else is pricey. And we need to head back North, in a week were booked into a timeshare in Orlando. We need to get back to Cape Coral, and then back to Jacksonville, then back to Orlando, all in a week. 
We dragged ourselves outta the bed early again, we wanted to get a good start to the day.

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We chowed down some eggers, and chugged down same Casi Ciello outta the French Press. After washing away the hobo dust, we loaded up the bike and said our thanks and goodbyes.

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We really appreciated the southern hospitality. 
It was close to 11 when we pulled out of the driveway. North on Eagle Ave brought us to South Roosevelt Boulevard. A left and were heading up A1A. A quarter mile and we take a right onto Route 1, the Overseas Highway for the Long run. We hit the Mobil Station on Boca Chica Key, and were good to go. Its a long slow ride over the Assorted Keys. Its a single lane in each direction, so there is no going your own pace. Its all follow the leaders. But, were in no big rush today. Were planning to get to Homestead today and call it quits, then do the Alligator Alley run tomorrow. 
Its a slow grind, Saturday traffic in the Keys is heavy. The weather is sunny and pleasant, and people are everywhere. We motor along steady as we go, till we get to the Islamorada Keys.
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We wanted to stop for an ass break, and saw the Wide World of Fishing Store. There is a replica of Hemmingways 41 FT Wooden Yacht. We stopped in and strolled on in. Its really a big fishing supply store. Apparently thats a populare past time around these parts. We sniffed around and oohed and aahed, then moved on. A quick walk out back onto the docks, and observed the pelican population waiting for someone to feed them.

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As were getting geared up, a fellow came over and just started burning our ears. He was asking us all kinds of questions. He saw all the stickers on the trailer and wanted to know all the details. He has dreamed about doing a cross country ride forever, and was impressed with all our travels. He snapped a picture of us, and emailed it over to me.

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It is a good picture!
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We continued on North, and slowly clicked off the miles. When we got to Key Largo, we stopped into StarBucks for the freelicious gift. We got some Tea for Pattie and had a coffee. Then back on the road we go. Across the Sound, and back onto the MainLand. Island time is over. Its only about 25 miles to The motel in Florida City. We ran a few miles up RT1 to the Target, got some easy dinner stuff and then headed into the Super 8.
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Done for the day
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Dinner was Microwave JD beef Brisket and Tomato Sangwitches 
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Weather today was picture perfect, sunny, blue skies, mid 70s
Total miles today was 150 
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Tomorrow were running thru the Everglades via Alligator Alley!