Happy Fall Y’all! It’s the better half of 2wheeladv, back to share about our most recent trip 2-up.We started out the Autumn Solstice with a little motorcycle ride up I-75 through hell, er… Florida, which has not quite gotten the Fall memo yet.
Once we caught sight of the mountains in North Georgia, the temperature significantly dropped and we started to enjoy ourselves. We came upon a fabulous creamery/ice cream shop which caught up with me and my lactose intolerance not long afterwards. I confess and repent of my foodie sins as this trip completely blew my non-dairy, gluten-free diet.
We made our way to Helen, GA, and celebrated the first official day of Oktoberfest with a beer and pretzel. Not much else to taste that evening since the town center was hoppin’ (quite literally), but everything else shut down early.
Following such badassery, we made our way to the lovely Gatlinburg, TN. We glamped in a hotel that night due to the rain and sipped on some delicious blackberry wine after tacos. The server loved the Klim Krios so much that he gave the helmets their own table.
We returned to the Sunshine State the following day, but not without encountering a religious zealot at a Burger King. That’s middle GA for you. This licensed mental health counselor had to keep it moving in order to practice what I preach (tolerance, non-violence, etc.).
Posted in Travel, Weekend getaways and tagged #bmwmoa, #bmwmotorrad, #explore, #madeforadventure, #makelifearide, #niagarafallstourismcanada, #spiritofgs, #xladv by admin with .
Longest adventure yet two-up! Written by 2wheeladv’s better half.
Could not have picked a better week to leave the country this past month with all of the political nonsense coming to a head, and story after story of senseless violence. We were reminded to go back to the basics on this trip, yet also enjoyed the finer things life has to offer and each other’s company, of course.
Our trip began with some Florida friends and a trip to good ol’ Cracker Barrel for some breakfast ham and hash brown casserole. We made our way over to Sanford for the Auto Train and made it there with plenty of time to spare, but then the train was 4-5 hours late so we had plenty of time to wait.
Good thing us GS riders can be spotted without question, for at the train station we met up with several new friends, waited together, and made a party out of it to boot. A little shady gas station trip later with our shuttle driver and personal body guard, we had some cheap wine and beer to go along with our pizza delivery.
Prior to boarding the train, we indulged in some local fried chicken and biscuits, courtesy of Amtrak, and continued on our journey of breaking every diet rule we have been trying to follow since New Year’s Day.
Minus the ridiculously long delay, the train ride to Virginia was smooth and we had a great night’s rest.
Once we disembarked, we followed some friends on a scavenger hunt for GS Giants, but after a while, the stop and go became too cumbersome with two-up and a fully loaded bike, so we did our own thing.
We made our way through the countryside of Pennsylvania, which is now one of my top places I must explore more in depth my lifetime. I picked out my farm at the top of a hill and dreamed about moving my fur babies there, plus several horses, cute little pigs, maybe a llama, goats, chickens… oh, and perhaps the husband. 😉
Interestingly enough, the scavenger riders ended up staying out the same hotel as us, just by the PA/NY line, which was unplanned and somewhat creepy, but as I said earlier, one can spot a GS rider, and apparently a certain pair of Florida GS riders, without question.
The following day, we rose early and continued on our way through the Allegany Mountains of New York. It was a lovely ride with perfectly moderate weather, and lots of sun. We rode all the way to Toronto.
Toronto was a mind blowing city to ride through on a motorcycle, and the traffic was unreal, no matter the time of day. Toronto has so many skyscrapers that there are at least 3 main parts of the city. We checked out the BMW shop in Toronto, which sells both cars and Motorrad. Snooty to say the least, with the exception of one service rep, who reported that their insurance for Motorrad is 10k per year. We checked out the 4th floor Motorrad section then thanked our lucky stars that our insurance rates are much better. Explains why so many people were staring at us!
Had a taste of poutine at Smokes and made our way to the KOA Kampground. No way that we were going to shell out $400/night on a hotel! We bought some Canadian hard apple cider (the first of many), and Canadian candies to snack on and called it a night.
We returned to downtown Toronto in the morning and acted all touristy at the CN Tower after enjoying some coffee and such from Tim Hortons. We also checked out Kensington Market, which is the most extensive farmer’s market we have visited. I convinced the husband to try Kombucha Tea along the way so he could experience what it feels like to be a glorified hipster.
Checked out Budd’s Motorrad on our way south, and the hubs got his hands on the new BMW GS Trophy Helmet, which is not yet available in the U.S. Might have pissed a few people off with that purchase, but the man could not stop himself and I really could not blame him.
Us 2wheeladv-enturers then rode ourselves to the Marriott Fallsview on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We parked ourselves in a top floor room for several days. Why would want to leave with a Jacuzzi tub and a perfect view of the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Wednesday evening fireworks?? Ate some overpriced appetizers along the way, and continued our mission to remain a wee bit tipsy on Candian hard apple cider throughout the trip.
We received punishment for our many drinks and poor food choices when it was time to walk everywhere… resorted to paying $4 one-way for the two of us to take a hillside elevator; although, it was not in operation when we attempted to use it to access the Journey Behind the Falls experience. Thus, we enjoyed a brisk walk all the way around the hill at 7:30am.
Next up was Ontario-on-the-Lake. Basically Canadian Wine Country. A pristine town with culture, amazing cheese, and wine. Tried some ice wine and it literally changed my life. Had to make some room in the panniers to bring home some booze. We have our priorities straight for sure.
We then made our way back to the American side and had a nice little chat with some Border Patrol Agents. 😉
Next up was Buffalo, NY. We checked into a Hyatt and then made our way to the MOA Rally in Hamburg, NY. I people watched before deciding it was more my honey’s deal than mine and scheduled a massage for the next morning (which was glorious after riding so much on the back of a motorcycle).
Later on, we dined at Oshun with Aaron from EuroCycles of Tampa Bay and met some more new and old GS friends.
Best meal we had during the trip for sure!
Saturday, husband returned to the rally and hobnobbed with the vendors while I gallivanted with the ladies. Had some delicious coffee at SPoT Coffee in Buffalo, enjoyed the massage, and met “The Man who stopped the Falls.”
For real, his engineering firm stopped the American Falls with a dam in the 70s. The Falls Stopper and his lovely wife took us on a tour of the American side of the Falls and we had burgers at On Top of the Falls.
I reunited with hubby, and our group checked out Anchor Bar, birthplace of the Buffalo Wings. Interestingly enough, their spaghetti was the real winner!
After being accosted by an ununiformed, no ID, and open carry “security officer” in a parking garage, we lived to see the next day, which was mostly a riding day. We rode over 450 miles for Maryland Crab Cakes at Romano’s in Glen Burnie, MD. I had experienced them frozen, but fresh was amazing for sure.
The following morning, we toured DC and made our way back to the Auto Train. Got harrassed again by a man who was loading bikes for Amtrak and clearly took issue with GS riders. We were not the only ones, but at least our train was on-time for the return trip. We rode in coach on the way back, which will never occur again, if I have my way, but made it back to Sunny Florida. Hotter than hell, we stopped at a favorite Mexican spot in San Antonio, FL and finally made it back to our little farm. Not the hilltop one, but I am working on it. We immediately wanted to return to where we came from, where the weather was more moderate and duty did not call, but after settling back in, home did feel sweet after all.
Posted in Travel and tagged #bmwmoa, #bmwmotorrad, #explore, #madeforadventure, #makelifearide, #niagarafallstourismcanada, #spiritofgs, #xladv by admin with .
My wife and I enjoyed a fun filled weekend of culture, food, and wine starting off in the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine, FL.
St. Augustine was established in 1565 and is well known for its Spanish colonial architecture. The city itself has many amazing sites and attractions to explore.
When traveling by motorcycle, I normally don’t book a hotel room in advance. My personal feeling is by booking in advance, it forces me to be on a time schedule which is something I don’t like being on when riding. However, when traveling to St. Augustine during high season, it’s a must!
We lucked out and got the last room at Best Western Spanish Quarters located at 6 W. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
After a good night’s sleep, we headed south along A1A and enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise riding along the east coast of Florida.
We ended up staying the night in Daytona Beach, where I found a reasonable hotel right on the beach: Hilton Daytona Beach, 100 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118.
The hotel has garage which allows you to park your motorcycle and also includes a bike wash area!
While my GSA was taking a rest, we went exploring on foot and ended up at a bar on top of the pier.
The next morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn to capture more sunrise photos.
With my bike packed, we said our goodbyes and headed home.
Until next time, ride safe!
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