Category Archives: Road Trips
After a great Friday heading over to Melbourne and having dinner with some friends, it was time to start the party!! I wanted to fly!!!
It was an early Saturday morning as we wanted to be at the airport at 7:30am. Paul said the earlier the better so we would get there right before or at 7:30. I really hate alarm clocks sometimes
Just kidding, we were super excited and woke up before the alarm even thought about going off. We got everything packed, stole some food from the continental breakfast downstairs and took off for our adventure!
We arrived early enough to catch the beautiful sunrise.
We found Paul and got things rolling! And of course, Baron had to say hello.
First step was the weight in. 220 was the max weight for going up tandem and that weight was pushing it. I passed with flying colors! Once that part was done it was time to head out to the runway and get harnessed in. Oh and go over all the instructions on what to do during the take off and flight.
It was colder than I had expected it to be so Paul let me borrow one of his awesome Bike Week sweatshirts. I made quite the fashion statement don’t you think?!
Now it was time to get down to business. As we got me all strapped into the harness, Paul ran over the process for getting us up into the air.
The key was to run, run, run. Do not stop moving your legs like you are running until you see him push the foot strap through your feet. This means even if you can’t feel the ground, don’t stop running, you could land back down on the ground and you want your feet moving.
Got it, RUN, RUN, RUN! Pretty easy instruction.
While Paul got the lines set up and made sure everything was good to go, I decided to do a little photo-op with the motor.
Paul grabbed the motor and brought it closer to the sail to get them hooked together then get us harnessed into it. Then it was time to RUN, RUN, RUN!!!
We were up in the air in what seemed like 2 seconds, granted it probably was
IT WAS AMAZING!!! The view was breath-taking! The sun was still coming up and no words can describe the view.
Hey there!! I’m back. Had an extended stay away from the blog it seems! Lots of catching up to do!
I’ll start with my Powered Paragliding adventure!!
My dream for as long as I can remember is to learn how to hang glide. It is just one of those things that I MUST do. There have been some almost trips happen. Usually money or time off came between the issue.
I can tell you strapping a motor on my back and taking off to the skies has never been something I MUST do. It always looked cool and I thought about how fun it would be but never went through the effort to research it and make it happen.
For as long as I can remember, Colin has wanted to go powered paragliding (PPG). A couple of years ago when we would leave the kite beach after a day of kite boarding, we would see a guy up in the air powered paragliding. A few times we pulled over to watch him glide through the air. I always knew it would be a matter of time before it was added to Colin’s list of hobbies.
So how did I end up with a motor strapped on my back and taking off for the skies?!
Back in January, I won The Leadership Award for Central Florida at my company, not bad for a newbie that has only been there since the end of October. It came complete with a pretty glass trophy that now resides on my desk and 8 hours of “Paid Time Off”. I decided to use that day on March 15th, 3 day weekend please and thank you!!
As that weekend approached we were running through ideas of how to spend those three days. The criteria was easy:
- It must involve getting out-of-town.
- It must be pet friendly because Baron would be coming with us.
- There has to be some sort of adventure aspect to it, no just sitting by the pool doing nothing.
We threw around a few ideas like driving up to the panhandle to explore The Florida Caverns or driving up to Georgia to hike Tallulah Gorge, which happens to be a trip I have wanted to do for a few years now.
Then the week of on Monday, Colin had an idea. “Let’s go powered paragliding!!”. My response was, “Let’s do it!”
The next day Colin started to doing research and found the two places in Florida you want to get lessons from. One place is in Fort Myers called Planet PPG. The second place is in Christmas called Paratour. He left a voicemail for both places.
As we waited for return calls, we started looking for pet friendly hotels near both locations so we would be ready for either place.
On Thursday both guys called us back. The Paratour guy said he was out-of-town this weekend but would be available the next. Well that wouldn’t work for us, we didn’t want to wait, we wanted to do it NOW!
Luckily for us, the owner of Planet PPG was available, just not at his home base in Fort Myers. It turns out, that weekend there was a fly in going on over on the east coast in Melbourne. He invited us over to the event and said he would be able to take us up on a tandem ride.
SOLD!! We immediately booked a pet friendly hotel because the next morning we were off to Melbourne! And since we have a couple of friends that live over there, we made plans to meet up with them Friday night for dinner.
Friday arrived and we packed up the Kia and headed east. I must say, Baron is a fantastic travel buddy!
When we arrived on Friday we checked into the hotel, showered and got ready. Our plan was to head over to the airport to the Fly In to meet our instructor for the flight on Saturday. From there we would head over and meet up with our friends for dinner.
When we arrived at the airport there were some vendors set up with all the PPG gear as well as campers and tents from people staying there for the weekend. We meet some people and they shared their knowledge of PPG with us. They also pointed us in the right direction to find our instructors vendor tent.
Our instructors name was Paul and very passionate about gliding!! He gave us a run down of everything involved for our adventure tomorrow morning. The pilots meeting was from 7 – 7:30am so we could arrive anytime between 7:30 and 8:00am. The earlier the better. It would be $100 a piece but 50% of that went to their charity. Having fun and giving to charity, win/win!
After our little meet and greet with Paul, we head over to a pet friendly restaurant to meet up with Teresa and Dan for some beer and food.
The restaurant was right across from the beach so we walked over there to watch the last moments of the sun going down. The beach also happen to be dog friendly so Baron got to run around without the leash. He was in heaven! Even more so with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on the shore. He loved playing with the waves, running toward them in attack mode then running away as they came on the beach.
We spent an hour or so hanging out on the beach and it was amazing. So much fun catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a while plus getting to watch Baron have a grand time running around!!
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of the PPG adventure that will be posted in the morning!
Since my motorcycle was finally fixed and ready to go, Colin, myself and our buddy Pete took off for a day of riding!
Before we met up with Pete at 11, we kept an eye on the radar. There was a large rain band moving our way, so wanted to see the chances of us getting wet. I’m not a huge fan of riding in the rain, but living in Florida it is something that I need to get over cause it rains everyday here in the Summer.
I will say…it was a great ride!!
Kind of strange in a way though. During one stretch it was like a beautiful Fall day. The trees were a mix of brown and green, and the leaves fell through the air as we rode. Then we hit another stretch that resembled a crisp Spring day. The trees were as bright green as you can imagine and the temp seemed to drop briefly through that area.
After all that though, you realize, “Wait a second, it is February so technically it is still Winter”. Of course, the final thought is, “It’s Winter, looks like Spring and Fall but it feels like Summer because it is 80 something degrees outside”.
Florida loves messes with your mind!
Enough about the weather, for now.
We rode down to Arcadia hoping to have lunch at our favorite little restaurant there. Sadly, it was closed. Such a shame because we don’t make it down there nearly enough to eat at this place.
So instead we went to another place to grab lunch. No where as good. Not even close. Not even a little bit. However, it fueled us for where ever the rest of the day would take us.
We knew that the next leg back home would not involve taking 70 back. It is boring and straight. No thank you!
We had two options and we left our next move up to the flip of a coin. Heads: We head back the way we came with a few different roads here and there. Tails: We head west over to the beach and take US 41 back up to Tampa.
Tails won, so we headed west over to Sarasota area. As we arrived in Sarasota, a strange fog filled the area. It’s the type of fog that you wake up to in the morning. Mind you it was 3 in the afternoon. On the plus side, it did drop the temperature a good 10 degrees. Which was great timing because it was getting quite toasty.
It was around this time that my wrist started hurting on my clutch hand. Not riding for 2 months and my wrist reverted back to a dainty little thing.
But I manned up and kept on trucking. The ride home ended up being about 3 hours and we made one stop along the way to rest my wrist and grab some water.
After a day of riding, a shower and the couch never felt so good!!
Hope you all had a great weekend as well
Friday afternoon a small group of us packed up my SUV and headed up north to Santos Campground in Ocala for some time with nature. And by small group I mean myself, Colin, Baron and Amy H. The rest of the gang were coming up on Saturday.
I have to admit, this was the first camping trip that I didn’t go with a purpose.
Whether it has been camping and mountain biking, camping and kayaking, camping and SUP’ing, or camping with the motorcycles, there has always been a purpose. The original plan was to go mountain biking. However due to people bailing (12 people went to 7) and then Colin getting sick, we decided to ditch the bikes and do some old fashion camping. Amy H was the lone ranger who brought her mountain bike.
With that being said, I have discovered I am not person who likes to camp without a purpose. I like to be doing something. Now don’t get me wrong, it was truly relaxing but not really my thing.
We did escape for a hike but I’ll get to that in a bit
Friday we arrived just before sunset, so it was a mad dash to get the tent set up before the sun fully set. Once that was done it was time to enjoy a Strawberry Peach Mimosa by the campfire.
Side note: Strawberry Peach Mimosa, my new obsession!
Even Baron hopped in a chair to relax by the fire:
Saturday morning was freezing!! We made sure to stay nice and bundled.
We also started the morning out properly with another Strawberry Peach Mimosa and some delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs and potatoes!
Baron kept guard as we cooked up a storm! Seriously, Baron is the best dog ever (yes I am slightly biased). He slept through the night except the few times he heard noises out side. He would give a growl and then curl back up and go to sleep.
After breakfast I headed to take a shower in the bath/shower building. Usually I leave these type of details out however there is a reason I am sharing this, actually 4 reasons. Reason one was right outside my shower stall:
Don’t let the picture fool you, that spider was HUGE and did I mention right outside my shower area?!?! Here are reasons 2- 4.
You can’t really tell but there are 3 spiders right above where I was showering. You haven’t really experienced a shower until you have done it with 4 spiders surrounding you!
Luckily, I survived to share the story
From here it was time to get more into nature. The rest of the group would be arriving in the afternoon so Colin, Baron and I decided to do some hiking on the Santos Trails that were right off the campsite. I packed up some water in my Camelbak for the little four-legged guy and we were off.
Since we had Baron we did about a 2 mile hike, give or take a little bit. There were a couple trails to choose from at the trail head but I went with the Landbridge trail. Why did I choose that one?! I wanted to see a bridge dammit!! Of course it was the longest trail and with Baron I knew we wouldn’t be able to do the whole thing but I was hopeful the bridge (if there even was a bridge) would be in the first couple of miles.
The walk made little B exhausted so he took a nap as soon as we got back.
The nap was short-lived though because his buddy Dumbledore showed up with his love interest Chelsea.
The next morning it was all about the food and packing up all the gear. As the poached eggs cooked over the fire in oranges, we all begin the process of taking down the tents and packing up all the cars.
We were home by one and that meant one thing…CAMPING RECOVERY!!
All in all, it was a great weekend! Nothing better than camping with friends!! Next time though, I’ll make sure to bring a mountain bike, kayak, or SUP
As 2012 draws to a close, I start to reflect on the year that has been. All the crazy stories and adventures that have come out of it. Motorcycle trips, mountain biking, mountain hiking, wake boarding, 5k’s, sailing, kayaking, white water kayaking, canoeing, camping, indoor rock climbing, and many more. See the 2012 review in pictures below!
Before we look at 2012, here is a flash back to 2011.
Soooo drum roll please….2012 you sexy beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sailing, did A LOT of sailing, both racing and play sails:
Sailed on a catamaran (for the first time):
Indoor rock climbing:
Climbed over some real rocks at Rock City in Chattanooga, TN:
Motorcycle trip from FL to GA to TN to NC and back to FL:
Motorcycle camping trip to south Florida:
Ice Skating in a tent in FL:
Wrestled an alligator:
The Color Run – The Happiest 5k on the planet:
Climbed to the top of a sailboat mast:
Visited Fontana Dam, NC:
What’s better than a wedding seeing two people you care about get married and being surrounded by friends?!?! If those things are happening in The Keys!!!
Last Friday after work I hightailed it from Tampa down to Conch Key, which is one of the islands that make up The Florida Keys. The husband and wife to be rented out The Conch Key Cottages for the week.
Initially I thought I would make it down there between 11 and midnight. Imagine my surprise and to the surprise of everyone else when I came strolling up to the Out Of Towner’s party at 10:30! Seriously, made it there in 5 and 1/2 hours!! Woot Woot, I think I should get an award of some sort for that
As I walked up as the groom and his band were jamming out on the stage!
Then the groom did the most romantic gesture, he serenaded the bride-to-be with special song that him and band learn especially for her!
Rumor has it the Out Of Towner’s dinner/party jammed out until the wee hours of the morning. After a long day of work and long drive, I headed back to the hotel room for a good night of sleep. Saturday was going to be a marathon and I needed to get my beauty sleep.
Woke up somewhat bright and early Saturday morning. The wedding was at 5:15 so we had the whole day to relax. One of the guys rented a boat and was going to take anyone who was interested out for some spear fishing/lobstering. I was all about going until they mentioned it was a 7am boat time. That boat time pretty much deterred everyone except the captain and one guy who was visiting for Denver.
While they battled the cold water and choppy seas, the rest of us kicked back to enjoy some beverages by the pool. Oh, did I mention we had our own private beach?!
Before long it was off for a late lunch with the girls. That is my beautiful friend Aly in the pic below.
Once we were stuff with pizza and daiquiri’s, it was time to get ready for the main event!!!
It was a breath-taking ceremony on the beach around sunset.
You know what follows the ceremony…THE RECEPTION!!!The sun setting on the water was such a beautiful sight.
The first dances, the toasts, the band, the “Gangnam Style” choreographed dance was so much fun. It was a great time shared by family and friends! Most of us celebrated until midnight while others partied until 4 in the morning!
The next day it was time to leave paradise and head back to reality. 5 and 1/2 hours later, my friend Jamie and I arrived back into town. Seriously, I make great time!!! Made it back in time to catch the end of the race.
I came across a post yesterday on bikermonkey (great blog, make sure you check it out!).
Take a look at that post here: Visited States Map
I thought it was brilliant! So here is my Visited States Map. All states were visited either by car, plane or motorcycle!
I think there needs to be more colors on the west side of my map
What does your map look like?!?! Find out here.
In 2010 I did the most amazing, most epic trip of all time: A guided 8 day on/off-road motorcycle tour in Costa Rica! After 2 & 1/2 years of saying I was going to write about it, I finally did! Instead of just posting it to my blog, I decided to step it up a notch and submit it to an online publication in hopes they would find it interesting and publish it on their site.
Guess what, they did
So check it out here: Life On The Edge: Motorcycling Through Costa Rica
This article was a just an overview of the entire trip. There were so many more stories and pictures from this trip that I want to share. I’m working now on breaking the trip down more and will be sharing it via my blog soon, leaving you in suspense I know
Special thanks to Leslie Carter at Bucket List Publications for accepting my article. Make sure to visit Bucket List’s website! Great website full of great stories of other adventurers and bucket list dreams!
Well HELLO from Utah!!!
You would think after arriving in Utah last night at 1am my time (11pm local time), I would have slept in this morning. BUT that was not the case, I woke up early and was ready to go!!!
Since my friend Samantha was still sleeping, I left her a nice note stating that I was taking off exploring and for her to text me when she woke up then I would head back.
When I stepped out side, the crisp air and beautiful scenery really took me a back. It was beyond gorgeous!
I trekked all around her neighborhood. Great little trails to wander around. I was fully enthralled with my exploring and completely lost track of time. My Endomondo stopped working while I was walking around so no idea how long I was gone for. After a while I decided to head back to see if Samantha was up. Only one problem, I had NO IDEA which apartment was hers. CRAP!!!!
So I went to the apartment I thought was her’s and turned the door knob, praying I had the right place. I slowly opened the door peaked my head inside and sighed a deep breath of relief. There was no one standing there with a shotgun telling me to get out of their place. WHEW!
When I walked upstairs Sam was up, so we chatted while we got ready to head out to breakfast.
Sorry for the short post, but there are mountains that require my hiking on them.