Butterfly Moment

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It’s hard to believe, but this adorable grandma looked like a crippled little old lady when she arrived on my doorstep Saturday, certainly in no shape to walk far, much less take a ride on my Throne. (Yes, I call my back seat my Throne! I’m a queen of the road back there!) But let me back it up a bit and help you understand the Butterfly analogy:

Due to the barrier of distance, finances, life circumstances and a stubborn Pollack I’ve not been able to get to know my Mother in Law (MIL) very well. The stubborn Pollack in this formula, my father in law, would go NO WHERE he could not smoke. Period. And he refused to smoke outside. As you can imagine, that not only limited their travel, but also limited visits. I have asthma, and I cannot tolerate smoke. I certainly didn’t want it in my house, and I had issues the one time we visited them. When a tragic, but silver-lining blessing occurred this last year, circumstances changed which freed her up to move closer to her daughters and their families this past week. It also freed her up to travel. So when my oldest graduated from college, she called to ask if she could come. I was thrilled with the opportunity to get to know her, and have my girls get to know her also. Of course I said yes!

So, on Saturday, in the midst of a pre-graduation party I threw for my graduate, hubby went to collect her. She walked in the door, with a cane, looking exhausted, drawn and happy but frail. Over the course of this week, with a good dose of activity, good food, some girly pampering, and lots of love and attention, I have watched this woman come out of her cocoon and blossom into a beautiful butterfly! She leaves tomorrow, and I’m content but a little sad. What a joy to be sending her home ready to start living again. She came to us stressed out and depressed from dealing with far too much, and she is leaving full of optimism and plans for her future. And isn’t that really the goal in life? Living each and every day as the gift it is?

I will kiss her Bon Voyage tomorrow, but I won’t be saying goodbye. Who knows? Maybe we have a girls weekend ahead in New Orleans…a city on her Bucket List.

I hope for everyone to have a beautiful moment like this.
A Transformation.
A Butterfly Moment.


Ride Lake Superior: Day 3 Nipigon to Wawa

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The day started with my first go ’round with Timmy Horton. Delish. Scrumptious. Ok. So, maybe I’m giving away my lack of knowledge about Tim Hortons. They have one, right there in Nipigon. So, ot only can you start your day with a good cup of piping hot coffee, a fresh breakfast sandwich with a side of ‘breakfast’ tot…but they have DONUTS! Seriously! This place is a calorie gut bomb waiting to explode, on my tongue!

MOOOOOOOving on.

Tip #1: This is a 200+mile day. So be sure to plan out your ride, deciding when you want to arrive at your destination. This way you can back into how many site-seeing stops you can make along the way.

As we were running just ahead of the storm that was following our direction around the Lake, much of the next few days were kinda gloomy. The night before, Nipigon was enveloped in fog, as the storm settled low on the lake. There just wasn’t a whole lot to see as we rode into town. Certainly, there were no good views of the Lake.  We woke however, to a higher cloud cover, so we could finally see the Lake. The sun peeked in an out periodically, but it was still pretty chilly. While chilly, every view we encountered was just breathtakingly beautiful. (My ‘back seat’ photography took a little getting used to!)

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Tip #2: Pack bug spray or lotion. Holy cow, we traveled in July, but once you got away from the Lake and its breeze, you’d think it was the peak of mosquito season. Not Kidding. They Swarm. OH, and once again, your rain gear comes in very handy…just keep your helmet on and your visor down if you are not doused in insecticide. That works well in a pinch!

There are many great places to stop along the way. Take the time to ride down and see some the many waterfalls available for you to see.

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And odd landmarks,

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And, more poutine along the way! (Not nearly as good as Montana’s though. I’ll be chasing that ‘high’ forever.)

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And when you see the goose, you’ve hit Wawa!

Tip #3: The Visitor Center there is well worth the stop. There is very interesting history involved in the founding of Wawa. It’s just off the highway, and if you continue on, you’ll wind up at Young’s General Store. (See Day 4)

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We stayed at the Best Northern Motel:

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I highly recommend staying here if you stop overnight in Wawa. It was clean, quiet, well maintained, right on the highway, and they had an EXCELLENT restaurant on property. One appreciates the simplicity of not having to gear up just to grab a bite to eat at the end of the day! Especially when the weather is being challenging, and all you wanna do is warm up and relax. They have a full menu, but feature traditional Polish dishes. I ordered the cabbage rolls and pierogi. Hubby, the cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes. Oh wow…So, so good! This is fine eats at its best, in a casual, comfy environment.

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Rounding up a wonderful meal was a nice after dinner drink, followed by stogie time for hubby on their little deck:

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This wraps up our third day of our journey.
Tip #4: Be sure to stop and smell the roses along the way. It’s impossible to fit all the sights in if you are doing the circuit in one week. Have maybe one or two sights you’d like to see, that way you can have some freedom to stop spontaneously along the way, at places that catch your eye.

Next: Day 4. Wawa to Sault Ste Marie.


Halleluja’s, Excuses, and One Word

Where, you might be asking, are the posts about the Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary extravaganza in Milwaukee at? 

Well, shortly after arriving home, unloading the bike, and getting everything stored away, hubby and I discovered the pocket camera to be missing. We searched everywhere  to no avail. I immediately called the hotel and asked that they look for it in our room, as we had the night before we left, but neither of us remembered packing it for check out. I was heartbroken. Not for the physical camera, although it is a nice one, but for the pictures. I had taken photos with my camera, but many times I didn’t waste the data space because I knew hubby had the better lens.  A return call later that evening brought sad news that it was not found. 

On a hunch, Monday, I called and talked with the manager asking that they really search the room, as I felt it might have fallen out of hubbys pocket and bounced under a dresser or bed. After they went and checked again, I was told, no, it was not there and no one had turned one in. I honestly was crestfallen and trying to figure out how to share my experience with limited photos of all the cool stuff we had done! Hubby listed it on Craigs list, hoping some other rider had found it and was looking for the owners. As the days ticked by, we lost all hope of having it returned to us. I know there were days prior to cameras, where people relied on memories and the telling of tales, but we have them now and I LOVE being able to look at the photos. All the cool stuff we saw inside the H-D headquarters, all lost to just our brain cells. 

Then Friday I got the phone call that made my day…..they had found our camera!!!! HALLELUJA! Oh HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY DAY! LET THE PRAISES RING! I’ve no idea, and they didn’t offer to share how it was found, but found it was!!

So, if my readers will be a little more patient, as I await the FedEx truck to be delivering my camera back to my anxious little hands, I promise I’ll share our experience of a lifetime in the arms of the Harley family. 

And that……is my EXCUSE

Here is just a teaser:

When you walk in to headquarters, you are greeted with what it means to be a HOG (Harley Owners Group). I think this ONE WORD nicely sums up both what the open road means to H-D riders, but also embodies the American spirit. Notice this isn’t any flowery, whimpy, ‘gee isn’t this kinda nice’ expression of the word. No, this is bold, cutting, expressive of determination, hard work, fiery grit and tenacity. This is the fierce, vibrant, living freedom embodied in another of their brand symbols – the bald eagle. Freedom isn’t earned easily and when it’s achieved, the pride in achieving it is rightfully brandished like a badge of honor. I bet some out there are mystified at the loyalty and attraction to the brand. But, when a company’s product so fully embraces and embodies the spirit of what it means to be American, and the American spirit, exceptionalism, and success seem under attack in this day and age, loyalty is earned by treating your client right and providing something of value for the cost. There are plenty of other great motorcycle companies and motorcycle designs out there. All have their attraction and place in the market space, and I in no way mean to diminish their contribution, with those who love the open road. There is just something simply unique about Harley’s, from the rumble of the thunder, to the camaraderie of the riders.

More to come…

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