More from Newbie:
Sunday, december 8th. Caught 6:30 AM flight from Ft Meyers to Salisbury, MD. Apparently, the US Air pilots were not as drowsy as I, and accordingly, landed us safely and on time in Salisbury. Friend and sometimes ship mate Joey picked me up and took me to Ocean City's annual chili cook-off. During this gastronomical assault, we watched the incredible Ravens/Vikings game during which FIVE touchdowns were scored in the final TWO MINUTES! Ravens won. Yea!
Monday, December 9th:
Icy, rainy, temperatures in the low 30s. (Why on earth do I live here?) At any rate, the motorcycle haulers arrive around noon, towing an ancient low-boy trailer which is already carrying two Harley full dressers and the frame from a Ford F-150 pick up truck. (Sometimes my narratives will contain non-essential factoids, but in this case, I felt that mention of the rusty truck frame would prove invaluable in helping the reader envision the circumstances into which I was thrusting our heretofore immaculate scooters) Wasting no time, the hauler and his assistant loaded our two Suzukis, promised to deliver them to Naples by early Wednesday morning, and drove off.
I had planned to start back to Florida on Wednesday, but given the horrible (and getting worse) weather, I decided to quickly gather up my meager travel essentials and start immediately back to Naples...some 1200 miles away. By 1 PM the Mercedes was "in the wind". I'll dispense with details here and simply say that around 1AM I pulled in to a disreputable looking roadside inn in Baldwin, FL (west of Jacksonville) for a short night's rest. The check-in procedure involved me standing outside a bullet-proof window with one of those sliding trays they use to feed prisoners in max security jails, passing my credit card to a bored and sleepy looking night clerk.
The room was ok. The crime tape had been removed, the chalk outline on the floor barely visible, and the dark stains in the carpet were at least dry. I slept well.
At 7AM the next day, (Tuesday) got under way for the remaining miles to Naples. Put the top down and enjoyed passing thru Florida's hilly horse country around Ocala. This place looks not even remotely like the rest of Florida, but is beautiful in its own way.
Around mid-day stopped in Cape Coral to get the car washed at a really good car wash I knew of. Pulled into Pelican Lake around 2PM. Took darling bride to a fun BBQ joint named Cracklin' Jack's for dinner. I truly believe that no one has ever eaten ALL of the food they serve you. We took doggie bags full of Jack's vittles with us when we departed.
Wednesday around mid morning, the scooters arrived looking rather like WWII military surplus rejects, having been drug through miles and miles of ice storms, rain and lord knows what else. That said, there was no damage to them at all. Afternoon cleaned and polished both scoots and took mine for a ride into Marco Island.
Did I mention that my bicycling is now up to 12 miles per day, averaging 11.5 mph?. Today I burned 1220 calories during my ride. (That should make a small dent in my Cracklin' Jack's caloric orgy!!!).
Took a few pictures of the now fully assembled fleet...
Career opportunity in the exciting field of FLEET MANAGEMENT. Charming, handsome Intrepid Captain seeks fleet manager to manage modest, but growing fleet of fun vehicles. Applicants are encouraged to lie regarding their relevant experience, since IC wouldn't know the difference anyway. Attractive women with questionable moral code given priority in the hiring process. Possession of the recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine definately a plus!
Also snapped this picture showing a bit of the cool attitude here...
This afternoon, we did our semi-daily pilgrimage to Walmart. ( I'm beginnin' to think that the pictures I see on the internet of the Walmart shoppers are all a hoax! The people I see look positively NORMAL! OK, they MAY look a bit more tanned than is either normal or healthy, but all-in-all, they look like everyday folks, with nary a carnival side show star among them.
Back at the coach we arrive to discover that our forward air conditioner has decided that we needed no more cool air. This is, as far as I'm concerned, an erroneous assumption, and further, I don't appreciate such decisions being made for me!! Defying the wishes of said A/C, I poked around a bit and have come to believe that the traitorous unit has a faulty "start capacitor". Why do I think that you ask? Simple. I surfed the internet, discarded the answers I didn't like and chose "start capacitor" as the likely culprit. Tomorrow will involve your intrepid captain taking his over large body up on the roof to test his hypothesis.
Did I tell you about my first experience with a locally produced beverage called Apple Pie Moonshine? It is sinfully delicious, but plays tricks on your memory. It is well over 100 proof and, as nearly as I can discern, highly explosive! Thankfully, I quit smoking several months ago or I would be a simple vapor trail by now...
We continue to meet our neighbors and so far all have been nice folks. Most have a dog or two, so my golf cart, bicycle and scooter all are well stocked with tasty puppy treats (pigs in a blanket, to be precise). The pups like me. Not yet sure about the people.
More to follow...
Sweating in the forward section of the coach,