Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Open Road

What an awesome three day weekend; I was really looking forward to some downtime after a crazy work week. Just a lot of different situations/problems going on with some of my physician clinics, and I'm the fixer, the negotiator, the meeting-setter-upper, the handler of all the sh*t! All of it is really manageable, but for this newbie it is a lot going on at the same time!

Dave got home on Thursday night last week, and we chatted about possible plans for Labor Day weekend, since Jace would be with his dad and we hadn't really even thought that far out on what we might do. Dave mentioned he had been looking at renting a Harley for Saturday or Sunday, and asked what I thought. I was a little tentative about it on Thursday night, but by Friday at noon, I was ready to end the week, and do something FUN. So I emailed him to ask if we were really going to rent one, that I was up for it; he went and checked it all out Friday afternoon and had them hold one for Saturday morning pick-up.

So off we went! But don't tell my dad. Ok, not really, I'm almost 40, and can make my own decisions, but some of you non-motorcycle people may know what I mean. I wasn't raised around motorcycles, whereas Dave has been riding motorcycles for 20+ years and has owned two or three. My first time on a motorcycle was in Sonoma Valley a couple of years ago, when Dave and I were there on a trip. My parents happened to call while we were stopped at one of the vineyards, and my dad was all "Are you wearing your helmet? Make sure you do, Nance."
With that in mind, part of me was a bit anxious about riding a motorcycle, but I felt reassured knowing that Dave is an experienced and careful driver. We rented a sweet bike, a Harley Davidson Road King:

After picking up the bike about 10:30 Saturday morning, we started our road trip heading south through Branson, and on to Highway 65, south into northcentral Arkansas. The weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny and mid-70s. We rode for two and a half hours, and our first stop was lunch at the Cliffhouse Restaurant, just outside of Jasper, AR. We ordered the totally unhealthy but absolutely delicious special of the day- barbecue beef brisket, homemade baked beans and potato salad, and a homemade biscuit, with local honey. Here is the restaurant behind me on the hillside, in the area known as the Arkansas Grand Canyon:

The next leg of our trip was about an hour and a half, to Eureka Springs, AR. We hadn't been there since April of 2009, for our birthday weekend. It was nice to be back, and the ride there was beautiful. I was comfortable enough to take a few pictures along the way:

After an hour and half of driving, my rear was ready to be off the bike! We enjoyed a beer and sat awhile on the top balcony at the Pied Piper Pub, checking out all the bikes coming and going in the parking lot:

Our last stop in Eureka Springs was a short trip up the hill to one of the town's most famous attractions, the Crescent Hotel:

The weather was perfect, the ride was beautiful, and it was great just to spend some time relaxing and catching up with Dave - couldn't ask for a better getaway! We hit the road about five o'clock, heading back towards Springfield. Our final stop was at the lake, to see some of our friends on our old dock - terrific end to the day!
Back to work this week, but today was a great day, thanks in part to a relaxing and stress-free weekend. Just wanted to say "thank you" to my honey, for planning a great road trip, and some quality time for just the two of us. I love you!
And finally, I wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to my brother, Rob and my Aunt Mary, who both celebrated their birthday over the holiday weekend!


Anne said...

Hi Motorcycle Mama - loved your adventure and glad you understand how much we love to hop on our bike and travel - have put almost 80,000 miles on it since we bought it in June 2004! If you ever want to borrow helmets with built-in headsets let me know - that way you can talk to each other. We have an extra set. Hope this week is better at work - knowing you, it will all work out great!

Lucas said...

HOORAY FOR MOTORCYCLES....and also, I'm with your dad....I hope you were wearing your helmet! We have no helmet laws here but I'm ALWAYS protecting myself with a sturdy and safe brain bucket!

I love Eureka Springs. Shawnee and I have been there on a date as well. Gorgeous country, scenery, charming town, fabulous hubby! :) Fun, fun, fun!