Days off the Bike continued + My First Really Great Birthday

February 2nd, 2015

I felt like I had to get a post together on my 49th birthday.  What’s funny is that my father and I just came to realize I could use his iPad as a hotspot to access WIFI.  They don’t have internet at their home in Florida.  Long story but my folks feel they are not here long enough to have it activated.  In any case, I am using my father’s GB’s but he is OK with that to help me keep the blog going.  Thanks Dad. 😉

According to the news…not like my video I did not see my shadow being a groundhog and that means 6 more weeks of winter.  Got my shadows wrong.

You know you are in Florida when you see streets lined with Palm Trees, a slight warmth to the air at night even though everyone here thinks it’s freezing outside.  I have not been down here since the early 2000’s.  I have not seen my cousins…mainly Sofarelli’s for over a decade or more.  I came here to rest, see my parents and get to hang out with some cousins who also follow my FB/BLOG and my trips.  How cool is it to have your own family want to come along for the ride?

Xander is loving urban life

I am still getting updates about my dogs who are living with my EX.  I really appreciate the updates with pictures while I am away.  Although they are living with my Ex wife for the rest of their lives as I transition to the USA, I will always and forever love them and will try to spend sometime with Sierra and Xander before I move permanently. Sierra is 12 and has hips issues, Xander is 14 with lot’s of medical problems but keep plugging along.  I would have taken them with me to the USA but I have no where really to take them yet.  They need stability and I know they are being well cared for and LOVED.  That is the most important…not who they are with but that they are being LOVED.


First thing I did when I got to my first pit stop was laundry.  Ok, 17 days not doing laundry is a bit long but it’s the last thing I really want to do to be honest.  Having said that, my mother asked me if she could do my laundry.  I am 49 and LOVE the fact she offered but no one should have to wash a riders base layer and socks after 17 days but the rider.  I did that at 5 in the morning on Saturday.  All clean as well as washed my jacket and pants.  I also just checked over my bike, tightened everything added oil to my Scottoiler, which really is working out well.  No EWS code yet.  Will test it out as I head north and turn on heated gear.  Haven’t had to for the last few days of riding at all.

Spotless RV port to work on my bike

Even my Barkbuster hand guards are clean.  Never had an issue with bugs until Alabama and Florida.

so clean now

My bike passed my inspection and I noticed the tires.  I have gotten them over enough to rid myself of most of the chicken strips.  I am not sure I can go any further without scary the crap out of myself.  When you rub pegs on a GS stock height you are pretty far over and although I know this bike can lean the pegs always make me think, “Oh crap!”

front Chicken strips
rear chicken strips

I have been relaxing, visiting and enjoying the little canal behind my parents house.  Love the interesting wild life but not loving seeing a few cockroaches on steroids around here.  Other than that, pleasant weather and temps.  I love the cool nights.  T-shirt sleeping weather with my screen door open.  Everyone tells me I must be cold.  Hmmm….I am not.  Heat and me don’t like one another…more moderate temps much better for me on and off the bike.  Actually rained a little today.

Sunsets and sunrises…love the both the same.


On Superbowl Sunday my Aunt put together an impromptu family get together.  I wasn’t sure when I would be here and on a moments notice a few of my Sofarelli clan members were able to take time out on this HUGE football day to come see me.  It was an awesome get together with good old fashion Sausage Peppers and onions.  Thanks to my Aunt Ann.  They say Aunt down here not Auntie like in Canada. 👍

not 50 quite yet

First time my cousin Michelle and I got to have our birthdays together.  Her’s is the 1st.  Most of my immediate family are camera-shy and blog shy.  Not this group.  I asked if they wanted to be on my blog…and it was a HUGE YES.  My father’s cousin Mary has always dreamed that Susan Lucci would be her in a movie about Mary’s life.  Mary is hysterical.  They all are , very outgoing and like to have a good time.  So, glad I got to re-meet family.  It’s been forever and here is the group as well as my cuz Michelle and me.

the family
cousin Michelle and MOI
they want to be famous 😉
my Aunt and her hubby Gary

My Aunt and Gary have these birds.  One is nasty the other is OK…they can talk but only if they know you.  I had to take this picture of one trying to eat me.  I can not remember their names but glad my Aunt loves them…

trying to actually bite me

I am going to wrap this up…it is probably a post that might create some yawning as it is all about my family.  I am glad to dedicate a post to them though…family means a  lot these days and this is my journal of all my travels and life experiences.  Thanks for hanging in there.

Watched the Superbowl with my folks…great game I have to say, BAD call on the Seahawks coaching as well.  Half time show was pretty good too.  I happen to know the person that produces the half time shows.

Half Time Show
How many times did she change?

My birthday DAY ended with a fantastic dinner with my parents at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa.  If you haven’t been you have to go…it won’t break the bank…if you have then you have to admit this is one tasty place to dine.  All three of us had very good meals and desert.  Left full and satisfied.  I have not been here for over 20 years and although the decor is the same so if the famous food.

Best steak house

How often do you get to order you beef like this?


This is place is one stop every rider needs to make to treat themselves.

food shot

Filet OMG

There your virtual food tour of Bern’s Steak House.


Looking at the pics I could go back tomorrow.

mom and dad

Thanks to my parents for always treating me well when I see them…and for a great night out.  I am hoping to leave by Wednesday to head north but keeping an eye on the weather for breaks in each state.  Might leave Thursday.  All about timing.  I have a flight booked to fly back to BC from NY on Feb. 15th.  So, I have time to take my time.  First stop just a little north of Savannah, GA – in South Carolina.  Virtual Host has invited me to visit…hopefully I will get there in one day..only 350 miles or so.

A few more days and back to SPOT tracking.  Oh, and really thank you to everyone for the B DAY wishes…amazing world we live in.  Leslie

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

6 thoughts on “Days off the Bike continued + My First Really Great Birthday”

  1. Glad to see “number candles” for birthdays are the same the world over. BTW, Aunt and Aunty (Auntie) are in common use in OZ.
    Good job no-one reversed the candles on the cake!

  2. I have missed a few days following you so wishing you a belated Happy Birthday. 11 degrees here on Cape Cod this morning, we’ve had 2 1/2′ of snow recently other areas close to 4′. As you said you’ll be watching the weather when you leave sunny & warm Florida. Be safe! By the way family photo’s are the best and they were all smiling, great group. I have a R1200GSA with the same Barkbusters as you. I had put them on prior to a trip to the Smokey Mtns this past October and was pleased. I was very interested in your tire photo’s, they seem to be holding up well. I recall on your last trip you felt better having the knobby type tire as opposed to street or combination tires. I haven’t made that switch yet as all my riding has been pavement. I anticipate a change coming. Keep doing well and I’ll look forward to your next update.

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