After a couple of very busy days back at work, I finally got a little time to share my trip story.
I gained a son-in-law last week. I spent last week in Florida to give away my daughter for marriage. What a life changing event!
My wife and I headed out last Sunday morning, with bike in tow, to spend a few days in Tampa and then finish the week in St. Pete Beach for the ceremony.
This was my first experience trailering the bike and I learned a couple of things. First, I learned when you don't own a trailer, rental choices are somewhat limited. I reserved a U-Haul motorcycle trailer and ended up getting "upgraded" to a 5x9 open hauler. It worked but it weighed twice as much (read more gas). I also learned the difference between cheap tie-downs and expensive motorcycle tie-downs. No major damage was done, but the abrasive straps I used gave me some extra polishing to do on some of the chrome. I also learned (I remember now reading this on the forum but I forgot), don't open trailer your bike with a full gas tank. Again, no damage but it was a bit messy after 630 miles.
The first day there, we took the bike for a nice ride up to Ocala, where my aunt and uncle have a jewelery shop, to pick up necklaces for the bridal party and rings. The weather was great, as it was all week. We took some back roads on the way back to Tampa and had a great day of riding, but I left the camera in the hotel room.
We figured out the second day that there was a hidden benefit of trailering the bike as we ended up with 2 modes of transportation. This worked out great as I spent the week hanging out with the twenty-somethings groomsmen while my wife was hanging out with the "girls". Tuesday was the day for final suit fitting and then the bachelor party which started at Mr. Dunderbak's Biergarten & Restaurant. We had a table outside and enjoyed several German beers and cigars and some good laughs. Since I missed dinner (the guys had eaten earlier and I just showed up for drinks), I decided late in the evening that a smoked bauerwurst and some German potato salad sounded good. This prompted one of the better laughs of the evening when the young heavily tatooed waitress stepped up to the tables with a plate in her hand and proclaimed "I have a weiner". After I told her we really didn't need to know that and laughing for a minute, I didn't claim the plate so she asked "doesn't anybody want this weiner?". Of course someone had to ask how big it was and without missing a beat she responded "it's adequate". I begrudgingly claimed the adequate weiner and after another couple of beers I decided it was time for me to ride home and let the young'ns continue the party without me.
Wednesday was golf day. I rode up to St Leo University to meet the gang for a round on the school course. I walked over to check out the Grotto and snap a few pictures before we hit the course.
I'm not really a golfer, but I will try just about anything that involves beer and whiskey and a beautiful Florida afternoon. Somehow, I was almost in the lead after nine.
Worst form ever!
Hey! What's in there?
The groom with his groomsmen
We took a lunch break (and a few of the guys made a beer run) and then back to the course. We decided to play best ball for the back nine and I was glad because my game really started to deteriorate by then. We wrapped up around dark and headed back to Tampa for some dinner (and more drinks).
Getting a little goofy near the end
Thursday, we packed up and headed over to the Grand Plaza on St Pete Beach. I managed to convince my wife to drive the Durango with the trailer while I rode the bike over. Another great ride across the bay.
The penthouse suite for the bride and bride's maids
...and the view
This is not related to anything at all
That afternoon was rehearsal and then rehearsal dinner. The whole thing was starting to sink in so I had a couple of drinks before rehearsal, which went well. Dinner was at Snapper's, a couple blocks down the street and we decided to ride the bike over. It was pretty entertaining with me in shirt and tie and my wife in her dress. She was really rockin' the heels on the back though, I must say.
Let's not get carried away now
Young guy movin' in on my woman
After a great dinner (and a magic bottle of wine that kept re-filling itself), it was back to the hotel and hanging out with the "boys" again. We had to pull the "adult card" once when the noise level caused a couple of complaints at the front desk. Nobody got hurt, nothing got damaged and nobody got kicked out. All was good.
Friday was a day full of waiting (and a couple of drinks to calm the nerves). I hung out in the guys room for dressing while my wife was in the "glam room" with the bride and bride's maids. (That means I got to miss all the drama).
A waiting groom
The ceremony was at 4:45 on the beach with no breeze, blue skies, 72 and sunny.
OK, this is when I started balling
Timing was perfect for sunset pictures immediately after.
My wife, rockin' that dress
This was actually her idea
Following pictures, we went up to the Ballroom for the reception. Dinner, dancing, open bar well stocked with Jameson made for a great party. I got to spend a good bit of time walking around and thanking everyone for showing up for the free dinner and open bar
These guys were a trip
Saturday was the day to relax. We hit the breakfast buffet with the newlyweds and then they went boating while we hung out at the pool for a while. After a little too much sun, the wife and I went for a ride on the bike which took us to the Sloppy Pelican for a couple beers on the dock bar.
We headed back to the hotel and closed the evening with the wedding party down at Bongo's Beach Bar for dinner and a nightcap.
Sunday, we trucked it back home. What a great week!