Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oct 20th- I found some keys but no locks

I awoke feeling quite rested for 5 hours. odd how that can happen.
Here's Tim!

unfortunately, my eyes cannot focus whereas the camera can.  Not a great shot. meh.  I know what he looks like :)

Here's Tracie!

At least i could get my eyes open enough to see what i was doing.


Sweet little cat.  Tim taught both Roxy and Ruby tricks... as well as Kai.. I love well behaved animals... people need to learn to train their dogs... It's not so much about tricks as it's about making the dog know you are boss.  You don't need to hit an animal.  Tim trained his animals properly and it shows. They want to behave.

I should have taken more pictures, but when memories are being made, you seldom remember to pull out cameras... I had a truly great evening with them... great hosts... great people... hah... a home away from home for a day if you will.  It helps that when you go sit out back, you feel like you're in a cottage / cabin... but you're right in town.  Great established neighbourhood.  very peaceful and i hated that it had to end...

But wait there's more!
We went out for breakfast (can't remember the name) but it was a ma and pa type restaurant... the kind we all like  Both Tim and Tracie like the smaller places... they like good food done right... it shows in their cooking as well.  Food, like an establishment should have character.  A real restaurant always has a specialy of some sort... you may not like it, but they'll have one.I wanted something different today, and the menu inserts for the specials (written in black marker on plain paper) was right on top.  I took the first thing I saw, and it appealed to me quite a bit.  Why waste money on nice menus? i want to eat the food, not what it's written on.

I took this

looks bland and tasteless right? wrong.
loved it. Two properly cooked and seasoned pork chops, two eggs, Grits and rye toast.
I used to make pork chop and eggs once in a while and i had never seen it in a restaurant before... had to have it. I've had grits before, but these were really good.

Just because something may look bland, it may not be.  It was good.

Oh and Tim, i just finished off the pulled pork.... damn that was tasty...

i think my food is taking half the table. hah.

sadly, we had to part ways... Tim and Tracie for work, and myself, to my 2nd point... Key West.
Why Key west? simple.  It's the most southern point in the united states.  I've been to the most northern last year (Deadhorse Alaska) so now it's Key West.

More interstate riding. Interstate riding wears me out fast... since i'm late in the trip,  I am fatigued and i need to watch out for that.  I stopped not far away at a starbucks because... well. you eat that much protein in a day and shit happens.Let's just say i had business to take care of. heh.

At a rest stop

Snake identification chart.  Some can kill you, some can't.
how about this... if i see a snake, i stay away from it.  I won't run away screaming like a little girl, but i think it's prudent to approach ANY animal you don't know with caution.
It's also a reminder that shit in florida CAN KILL YOU.
yet, i'm still more afraid of the old drivers.

me thinking i'm awesome.

actually, i'm looking at these clouds.
not good.

not good at all.
so yes, it rained... a little sprinkle though. I had hoped the sprinkle would cool me off, but alas it was so light it didn't even penetrate my mesh jacket.  All it did was make the air more humid. blah.
i call this pose "touch of grey"

"uhhunh...i like dem gators"  oh wait.. taters... anyways, nice rain clouds.  
I went through alligator alley (I-75) and saw a bunch of vultures on the side of the road waiting for roadkill.  massive massive birds.  That should be the symbol of the USA. Isn't that what Ben Franklin proposed?

I bypassed all the cities and took a smaller highway parallel to it.  This was actually an interesting ride.  It was all grove growers... Palms, exotic plants... etc.. neato.  There were people selling their fruits and vegetables out of the back of trucks, little stands, etc... Some of it looked awesome... no room to pack anything on the bike for fruits though... :(

I was getting hungry again, and decided on going as far as i could tonight.  I knew i might have trouble finding a place to sleep, so when in doubt, load up on food and caffeine.
I saw a few restaurants, and hit this place in a gas station.  didn't look like a chain, looked decent.  The area is filled with many Cubans and Mexicans, so i had hoped I'd get some home style cooking.  maybe not true authentic, but close.

I walked in and it looked way too nice to be in a gas station and i hoped the prices weren't going to break the bank.  I read the top of the menu which has the story on the restaurant.  The original is in Hollywood, and was started way back by Cuban refugees back in the day when 176,000 fled Cuba to the US.
looking at the menu, there was standard fair with a Cuban flair.  was nice.  The prices didn't fit the restaurant.  It was was really nicely set up inside, and the prices were not that expensive at all.

I took something called the trio.  Maybe not Cuban, but i had something similar in Colorado last year which was Mexican.  This tasted different but the same style of food.

The Trio!
Pork chop, Skirt steak and chicken breast.

The Sides!
Rice, Black beans and Fried plantains.

all the meats were tender and juicy... tasted very good.  The rice and beans were really good too, but the plantains were my favorite.  I'd never had them before, not that i remember...
These were crispy and caramelized on the outside, tender but not mushy on the inside.  A little sweet but not too much and flavorful on the inside.  It was truly well done.

I ate as much as i could.  So... family owned and operated restaurant, serving good food and they were Cuban.  The waitresses accent was very thick.  I liked that.  Gave an air of authenticity to the place too.

after packing that down my gullet, i was asked if i wanted a coffee.
Of course!
Out comes this.
A coffee Cubano.
it's an espresso really... I wasn't asked if i wanted cream, and i wasn't about to.  This is how they serve it, this is how you should take it. There's a reason for that!  people make foods the way it's meant to be eaten.  Like Tim's Awesome pulled pork. why kill it with additives?

The coffee was really good, and if you know me, i overdo it on the cream.  because of the sweetness and flavor of the coffee (which wasn't a burned taste like an espresso usually is)
but this was really good. very sweet.

I felt bad not eating it all, or not packing it on the bike, but i had no room :(

I love finding joints like this.  Honest restaurants... besides an egg or a rib steak, i don't want to be asked how it should be cooked.  You're the cook.  you cook it.  i'm just there to eat and enjoy.

Not 10 miles down the road, stores started showing up... until then, it was the farm with an occasional gas station.  Homestead looks... seedy a little...  it was getting a little dark and didn't know if i should risk going to the keys now in the dark, or get a motel room.  There were a lot of cheap places ($39) with wifi... but the bars on the windows really turned me off it.  many chains here, as well as big box stores, etc.  So i kept heading south.

South i went and hit Key Largo.  It was full dark now (around 8pm) and started hunting for a room.  I knew this was going to be EXPENSIVE... so i was looking for something cheap.

I found a little place called the sunset cove beach resort. looked really nice and i didn't know what i was getting myself into.  Oh well.

I talked to the guy for a while (he used to ride but his wife won't let him now) and he gave me a discount.  Still expensive for what it is, but not expensive for where it is. you need to keep that in mind.
I took the cheapest they had and i'm fine with it.
It's a trailer!  two large twin beds, full bath... fridge... what more do you need really?  It might seem hokey to some people, that instead of a regular motel room, i got a trailer which is old and needs work, for the price i got it for, but hey, i was sitting under a Tiki hut on rattan furniture in KEY LARGO.

I did almost step on a little lizard (the size of a newt) and it startled me.  So not used to things like that.
no bugs inside here, but i'm sure there are cockroaches, snakes, bats, spiders and all kinds of critters outside.
While at the Tiki hut, i kept hearing a tree frog. damn thing sounds like a calling bird... not an obnoxious sound though.  so many different things to get used to... like the heat and humidity... hah.
time for bed... 3 am again. tomorrow will be rough


  1. going down to 2C during the day today here beautiful, rainy Ottawa! Enjoy Floriday while you can, hope you have heated seats on that motorcycle :) Johnny

  2. I Love Cuban Coffee.... and cigars....Have fun...


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