A day in the life - Part 2

Saturday - May 30, 2003

And the jackets and helmets were for?

Well, you see, it's like this. Mrs, who does this work on sick folks and those who come in paralyzed from motorcycle accidents still likes to ride on the back of my Harley.

However, a cruiser, my bike is not, and with the last child leaving to go off to college in just a year, I hear the road calling.

And calling.

And yes, that's a Honda down there, newly redesigned, sleek and all that. And the price is kind-of right, at least relative to a similar Harley, seeing how it's about 8 to 10 thousand dollars less.

But here's the rub. The 2002 last year's model that has a price that got me into the store has to be purchased, without being ridden. "You heard me Mr., and I don't care that Honda says you can test ride a 2002 Goldwing. Not at this store. You want a test ride?"

"Find someone who has a bike and borrow it."

Uh huh. Right.

You all want sixteen thousand dollars for something that I can't drive. And besides that, what if Mrs doesn't like the ride on the back?

Too bad buddy. Buy it or leave.

I left.

But I also know that folks can be a little less uptight outside of the metropolitan area, so before the track meet I called and asked if we could do the demo thing. "Sure" the guy said, "but you won't buy it here in Grand Rapids."

"Why not?"

"People just don't do those kind of things. But you are welcome to come over and try the bike."

"Does it count that I am driving my 3rd Chevy purchased from Berger Chevrolet right there in Grand Rapids? And I bought em all sight unseen?"


But anyhow, just as we drove up to the dealer, I saw a hot yellow bike drive out and I pointed and said, "There it goes."

Unfortunately, I was right, as the dealer had just closed for the day.

The salesman I spoke with was there however, and we chatted for a few minutes and he let us sit on one of the bikes in the darkened showroom.

The next chance we will have for a demo will be in about 3 and a half weeks, but then only for a brief moment, as MRS and I trade places at the lake shore, because she will be off to Europe to retrieve her daughter and all.

But you never know, even though the practical in me says that it's best to wait another year at least, the irked in me might just go out and buy a nice new bike while mom and daughter are cruising from Spain to Italy.

(phots from www.hondamotorcycles.com)

Slightly disappointed at the the loss of our "demo" wheels, and encouraged by a sunny day, we decided to head on over to Lake Michigan and the small town of South Haven.

Mrs had discovered it some time last fall and wanted me to see the town, the light house, and the great beaches.


Remember the wind thing?

When we pulled into town and got really close to the water, I rolled down the car windows while I was stopped at a light. Big mistake. The temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees and all of a sudden, thoughts of a nice walk on the beach in the sun were blown away.

I put some money in the meter at the deserted parking lot and got out of the car so I could open the back doors and get my windbreaker. I zipped it up over my sweatshirt and headed down to the pier, camera bag in hand.

I think my trip lasted some thirty or forty steps and I returned to the car. I opened the rear hatch, took off the wind breaker and grabbed my leather riding jacket. Over that I put the wind breaker, and then I pulled the hood tight. I also grabbed the mono-pod (single pole on which you support a camera) and headed on down toward the lighthouse.

By the time I caught up to Mrs the right side of my pants were soaked and the camera was thrust inside of my jacket. In just moments I was chilled to the bone but there was a certain excitement to the place that made one want to stay and watch and watch.

The lighthouse is part of two piers through which a river empties quite a ways out into the lake. There was no way that anyone could walk out onto the right hand pier, but I took the shot of this sign for two reasons. First of all it gives a bit of perspective of the boiling sea, and second, it gives you a point of reference for a couple of shots, because I stood behind the sign on my side of the pier so as to try and hide some from the wind.

Yes, proceed at your own risk.

Go ahead, wash yourself off into the 40 degree water.

Click click click click

Erasable images are great. I keep the good ones, and throw the rest away.

After I shot close to 50 images Mrs suggested that we drive up the river a bit and cross over to the beach on the other side. She wanted to eat, but I told her there was no way I was going to miss getting something from the next series.

Did I mention that there were 3 or 4 surfers out on the left side of the pier?


Well they were out there, and I promise you, that at 5:00 on this day when the outside air was about 48 degrees and the wind was blowing close to 30 knots, they were out there, and doing some impressive riding.

Not me.

No how, no way.

Photo shoot ended with a search for just the right place to eat. Even though it was cold and the town seemed half deserted, there was a slight wait at Clementines so I was asked if I would like to see spouse's favorite hotel just one block over.

So as we walk in, it's not just, I'd like to show my husband your hotel, but "do you have any rooms for the night?"

I kind of frowned, because I really like my own bed, and it seemed like it would be a long time before the sun got low enough on the horizon to entice me to stay.

The inn was quaint, but I was not in the mood for "light soundproofing" which I was sure would be the case in an hundred year old building.

We thanked the hostess and told her we would eat and then check back.

The food was great, and so was the beer.

All of a sudden a two and a half hour drive home started looking long in the tooth.

And besides, soon the sun would be setting.

Although the wind was a bit subdued, I have to tell you, that I was wearing gloves in addition to the hooded double jacket get-up that I adorned. Gloves. The next day is June 1, and I'm wearing gloves to keep my fingers from freezing there on the edge of the big lake.

Suddenly the light started to fade quickly, as the sun dipped into a thick haze. In just moments it slid through a group of clouds and disappeared, never making it down to the water in front of the light house.

That doesn't really bother me though, I think I've got an image or two here that I may even make into prints.

That's the way it is with sunsets, you never know when the lights go out early.

We packed up, and started to head out of town, for we had spent some 30 minutes checking into 5 or 6 Bed and Breakfasts spots to find them either not yet open for the season, or full for the night.

On the way out of the parking lot Mrs suggested that we check out "one last place" on the way down the bluff.

"I think it's only about 5 minutes south of town."

Great memory, but being allergic to mold sent her running from the first room we were shown.

"What about the new building there? Can we seen what rooms you have there?

"Those rooms cost quite a bit more than the one you were looking at, but I do have one with a Jacuzzi tub and a fireplace and a king size bed.

So we looked and then she asked if we could see the cheaper one, regular room, no Jacuzzi, queen beds.

I asked for a discount and did get an offer of 10% off for either room.

I told the lady I'd take the one on the end of the building, second floor, overlooking the lake.


Jacuzzi tub

Spouse raised her eyebrows because of the price. Mr "I don't want to spend the money when I've got a great bed at home" had just hauled out his wallet big time.

"Trust me" I said, "it's the better choice."

Like the ad says, there are those priceless things in life.

And sometimes ya just gotta whip out the plastic to get there.

And it was....


You'll just have to trust me on that one.