Remember the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy breathlessly whispering as she clicked her ruby red slippers, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”? Well she was right there really is no place like home. As much as I love to travel I love coming home the best. Not just my home but reconnecting with my neighbors and friends, eating at my very favorite restaurants, sleeping in my own bed, curling up on the couch so I can watch one of my very favorite shows and spending some quiet time with my husband, Randy. There really isn’t any other place in the world like it, home. I love it!!!
These last three weeks have been just wonderful. Our friends were a joy to be with. We are a very diverse group of people who came together years ago after establishing a bond that has stood the test of time and distance. We live in three different states, we do not call each other every day and we don’t see each other often but we just know that if someone in the group calls the others we will be there.
One of the ties that bind us together is our love of the open road. We all love riding motorcycles and using them to discover all the beautiful places to visit here in the states and this year, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We are a very diverse group in our choice of motorcycles too. Randy and I ride a Yamaha Venture Royale, Barry and Lana ride a Honda Gold Wingand Bob and Char ride a Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.
Often during the trip I would ask questions of the group like, “So far what has been your favorite place to visit?” or “Up to now what was your favorite part of the ride?” I was really amazed as I looked over my notes and saw that for the most part the answers were pretty unanimous.
The group’s favorite spot to visit was Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia and I agree. I know that I could have spent hours just combing the shoreline or sitting on the boulders and watching the waves crashing against the rocks. I loved those beautiful sun-bleached boulders that dotted the landscape.
I personally would like to return and spend time in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There were so many things to do and see there but we just did not have the time needed. I would like to return to the Silver Dart Lodge and spend a few days just enjoying the view from the porch outside our room. I would love to return to St. Andrews, New Brunswick and explore this quaint little town and just sit on one of the many chairs outside the shops and enjoy watching the slow pace of all the people who live there. Everyone thought the most picturesque town was St. Andrews.
The ride the group enjoyed the most was the Cabot Trail the 186-mile loop circling Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. There were so many beautiful views along the loop it was hard to take them all in. I know I would love to do this ride again. After all, for those of us who like to travel by motorcycle it really is all about the ride. Everything else is icing on the cake and this ride had a lot of icing.
We made friends along the way. We ran into a group from Ontario at the overlook for Pleasant Bay. We ran into them again later in the trip in Charlottetown, PEI. We met other Canadian couples in Bangor, Maine who returning to Canada after visiting the northern US.
We visited so many restaurants on our entire trip I thought it would be very hard indeed to choose just one. Most of the group liked the Greek restaurant Athens we visited in Halifax. I looked back at all the posts about restaurants to see which ones I could still have a sensory memory of the ambience, the service and most of all the food and came up with a list of all the restaurants I would most like to visit again. They are listed in the order they were visited. They are:
If you every find yourself journeying along and happen to be in the area of any of these wonderful restaurants stop in one or more they are wonderful! One of the questions I was asked a few times from readers was how I was handling all this “indulgence” of all the wonderful foods I was eating and how it was impacting my weight. I can tell you that after all these great stops and great food I only put on one and a half pounds. Not too shabby if you ask me.
As I mentioned in my last blog we arrived home on Friday and the first thing I said to Randy was I wanted to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant. The El Rodeo is in a strip mall not too far from our home in the little town of, Belleview, Florida. We love it there. The staff is very friendly and happy to see us come in the door. We are regulars there as we go at least once a week for either lunch or dinner. When our next-door neighbors, Bob and Sandy, are here we go there for dinner once a week. Our favorite waiter, Ciro takes very good care of us giving us plenty of time to just enjoy our chips, salsa and beer before asking what we want to dinner. The food is very good and plentiful. And, when Ciro found out that Bob loved the really hot green salsa on his eggs in the morning he gave him a little take-out container of the salsa. We all thought that was a very nice gesture and kind thing to do.
I spent most of Friday afternoon and all day Saturday settling back into a routine putting everything away, doing laundry, collecting all the receipts we had accumulated along the way but knew that I would not feel like I totally home until Sunday morning when we would attend church and go to Mary’s Place for breakfast.
Mary’s Place is just a little restaurant/diner attached to Ed’s Motel in Belleview. Church and Mary’s are our weekly routine and one that I really look forward to. We have been going to Mary’s for almost five years now. It is just good home cooking. We have come to know many of the patrons there and often when the restaurant is very busy someone already seated will offer a seat and you meet a new friend. I really like that a lot.
We traveled 6,404 miles over a period of twenty-four days. It was a really good ride with fantastic friends, fantastic motorcycles, fantastic things to see and fantastic food to eat. I know that once I have recouped from this trip I will be planning the next. For all those who followed us on our trip I am glad you came along. For all those who left some words on our blog site I really enjoyed reading them each night. I appreciated all the suggestions and tips that were offered by everyone. I especially appreciated my new found friend from Canada, Andrea who sent along a website filled with Acadian recipes that I will look forward to trying and blogging about over time. I will also look forward to hearing from you over the months as my daughter Kristine and I continue to share our thoughts about and experiences with food.