Just as it has for several billions of years the sun came up on schedule over Jacksonville Beach at 0624AM, Friday, June 21st. Because of clouds we didn’t actually see the sun break the distant horizon. Soon enough, not more that 1-2 minutes later our sun rose into view.
The actual solstice occurred at 1154AM, EDT. At that time the earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted 23.26 degrees toward the sun; hence the longest day of the year and the first day of summer.
Several members and guests met at the Jacksonville Red Cross Lifeguard Station for sunrise.
L to R: Peter Komatz, Philip de Paula, Ed Seitz,, John Gino, Mike Sadler, Tom Brown and daughter Sara, not pictured Jim Allen
We saddled up and rode south around and away from morning traffic to Grannie’s Kitchen in Starke for breakfast. There we were joined by Dan Lines. Departing Grannies we had 5 motorcycles and 6 riders (my grandson Philip was my pillion).
Our back roads (mostly) route, took us thru Brooker, Ft. White, Branford, Perry to the Tallahassee Auto Museum. There we rendezvoused with Shep Brown and Bob Flanagan from BMWNEF’s western division.
Many members have driven by the TAM countless times on our travels across the panhandle on I-10 but never stopped. It is worth the stop.
The museum is an eclectic collection of everything collectible. Cars, antique, vintage, muscle cars, motorcycles, Case knives, you name it, they’ve got it there.
Grandson Philp de Paula rocking the Jake and Elwood, “The Blues Brothers”
Did I mention that it was hot? When we departed Starke the temperature was 85, by the time we reached TAM the temperature had soared to the mid to upper 90’s. The air–conditioned spaces of the museum were a welcome relief.
It’s a straight shot down US 319 to Apalachicola. Once we cleared the traffic around Tallahassee we had a pleasant but still hot ride. US 319 is still showing signs of damage from last year’s hurricane Michael which made landfall around Mexico Beach, further to the west. Several section of the roadway are being rebuilt and reinforced to protect from washouts.
The Coombs Inn and Suites hotel was our destination in Apalachicola. We arrived at the hotel about 4:30PM. The hotel is a period home with several additional outbuildings. Beautiful woodwork graces the interior of the main house. We were greeting by a friendly staff and quickly assigned our rooms.
After cooling showers (and smelling better), we ventured to the Hole In the Wall Café for dinner. Our waitress, “Gunnery Sargent Barbara” was our server. Barbara’s a sweet “grouch”. If you looked up Oscar the grouch from the Muppets in the dictionary you’d see Barbara’s photo!
We met again at breakfast, said our good byes and separately hit the road(s) for home. Mike Sadler, Philip and I paired up to retrace our route back home. We added a stop in Lake City for lunch with NEF member Jack Wells at Kens BBQ.
Keep an eye on the events calendar for upcoming events. We’ll do the Winter Solstice ride in December.
Thanks goes out to all those who organized and attended our Sweetheart Ride & Dinner Cruise. Speaking for Deborah and myself, we had a very nice experience. We both would put this on the list of things to do again. Especially if the weather is warmer.
As always the best part is socializing and catching up with our friends, members and guests. We had the chance to meet with some new members and are very grateful they could attend this wonderful event. Looking forward to seeing them again at some of our upcoming events.
I have to admit Bruce and I seem to be learning new things each event. I believe by the time I take over as Past President I might have a handle on things. We did receive some wonderful feedback and will strive to make those adjustments. This was our first experience with this Dinner Cruise and I will remember to ensure they give me the Webster’s English Dictionary definitions of boarding together verses arriving together next time.
I did read the reviews of the dinners they served prior to booking this event. I was kind of surprised at how well many of the reviews were. Well, I am a believer now. The food was quite good. Suggestion, do not sit under a vent if you want your food to stay warm. All in all, I think everyone had an enjoyable time. Please e-mail me any suggestions, comments, and thoughts on this event. As always if you have a story or write-up you would like to share please send them to our Newsletter Chairperson or myself.
I would like to mention some upcoming events.
Our April monthly meeting will be held at BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville and not at the Fleet Reserve. We are working on providing lunch for our members and their guests. Taylor from Sky-Med will be giving a presentation before and after our meeting. I have to admit the information she presented at the Winter Rally was an eye opener.
Our Club Picnic will be in June this year at Camp Chowenwaw We are looking for volunteers and suggestions on what to do for lunch at this event. Please send your thoughts and suggestions to our Social Committee Chairperson or to the Vice-President.
Please look at our club’s website and our events calendar for more information about these and other events.https://bmwnef.org/events