Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: January 2013


Monroe Part 3: The things I do for [Zapp's] potato chips (and the people I love).

After the last day of meetings concluded, I received a text from Matt with a request on behalf of his co-worker, Ian.

So while everyone was getting ready to watch the NFL Packers/49ers playoff game, I borrowed one of the rental cars and with another one of my colleagues in tow, we went out on the search for these apparently amazing Zapp's potato chips. I got a lead from one of our guests who joined us that weekend that there was a nearby Albertsons that carried them. It was nice to hear that supermarket chain again; I haven't been inside one of those stores since I left California.


Monroe Part 2: Quick Review - Podnuh's BBQ

For lunch on Day 2 of our stay here in Monroe, we tried our luck at a popular BBQ chain in this area. It's your standard BBQ place but is great for a quick stop for lunch or dinner.

Front view of the Monroe location (810 Splane Drive)
Sides galore! My favorites were the candied yams and the corn on the cob. Very sweet and tasty.
I tried their "three meat" plate that gave me a sampling of their BBQ chicken, sausage, and a couple pork ribs. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone and so were the ribs. I found the sausage to be flavorful but the casing was a bit tough as if it had stayed on the grill a bit too long. The nice thing is that their homemade BBQ sauce is served on the side so you can put as little or as much sauce as you wish; I didn't need too much of the sauce to complement the meat. This entree also came with Texas toast and two sides (I added the corn on the cob to make it three).

Podnuh's Monroe is located at For more information about this food chain, please visit It's quick BBQ but pretty good stuff for the price, at least for this outsider.

Podnuh's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


Monroe, LA: Part 1 - Hotel Food at the Clarion

The weekend in Monroe was full of meetings, but it was definitely full of food. We stayed at the Clarion Inn & Suites and Conference Center in Monroe, and even though I spent most of my time at the hotel, I was quite impressed with this small sampling of local cuisine.

For the first night, I had the chance to try Mistletoe Magic Martini made with Jack Daniel's, Midori Melon Liqueur, Sour Mix, Lemonade, and Lemon-Lime Soda.
Fried catfish with hushpuppies and cajun fries!
As part of our experience here at the Clarion, the wonderful staff of the Clarion surprised us with a "taste test" lunch featuring several of their fine dishes for consideration for our event banquet. The pictures here don't do any of these entrees any justice, but I can say that everything was fresh and very delicious. My favorite comment of the hour came from several of my fellow Board members in regards to Round 2: "I don't do fish, but I enjoyed the seafood dish very much."

Round 1: Stuffed Chicken, carrots, broccoli, and roasted potatoes
Round 2: Blackened Catfish with a little spice, carrots & broccoli with honey glaze sauce, and roasted potatoes with onion and bacon bits

Round 3: Grilled Ribeye, mashed potatoes w/ ranch, and aspargus

Surprise dessert! Blueberry cheesecake with a chocolate syrup topping. I usually don't do fruit in my sweet treats but I'll definitely make an exception to this.

Stay tuned for more adventures from my Monroe trip!


Heading to Monroe, LA with WOW (beads not included)

Until the snow thaws and I have time again, I'm trading the two wheels for a set of wings. Next stop this week is Monroe, LA, the site of the 2014 28th Women On Wheels® International Ride-In for a "workcation" with my fellow members of the WOW Board of Trustees. Along with some quick sightseeing, we'll be sitting down and working on quite a bit of organization-related businesses, as it has been for me for the last two years.

This will be my first foray into the Bayou State, and with Monroe being in the northern portion of the state I won't be anywhere near the craziness of New Orleans. So no, I will not expose my chest area to get beads. Besides, Fat Tuesday's not for another month anyway.

Pics coming soon, but while you wait, here's the brief introduction I made for the next-to-upcoming Ride-In in July 2014. Curious about this group of women I work and ride with? Visit the website at


Quick Review: Best Gyros (Mentor, OH)

I had a long day at work on Friday and ended up getting out of there much later than I wanted to. So for a quick dinner I headed to Best Gyros on OH-306/Mentor Ave. to try out their $3.29 "Festival Gyro" and a .50 side of fries. This is what I received.

That's a lot of food for under $5. Quite impressive.

The gyro was pretty tasty and had an ample amount of toppings and tzatziki sauce. Other things I liked? The food was made to order and the gyros are freshly shaved off the spit. They threw in a side of ranch dressing at no extra charge (it's for my fries, don't judge me) and the cashier delivered the tray to my table. For a quick eat that's not your typical hamburger, this would be a great spot to stop. Also, they're open until 4AM on Fridays and Saturdays for you weekend night owls. Next time I'd like to try their larger, specialty gyros as well as their baklava desert. Apparently they also serve burgers and huge corned beef sandwiches as well.

Alternatively, there's a Nick's Gyros farther up on Mentor Ave. that also delivers delicious gyros and ridiculously awesome fruit smoothies. I hope to do a more extensive review on that place too as I had a great experience trying an original "Nick's Gyro," hummus, and a smoothie there for a work lunch a few weeks ago.

Best Gyros has four locations in NE Ohio: Mentor, Mayfield, Northfield, and Lee. You can visit their website at

Best Gyros on Urbanspoon


Appeasing my professional hockey cravings with Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters.

As much as I'm not a fan of the state of Ohio, I am glad that there are multiple professional hockey teams here that aren't in the NHL. Like many a hockey fan out here, seeing the NHL's fourth league-wide work stoppage in its history drag on without end isn't helping my need to see flying pucks out there (when I'm not playing goalie in my own games) so I've had to look for some alternatives. Fortunately, there is hope here in the Buckeye state as there are several teams in both the ECHL and AHL, the leading 'AA' and 'AAA' professional leagues in North America, respectively.

Now that I reside in NE Ohio most of the time for my job, I am less than 30 minutes away from the Quicken Loans Center in downtown Cleveland, home of the Lake Erie Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. For Christmas, Matt surprised me with tickets to the next home game and a jersey to wear to my first AHL game!

That was a surprising Christmas present!
I've followed AHL teams for a while, especially during the 2005 NHL lockout. Attending an actual game was a whole new experience for me as there are no AHL teams in California, only the Ontario Reign, Stockton Thunder, San Francisco Bulls, and Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL which is a tier below the AHL. I did have the privilege of watching the now-defunct Long Beach Ice Dogs (IHL/ECHL) a few years ago when my best friend gave me a row of tickets for my birthday, which was my only minor-league experience back home. Other than those teams, anyone who watches the LA Kings, the Anaheim Ducks, and the San Jose Sharks will just have to sit tight and wait for both the NHL and the NHLPA to stop with the contractual fisticuffs.


First blog post of 2013. Resolving to KISS more often.

It was a nutty 2012 to say the least.

For the long-time readers on this blog, thank you for bearing with me during my slow online presence, especially during the second half of the year when it seemed like life was just moving a little too fast. With a new job mid-year along with relocation from Central to Northeast Ohio and other outside projects to boot, I thought I was going to tear my hair out at one point or another.

I hope to have more time to post more blog entries this year. I'm going to try a bit more of the simpler approach when it comes to blogging. I do post a lot of random stuff on Twitter (@2WheeledTourist) or my Facebook fan page ( so those are always buzzing. Traditionally, my posts on here are pretty elaborate and thought-out, which is probably why they've been so far and few in between as of late. Perhaps I'm thinking too hard. This blog has never been intended to be a work of art. But the writer in me likes to be a perfectionist. I will try to find a happy medium to make these entries more entertaining for myself again.

New year, new start, blah blah blah. If I had to think of some sort of "resolution" for this upcoming year it would be to just KISS. Keep it simple. Whether the last "S" in KISS means "silly," "stupid," or "s*hthead" is up to me.

Or I can just get into a skating pool noodle fight like my husband does during staff parties. Happy New Year, people.