Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: February 2014


Quick Thoughts: The Weather Perspective

Growing up in Southern California, I was very much used to the "curse" of the eternal summer.

It wasn't unusual to see sunny and 75 degrees for weeks on end. And in those occasional instances when it would rain, it was usually predicted far in advance to a point that it became an event to wait for the precipitation to fall. When that would happen, time just seemed to stand still, a mystic feeling would come over me as the world was being cleansed of the weeks of built up smog and grime on the roads. For just a few moments, I could sit back, watch the rain come down, and hide away for a while.

The rain carried a whole different aura during my time in the Midwest. When it poured, it was unpredictable and in most cases, relentless in its approach. It came in bursts and it disappeared as fast as it appeared. Us Californians consider the rain to be a major event. In my former life in Ohio, it was just another Tuesday. It was, drop by drop, annoyance and inconvenience. For me, it brought out a yearning for sunnier days, both in the weather and in the corners of my own mind.

The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 5

**This is a recap of my vacation back to Southern California from 12/28/13-1/9/14.**

For a typical Southern California interlude, I present a soccer game in early January. Okay,'s more of a photo to just rub in the fact that my home is pretty much an eternal summer with a slight variation of a few degrees. By the time I was sitting on the sidelines watching one of my nieces start her first game of the season, I almost had to take off my hoodie.


The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 4

**This is a recap of my vacation back to Southern California from 12/28/13-1/9/14.**

Another day on the Daytona 675 took me into West LA and the Tesla service station where I got to check out one of the most of the technologically advanced cars on the market. Tesla cars are 100% electric with the power and speed of a high-end sports car.

This particular one is a 2013 Tesla Model S 85 with power equivalent to 400 HP and uses no gas. That means plug and play! For many people, the current issue with electric cars is the lack of charging stations and the initial cost of the vehicles. Hopefully machines like this will be far more affordable and considered as a truly viable alternative to fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the near future. Still though, these are amazing works of technology that showcase the potential of cleaner sources of energy.

Imagine your entire dashboard replaced with LCD screens and an overgrown iPad. Sign of the times when CD slots, radio dials, and buttons are completely gone.
The [over] proliferation of hybrid cars in California have pretty much made true electric cars the only vehicles that one can drive solo in the carpool lane. Oh wait, motorcycles have always been allowed to do that!
The power port is stealthily hidden underneath the left turn signal.
After the car show-and-tell, it was a straight shot back down the 405 and 91 freeways to the MasterCuts at the Lakewood mall to see an old friend and my long-time hairstylist, Sylvie. Since it was rush hour, I did get to throw some lane splitting back into my motorcycle diet as well. Yeah, I traveled 2500 miles and several freeways to get my classic do, because I'm hardcore like that. Loyalty goes a long way with me, and Sylvie is awesome.

For dinner, I went out with a couple friends to get my Hawaiian BBQ fix at Back Home in Lahaina in Carson. One cannot go wrong with a small plate of Hawaiian fried chicken and a side of iced tea. Yep, that was some tasty stuff.

In the next part of this trip recap, I pull out the guns...literally. Throw in some soccer games in the cold of winter and a Filipino party and it sounds like Southern California all over again!


Redefining Valentine's Day.

It is fitting that I find myself on this Valentine's Day back home on the Southern California coast after spending the last couple days on somewhere on Interstate 40. With the chaos surrounding the end of a long relationship, the excitement of a brand new job, and the dream of finally returning home coming true, it is best to be moving forward, both physically and mentally. As it has been for the last several months leading up to this liberation, making myself more useful to others, planning ahead, and reconnecting with the family and friends who have always supported me have been the best distractions from the turmoil stemming from the sudden, inexplicable, and conscious-less actions of another.

I thought about the symbolism of this particular day in February. Beyond the commercialization of things red in color, lingerie, and chocolates, it is a day celebrating love. But it's not limited to the love of one person for another; it is a day to celebrate the love of those who important in my own life. Yes, family and friends are in that circle of importance, but that's just not enough. Without the true appreciation and love for who I am, I myself am nothing.

So on this day of love, I celebrate my resilience, my courage, and my inner strength. I celebrate my support system who has kept me on the straight path toward happier days. I hope for brighter days ahead and for things to continue falling into place.

To thine own self be true. It is only when you love yourself for the person that you are that you can share a greater love with others. Now in this new chapter in my life, a weight is lifted off my shoulders and I am liberated of the chains that bound me in a place where I couldn't fulfill my potential. It took me a while to realize that I had been stuck in a rut because another person chose to disregard my emotional needs and settle for mediocrity. Now that I am free to explore my life without restriction once again, a day like this is even more exciting for far different reasons. I resolve to be daring, to not be afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve, and when the time is right, dare to take chances with it once again.

On this day, I encourage you spend a few moments to reward yourself with the gift of, well, yourself. Sneak out on that strange adventure. If you're able, go out for a ride on your motorcycle without a care in the world. Get lost somewhere for a while. Take a long walk. Admire the sunset and just enjoy the moment. Nothing can take away your happiness unless you allow negativity to consume it.

Now, I am finally home again.


It's been real, Ohio. You can go keep your winter.

Four and a half years in the Buckeye State have finally come to an end. I'm packed up and rolling out of here!

For real-time tracking of my whereabouts (if you are oh so curious), visit the "Where Am I?" section of this blog. It'll be a long drive, so feel free to send a few messages my way. The right side of this blog offers a couple methods of contacting me including a direct e-mail message and Google voicemail.

Below is the route I'm taking. Doing this in the middle of the winter and on a bit of a schedule doesn't offer many opportunities for recreation. No worries...more fun times are ahead.


The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 3

**This is a recap of my vacation back to Southern California from 12/28/13-1/9/14.**

It is usually a cliche to say "new year, new start." For me, this particular New Year was the beginning of many new starts that will unfold throughout this year and for many years to come. I was off on the motorcycle early to begin writing (and in some cases, re-writing) several new adventures in my personal saga.

I opened the morning with ride through the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the switchbacks of Palos Verdes Drive East. For those who have ridden with me, it's what I've called "the lunch ride." For this particular morning, the marine layer was just starting to burn off so I had a few moments to gather my thoughts from the outlook of the Starbucks that faced the ocean.

My first order of business was to bring closure to a lengthy story that began six years ago at this exact same spot and ride away with a resolve to search for a much better life.


The 2013 SoCal Holiday Excursion Recap: Part 2

**This is a recap of my vacation back to Southern California from 12/28/13-1/9/14.**

It was nice to wake up to this morning view again. I had woken up to many mornings like this when life was a lot less complicated. It was 48°F the day I took this shot, and I was out in my shorts and flip-flops. For the normal Californian this would've called for Ugg boots at the minimum, but the Midwest life had hardened me enough to not bat an eye at the calm breeze nipping at my legs.

Today was a cruising day with me and my dear friend, Veronica, so it was a lot more on two wheels and a lot less with the camera. Somewhere in between all this, we had old ladies in minivans waving at us on Pacific Coast Highway and the men wondering what these two women, one on a cruiser and the other on a sportbike, were doing riding together. It was like old times when we'd just hop on our rides and travel the familiar roads of home, for no apparent reason than to appreciate the natural beauty that we had access to day in and day out.

I did get to watch the sunset from a familiar point in Redondo Beach and spend some time clearing my mind. Sometime around dusk, we even made young boy smile as we let him sit on our motorcycles while his parents snapped pictures. We even revved our engines high before we left the beach and that little boy was super excited over that. He even got to wear Veronica's helmet in the process! It's always fun to entertain the kids, and they get a kick out of knowing that I'm a girl on a bike.

This Triumph stays "in the family," and that's an order. Yeah, my personal cheerleader, I'm talking to you.
Another day comes to an end, and that the sunset continues to remind me that it's time to rest, reload and give life another go tomorrow.
The following day was New Year's Eve, and to bid farewell to the last day of a tumultuous 2013, I had an impromptu skating session at Toyota Sports Center. The sheet of ice that TSC had set aside for public session turned out to be where the roller hockey rink once stood. I had played there many years ago, and found some of the best teammates I've ever played for there. It was a bit strange to take those turns on what had once been a sport court surface. As a bonus, I had a couple old teammates stop on by and say hello as well. After a decade of playing in this building, it's a place that will always be a part of my life.

It's nice to see a Stanley Cup banner in the NHL rink nowadays.
Even the drinking fountains were water bottle friendly!
After skating, it was back up to the house for the annual New Year's Eve party. This was the first time in five years that I was able to enjoy this family tradition in California with the people who are important to me. By the time this day came around, I was so tired due to the jet lag that I had to duck out for an hour and take a nap during the party, but I was alive enough later on to welcome in 2014 with everyone else. Also, it had fulfilled a personal promise I had kept to myself for several years that, when it mattered, I was not going to be in Ohio on New Year's Eve. I have my family to thank for that as well.

So I'll rest here with the warmth of a fire and the skyline of Los Angeles in my midst. For the first part of 2014, I can start a part of my life over again and find that energy I need to push on toward a new goal.