We just got back from a trip to Florida and the Daytona Beach area. We left on Tuesday morning in the dark and got back today on Sunday afternoon. We combine our trips to be a vacation and visit my parents who live there. For us, Daytona Beach is less than 8 hours away if we take the highway. Donna was a bit anxious to try out the flashing red LED light on the back of her helmet since we were leaving before sunrise. After our customary breakfast stop at Waffle House in Forsyth, Georgia we ran into just a few spots of misting rain. It wasn’t much, just enough to wet the windshield and then stop. But Donna was again ready and turned on the LED on the back of her helmet for that extra bit of conspicuity.
Once there we visit with my parents and of course ride up and down the beach or see some sites. We are tourists there after all! This trip was a bit more special because it was also my parent’s 53rd wedding anniversary while we were there. We’re accustomed to riding on twisting mountain roads but there is something to be said for riding down the road with the ocean literally just feet away at times. Florida does not require that you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle (an are 21 or older) if you carry a certain amount of insurance. It doesn’t matter to use because so far we always wear helmets. One parking lot speed incident almost 25 years re-enforced helmet use to me. One thing we did notice is that it seemed everyone who was not wearing a helmet was riding a v-twin motorcycle and nearly everyone who was on a sport bike had on a helmet. And of course we have our own little Rides To Eat (RTE) while we’re there. One of our favorites while there is Boondocks in Wilbur By The Sea (yes that is the town’s name) where we rode on down to the Marine Science Center after lunch.
This year my Dad added a new twist to us. We went to Titusville for a tour of the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum. The museum has aircraft from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and later on display in the hangars. Many of the aircraft still fly. Good find Dad! There’s only one propeller aircraft they have that doesn’t fly and it’s a recovered WWII Grumman F4F Wildcat in the main atrium. Every other propeller airplane they have flies, including the C-47 that flew 3 missions on D-Day. Even a good many of the jets fly. This is a museum where you can touch history and sometimes see it come alive.
And of course since we’re motorcyclists and were on our motorcycle, we stopped in BMW Motorcycles of Daytona Beach to look around. While looking around, a nice salesman tried to sell us a new BMW K1600GTL with a lot of option for a mere $27,000.00. The only things it didn’t have was the GPS and the brake light in the top case which are dealer installed accessories and not factory installed options. We figured it was less expensive to ride out 2002 BMW K1200LT on to lunch at Racing’s North Turn on the beach. The restaurant gets its name that it was the north turn for the original Daytona Beach races and was the north turn where the cars turned from the sand on the beach to the road on A1A.
This time our trip home was even different. We rode the trip down to Florida in a day pretty easy. But we wanted to take our time coming home. We left Florida about lunch time on Saturday and headed for a stopover in Tifton, Georgia. The only issue was the coastal winds in Florida from the the distant tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean. From Daytona Beach to Jacksonville we were batting 20-25 mph cross winds and it felt like I was crabbing into the wind. On Sunday morning we took our time getting ready. While “pre-flighting” the motorcycle I had 3 different stop by and talk with me about the bike and ask questions. Once we got on the road, half our journey was over and we were home in time for a late lunch before heading off to the kennel to pick up our dogs during the afternoon pick up.
We took a few pictures at the warbird museum and you can look at them for a sampling of what they have by clicking here.