Monday, January 7, 2013

Visitor From Afar...

There is something exciting and frightening about having a visitor that you have never met come to stay. The exciting part is actually getting to "see" someone face to face that you have been talking to through email, Skype, or phone calls for over a year. The frightening part is what are you going to do with this person while they are here and will you actually get along with them.

So Roger of All Things Rogey fame was coming to visit after Christmas. While he gave me months of warning, of course I wait to clean house until the last minutes. Which would have been semi-okay if that cleaning didn't actually cause the swapping of two rooms in the house. Oh well. Oilburner and I got as far as we could in the process and what would be, would be after that. No one ever died, in my house, of a few piles of magazines and a little dust. (My mother's mortification doesn't count...)

Right off the bat, Roger proves his usefulness by catching an earlier flight from L.A. Meaning that I could pick him up at 8 from the airport, instead of 10. Yeehaw. This also meant that we could take him to our favorite Malaysian restaurant for dinner. Too bad that was about the best food we ate for the time he was here.

Nothing was planned for Friday. Anticipating that he might want to sleep a goodly portion of the day. But a much delayed response to a text message (from before Christmas) had us scheduling a meeting with a bike in North Georgia. Roger was dragged along, getting to be the first person to ride this new, odd bike. He was also uniquely introduced to redneck, backwoods Georgia during mud and hunting season. Resulting in the start of many gun control discussions.

With his only nutritional requirement of the entire trip being "BBQ", we took him to a local joint for dinner that has given us mixed feelings. They did nothing to change our opinion of them this time around, unfortunately. The night was salvaged with a trip into downtown Atlanta to a great pub with live music. We had an in since a riding buddy is good friends with the musician. So during breaks we were regaled with stories from a recent Rock Cruise she was on.

Saturday saw us hitting the road for Savannah. One thing Roger has said in the past to me is the intrigue of being able to ride so many miles in a day due to our highways, interstates, and abundant land! Well...he was introduced to this first hand today. We took the longer, more scenic route going through much farmland and a few small cities. This gave him the opportunity to understand the distances the U.S. has to offer, with the wide open spaces. He promptly fell asleep, not enjoying the "boring" roads.

He perked up quickly though when he was given the opportunity to drive the rental car. Yeah, he wasn't gonna turn that one down at all. And he did quite well, negotiating a couple of turns, dealing with stop signs and stop lights.

Savannah is a beautiful city with so many things to see and do. We spent time shopping, looking around the squares at the architecture, taking the tour bus to save our footsies, and plenty of underwhelming food. Meh. Tourist season (for New Years) brought out the mediocre food.

The highlight of the trip was were we stayed. I found a cottage through AirBnB that was spectacular. Laura's Cottage, built in the late 18th Century, was a great backdrop for the trip. An original, authentic cottage, used in quite a few films, and featured on many local ghost tours. I found it interesting that we were staying in a cottage that was older than the inclusion of New Zealand into the fold of the British Empire (in 1840). Hmmm...

Remind Roger to tell you the story of his addition to the ghost tours...

We decided to change our plans and leave New Year's Eve instead of New Year's Day. This allowed us to set some fireworks off with a neighbor to ring in the New Year. Nothing says "Welcome" like blowing up some black powder.

New Year's Day was very wet, with rain all day. It was spent mostly indoors following Roger around the shopping mall. I was good for awhile and shopped a little. I picked some work pants and shirts out for Oilburner. (Don't say I never shop for you!) I had fun watching Roger's jaw drop at the sheer volume of camo gear and guns on display in Bass Pro Shops. He just couldn't get over the guns that could be touched, and that the gun counter was the busiest place in the entire store. After awhile I couldn't take anymore and roosted on benches outside of the stores while he went in and browsed. I swore he ditched me at the Nike store. I couldn't see how he was in there so long! But I wasn't about to go looking for him. He could text me when he was done.

Only one trip had to be made to the car to drop bags off. A second trip would have been in order, but we were so close to completing the loop of the mall. Instead, I offered to take the bags and let him finish the last shop while I waited in the car. lots of reading done. And Roger made up for the empty space and shallow poundage of his suitcase.

The rest of the days were a blur. Roger crossed state lines into Alabama to visit Barber Museum. We went to a local gun range and let him fire a couple handguns. (Take that second amendment, Roger!) Attended our local Shakespeare Tavern, preview night for "The Tempest". He was even allowed to swing a leg over the coveted R1200R bike...letting him ride a motorbike on the "right" side of the road. Poor guy, having to test a new bike on a new side of the road, with new rules for stop signs that are foreign to him, all under threat of death if anything happened to my bike. He performed rather well given the pressures. :)

Throughout all of this we talked, laughed, and drank. We swapped riding stories, riding roads, political views, second amendment rights, sports (woefully lacking on our side), independent wealth, and living a life on a bike. Roger, thank you for visiting and bringing a breath of fresh air, making New Zealand come alive. I hate you now that I have to go back to work, when all I can do is daydream about Lake Taupo, Cape Reinga, Mount Aspiring National Park, living off my bike while traveling across the U.S., heck traveling across the world.

Godspeed in your travels in San Francisco. I don't think it will be difficult for you. Hope to see you on your side of the pond rather soon. :)



  1. Wow, it sounds like you had a blast. Interesting comments on visiting the Bass Pro Shop. Every time I've stopped at either there or Cabelas, there was a tour bus stopped there as well. I never thought of them as a tourist destination. So Roger isn't going back armed to the teeth?

    Thanks for posting this entertaining post. Now we'll just have to wait for the other version...

    BTW, Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year Richard! Thank you. It was a great time. I'm not sure if we kept him too busy or not busy enough. :) Tour busses to Bass? Yeah, I guess I could believe it. We wound up going to two, as well. With the pool size aquarium, rock climbing walls, and shooting gallery, what isn't to be awed by.

      I do believe that Roger would go back well armed...if it was allowed. The grin on his face all that evening was hilarious.

  2. Lori,
    I've so enjoyed this post!! I sincerely hope that you and Oilburner didn't struggle too much with the language barrier :-). Secondly, what the heck is Roger wearing???? Let me assure you that not all Kiwis dress like that! (Said because he's always complaining about my dress sense and besides, it's payback time)!

    Incidentally, it was a gun shop in Birmingham Alabama which blew me away when I was working down south in '96!

    Hope your first encounter with a Kiwi and the local sense of humour wasn't too painful. Sounds rather exciting that you might be experiencing a bit more of it before too long!

    1. G'day Geoff! Language barrier? What language barrier? If I had any issues, I just made him repeat himself. Only resorted to spelling it out once. (But sometimes I made him repeat himself just for fun. hehe) It actually improved a little when he drank. Though I also learned more slang then, too. :)

      Please, rag him about that "jumper". I hear everyone else has on FB too.

      Nice pun on the Alabama gun shop. Did you ever have the opportunity to go shooting?

      As far as Kiwi was a nice one. Though I am sure he is not completely indicitive of the "true Kiwi experience". hahahaha I wonder if he will catch that one... As far as travel, Oilburner is already looking at the cost of shipping the Honda's there. Dreams are nice to have. Better believe we are making it out your way too, though.

  3. First of all.......Geoff....that is mu luck Cardigan!...

    It was a gret 8 days with Lori and I got to do a heap of things that I hadn't expected to do. Of course, when I get around to writing my"trip" report I will be putting A differ perspective on things!

    1. The victor writes history. :) Let's see who believes who. hehe

  4. It is just plain to read your voice again :)

    I do miss you!

    I can't imagine a more "interesting" time for him to be "introduced to redneck, backwoods Georgia"..than.."during mud and hunting season." I'm looking forward to hearing about that.

    New? Odd? Bike? Is this a beginning of a story or an ending?

  5. Roger is just the guy to lighten up things in life (even where no lightening up is required). I am glad to hear you guys got along swimmingly and didn't have a language barrier to overcome.

    And obviously he still does have a - let's say - acquired taste when it comes to clothing. I have the pictures to prove it ;-)

    1. Language barrier is funny. Too much teasing about the "Queen's English". But it is always fun to learn the slang. No new curse words though, darnit!

      Hmm...we might need to trade some incriminating photos. I would love to see more. I just got to see the lovely, red cardigan all week. It was most annoying cold most of the time. Though what do you expect in winter. hehe

  6. Lori:

    glad you managed to entertain Roger for so many days. I am not that interesting. I have no opinions about anything, no sports, don't drink, but it would surprise you that I used to collect guns. I have many buried away

    just call me an uninteresting boring "american" who knows nothing of things related to "down under"

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Aww don't worry about it Bob everything south of the equator flushes backwards anyways haha ��

    2. You two dingbats! :)

      Bob, it surprises me mightily that you collect guns. I've never thought of gun laws in Canada. Are they similar to America? And stop calling yourself a boring American. You keep insulting me. LOL!!

  7. Awesome conversations from awesome biking enthusiasts, glad to be a part of this.Do you have a dirt bike?Any favorite Dirt bike accessories that you would to let us know about

    1. I'm getting there...but I would be happy just to have a dirt bike that I like...regardless of any accessories at this moment. :)

  8. It is so awesome that you got to meet Roger too. We feel privileged to have met him and spent a few days with him. You guys must have had a ball hosting him for a week.

    We got to hear the ghost stories - too funny.

    1. Would I say "awesome"?? It was laughing and drinking and visiting and drinking and ... similar to your experiences with him. hehe. But please don't say you feel privileged to meet him...he's gonna get a ego!! ;) I'm just happy we were able to make a couple of his dreams comes true. But I'm really glad we didn't go to the range earlier in his visit. Otherwise I think we might have been there every night. The smile on his face was huge!!

      Was the ghost story hilarious? I was upstairs and heard the little squeaks and screams and saw all the flashes go off. It was great fun and I highly recommend messing with a tour group whenever possible.

  9. Great write up Lori. That was very good of you to put the Kiwi up. Having met a couple of bloggers, I know what you mean about actually meeting someone you only know electronically, or over the phone. It sounds like you made him feel very welcome. I am glad he didn't drop your bike....

  10. Great entry, glad you guys jelled, it would be weird not to. I really wanted to see Roger let go a few rounds with a Colt AR-15 or M16, that would have been fun. If he ever comes this way I will take him to PA, there's a few places where you can shoot M16's.
    Where's the picture of him on your bike? or shooting other weapons? you saving for a future post? I hope so.