Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Wishes

I would like to wish a Happy New Year to everyone that has visited my blog and specially want to say thank you to the followers for sticking with me.  I thank you all for the kind comments, friendship and the sense of camaraderie shown.   I have enjoyed following your blogs and will try to set aside more time to read all the blogs I am following.
A new riding season will soon be upon us and my second wish is for safe riding to everyone and may you enjoy as many miles on your motorcycle as possible.  I'm sure there will be many new adventures and places to be discovered on two wheels and I can't wait to read about it and see all the beautiful pictures of this beautiful country.
My third wish and I think everyone will agree with me, is for this winter season to end and for all the snow to melt and disappear as soon as possible.  I am already tired of all the snow and ice that has fallen since mid December and the weather man is predicting more snow for tonight.  I woke up on December 27th and this was the view from my garage.

My cars were buried in the snow and I had forgotten to get the snow blower out of the shed.  A foot and a half of the white stuff had fallen overnight and had managed to paralyze the tri-state area.  I struggled to get the snow blower out of the shed and then had to drag it all the way to the garage before I could attempt to start it.

I plug the electrical cord, press the start button and all I hear is the whine from the electric starter motor.  After a few more futile attempts, I take the cover off only to discover that the plastic gear that engages the flywheel had disintegrated.  I guess the very cold temperature didn't help the material and neither did the age of the blower. At this point I'm cursing like a drunken sailor but soon my neighbor came by with his little Cat and helped me clear the snow out of the driveway behind the cars and the street in front of my house.

Another neighbor offered his snow blower and I was able to clear a path around the cars and all the way to the front of the house.  It was hard work even with the blower, the wind blowing fast and furious and throwing it back at me but after some cursing and a few cups of hot chocolate I was finally done.  My daughter in the mean time was having fun with her friends and decided to build an igloo in the middle of the road after my friend had created a huge mountain of snow with his little Caterpillar.  It seems like kids don't feel the cold the way we do, I retreated to the couch with another cup of chocolate.

On January 1st, my wife and I go to New York and board the Norwegian Gem, starting the new year by going on a cruise to the Caribbean for 11 days.  We had planned this cruise earlier in the year and were accompanied by high school friends from South Africa we hadn't seen in 26 years.  It was cold as we left New York but warmer temperatures were ahead of us.

We visited Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, Saint Martin and Tortola.  The weather was beautiful, the sky mostly clear with every afternoon offering us beautiful sunsets.  There is something special about sunsets at sea for me, maybe because I live on the east coast and don't see the sun setting over the water.  Every afternoon I made my way to the top of the ship to see the sun disappear over the horizon.

Our ship the Norwegian Gem
The water and the beaches were spectacular.  If you ever go to St. Thomas, make sure you visit Magens Bay.  In Antigua the beach was simply stunning but I can not recall the name of the beach.  In Saint Martin we visited Bikini Beach and spent most of the time in the water while there.

Magens Bay, St Thomas

Antigua Beach

Bikini Beach, Saint Martin

Bikini Beach, Saint Martin
Bikini Beach super clear water
We return to New York on the 11th and that same night we have another snow storm, it was fun for my South African friends since they don't have any snow where they live but I had to take them to the airport the next day and I was not ready to shovel snow again.  This time we had about 6 inches, just enough to be annoying.  We spent the last night together throwing snowballs at each other, a big snowball fight soon ensued while my daughter made snow Angels.


Tonight we are supposed to have another snow storm, three to six inches which will make tomorrow's commute to work just horrible, I can not stand this weather anymore.
This weekend I am going to New York to the International Motorcycle Show to see for the first time my future bike, the Yamaha Super Ténéré, I hope the snow will be all gone before the weekend.  So back to my third wish, lets hope it happens soon so we can all start riding again.


  1. Holy cow! That's a lot of snow! The white house and white snow - very pretty. But I feel your pain. "Pretty" entertains me for an hour or two, then the restlessness sets in followed quickly by serious grouchiness.

    Your sunsets are beautiful. I'm glad you got a little break from the cold! Must make it hard to come back!

  2. As humans, we go through a metabolic change at around the age of 19. Before this age we don’t have many feelings. As children we don’t really feel the cold but as young adults the lower temperatures begin to get to us. This gets worse in fully grown adults, except when we have having partaken of alcohol. If we drink a lot in one session, this regresses us back to acting like children and remarkably, this also affects the level at which we begin to feel cold. For the sake of science, I have tested this a few times in my life (well actually more than just a few) and I can personally confirm that drinking makes you feel warmer in the snow.

    Of course, also being bikers, there is another condition that affects us in cold weather. In Latin, this is called Hansanfeeticus Freezaloticus and I am sure that motorcyclists who live in more northern areas of the USA, Canada and Europe recognise and indeed suffer from this condition. This has an acronym, of FSW or to use its full name, “F***ing Shitty Weather”. Over the years, sufferers of this condition have developed an auto-imune response to this which bizarrely is also called FSW, but in this instance this means “Flying South for Winter”. This is especially prevalent in people that were born in much hotter places, Mozambique for example, where the urge to go to hotter places in January is almost to much to bear. So they have to succumb and make the arduous journey south from wherever they are to seek out warmth, the sun, and places like Bikini Beach.

    I too am suffering from FSW and intend to fly south to Spain in about 2 weeks time. I know that flying in planes is not good for pollution and global warming, but what the heck, it’s too cold to stay at home!

  3. BlueKat: You have no idea how hard it is to be back, to look out the window and see snow instead of blue water and sandy beaches ;-) Already missing my friends badly :-( and it's summer for them is SA.

    Gary: I should take your advice, next snow storm I will be outside with a bottle of vodka :-) The chocolate didn't help me.
    I think I have developed the FSW syndrome, ha ha, I need to move south permanently :-)

  4. Some fantastic pics there, talk about extremes, amazing.

    I certainly hope your summer arrives soon and you get back on that great bike of yours.....all the best Roger

  5. What is that white stuff called again? Can't remember. All we get at the we(s)t coast is transparent precipitation ;-), and it is not too cold either. Hope this is over soon, and you can be back on your bike.
    What a contrast the turquoise waters are. It looks like a great alternative to snow.

  6. Yes! The crazy weather is messing everything up! Our new storm will be coming in Sunday night and might last through Tuesday. Possible snow and freezing rain again. Yipee. :(

    We were just talking about the Yamaha on Wednesday! That is just a great looking bike! Any updates on when they might be bringing them to the US?

    Hope your storms end soon too!


  7. Wow..from white snow to white sand beaches, back to white snow. Cool post, and great pics!

  8. Roger: Thanks, can't be soon enough, it was -10 Celsius this morning (14 Fahrenheit) brrrrrrr :-)

    Sonja: I'm not sure if I would prefer rain, I wouldn't trade a few snow storms for days or months of rain ;-)

    Lori: Yea, your storm will be traveling up and we are getting it on Tuesday, thanks :-) The Yamaha Tenere will arrive in May, I put a deposit down on the first day they announced it back in September :-)

    Ken: You can't take a bad picture when the subject is turquoise water and blue skies ;-)

  9. Hi George,
    Looks like u had a little bit of Snow then LOL.

    The wife and I are off on a Cruise on Feb 11th 2011 starting out at Barbados visiting some of the Islands u went too, we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary from last Dec. Pics of the cruise will appear on my other blog (A Yorkshire Mans Trails) google it.

    When are u expecting to get back out on the bike.

    All the best TT

  10. Tony: Congratulations but I beat you by 2 years, February will be my 27th year of marriage, still the same wife :-) ha ha
    Have fun on the cruise, check out more pictures here:

  11. Really great photos George! Nice range of shots from deep snow to the shot of you in the turquoise water. I really like the sunset photos too. Sorry you're having a lot of the white stuff. Hope it disappears soon.

    We went to Puerto Rico in 06. We really liked it.

  12. Mike: Thanks, I love sunsets at sea, there's something magical about seeing the sun disappear :-)
    If you ever go back to Puerto Rico, look up the Grand Melia hotel, I spent a week there two years ago and it's simply amazing, check out photos here: