Putzing With the Prez!
By Janis Perfetto
What can be more exciting than spending the weekend with our beloved WOW President and the “First Man?” Living in Florida for the winters makes President Joanne Peek and her husband, Charlie, much more accessible for those of us who live in Florida. Our Chapter, The Gasparilla Riders, planned a trip to ride up to St. Augustine, the country’s oldest city. We were honored and thrilled when Joanne confirmed that they would be joining us. Even more thrilling, Joanne had recruited a new WOW friend and member, Kathleen White, who would also be joining us. Kathleen is from Canada, but lives out the Canadian winter weather in Florida in Joanne’s “hood.” We planned this ride to honor our support member Jack Swann who is always so accommodating to follow the Chapter wherever we go without a complaint. Well, mostly without a complaint! So, at our annual planning meeting, we asked Jack where he would like to ride, and St. Augustine was his most awesome choice. This was Jack’s ride!
We rode up from the Tampa Bay Area on a Friday and came back on Sunday. We took the scenic route and rode the beautiful backroads, which included parts of the Ocala National Forest. We varied the return route, but again included the forest. I’ve been on those roads my whole life, and have seen the “bear” signs, but never a bear. This time, I was treated to the crossing of the road by two young bears that tumbled across carefree. I slowed way down in anticipation of momma bear, but thankfully, no sighting of her anywhere.
Jack and his wife, Barb, Dorothy Gulla, Angela Praitano, and I met Joanne, Charlie and Kathleen in St. Augustine. We live on the left side of the state and they live on the right side, so it was less challenging to meet up at our destination. Our hotel was located in the beautiful historic district which made it easy to travel by foot to most everything. There is a very inexpensive trolley car system that makes stops at most every corner in the city. It makes for a nice alternative if walking isn’t your thing, but you don’t want to get on and off the bike at every corner while sight-seeing.
After our arrival, we spent a most enjoyable Friday afternoon sitting outside under a magnificent Oak tree just shooting the breeze and catching up with one another. The tree was a very special tree. It had a palm tree growing right up out of the middle of its trunk! Because we would be walking to dinner, we also enjoyed saluting one another with a great selection of wine purchased next door at the wine store. On the way home from dinner, the Dairy Queen caught our fancy and we enjoyed the indulgence. We may or may not have indulged at the local sweet shop the next day too! Speaking of indulging, there was quite a bit of indulging in deserts at all our meals! What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! It was made complete with motorcycle riding, touring historical St. Augustine, and bonding friendships for life. Isn’t that what WOW life is all about!
See page 18 for the rest of the story…