Journey to Aquamarine Waters

There are periods of time that life sometimes keeps you busy enough that you forget to do things like shop for groceries, dust the bunnies from the corners of the rooms in the house, or update one’s blog.  For the former of these, nobody else really notices.  As for the latter, an email sometimes awaits me in the morning to read that reminds me that at least somebody is following my online ramblings.  Such an email, however small, was in my inbox this morning.  A simple one sentence greeting of, “Hey Jeff:  Still going to Alaska?  Hope you can make it work in 2015!”  Ah, a reminder to update.

The short answer is, “Yes!“.  The long answer is also the same but just in hundreds of dull words that nobody really has interest in so I shall pass on that and move forward with what life has thrown my way over the holiday season.

Where I live, last year the temps got to minus thirty, the windchill even worse, and the snow was the most ever recorded.  No…not Canada.  Just the summer soybean state.  Indiana.  Yep, Indiana.  With winter upon us again and the remembrances of last year, the decision was made to evacuate at least for a week to warmer temperatures.  Someplace with sand.  Warm waters.  Tall palm trees.  All you can eat food and drinks.  With no kids around.  Where others treated you like a king.  After some searching, pondering, and reading many reviews online, the decision was made.

The Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Dominican Republic Resort.  That’s the actual name.  And it’s a Don Pablo Collection resort too, whatever that means.  Is pampered visitors referred to it as the locals do as just Ambar.  It made us too thirsty to repeatedly say the mouthful of words.

So not all journeys are done on asphalt.  Sometimes they are done through the blue skies in the safe confines of an Airbus A330 at six hundred miles an hour.

And sometimes it takes a while to get some place nicer than where you usually are at.  Waking up at two in the morning to go battle long lines of travelers who also have decided to evacuate from the normalcy of their bored lives, and the hours of flying thousands of miles, made the following image even more poetic in my eyes.
Having lost my mom last year, the decision was made not to throw up any Christmas decorations at home and not really to celebrate what has always been her favorite holiday.  Just wasn’t feeling it this year and not sure if the joys of the season will ever reappear in my soul again.  However, that did not stop Ambar from trying to create a festive atmosphere for those on their property.
So, what was the water like you ask?  Heaven.  Warm, fun, crystal clear pool water.  Cleanest I have ever seen.  The sand was smooth, not dirty, and no medical waste floating around like you might find on the shores of New Jersey.


Eight days enjoying the beach.  On this island, it rained every day.  Usually in the middle of the night but some of those showers lasted until ten in the morning.  Hey, it still beats trudging to work and working for a living.  And every afternoon looked like the second photo above.  And in the entire eight days, I saw four bugs.  Total.

The problem with vacations is the cost.  Not only does the resort and airfare sock it to you on prices, but Lay’s also likes to get their hands on your hard earned green for their imported potatoes.

So, for any of you saying…”Ah…he went to some tropical island surrounded by coconuts and unlimited buffets to nap all day long in the sun and did not even think about that big Alaska trip coming up in just 165 more days“, I give you the following:

The book in my hand is The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska and was an excellent read.  I even made sure to contact the author when I got back home to let him know how much I enjoyed it.  Sometimes us writers like to hear from those who read our ramblings…just so we know we aren’t just writing words into the wind.  Stroke an author’s ego every once in a while…let him know you either enjoy or hate their work.   As for the book, I like it enough to give it a quick review sometime in the coming months.

So I am back at home now, awaiting the dropping temperatures and the opportunities to pull the snow blower out of the garage a dozen or so times over the next couple of months. Visions of lapping waves of water, custom morning omelets, and evenings drinking Cuba Libre with a genuine Cuban cigar in my hand still dance in my head.

I hope that 2015 bring about prosperity and security to you and yours.  And here’s hoping that it finally brings about a trip to the Last Frontier for me as a delayed present from Santa.

Cashback sources for online purchases

That time of year again for lots of online shopping.  If you don’t have a free Ebates account, you are losing out on free money from your online purchases.  Each year I get at least a few hundreds bucks back which goes into my riding fund.

Free to sign-up, use, and it is very legit.  More info by clicking HERE.

Click the above and check it out.

187 days

One holiday down (Thanksgiving), one holiday (Christmas) to go in 2014.  It’s been a rather mediocre year, seeing motorcycle rides to Utah, Colorado, and Virginia.  None of those journeys were without problems though.  I am hoping that 2015 brings about a journey that touches my soul and provides opportunities for many new discoveries.

All of the work on Vstrom is now finished.  The new front and rear suspension are dialed in and the Suzuki is being ridden when opportunities present their self.  I really can’t think of any thing that it needs before heading out on a great adventure, other than a final checkup before leaving next summer.

Weather has been cold and wet so I’m trying to prevent getting a case of pneumonia and the bike is connected to its battery tender in the garage for now.  I am hoping to get it out and ride to work a few times this winter once the precipitation disappears.  I don’t mind the cold, wet, or windy…but I do not take the bike out of the garage intentionally when all three exist.

187 days to go until departure for Alaska!