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My Best Friend and Motorcycle Riding Buddy

Larry is my best friend and riding buddy. My best friend after my wife that is…

I don’t know of many friendships that have lasted as long as Larry’s and mine. Many, many years and miles and miles apart.

Larry and I met when we were stationed at Brooks AFB in San Antonio, Texas in 1969. Yes, we are older than dirt. He and I both worked at the base dispensary. Larry worked in the flight surgeon’s office just down the hall and I worked as an x-ray technician. We soon became good friends when he became my roommate after his divorce from his first wife. We were two kindred spirits. While in the Air Force we spent our time spelunking (exploring caves), exploring the Texas Hill Country, camping, cliff diving, swimming daily, chasing girls (didn’t catch any thank goodness) and meeting some of the greatest people on and off base. It was a fun time with a lot of good memories.

My wife Janet thinks we could be brothers because we are so much alike. We like the same things, even think alike about most nearly everything and we have the same weird sense of humor.

Larry’s tour of duty was up in November of 1971 and mine was up in August 1972. Larry returned to his home in Georgia and I moved to Dallas, Texas to resume my job with Geophysical Service, Inc.  Larry remarried and I married the love of my life in 1978. We kept in contact over the years but because we each had families and we lived so far apart it was difficult to get together.

 

Our first motorcycle ride in July 1978.

Our first motorcycle trip together was in July 1978. I rode a KZ400 and Larry rode a KZ900. I rode from Houston, Texas and met him and our other friend Larry T. midway. From there we rode back to Larry’s home in Bryant Alabama. The Larry’s have been friends since their childhood. It is fun introducing them…  “Hello, this is my friend Larry and this is my other friend Larry…” I know it is confusing having two friends named Larry.

Soon after that first ride in 1978 we both stopped riding to start our families. In 2000 we both renewed our love of riding. We were both empty nesters, so we had more time and money to do the things we have longed to do for so long. We both bought 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomads. Our first trip together after laying off so long was the first leg of the “Trail of Tears Remembrance Motorcycle Ride” in 2001.  The following year we rode to the Big Bend area of Texas. Over the years we have done many rides together.  You can read about many of those rides here. I haven’t added all of those rides to this blog yet. It is a work in progress so keep checking back for new post.

Many years later 2010 Larry T, Larry C & me

To date (2012), we have been friends for 43 years. Considering we live so far apart and have families it is amazing that we have been able to continue our friendship over the years. Our wives are good friends as well which has helped to keep the friendship going strong. I am very thankful for our friendship and look forward to more of our adventures riding motorcycles or otherwise…

Disneyland A Destination

Disneyland A Destination… I know it’s been said, many times… “It’s the journey not the destination!” by everyone who rides a motorcycle… but sometimes the destination is as much fun as the journey. Disneyland the destination is a lot of fun… especially with the grandkids…

We just got back from visiting our daughter and her family in San Diego. No we weren’t able to go on the Wing. We  needed to take the truck (literally) to haul everything we were taking.

While in San Diego we returned to Disneyland for our second time. Last year was the first. Our son-in-law Jeff is a Disneyland and an amusement park fanatic and is always up for Disneyland. Last year we went to the original park of Disneyland. This year we went to the newer “California Adventure” park. The newest attraction Cars Land had just opened and everyone in the park was eager to see and ride all the rides in “Cars Land”.

Disney

Cars Land Entrance

It was a long fun day. This group of Mousekeeters included Grandma (Janet) and Papa (me), Kristy (daughter), Jeff (son-in-law), Tabitha (5-year-old granddaughter), Charlotte (3-year-old granddaughter) and Henry (6 month old grandson). We stayed practically the day in the park. My only complaint was sore feet… Lots of walking.

Disney Cars Land

The Mousekeeters without the ears…

This Is The Key To Enjoying Disneyland.

If you haven’t been to Disneyland before you may not know about FASTPASS. Disney FASTPASS Service is a complimentary benefit to all park guests that allows you to enjoy the rest of the Disneyland while your place in line is saved. Here is how it works:

  1. Look for the FASTPASS distribution area near the entrance of an attraction.
  2. Check the FASTPASS “Return Time” display to learn when you can return to experience the attraction.
  3. Insert your Disneyland admission ticket, readmission ticket or Annual Passport into the FASTPASS machine.
  4. A FASTPASS ticket will be printed with your Return Time.
  5. Enjoy the rest of the Disneyland.
  6. Go to the “FASTPASS Return” queue at your Return Time, show your FASTPASS ticket to the Cast Member and enjoy the attraction!

Another nice service is “Baby Swap“. Baby swap allows parents to go through a line with a child. While one parent rides the ride the other parent keeps the baby or child. When the parent who rode the ride returns they take the baby and the next parent rides. We did this several times when one or more of the grandchildren could not ride a ride. Very nice…

First Things First.

We were there when the gates opened. Jeff rushed to get in line for “FASTPASS ” for the “Radiator Springs Racers ride. We couldn’t believe how long the “FASTPASS ” line was for that ride. The line did move rather quickly though. The earliest, Jeff was able to get the “FASTPASS ” for was 7:00 PM. Judging from what we saw, all the “FASTPASSES” for “Radiator Springs Racers”  were probably all gone within an hour or less. Everyone in the park wanted to ride this newest and best of the rides.

The Rides

These are the rides we rode:

Ÿ  California Screamin’

Ÿ  Golden Zephyr

Ÿ  Jumpin’ Jellyfish

Ÿ  The Little Mermaid

Ÿ  Matters Junkyard Jamboree

Disney Cars Land

Matter’s Junkyard Jamboree

Ÿ  Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Disney

Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Ÿ  Monsters, Inc.

Ÿ  Muppet Vision 3D

Ÿ  Toy Story Mania

Disney

Toy Story Mania

Ÿ  Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies

Ÿ  The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Ÿ  Radiator Springs Racers  This ride is my all time favorite… anywhere anytime. I can’t do justice in describing this ride. The attention to detail in keeping with the theme of the movies is perfect. Besides I don’t want to ruin the ride before you do get to ride it. It will be a pleasant surprise.

Disney Cars Land

Radiator Springs Racers

“Cars Land”, in general, is the best attraction ever. It feels as though you have stepped into the “Twilight Zone” and are in the movie. The attention to detail is amazingly perfect. We ate dinner at “Flo’s Cafe”. The food was great and the inside of the diner was a tribute to Doc Hudson. Disney has out done themselves in the design and detail of “Cars Land”. “Cars Land” is a must see if you go to Disneyland…

Disney Cars Land

Flo’s Cafe… Great food.

Conclusion

The park was busy today for a Thursday because the new “Cars Land” was open and a big draw. If you are planning a trip to Disneyland to see “Cars Land” you may want to wait until the crowds have subsided a bit… but it wasn’t that much of an issue for us… because we had Jeff as our guide. Jeff knows all the ins, outs and tricks of getting around Disneyland efficiently. So if you have a Jeff in your family you have it all covered.

Disney Cars Land

Jeff our park guide.

It was a fun day in the cool California weather… a nice break from the Texas hot weather. No matter what time of the year you visit Disneyland you are most likely to have good weather. So come on to Disneyland…

See you later Mousekeeters… Have fun in Disneyland…