09-05-14 Fri – A Groovy Ride with Lady Fred – Route 66 Bound!!!   Excited for today! I’m leaving the Radice Family in West Chicago and heading South.  As long as I’m going south, might as well do it via Route 66!!!!! It’s my FAVORITE road to ride and I am SOOOO excited to be able to ride it again!!!!  I’m gonna pick it up in Joliet and take it to Normal.  Then work my way over to Arthur, IL and stay with my friend Toby Diener who I meet while on a road trip several years back.  Toby was crossing the Mackinaw Bridge going into the Upper Peninsula and was at toll booth and I rolled up next to him and a friendship was made.  Love how two wheels opens up so many opportunities for friendships!  Toby rode with me and my friends I as on my way to visit for a couple of days then continued his solo journey.  I’ve had the chance to visit him a couple of times over the years and look forward to seeing him again. I’ve had so much fun since I last wrote!  When I last left you, I was on my way to Michigan City, IN to hang out with Hwy Man. He took me to a really cool restaurant overlooking Washington Park in Michigan City, IN, Marty’s Restaurant.  It’s a two story place that over looks the channel and you can see Lake Michigan from the upper deck.  It was a prefect day in the 80’s and we enjoyed a lunch on the upper deck while watching the boats roll in and out to the big lake.  I had a Crab Cake sandwich that was amazing!  I told the cook that it was so good, it was picture AND blog worthy! Hahaha  BTW – Hwy Man HATES having his pic taken.  I told him that was NEVER gonna fly with me because I’m a pic freak.  I shared that we would just have to be creative on we took those pics.  I think he did a pretty good job being creative don’t you! Hahahaha After lunch we went to the beach and walked the pier to the Lighthouse and waters edge.  There was a festival, Labor Dayz Festival going on at the park and we enjoyed listening to the bands and checking out the vendors.  We caught the last seconds of the sun dropping into the lake too!

08-30-14 Sat – Lady Fred and Hwy Man at Marty’s Restaurant in Michigan City, IN on the 2nd floor deck over looking Lake Michigan.

Lady Fred at Lighthouse in Michigan City, IN at Washington Park.

08-30-14 Sat – Lady Fred at Lighthouse in Michigan City, IN at Washington Park.

Sunset at Washington Park, Michigan City, IN

08-30-14 Sat – Sunset at Washington Park, Michigan City, IN

                                                                                                After I left Hwy Man, I headed over to Palos Hills, IL and had fun exploring along the way and found the coolest Water Tower in Calumet City, IL!
08-31-14 Sun - Very Cool Water Tower in Calumet City, IL

08-31-14 Sun – Very Cool Water Tower in Calumet City, IL

                                        I stayed with “Sparkly” Kathleen Hanratty and her hubby, “Big DaddyO” Tony Orant for the night.  Colleen Moriarty joined us and we went to Middleton’s on Main in Wauconda, IL to watch Big DaddyO play with “Better with Bacon” band.  He was sitting in for the night.  On our way there, who do we see on the Interstate???  Stormin Norman and Irish, owners of MC-Rag!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS!!!!!  I took a video but it didn’t turn out.  But here is the one shot I was able to get!  We passed the trailer and I was like, hey, that’s my boss!!! I was hanging out the window waving like a mad women and I seen Stormin Norman say, “Is that Fred?” To which I am nodding yes to and waving to them!  It was flippen hilarious!  SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE THE ODDS!!!!
08-31-14 Sun - Chance meeting of Stormin Norman and Irish on Interstate in IL.  Owners of this website!!!

08-31-14 Sun – Chance meeting of Stormin Norman and Irish on Interstate in IL. Owners of this website!!!

                          Middleton’s on Main was having an event called, “White Out Night Out” and you were encouraged to where white which many did.  We didn’t get that memo about wearing white, but did bring a package of Diapers to help with the diaper drive they were having as well.  Diapers were donated to the “Diaper Bank of Lake County”.  If you brought in a package of Diapers you received a free drink. They collected so many Diapers that the hostess was almost hidden from them!  We ate dinner here and let me tell you, this isn’t just average everyday pub food.  I had the BEST Salmon I’ve EVER eaten.  Our appetizers where just as delicious and Sparkly had the best tasting soup I’ve ever had.  Wish I could remember the name of it so I could look for it in the future.  I WILL be stopping back to this place someday to eat again! YUM YUM YUM!!!!  Another very enjoyable night with my friends but not surprised!  They are so much fun to be with and very hard to leave.
08-31-14 Sun - Middleton's on Main in Wauconda, IL  "White Out Night Out" event.

08-31-14 Sun – Middleton’s on Main in Wauconda, IL “White Out Night Out” event.

                                       
08-31-14 Sun - Diaper Drive for Diaper Bank of Lake County, IL.  They are stacked so high you can barely see the Hostess!

08-31-14 Sun – Diaper Drive for Diaper Bank of Lake County, IL. They are stacked so high you can barely see the Hostess!

08-31-14 Sun - "Better with Bacon" band Big DaddyO, Tony Orant sat in with tonight.  Big DaddyO is the one helping those in White be more White. hahaha

08-31-14 Sun – “Better with Bacon” band Big DaddyO, Tony Orant sat in with tonight. Big DaddyO is the one helping those in White be more White. hahaha

08-31-14 Sun - Dear friends, Colleen Moriarty, "Sparkley" Kathleen Hanratty and Lady Fred.

08-31-14 Sun – Dear friends, Colleen Moriarty, “Sparkley” Kathleen Hanratty and Lady Fred.

                                                                                                              From Palos Hills, IL I made my way to West Chicago, IL to stay with my extended family, The Radice’s.  I meet them 8 years ago at the Hog Hill Biker Bash in Hamilton, IN.  Michelle’s parents own the property.  I got a chance to meet George, her husband and their kids, Lucas, Sofia and Roman.  Fell in love with them and felt like I knew them my whole life.  I’ve adopted them and them me. =)  I have even helped out at the event over the years as well.  It’s been fun watching the kids grow up and I get the chance to visit them in west Chicago at least once a year, this year blessed with TWO visits!  I stopped at Scooby’s Hot Dogs for dinner before hand.  I felt it was a fitting tribute.  Scooby’s was the 2nd sticker on Wyatt on my first road trip in 2009.  Roman got it for me.  The sticker is still there as proud as can be too!  I haven’t been back since and it felt like the right place to go and enjoyed a “Scooby Dog” too! =)
09-01-14 Mon - Dinner at Scooby's Hot Dogs in West Chicago, IL.

09-01-14 Mon – Dinner at Scooby’s Hot Dogs in West Chicago, IL.

09-01-14 Mon - 2nd sticker on Wyatt, Scooby's Hot Dogs in West Chicago, IL.

09-01-14 Mon – 2nd sticker on Wyatt, Scooby’s Hot Dogs in West Chicago, IL.

                                                                    While here I was able to hook up with a couple of girlfriends I meet through Midwest Women Riders facebook group.  Ellie Raines, who is the founder, and “Spikey” Kim Natzke Grasser.  Spikey and I meet for lunch in Saint Charles, IL at Alley 64 which is a very cool biker bar.  The weather wasn’t what you would call riding weather, as it was raining complete with Thunderstorms.  I had thought we picked a time far enough out that we would avoid them, but Spikey lived farther away and had to deal with them.  She doesn’t ride in the rain often and most defiantly not thunderstorms so I felt pretty honored that she braved up and put her big girl panties on to meet up with me. I don’t much care for riding in thunderstorms either but they had pretty much past by time I got there with only a few lightning strikes filling the sky.  I was surprised to see another bike in the parking lot once there and have kudos for them for braving the elements too!
09-04-14 Thur - Lady Fred  ? Ready to ride in the rain. West Chicago, IL

09-04-14 Thur – Lady Fred ? Ready to ride in the rain. West Chicago, IL

09-04-14 Thur - Alley 64, Saint Charles, IL.  A few of us braved the weather.  Spikey's bike is the purple one.

09-04-14 Thur – Alley 64, Saint Charles, IL. A few of us braved the weather. Spikey’s bike is the purple one.

                                                                    By time we were done with lunch, the storms had past and the sky had calmed down. From there we rode to Hink’s Bar and Grill in Sycamore, IL and meet Ellie.  Hink’s is also another cool biker bar.  It was shared that there is a killer Car Show held there and there will be a 100 bikes there for the event and 300 Hot Rods and Muscle Cars to droll over! Sounds like an event I would LOVE to be at!!!  The three of us enjoyed a wonderful afternoon visiting and getting to know each other better.  I meet Ellie and Spikey at a Midwest Women Rider’s Meet and Greet this past winter at Alley 64 that Ellie had put together.  I meet some many WONDERFUL women at that M&G including Sparkly who I’ve know had the pleasure of seeing 3 times this summer!  This was my first one on one time with the girls and found them difficult to leave as well!  I love that my life is filled with so many wonderful people who I leveling call friends!!!  I am looking forward to riding with them next summer! Who knows, perhaps I can make that killer car show!
09-04-14 Thur - Ellie Raines, founder of Midwest Women Riders facebook group, "Spikey" Kim Natzke Grasser and Lady Fred at Hink's Bar & Grill in Sycamore, IL

09-04-14 Thur – Ellie Raines, founder of Midwest Women Riders facebook group, “Spikey” Kim Natzke Grasser and Lady Fred at Hink’s Bar & Grill in Sycamore, IL

09-04-14 Thur - "Spikey" Kim Natzke Grasser and Lady Fred at Hink's Bar and Grill, Sycamore, IL

09-04-14 Thur – Spikey and Lady Fred at Hink’s Bar and Grill, Sycamore, IL

                                                            The sky was totally clear when I made my way home and the temps had reached 89 degrees!  PREFECT riding temps in my book!  Once home, Sofia and Roman had the pleasure of dumping an ice cold bucket of water over my head as I had been challenge in the ALS Ice Water Challenge.  It was pretty darn cold and all got a good laugh out of it!!!        
09-04-14 Thur - Spikey and Lady Fred at Hink's Bar and Grill, Sycamore, IL

09-04-14 Thur – Spikey and Lady Fred at Hink’s Bar and Grill, Sycamore, IL

                              I have SOOO enjoyed my time with them and look forward to next years visit.  I had to chuckle, as in 2010 I had visited with them and when I left, it was also on my bday trip, I had turned 50 while I rode Route 66.  That time it road it from tip to tip.  I shared how I liked how this could very well become a yearly event!  I do believe I could get VERY use to that!   It’s time to roll down the road and enjoy the weather for part of that day at least.  Rain is coming in mid day.  I think I should be pretty close to Arthur, IL by then but then again who knows because when I get on Route 66, I loose all track of time as I just LOVE all that she has to offer!!!!  See ya down the road … Have a Groovy One!  …….. Poof!
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