LICENSE PLATE COLLECTION OF MATT EMBRO


FLORIDA - OCTOBER 2009

MY WIFE AND I, AND MY MOM AND STEPDAD, DECIDED TO TAKE OUR VACATIONS TOGETHER THIS PAST OCTOBER. SINCE MY STEPDAD AND I BOTH RIDE MOTORCYCLES, WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE COOL TO TOUR SOUTH FLORIDA TWO UP ON BIKES. SO, BEING AS I HAD DEALT WITH EAGLERIDER FOR RENTING MOTORCYCLES BEFORE (FOR OUR WEDDING IN LAS VEGAS IN 2008), I BOOKED US HARLEY ELECTRA GLIDES FOR 4 DAYS OF OUR WEEK-LONG STAY.

HERE ARE MY STEPDAD AND I IN THE BUFFALO, NY AIRPORT ON THE WAY DOWN.. CONDITIONING OURSELVES FOR THE WEEK AHEAD - AT 9:00 IN THE MORNING LOL


WE FLEW DOWN ON JETBLUE OUT OF BUFFALO, VIA JFK AND INTO FORT LAUDERDALE. WE ARRIVED ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON TO SUNNY SKIES AND TEMPS IN THE MID 90'S. SINCE WE WEREN'T PICKING UP THE BIKES UNTIL TUESDAY, I RENTED A MINIVAN FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE TRIP, AND WE CHECKED INTO OUR MOTEL ON FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH.. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT THREE DAYS OF SAND AND SUN.

HERE'S THE MINIVAN AND THE OBLIGATORY PLATE SHOT :)


AND OUR MOTEL...


THE FIRST FEW DAYS WERE PRETTY UN-EVENTFUL, JUST COUNTLESS TRIPS BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE BEACH AND THE ROOM TO RE-STOCK THE COOLER.


THEN, TUESDAY FINALLY CAME. BIKE DAY :)

HERE WE ARE PICKING UP THE BIKES AT EAGLERIDER FORT LAUDERDALE...


IT WAS PRETTY COOL ACTUALLY, WE HAD IDENTICAL 2009 ELECTRA GLIDES, WITH SEQUENTIAL PLATES...


READY TO RIDE..


WE WEREN'T WASTING ANY TIME, SO RIGHT AFTER LEAVING EAGLERIDER THE GIRLS FOLLOWED US IN THE MINIVAN TO RETURN IT TO THE AIRPORT, THEN THEY HOPPED ON THE BACK AND WE HIT THE ROAD. UNFORTUNATELY, BEFORE WE DID THAT I HAD TO SWALLOW MY PRIDE AND HOP ON THE BACK OF MY STEPDAD'S BIKE TO RIDE BACK OUT OF THE AIRPORT. OF COURSE, SOMEONE HAD TO GET A PICTURE OF IT..


I HAD ALREADY PLANNED OUT OUR ROUTES AHEAD OF TIME, SO WE HEADED STRAIGHT FROM THE AIRPORT DOWN TO MIAMI TO CHECK OUT SOME STAR HOMES. WE WENT TO STAR ISLAND, WHERE HOMES EITHER ARE OR HAVE BEEN OWNED BY PEOPLE SUCH AS P DIDDY, GLORIA ESTEFAN, WILL SMITH AND SHAQUILLE O'NEAL. WE ALSO HEADED DOWN TO KEY BISCAYNE, WHERE WE SAW CHER'S HOUSE. THIS CAR WAS IN HER DRIVEWAY, NOT SURE IF IT'S HER'S OR NOT BUT IT WAS PRETTY COOL ANYWAY :)


THEN, IT WAS TIME TO TACKLE THE TAMIAMI TRAIL ACROSS THE STATE TO NAPLES, STICK OUR FEET IN THE WATER ON THE GULF SIDE, AND THEN HIGH-TAIL IT BACK ACROSS ALLIGATOR ALLEY TO SOUTH BEACH MIAMI FOR DINNER.


THE NEXT DAY WE GOT AN EARLY START CAUSE WE HAD A LONG DAY OF RIDING AHEAD OF US. MY STEPDAD HAD ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, SO WE HIT THE ROAD FOR IT. EVIDENTLY, HE WAS IN A HURRY TO GET THERE..


NONE OF THE REST OF US HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE EITHER, SO IT WAS COOL AND ANOTHER PLACE TO SCRATCH OFF THE LIST. WE EVEN GOT PREFERRED PARKING IN THE MOTORCYCLE AREA..


AND, I PICKED UP A PLATE FROM THE SOUVENIR SHOP :)


WE SPENT A FEW HOURS AT KENNEDY, THEN HEADED WEST TO THE PLACE THAT MY MOM AND I CONSIDER OUR SECOND HOME WHILE BOTH OF US WHERE GROWING UP, CLEARWATER BEACH. AFTER FIGHTING ORLANDO AND TAMPA TRAFFIC ON THE WAY, WE HEADED STRAIGHT FOR OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT ON THE PLANET - THE PALM PAVILION.


WE SPENT THE NIGHT AND THE NEXT MORNING IN CLEARWATER BEACH.. REMINISCING OF ALL THE TIME WE SPENT THERE IN YEARS PAST. IT HAS CHANGED QUITE A BIT OVER THE YEARS.. IT USED TO BE A QUIET, TRANQUIL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY ON THE BEACH.. NOW IT IS LOADED WITH HIGH-RISE CONDOS AND BARS. A LITTLE DISAPPOINTING, BUT THE BEACH IS STILL JUST AS BEAUTIFUL AS I REMEMBER.


AND, OF COURSE, WE HAD TO GO AND CHECK OUT THE PLACE THAT WE SPENT SO MUCH TIME.. MY GRANDFATHERS CONDO ON THE NORTH END OF THE BEACH. HE STILL OWNS IT TO THIS DAY, BUT HAS BEEN RENTING IT OUT FOR THE PAST NUMBER OF YEARS, SO UNFORTUNATELY WE COULDN'T STAY THERE.


AFTER SPENDING THE NEXT MORNING ON THE BEACH, WE HEADED OUT ON OUR RETURN TRIP ACROSS THE STATE, BACK TO FORT LAUDERDALE. WE WENT DOWN ACROSS THE SUNSHINE SKYWAY BRIDGE, THEN CUT THROUGH CENTRAL FLORIDA AND AROUND LAKE OKEECHOBEE.


FRIDAY WAS OUR LAST DAY WITH THE BIKES, AND I HAD THE BIGGEST DAY YET PLANNED FOR IT. ANOTHER EARLY START, THIS TIME THE OTHER WAY. DESTINATION PARADISE USA, KEY WEST. IF YOU RIDE A MOTORCYCLE, AND HAVEN'T RIDDEN ACROSS THE FLORIDA KEYS YET, I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND IT. IT'S A PRETTY COOL FEELING RIDING OVER OCEAN, AND SEEING THE OCEAN ON ALL SIDES OF THE ISLAND YOU ARE COMING UP TO.


OF COURSE, WE HAD TO GET OUR PICTURE AT THE SOUTHERNMOST POINT BUOY, THEN WE HEADED TO THE ORIGINAL JIMMY BUFFETT MARGARITAVILLE CAFE FOR LUNCH AND A COLD ONE.


THEN A QUICK STOP AT THE BEACH, WE DIDN'T BRING OUR BATHING SUITS, BUT MY WIFE COLLECTS SAND FROM EVERYWHERE WE GO TO THAT THERE IS A BEACH.. SHE WAS PRETTY HAPPY TO GET IT FROM HERE. SHE ALSO GOT SOME TWO YEARS PRIOR, 90 MILES AWAY FROM HERE - IN CUBA.


THEN, IT WAS TIME TO HEAD ACROSS THE KEYS AGAIN, BACK TO FORT LAUDERDALE. WE HAD ONE MORE NIGHT AND WERE RETURNING THE BIKES THE NEXT MORNING. AFTER ONE MORE QUICK RIDE BEFORE DROPPING OFF THE BIKES, WE HAD A COUPLE OF HOURS TO FINISH OFF THE DRINKS AND ENJOY THE BEACH BEFORE HEADING TO THE AIRPORT. MY WIFE HADN'T GOT ANY SAND FROM FORT LAUDERDALE YET, SO SHE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE EXTRA TIME :)


BEAUTIFUL WEATHER, COOL SITES, 1430 MILES ON HARLEY-DAVIDSONS.. WHAT A TRIP!


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