More Harley Davidson Road Trips on the Bucket List

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I am counting down the days until spring. We are expecting snow showers off and on all week, but even on the few days that we may see some sunshine, it is just too cold to jump on the Harley Davidson. Jim and I are really getting cabin fever and cannot wait to go out and enjoy a nice ride on the Road King without having to worry about bundling up in a million layers! In the meantime, I’ve been checking out a couple of trips that we wouldn’t mind taking, especially if we get some time once the weather starts to warm up.

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I was checking out the Open Road website, which is obviously for motorcycle riders, and especially Harley Davidson Riders. With over six thousand rides that have been reviewed, it’s hard to choose your favorite. The best thing about this site is that you can share your ride and meet other enthusiasts as well.

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If you have been following my blog, you know I have spent much of my life in California and of course, there is uncharted territory out there that Jim and I would love to explore on our Harley Davidson. We have done a few trips, but California is a big state and we would love to head to Joshua Tree and Twenty Nine Palms, not to mention Mount Lassen. The Crescent City ride would be awesome, as would the ride up to Lake Shasta.

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Oregon is another place that Jim and I would like to explore although we would have to take our rain gear, as the weather can be really unpredictable.

Jim and I haven’t seen much of the south and that is a place that is definitely on our bucket list. Louisiana is a must, and yes, New Orleans is awesome, but I want to check out the gulf coast and the swamp lands. The plantation architecture is something that I could spend a week checking out as well, not to mention the Cajun cooking that I love so much!

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All this talk about riding and food has got me going and I know I won’t be jumping on the Harley anytime soon, but I can enjoy some nice southern cooking with Jim! Have a great week!

Harley Davidson Rolls out Two New Bikes

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The weather that we are having is crazy, and needless to say, not conducive for a ride, but hopefully spring will be here before we know it so that Jim and I can plan another Travels with Harley. In the meantime, we have been checking out the new Harley Davidson Street 750, and the Harley Davidson Street 500 bikes.

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Both of these new Harley Davidson bikes are being built to attract new riders all over the planet and will feature liquid cooled power trains known as Revolution X™. Both of these new bikes have a leaner chassis that is narrow and built for easy maneuverability and fast moves. These new street bikes have been designed for city riding, especially if traffic is stop and go.

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Only select Harley Davidson dealers in the US will carry the new Street 500 and 750, which are scheduled to roll out sometime this year. The bikes are manufactured out of real steal and look awesome. With prices beginning at just $6,700, I am sure that these new street bikes are going to be a huge success for Harley Davidson.

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The 750 Harley Davidson comes with a six speed manual transmission that is sequential along with a V-Twin Revolution X 749 cc motor. The two into one exhaust on the right hand side makes it easy to ride. The 500 has a 494 cc motor along with the same features on the 750. Both are really light, in fact, at 48 pounds I could handle it on my own. The 750 also comes with foot pegs for the passenger, yes that would be me, and mental fenders and tanks.

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Jim and I like to go on long road trips, so not sure if either of these bikes would be good for Travels with Harley, but I’m sure the youngsters who live in the city and need to get around would love to ride either model.

Things You May Not Know about Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day has always been special for Jim and I, and because of the storms that we have been having I decided to do some checking to see if I could find out any fun facts about the most romantic day of the year. During my research, I found quite a few things that I’ll bet you didn’t know about Valentine’s Day that I thought I would share.

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Teachers are at the top of the list when it comes to receiving Valentine’s followed by kids, moms, and wives. Interestingly enough, about 3 percent of pet owners give their animals Valentine’s Day gifts as well.

During medieval times, girls were told that by eating certain foods, they would dream of their future husband. Others were told that the first man whom they saw on February 14 was the one who would be their future husband. This of course only applied to single women.

The first bird that was spotted by a man or woman on Valentine’s Day was also believed to be an indicator.

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Bluebird-Happy Man
Robin-Sailor
Goldfinch-Rich Man
Dove-Good Man
Sparrow-Farmer
Crossbill-Argumentative Man
Blackbird-Clergyman

Unfortunately, if a woodpecker was spotted first, it indicated no marriage at all, ever.

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Over 37 million boxes of chocolate are sold every Valentine’s Day with men spending an average of $140.00 on cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, and dates. Believe it or not, more than 8 billion candy hearts are produced each year with a billion Valentine’s Cards being exchanged every year, and that is just in the United States.

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Roses are usually red, but more than 50 million are bought and given for Valentine’s Day. It’s the women who will buy 85 percent of the Valentine’s Cards and men who buy 75 percent of the flowers. Richard Cadbury, yes of Cadbury chocolate fame, invented the very first heart shaped box of chocolate candy back in the 1890’s.

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I’m not really sure what we’ve got planned this year, but if the other years are any indicator I know it will be special. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Our Hometown Celebration Rocked!

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Last week I left you without saying anything about the actual Sears Hometown Celebration in Florida, and although I could fill up an entire book, I will summarize as best I can.

Tuesday night was the Five Star Awards Dinner. This is an awards dinner where store owners receive awards for standards and operations. Our store actually won a few times during this past year, which could have something to do with my $900.00 credit. It is during the awards dinner that quarterly winners for the regions are announced along with the annual winners.

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We all knew who won the previous three quarters, but none of us knew who won the final. I didn’t expect to win anything as comp sales are weighted twice in the figuring and, although mine were not bad, I was only up maybe 2% for the year. With that being said, it was a great surprise to win the five star awards for our region for the fourth quarter and for the year. Plus, I have $500 credit already for next year’s hometown celebration, of course that is if we still own the store.

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Also on the night was a drawing for a contest aptly called,”Sho Me The Money.” The store wins entries by being in the top three for comp sales improvement during the holiday period, and maintaining a certain level in some other operational categories. We were in second place in our district for the drawing, with Salem, the store we sold 2 years ago, in first place. Tim Major had worked for us in Salem since we originally bought the store. They weren’t sure if they were going to Orlando and I had called to tell them we were going. To win the prize money, you have to be at the celebration and I had told Tim that I felt the first year I didn’t go would be the year I won the money. He had joked that it wasn’t likely, but he said they had decided to go. Anyway, they won second place of $5000! What a wonderful surprise!

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The convention always has an expo with vendor exhibitors. Many of the vendors have giveaway drawings at their booths. Whirlpool corporation had a drawing three times daily for prizes. You got entry tickets by visiting each of their displays and asking questions about dishwashers, refrigeration, cooking, laundry, well, you get the idea. I won a Thermos brand travel cup and a Kitchenaid Red blender and Jim won a Kitchenaid Red Immersion blender! Then later in the expo, Jim won a Craftsman Smartphone remote garage door controller! I had been wanting one of these ever since they came out! Also on the night, we were entertained by Henry Cho, comedian, and then Jim Gaffigan. Henry Cho had everyone laughing so hard that he pretty much overshadowed Jim, sorry Jim…

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Tuesday morning to start the convention we were treated to an incredible performance by David Garibaldi as he created an upside down Albert Einstein and then another piece with SHOS, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. He was followed by the Village People and everyone rocked!

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Wednesday night the Whirlpool Corporation treated us to a night at Universal Studios where we had the run of half the park. I was fine riding the Mummy, but learned that I am either too old or too out of shape to ride the “Rock It Roller Coaster”. In addition, on another note to self, do not wear slide on shoes on a roller coaster. Trying to press my toes down, yes, I’m short, so my shoes don’t fall off as I’m getting whipped around and upside down…..Needless to say, I was not moving too well the next morning. Good thing I remembered to pack the SalonPas. Great food and beverages and great fun!

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Thursday was more expo, more seminars, and then closing night, sponsored by Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. We were treated to a concert by Styx that was amazing. I always find it funny how many of these younger people, I almost said kids, say, “Wow, I didn’t know that song was by them!”

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There is always an attendance drawing, if you attend all the seminars and visit all the booths – the giveaways totaled over $100,000 this year. Although Jim and I didn’t win any of these bigger prizes, many of our friends did. Karen Major, from the Salem store, won an iPod. Another from our district won a front load laundry set; mind you, this is the luckiest couple living, as they seem to win something big every year.

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Throughout the rest of the week, we went to seminars for Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Electrolux, GE and Whirlpool, Mattresses, Tractors, mowers, and spec power. We attended a special luncheon for Premier Dealers and received a beautiful business card holder as a “thank you” for being a Premier Dealer.

All in all, it was a great convention. Tremendous for networking, knowledge, and great fun. Thanks to all the vendors and to SHOS. If Jim and I still have the store next year, we will probably attend.