5.27.2006,10:40 PM
Local Adventure: Part III

After leaving Grapevine Lake, I meandered off course to explore a local phenomenon I've always heard about but never seen myself: Gaylord's Texas Resort. As the name implies, it is a resort on the shore of the lake. It's huge, shiny and, did I say huge?

Considering that parking cost $7, I decided not to explore any further than the tires on the tarmac. Which is unfortunate because I heard the interior of the main building is reminiscent of a Las Vegas resort. I was mostly interested in the main atrium; I have a fondness for atriums and large expanses of glass (The Winter Gardens overlooking the harbor in NYC is my favorite). Perhaps next time.

Leaving the complex, I was immediately attracted to a larger-than-life statue of running mustangs. It reminded me of a similar and magnificent grouping of galloping mustangs that resides on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. I wondered if both were done by the same sculptor.

Leaving Gaylord’s and turning southwest, my stomach felt as though my throat had been cut and began to protest. Time for some chow. Turning onto Main St. in Grapevine, I starting searching the left side of the street for motorcycles. Not just one or two, but many. Despite the blustering of tourists and cars, I soon found what I was looking for: bikes lined up along 350 feet of curb in front of a large green building. This was it. And there was no way I was going to fit my bike in that row.

Slowing down as I neared the intersection I noticed more bikes parked in the lot across and next to the restaurant. This was Willhoite’s; a restaurant known statewide as not only biker friendly but supportive of bikes and their riders. I immediately noticed the large patio under cover facing street with ceiling fans and iron-grated café-style tables and chairs. An avid lover of European-style outdoor seating, ‘Hmmm…’ I thought. ‘I’m going to like this place.’

Red was parked in the corner of the lot behind Goldwings, trikes, Harleys and whatever else exists on two wheels. I found myself a table and seat, pulled off the gear and put my feet up, ready. Flagging the waitress, I begged for a pitcher of cold ice tea; I was dry as a bone. Remember, I forgot to bring water with me. I was also hungry as a bear. Their burgers recommended to me, I ordered one, the biggest, with everything on it but onions.

Waiting for the food to arrive and gulping down a tall glass of iced tea, I leaned back in my chair with my booted feet up, sunglasses on and people watched. The tourists going by, peering in sometimes curiously, sometimes apprehensively, kids gawking “Wow, Dad!!!! Look at all those motorcycles!!”

I especially enjoyed watching the bikers, and caught myself occasionally smirking. The riders ranged from college-aged sport bikers to black-clad, dew-ragged and chain-hanging Harley devotees to gray-haired Goldwingers. Many were solo riders, many were two-up. It appeared I was the only female solo rider in the bunch. And especially the only female wearing a helmet.

The burger arrived sans fries, which I don’t eat, and I could not eat it fast enough. I was hungry. The only sound out of me was an occasional grunt. After polishing off the last crumbs, I sat back again and enjoyed the breeze, the shade and the view.

After a respite of an hour or so, it was time to hit the road again and head back home. Grabbing my helmet and tankbag, I sauntered out to the parking lot and to Red. As I sat there warming the bike, I had the opportunity to watch a younger couple on their bikes pull into the parking lot. He backed his bike into a chosen spot and waited while his sweetie on her own black Shadow (much like Red) tried to back hers in. Not quite getting the hang of stabilizing the bike and using leg power and seat to back it in beside her companion, she sat there and shrugged.

Her beau got off his bike and stood in front of her, told her to shuffle her feet while he pushed her backwards by the handlebars and next to his bike. I guess I was smiling because as they caught me watching them, they waved and she laughed. I laughed in return, waved and pulled out by them and out onto the street.

Before entering the highway, I stopped in at the Honda dealer and browsed. Sat on a couple of the floor models, and then chatted for while with one of the service men. Whom later I would teasingly call “Honda Boy” and share a ride ‘n dine venture or two.

Must have been that smile, twinkling eyes and sense of humor.

Local Adventure: Part I
Local Adventure: Part II
posted by Macrobe
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