Drop Out

When I was taking the MSF class the first time, I almost quit.


It was a HARD growth process for me.  I started it  knowing nothing about how to operate the machine.  I also had to overcome some SERIOUS phobias, known and unknown, in order to pass my skills test, all in less than 24 hours.  See, I didn’t “grow up” around bikes, in fact I lost a friend when I was 16 on one.  I’d ridden on the back of one for 18 years at that time.  But that’s a whole different experience apart from driving one, BY MYSELF.

The MSF class on its own was SUPER high stress, thanks to my military instructors and my own fears and frustrations.  And it was WET and COLD the entire second day, like Noah’s Ark kind of wet.  I ruined a pair of gloves in that class.  I seriously ALMOST gave up.  I almost dropped out.  At one point, I am pretty sure I was almost cut from the class (yay, friction zone).


But I didn’t drop out.  I passed.  I took that card home like a trophy, literally as proud of it as I was of my educational degrees, certifications, and licenses.  I worked HARD to get that card.  And I really wanted to pass, and be a GOOD independent rider, not just a “woman driver” statistic.

I DIDN’T QUIT.   I wanted to a few times, but I just didn’t.  I couldn’t.  I WOULDN’T.  Other people thought I would quit too.  Family members told me they never saw me as a rider.  Friends just smiled that “are you kidding/not me/really…you ride?” squeamish smile when I told them what I’d been doing all weekend.

But I did it.  And two years later, I’m STILL loving it.  Learning every ride.  Improving.


Lately, I feel like I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon.  It’s been AGES since I sat down and allowed myself to write.  I wish I could say it’s because I’ve not had time, although that has truly been the case sometimes.  But truthfully, I suppose I’ve just not WANTED to.  Even though I sincerely love to write, and even though I think about writing often, I’ve simply not allowed myself to sit down and just WRITE.  See, for me, writing holds a massive level of transparency that I am just no good at faking.  I am truly a “what you see is what you get” kinda girl.  I’m no good at putting on airs.  The way I write is truly the way I talk, one on one.  Usually, it’s when I’m NOT talking that you should probably worry about me…

But even I need to stop and breathe, to reflect and process.

To just take a BREATH.

Y’all, I’ve been in a serious season of “re-do.”  I’m redecorating and repainting EVERYTHING.  Cleaning out closets, cabinets, and drawers.  Throwing JUNK away.  Getting rid of things that are perfectly fine, but have no real meaning to me.  I’ve been looking at all the things and even people currently in my life, and the WHYs of having them in my life.  I’m rediscovering the things I truly love, and identifying the things that are just taking up time and space.  There seems to be a LOT of that.  But I’m working on removing the “empty” to make room for what I really love in my life.


That’s my word for the year.  And that is NOT an easy thing.  Identifying them is only half the battle.  I’ve found that for every one thing I’ve removed, and every priority I’ve put into proper place, there’s always SOMEONE who’s going to challenge it and expect me to defend that choice.  And quite frankly, I’m over it.  But, I suppose in the process of defense, I become even more convicted in my choices, so I guess that’s good thing.

I suppose all this is to say, “I’m back.”  I sincerely hope you missed me, even a little bit.  And I sincerely hope my voice is something that you have room for in your life.  If so, please do your part by liking, commenting, and sharing.  It helps.  But even if you don’t…?

Well, I’m no Drop Out.

I’m back.

Rock what you got, and leave the rest to Him.  He’s waayyyy better at it all anyway.

Hugs and love, friends.  Talk to you soon.

❤ IMG_4744



Some of my Diva Secrets…

(reposted from an article I wrote for, be sure and check my girl Lisa’s site out!)

Gurrrrl, I have secrets.  LOTS of them.  But the thing about most of my secrets is I’m more than happy to share them.  After all, Gear Sisters gotta have each other’s backs, right?

When I first started riding, it bothered me so much that I would feel so rubbed, rumpled, and frazzled during the day.  I certainly definitely didn’t feel or look like a “hot biker babe.”  I just looked HOT.  And MELTED.  Yes, of course I enjoyed the ride.  And no, it’s definitely not all about looks.  But how I look is important to me all the time, and it bothered me.  A lot.   It stole some of the joy out of riding for me.  Even if it’s just a “ball cap and mascara” kind of day for me…I want to FEEL my best, not like I’m melting into a muddy, streaky puddle with tire tracks under my eyes instead of behind me on the road.

So how exactly is a Diva to stay looking like a Diva on those fabulously long but hot rides?  Or even the short, around town riding dates with my Hunky Hubby?  I’ve always gotten comments from my riding crew (especially my Gear Sisters) about how I manage to not look like a drowned or wilted rat while on long rides.  (And I’m talking those Tennessee-Gap-Riding-the-Dragon-All-Day-Long-in-100% HUMIDITY long rides…ladies, you know we ride hard!)

I actually have ancient history as a makeup artist.  I worked as an artist for a top line big box cosmetic company for several years before becoming a music teacher.  They trained me really, really well, and in turn I trained others who came to work for us.  Now, I own my own makeup company, so I still get to practice my artist skills.  I LOVE helping other women feel their most confident in every situation.  It’s not that I’m “better” at certain makeup tricks than my Gear Sisters, it’s just I know some pretty amazing products to use, and I know how to rock what I got!  😉

So, I’m going to show you over the course of the next few blog posts some of my “biggest secrets.”  I’ll show you makeup and hair tricks and tips that I use to help me feel and look way more confident than a hot mess, with more focus on the “hot” while I’m riding.

A  Diva’s face is ONLY as good as her foundation.  If it won’t stay on, nothing you put on top of it will stay either.  Foundation can make or break you…but any artist knows that PRIMING the canvas before painting determines the finished product’s longevity.  It’s the one step everyone wants to skip, but seriously SHOULDN’T.  If you take the time to prime, it will pay off at the end of the day, I promise!

So here’s my first real secret– Primer.  My FAV?  Younique Touch Glorious Primer.

Younique Touch Glorious Primer $39



And it’s the single reason that my ALL of makeup stays.  It’s a smooth-like-silk finished primer that gives everything I layer on top something to grab onto.  Makes my skin feel like SATIN.  A good primer will minimize pores and fine lines by preventing your foundation and powder from settling into them.  And when we sweat with a helmet on?  People…Glorious makes my makeup water-resistant and smudge proof.  No kidding.

These are all examples of riding pics on away trips I’ve taken with my hubby..all of them, I’ve been riding for several hours at a time.  In the second one, I’m actually DRENCHED because we got poured on for hours riding the Blue Ridge Parkway…I’ve never felt so soggy…but!  Makeup is in place.  The one with the cute blonde (my oldest daughter), we had literally been riding for 5 hours in an MSF class at that point – in +90 degree weather, wearing full leathers.  (We smelled AWFUL, but we were happy.)

Primer doesn’t just affect foundation though…Even my blush and bronzer stays in place because of this product.  My eyeshadow NEVER fades or creases now that I use primer, and it all lasts through the hottest, sweatiest gym sessions and riding trips.  And yes, I have tested this theory many times.  😉

Me, after an hour sweat session… That’s SWEAT running down my face and chest. Makeup stayed PUT. #winning

So what do you put on top of it?  Well that depends on what kind of coverage you need.  Me?  I’m a “hide all the scaries” kind of gal…I LOVE the Touch Liquid.  It’s smooth and silky, but it feels weightless.

Touch liquid foundation
Younique Touch Liquid Foundation $39

I use it mainly in the center of my face when I ride.  Helmet cheek pads steal everything, especially with cheeks like mine!  lol!

Ducati Diva 2017 -45

When I know I’m riding in particularly hot and humid weather, I do a light dusting of powder down the center of my face, because I get plenty shiny enough on my own.  No need to compete with my bike’s headlight!  Somedays I will only use a BB Cream on top of the Primer, and that’s enough to make me not feel naked.  Whatever you coverage choose to use, keep it focused on the center of your face, as rub-off can create a runway effect if you go to the edges of the cheekbones.

I also usually carry a compact powder in my cross body clutch or jacket pocket for lunch stops or dinner dates touch-ups.  If I’m feeling particularly greasy, I’ll do a quick center pat and be on my way.  Compacts are pretty flat and light, and don’t take up much space.  Blot papers are also a great option if you don’t want the extra powder coverage.  Heck, even a paper towel can tame the oil slick and help you feel fresher once the helmet comes off.

The most important thing is that you FEEL like the Diva you are when you ride.  Whether that’s full on glam gal or naked jane, the last thing you want is for the way you look to inhibit your enjoyment of the ride.  Using a good primer and the right foundation will help you rock life both ON the bike, and OFF.  This is the first step to rocking what you got!  You do you, Boo!

Feel free to follow my blog,, where we celebrate and discuss all things Diva, Life, Love, and Lady Moto.

For more information on the Younique products, click this link or send me a PM.

(Full disclosure here:  I am a Younique presenter.  The link posted is my personal Younique page.  BUT my opinions are real and “red-headedly” HONEST…’cause that’s how I roll.  And I was riding LONG before I was a Younique presenter.  I use these products because they WORK for me in my hot, sweaty, rumpled lifestyle.  I’ll always tell you honestly what worked for me and what DIDN’T work.  If you choose to order, rock on!  I’ll very much appreciate your support.  Cause this Diva’s got a big makeup habit! lol!) 

Learning Curves…

Today, I really don’t have an amazing riding story I want to tell you.  While I have been on a few beautiful jaunts lately, and on a few sweet date nights riding with my Hunky Hubby, honestly that’s not really what’s on my heart.

I’ve been doing some freelance writing for a couple of Moto Blogs and Magazines (Y’ALL, SUCH FUN!!!) and in the process I have been digging through some older riding photos to include in publishing.  Doing so, I’ve revisited the very beginnings of my riding days, both as a pillion rider and as a driver.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years of independent riding for me now, and I’m shocked at how I’ve changed as a rider, and also, how I HAVEN’T changed.  I’m still SUCH a newbie.  There are some riding skills I really can see growth in for myself.  Things that have led to perspectives shift, sometimes so subtly it’s not even noticed.  Things like thinking about looking through the curves, “outside-inside-outside” line choices, and spinning all the plates of throttle/clutch/front brake/rear break that seemed so overwhelming before are coming so much easier now.  I’ve learned some lessons the hard way, like paying attention to incline when I put my foot down, cause I’m SHORT.  But I’ve learned them none the less.

Then there’s the skills I know I’m nowhere near proficient with yet:  Trusting my braking speed in an emergency and not busting my tires loose, thereby increasing the pucker factor. (just omg!)  Trusting the lane placement of my bike and the level of lean I can maintain on a left hand corner without feeling like I’m hanging over the yellow line, about to get my head smacked by a truck mirror.  Trusting my throttle speed while setting up for a curve rather than laying off for a split second and shifting the weight of the bike in an unfavorable way.  Knowing that more speed (within reason) is usually a good idea, because lumping through a corner at 25mph is not really SAFE, nor is it any FUN.  What’s the point of riding if it isn’t any fun?  Of trusting that a lot of accidents a rider experiences can be due to the hesitancy to ACT when in doubt.  I still have so MANY major areas of growth still to work on…

And thoughts have been running through my head about the way I FELT when I first started riding.  I was nervous, thrilled, exhilarated, proud, and terrified all at once.

But really, I was MOSTLY terrified.  Like, paralyzingly so.

See, I’m not really a RIDER.  ME?  I’m a 40+ year old wife, a mother, and a teacher.  My Hunky Hubby is the real Rider.  Me?  I’m a Singer, aka a Diva.  And I look really good ON THE BACK.

And this whole independent riding thing?  What if I get hurt?  Worse, what if I hurt someone else?  What if one poorly executed corner forever alters my quality of life, my family’s, or someone else’s?  What if I lay it over at a stoplight (which has almost happened twice) and break my ankle or get hit from behind?  What if an In-A-Hurry-Left-Hand-Turner thinks his coffee is more important than my right of way?  These things all contributed to hindering my choice to learn to ride for a LONNNNG time.  LONG time.

But really, in my reflections, I’m seeing my biggest hinderance was ME.

I’m not good enough a driver.  I don’t trust my instincts.  I don’t trust myself to properly see the ever-changing situation and execute the skills needed to stay alive, never mind actually ENJOY the ride.  I don’t trust myself to be capable of learning what I need to learn in order to get better at riding.  I don’t trust myself not to screw up and cost someone something.

I.  Don’t. Trust. Myself.

See, I’m not by a nature a wildly adventurous person.  I think maybe deep in my heart and under different life circumstances, I COULD have been, but because of a thousand different things that formed and shaped me as I grew, I’m just NOT.  Instead, I’m always the stable one.  The strong one.  The fixer.  And I’m a MAJOR creature of habit, not because I love ritual that much, but because really I’m a big ole Hot Mess and habit is the only way I can effectively function at the level I do.  I’m a rule follower, and a serious multi-tasker.  Hopefully, people know I’m the one who would give everything to help them, even (a lot of the time) to a fault.  I give because I love.

Life, much like riding, often tends to throw curves in where I can’t SEE past a certain point.  It jacks with my routine, people.  It unsettles me, and it causes me to wobble on the throttle.  I end up going 25 miles an hour around a corner that would be WAY more fun and actually SAFER at 40mph, all because I don’t trust myself and my abilities.  I still may get around that corner, but there’s no Joy in it.  Only fear and distrust.

Right now, I’m seriously in this season of life where I need to RESET a lot of areas.  I need FRESH.  There have been so many changes in our lives the last five years, and so much back and forth in so many major areas that I’m just wiped out and over it.  That, along with some health issues and family drama have simply drained my Joy and faith in my own abilities.   I’ve lumped along at 25mph when I should have been leaning in and taking the corner with more speed, even letting out a yee-haw as I go.  My heart has whispered and even shouted that it’s time for a reset.  I’ve begun to realize I have spent so much time MAINTAINING and even just simply SURVIVING, that I haven’t even really thought about GROWING or LIVING like a D.i.v.a.  I have definitely not been leaning into the curve and enjoying the ride.

(Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way, please???!!!)

I am TIRED.  Aren’t you?

I’m TIRED of not trusting myself.  And I’m TIRED of not trusting Him to be strong where I am weak.  Tired of not listening to Him whisper to my heart that I AM worthy, and that I CAN grow and get better at things that are important to me.  That what’s important to me is important to Him, because I am important to Him.  That maintaining in my life is NOT living as an Overcomer, or having HIS Life and Joy abundantly.  And it is NOT what He has planned for me, or what He created me for.  I’m tired of the negative thinking I’ve unknowingly adopted that I probably “can’t,” that “there’s no time for it,” or that “it’s not important enough” to focus on.  I’m tired of not trusting myself to grow, and not enjoying the curves that come along my road.  I’m tired of stale.

Y’all.  I’M. TIRED. OF. IT.

So here I am.  I’m making changes.  I’ve been prayerfully re-prioritizing my time, my rituals, and my thoughts.  Those things that are important to me like my sweet family, writing, going to the gym,my makeup biz, and moto riding?  They get TIME.  People who want to be a part of my life?  For them, time will ALWAYS made.  The excuse there’s “no time” is no longer valid in my world.  If it’s important to me, I’m MAKING time.  I’m actively seeking Joy again.

And those areas I’ve been super fearful in?  I’m learning those areas are usually the ones I am finding the most Joy in conquering and in overcoming, like the D.i.v.a. I am.  Those are usually the areas He whispers to my heart a little louder, and I can feel Him smile as He guides me a little faster through the curve in front of me.  My heart skips and thrills at the same time along the way.  He delights in showing me He is there and that’s He’s got me.

So, I challenge you.  I challenge you to really look at THAT area of life you have been fearful in.  I challenge you to lean INTO the curve of life rather than wobble the throttle in doubt.  Trust your instincts, and trust in Him to fill the gaps in where you are weak.  Seek out the answers, and GROW.  Prayerfully choose your road, your ride, and your lane position.  Pick a line, look through the curve, grip the tank with your knees, then GO.  Apply that throttle, and lean into it.  See where this Ride takes you.

And if you let out a whoop like I usually do when you nail it, we’ll all smile and celebrate with you.

Rock what you got, and leave the rest to Him.

I’d love to know what you think.  Please comment below or email me with your thoughts! And do a Diva a favor-hit Like and Share! ❤ 

Day 8-Our Last Day- Dragon Running, Slow Races, and Goodbyes

Y’all….I can’t believe it’s almost over…Today is our last day of active riding together.  We went to take our yearly group picture.  This time we chose to go to Ashwin’s lookout.  Ashwin was a member of the group who died a few years before I joined.  I never met him, but he was very important to my tribe.  The last picture found on his phone before he died was a selfie of himself sitting at the overlook we went to.After photos, we split to go our various riding ways.  Hunky Hubby and I wanted to ride the Dragon pretty hard today.  So we rode up and down the Dragon with our friend Ken about 4 or 5 times.  The weather was simply stunning, and surprisingly, the Dragon wasn’t super crowded or busy.  Ken rides a Yamaha R1, which is stupid fast and strong, He offered to take me on a run through the Dragon, which was lots of fun on corners!  I do like fast corners…I may have let out a yeehaw once or twice.  😉We rode until about 4:45 and then hightailed it for dinner and the Slow Races, which is an annual Gap meet tradition.  Tonight’s menu included the Lodge’s famous Prime Rib dinner. It’s a tradition for us all, and it did not disappoint. In the Slow Race, balance skills are tested and timed, and the person with the slowest time through “The Box” is declared the winner and gets to keep “Verne.”And the Winner!  Well done, Dan!   It’s always a little bittersweet to eat the pecan cobbler and ice cream dessert because it signals the end for me.But no worries, we’ve already booked for next year!  😉

Day 7- Wash Out and a Heart Attack

Today was mostly a bust for riding…some of the boys got up early and went for a quick Dragon run.  Hunky Hubby promised as soon as they got back, he’d take me out…Our morning entertainment consisted of watching a HUGE RV pulling a monster trailer full of toys into a parking pad and trying to get it lined up.  For an HOUR AND A HALF.  Poor guy.  It was pretty amusing, but he finally got it.Three hours later, and STILL RAINING BUCKETS.  So no Dragon run for me today.  Kinda pouty about it.

But I NEEDED to go to the post office today, so we geared up and braved the wet roads to Bryson City.  Before we left, I forgot to take my Apple watch off.  When we got to civilization, both of our phones started blowing up with calls and messages.  Somehow my phone decided to send an emergency SOS texting my location to all the people in my emergency contacts list.  On REPEAT.  

So of course, all of our close family and friends were freaking out, visioning us dead in a ditch with no cell service, and were gassing up to come our way.  After 15 minutes of sitting on the side of the road texting/calling everyone on the list to tell them we were ok in the RAIN, we were both pretty wet.  We made it to the post office, and rode home in the rain.  More napping, then dinner with the crew and enjoying each other’s company.  These people are so much fun!



Day 6- White Water Adventures and Chili Cookoff 

(I’m a little behind on my days due to really poor internet and zero cell service, and hard core playing…😉…sorry for the delay!)

Today was planned to be our 3rd annual white water rafting trip as a group. It was raining pretty hard when we left the Lodge, but thankfully it stopped when we got there to check in.  We were all prepared to be very wet so it didn’t really matter to us either way…We were decked out in fast drying gear, and ready hit class 3 rapids for some fun in the COLD, COLD water.  No one on my boat went in the water this year (usually it’s ME that goes flying, and this year it was close!), but the other boat wasn’t quite so lucky. I know of at least three who got to test the effectiveness of their PFD’s (personal floatations devices).  We had a few “stuck on rocks/ and bounce like crazy people” moments which resulted in tons of laughter and mocking, crazy spin cycle fun, and lots of paddle splashing wars with the other boat. Soaked and tired, fun was had by all!

IMG_3970After our rapids adventures, we were all pretty much ready to pass out.  We stopped for lunch at the Hub, a tiny little joint with good wraps, burgers, and BBQ.  Back to the Lodge for naps and showers.  It was the night of our first annual chili cook off as well.  We all loaded up crockpots with fixin’s and let the various chili types cook all afternoon.  They were each delicious in different ways, and after an anonymous vote, the Chili Master was declared.  It was pretty fun, except it was SO HOT and HUMID out due to the rain and JULY, and eating spicy chili makes you sweat… 😏😜  But other than that, super fun!

Day 5- Dragon Riding and Cherohala Skyway

This morning, when I went into the IHL office for something, one of the guys looks at me and says “She’s Joe Sparrow’s Unidentified Happy Person!”  After seeing my puzzled look,  he explained who Joe Sparrow is, and pulled his phone out.

It turns out Joe Sparrow is a traveling biker/photographer who happened to kindly help us unload our bikes the day we arrived.  Quietly, he took a pic of me sitting on the Ducati to stabilize it while the men released the tie downs for removal. I caught him, and I’m sitting there, laughing at him while he snaps this pic of me, in shorts and sandals on the bike. He just smiled, said not much else, and then left us on our own to move the bikes to the canopy.  I saw him pull out of the Lodge the next day, with a tiny wave in my direction.

Office Guy loads Joe’s facebook page, and sure enough, there I was, “air riding” the Duc.  I couldn’t believe it!  It’s always so fun to find the random connections the Biker community offers. So y’all go find Joe Sparrow on facebook. His pictures are pretty cool, and you’ll see at least one familiar face!    Today, about 2/3rds of our group is here now, so we decided to hit the Dragon as a group, followed by lunch and riding the Cherohala Skyway. The road known as the Dragon’s Tail is actually Highway 129, which is 318 curves in 11 miles. It’s INSANELY fun. Lots of elevation shifts, road camber changes, and of course, corners. Group riding is such a different dynamic than solo jaunts, and it’s always fun to see various personalities come out as people ride. Who chooses to ride point, who is aggressive on cornering, and who is just quietly chilling.  I love that we all ride our own rides, but we still roll together.  It’s just flat out fun. We tore through the Dragon about three times and then headed to lunch at a pizza joint. After lunch, the Cherhola Skyway offered beautiful views of mountains and valleys. It was clear and HOT, but so very pretty! The way down the mountain was not quite as fun. One of our guys discovered a bubble in his back tire, so the ride down was slow and easy in order not to blow it. We worked our way over to Wheeler’s to get him set up. It was HOT but the guys kicked tires and laughed while I tried not to melt into the seat I was on. We headed back to the Lodge for dinner, and a little fun. One of my Sisters got her first ride on a motorcycle!  Such fun to see her join the fun and I was so proud of her for overcoming her fears!  Plus, she’s got the “pop!”This trip has been so much fun and I’m thankful there’s more to come!

Day 4- Brotherhood

Today was all about the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were planning a large loop including much of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Getting a large group ready to go is always an adventure akin to herding cats. Lots of tire kicking and catching up with the latest arrivals. While waiting, one of the owners of the Iron Horse Lodge and got to show off the Lauren Sport to her.  She’s now a fan!  

On the skyway, we had beautiful vistas, smooth easy curves, and it was almost perfect weather. About two thirds of the way down a mountain, one of our guys lost clutch.  We pulled over he realized the clutch sprocket nut had completely come off.  

Every year I come, I’m always amazed and inspired by this group we’ve learned to love as family. I’ve watched them have each other’s back, razz each other (and me), and mourn together. I’ve seen them tear down and rebuild busted bikes in just a few hours to get the brother back on the road, and come up with ingenious ways to fix something. Today was no different. I watched this band of brothers pull apart a bike on the side of the road, and manufacture a way to make it work. They actually used a Gatorade cap to fashion a nut and resecure the sprocket to get us where we needed to go.  One facebook message later, we also had two more guys scouring multiple states as well as a junkyard for what we needed. I watched these men work together and get it done.  Just like that. Good thing I had my Lauren Sport with me!  😂Once on the road, we ran to a cycle shop for some parts and got in a little play time and “shopping…

After lunch, we split up and worked our way home. I had a massage scheduled and Tanis Deal from Avanti Spa was FANTASTIC. If you go to the IHL, definitely book her! 

Back at the Lodge, it was time for dinner and chilling with the “fam.”   I can’t believe it’s already time to ship the Lauren to the next sister.  I know Shannon is going to show Lauren a great time!  I love being here at the Gap, and our adventure continues tomorrow is the Cherhola Skyway!  ❤️🏍❤️

Day 3-Back in Time

Day three was all about “our history.” Today we ride to a little town called Maggie Valley, home of the Wheels of Time museum. This place was so cool!  Full of old and rare motorcycles, each one had a story told in detail by the staff.  One of the staff told many highly detailed stories, and he always ended each story with the particularly striking quote “This is YOUR history.”  Such a striking statement, as it’s easy take for granted how this sport developed and evolved. As a newbie, I don’t begin to claim to know where understand the history that some of my more seasoned family do. But the deeper I go, the more intrigued and fascinated I become.  It was amazing to see the development of technology in these amazing machines, as well as the love poured into them by their creators and owners. I know personally, even though I had only had the Diva for about a year, she’s already become such a large part of what I do, how people see me, and even to a certain extent, who I am. 

It was also fun to watch my Love turn into a little kid, as he oooohed and ahhhhed his way through time. Each new machine was an opportunity to flash through time, and educate me on some new tidbit of mechanics I would have been ignorant of.  It’s equally amazing to me that I actually was interested in the inner workings and development of the sport. A little fun with my Lauren Sport was had as we imagined in the scenarios painted by the museum. There was no doubt the Lauren would soon be a classic as many of the items we saw.  SUCH a great bag! (Interestingly, check the unintentional show off of the Reflective safety feature of that bag! Makes me feel good to know I’m SEEN on the bike!) Several hours of historic immersion later, our starved group ride to the Legends cafe for burgers and wraps. We meandered our way back towards the Lodge for a steak dinner. I REALLY wanted to get a Dragon run in, so Hunky Hubby and I decided to squeeze in our first solo ride. It was SOOOO amazing!  Beautiful sweeping curves, the feeling of melting into him, and syncing with the machine made for the perfect first run for us. We were pushed for time, so we didn’t stop for pictures, but Killboy was out so I’ll scope his pages and see what I can find!  So be sure and watch for the link!  

After that amazing steak dinner, relaxation and hanging with the crew was the perfect ending to this day. I love these people. It’s amazing to me that we are family, even though I’ve literally only met some of them three times. These people are as much my family as my own blood, and I love each and everyone. Their heart and concern for each other always impresses me, and I’m thankful for their influence in our world. And I am missing the ones who aren’t here. We aren’t complete with out them!Day four?  We are preparing for a loooooooong ride… And the adventure awaits!

Day 2 Surprises…

For Day 2 of our amazing vacay, Gatlinburg held a sweet surprise for me…my Hunky Hubby originally told me we were gonna do the typical “tourist trap” type stuff while there, and I was expecting to be highly educated on the Cival War when we pulled out.  But really, he had secretly planned a surpise shopping trip for me there!  Now, maybe that doesn’t sound so life altering unless you’re a Diva, but y’all…he HATES shopping.  He mildly tolerates it when it’s really necessary. He never ever complains, but everyone knows that unless it’s gear related, shopping is just not his thing. When I mentioned going and doing something touristy instead, that sweet man said “I’ve been planning all year to give you this!”  So…what’s a Diva to do except shop till he drops!? We spent the next three and a half hours going from one end of the mall to the other and enjoying each other’s company. I found a few of my favorite things, and did a little damage… My mission complete and my hands full, I convinced him to shoulder my Lauren Sport.  Since it had Ducati red accents, it was an easy sell…and this bag truly does fit everyone!  After grabbing the last few supplies we needed for the week, we were finally headed to the Gap.  365 days of planning, and we finally made it back!! When hauling through the Dragon, we always stop at the Lookout for a few scenic shots.   We stopped at The Killboy store for a few photo opps with some fun sculptures they have there. Even dragons like the Lauren Sport.Pulling into the Iron Horse is a little like a big exhale. There’s not much outside connection here, and our gang is here. We simply love it. The Iron Horse Lodge just outside of Robbinsville is so well run… It’s clean, well kept, tucked up in this beautiful little valley, and just far enough enough away from everything to feel like we’ve left the world.  It’s “our once a year home.”  I highly recommend it.  Day two is complete after connecting with some of our crew who is already here. We stayed up until 12:30 AM catching up laughing and having a good time, and all crashed into bed happy to be “home!”  Day three…the Wheels of Time museum! More on that to come!