Summer Crush Winery
December 28 – 29, 2016
For the first time on this trip, Margot took on the role as The Hare riding the motorcycle from Sebastian Inlet to Summer Crush Winery while James was the Tortoise, safely towing Nellie.
It was a short ride/drive, about an hour to Summer Crush Winery just outside of Fort Pierce where we stayed as members of the Harvest Hosts program. The property was beautiful, with the laneway lined with tall palm trees on both sides.
They also had a pond with porch swings which Margot enjoyed sitting on while listening to podcasts. She saw baby alligators in the pond, but the manager assured us there were no gators. Who was right? Of course they also had vineyards out back where they grew their own grapes.
We did a wine tasting and Margot’s favourites were the sweet wines made from the local Muscadine grapes.
December 30, 2016 – January 3, 2017
We continued south to visit our friends, Shawn and Victoria in Jupiter which was the perfect spot to recharge. They were fantastic hosts, showing us a good time and allowing us to shower, use their facilities including laundry with impunity. Their driveway was long enough for us to fit our rig and they had a backyard where James could park his bike for added security. Margot expertly backed in the trailer even though the entrance was off a narrow bend!
On our first night, James made an off-comment to Shawn asking if he knew an RV A/C repair person. Within a couple hours, Shawn’s good friend Mark was on our trailer roof, torch in hand, fixing our A/C unit! It turns out Mark was an HVAC repair technician specializing in marine (basically the same as RV): what are the chances?! A true professional, Mark was all done in about an hour, draining the system, repairing the leak, installing a fill valve, and refilling the refrigerant. Unfortunately, we couldn’t test it that night because the ambient temperature was too cold, about 11 C (about 51 F) but the next day it performed perfectly! We were so grateful for the help – we could not have fixed this ourselves. Thank you Shawn and Mark!
Shawn having his own business and being a motorcycle nut, has a nearby warehouse with a bike lift and tons of tools!
It turns out there were a few issues with the motorcycle that had to be dealt with: James noticed a couple rust spots on his forks, and Shawn’s friend DJ who owns a local motorcycle shop, Jupiter Cycle, observed the chain was worn out, and there was a dent in the front rim.
For the rust spots, DJ said this was a problem in Florida for bikes that are stored outside caused by the salty sea air. He recommended to keep polishing it with WD-40. James bought and installed a motorcycle chain (about 14,000 km’s or 9,400 miles if you’re wondering) taking advantage of Shawn’s warehouse and tools.
As for the dent, it was still holding air so we are planning to replace it when at our next tire change. Ironically, James recalls hitting a huge pothole on the way home from his tire change in Jacksonville.
Shawn and Victoria took us to an amazing fireworks display at West Palm Beach! Also, this is the first New Year’s celebration we rode our motorcycle to!
Victoria drove us around on a guided tour of Jupiter and Palm Beach, and we just had a good time visiting with each other. Topics we chatted about included but were not limited to Trump (we both agreed we didn’t like him, but hoped he might make some positive changes), guns (Shawn is an enthusiast), motorcycles (for James and Shawn), beautiful mansions (for Margot and Victoria), our aging parents, etc. etc.
We really enjoyed our time spent with Shawn and Victoria and are learning that sometimes it’s not where you stay, but who you’re staying with.