Saturday, August 9, 2008

Home is where your heart is.


So this is it. After all the hardship and toiling, I have actually made it! I still remember the day vividly when I told my father in law that I was going to make this trip to his hometown. At the time I was only making conversation but he took me seriously and told his whole family that I was going to come. It set the ball rolling as I didn't really want to seem like a failure. But that was a life time ago. The trip has changed me and those sorts of things don't affect me anymore.

The world has become so much smaller. 6 months ago I was sitting on my ass in Vancouver dreaming about seeing the world. Now I'm almost 9000 kilometers away riding into a small village named Jadrtovac in Croatia.

"I built a bike and rode to Eastern Europe!"

Those words have gone through my mind more than once over the last 6 days. I remember the Memphis Hotel near the train station in Frankfurt where I spent the night waiting for my motorcycle to be shipped. Czech Republic was only a country away but I didn't believe my bike would even make it to Germany. But it did. I remember taking the first wrong turn and heading towards Holland on the Autobahn and not thinking I would find a gas station. But I did.

Frankfurt CarnivalPhotobucket

I don't think I had a truly positive thought until I traveled into Plzen in the Czech Republic... actually that's not true. I still remember arriving in Plzen and it was night time and I didn't think I would be able to find a hotel to sleep. It wasn't until I drove through the gates at the Pilsner Urquell brewery with my bike the next day that I started believing this motorcycle adventure could end up being a complete success.

The days following Plzen, I was pulled over in Prague by the police, I rode my motorcycle around the streets of Vienna. My adventure took me to Bratislava where I rode my motorcycle on practically every street in that city, I combated Formula 1 traffic in Budapest, I swam in beautiful Lake Balaton in Hungary, and I saw more of the Croatian countryside than most Croatians ever have the chance to. What an adventure!

Anna and the KingBratislava Balcony
Beers at BalatonEnd of the Road

Now after the long day traveling the Adriatic coastline I take a left turn. I talk about my philosophy on turning left quite often. Left turns are where adventures begin, but this is my final left turn of this journey and it saddens me a little. But Elvis is ever the optimist and I know that although it may be the final left turn of this adventure it is the first left turn of the motorcycle adventure's to come.

I turn left into Jadrtovac and I ride the curvy road into the village on the bay. here's some video I took a week or so after of this piece of road.

It was very dark coming into the village (unlike the video you just watched) and the effect of my LED kit was fantastic. I hammered on the throttle for the last straight away and made my bike scream out my arrival to everyone in the town. I saw the house approaching and there was my greeting party on the balcony. I pulled my motorcycle up to the front door, put her on the center stand, and dismounted. I've had many titles over the last few months. Mechanic, landscaper, painter, electrician, machinist, salesman, adventurer, traveler, photographer, writer, medic, drunk, and now I get to add a couple more:

Father and husband.

It has been over two months since my family left and now I have finally arrived. I open the door, excited to see them and worried that they may not recognize me. I have armed myself with presents acquired along the way and I climb the stairs to the first landing. I hold my breath as I turn to climb the next, and there she is. My beautiful Olivia. She is shaking how excited she is. She starts down the stairs and I start up them. My legs carry me farther each step than hers so we meet well past the middle and kiss and hug.


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1 comment

Anonymous said...

Damn you, I friggin felt like crying after reading 'Home is where the heart is' - you suck!
I have to come by and see the pics and get Iza's take on the whole trip.
~ Shannon ~

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