I started out with this beautiful boy.
(Enzo in his high chair.)And my beautiful wife.
And then, I hopped on a KTM 690 SMC. It's a fantastic machine, with a seat that is too hard I think, just so that you have something less than perfect to compare the rest of the bike to when riding. I love the bike. The motor is superbly energetic for 650cc and the handling is sharp. Overall, a comfortable and precise machine. I exchanged Nathan my RC51 for it for a couple of weeks. Nathan (on my RC51), Eric, Don and I met for coffee and then a ride. The weather Saturday was that of a perfect Spring morning. That is a treat in Winter. Pretty sky with a few clouds, blue sky, the smell of plant life in the air.
(Eric getting excited before the mountain roads start.)
The ride was good. We went up Hwy 9 and 35 to Alice's Restaurant for breakfast. Nathan and I took turns extolling the virtues of the other's motorcycles. We decided not to trade back yet. After breakfast we finished one of my favorite motorcycle loops; Hwy 84 to 1, down to Pescadero Beach, back up Alpine Road to Hwy 35, and home via Hwy 9, 85 and 17. This allows for a good variety in roads from smooth quick roads to very tight slow roads and back up to freeway speeds. The smells change with the scenery that includes city, ocean, redwood forest, and streams along mountain roads. I was particularly happy to see the ocean again as part of the ride. Nathan and I decided to let the exchange go a little longer and so it was on the KTM that I cruised through downtown Campbell with Don as we had decided to stop for iced tea before ending the ride when the others went home.
(Exploring at Pescadero Beach.)
That's when I noticed the Ferrari parked in front of Katie Blooms. We see some nice cars through here but we don't often see Ferrari convertibles parked in front of the bar. I thought, "Well, Matt would drive a Ferrari and park down here but he doesn't come down much anymore." And there was Matt as I took my helmet off. I've never sat in a Ferrari so I was quickly sitting in the passenger seat. Had I gone any slower in hopping in the car I would have given Matt enough time to finish his question to me "Do you want to drive." Inside my head, while my butt was surrounded in the Italian leather of a Ferrari's passenger seat, I heard "HELL YEAH," but I managed only to say "Sure" as I flew around the back of the car and popped into the much more exciting Italian leather of a Ferrari driver's seat. How many steps did I take to get around that car's rear? I certainly didn't take much time getting around.
(My first drive in a Ferrari.)
It was excellent. A Ferrari 360 Spyder with paddle shift. Thanks Matt! It was the sound that made so much more of an impression than I would have expected. The motor sings or screams in relation to the right foot, and always in tune. Luxuriously stitched leather surrounds and with top down on the freeway we could carry a conversation. I remember playing with a noise making toy from the flea market as a child. The batteries never last long enough to the kid that controls the sound maker. A Ferrari ride is no exception. Over iced tea Matt told me that eventually the excitement at this level wears off when you can drive exotic cars at your will. They are still nice but it's not like being a kid. I, fortunately, am not at that point in my life yet. So, basically, an 8 year old's Christmas is what I experienced.
Quite a Saturday. After iced tea with friends, Tami, Enzo and I dressed up to go to a hair salon's grand opening cocktail party. This is where cousin Joana will now be working.
As with all good days, I started with my wife and child and ended with my wife and child. It's not every good day I get friends, motorcycle ride, ocean, dress up and a first drive of a Ferrari in between, however.
For the health of your own good spirits I will include the following video from New Year's Day. This is what Tami can bring out in her son just by looking at The Kid the right way. It will lift your spirits and add a year to your life; just push play. Enzo had actually awoken for some reason half an hour or so before midnight on New Year's Eve and watched the fireworks with us on TV. I don't know where he had the energy stored up as he slept but he woke up and started to play before the year was over. He went from sleepy to full on playing with blocks and walking around the room in a very short time. After the annual change and fireworks show, he fell asleep 10 minutes into the new year. The next day we went to breakfast and that's when we took this video. I recommend turning the volume up for this one.
(Enzo laughing while his mom makes faces to entertain him.)