We packed everything back up; I borrowed the hotel's plastic dry-cleaning bag to store my wet clothes. I was really glad I'd thought to bring a spare pair of jeans, since I almost hadn't. We checked out of the hotel then went to Old Country Buffet for brunch. I love buffets, because I enjoy having a few bites of a ton of different dishes.
We went to the beach and walked around for a bit. Despite being sunny, it was very cool and windy by the water's edge. Kinda weird, seeing the die-hard vacationers in their bathing suits, while I was feeling chilly in a leather jacket.
Since F is bigger than me, the jacket he loaned me didn't fit quite right. The neck was too wide, even when fastened, so gusts of air would swoosh in and make me cold now that I wasn't wearing my (wet) hoodie and rain jacket. However I came up with a good solution while we were on the beach: I took a small t-shirt and wrapped it around my neck like a scarf, tucking it mostly inside the jacket. It plugged up the air-hole and made me much warmer.
Along with the cold sun-bathers on the sand and the determined children playing in the water, there were several wind-surfers and....para-surfers? I don't know what it's called, but they had little boogie-board-type things attached to small parachutes, and they were using those to cruise up and down the water. Pretty neat-looking!
We road up and down the coast, enjoying the view. Very pretty! Then we agreed it was time to head back to the east side of the state.
The ride back was much better, much more like I'd imagined a motorcycle ride to be! The sun was lovely and warm, but when we were on the freeway there was enough wind to keep me cool and comfortable in my leather jacket. It had zippers with vents, which I used occasionally. We went fast, zipping past most of the cars, and it felt great!
We stopped a few times each direction. My butt, specifically my tailbone (which I injured 20 years ago), got pretty tired of being sat on, so it was nice to stop and walk around regularly. I also found that my knee would start to ache if I rode for too long -- I think it didn't like being kept in the slight angle required to straddle a bike. Toward the end of the ride I had kind of a difficult time getting on and off, since my muscles just aren't working well yet. But F was really good about helping me and stopping whenever I needed to.
Motorcycles (or is it motorcyclists?) are a bit like dogs -- they attract the attention of strangers. Every time we'd stop, people would come up and start talking about the bike or the ride. Everyone was very friendly, especially other bikers. Here's an example: we thought we'd share a pop while at a rest stop. We approached the machine, then realized that we both only had large bills in our wallets. F started asking the people nearby if anybody could break a $10. Nobody could, but then a woman said, "What do you need, just a dollar?" Then she handed one to us. We were torn between refusing it and thanking her, when she said, "I saw you guys are on a bike. We're bikers too, although right now here we're in..." (and she winced in embarrassment) "...our car." F laughed and promised not to tell anybody. So we enjoyed her friendliness with our diet pepsi.
At one point when we stopped for gas, I told F, "The sun is summoning me. I have to go lie in it. I'll be over there." Then I abandoned him and headed for a sunny patch of grass. I took off my big leather jacket, and spread it out on the grass. I took off my sweatshirt and used it as a pillow. Then I sprawled in the sun wearing just a tank top, soaking up its warmth. Nice as those clothes felt on the road, it also felt good to get out of them briefly and feel the sun.
When we got back to my place, we picked up some thai food and a video (Last Action Hero). After enjoying each, I bid F a good night, he went home to do laundry, and I began my alone-time. It was a good way to spend the weekend -- it was nice to unexpectedly go out of town after all, and it was nice to be completely distracted for a couple of days.