Saturday, February 16, 2013

Black Watch and Scots Guard Band Concert

I recently attended a performance in Greenville by The Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch and The Band of the Scots Guards. Either group by itself would have been great, but the two together were really incredible!

From their promotional literature:
The magnificent pageantry of British military tradition and history comes to life when these two esteemed military bands take the stage in ceremonial uniforms to fill the hall with rousing marches, stirring anthems, the distinctive sounds of bagpipes and brass, high-spirited Scottish highland sword dances and the precision of regimental marching. With a grand history spanning nearly three centuries, The Black Watch has served in historic conflicts going back to Ticonderoga and Waterloo, and its pipes and drummers have proudly escorted the troops into battle. The Band of the Scots Guards, formed in 1642 by King Charles, boosted morale for British troops throughout both World Wars, and today, this celebrated 40-member orchestra performs at the daily Guard Mounting at Buckingham Palace and at various state functions, while also touring the globe.

Some photos that I took throughout the evening:

Saturday, February 02, 2013

BMW Rally in Florida

On the weekend of January 18 I rode my NC to Camp Blanding near Starke, FL for the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Northeast Florida annual winter rally. I attended once before in 2006 and had a great time and have always wanted to go again and finally did so this year. Registration is capped at 500, and it's always a sellout. Friday night was hot dog, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and bean night, and Saturday night was steak, baked potato, and green bean night, with several desserts both nights. Both nights featured lots of great food and a good opportunity to visit.

On Friday night I met a couple of guys from the Spartanburg area, Charlie and Randy. We had a good time visiting and agreed to go for a ride together on Saturday. Charlie had lived most of his life in the area before moving to Spartanburg, so Randy and I were more than happy to follow his expert lead. We headed over to St. Augustine, the oldest continually-occupied European-established city in the nation (founded in 1565.) We visited Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the nation (built in the late 1600's.)

This little fellow had a pretty cool hangout.

We also spent a bit of time walking around the downtown restaurant and shopping area, where many of the businesses are housed in very old buildings.

We then headed over the Bridge of Lions and visited the St. Augustine Light, built in 1874.

Prior to heading back to the rally we had an excellent lunch at the Gypsy Cab Company.

My lodging for the two nights. The overnight temperatures were very pleasant this year; in 2006 they got down into the 20's. Burrrrrrrr!

A few photos from the parking lot; my Honda actually blends in fairly well with all the BMW's. :-) Several BMW riders were interested in my NC and enjoyed checking it out up close.

I wonder how many crashes this dude has caused with his sidecar companion?

Clever license plate for the adventurist. "Not all who wander are lost." - Tolkien

Stumbled upon this cool mural somewhere in GA along U.S. Highway 1 on my way home.

Another gem along Highway 1.