Sep 8, 2008

sunday ride...

yesterday started out crappy and put me in a bad mood - hard to believe, huh?? it turned around when wife came home after running some errands and said let's go for a ride...

having a couple hours, we decided to head up to virgilina and grab something to eat at gatrell's... it was a beautiful day for a ride - sunny and cooler temps. and it was made all the better since i got to spend it with the wife...

we make it up to gatrell's and call the kids. between fumbling around with the phone calls and text messages before heading in, since you can't get reception inside the building, it took us a couple minutes to get inside. as we approached the door, a big guy in a yellow shirt and cowboy hat opens the door. i'm sure he was wondering what was taking us so long and came to investigate. we exchange pleasantries and head in...

i usher my wife through a couple rooms and a small hallway to the 'dining' room in the back. we pick our seat and order. realizing i left my wallet in the bike, i head out to get it.

on my way back in, i reach to open the door when i noticed it has a simplex lock. i also start noticing the 'private club' signs. hmmmm, maybe that's why we got a slightly strange look as we blew past the guy on our way in...

i ring the bell and wait, reading the signs and trying not to stare at the security camera. funny how times slows when you're in a situation like this.

the door finally cracks open and the guys in the yellow shirt and cowboy hat peers out, "can i help you?" looking through a three in crack in the door, i quickly respond with, "uhhh, i think i left my wife inside." he laughs, opens the door and invites me back in.

on the way back to the table, i ask him about the 'private club' status and what it takes to join. simple as filling out some paperwork and five bucks for a family for a year. now that's hard to beat...

we introduce ourselves and learn our new friend is alan, owner and namesake of gatrell's. he tells us that the changes were made recently to help keep some undesirables out of the place. he figured even if he had to sit in there all by himself, it would be worth it. turns out that in the three weeks he's been doing this, he's already garnered a thousand memberships.

what really adds to this place are the events he has going on and the family-friendly atmosphere. every weekend all the way through june they have bands scheduled friday and saturday nights. once a month they have a car and motorcycle show. during the week they have dinner specials. quite a place. we're going to have to get up there a little more often.

after enjoying some of their good food, we decide to head back. as we're gearing up, we decide to take the long way home, heading around the kerr lake and over the dam.

it was a great afternoon, a beautiful day to ride. certainly a lot better than the way the day started. made even better because i got to share it with my wife. i can't wait to take more rides like this with her...