What a great day!!! I don't think that any of us slept particularly well. Some told me they awakened at 2:30 and couldn't fall back to sleep, others a little later. As for me I woke up during the night excited about the last day and feeling sad as well, but fell back to good sleep easily. Because of the time frame, we had to be forty miles by 10:30, most everyone was at breakfast when it opened at 6AM. I was too. I actually didn't feel too pressed, and enjoyed talking with others aand seeing folks start out. Sherry, Marci and I headed out a little after 7AM. We missed the first turn, but knew it pretty quickly and turned right around and found our way. Now we really havee had very few wrong turns, funny we did this last day. After that, we had such a nice ride. We didn't rush, and enjoyed the farms and scenery. At the first SAG at twenty miles, most of the others were there, and everyone realized that we had plenty of time. All of us that were there, left together, and rode the next twenty miles to the fire station. It was fun and beautiful. We rode along the river, and through countryside.
We waited at the fire station and the police escort. It was a fun time for us. We took pictures and chatted. We got instructions from our leaders, and rode in two by two the last few miles to the Atlantic. Wow was that amazing. It was our own little parade. We went over the Lions Bridge and several of us teared up. After the bridge there was still about mile to the bridge. As we got to the beach, and there were family and friends with balloons, signs and their smiling faces. My mom and good friends Barbara and Ken were there from the West Coast of FL to welcome me and share in the fun. One of the most fun things for me, was to hear Marci saying...there is Michael (who had said he would not be able to come down)..."was that Michael?" "That was Michael!!!" and indeed it was. What a great surprise for her. We all took off our shoes and picked up our bikes and headed to the ocean. There was the ritual dipping of the tires, and then some of us ran, diving into the waves. Now the most exciting thing is that Michael (C, not my son Michael B) asked for Marci's hand in marriage...and she accepted..what a great day!
After introductions, and excitements, we walked back to the concession area and our lunch. There was lots of talking and smiling and jubilation. As we slowly drifted back down the road to our hotel, and to start with our good-byes and preparations for returning home.
After some preliminary preparation and calls to family and friends, Marci found me and invited me to join her an Michael with a walk to the pedestrian/historic area of St Augustine to get a gelato..how could I say no? The historic area was cute, but filled with touristy shops, and the gelato was good...we headed back, got ready for our dinner and joined the others to go to dinner. Our dinner was emotional and I know that I will miss the times I have had with these amazing people. It has been one of the most incredible experiences in my life.