Never Too Old

This morning we had breakfast with our R. E. Ginna crew of friends before saying goodbye to Dan & Emily, Dan, and Ken.  I still can’t believe that you all came down on such short notice.  You guys are great friends, and this was a very memorable weekend.

We couldn’t come to Orlando without spending at least one day at a theme park.  Which park?  The one with the best roller coasters, Universal’s Islands of Adventure.  Another cold day, but it worked in our favor this time; no line was longer than a 5 minute wait.  We could usually walk right onto the rides.  Brendon, Bob, and I hit every adult coaster: The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall, and The Dragon Challenge.  All three were extremely exhilarating; you never get too old!  Meanwhile, Shannon and John found the most intense ride of them all.

Doctor Doom's Fear Fall

Brendon was all too willing to go on all rides.  Between the two of us we decided that we should also hit the water rides: Rip Saw Falls and Jurassic Park River Adventure.  How wet can you really get?  We were soaked!!  Between the cold weather and our wet clothes, it was pretty chilly when the sun set.  There was a giant dryer which we used to help dry off; it took me from soaked to damp.

Brendon and I on Rip Saw Falls

Brendon, Bob, & I on the Jurassic Park River Adventure

Soaked from Water Rides

People Dryer

Tracey, you should be proud of John.  He went from vowing not to partake in a single ride to joining us on The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Although not roller coasters, the rides shake and roll in sync with movie screens that make it feel even more intense.  For a guy who thinks nothing of riding a motorcycle over 100 mph, I’m shocked by his fear of rides??  Not sure if I am getting old, or my condition is effecting me, but by the end of the day my head and stomach were scrambled.  Combined with a sore leg from all of the walking, I was ready to get back to Aaron’s house.

Ryan, Makiko, and family will be leaving tomorrow, so tonight would be our last night together as a family for now.  We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a family picture in front of the Christmas tree.

Hoefen Family Photo

John has challenged me to get a tattoo.  In the past I would not have even considered this.  However, I have been a lot more open to adventure outside of my normal bounds.  So, I’m looking for input.  Tattoo, yes/no?  Of what?  I have my own ideas, but am interested in your thoughts.

Day 7


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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44 Responses to Never Too Old

  1. Wade Weber says:

    That is a great idea, and I will take it one step further. You and Shannon should get some sort of matching Tattoo that has meaning to both of you. That’s my vote.

    I could only wish the lines were that short when we go in Aug. I love the hulk and Dr Doom drop! Hope you had a great time.

  2. Aaron says:

    I say “yes” to the tattoo! I am going with “Ride in a good direction.”. Of course, I must admit it was tough to decide between that and “Ryan’s OTHER brother!”

    So, are you in for another coaster day after the Tour de Florida?

  3. Carolina DeHond says:

    Wow, Tattoo?? Yikes!! Craig and I have never liked tattoo at all but we have been in your shoes either..hmmmm.. my very first thought was a motocycle but I kind of like Wade’s idea! Something that will bring a smile to Shannon and your face every time you look at it!
    Sorry can’t really think of anything else 😦

    Sounds very fun except for beiong chilled to the bone 😦 Rollarcoasters are the Best!! How did your leg feel while riding the rollarcoasters?
    Fun memories!!! Thanks for shareing!!

  4. Carolina DeHond says:

    By the way GREAT family picture!!!
    Glad you have a GREAT support system!!

  5. Michael Frohlich says:

    My vote is for the tattoo – clearly, “Ride in a Good Direction” with the dates of your adventure and maybe the initials of those closest to you.

    I also think adding on “Rise Up, Find my Direction Home” would be a good one.

    You guys are always on my mind. Keep up the adventures and smiles.


  6. Suzie Kelly says:

    Nice to see your smiling face so full of life and love on this courageous journey! Bret Hoefen – the new Alexander Supertramp? “The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences!” GO GO GO!

    Also… YES to the tattoo :]


  7. Go for the tattoo. But I say make it a Bret Hoefen original (when your leg hurts you can design).

    I have a four point star with not quite connecting puzzle pieces in the center. When they are together they show a 29, my birth date. It’s a radial design (is that an art term?) of the circle of life (a 29 in the center -pieces growing apart – ending in the star). The colors are the primary colors, symbolic of a simple existence.

    Just some ideas…

  8. Cousin Katie says:

    YES to the tattoo cousin. I was already thinking in that direction. I hope you don’t mind if I imitate you… you have me inspired; and I’ve been itching to get another one 🙂

  9. Mike says:

    #1. we’re old. Spinning is one of the first things to go. I can’t ride the tea-cups at Darien Lake anymore without feeling sick.
    # 2. Don’t tell Lynn I said this, because she wants a tattoo really badly and I keep saying no–but absolutely get one–just nothing that covers your back or chest. I vote for shoulder, arm or forearm. Keep it smaller than a post-it note. And for gosh sakes, no unicorns 🙂 How about a something to do with a Harley-Davidson and the Hoefen coat of arms?

  10. Aunt Bo says:

    The word “tattoo”used to make me shiver…..but Katie and Mark have changed that a little….if you think of as a personal expression of yourself. Go for it! But I do believe there is some pain involved.

    Universal sounded like a great time. I heard the Harry Potter broom ride was great.

    Still snowing and very cold here. Warn Ryan and Makiko….the kids will love it. Perfect winter day! Stay warm. Hope Orlando is warmer today!

  11. Michelle says:

    Tattoo- go for it!!! I like the earlier post about you and Shannon getting matching ones. Sounds like fun! Cant wait to hear what you decide!
    Love the family photo!

  12. Ellen Edmond says:

    Why not ask your mom to design a tatoo with you? Bet two creative minds can whip up an original, memorable one in no time. (Jason designed one for his father.) You sure know how to create a lifetime of memories. Hope the sunshines warms your day.

  13. Jeff says:

    Add another tic mark in the ‘Tattoo – Yes’ column for me! I love ‘Ride in a Good Direction’, but also like ‘Today is my best day’, ‘Never too old’, ‘Full throttle, no time to coast’ – All ideas to live by that I plan to carry with me from this day forth, whether in ‘ink’ or otherwise…OR you could get a tattoo similar to one of mine…just kidding mom, I still don’t have any tattoos 🙂

    Enjoy everyday!! I’ll be living vicariously through you from my 6’x6′ cube in the basement of a dark dingy old building 🙂

  14. Sherri Kennedy says:

    “cold” at the park in Florida???!! This comes from an upstate guy?? I guess “cold” is all relative! I’m getting reports of that white stuff (and no…not sand) falling in Ontario which is where I’m headed next week.

    I vote yes for a tattoo. I like the ‘Ride in a Good Direction’ motto. I look forward to checking this daily for updates of your adventure.

    Have a wonderful time with your family and friends. Those Ginna friends are awesome to have joined you. Treasure the moments!


  15. Shan says:

    Bretly, if you got a unicorn tattoo, your nieces and nephews would love it. But since I would have to see it frequently, I think it might be a little scary.

    And thanks Wade for bringing me into this!!!! ME, get a tatttoo? Ummmmmm?????? Okay, maybe I could get the unicorn…more appropriate.

    • Loretta says:

      Shannon, I think you should get a teeny little antique hat! But really, I liked the idea of you both getting one that would mean something to both of you.
      To Bret – you have some great friends from Ginna. But that just means that you’ve been a great friend to them!

  16. Debbie says:

    Greetings Road Warriors!

    First of all–YES! GET A TATTOO! I was going to write that comment soon on here as well. You’re a biker! You’ve got to have ink done. I say it should be something of your own design, something that means a great deal to you. And yes Shanny–YOU–should get one too! Near your ankle or wrist…something small, but it would be something that you and Bret can share together.

    I think it’s a marvelous idea. There are some darn good tat shops in Key West too, no better place. I see it’s chilly down in FLA today with Miami only getting up to 60 degrees..ACK! This darn cold spell..but it’ll send soon.

    Can’t wait to hear if the tat is on or not! But I say YES!!! GET THE INK!


  17. Jill St. George Forsythe says:

    ABSOLUTELY…POSITIVELY…DEFINITELY get a tattoo and have your lovely wife get one to match. (Even Bets & Jim if they dare!!)

  18. Michelle Lindsey Piedmonte says:

    I agree with all… an original (relating to the trip) and I also love the idea of matching with your wife!!
    Family photo looks GREAT!
    Keep the adventures coming….you have us ALL addicted.

  19. Bree Miller says:

    YES!!!! It would be awesome to have your mom design a little something around your adventure! And Shannon, you could get a unicorn riding a Harley! Ha! I like the idea of your getting something smaller on your wrist that goes along with Bret’s.

    Key West would be a great place to soak up some rays and get tatted up! Can’t wait to hear what you decide! Love you both!

  20. Mike Gratz says:

    Yes to the Tatoo. Sounds like you guys had an Awesome time at the park…

  21. Ray Ferran says:

    Def. yes to tattoo.
    Superman logo

  22. Stacy Matz says:

    YES !!! to the tat !!! Maybe even go for some “sleeves” … (: What a beautiful story/adventure! I look forward to reading it each morning! You guys are an inspiring and brave couple. God Bless ❤

  23. Cousin Mark says:

    GO FOR IT!!!! love the idea, can’t really add anything new for advice but defintity whats others are saying is right on….make it personal and an expression you live by. best of luck

  24. Patrick Hamsher says:

    Hey Bret long time, but i do believe this would be a great idea to get a tattoo. Get what you want, whatever you think is cool. Go wild, get the biggest baddest tattoo they offer but make it your own.

  25. david says:

    not sure if this will show up twice, but absolutely on the tatoo! Shannon you should too, “Ride in a good direction” with the start date of the adventure, thats my vote

  26. Tracey Zimmerman says:

    Thanks for the blog Bret! Look forward to reading it everyday. Helps to make me feel part of it. I know John is doing his best to represent too. Did you have to agree to a tattoo to get John on a ride? It is a surprise that someone with such a need for speed will avoid the coasters. I think there might be a few control issues involved? Enjoy the day! Sending all our love! Tracey and girls.

  27. crissiekid says:

    I Wish You Enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And while you are at it CONTINUE to have a wonderful time on your journey. It is something that creates another beautiful memory and beautiful memories CANNOT EVER be lost. I love you both and am glad you are putting time into having a wonderful time. God Bless you both! ((((HUGS)))) Chris

  28. michelle struble says:

    Go for the tattoo and definitely design it yourself. I remember when we were in the earlier years of school you sketched something like a plane or spaceship or……something mechanical with a lot of detail. I thought to myself, huh, I can barely stay inside the lines when I color. You have a superior talent, so use it.

  29. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Hi Bret and Shan,
    Looks like you had a super fun day at Universal riding the BIG coasters and literally soaking up the water rides!!!! Brrrrrrr… but what fun!!!!!! I can’t say that we would do that now but when we were young like you guys…..! We bet that “People Dryer” was a welcome find! Shan – love the video of you on the “roller coaster”! You are just too cute! 🙂
    We had heard about the cold temps. in Central Florida and were hoping that darn little Murphy hadn’t found his way back to bug you. We can see that he hasn’t by all the great times you have had the past couple days – not only at the theme parks but riding with all your special Ginna friends! What a WONDERFUL, SPECIAL group!

    As for the tattoo – we’re hopping on the bandwagon and saying “Go for it!” Just find a good, reputable tattoo parlor, okay? Uncle Lee votes for twin tattoos -one for you and one for Shannon with the “Ride in a Good Direction” theme. I vote for twin tattos too but my idea is a little more sappy – a heart with Bret and Shannon (symbolizing your love for each other and both of your loving, brave hearts) riding on a motorcycle and “Riding in a Good Direction” written under it. Whatever you decide, we know it will be significant and special to you both.
    Hey, Bets and Jim – how about you guys? We challenge you to some ink too and we know Bets would come up with something amazing!

    LOVE the family photo too! Any chance we could get a copy? Ryan and Makiko – be prepared for snow and cold when you arrive home. The old Lake effect machine has kicked in for the season already! Sending warm hugs and love to you all. Enjoy making every day your best day!

  30. Thomas says:

    Yes to the tat! Something with a biker theme.

  31. Terry Concessi (F) says:

    YES Tattoo and gotta see key west…
    ~RIAGD~ in a design…

  32. Aaron King says:

    Little jealous of the road trip! Also been a dream for a while do do what you are doing! Im also on board with the tattoo.. do eeet. The best of luck to you, Ill be following along.

  33. Muhammad says:

    I vote yes to the tattoo! How about a biker riding into the sunset? And without a second thought, Shannon should sport one too…something a little more feminine though.

  34. Mike Mauro says:

    Do it Bret! I’m all for the matching tattoo’s with your wife!! Possibly, on your Tour de Florida…swing into Miami Ink, they love stories like yours!

    best wishes while you’re on the road!!

  35. Marianne Borrelli says:

    Talk about getting old… I always GREATLY Discouraged the kids from getting tattoos but what the heck. …….Sounds like it’s part of your adventure and something you want to do! I like ,”Ride in a good direction ” or ” THis is my best day” or ” I have lived life to the fullest” ” I am Happy”. THey are all good. I think Bets and you could come up with an awesome design…. I vote to challenge Shannon and Jm and Betsy as well!!!! Make it a family affair and include Ryan and AAron!!!! YOU ASKED……. I hope my kids don’t read my response!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love coaster rides too. But I fear I’ve gotten too old to ride them!!!! I’m riding the same coaster as Shannon! I do like the water rides but still think I would have sat them out in the cold! Glad you had a blast!

    Nice family photo!

    Auntie Cuz,

  36. Fred Borrelli says:

    Have you lost your minds? stay the heck off those roller coasters – nothing good can come from that. Jim and Betsy remind these guys not to embarass the family.

    The Godfather!

  37. Elisa Hoefen says:

    Yes, to the tatoo and how about ALL Hoefen Brothers getting the same tatoo?

  38. carol burke says:

    Brett, Holly also got a tattoo! If you look on the photo you posted of her, she has a tattoo saying Psalm 91. That gave her courage and peace. I think she is connecting with you dude!

  39. Geof says:

    Because you don’t like tatto’s consider getting one that says “I hate tattoos” or “I’ll never get a tattoo”

  40. Karen (Ellis) Chapman says:

    Tattoos for All!!!! lol , Love it! Lots of great ideas posted. Do It! Make it your own and go for it! Also Love the Family Photo, One Beautiful Family!!

  41. Jessica says:

    I love the family picture! It is so good to see everyone together – thanks for sharing that one!

  42. Jessica says:

    Sorry – guess I wasn’t done posting… Abby and I were catching up on your blog this morning. She wanted to say hi to Bret, Shannon, Ryan, Makiko, Evan, Owen, and “Ryan and Makiko’s Mom and Dad”… (How’s that Aaron? Total skipped – you need to come to Rochester more!) Love to you all!

    By the way, it is 12 degrees here and it hasn’t stopped snowing since last Wednesday… Hope you are having fun in the Keys!

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