Bienvenidos a Miami

A very sad morning today as we said goodbye to John, Bob, and Brendon.  We have been hanging out with them for the past six days traveling from Orlando to Key West.  They transformed from great friends to family during this time.  To quote my mother, “what a nice group of guys, each one of them.”  I am honored to have met and worked with each of you, and most importantly to have shared this part of my life with you.

Mom, Dad, Aaron, Shannon, and I woke up and got ready slowly.  It’s getting tougher each day to get up and shower, so it was nice to take it easy.  We got packed up and headed back toward Miami; initially, Dad and I were on bikes.  Another incredible ride, finally complimented with the Florida weather you’d expect.  On the way out, we stopped at Porky’s BBQ; a cool little hut on the water.  Once again I had BBQ.  It was great, but I vow that this is the last time for a while!  More importantly, we followed it with some of the infamous key lime pie.  We all split a plain slice and a deep fried slice.  I’m a fan of the plain, fried reminds me of the state fair.

Porky's BBQ

Key Lime Pie

After lunch, Aaron and dad rode bikes while I took a long nap in the car.  I’ve been having a hard time sleeping at night and it usually catches up with me in the car.  I woke up just outside of Miami at dusk.  Dad was ready for a break from the bike, so Aaron and I rode through Miami.  This was the most impressive ride to date!!  I-95 meanders through Miami’s neon lit high rise buildings.  From the highway you get an amazing perspective of the city.  Best of all was the ride down South Beach on A1A.  The strip is lined with up-scale night clubs on one side and the beach on the other.  On the ride down the strip, you take in the energy of the clubs through the loud music, well dressed clubers, and bright neon lights.  I couldn’t resist singing Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” to Aaron on the helmet headset: “…so I continued to A1A Beachfront Ave, girls were hot wearing less than bikinis, rockman lovers driving Lamborghinis…”

From the time we left Key West, Dad kept mentioning how the one thing he wanted to do in Miami was get some authentic Cuban food.  By the time we were ready to eat, we had already past the section of the city with the most Cuban restaurants.  Through a Google search, Aaron was able to come up with a Salvadorian restaurant that had received some great reviews, El Tamarind; Dad accepted the alternative.  Everything on the menu looked good.  I decided to stretch and order something I wouldn’t normally go for; a whole red snapper.  This combined with the bread & oil, calamari, and sangria made another excellent meal.

Whole Red Snapper

As I rode today, a couple of questions continued to plague me: (1)  How much longer will I be able to walk on my right leg, and (2) what level of pain is tolerable?  The most important activities in my life have always centered on movement: running, snowboarding, hiking, riding my motorcycle, and on and on.  It is hard for me to imagine making a conscious decision to let these things that make me so happy go.  All I can do is try to make the best of whatever is thrown my way.  Today is my best day, and I am still riding in a good direction!

Day 12


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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17 Responses to Bienvenidos a Miami

  1. Aunt Bo says:

    I continue to be amazed by you…your ability to allow all of us on your journey, your insightful comments on your health status and your overall optimistic outlook brings me to tears.
    Glad to hear the weather has been a little better and the ride through Maimi and South Beach sounded great. Again I wish I was there with all of you.
    You continue to be my inspiration each and every day! Today will be my best day too.
    Continue the good ride.

  2. Jlag says:

    You have already been thrown so many curves in such a short time and have handled them with great courage. You are teaching us all how to make the best (and then some) of whatever life throws our way. Hang in. There’s more road to ride.
    Love, Jen

  3. Mom says:

    I never use the word nice. I’m quite sure I said the guys are AWESOME!

  4. crissiekid says:

    Looks like y’all (have to remember our Shannon here!) are eating well during this trip. I applaud you (er, y’all! LOL) and hope that this gives you many good memories (not to mention the calories!) Just LOOKING at the pictures of the good food you are eating makes me feel like I am gaining a ton of weight! Peace and love. I wish you enough!!!!!!!!!!!! Chris

  5. Mike says:

    “Jealous ’cause I’m out getting mine
    Shay with a guage and Vanilla with a nine…”

    Your red snapper dinner reminds me of the Weird Al Yankovic movie “UHF”

    and the gameshow–“Wheel of fish”

    You gotta watch that or else, “stupid. you’re so stupid!”

  6. Debbie says:

    Good Morning Road Warriors!

    So you’re back in the good ole mainland USA, I know it was tough saying goodbye to the island life but there is so much road to be ridden ahead of you! As some of the bikers I knew in Wisconsin would say “Follow the sun” for warmth and guidance. As long as the sun is shining in your face and you can feel the warmth on your leathers, then all is good.

    What an amazing journey so far and it reminds me (for all of you on this trip) of the famous poem by Robert Frost, especially the last refrain:

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference

    You are all taking the road less traveled–with your courage, your inspiration, your light and your love for one another. It has opened the roads for all of us through your words and your wit; your humor and your honesty. We cheer from the internet sidelines, hoping you feel the countless crossed fingers, prayers, hopes and dreams we send to you.

    Your smiling faces in each picture or video makes us smile–and yes, shed more than just a single tear. We can’t begin to fathom the depths of fortitude you possess and we envy the sense wonder and excitement and adventure.

    We pray your “Riding Angels” continue to guide you and protect you and most importantly when its late at night and the intrepid thoughts of the future creep closer, those same Angels will give comfort.

    We ride with you in spirit and love for the entire Hoefen family; our hearts carried in your saddlebags and tucked closely inside your jackets.

    Keep on Riding in the Good Direction–because all of you chose the road less traveled!

    Love you all!


  7. Carolina DeHond says:

    Bienvenidos a Miami! Me da pena escuchar que estas con dolor …
    Ops.. I was caught up on your adventures to Miami that I forgot to switch over to English… lol 😉

    Thanks for taking the time to keep us up to date on your adventures and even physical status. We pray for you daily!! We are saddend by your daily reminders of what is to come 😦 Hope you can get more rest during the nights so you have a fully rested body to enjoy during the days along with your loved ones!!
    Did your dad ever get his Cuban food? It is soooo worth it.. I have some Cuban friends and their food is Delicious!!

    Continue with your Ride In the Right Direction!!!!

  8. Scott says:

    I think the video should have featured Vanilla Ice…

  9. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Hi Bret and Shan,

    After reading your post from today, we just read “Sissy’s” (Debbie’s post) and were so moved with emotion! Love that wonderful and true Robert Frost poem and Debbie’s eloquent words. She captured so many of our exact feelings absolutely perfectly and beautifully! I think all of us traveling on this adventure with you would echo her beautiful sentiments. Thank you Debbie, for sharing so eloquently! There is nothing else I can even think of to add.

    I am so glad to see that FINALLY y’all got some key lime pie! My craving has now been satisfied! Thanks for the yummy picture!

    We made a stop at Wegmans last night and Shan, I couldn’t get “wic a wic Wegmans” out of my head! See what you have started! 🙂

    Bret, your amazing optimism and insight continue to give us all strength. As Aunt Bo said, you truly do inspire us all daily. We know you’ll be given the strength and conviction to keep Riding in a Good Direction. Sending you all our love and prayers as always.

  10. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    Oh… that whole red snapper – that was one of my favorite meals in Mexico – cooked on a grill with garlic – too good. And Reggie loves Key Lime pie – the REAL stuff that you can get in the Keys as they are made with the little limes which are good in margaritas too! Sure wish we were riding with you all – thanks for sharing the details!
    Love and more and more prayers, Reggie & Mary Lee

  11. jeanarlenel says:

    hey Brett & family – thanks for teaching me the meaning of life. I was wondering, and next thing you know Erin Fitzpatrick posts a link on Facebook, and here you’ve got it all figured out. Your story is lovely and sweet and funny and only a little bit sad.

  12. Carol burke says:

    Bret, Holly is looking down on you with her big blue eyes and attitude saying- you can have your moments of concern and sadness but then pick yourself up and stay “In the moment” On one such occasion Holly was in quite a bit of pain. She decided to get into a wheel chair at the mall. The pain wasn’t going to stop her from enjoying herself. That memorable night Holly went into Aldo shoe store. Got out of the wheel chair and put on the highest pair of stiletto boots, walked around in them and the BOUGHT THEM! I have those pair of boots still. They remind me of her “Guts and Glory” You my man are the same way. No, I am not saying you would wear stilettos!

    Carol Holly Burke (Holly’s proud mama)

  13. Aaron King says:

    Not sure if you watch it or not, but Top Gear US just did an episode from Miami to Key West. I’m sure on many of the roads you have traveled.

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