|In 1953 - "Roman Holiday" started the|
scooter revolution. 100 miles per gallon - fun -
and free parking
|Winter Park City Seal - train station - one can still|
arrive in Winter Park on the train from New York City -
In 1980 - we lived in Winter Park for a year - where Lulu earned her Masters at the University of Central Florida. She took a nice job in downtown at the Winter Park Library - I guess it was her first real professional job. The downtown in Winter Park is beautiful - a slice out of old Florida - Europe - and Rodeo Drive in Hollywood. The quaint little train station is beautifully restored and actively used. While I was there yesterday - 3 passenger trains stopped.
On Orange Ave - in downtown - is Vespa Orlando. I walked in to see Bruce Albertson at the counter. He was expecting me - he already read my weblog. He knew what I was shopping for - he knew that I have had scooters over the last 50 years. We swapped stories because store traffic was slow. He paused every now and then for calls and customers. But most of the time we were talking about scooters in general - Vespas in particular - and how they fit in life.
I have been to 3 Vespa shops in Florida in the last few weeks - Lulu and I knew what we wanted. 10 years ago - we bought our 2007 Vespa LX150 - a peppy stylish scooter that can go 65 MPH - but we have hardly ever go over 30 MPH on it. We had decided to drop down to a 2016 Vespa Primavera 50 - a drop from 12 HP to 5 HP. The new scooter would have a top speed of 45 MPH - could still haul two adults - and it weighs maybe 20 pounds less. Lulu loves the stylish Vespa body - I love how she looks scooting to campus - hair on fire - maybe a little bit of wind up her skirt. In my mind - when we ride together - we are Gregory Pack and Audrey Hepburn riding by the Coliseum in "Roman Holiday." Lulu is truly the princess on a Vespa.
My intention was - if Bruce would meet my price out the door - I would write a check - put the scooter on my car rack - and head back to our hotel. Bruce went to his computer - and worked out his price - and after a while came "close enough." I called Lulu to make sure she was on board. She said buy it if I wanted it. All my life - I wanted things - I thought the only thing that held me back was the money. Now we are at the point in our life - where the price does not matter. You re-call - last month Lulu gave me the okay to buy the Mercedes Motorhome of my dreams - I settled on a Honda van. So maybe it wasn't just the money. Maybe it was not just - the best deal. Sometimes things just feel right.
Bruce runs a great shop at Vespa Orlando - on Orange Avenue in Winter Park. I highly recommend this place.
It means so much to me that Lulu says - go for it - it is up to you. I called Lulu back and said I am ambivalent. Vespa Orlando is a great shop - Bruce is a fantastic owner/salesman that believes in the lifestyle he is selling. He is a free sprit. Lulu said - we will be back in a couple months - we have a busy summer - if I still want it then - we will drive down - spend a night in Winter Park - and take the lifestyle home.
I am 68. Everybody - and I do mean everybody - thinks I am too old for this stuff. As you get older - you question your judgment. This story is not over yet - there is a lot of dance left in Lulu.
|Vespa Orlando - Orange Avenue - Winter Park FL|
|2016 Vespa Primavera 50 - our choice|
|Top of the line 500cc - Piaggio MP3 - 3 wheeler|
|300cc gives you up to 100 MPH!|
|Row 3 - 300cc|
|50cc - 45 mph - black or white|
|There were about 30 choices in the showroom|
|50cc - still can carry 2 adults - 40 MPH|
|Winter Park Station - Southbound to Miami|
|Waiting for Amtrak or local trains|
|The train station is beautifully restored.|
How about arriving by train from Tallahassee -
buying a Vespa Scooter and driving it home?