Weather: Sunny and warm, at last.

Emily Rose and Scarlet join Lucy and Snoopy outside Candyland.

The sun finally came out on Sunday, appropriately enough. I was lying in bed, still recovering from this creepy crud, in the midst of some dream or other, when a beam of sunlight pierced my south-facing window and stabbed me in the eye.

This startled me awake, dream forgotten, and I was overcome by a sudden urge to ride!

I threw back the covers and looked at the clock… after noon already!? Opening my bedroom door, I called out for Emily to get ready for a scooter ride.

“Where are we going?”, she asked.

“Wherever you want.”, I said.

“Candyland!” she crowed, and started jumping up and down.

“Your wish is my command, Princess.”

So I showered and donned my riding gear, and found her waiting impatiently for me outside. I rolled Scarlet O’Baron out of the garage and into the sunlight. Emily mounted up first, her feet finding the new footpegs I mounted right away. She is much keener to ride now that she can reach the pegs comfortably.

I sat down and relished the feeling of her little arms around me, and her helmet against my back. This is such a precious thing we have together.

We rolled down the driveway, and out into the street. It felt so good to be outdoors again. I breathed as deep as my stuffy nose allowed… and promptly sneezed inside my full-face helmet. Whoa there, big guy, let’s take this slow.

I stopped to clear my visor, and we rode down the hill to the Wabasha bridge over the Mississippi river.

Candyland is a little shop in the middle of downtown Saint Paul. I had heard about it for years, but we had never been there. Let me tell you, it is a dentist’s nightmare, and a child’s dream.

Candy is cooked and mixed and shaped and stretched into every imaginable confection. Then it is put on display in glass bins for eager shoppers to choose from. They don’t provide any free samples, but they did sell us a single chocolate-covered caramel by weight. Emily decided she didn’t like it, but I suspect it wasn’t due to the taste. The poor girl has at least one loose tooth at the moment, and I can imagine that caramel is tricky under such circumstances.

We ended up buying one of those spiral-shaped rainbow lollipops like Lucy is sporting in the photograph. Then we rode the long way home through the city.

I could feel the weight shift this way and that as Emily craned her neck to look up at all the tall buildings. She was having a ball back there.

By the time we got home, I had run out of gas. My little burst of energy had faded, and it was time to go back to bed. But at least I got in one good ride for the weekend.

8 Responses to “Candyland!”

  1. TK Says:

    It’s so wonderful that you’ve sowed the seed in your daughter! You inspired a blog post today!

  2. Bill Sommers Says:

    Wonderful photo. It almost looks like Lucy is standing on the cargo rack of Scarlet.
    I can hardly wait till my baby girl is ready to ride with Daddy.I know my boys love going for rides.
    Have fun.

  3. MatL Says:

    I’m glad you were able to salvage 1 day this weekend and make memories with your daughter. Now just to kick that crud and get some time outside today before the rains come back for the weekend.

    Emily chose well… after all, you got to ramble to a never before seen place and she got to see some of the buildings from a new perspective. In my opinion St Paul has more interesting buildings than Minneapolis.


  4. Ron Johnston Says:

    Unrelated, but I saw your article in my new issue of Scoot magazine. If you turn to the readers rides, you’ll see me on my red Yamaha.

    Ride Well,


  5. Gary Charpentier Says:

    TK: I went over to your blog and checked it out. Four years until you join us on two wheels? Man, that seems like a long time from where I’m sitting. Good luck.

    Bill: Cars were honking at me while I took that shot, so I had to hurry up. Couldn’t pay much attention to composition. Yeah, riding together is a wonderful way for a father to bond with a daughter. I can’t get the hang of dolls and dress-up, so it’s a good thing we have the scooter.

    Mat: I agree about Saint Paul. It also seems more accessible, somehow. I always feel claustrophobic and disoriented in downtown Minneapolis.

    I woke up this morning with the Barry White voice. The crud has migrated from my sinus down into my chest. I called in sick and stayed home all day, channel surfing and sleeping on the couch. I feel much better tonight. I think I’m finally over it.

    Ron: April Whitney from Scoot told me she was going to send me a few copies. They haven’t showed up yet. I’m curious how they treated my story, since their Baron experience wasn’t exactly stellar. When I finally get a copy, I’ll be sure to check out your scoot.

    Ride well,

  6. Steve Williams Says:

    I wish my dad had a motorcycle when I was little. What a great way to spend time with your daughter. We have a new candy store in the next town—I wonder whether I could get my 26 year old daughter on the back of the Vespa….. hmmm.


  7. Mad Says:

    I have caught up! The reds are very good in your pictures Gary.

  8. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Steve: If that 150cc Vespa will comfortably carry two adults for any distance, I’m impressed. Of course, why wouldn’t it? They do it in the third world every day.

    Mad: There are several reasons for that. Primarily, I want my readers to see the world the way I see it.

    Ride well,