Lunch and a Movie

Sometimes an extravagant vacation abroad is just what you need. Other times just a simple lunch and a movie will do just great. In the hussle and bussle that is our normal daily lives it’s important to slow down every once and a while just to spend some time together. This year for our anniversary that’s all we did. We spent the day together enjoying each other’s company.

The Pinecone

The Pinecone is one of those places that is incredibly seasonal. It services mostly boaters and snowmobilers. It’s in Wanakena at the opposite end of Cranberry lake from Cranberry Lake Lodge and there’s only 2 ways to get there on snowmobile: the alice brook trail (a narrow windy mess I don’t recommend) or the river.

This time of year the river is your best bet as long as you’ve got the equipment (a snowmobile and lots of warm wind proof clothing). Just make sure you’re off the lake by dark, and you’re not caught out there in a blizzard. Lots of hazards out there on the ice and it’s a longggggg lake. Just about 10 miles from end to end.  If you can’t see the other end, it’s awfully hard to know where you’re going.

The food at the Pinecone is pretty darn good. They’ve got a 1/2 lb burger that worked wonders for my appetite. Their hot chocolate hit the spot too after being out on the lake for that long, although I’m fairly certain it’s just your standard store bought hot chocolate.

Anyway, not a bad place to visit as long as the ice conditions are good (which they were, best I’ve ever seen) or you have a boat. You can doc your boat and eat there in the summer.

Check it out, if you dare.

Perfect Snow & Perfect Bonfires

Delayed Post: written 2/14/2010

I don’t know what the Inuit word is for this type of snow (yes I know that myth isn’t really true) but I know mine: Perfect. It’s nice and grainy, packs just a little, blows just a little, isn’t wet (until it melts). Just perfect.  We haven’t had a ton of snow up here lately, nothing like what they just got down south. But the stuff we do have is just right.

We ran into a nice couple at the intersection of 81 and the (new?) trail towards Degrasse. A few minutes of discussion informed us of a big bonfire being put on by the Cranberry Lake Snowmobile Club just down the trail from our original destination (the Windfall).  Cheap lunch and supporting the club? Sounds good. We said thanks and headed on out towards the bonfire.

Whoa! Talk about fire! And the hot chocolate and hot dogs were free to boot! Met a nice guy named Randy Paige (sp?) who told us about a new 4-wheeler association which is going to make most of the trails we snowmobile on accessible by 4-wheeler this summer.  Sweet!

They had 2 groomers there open to let people climb in and check them out. About. 100 sleds, tons of raffle tickets for a gun, a 50/50, and the state raffle tickets for new snowmobiles. Was a good time, put some money in for the 50/50 but they were out of gun raffle tickets. Ahh well, one thing we probably don’t need more of anyway.

After the (free) lunch we headed for the open trail and made our way home.

Miles on the sled this season: 336

Oregon Coast to Seaside

Tuesday was relaxing.  We got up and had the continental breakfast (we made it a point to eat itevery day, no sense spending money on a meal that was included with your hotel).  We took our time checking out and headed to do laundry.  Since we’re here for 3 weeks we intentionally only packed enough for 1 to lighten the load. This only took us a little over an hour (thank you 45lb dryers!) which was just about perfect since right then we got a call to meet at Fudruckers for lunch.  “Sounds good!” we said and headed over.

ecola-state-parkAfter lunch (Michael at a 1lb burger…) with the family (George, Stacie, Mom, Dad, Michael, Michelle, Rachel and myself) everyone took a leisurely drive through the countryside to get a good view of Mt hood.  We stopped outside a ranch of some sort where we could see it pretty clearly.

Here, we said our goodbyes (I think Rachel and Michelle were the most saddened) and struck out for the coast.  We had already been to Cannon beach and south to Tullamook but we hadn’t made it to Ecola State Park and we figured, since we had the time, what better way to get to Seattle than to take the coast the whole way.

Sunset at Ecola was amazing.  However; since we started out so late we only made it as far as Seaside, which turned out to be a very cute town but extremely touristy.  There we stayed at the Sandy Cove Inn which was adorable.  It was family owned and apparently had been purchased and renovated by the current owners about 2 years ago.  It was one of those theme places, where every room has a theme.

Thus ended our first real night on the road.

Lunch For The Week

LunchesWe made our lunches for the week again today.  Yes, we label each day, which gives us an extra push not to forget them.

Rachel and I have been making our lunches on Sunday for about a month and a half now.  We make them for the whole week at once.  This was Ramit’s first tip in the save $1,000 in a month challenge.  We had been trying to bring our lunches for a while but it just wasn’t working out.  We always either forgot, didn’t have enough time for it or just didn’t feel like it.  Doing it all at once for the week has worked out great.  It actually saves us time because making 5 lunches at once only takes a few seconds more than making only one.

My favorite part of lunch this week?  The Nuts and Bolts.


My father-in-law George just turned 50 on sunday (August 3rd).  It’s kind of a big deal.  To celebrate the occasion my mother-in-law and the rest of the family had been planning a surprise birthday party for months.  To add to the fun George Jr flew in, unknown to George Sr, from Portland Oregon and stepped out from behind everyone just as dad thought he’d said hello to everyone.  You can just see the rush of emotion in his face as the realization hits him that his son is here.


As plans do, everything to keep George out of the house fell through so Rachel and I made a last minute ditch effort to fix it.  We managed to get him out of the house for a few hours by bribing him with lunch and a movie (Dark Knight).

Municipal Failure

A few weeks ago I took my Father to lunch at Donnelly’s. We had some great food and beer and shared a few laughs. When we got back out to the parking lot we discovered that someone had hit Rachel’s car and had done a decent amount of damage. Nothing left for us to identify the perpetrator but the scrapes and dents.


A phone call to the police later and we had information on a good lead. Apparently the parking lot for Donnelly’s is monitored by a fancy new $25k security system at Fairport Electric. Sweet. Only problem is nobody working that day had access to the system (or more likely knew how to work it). Good thing is it’s all digital and its kept for an undetermined amount of time. The police officer takes our information and tells us he’ll call when he gets a copy of the video.

A few days ago we got the phone call. Wouldn’t you know it, that fancy new $25k security system? Well the one video camera trained on the parking lot was broken that day. Fantastic. (Edit: more than likely, the perp? a cop or other municipal worker and the camera was fine)

I just wish people took some responsibility for their actions.

Chase Cafe

Chas Building in Rochester NYToday while debating where to go for lunch my good friend Randy T mentioned a place I had never been before. The Chase Cafe. Its on the 2nd floor of the Chase building (pictured) in downtown Rochester. It reminds me of a smaller version of the Bausch & Lomb Cafe. A very nice thing about it was that it was quiet. It was completely out of the way, not very well advertised and practically hidden. Because of all of that, while the eating area was relatively large, there was only maybe 3 or 4 other groups there. The prices were decent too. I had Some sort of Mexican Tilapia with a side of vegitables and mac & cheese and a chocolate chip cookie all for $5.75. I think the Chase Cafe might become a new regular stop.

We’re always trying to figure out where to eat downtown and there’s really not that many good places. Some of our usual stops are:

  • The Pizza Stop – easily the best pizzaria in Rochester
  • Galleria – Chicago style pizza shop which serves wings and subs as well
  • The Stock Exchange – bar & gril
  • Wild Bar & Grill – chinese buffet
  • Dinosaur Barbequeue – A real honky tonk rib joint
  • Grill and Greens – wraps, salads and other sandwhiches (great chicken tenders)
  • Bausch & Lomb Cafe -lots of different food stations
  • Subway – sub shop

If anyone has any other ideas please let us know. We’re always looking for some new ones.