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Summer Day Trip #2: West Concord, Minnesota

West Concord, Minnesota: Population 782 Distance from Rochester, Minnesota: 31 miles Reason to drive there: Only one – Omar’s Café for Sunday Brunch
Sunday mornings in West Concord are incredibly quiet. No one in town is stirring, and except for the few cars in front of Omar’s Café,  you might be forgiven if you thought you were in a ghost town. 

The view in the middle of Main Street looking to the east. 

Why did Omar decide to open a cafe in, of all places, West Concord? I've never asked him the question directly, but I'm sure part of it has to do with the location. Yes, it's a 30 mile drive from Rochester, but maybe that works in his favor. If you want to have Sunday morning brunch at Omar's, you're going to have to make a firm decision to go. It's not a cafe that you end up going to on accident. 
Linda and Octavia heading in. 
Is it worth the drive? Sure it is. We've had Sunday Brunch at Omar's maybe a dozen times over the years, and every time is exac…

Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota


I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …

What Can You Do? -- Writer's Poke #451

I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise this summer, and I monitored cruise prices daily until they finally hit the sweet spot. Unfortunately, once prices hit the sweet spot, I admitted to myself that whether the cruise cost $899 or $1599, it really didn’t matter. The price might be right, but other variables made it next to impossible for me to leave home for the 2+ plus weeks such a trip would require.
So naturally I was a little depressed, and I allowed myself to stew for a few days. What good is having time off when I’m still not free to utilize it in the manner I would like? What good is having the money to purchase the tickets when I still cannot “afford” to go? I was locked into a “woe is me” frame of mind. Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t angry at my situation, but it would be fair to say that I was disappointed. I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise this summer, and couldn't help feeling that I should be able to go on an Alaskan cruise this summer!
I’ve felt this way before -- th…