Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Year = 100 Coffeehouses.

After looking back at my 2012 travels and coffee, coffee and more coffee of the past year. I started thinking. Could I visit 100 unique, non-chain coffeehouses in the coming year? What do you think?! Haha. πŸ™‚

Raven Cafe, Port Huron, Michigan

Almond Joy at Raven Cafe, Port Huron, Michigan

The goal is to work, hang out and consume caffeine in at least 33 non-chain coffeehouses in Michigan, 33 in Georgia and 34 others in my travels. I will work on it one latte and cup of java at a time.

The Harvest Coffeehouse, Frankenmuth, Michigan

Gingerbread Man Latte Breve
The Harvest Coffeehouse, Frankenmuth, Michigan

Where in Michigan and in the Midwest and Georgia and in the South do you recommend grabbing a cup of java? What other coffeehouses/cafΓ©s in your travels would you recommend?

Extra espresso and caffeine at Espresso Milano, Midland, Michigan

Gingerbread Man Latte Breve, Espresso Milano, Midland, Michigan

Follow my caffeinated journey in 2013 here and on Twitter at hashtag #ElCafeDe2013. El cafΓ© de 2013, salud!

I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Years and start to 2013! To caffeine out on the open road. Cheers! Aaron πŸ™‚

San Francisco: The Grove Chestnut’s Breakfast.

I was planning out my time in San Francisco and was looking for a place with a great breakfast and coffee to start the day. I was tipped off to checkout The Grove Cafe on Chestnut. One morning after hanging around the beach at sunrise I headed to the corner of Chestnut and Avila Streets in the Marina District.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

It was before eight in the morning, so it was relatively quiet inside, minus some people grabbing some coffee or a quick bite before heading to work.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

I proceeded to the counter and ordered “The Breakfast Special”. Two poached eggs, wheat toast, rosemary hash browns and saving the best for last, applewood smoked bacon was heading my way. I needed caffeine of course before a day of fun in the big city, so I ordered a Cafe Americano. Only a few minutes later this was in front of me.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

A close up shot of each. The caffeine was definitely what the doctor ordered.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

Their breakfast food was as good as advertised. Of course bacon makes every meal better. πŸ™‚

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

Before I dove in I visited the cream/sugar station. I don’t know what it is, but I love checking out the area in coffeehouses and cafes where they have all the additives. Went with low-fat milk and some regular sugar. Saw honey on the counter. Not a fan of adding it to coffee.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

The service was nice and friendly and the breakfast outstanding. Two things though. The pricing was a little higher and you can get free Wi-Fi access, but it’s based on how much you spend. I had never seen that before. It wasn’t an issue though because of the short amount of time I spent there. I had many other places to get to. My feelings might have been different had I needed to get a lot of stuff done.

Despite those I’d definitely recommend The Grove Chestnut for someone looking for a great breakfast and coffee to start the day. πŸ™‚ It was well worth spending a little more. I’m thankful for being pointed to The Grove Chestnut.

This was a continuation of my exploration of coffeehouses and cafes in San Francisco and the Bay Area, stay tuned for more. Checkout my previous post on Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District.

Has any one ever been to The Grove Fillmore, The Grove Yerba Buena or The Grove Hayes? What other places in San Francisco or the Bay Area would you recommend for coffee and/or breakfast?

Photo of the Week: Florida Bridges, Palms & Storms.

During my time in the summer in Southwest Florida I’ve picked up on the weather pattern off the Gulf of Mexico. You more often then not see sunny and clear skies in the morning, clouds start to build in the afternoon, then dark clouds and a storm or two take over in random spots in the late afternoon/early evening, with clear skies returning at sunset.

This shot is taken later in the afternoon going over Matlacha Bridge from Cape Coral to Pine Island looking out towards the northwest. The bridge is known as “The fishingest bridge in the world” due to all the fishing that takes place in the area.

Throw in some palm trees, some ominous weather and clouds and going over water and you got a great Florida photo in my eyes. πŸ™‚

Florida - Matlacha Bridge - Cape Coral to Pine Island

Photo of the Week: Where to New York?

You just enter New York Β and your now in a “New York State of Mind”. Captured this sign on I-90 East. Ya thinking Great Lakes, romance and Canada? Head to Buffalo and nearby Niagara Falls. Ya thinking Β New England and love seeing state capitals? Head to Albany. Or ya thinking the biggest of the biggest cities, the Statue of Liberty and the Atlantic seaboard? Head towards NYC, New York City. Oh the travel possibilities!

New York interstate sign

Lookout Mountain in The Scenic City.

Chattanooga, in Tennessee, sits right on the border with Georgia and it is in a valley surrounded by mountains and ridges and known as “The Scenic City”. Having that name your probably thinking, where can you get the best views in town. The answer: Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

You can drive up Lookout Mountain, but I think the Incline Railway is definitely the way to go. Going through the historic town of St. Elmo, which I recommend spending time in, you go up the one mile track looking through the observation windows on the train as you go up and up and up. You’ll get site tips and history from the conductor as you go up. Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile”, it’s the steepest passenger railway in the world. You go up Lookout Mountain on the Tennessee side. The mountain is also in Alabama and Georgia.

Lookout Mountain Panoramic shot

At the top you get panoramic, scenic and amazing views of Chattanooga, the Tennessee River and it is said up to seven different states on a clear day: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. I could hang out right there all day long.

Lookout Mountain Point Park

The Battles for Chattanooga Museum

Lookout Mountain Ruby Falls Rock City

Once at the top, take a short walk from the incline to the Battles for Chattanooga Museum, a Civil War battle site. You’ll pass some really nice southern homes along the way. Right next to that is Point Park, a part of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. You’ll see monuments, memorials and the war history of the area.

When in the area also checkout the town of Lookout Mountain which is in Georgia and home to the rock formations and gardens of Rock City. Ruby Falls is home to caves and a 145-foot high underground waterfall. You might have seen a barn that advertises “See Rock City” as they are all over the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. Likewise you can see the words “See Ruby Falls” on billboards all over the place.

For panoramic and scenic views and lot’s of history I definitely recommend checking out Looking Mountain when around Chattanooga. What is a favorite lookout point of yours?