Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

Cook Forest

We managed to leave for our annual trip to Cook Forest in a timely way on Friday afternoon--we did a much better job than usual of packing quickly and heading out.

In general, the autumn leaves were not as good as they had been on previous visits; the leaves had peaked the weekend before, and the storm earlier in the week had knocked many down.

Our stay at Cook Homestead Bed and Breakfast was warm, lovely, and welcoming as always--you should understand that the only reason I'm naming the B&B is that we already have our reservations for 2004.

- Left Pittsburgh at about 4pm, with a stop to buy shoes for Lori.
- Ate dinner at the Gold Eagle Inn in Brookville, because Lori's parents had recommended it. It was surprisingly good for a restaurant attached to a motel near the interstate. Lori had the German sampler plate (their Oktoberfest special); I had the prime rib. They had a very good dessert selection, featuring nineteen different desserts. I really enjoyed my spiced apple cheesecake, and Lori really enjoyed her peach cake. We'll return there again.
- Arrived at the B&B about 9pm. Played a game of Tribond with me, Lori, and Adam (one of the guests we've seen there multiple times.)

- The main meal of breakfast was an 'angel puff'--basically eggs and cheese baked in a casserole. It was fairly good, but far from the best things I've had there.
- We took a day trip out to the Kinzua Bridge. (We stopped to buy maple syrup from a production that was clearly run out of someone's barn.) There's not nearly as much to do in Kinzua Bridge State Park as there used to be: this summer, a tornado came along and knocked down many of the trees and about 40% of the railroad bridge. Still, it was nice to see some new scenery.
- On the way back, we stopped at Flickerwood Winery in Kane, Pennsylvania. They had several good wines, and a nice mulled wine/cider punch. We came home with six bottles.
- Lunch at Keller's Country Kitchen or somesuch place in Kane. Reasonable sandwiches. I would return, but I wouldn't strive to return.
- Visited Tall Oaks, a sort of permanent craft fair near Marienville. Craft pickings seemed scarce this year; Lori didn't find much she really wanted. (I started reading H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines while she shopped.) The food vendors were not selling deep-fried candy bars this year (they had been selling them last year), which provided a solution to my deep ambivalence about whether I wanted to try such an artery-clogging monstrosity.
- Dinner at Americo's, an Italian restaurant in Cook Forest that we've been to before. Reasonably good. Americo's is one of my preferred restaurants in its price range in the vicinity--which isn't saying much.
- The campfire was pleasant, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as usual. Part of it was that I was expecting s'mores and didn't get them. Part of it was that I was just feeling a bit quiet.

- Breakfast included excellent baked apples, ham-and-pepper-jack-cheese quiche, and an "Italian" quiche with Italian sausage, spinach, and perhaps other things. All very tasty.
- More craft shopping: Sawmill Art Center, Cook Forest Mercantile, and MacBeth's Discoveries. Slim pickings everywhere.
- Lunch at the Trail's End. Yet again, my lunch there was really disappointing--tedious dry chicken planks and french fries I didn't finish even with my usual gustatory inertia.
- Stopped to play miniature golf on the way out--we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was free, since the course hadn't been well-maintained. We played about thirteen holes without too much inconvenience from the piles of leaves, then decided we weren't really enjoying it and left for home.
- arrived at Dani and Monica's house for dinner at 7:10 or so, much earlier than we had thought we might arrive. Dinner was very pleasant, both the food and the company, but both of us were feeling tired, so we left early for Lori to do her preparation for school.
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