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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Dan and I had kind of a busy day planned. We knew it was going to be raining so there wasn’t much we could do outside.

So we decided to go to the movies again WITHOUT the popcorn and pop. Since we went to the 11 a.m. showing of The Fockers, we planned on going to lunch before heading to Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart I planned on getting a hair cut while Dan got a few things from the grocery store. He also wanted to hit Home Depot and Lowes.

We had the whole theatre to ourselves. Dan was glad he hadn’t worn his hearing aids because the volume was SOOO loud (louder than the other theatre that we went to a week or so ago IN the same complex). It was an OK show.

From there, we went to Home Depot to look for that perfect drill, which we never found. Oh, and a torque wrench for the 5th wheel (which we didn’t find either).


We’d never eaten at a Chili’s before but have seen their ads on TV…and the food always looks so good and not heart healthy at all....smile...

We rarely order an appetizer but we had seen those cheese smothered fries and wanted to try those. I’m glad the server, Dave, talked us into ½ an order. It was PLENTY for the two of us. I decided I wanted the California club sandwich and again, I’m glad Dave talked me into the ½ sandwich which came with a handful of fries and a very nice house salad. Dan ordered the Smokehouse Bacon Burger (or something like that) and it came with a HUGE order of fries. I stuck with water (a girl’s gotta cut down someplace!) and Dan had a Coke.

When our HUGE plates arrived (steaming hot plates) our eyes about popped out. Dan immediately picked up that humungous burger (without first even trying to squash it down a bit) and went to work on that (I wish I’d taken my camera; it was a sight!). I started on my salad while EYEING my sandwich and wondering how I could possibly pick that up and get it TO my mouth let alone managing to open my mouth wide enough to take a bite. I TRIED to squash it down but my avocados kept sliding out the backside…so I continued on with my salad so I would have more room on my plate.

By now, about ½ of the innards of Dan’s sandwich had come out the backside of his bun…but he didn’t dare set the sandwich down because he really wouldn’t be able to pick it up again. It was laughable to see his dilemma…till I realized I was up to bat next.

I picked up MY sandwich and managed to get a bite off the end of it without losing any of the insides of it…however, the shredded lettuce that was on the TOP part of the sandwich was sticking out far enough that it managed to make little mayo tracks across my glasses. But I really didn’t care! This sandwich, or what I’d had of it, was GOOD!

I tried a couple more bites, not daring to put it down between bites for fear of totally losing it, when I realized I was just making a big mess and things were coming out from my sandwich.

I finally gave up and used a knife and fork, and you know what? It tasted just as good and I didn’t look nearly as inept at the fine art of sandwich consumption!

Dave, the server, came by a couple of times to fill my water glass and make sure everything was OK…and bring more napkins.

We finally finished and leaned back in our booth seat…and did the pregnant woman breathing exercises. You know the ones, right? Something like OOO, OOO, EEE, EEE HAAA, HAAA.

While we were being silly and trying to come to terms with the size of our jeans, a different man appeared at our table and asked if he could take our plates and wondered if our lunch was satisfactory.

We assured him it was an excellent meal and that it was our first time even going to a Chili’s. He looked totally astounded. We explained to him that where we live, our part of the world hasn’t caught up with the times yet. We chatted a few more moments and I assured him that I had already planned on going on their website and completing their online survey about our dining experience.

He asked if we would like to try their newest dessert and it was his treat; I can’t remember the name but it was something to do with peanut butter and a volcano. He is looking at me when asking this and Dan is sitting across from me mouthing “no, no,no” and shaking his head slightly. I thanked the man and said ‘CAN WE HAVE TWO SPOONS?” (He hadn’t seen Dan’s “sign language”)

The decadent dessert came on a dinner plate (which was warm). It had a very rich chocolate cake, shaped like a small Bundt cake, there was cream in the center of the cake, a big scoop of ice cream on top, there was some peanut butter syrupy stuff in there someplace, the ice cream was covered with a hard chocolate shell and the whole thing was liberally drizzled with the richest chocolate I’ve ever tasted. (BTW, I don’t crave Brach’s chocolate stars right now!). IT WAS SO GOOD!!! And Dan had NO problem eating his fair share.

We finally paid our bill and managed to get out of the booth without either one of us falling over or the snap on our jeans flying off and putting someone’s eye out. We even managed to walk to the truck and get IN and get the doors shut. THEN WE JUST SAT THERE DOING THE PREGNANT WOMAN IN LABOR EXERCISES AGAIN…till we got to laughing and boy were we in a world of hurt. This was worse than a big Thanksgiving dinner. There had to have been tryptophan in those fries.

There was no discussion that going to Wal-Mart was totally out of the question for today. All either one of us wanted to do was get home and take a nap. Those 13 miles seemed like FOREVER. (Dan is napping in his chair and me, well, I’m here with you!)

When we pulled in our driveway and parked in front of the 5th wheel, Dan took his good cap off (that he keeps in the backseat of Bubba) and laid it on the console between us and said “I can’t even turn around to put it back there.”

Not only is the food delicious and PLENTIFUL, but the servers and managers go OUT OF THEIR WAY to make sure you are properly taken care of.  EAT AT CHILI'S!

The bad news is, I’m sure we raised our LDL considerably today. The good news is I don’t have to make stroganoff tonight! AND I can always get a hair cut tomorrow!


  1. Being that I live in the northwoods too, I've never been to Chili's either. But I will have to try it after reading your raving review! 'hugs from afar'

  2. wilson7:37 PM

    if dan needs a torque wrench, look at sears in the tool department, if there is one nearby. otherwise the local auto parts should be able to fix him up

  3. Never been to a Chili's either but you can bet that we will be checking one out, if we ever see one. I think I will start with the dessert, unsnap the jeans, and carry on with the killer food.

  4. Sounds like your first visit to Chili's was a huge success. We don't have many of them in our area but the few I've visited were pretty darn good.

    Cheers, jj

  5. I love Chilis. The next time you go I recommend the Memphis Dry Rub Ribs...they are to die for good!!

  6. Cher, It will be worth it!!!

    Wilson, An auto store was going to be the next stop...sometime!

    Dar, I LOVE your line of thinking!!

    Joanna, it WAS a huge success! I'm glad we hadn't gone to the pizza buffet the day before! We'll be back!!

    Jeanette, I told Dan about the ribs as he's the one who loves ribs. I'm not sure what I will try next time! Thanks for that info though!

  7. Anonymous6:37 PM

    After reading your post I took my friend to lunch at Chili's in Toledo. It was about a 40 minute drive one way for us but it was worth it! Thanks for the heads up@!!

  8. I have been to Chili's once and it was awesome...that is about the only thing that is unusual with the UP, but, the UP does have several restaurants that you can't get their food anywhere else...the last time we were in the Soo, we ate at a restaurant there that was awesome...of course I can't think of the name!

  9. Anonymous, glad you went and enjoyed it!!

    Amy, There are some good restaurants in the Soo; our two favorites are The Antlers and whatever that Chinese buffet place is!

  10. Isaac Hayes: I Can't Even Turn Around

  11. TRACTOR GUY...Dang, you're good!


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