2016 Brings a Little Traveler & Future Coffee Drinker.

I hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year. Busy times here in Michigan taking photos and consuming coffee while continuing to roam and write for Awesome Mitten as well as writing another guest post for Pure Michigan.

The New Year has also brought getting ready for one of those milestone moments in life. My wife and I are expecting are first child in the coming weeks. Countless things to do to get ready!

littlecruz-coming-002

2016 will bring a precious little future traveler and coffee drinker in this world. Travel and coffee shops will still have their place, I will just be more selective on the places and times I go. I have a never endless stream of coffee gadgets at home to keep me awake in those initial weeks and to experiment with. Don’t you worry! Before you know it, there will be family and father-son time “Out on the Open Road” and it will put a big smile on my face when I introduce my son to the coffee shop haha. :)

2016-pic-3

A great rest of the year lies ahead. I look forward to seeing what it brings in terms of coffee consumption, travel, writing, photography and most importantly my expanding family.

P.S. I’m not going to fill his baby bottle with coffee brew right away. We will phase that in.

See you “Out on the Open Road”.

Cheers,
Aaron

Back to My Detroit Area Winter Sunset Spot.

A few years back in the winter months I stopped at Kensington Metropark in the Detroit area to experience a Pure Michigan winter sunset. Since then it has become my go to spot around the Motor City to capture a winter sun going down below the horizon.

As usual I drove into the park at the Kent Lake Road entrance and then down to the docks at the East Boat Launch. I was immediately reunited with Kent Lake in the Milford, Michigan park. Being bitterly cold, with snow and ice on the ground once again made for a beautiful winter sunset experience. I will let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Winter Sunset - Kensington Park, Milford, Michigan

Where else in the Detroit area and in Michigan would you recommend going to capture a winter sunset?

2015: The Year in Travel, Instagram Style.

2015 is almost in the rear view mirror. Its been another fun year out on the open road.

It’s hard to believe, but I finally experienced Las Vegas this year. Lots of fun walking and hanging out along The Strip during the day and at night. During the same trip I loved stepping back-and-forth between Arizona and Nevada at Hoover Dam. Unfortunately I didn’t run into Clark Griswold on this trip.

The Strip, Las Vegas

Out on the open Las Vegas strip at night.

Hoover Dam in Nevada and Arizona

Hoover Dam crossing back-and-forth between Nevada and Arizona.

April was a busy travel month providing experiences in Atlanta, Southern California, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I’m always drawn to the Pacific Ocean when in California, this time checking it out in San Diego.

Atlanta, Georgia skyline

Out on the Midtown Atlanta, Georgia open road. Skyline straight ahead.

Seal Rock, La Jolla, San Diego, California, Pacific Ocean

Seal Rock along the Pacific in La Jolla, San Diego, California.

Out on the open Grapefine, Texas road

Out on the Grapevine, Texas open road.

There is one spot within driving distance of home that I try to get to once a season. I made it back to Edgewater Park along Lake Erie in Cleveland in winter and summer this year.

Winter, Edgewater Park in Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park in winter. Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie straight ahead.

Lake Erie, Edgewater Park in Summer, Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park in summer. Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie straight ahead.

Every year brings lots of Pure Michigan adventure writing for the Awesome Mitten and also for my own personal exploration. This year the Michigan open road took me from Detroit to Lake Superior and Sault Ste Marie and from Lake Michigan, Ludington and Grand Rapids to Port Huron.

South Haven Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Michigan

South Haven Lighthouse along Lake Michigan during the heart of winter.

North Pier Lighthouse, St. Joseph, Michigan, Lake Michigan

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan during the heart of winter.

Awesome Mitten Selfie, Soo Locks, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

Selfie from the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

The 2015 Tulip Time Festival - Holland, Michigan

You’ll find many tulips as part of the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan.

Russell St, Eastern Market in Detroit

Russell St. goes through the heart of the historic Eastern Market in Detroit.

Autumn at Hidden Lake Gardens, Michigan

Autumn is taking over at Hidden Lake Gardens in Mid-Michigan.

Grand Rapids, Michigan downtown architecture

The colorful Downtown architecture of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Out on the Open Road on M-22 in Arcadia, Michigan

Out on the open Michigan M-22 road in Arcadia, Michigan.

Frankfort Light, Michigan

Sailing past the Frankfort Light in northern Michigan.

Flint Farmers' Market, Michigan

Flint Farmers’ Market, a foodie haven in Mid-Michigan.

Buckham Alley, Flint, Michigan

Buckham Alley, a part of the revitalization of downtown Flint, Michigan.

Every year brings more and new experiences in Ohio and Chicago and this past year was no exception.

Marblehead Lighthouse, Lake Erie, Ohio

Marblehead Lighthouse along Lake Erie in Ohio.

Ohio road trip, Tiffin and Findlay

Out on the winter, countryside Ohio open road.

Chicago skyline, up-top the Pump Room

You could say there are Chicago skyline views from up-top the Pump Room.

What a great year in travel it was. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Years and start to the new year. Instagram and my camera will be roaring to go for more travel adventures and to help feed my everlasting wanderlust in 2016.

Cheers! :)
Aaron & The Adventures of elATLboy

The 2015 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

While out on the open road in 2015 I enjoyed countless memorable coffee and coffee shop experiences. Many lattes, French presses, pour overs, nitro coffees, cold brews and more were consumed in many independent caf├ęs in Michigan, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego and beyond. Instead of highlighting one specific moment like in years past, I decided to showcase here all the coffee fun from the year in a short video snippet.

Happy Holidays! Too great coffee!
Aaron :)

Getting to Know Me – Roadtripping to See the Denver Broncos

Ever since I was a kid I have loved the Denver Broncos American football team. Growing up my Dad and I would get out on the open road for a father-son weekend road trips to watch the Broncos in action.

Back in the late 80’s-early 90’s the Broncos and Cleveland Browns were great teams playing almost annually, many times in Cleveland. Every time they were at the old Cleveland Municipal stadium we were there. One of those years we sat in the old Dog Pound. I kept quiet about my allegiance that year as we were surrounded by some passionate and rowdy Browns fans who disliked the Broncos you could say. :)

We also have roadtripped to Buffalo several times, sitting in the snow and pouring rain to watch them play the Bills at Ralph Wilson (Rich) Stadium. Locally we took in the Broncos and Lions at the old Silverdome on Thanksgiving in the early 90’s.

Denver Broncos fan

This season I had the chance to go see the Broncos in action again when a friend secured tickets for the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. I definitely wore the Bronco orange-and-blue this time and was surprised to see thousands of my Denver friends in attendance cheering them on alongside me. Sitting in the lower level I had the chance to get close to the field during warm ups which gave me goosebumps.

One thing about this story though is that I have never been to Denver to catch the Broncos at home. It is arguably number one on my bucket list. I thought I got goosebumps going to see them in Detroit recently, image how I would will feel seeing them in Denver. One day!

Do you have a sports team you grew up loving and would travel to watch them play even to this day?

The 2015 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan.

Every October in Michigan brings the end of summer, cooler temperatures and shorter days. With that though comes cider, donuts, corn mazes and most of all the colors of Autumn.

Over the last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time driving around Ann Arbor, Brighton, Fenton and everywhere in between in lower Michigan with my camera ready to go. Below are some of my favorite shots of what the Fall season is like in Pure Michigan.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Can’t wrap myself around how beautiful Autumn is in Michigan.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The colors of Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The colors of Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The color is all around Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The color is all around Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Out on the open Autumn road at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

An Autumn picnic at Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton anyone?

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Overlooking the dock and Maltby Lake at Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The colors of Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Finding random Autumn beauty in Fenton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Dawn and the start of a new Autumn day at Appleton Lake in Brighton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Ann Arbor Autumn beauty from up-top the Republic Parking structure.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Finding random Autumn colors while driving around the Ann Arbor area.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The Huron River and Barton Nature Area are showing off in Ann Arbor.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Out on the open Autumn road in Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The leaves of Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The rainbow of Autumn colors at Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor is a must drive in Fall.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The colors are jumping out at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Autumn is guarding the woods at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Looking up at the bright orange within Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Autumn colors across the way at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Out on the open corn maze at Chambers Farm in Pinckney.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Out on the open corn maze at Chambers Farm in Pinckney.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Chambers Farm pumpkin patch in Pinckney.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

The pumpkin is posing at the Chambers Farm pumpkin patch in Pinckney.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Autumn above the Parshallville River at Tom Walker’s Grist Mill.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Historic Tom Walker’s Grist Mill in Parshallville.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Pumpkins, cider, donuts and family fun at Spicer Orchards in Fenton.

Autumn - PureMichigan - 2015

Cider and donuts and Spicer Orchards in Fenton.

Do you have any places around home or that you have come across in your travels that you like to photograph in Autumn?

Some Photos From a Traveler’s Backyard.

When you are at home you see your back yard every day and it is relatively the same. This weeks #Frifotos theme on Twitter is “Backyard”. It got me thinking that when traveling a lot, you experience new balconies, windows and views from the room you are staying in, a new backyard so to speak. Below are some of the views or backyards I have experienced recently out on the open road.

Frifotos - Backyard - Toronto, Canada

Dawn has arrived in Chinatown, Toronto, Canada.

Frifotos - Backyard - Hotel Zone, Cancun, Mexico

Overlooking Mar Caribe and the Hotel Zone in Cancun, Mexico.

Frifotos - Backyard - Hotel Zone, Cancun, Mexico

Overlooking the Hotel Zone in Cancun, Mexico.

Frifotos - Backyard - Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

A Lake Las Vegas in Nevada sunrise straight ahead.

Frifotos - Backyard - Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

Lake Las Vegas, a resort area just outside Vegas.

Frifotos - Backyard - St. Pete Beach, Florida

Palm trees and the Gulf of Mexico straight ahead from the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Frifotos - Backyard - Juneau, Alaska, Celebrity Cruise

Chilling on our cabin balcony as we dock in Juneau, Alaska.

Frifotos - Backyard - Inside Passage, Alaska, Celebrity Cruise

The balcony of our Celebrity Cruise cabin showing us the Tracy Arm fjord in Alaska.

Frifotos - Backyard - Chicago

Waking up to a Lake Michigan sunrise in Chicago.

Frifotos - Backyard - Chicago

Buckingham Fountain and Grand Park in Chicago from The Congress.

What is a memorable backyard view you have had at a place you were staying while traveling?