Experiencing Makers & Finders Craft Coffee in Downtown Las Vegas

On a recent early morning on the Strip I was looking for two things. The first was to see more of Las Vegas away from the high rises of Las Vegas Boulevard. Secondly, I wanted to take part in a true craft coffee experience. Both of these led my friend (another coffee snob if you will) and me to the Arts District and the 18b in Downtown and Makers & Finders Coffee.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Upon entering this Cuban inspired coffee shop, I immediately sensed a creative vibe as there were a few people working on laptops or notepads. We set up shop at the full length bar, but could have also sat at a communal table, on couch-like chairs or on the outdoor seating in front. Plenty of options. At the same time I looked up and noticed the industrial feel of the ceiling.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Now sitting, right in front of our eyes stood the M & F neon signage beyond the Syphon, pour over, French Press and other coffee gadgets. My friend ordered a Lavender Infused Latte made with their in-house syrup which looked delicious. That was amongst a full menu of espresso and specialty drinks.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Seeing those gadgets led me to choosing a V60 pour over drip with their Kenyan bean offering. You will find each cup of coffee is brewed to order. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t mind waiting for a craft coffee. It’s part of the true coffee experience which Makers & Finders definitely brings to life. I chatted coffee with the barista as he made my pour over out in the open. I sipped on the coffee during the rest of our stay, outstanding.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas, pour over coffee

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas, pour over coffee

We only experienced the coffee of Makers & Finders on this visit. They have a full breakfast offering and a regular menu filled with Latin comfort food. I hear the arepas and empanadas are a must try. Something to look forward to for next time!

This was the best coffee I’ve had in Las Vegas. Next time you are on the Strip or on Fremont Street for that matter and are looking for a true craft coffee experience, make the short trek to the up-and-coming Arts District and the urban Makers & Finders coffee bar.

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Makers & Finders Coffee, Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas

Learn more about Makers & Finders Coffee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas

When in Vegas exchange the neon lights of Las Vegas Blvd, with those of Downtown and old town at the Fremont Street Experience. Being only at the Fremont Street Experience during the day before, my friend had never been, we had no idea what to expect once the sun went down, the lights turned on and the streets filled up.

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Arriving there recently at dusk we quickly became exposed to what I would describe as part carnival, part tourist trap, part family fun and part adult playground. We were amongst families, couples, barely dressed ladies dancing on the bars, street performers throughout and basically a bunch of people walking around with their camera out or an alcoholic drink in hand. A true, fun Las Vegas party was in full effect!

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

I have never seen so many neon lights concentrated in one place. Within the heart of the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown are all the old-town and famous hotels and casinos. At the intersection with S. Casino Center Blvd on the four corners sit the Golden Nugget, Binion’s Gambling Hall, the Fremont Casino and Four Queens.

Four Queens Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Fremont Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Golden Nugget Las Vegas

As we walked we saw dozens of places to eat, one outdoor open bar after another and tourist souvenir shops. Music and videos were playing over our heads on the larger than life ceiling panels that cover much of the enclosed five block entertainment center. Tip: Get your souvenirs here versus along the Strip.

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Speaking of music, the party really begins every hour on the hour with the Viva Vision Light Show, currently between 6 pm and 1 am. The casinos neon lights will go away, the lights of people’s cell phones will come on and all the eye balls will be focused up-top at the world’s largest video screen. Each hour will feature the music of a different performer. We caught Green Day and Heart.

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show, Green Day

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show, Green Day

Check out a glimpse of Heart’s Magic Man being played.

While watching the shows and walking about we randomly heard people screaming from up above. Look closely a few seconds into the video above. People are zip-lining! You can Zipline half-way across or Zoomline from one end of the experience to the other. The adventurers take off from the world’s largest slot machine. Everything does seem to be bigger in Vegas.

In fact, the first question people asked me when they realized I visited Fremont Street was whether I zip-lined? Unfortunately no. Something to think about for next time.

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show , The D Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

In between all the experiencing of Fremont Street we grabbed some Irish pub food and Jameson whiskey at Hennessey’s Tavern. A relaxing, quieter place if there is such a thing in this part of town.

The first taste of the Fremont Street Experience at night is in the books. It is definitely worth the short Uber or cab ride from The Strip when in Las Vegas. Tip: Make sure to check out the old-school casinos and hotels themselves as well!

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Checkout the Fremont Street Experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

That Memorable San Francisco Street Signage

Street signage. Every city and town seems to have their own format for street signs, from the colors and lettering to the format and shape of the signage itself. In my eyes, one city stands out more than any other, San Francisco.

Vintage San Francisco street signage collage

Seeing the all-caps, modern large black letters on a white background just gives me the goosebumps as soon as I enter the city. Being able to capture two signs at once at an intersection, like at Beach and Larkin when visiting Ghirardelli Square, priceless.

Vintage San Francisco street signage @ Fisherman's Wharf

Vintage San Francisco street signage, Market Street

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Having spent so much time in San Fran, seeing specific streets brings back memories of yester-year, while also highlighting great things about the city. When I see Grant, Jackson and Stockton that means I’m in-and-around Chinatown and the Transamerica Pyramid.

Vintage San Francisco street signage at Grant Street in Chinatown

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage in Chinatown

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Lombard makes me immediately think of the famous curvy road and Hyde Street evokes thoughts of being on a San Francisco manual cable car going up a very steep incline.

Vintage San Francisco street signage at the famous curvy Lombard Street

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage at historic Hyde and Lombard

The Embarcadero signage brings the sea lions at Pier 39 into focus. One street over, Beach brings back memories of trying to park to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and The Embarcadero haha. Great Highway is the first street I hit up when in town, as it rides right along Ocean Beach and the Pacific.

Vintage San Francisco street signage & The Embarcadero

Vintage San Francisco street signage @ Fisherman's Wharf

Vintage San Francisco street signage along Ocean Beach and Pacific Ocean

Van Ness Avenue just makes me think of multiple lanes in each direction and a busy street. I was really careful capturing its street signage. Octavia and Hayes Streets brings me back to memories of the Hayes Valley neighborhood whereas 15th Street is where I usually park when going for a morning coffee at Four Barrel in “The Mission”.

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

In regards to San Francisco and its historic street signage, unfortunately it is not all sunshine and roses. Now days, as you roam S.F., you might notice some signs featuring mixed-case lettering, with the first letter only being capitalized. This is to conform with the goals of the Federal Highway Administration that signs be easier to read. What?! You’ll notice I didn’t capture any signs of this format.

Vintage San Francisco street signage collage

On the plus side you still have time to experience the capital letting as you move about the city. Due to the federal mandate, street signs will get swapped out only when they need to be replaced. Though the Moraga and 23rd Street signage looks a little rough, there is still something historic and beautiful about them.

Vintage San Francisco street signage in Outer Sunset neighborhood

Vintage San Francisco street signage

A few more pics of that vintage and memorable San Francisco street signage for the road.

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

Vintage San Francisco street signage

What city or town contains memorable, historic and/or well-designed street signage in your eyes that you have come across in your travels?

Little Man is Now Chasing the Coffee, Coffee and Coffee

2017 is in full swing. I’m still trying to put my arms around the fact that my son is almost one already. Where has the time gone?! It seems like yesterday I was Introducing Travel and Coffee, Coffee and Coffee to Someone. We have visited numerous shops, though confined to just Michigan. He smells the home brewing pretty much continuously.

The little man still heads with me to the coffee shop in his car seat, though now with his eyes always open. He loves looking at Biggby Coffee. Graduation to the next car seat, thus I having to carry him in is upcoming in the weeks ahead.

Son smiling at the Biggby Coffee

I’d also like to think he is crawling towards and chasing the cup now because it is filled with coffee deliciousness. ☕☕☕

Son heading towards the coffee

Son crawling towards the coffee

This year will bring the two of us walking into coffee shops together and further away ventures. I look forward to him being more inquisitive as to what the coffee cups and drinks are. I’m sure he will get into anything and everything at the coffee shop as he is now doing at home ha-ha. Still hoping for that first word outside of dada and mama to be coffee!

To all of the coffee adventures that lie ahead. We hope to see you out on the open coffee shop road.

Atlanta: A Million Skyline Looks.

The skyline. Anyone who follows me on this blog or on social media knows I like to capture city skylines. With that I got excited starting the A Million Skyline Looks series.

Toronto, Chicago, Auckland and now it is Atlanta’s turn. The unofficial capitol of the South has distinct skylines in both Midtown and Downtown.

Photo opportunities to capture both from parks, bridges, high up-top sky rises and from right out on the open road (as a passenger of course) have presented themselves, along with many more. Coming up with a million skyline looks of a place I’ve lived in and visited a lot is easy. Well without further ado:

Atlanta skyline - from The Varsity

Eat a burger from this ATL institution, the Varsity, while capturing the city.

Atlanta skyline

Sometimes random Atlanta city skyline shots just present themselves.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Head to the park behind the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Skyline trying to peek out from the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from near Turner FIeld.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from what was once Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.

Atlanta skyline from World of Coca-Cola

Downtown helping to protect the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

Midtown view from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant. SunTrust Plaza is standing tall.

Atlanta skyline

Love looking straight up in a big city.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown standing tall from Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The skyline is playing peekabo in Piedmont Park.

Downtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Exit for the Downtown ATL skyline anyone?

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

One Atlantic Center, the tallest building in Atlanta, standing in Midtown.

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading right into the heart, northbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85).

Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading southbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85). Skyline hugging the guard rail.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading into the city from the south. Can you see the Georgia State Capitol?

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The pond and spot to grab a city shot within Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown will greet you at the end of a climb in Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown in Autumn, straight ahead at Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Good reason you think to pull off the road on Boulevard NE in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood?

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

More Atlanta skyline opportunity out on the open road in Old Fourth Ward.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading off the interstate and into the heart of the Midtown skyline.

My favorite place to capture the ATL skyline is the 17th Street Bridge, my peaceful place.

Atlanta skyline from the 17th Street Bridge

Many, many, many lanes heading into the city from the 17th Street Bridge.

What other spots would you recommend capturing the Atlanta skyline from?