A Sunrise and Beginning to Another Pure Michigan Autumn

As I write this Autumn has officially arrived (September 21st at 10:21 a.m. EST) here in Michigan and the Midwest. With that the days are really starting to get shorter and the sun is rising a little bit later each day. On the plus side, it is getting easier for me to capture the sunrise after I leave the homestead in the morning.

I took advantage working my way over to the campground at Brighton State Recreation Area and Bishop Lake. The photos below are what stood right in front of me as I got out of the car and started facing east. The sun was reflecting off Bishop Lake, with lots of morning fog and mist rising off the same water. The air had a crisp feel to it.

To the beginnings of another beautiful Pure Michigan Autumn!

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Pure Michigan sunrise, lake, Brighton State Recreation Area

Chicago: A Million More Skyline Looks.

I’ve made it no secret through this blog and on Twitter and Instagram that I love the Chicago skyline. The Windy City was highlighted in my ongoing A Million Skyline Looks series earlier in the year.

A few months back I made my annual summer time trip to Chi-town which meant more skyline photo opportunity. Each trip brings with it the same tried-and-true spots along with new roof top bars, new neighborhoods and different vantage points. It was not an issue finding a million more skyline looks! Well without further ado:

Chicago skyline from alongside Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River, enough said.

Chicago skyline from Michigan Avenue looking towards Lake Michigan

Looking down the Chicago River towards Lake Michigan, between all the tall buildings.

Chicago skyline from Hyatt Regency Chicago

Looking at all the skyscrapers due north from up-top Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Chicago skyline from Grant Park

Plenty of cityscape awaits the visitors of Grant Park.

Chicago skyline from alongside Adler Planetarium and Lake Michigan

Chicago skyline from alongside Adler Planetarium and Lake Michigan.

Chicago skyline from Grant Park

There you are whenever I need you Willis Tower from Grant Park.

Chicago skyline from Grant Park

Looking straight towards Chicago Union Station. Where are you Amtrak?

Chicago skyline from up-top The Godfrey Hotel

Enjoying the night-time city views from up-top The Godfrey Hotel in the North Loop.

Chicago skyline from up-top The Godfrey Hotel

The Godfrey Hotel rooftop in the North Loop.

Chicago skyline from the 26th floor and Vertigo Sky Lounge

Hanging out at the Vertigo Sky Lounge brings with it city views in all directions.

Chicago skyline from the 26th floor and Vertigo Sky Lounge

Dusk up-top the Dana Hotel & Spa at Vertigo Sky Lounge.

Chicago skyline from the 26th floor and Vertigo Sky Lounge

The 26th Floor and Vertigo Sky Lounge equals lots of Chicago skyline beauty.

Chicago skyline from the riverfront and along Michigan Avenue.

The Chicago Riverfront brings with it beautiful city views.

Chicago skyline from Hyatt Regency Chicago

Looking to the south from up-top Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Chicago skyline from up-top ZED451 in North Loop

Chicago skyline from up-top ZED451 in North Loop

Besides capturing the vastness of the city on this trip I decided to play a little peekaboo with the Sears, I mean, Willis Tower. It always seems to be in view. A great navigational tool in fact if you ever get lost.

Chicago skyline from Grant Park

The skyline is always making its presence known within Grant Park.

Chicago skyline from the Green Line in South Loop

The Willis Tower and skyline are standing tall from the Green Line in South Loop.

Chicago skyline from alongside Millennium Park

Sears, I mean, Willis Tower is playing peekaboo along Michigan Avenue.

Chicago skyline from the Green Line in the West Loop

Enjoying the skyline view as I await the Green Line train in West Loop.

Chicago skyline from the West Loop

Willis Tower is standing tall from West Loop.

Chicago skyline from the West Loop

You can see the Willis Tower is everywhere. Walking along West Randolph in West Loop.

Where do you like to capture the Chicago skyline from?

Things Learned After Spending Time in New Zealand

Up until 2009 I had traveled a lot, but it was confined to places all over the United States and Canada, with a little time in Mexico. All of this changed that year when I headed abroad for the first time. In fact I was headed to the other side of the world and New Zealand for an extended period of time.

Auckland skyline from afar in New Zealand

Upon arriving at Auckland Airport I immediately started noticing not just the big differences compared to home in the states, but the small. During that trip and my subsequent time in New Zealand here are some of the things that I have learned:

  • Gotta make sure to look to the right first before crossing the street.
  • Hitchhiking is common a way to get around and a pretty safe one. Picked one up, helping them get from A to B, with a lot of great conversation in-between.
  • To do the above, had to experience driving on the other side of the road. That was the biggest transition.
  • I’m not walking into a convenience store to grab some drinks and snacks, but a dairy.
  • A New Zealand Dairy in Auckland

  • Speaking of dairies, them along with gas stations and in every other place it seems you will find a display case of meat pies ready for consumption. The steak and cheese yum!
  • New Zealand meat pies

  • You want to wash that pie down with a V Energy Drink a.k.a. fuel for more road tripping. Why don’t they carry those outside of NZ and Australia haha?!🙂🙂
  • When getting a different kind of fuel, Burger Fuel, the fries you are getting are Kumara, not sweet potato.
  • I’m not grabbing a beer at the restaurant/bar, but a pint. To this day even at home when I want a beer I find myself asking for a pint.
  • When at the restaurant/bar there is no tipping, you don’t give payment to the waiter and there is no seating available at the bar.
  • Continuing on with the food, it’s frites not fries. Oh and can I have some aioli with those! What’s ketchup? People call it tomato sauce.
  • When I visit I am not on a vacation, but on holiday.
  • Here a sheep, there a sheep, everywhere a sheep sheep.
  • More mingling with the New Zealand sheep

  • It’s rugby, rugby, rugby over here. I quickly got drawn in to the All Blacks National rugby union team. Was very excited when they won the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London.
  • The further south you go the colder it gets.
  • It’s January and the sun is out until after 9 pm.
  • I quickly Learned not to not close your eyes when road tripping, the terrain changes fast. We’re in the rain forest, wait the mountains, wait the prairie, wait I see a glacier.
  • It is really as pretty and magical as Lord of the Rings depicts it to be. You never know what lies straight ahead.
  • Heading towards the Franz Glacier in New Zealand

  • I discovered for myself what all the chatter was about involving the Queenstown Fergburger. Delicious.
  • Roundabouts you are starting to see here-and-there in the states, in New Zealand they are just a way of life.
  • I’ve already said it a couple of times in this post, people refer to the US as “The States”.
  • Stay at hostel, not a hotel. Who knows who you’ll meet, where they will be from and what kinds of great memories you will make.
  • Most importantly, everyone is so friendly. I don’t recall ever having a bad interaction with anyone.

It was great learning about, experiencing and seeing the differences between home and somewhere outside North America. I look forward to uncovering more in New Zealand and beyond.

Have you ever been to New Zealand? If so, what are some of the differences you noticed from home?

Quotes That Say It All About My Love For Coffee

When I am out on the open road… when I am asleep… when I am travel writing… when I am just vegging out at home… I am thinking about that next cup of coffee. I’ve said it in my posts before and I will say it again now, I just love coffee in all its forms.

I wrote about quotes that inspire the wanderlust in me. What about those that say it all about my love for coffee? Below are some that summarize the relationship I have with java. ☕☕☕


“I can’t imagine a day without coffee. I can’t imagine!” – Howard Schultz

I try not to think about that.

Love For Coffee - quote

“Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.” – Terri Guillemets

And a sunset capping off a great caffeinated day.


“A morning coffee is my favorite way of starting the day, settling the nerves so that they don’t later fray.”
― Marcia Carrington

Coffee quote

“Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.” – Fran Drescher


“I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can’t go back. You cannot go back.” – Hugh Laurie


“I don’t know how people live without coffee, I really don’t.” – Martha Quinn


"That's something that annoys the hell out of me – I mean if somebody says the coffee's all ready and it isn't.” — J.D. Salinger


“Be a coffee-drinking individual — espresso yourself!” – Unknown


“Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.” – Unknown


“What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup.” – Henry Rollins

And another. And another. And another… that leads to this quote.

“Drink coffee to get the energy to drink more coffee.” – Unknown


“I think if I were a woman I’d wear coffee as a perfume.” – John Van Drute

Do they make a coffee scented aftershave haha?!🙂

Love for Coffee - Coldwater, Michigan iced coffee

Stay caffeinated out there my friends! ☕☕☕

What are your favorite quotes, expressions or sayings involving coffee?

Taking in Puget Sound from Seattle’s Magnolia Neighborhood

Since I was a kid I had only seen the majestic views of Puget Sound in Washington on television and online. In fact I had never been to the Pacific Northwest. Both of those things changed during a recent summer when my now wife and I spent a little bit of time in Seattle.

While there we took a bus tour and one of the stops was Magnolia Park in the well-kept Northwest Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia. We got off the bus within a small narrow section of the park in a residential area and what awaited us were panoramic views of, you guessed it, Puget Sound.

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

I just stared out into the open water and at Bainbridge Island and behind that sat opposite. Looking to the south sat views of the Seattle skyline off in the distance. There were plenty of park benches to go around and just take it all in. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Seattle skyline from the Magnolia neighborhood

Seattle skyline from the Magnolia neighborhood

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

Magnolia Park in Seattle, Washington

Puget Sound from the Magnolia Boulevard and neighborhood in Seattle

It was an exciting stop being able to take in Puget Sound and experience Pacific Northwest beauty in-person.

What other spots around Seattle would you recommend checking out Puget Sound from?