Category Archives: travel

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.

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?

The 2016 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Happy Holidays to all! Another caffeinated year is in the books. 2016 brought more memorable coffees and coffee shop experiences. Lots of lattes, pour overs, nitro brews and cold brew coffees were consumed from all around Michigan, Chicago and Ohio. Some of these were enjoyed alongside my son and first child, who was born this year. 🙂

The year ib coffee is highlighted in a short video snippet. The background song is the appropriately named “Coffee Shop” by Gorilla Zoe. The cover photo is a Military Latte from Sawada Coffee in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. I would easily say this is my favorite coffee drink and moment of the year.

Too many more coffees in the new year! Hope to see you all out on the caffeinated open road. Aaron 🙂

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2015 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Walking Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

When researching places to go in a big city, the cemetery is not a place that readily comes to mind. After making a couple of visits to Oakland Cemetery in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta, I’ve completely changed my tune.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery represents the Old South. It takes you back into history when within. It’s the oldest cemetery in Atlanta founded in 1850. It sits on six acres and has roughly 70,000 graves. Past mayors, governors of Georgia and famous Atlantans rest here, along with many soldiers dating back to the Civil War era. The famous golfer Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Mind, also reside here.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Marvel at all the various architecture featured throughout. Oakland Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places which helps with the upkeep and preserving.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Along with being a cemetery it’s also a vast botanical garden and park with beautiful colors all year long. I was lucky to make a trip here in Autumn and being able to experience the Fall colors throughout.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

This Grant Park neighborhood cemetery is also a beautiful spot to capture the downtown Atlanta skyline from. Always keep the camera out when walking the grounds!

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Grab a coffee from Octane Coffee across the street and head in in the early morning hours. The park has many entrances, I recommend going in from Oakland Avenue. Your feet will take you onto the red bricked paths of many named narrow streets throughout. I walked around on my own, but guided tours are also available.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Some additional info:

  • Being a public park, Oakland cemetery is open dawn to dusk every day of the year.
  • No fees to enter.
  • Go on an official self-guided tour. Download the Android or iPhone app.
  • Guided tours are available every weekend during the warmer months and for tour groups and schools.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Tip: When on the Northeast end of the cemetery checkout the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills plant off in the distance.

What other historic cemeteries would you recommend checking out?

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?