Tag Archives: 2015

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! πŸ™‚
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 cafΓ©s 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 πŸ™‚

Annual Coffee Review: The Passion Continues to Grow.

Last year my focus was more on savoring the coffee and the experience then just trying to visit x amount of coffee shops and drink as much coffee as I could. I still managed to checkout many new spots around home and while traveling and returned back to favorites like Octane Coffee in Atlanta, The Wormhole Coffee in Chicago, Koffee CafΓ© in Cleveland and Rowster Coffee in Grand Rapids. New favorites emerged like Strange Matter Coffee in Lansing, Michigan, while others unfortunately closed like Glassbox Coffee & Juice in Ann Arbor.

The goal of experiencing different coffee brewing methods was a success both at home and on the road. Moving past the single cup pour over on the road, many coffees made via French Press, AeroPress and with a clever coffee dripper were enjoyed. I found myself taking to outside the norm combinations like espresso and Coke as well.

At home the coffee pot and Keurig were more-and-more being rotated out by the Chemex and single cup pour over. I even broke out the espresso machine at home to enjoy shots and start the process of learning how to make lattes.

That helped to meet the goal of enjoying a variety of lattes at home, as well as at indie coffee shops. The Lavender Latte has become my favorite. Latte art is still something I want to explore soon.

I’ve started interacting more with baristas, the owners of coffee shops and other coffee lovers. Questions are usually being asked while my drink was being made, while also striking up random conversations with other visitors. The favorite thing from that has been getting tips on coffee shops and other places to checkout in the area, usually unsolicited.

Lots of interaction with the coffee community has been done on Twitter and Instagram as well. A lot more of my coffee knowledge and experience is coming from social interaction, versus me researching in a silo online and picking places to go.

Lots of people post pictures of their coffee online these days as with anything else. I have and continue to try to come up with unique ways to photograph and present the coffee that is in front of me.

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, I look to expand my love of coffee by:

  • Getting the latte making process down and venturing into the latte art world.
  • Starting to make coffee via French Press and introduce other gadgets at home.
  • Learning more about where the coffee beans I experience come from.
  • Trying coffee beans from a variety of places. I’ve gotten a head start thanks to Pola of JettingAround who is sending me bags from different hot spots in Chicago.
  • Making coffee in mass. I’ve already gone out on the open road with my coffee gear, making one latte after another for a large party.
  • Enhancing the section on the blog dedicated to coffee, continuing to post my unique way of enjoying coffee.
  • Interacting even more online and in-person with the coffee community.
  • Hopefully returning to favorites like Press Coffee Bar in Dayton, Ohio, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Columbus, Ipsento Coffee in Chicago and Fourbarrel Coffee in San Francisco.

The passion for coffee continues to grow. Out on the open caffeinated road I go!

Do you have any recommendations or ideas on things I should try to take my passion to the next level?

Kicking 2015 Into Full Travel & Coffee Gear.

A belated Happy 2015 to all!

Hope everyone has had a great start to the year. Sorry I have been scarce. Over the last month I’ve enjoyed the holidays and laid low as well as spent some time bouncing around Lake Michigan checking out lighthouses and resort towns in Michigan. I’ve been active as a Contributing Writer on The Awesome Mitten as well as recently writing my first guest post for the Pure Michigan blog.

St. Jpseph, Michigan lighthouse, Lake Michigan selfie

St. Joseph, Michigan lighthouse along Lake Michigan.

It’s now time to kick the coffee consumption and elATLboy adventures and writing back into full gear. In addition the process has begun in figuring out where I want to take this blog going forward. There will be lots of Michigan travel ahead, with Atlanta, the Great Lakes region and long distance trips having their place as well.

I look forward to what the rest of the year will bring in terms of this blog, travel and coffee consumption. Hope to see you “Out on the Open Road” along the way!