Tag Archives: travel

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?

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?

An Updated Travel (and Coffee) Bucket List

It’s been over four years since I made my first travel bucket list. Boy does time fly. Alaskan Cruise done. Small-town holiday carriage ride check. Driving all of the Great Lakes Circle tours to completion, off to a great start. Besides that though I have not had the chance to do anything else on the list.

That isn’t to say I haven’t done anything. The last four years have been great. Lots of travel yes, but I have also gotten married, purchased a home and recently our first child was welcomed into the world. More on that wonderful addition in an upcoming post. 🙂 I have also become obsessed in a good way with a thing called coffee and I now look at the coffee shop as second home.

Keeping all that in mind my priorities have changed. While the things at the top of my original travel bucket list will stay, this edition will feature more items close to the homestead, a lot involving coffee and also ones related to family and kid travel. As with any list like this it is always a work in progress.

Travel bucket list, coffee bucket list, Michigan bucket list

Well as I like to say, without further ado:

  1. Visit places significant to my family history, local and far.
  2. Take my boy on our first father-son coffee outing. That will be the first item that gets crossed off. Down the road, have our first father-son day road trip.
  3. Experience every new independent coffee shop that opens, soon after opening within an hours drive from home. Sorry no chains.
  4. Visit coffee hotbeds in the states that I have yet to dive into specifically Seattle and Portland. Northwest coffee trip anyone? Could throw Vancouver in there too.
  5. Really dive into Ann Arbor and Detroit, exploring the hidden, unknown gems outside of the tourist trap type places.
  6. Hawaii and the North Shore. Watched the short-lived FOX show North Shore a while back and have been clamouring for a visit there ever since.
  7. Complete all the Great Lakes circle tours and checkout every lighthouse along the way.
  8. Drive from Miami through the Florida Keys to Key West.
  9. Consume a bowl of New England Clam Chowder from as many locales in Cape Cod as possible as an adult. A favorite childhood memory with my dad. One I hope to share with my son one day. It would be just us two, my wife is not a fan of the chowder haha.
  10. Kayak to Turnip Rock in the thumb of Michigan.
  11. Hang out along and explore the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
  12. Explore the coffee scene internationally, specifically London and Wellington.
  13. Attend a Denver Broncos home game with my son (my favorite professional sports team). I’ve been to a lot of Bronco road games but never set foot in Mile High Stadium, now Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This is bucket list item #1.
  14. Go winery hopping with the wifey on the west side of Michigan or up by Traverse City.
  15. Have an Irish coffee in a small-town in Ireland on a cool morning day.
  16. Take a hot air balloon ride in San Francisco, Napa Valley and Sonoma with my wife. Winery hop.
  17. Have gained on this some. Capture pictures of all 50 welcome-to United States state signs. Rats, would be a lot further along on this if I took pictures as a kid haha.
  18. Visit a coffee plantation, where the magic all begins.
  19. Watch a barista competition up close.
  20. Walk the Santa Cruz boardwalk in California holding my wife’s hand on one side and my sons on the other.
  21. Spend a weekend at Mackinac Island in Michigan. Can’t believe I have never been there.
  22. Complete or at least attempt a food challenge seen on Man v. Food Nation.
  23. Drive the Tunnel of Trees in northern Michigan in Autumn.
  24. Enjoy a family, fun-filled weekend on the Lake Michigan beaches in Michigan.
  25. Spend a day at an independent coffee shop, side-by-side with a barista(s) learning the ins-and-outs of coffee-making.
  26. Return to Disneyland, Disney World and other theme parks this time with my wife and the little one in hand.
  27. Experience a lot more of what New Zealand has to offer, starting with Wellington.
  28. A general item, go up-top the tallest buildings in as many big cities as possible to capture the views from above.

That is my updated travel (and coffee) bucket list. Hope to see you all “Out on the open road”. 🙂

What are some new additions to your travel bucket list that were not on the first edition?

Travel Quotes Inspiring the Wanderlust In Me.

Wanderlust. That is something I have experienced my whole life and will happily continue to do so. One of the things that feeds it is all the travel quotes and memes that fill up my Twitter and Facebook feeds these days.

These quotes are meant to inspire and show how you should be experiencing travel and everything the world has to offer. They definitely affect me in a positive way.

Below are some of the ones that I have come across often and/or are the ones that really inspire me to get back out on the open road and explore.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”  – Anonymous

Travel Quote - “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle

“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen

\Travel Quote - "To travel is to live."

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” ― Pat Conroy

“See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream.” ― Ray Bradbury

“The Wanderlust has got me… by the belly aching fire” ― Robert W. Service

“The journey is the destination.” ― Dan Eldon

“I travel to be replenished with beauty, for travel makes the beauty of this world seem like a Christmas that never ends.” ― Carew Papritz

“I love getting lost on purpose” ― Lisa Desrochers

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

Travel Quote - "Travel is the only thing that makes you richer"

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown. You travel for the unknown, that reveals you within yourself.” – Ella Maillart

“Travel is the art form available to Everyman. You sit in the coffee shop in a strange city and nobody knows who you are, or cares, and so you shed your checkered past and your motley credentials and you face the day unarmed … And onward we go and some day in the distant future, we will stop and turn around in astonishment to see all the places we’ve been and the heroes we were.” ― Garrison Keillor

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Travel Quote - “Not all those who wander are lost.”

What travel quotes bring out the wanderlust in you?

 

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