Tag Archives: wanderlust

A Couple Dozen Random & Fun Facts About Me

Hello friends and followers! Recently reading some random and fun fact posts from other travel bloggers, I’d thought it would be cool to share some random and fun facts about me. I write mostly about travel and coffee as many of you know, which is highlighted of course some below. The goal though is to also show who I am outside of this blog. Well without further ado.

  1. I like to cook. Stuffed peppers, Filipino corned beef hash, sweet fried rice, bacon wrapped anything on the grill and no bake cool-whip pumpkin pie are just a few of my favorite things to make.
  2. Random and fun facts about me, grilling wrapping everything in bacon
  3. My favorite vegetable is the onion. I cry some when cutting them up. It’s because they are so beautiful.
  4. My favorite ice cream flavor would be cookies and cream (wait not coffee!).
  5. My favorite drink has varied from time-to-time. Right now I’d say a basic whiskey and coke, preferably made with Canadian Club.
  6. Ok I’ll admit I enjoy the colorful, fruity, good-looking cocktails you find at bars as well. A pumpkin spiced martini? You bet.
  7. Growing I was hooked to the Sci-Fi television show, Sliders.
  8. I listen to a lot of Metallica. Of course that would be prominent on a road trip playlist.
  9. My favorite color is blue.
  10. About me elATLboy - along blue Lake Michigan with blue skies above
  11. Got to pay the bills right? By day I am in the IT, web development and e-commerce world. When I’m working at the coffee shop, it’s not all photo processing and trip daydreaming. I’m working on WordPress, PHP and solving computer issues.
  12. I love, love, love coffee even more than I let on. I probably drink too much of it on a daily basis.
  13. I have a little toddler running around at home who is my favorite person in the whole world, along with the love of my life. I can’t wait to take him on the road with me. The coffee will have to wait haha.
  14. Random and fun facts about me, my little man
  15. It’s PC with me not Apple, Samsung Galaxy not the iPhone.
  16. Before the Internet became a thing I got excited as a kid every week waiting for that next addition of Sports Illustrated to come in the mail.
  17. I wanted to be weatherman growing up. My favorite TV channel is the Weather Channel which is what you will find on in the morning as I am having my first coffee.
  18. Favorite place I have been to -> New Zealand. Need I say more?!
  19. I have one younger brother who experiences New Zealand every day, as he lives there full-time.
  20. I was extremely shy as a kid. I’ve become more extroverted as an adult. You’ll even find me mingling with sheep.
  21. About Me elATLboy, mingling with sheep in New Zealand
  22. My favorite cities are Atlanta (hence the ATL part in my name), San Francisco and Chicago.
  23. ATL is in the name, but I spend the majority of my time now in Michigan. I return to Atlanta as often as I can.
  24. I love pizza. I could eat it every day. The more toppings the better!
  25. My favorite movie(s) is The Back to the Future trilogy.
  26. I love being on the road, but what makes for a great evening now days is lying low and spending it with my family.
  27. What’s at the top of the travel bucket list? I’d say Seattle. Why? One publication says they have 1,692 coffee shops. I’d try to explore them all!
  28. Since I was a kid, the Denver Broncos have been my favorite professional sports team. I grew up idiolizing John Elway and have travelled to see them play in several stadiums.
  29. About Me elATLboy - watching the Denver Broncos play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better.


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?

New Zealand’s Lake Hawea in Pictures.

I’ve written about New Zealand. I’ve talked about my wanderlust. If you were to combine the two, the spot that brings out the wanderlust in me in NZ is Lake Hawea on the South Island.

This glacial lake just outside Wanaka is a deep blue and crystal in color and mountains serve as its backdrop. It makes for a scenic day trip from Wanaka and Queenstown with plenty of outdoor fun options.

I thought I’d share some larger versions of photos I took and used in my original Lake Hawea post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. I took them at the Lookout Point! on State Highway 6 along the western shoreline.

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand, elatlboy selfie, The Adventures of elATLboy

Do you have a spot in New Zealand or anywhere else that takes your wanderlust to the next level?

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?


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! 🙂
Aaron & The Adventures of elATLboy