Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sweet [ fill-in-the blank] Chicago // #MakingMajorLifeDecisions

This weekend I followed the roads down Lake Michigan that led to Chicago! Green Bay is not exactly the most exciting place, I mean, it has it's moments. But for the most part, there is a reason why Wisconsin is known so well for beer... you generally need to be drunk to enjoy most of what's here!

Okay, cool your jets fellow Wisconsinites! That last statement was definitely harsh and not entirely true. Wisconsin is gorgeous with a bounty of outdoor activities, but, you have to admit, it does lack severely in the big city offerings.

Where in Wisconsin would streets be shut down for a huge festival celebrating the LGTB community? I can't think of anywhere either. I happened to have an appointment in Boystown on Saturday where I was greeted with the rowdy crowds for Market Days. Unfortunately I missed out on Neon Trees performing Today! 

It's okay though, because I got an even more interesting show by some fabulous queens! These ladies seriously know how to radiate confidence and gather crowds! 

This is the one street in Chicago I know I know I will never be harassed by men.

Now, for the real reason I drove down to Chitown this Saturday?
I signed a lease! 

That appointment I mentioned above, was with my new real estate company! In a month I'll be packing my bags and moving down to the most perfect, little studio apartment! I am currently in progress of applying to Dev Bootcamp, an intensive 9-week course that pumps out some pretty solid web developers... and I hope to make myself one of them! 

Here's a sneak-peek into the furnishings and decor of my soon-to-be room. I've already named my new apartment "The Bullpen", because I clearly have no shame and I basically grew up in barns. Between Ikea, Target and the many junk piles of my parent's backyard, I have been able to go wild with turning my inner-city apartment into a little piece of Wisconsin. Yes, there's going to be a cowhide rug and bull-horns along with lots of natural, exposed wood.

All I think it needs is more cowbell! 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

#4thOfJuly Weekend Festivities

After an insane winter, the warmth of summer feels so incredibly nice. I'll even take the humidity! There is nothing like falling asleep to the hum of the air conditioner, having sunnies permanently affixed to my head or long naps in the sun. Better yet, was having all this glorious weather present for the long holiday weekend! 

Friday started with a Starbucks fueled ride up to Door County with my sister and her family, keeping north until we hit the top of the peninsula. The most I've ever seen of  the islands off the tip of Door County was in the distance, but on the fourth a 45-minute ferry ride fixed that. And let me tell ya, it's not easy keeping a gaggle of 5-7 year olds entertained in all that time either... which is why I left that up to the captains. On both trips. Yes, those kids weaseled their way next to the crew twice!

On the island, the first stop was to get some food and join the infamous Bitter Club. After much debate with my sister on what bitters actually is, we took the challenge of taking a shot! The second it went down I wiped my mouth and it looked like I was bleeding from the mouth. It was disgusting. That little business-card sized piece of paper was totally worth it.

After our induction the club of all clubs on the island, we went to the beach of all beaches. Schoolhouse beach is known for it's rounded, white-pebbled beach, which is a dream if you're the type of person who never seems to be able to get rid of sand even weeks after last visiting a beach! 

As I mentioned, the winter was loooong and cold, leaving Lake Michigan in a chilly state, still. That didn't hold me back from at least a few solid minutes of snorkeling around the rocky beach. I can confirm there is not much to see except for large, white rocks of varying size. 


The trip wasn't without some thrill, for the kiddos at least! One stop had them strapping up and zipping down a 30ft tower. While I've never been zip lining, I had jumped off cliffs higher than this tower. I figured I'd save my first time for something special and exotic. Recommendations are always welcome!

Of course the 4th isn't complete without ending the night with a series of incredibly bright and loud bangs! Our chauffeur drove us back down to Kewaunee where we hung out in one of the old, industrial buildings near the lakeshore until dusk, mostly to avoid the chill of the lake breeze (anyone who's been around the Great Lakes knows what I'm talking about).

When dusk approached, we headed towards the beach, arguing along the way on where the fireworks were going to be shot off. Turns out, they weren't launched from the usual location and our view was initially obscured by trees. They were not distracting us enough from the bumps arising on our skin from the cool night air and accompanying mosquitoes. We started heading back to the car when we thought they were finished and ended up watching the rest in the comfort of the car. 

Saturday made up for the lackluster display in Kewaunee as my very large, extended family gathered at my aunt's annual 4th of July party. As always, there was plenty of food, fireworks and drunk relatives. I self-proclaimed myself the event photographer for the night and literally took hundreds of photos of fireworks. Without fail, if there are fireworks, I cannot stop taking photos. I have a problem. 

They're just so pretty though! Aren't they!?
Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

 Here's the the 2nd half of summer,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

#TravelTasmania // Bay of Fire

While Australia is definitely know for it's stunning coasts and beaches, I didn't think Tasmania would be any competition with the likes of the Gold Coast, Sydney's Eastern 'burbs, Cairns, Byron Bay and so on. But I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, Tasmania had something those other locations didn't; an incredibly serene and peaceful environment to enjoy the blaze of lichen covered rocks along the Bay of Fires. 

It could just be me, but places start to lose their appeal when having to squeeze through dense crowds of people. That was something we fortunately never had to worry about in Tasmania, in fact, it was stark contrast to the year and a half spent living in Sydney. It was a treat to be able to climb around these rocks with few other souls around. 

The brightly colored rocks don't stop in Bingalong Bay. While it is definitely the most accessible, being in the heart of a charming, small town, it was only a warm-up for our next location! We continued driving in search for our next potential stop. And by 'we', I mean Vivi continued driving and I continued pretending to know where we were meant to be going while intuitively looking a map and occasionally pointing.

 I couldn't even really tell you where this next place is, I think we'd had just sort of taken a chance and went down a random, winding road until we hit the coast. There may have been a sign on the main highway informing of a park, but other than that, we knew were were safe with knowing that majority of the east coast was littered with the lichen.

Eventually we made it to the next brightly colored, rocky coastline where it basically felt like were were trespassing. The only sign of civilization besides a small parking lot and packed-down paths was a farm with probably one of the best views ever. Lucky cows for sure.

The rock formations here were HUGE! We made it into our own natural playground as we climbed to see the best views and to see how close we could get to the water. 

After climbing around the rocks, we spotted a path towards the beach that was calling our names. The water in Tasmania is undeniably  the clearest I've ever seen the entire three years I spent living and exploring Australia. As chilly as the water is, I always had a huge desire to jump right in and somehow magically morph myself into a mermaid.

I feel like every photo I took here could be on a postcard. This random location had turned out to be a true treat, with a unique blend of sights on top of the already stunning rocks. But alas, our romantic, long walk on the beach had to come to an end as the rest of Tasmania was calling!

After the Bay of Fires, we said our farewells to the East Coast and made our way inland, making a stop at the most old school petrol station first. After all, we had a long road a head of us where there would be vast nothingness. Fortunately, there we a few pleasant surprises along the way to our next destination, Cradle Mountain. But that's for next time... 

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