Category Archives: City

Part 1: Bucket List

I’m getting the travel bug again.  It’s a lovely thing when it bites, but not so lovely when the funds aren’t exactly there to indulge it.  I have a few countries for which I feel this overwhelming urge to pay a visit to. Apparently, I need to make a Part 2 for this post, since I can keep on adding to this list.

Well, after looking for all the “right” pictures to include in this post, I kind of feel like I’ve visited these countries already.  Not.  Looking at pictures isn’t a good substitute.

England

Ireland

New Zealand

Greece

Israel

Kenya

*Note: if you click on the photos it will take you back to the original link (National Geographic, TrekEarth, ect.)

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America’s Coffee Mecca

Being an avid coffee drinker, I decided to review the ‘Coffee Mecca’ of America…Seattle, Washington.  Home to Seattle’s Best and Starbucks, this coffee drinking city is by far the place to go for a real coffee experience.

Seattle, Washington...who else would give a cup of joe its own neon sign?!

Bauhaus Coffee

Okay, I admit it…I am drawn to the 50’s art, architecture, furniture design…so when I saw the Bauhaus Coffee house I knew I had to check it out just a little bit more.

The coffee shop opened in 1993, and has since established itself as “the place” to bring a book or your laptop and chill out over a cup of coffee, espresso, or even tea.  Scones, croissants and doughnuts are also available to go with your beverage.  The oversized windows offer amazing views of the Space Needle and all the city foot traffic.  Bauhaus Coffee opens in the morning and doesn’t close until the early morning hours…1 a.m.  Once a month on Thursday evenings, they show a film (typically something old school)…can be anything from sci-fi from the 1960’s to a silent film from the 1920’s.  Kinda quirky, kinda fun.

mmmmmm...le café! (thanks to Bauhaus Coffee)

Caffé Vita

The cafe is located on Pike Street…and have also have others scattered throughout Washington.  Here’s a little bio about them from them:

“A desire to bring great espresso to Seattle was the catalyst behind our success. We began at the base of Queen Anne in 1995 and have since added five cafes and a roasterie, and we’ve enjoyed growing with the community and honing in our craft of coffee quality and service.”

They brew their own coffee and sell their own coffee.  Here’s a list of some of the varieties they offer:

Caffé del Sol (Blend)

Rich and complex, this espresso blend consists of Latin American, African, and Indonesian coffees. It has hints of dark chocolate and praline, and a silky, deep amber crema with a caramel finish. 

Sumatra Mandheling (Indonesia)

This classic Sumatra Mandheling coffee is grown in the mountains and valleys surrounding Lake Tawar in the Aceh province of northern Sumatra. It has heavy body, a hint of earthiness, and a buttery flavor and texture.

Ethiopian Shashamane (Farm Direct)

A fully washed light- to medium-bodied coffee with flavors of lemon and orange blossom balanced with honey and fruit. There are 448 employees at the farm that produced this coffee, which is located 3 kilometers northeast of Yirgacheffe, at an altitude of 1800 meters. In addition to growing and harvesting, they wash and process all their coffee to ensure the finest quality.

Tanzania Ruvuma (Africa)

We obtain this fine east African coffee from the Ruvuma region in southern Tanzania, near the environs of Mbinga. Grown on rich volcanic soil by a collection of small farmers, this coffee dazzles with citrus and dark berry juice flavors, reminiscent of coffees from neighboring Kenya.

Mexican Chiapas (America)

Originating in the mountains surrounding the village of Motozintla, this is a bright, high-grown coffee with distinct citrus flavor and spicy aftertaste.

Trabant Coffee and Chai

Unique little hangout.  Catering to the college crowd, Trabant Coffee and Chai kind of seems like a mom and pop version of Panera Bread.  They have breakfast and lunch menus to go along with their beverage selections.  One nifty little difference from Panera Bread is that they also have musicians come in and play for the customers…usually indie genre.  Kind of a fun touch.

Last one…but definitely not the least!

Caffe Ladro

7 locations in Seattle alone.  Unique interiors.  Voted #1 Coffee Shop in 2010 by Seattle Magazine.  Displays local artists’ works (which can also be purchased).  It’s an Espresso Bar and Bakery.

“In Spanish, Caffe Ladro means “coffee thief,” and, as its name suggests, these neighborhood coffeehouses have clearly made off with a number of caffeine fans from the nearby chains. Customers toss their coats over their chairs and the regulars feel comfortable leaning over the counter to use the phone. A variety of pastries are available to munch with espresso drinks–a slice of deep dish fruit pie is a filling, if totally unhealthy, lunch.”  …these are the words used to describe the place by one reviewer I found.

Caffe Ladro on Pine Street (thanks to Chris Daniel)

Gotta make a Seattle’s Best Coffee run after this…

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In Chi-Town

“Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town.  Chicago, Chicago, I’ll show you around…”

You can leave it up to Frank Sinatra to do the showin’ around in Chi-Town, or you can go see for yourself what this city has to offer.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed spending the day cruising down the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave.)…although I highly recommend you do the cruising on foot.  Save gas, parking moolah, and there’s the opportunity to be outside soaking up the city.  Can’t get much better than that!

Downtown Chicago in the Evening

Where to stay…

There are plenty of hotels to choose from…luxury, boutique, and the money savers.    There are also a handful of Bed and Breakfasts in the area, if that suits your fancy.

Here’s a small list of what the Windy City has to offer in terms of accommodations:

Rafaeollo

http://www.chicagoraffaello.com/

Located on the famed Magnificent Mile, Rafaello has been recently renovated.  Its guest rooms are decorated with subtle earth tones in a European/modernist style.  During the late spring and into early fall, the rooftop deck is opened for you…catch a few rays or admire the night sky.

Rates start at $155 per night.

Hotel Monaco

http://www.monaco-chicago.com/index.html

Hotel Monaco is a boutique/luxury hotel located a few steps away from Michigan Ave. (the Magnificent Mile) and Millennium Park.  The hotel goes to great lengths to ensure its patrons experience its sights, sounds, testers, and tastes.  It’s not your ordinary hotel.

And for those who are actively concerned about the environment, Monaco is Green Seal Silver Certified.  They’ve met the environmental standards which were designed to reduce effect on human health and the environment.  Hats off to them, they were 1 out of 37 in the nation to be certified.

Old Chicago Inn Bed and Breakfast

http://www.oldchicagoinn.com/index.html

Innkeepers Cliff Hagerman and hosts Todd and Virginia Hyatt run this B&B.  It’s in a turn of the century Greystone, located in the heart of Lakeview just four blocks from Wrigley Field.

The rooms are cozy and charming.  A continental breakfast is served daily.

Chi-Town has a bit of everything for everyone.  Experience the thrill of Six Flags amusement park.  Take a stroll on beach or go for a swim in Lake Michigan.  Shop the Magnificent Mile.  Explore the arts of yesterday and today at the Art Institute.  Try some of the ethnic and not-so-ethnic food Chicago has to offer.  Book tickets to a Cubs game, the theater, or a concert.

Art Institute of Chicago (thanks to J. Nguyen)

Chicago Theatre (thanks to Joe M500 from WEST LOOP CHICAGO)

I thought this looked a little interesting…The Dinner Detective, an interactive dinner mystery show.

“The Dinner Detective is America’s LARGEST murder mystery comedy dinner show!  You’ll enjoy a fantastic four-course plated dinner while you solve a hilarious murder case.  A tantalizing Prize Package awaits our Top Sleuth of the evening.  But be careful!  In this show, EVERYONE is a suspect, even YOU, and the killer might be at your table!”

Kind of a fun twist to an evening if you ask me.

For more info go to their webpage: http://www.thedinnerdetective.com/sites/chicago/

I just gave a very small sample of what Chicago has to offer.  My advice…go there and experience it yourself!

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