I try to get to a couple of National Parks a year to just escape the rush of the life in the city. This year we chose to head to Grand Teton National Park in the Northwest corner of Wyoming. The park itself stretches for miles along the base of the mountain range, and sitting right at the foot of the mountains are a few lakes that provide a beautiful experience unlike any park I have been to yet. The lakes feed the Snake River which winds its way through the park. We spent a week at the park, and feel like that was barely enough time to scratch the surface of the entire park. This is definitely a spot I plan on returning to in the future.
One of the most serene landscapes can be seen at schwabachers landing where beaver dams have slowed the flow of the river, and allowed for gorgeous, uninterrupted reflections of the Grand Tetons.
Mormon Row is an old settlement that has been maintained throughout the years, and offers a very unique perspective of the jagged peaks. As with most parts of the park this is best seen in the morning hours.
Oxbow Bend at sunrise with a swan swimming towards Mount Moran.
We like to go camping, and this past weekend we were at Stockton Lake in Southwest Missouri. We had been here last year and I didn’t bring my camera, and you can see why I was disappointed in myself. The spot that we camp has direct lake access and for the most part is secluded. Let me know if you like it!
This past weekend we attended a wedding in Garden City, KS, and on the way back we decided to drive through Greensburg. This is the town that was completely destroyed by an EF-5 tornado May 4, 2007, and instead of closing its doors became the “greenest” city in the world. They have rebuilt using the LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) program set by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) as the foundation for any new building. So far Main Street has been developed with retail shops, a bank, the school, City Hall, and the Kiowa Community Center.
One of the best stories behind a building in the town is the Arts Center that was named in honor of the day that changed the town forever 5.4.7 Arts Center. This building was designed and built by students at the University of Kansas through the Studio 804 program. Overall it was a very positive experience to drive through the town that has come up from the ashes, and see new building happening all around keeps the growing town looking ahead instead of behind. This year the former Twilight theater will be rebuilt and re-open showing first run movies, and the “Big Well” is just about finished, and it will re-open the deepest hand-dug well in the world on May 26th.
In Kansas City, the Boulevard Brewery is just enough off the beaten path that you probably wouldn’t just stumble upon it, even though it is no more than 1/4 mile off the highway on Southwest (Boulevard). It is a place that locals love to brag about to their out-of-town guests, and the tours are so popular that you have to make reservations months in advance in order to secure a spot. The building itself is the old Santa Fe Railroad building, where sheets, table linens, napkins, etc. were cleaned for the passenger cars. It has since been added on to once already in order to accommodate the demand in new markets accross the country, and is currently undergoing further rennovations for the same reason. Boulevard is a big part of the Kansas City community, and is one of the founders of the ripple glass program in the city that recycles all shapes, colors, and sizes of glass. If you are ever in the Kansas City area make sure you book a tour and enjoy some locally made craft beer.
Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit, and this time we went over one of its biggest holidays(St. Patricks day). We took some time to enjoy the lesser known parts of Chicago, at least by tourist standards, but I actually really enjoyed the little neighborhoods we explored. That being said, I only really captured a few little pieces from Chicago, and it may epitomize the tourist spots, but here is the first batch of shots from the weekend.
We made a brief stop in Sydney, Australia and it rained pretty much all three days we had there. We stayed in the middle of the CBD near George Street. Sydney has a larger city feel, and almost everything you would want to do is accessible by either train, bus or ferry. We explored the main tourist areas as well as some off the beaten path places. I think our favorite find was a little brewery in Manly Beach called Four Pines. We spent a rainy afternoon trying out some craft beers and enjoying some sweet chili and sour cream wedges.
We began our trip in Melbourne, the largest city in the southeastern state of Victoria. Just as any other cosmopolitan city, Melbourne has a very vibrant downtown, or Central Business District(CBD), with great public transportation. The city is self described as a “melting pot,” and the variety of cafes and coffee shops makes every block you walk down an exploration of the city’s character. Melbourne, if not all of Australia, is a very pedestrian place. There are tons of little districts scattered throughout the city that encourage you to leave your wheel based transportation for a slower, more intimate form of exploration. So it is with this knowledge of the city that I bring you to my personal explorations of this eclectic city.