A few weeks back I had the chance to play tourist in my own town and head to the Sky Deck at the Sears Willis Tower. It'd been quite a few years since I'd been up there, and I was anxious to see if I'd have the nerve to go out on one of those psycho-glass-box-obserervation decks (I did). The views from up there are obviously top notch, especially on a clear Fall day. Sky Deck, Chicago, 2012 Sky Deck, Chicago, 2012 Sky Deck, Chicago, 2012 Woman in a Cube, Chicago, 2012 Instagrammer, Chicago, 2012
Besides touring the coast and driving along the mountains towards Paso Robles, we spent a decent amount of time in San Francisco hanging out with some of our closest and bestest pals. One afternoon Heather, Stephen, and myself went for a stroll and happened upon The Palace of Fine Arts building near the Marina District. As you can tell, it looks like a building that's confused about what time period it is. Pretty stunning.
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 2012 Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 2012 Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 2012 Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 2012 Young Americans, San Francisco, 2012 Stephen; Contemplating, San Francisco, 2012
Per usual, we also made our way up to Napa. This was Gretchen's first visit there - needless to say she was pretty excited.
View from Cade Winery, Napa Valley, 2012 View from Cade Winery, Napa Valley, 2012 One of These Persons is 40, Napa Valley, 2012
During the aforementioned trip south down HWY 1 from San Francisco, we took a turn and headed east towards Paso Robles. The landscape along HWY 46 quickly changed from ocean-side rock formations to lush, grass-filled mountains. There was also fog. Lots of fog.
Near Paso Robles California, 2012 Near Paso Robles California, 2012
Near Paso Robles California, 2012
Near Paso Robles California, 2012
On the way back towards the city we stopped at a park along 101 and went on a "hike," in that we walked and had to climb on some rocks. Tough racket.
Back in May HK and I headed out west to San Francisco for chance to meet up with friends, head to Napa with Jeff and Gretchen, and see some sites that we somehow have missed out on during previous visits. We spent a few days driving the coast along HWY 1 - how I have never done this before I do not know, but I'm glad I finally did.
Big Sur, California, 2012 Pfeiffer Beach, California, 2012 Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California, 2012
A few weeks back some pals went up to Milwaukee (which may be the coolest city in America, no joke) for the weekend. I'm never not amazed by the businesses and institutions that are thriving in this great city (if you ever are in Milwaukee and you don't go to Angelo's Piano Lounge, well, then you still haven't gone toMilwaukee). One of the places we checked out was Koz's Mini Bowl, which is exactly what it sounds like - a damn tiny bowling alley. It's housed in a nondescript bar on a residential street, and it's awesome.
But first, the stunning view from our hotel window. Revitalizing Juneau, Milwaukee, 201
Keith As a Giant, Milwaukee, 2012
Koz's (Notice the Pin Setter?), Milwaukee, 2012
Kintner Tells Niki Another Off-Color Joke, Milwaukee, 2012
Rarely is there a February day in Chicago that is comfortable enough to get on your bike and take a ride by the Lake, but this Winter has yielded more than one. End Times, or so it seems. May as well enjoy it while we can, right?
This past weekendHK and I did some driving on and off I94, touring around areas of Western Michigan that we've somehow never bothered to check out. There's wineries out there, you know? It's like it's the Napa Valley of the Midwest (not really, but whatever). Anyhow, making the short drive from Chicago is not a bad way to spend a day, especially when the landscape is covered with a fresh white blanket.