Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo Friday: Japan

Introducing Photo Friday where I will be sharing one photo each week from  either past or present travels.

May 2006

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chicago City Sights: Crown Fountain

A few weeks ago my parents were in town for my grad school commencement ceremony. While they were in town my husband and I took them around to a few tourist spots in Chicago. My parents aren't much for museums so we explored other options instead. Since we had one of the first beautiful days of the year while they were visiting, we took them over to Millennium Park. We strolled past the Cloud Gate, walked through Crown Fountain and then found a shady spot to relax and people watch for awhile. 

Crown Fountain was built to resemble the many skyscrapers in the city. Water cascades down the sides of the two towers that face each other. Images of everyday people emerge on the screens and periodically water sprays out from their mouths. On warm summer days the area is filled with people cooling off from the hot afternoon sun by walking through the water that pools between the sculptures. I always enjoy stopping by, even if just for a few minutes, to take in the fun atmosphere. And of course cool off by walking through the water myself!    

Have you spent a relaxing day enjoying one of Chicago's parks?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

About Me: Interview Feature

Hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. This post will be short and sweet.

I am currently sponsoring Belinda from Found Love, Now What? and she has an interview feature with me up on her blog. Click here to check it out and learn a little more about me.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Graduate School Commencement

A week ago I attended the commencement ceremony for the graduate school.  After two long years of hard work I finally earned my Master of Arts degree in History! Graduation is scheduled so early in May that I submitted my last paper less than 24 hours prior to the ceremony and I hadn't even heard if I'd passed yet. Talk about anxiety. Good news to report though...I passed! It still doesn't feel quite real though. 

I am now faced with some difficult career choices. I'm at a crossroads and I'm unsure where my next adventure will take me. I'm considering teaching abroad for the next year, finding a job locally, or moving to a new state for a fresh start (only which one?). The next few weeks/months will bring big changes and I'm ready for them. As I've learned along the way, the only thing you can control in life is yourself. Do the work and be ready when the opportunity you want comes along.    

For the time being, I'm going to take delight in my recent accomplishment. It was hard earned and making it this far has only reinforced that I can do anything I set my mind to. I don't need to have all of the answers right now, in time, they will come.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Travel Tuesday: St. Joseph, Michigan

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm starting to plan for weekend trips this summer.  This summer we are focusing on exploring the local sites. Now that grad school is over, I need to concentrate on finding a full time job so long distance travel is out for the time being.

As I started to make a list, the first thing that came to mind is St. Joseph, Michigan. We took a road trip there last September to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. Since beach season was over, there were few tourists and we had a great mini getaway. From the Chicago area, Michigan is only a few hours away by car so it makes for a great weekend trip. There are a string of towns to stop in along the way. On our way from Chicago, we stopped at the Indiana Sand Dunes for a picnic lunch and then a tour at Journeyman Distillery. The distillery is fairly new and operates in an old corset factory.     

When we arrived in St. Joseph, we checked into our hotel then enjoyed an early dinner at El Cozumel before heading to the beach.

It was too cold to lay out, but we had a nice walk along the beach. 

And my husband was brave enough to dip his feet in the water. It was a bit cold!

We walked up the street to the Whirlpool Centennial Park where we had fun playing in the water fountain.

My husband loves to pose for funny pictures. Don't worry, he's not actually drinking that water, although I think he did get splashed in the face! 

And who can resist a photo op at the SuperBoy Pizza Booth?

We ended the evening watching a beautiful sunset near the lighthouse. 

 Overall, it was a great little getaway to celebrate our anniversary. I can't wait to return this summer for another visit!

Have you seen this side of Michigan? What was your favorite experience?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Getting To Know Me!

In case you wanted to learn a little more about who I am, I've put together a short list of things I love.

I Love...

1.  Rocking out to the radio while I'm driving in my car. Think Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, flipping stations until I find the right tune, then belting it out as I drive along.

2.  Eating soup. I love to slurp my soup! Frankly, it just tastes better that way. It may seem rude, but I doubt I'll ever stop. #sorrynotsorry

3. Being outdoors all summer long. Some of my favorite things to do outside are: enjoying meals/cocktails at an outdoor restaurant patio, hiking, rollerblading, soaking up the sun, reading, sightseeing, walking along the beach, photography...And the list goes on...

4. Learning. I never, ever want to stop learning something new. That's one of the reasons I love traveling so much. And school, can't get enough of that either!

5. Picture books. I love photo books and photo albums. I always create digital scrapbooks with my travel pictures and order a copy so I can easily revisit those memories anytime. I also have a large collection of coffee table photo books that I love to peruse for inspiration. As much as I love Pinterest, I'll never get bored browsing through a physical book that I can hold in my hands.

6.  Walking barefoot in the grass.

7.  Picnics. I love eating outdoors in the summer. Rolling out a blanket in the park, eating, drinking and napping or reading the afternoon away, sounds like a great summer day to me!          

What are some of your favorite things?