Labor Day Truck Parade 2016, Holland

Last week we took five day trip across Michigan state (which we will talk about in our upcoming posts) and luckily got the opportunity to witness 2016 Labor Day Truck Parade in our last stop Holland, Michigan. This parade wasn’t part of our itinerary, but while going through the upcoming events calendar on Holland’s official website, we found it really fascinating.

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Holland & Zeeland community have a special way to honor their local service providers and labor force by organizing a Truck parade. The parade starts from Zeeland around 9:15 a.m. towards Holland ending up at Civic Center in Holland followed by free ice cream & snacks for everyone.

We reached Civic Center around 9:30 a.m. where people had gathered in large number with family and friends across the street, anxiously waiting for the trucks. The parade started with Holland Police Cops, followed by 72 trucks ranging from Road services to Digital service providers finalizing with Holland and Zeeland fire trucks, closing up with Zeeland Police Cops.

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After the Parade got over, people gathered around Civic Center parking to have a closer look around the fascinating trucks. Kids got goodies & this year there were Frisbee for all.

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Tips:

  1. Try to be there by 9:00 a.m. if you want to grab a special spot, although you can get the view even if you reach just before the parade.
  2. You can bring along your chair which most people brought to enjoy the wait time and great Parade afterwards.
  3. Bring earplugs for kids as it can get loud.
  4. Ice-creams and snacks are free.

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Photo Blog: The Saga Of Lost & Found

Swept away by 2011 Tsunami in Japan, this Harley Davidson bike along-with other articles in a container drift across the Pacific ocean. Finally, it was spotted after more than an year, 4000 miles away on a beach of Graham Island in British Columbia, Canada.

The bike origin was unveiled by its Japanese number plate which it carried along for the long time. Although Harley Davidson offered to restore and return the bike to the owner but he requested to preserve the bike in same condition as a memorial to the victims of Tsunami. Currently this bike is under display at Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee since Oct, 2012.

Offbeat San Diego !!

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The famous city of California, San Diego has picturesque landscape, vast coast line, water sports and marine life. San Diego’s Zoo, Sea world and Downtown are major destinations attracting tourists throughout the year. But as we always look for less crowded and not so popular tourist spots, so we tried to explore some offbeat features this city has to offer on our two day trip.

San Diego Skyline view from Centennial parkIMG_3919

A perfect place to get the best view of San Diego downtown. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend few hours of calmness in Centennial park overlooking San Diego skyline.

Drive on San Diego-Coronado BridgeIMG_3934

Don’t miss the chance to drive on San Diego- Coronado bridge, a 2.1 miles long 5 lane bridge is part of State route 75. As Coronado Island is a Naval base, it took a while to join Coronado to mainland via bridge. Finally in 1969, this bridge was opened for  public,being 200 feet tall it allows naval base ships to pass underneath with no hassle.

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Coronado Beach, most beautiful white sand beach is mainly known for surfing. Driving down the San Diego-Coronado bridgea few blocks to the left, we got the view of radiant beach. This beach is along the Ocean Boulevard with free parking on road, restrooms and shower facilities on beach. Best time to visit the Coronado beach is early morning.

Have a look at the majestic bungalows in CoronadoIMG_3901

On one side of Ocean blvd is spectacular white sand beach and on other is a fine range of mansions and bungalows. Some of them are incredible piece of artwork while some depicts the lavish lifestyles, a few of these are also haunted.

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Located 15 miles away from downtown San Diego, Torrey Pines State Reserve is famous trekking and hiking destination offering various trails in this state reserve with a wide geographical range.

Stop and watch the Majestic SunsetIMG_3834

San Diego offers many places to experience breathtaking sunset. Wide coastline and cliffs of San Diego makes it a photographer’s paradise for capturing stunning sunset. La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines State Reserve are the best places to experience sunset across the ocean shore.

Sea Lions at La jolla CoveIMG_3679

Sea lions can be spotted in abundance around La Jolla Cove, either on the beach or rocks. These adorable creatures are pretty harmless and ready to pose while soaking in sun. Read it here 

Not to miss “Fish Tacos”IMG_8404

As a coastline area San Diego’s restaurants offers profusion of sea food. If you are foodie like us, must try the specialty of San Diego…Fish Tacos, a deep fried white fish on tortilla with some fresh lettuce, salsa and avocado along with slice of lime. Not to mention, San Diego has the best Mexican restaurants mainly in Old Town.

What’s on your list, if you visit San Diego?

Torrey Pines State Reserve: Diverse Trails & Panoramic View

While visiting San Diego we came across Torrey Pines State Reserve, a 15 miles drive from the city, it’s a 2000 acres state park running across the coast.

Offering spectacular beach, cliffs, flora & fauna, trails in abundance & rare torrey pines, this place is a bliss for nature lovers. It has been listed under National Natural Landmark and California State Parks for preserving “Torrey Pines” an endangered species of pines.

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Why to visit Torrey Pines State Reserve:

Hiking Trails :  Having 8 trails including Broken Hill Trail, Beach Trail, High Point Trail & many more this reserve attracts hikers throughout the year. Beach Trail, Guy Fleming & Razor Point Trail are considered as most famous among visitors. The Beach Trail, 3/4 miles stepped stretch takes you to the Torrey Pine State Beach.

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Beach Trail

Glider Port: Apart from hiking, this place also welcomes gliding enthusiasts for paragliding, tandem gliding and hang gliding. Perfectly positioned on the cliff above Black Beach, it’s an ideal way to get stunning view of the ocean, state reserve and La Jolla.

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Captivating Rock Formation: The most striking feature at reserve are the rock formations. This natural habitat is mostly rocky and has sedimentary rocks all over, mainly prone to erosion. That’s why fascinating formations have build along the trails over the vast expanse of time.

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Photographer’s Paradise: Even without an adventurous spirit, still you can enjoy the picturesque landscape or stroll around the park. One can spent a whole day either on the beach or sitting on the cliffs overlooking ocean.

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Travel Tips:

  1. Easiest way to reach Torrey Pine is by car.
  2. Being a natural reserve, food and drinks are not allowed except on the beach.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes for trekking, as trails are steep at points.
  4. Reserve remains open from 7:15 AM to sunset, all around the year.

Wollersheim Winery: Legacy of Prairie Du Sac

It’s almost an year since we landed in USA and tried to savor the best of every city we visited. On our trip to Madison, the capital of Wisconsin we planned our visit to Wollersheim Winery beautifully located across the Wisconsin River.

A 30 miles drive from Wisconsin State Capitol to Prairie Du Sac, then a steep walk uphill and you will be standing on the grounds of historic Wollersheim Winery.

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History of Wollersheim Winery: This journey started way back in 1840’s with Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy planting vines in slopes of the region. Unfortunately the European vines couldn’t survive the harsh winters of Wisconsin, so he left for California and later on became the founder of Wine industry.

Afterwards Peter Kehl took over the place and converted it into an American vineyard. But it was not before 1972 , when Robert and Joann Wollersheim took over the property and Wollersheim Winery came into existence. From there on there have been many additions and changes. Now this legacy is in hands of Philippe Coquard & Julie, daughter of Wollersheim’s, spread across 27 acres vineyards of French-American Hybrid grapes.

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Winery Tour: We took the winery tour which includes a short movie clip about winery’s history, walk around the building & a glance into fermentation room through window, followed by visit to cellars aging in basement which were the highlight of the tour. This guided tour ended in tasting room.

Wine Tour Cost -5 $ each person

After the winery tour do checkout the Historic Wine Cave, originally created by Agoston Haraszthy for wine cellars, which has been restored in 2013. Now it’s a museum showcasing history and artifacts of winery.

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Wine Tasting: While Featured wines are complimentary (included in the tour price), additional wines sampler are available for minimum charges. After a few sampler of the their signature wines Domaine du Sac & Port Wine, followed by  Pinot Noir & White Riesling , we took a bottle of Prairie Sunburst Red to have a sip outside in sun on a cold windy day.

Domaine Du Sac, a dry red one aged in French & American oak barrel is an estate grown wine along with Port Wine which on contrary is mild one with sweetness.

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With an amendment in state law in 2009, Wollersheim Winery bloomed by restarting its distillery in 2015 featuring Gin and Brandy.

Best time to visit: Wollersheim Winery remains open throughout the year, but summers are perfect to appreciate the vineyards with glass of wine and famous Wisconsin cheese.

Timings: Daily 10am to 5pm year around.

On your next visit to Madison, take a drive to this National Historic Site, also accessible from Milwaukee which is located 100 miles away.

Who doesn’t love Harley Davidson!!


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After taking an enjoyable ride with Untapped tour we headed for Harley Davidson Museum, a 130,000 sq ft building complex  on the banks of Menomonee river.

Known for its power-packed engines and booming sound, Harley Davidson started as a journey of 4 like minded people (William S. Harley and Arthur, Walter, William A. Davidson) back in 1903.hd-museum-front

Tickets : We bought the tickets along with Untapped tour and got it for 12$ each (saved 8$), you can buy it from museum also.

The museum got opened for public in year 2008, having 450 motorcycles and Harley Davidson Motor Company’s 110 year history artifacts. The museum has two floors, each displaying the history and archives from Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The museum comprises of The Engine Room,The Clubs and Competition gallery, The Motorcycle Gallery , Tank Wall, The Custom Culture gallery & The Experience Gallery. 

Engine Room: After entering the gallery experience the 1940’s Knucklehead Engine dismantled into multiple parts in the Engine Room. This is an exquisite experience for die   hard Harley fans, interacting with motor and sounds of engine. Do not miss the orange wall displaying the evolvement of Harley Davidson’s engines from the very first to the latest.

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The Motorcycle Gallery- Moving through the gallery on upper floor there is a chain of motorcycles depicting the glorious first 50 years. Each of this model is an important segment of the history, serving with postal department and US military, Harley has emerged out as top class motorcycle.IMG_3323IMG_3314

Tank Wall- Be ready to get amazed with 100 designs of Harley Davidson tanks custom-made since 1903 on a single wall. IMG_3337

The Custom Culture Gallery:  This section is dedicated to customized bikes featuring impact of Harley Davidson worldwide, like 13 foot long engine of ‘King Kong’, replica of Captain America and Easy rider bike and many more.

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“King Kong” Bike

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The Clubs and Competition gallery: Since its launch Harley Davidson has been part of many events and tournaments. This section is devoted to those golden moments and the recognition’s of vintage bikes with replica of racing tracks along with photographs and copy of articles to portray the glorious past.IMG_3327

The Experience Gallery: At last before you leave, experience the ride on Harley Davidson and get clicked. The gallery has a wide variety of bikes from the classic ones to the new.IMG_3367

Apart from the museum the premises also have” The shop” (featuring souvenirs, clothing, accessories and collectibles) and a restaurant.

Planning a visit Milwaukee? Make a stop here, you definitely don’t wanna miss this.

Untapped Tours: Get Acquainted With Milwaukee

Home to world famous breweries, Milwaukee is nearly 100 miles from Chicago. To get acquainted with this city brought us to Untapped Tours. We heard about this city tour from TripAdvisor and booked without giving it a second thought.

Why Untapped Tours? 

  • A 3 hours tour is the perfect way to explore Milwaukee with very well informed and engaging tour guide Mike.
  • The tour includes the bus ride through the famous streets, mansions and other landmarks of the city.
  • Except this Cheese tasting and Brewery visit are the highlights of the tour.
  • Take home the Souvenir Pint Glass.

Tickets: City Tour$38 p.p , Ticket Packages-$5o p.p. The Package includes City Tour with the tickets for Harley Davidson Museum(general admission only) by saving $8.

Book it here– Untapped Tours of Milwaukee

Tour Itinerary: 

City Hall- Pabst theater- Bronze Fonz- Wisconsin Gas Light Building-Milwaukee art museum- Mansions along Lake Michigan- North Point Lighthouse- Henry W. Maier Festival Park- Historic Third Ward- Clock Shadow Creamery- Miller Park- Miller Brewery- Tripoli Shrine Centre- Pabst Mansion- Lakefront Brewery.

Facts we came across through this trip:

  1. Milwaukee is home to 4 major breweries, Pabst, Miller, Schlitz &Blatz.
  2. Tripoli Shrine Centre is replica of renowned Taj Mahal.
  3. This city is also home to Harley Davidson.
  4. Summerfest , World’s Largest Music Festival is held every year in Milwaukee.
  5. The Wisconsin Gas Building’s flame is an exceptional way to forecast weather.

Travel Tips:

  • Go for Untapped tour if you want to see the best what Milwaukee has to offer.
  • Or you do not have any idea about Milwaukee and its history.
  • This tour starts from City Hall and one has to reach at least 15 minutes earlier.
  • If you are visiting Milwaukee by car then you can park near City Hall.
  • As this is a 3 hr Bus Tour, so plan accordingly.

Do check out Milwaukee In A Day ! for more information.

Untapped tour turned out as an incredible journey through the iconic landmarks of the city. Have you ever came across such a tour?

 

Walls Embedded With Historical & Architectural Relics In Chicago

 

Home to WGN radio and a lot many fragments from famous architectural marvels around the world, Tribune Tower is on the edge of eminent Magnificent Mile of Chicago.

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Initial structure was taken by great Chicago fire in 1871 and then with inspiring Neo-Gothic design by Hood and Howell the current face of Tower finally concluded in 1925.
This tower houses today Chicago Tribune and CNN office along-with WGN radio.

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The exterior of the building is embraced with 149 fragments from historical sites around the world. Some were requested and some were collected by McCormick(owner of Chicago Tribune), while others were came up as gift and political affairs. Latest one is a part of steel from World Trade Center.

Here are few captures out of the bunch, we brought along with us.

Apart from the above fragments, Yellowstone National Park, Cave of the Nativity where Christ was born-Bethlehem, Temple Forbidden City, Pearl Harbor-Hawaii, Princeton University-New Jersey, Sydney Opera House-Australia, White House-Washington DC, The Colosseum-Rome, Great Wall of China, The Great Pyramid, Berlin Wall and many more are glorifying Tribune Tower prominently.

Meanwhile, taking the pictures we got overwhelmed by spotting….

 

 

IMG_3513Among those notable fragments, a marble slab from Taj Mahal is an honorable mention.

We firmly believe Tribune Tower is one of its kind and an idealistic place for architectural lovers.

Hope you liked our post !! Let us know your thoughts.

Photo-Artistic “Flamingo”midst of Windy City


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While walking down the street in Chicago Downtown experience “Flamingo” an abstract sculpture by Alexander Calder.

A Cheesy Affair With Chicago Style Pizza !!

We are die-hard food lovers, especially when it comes to the signature dishes,we never miss any opportunity to try out. Nothing hidden about our fondness for food, one can find our journey on Instagram.

After exploring Chicago we tried our hands on Chicago’s signature dishes and came across “Chicago Style Pizza”.

Chicago Style Pizza : Well known as pizzas paradise, Chicago style pizza acclaims two most popular pizza styles, deep dish and stuffed. Both are made pie style with large amount of cheese and tomato sauce, delighting both eyes as well as taste buds. While Lou Malnati is esteemed for deep dish pizza, Giordano’s has been hailed for its stuffed ones, deeper than the deep dish ones.

STUFFED PIZZA: Our fondness for pizza took us Giordano’s ,before visiting there we ordered in advance as it takes 40 minutes to get it prepared.

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After few minutes we got served with the most acclaimed Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza, and we got our answer why it’s a big deal in Chicago. The thick buttery crust with layers of mozzarella cheese, add on toppings, covered on top with a thin layer of dough & tomato sauce make this dish outstanding. 8a786196fc90affa0d4208559cf77f49_1444181327

DEEP DISH: After Giordano’s episode it was Lou Malnati’s turn, well known for it’s traditional deep dish pizza. Talking about Lou Malnati’s pizza, we got it after waiting for an hour as its Chicago’s favorite and always full specially over the weekends. Crispy crust with layers of cheese and ingredients you choose topped with tomato sauce. IMG_1062IMG_1061

Dear vegetarian don’t be disheartened , both places offers veggie ingredients to choose from.

Disclaimer:  After having Chicago style pizza you may feel guilty, which is absolutely normal.

Tips:

  1. Order pizza before arriving as it takes 40-45 minutes.
  2. Also try Uno’s & Gino’s east pizza.