January 24, 2012

Washington Park

Posted in Go, Look tagged , at 4:12 am by onetinyacorn

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January 31, 2011

Tundra

Posted in Look tagged , , , at 5:44 am by onetinyacorn

A 5-minute drive to the edge of town will bring you to scenery that feels like the edge of the world. Sweeping plains, pale yellow grasses, and snow swirling against a backdrop of mountains make me feel like I’m the only survivor in some kind of Apocalyptic Arctic adventure (if that’s not already a literary genre, it should be. And penguins should factor in heavily).

The color combination of Naples yellow grass and cerulean sky is one of my favorites.

January 26, 2011

Creepy Dolls

Posted in Look tagged , , , , at 6:05 am by onetinyacorn

Fun fact: Casper, with a population of ~53,500 people, is Wyoming’s second-biggest town. Cheyenne, with ~57,600 people is the state’s most populous location.

What Casper did have was unintentionally creepy-looking dolls, and a Superman car. To wit:




January 13, 2011

New Belgium Brewery Tour

Posted in Go, Look, Shop tagged , , , , at 3:54 am by onetinyacorn

I recently drove down to Fort Collins, Colorado to exchange Christmas gifts with one of my favorite people in the world. While down there, we also toured New Belgium brewery, sampled some brews by Odell, and took in a gallery crawl. These photos are from New Belgium (since I’ve migrated my blog, the quality of the thumbnails has diminished. Click on any for a better shot) :

I didn’t know much about beer until I moved within striking distance of New Belgium, having generally associated beer with that mass-produced, dirty-sock-water stuff. I’m still learning a lot, which has been fun.

Along our tour, we got to sample their Abbey, Dunkelweizen (a new one that will be released soon with limited distribution), La Folie, 2 Below, and…a few others. There were chocolates, and a ride down a curly slide. The building is adorned with lots of fun art, and their commitment to environmental causes is evident. In short, if you’re going to be in Fort Collins, make sure to reserve a spot for a tour.

January 10, 2011

Pittsburgh Wrap-Up

Posted in Look tagged , , , , at 8:20 pm by onetinyacorn

It was so wonderful to go back to the place that has always felt most like home to me–Pittsburgh. Aside from seeing great friends and enjoying a magical wedding, these were the highlights:

* Strawberry pancakes at Pamela’s diner

* Visiting the Strip District and witnessing the hustle and bustle

* Museums and galleries! I went to the Society for Contemporary Craft, Hunt Botanical Institute, and the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. My favorite this time was Hunt–there’s a botanical illustration exhibit up there that I found breathtaking.

October 22, 2010

Vegas for Cheap

Posted in Look tagged , , , , , at 11:32 am by onetinyacorn

Vegas has re-invented itself as a luxury destination, which is unfortunate for those of us without luxury budgets. Nevertheless, I found quite a few inexpensive options for the intrepid traveler:

Lodging

  • There are a handful of motels and hostels in the area between the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, easily accessible by taking the Deuce (bus line). Rates seemed to average $30 a night, plus tax. Hostels can be a fun way to meet other travelers—as long as you don’t mind sharing a room with other people. Some hostels will also offer private rooms for a bit more money—ask about those if you’re worried.

This area is cheaper because it’s not in a “good area,” but we never saw or heard of any problems for the three nights that we    were there. Be cautious, though. Also: the bus lines run pretty infrequently at night, so it would take us 2-3 hours to get to our hostel from a venue just a little ways off the Strip. This allowed for plenty of high-quality people-watching, but if that’s not your cup of tea, consider staying on the Strip.

  • I’ve never been fussy about hotels, since I’m only there long enough to sleep and shower. If you’re not like me, you can find some really good deals on hotel rooms at Travelzoo, Travelocity, and the like. Travelzoo sent me some offers for nice hotel rooms on the strip for as little as $40. Often they’ll include free vouchers for buffets and the like, so inquire about that.

Transportation

  • From the airport, the city’s 109 and 108 buses run into town. Currently, a 24-hour pass is $7 (for both on- and off-Strip buses), and a 3-day pass is $20. You can buy passes for anything more than a 24-hour one at some bus stops and locations around town; ask your friendly bus driver where some locations are. We hopped on the 108, jumped off when we spied an In-N-Out Burger, then continued to walk towards Flamingo St., past the beautiful UNLV campus. At Flamingo, you can take the 202 to the heart of the Strip. Just hop off when you see the spectacle (you’ll be near Caesar’s Palace). RTC is your friend.

Food and Drink

Good food is something that I’m willing to splurge on. If you’re not, your best bet is to get off the Strip, a land of $9 hot dogs and $12 bottles of domestic beers.

  • In-N-Out Burger. This had been thoroughly hyped-up by my friends before my arrival. I found my burger (Double Double with grilled onions) to be of higher-quality than standard fast food restaurants, but at a lower price.
  • Residential neighborhoods. For part of our time, we stayed with locals who had a bounty of normally-priced restaurants at their disposal.
  • Buffets can be a good deal. We went to an excellent one (Le Village Buffet at Paris), had a leisurely brunch, and were scarcely hungry for the rest of the day.
  • Casinos give out free drinks, but only as long as you are gambling, and they tend to be more attentive to the high-rollers for obvious reasons. Don’t forget to tip your waitress. Cheaper drinks can be found along Fremont Street.
  • Those margaritas that everyone sells along the Strip are for suckers.

Gambling

  • Casinos that give out free credits usually advertise that fact in front of their building. I have no qualms about gambling with their money, and just stopped when I ran out. You get a Player’s Club Card—almost every casino will have one—with the credits on there. I’m told that the catch is that they send you mail to the address that’s listed on the driver’s license or photo ID that you show them, but my ID still has an old address on it, so I can’t verify that. I didn’t win any money with the free points, but my husband won $100 with one.
  • Fremont Street, again, is a cheaper place. As is Slots-A-Fun. We went to Western Hotel, which had hardwood floors, grizzled-looking locals, $2 cocktails from the bar, and really cheap blackjack. It was a fun, low-key change from the artificial world of the Strip.

Fun and Games

  • Looking at the spectacle is free, and a must-do. I loved the conservatory at the Bellagio, the fake Parisian streets at Paris, the ship at Treasure Island, and all of the crazy artifices. Embrace the ridiculousness.
  • You can find booths that sell very reduced-rate tickets for shows and buffets. For the shows, you’ll have to buy a day or two in advance. They had Cirque du Soleil tickets at 80% off!
  • Before we left, a friend told us that you can’t tell the difference between the prostitutes and the tourists in Las Vegas. I thought that she was joking, but a Saturday night proved otherwise. While waiting for a bus, we spent a good bit of time people-watching and playing “Tourist or Hooker?” Hint: hookers don’t walk around with 3-foot margaritas strapped to their bodies.
  • The Fremont Street Experience is fun. You get to see old neon signs, a light show, and some amazing artists out and about.

August 30, 2010

Giant Mushrooms and Dinosaurs

Posted in Look tagged , , , at 3:33 pm by onetinyacorn

While hiking in Vedauwoo, we found two mushrooms that were approximately the size of our heads. And two frogs which posed nicely in mute terror while we snapped away. The T Rex is a sculpture outside of the Geology Museum on campus. We always take visitors to see it.

August 14, 2010

Rainbows, Bunnies, and Fluffy Clouds

Posted in Look tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:04 pm by onetinyacorn

…and a taxidermied badger (dude wanted $125 for it). Suffice it to say, I am not the new owner of said badger.

Taken in Laramie, Fort Collins, and Denver.

August 3, 2010

Frontier Days + Denver

Posted in Look tagged , at 8:57 pm by onetinyacorn

July 27, 2010

When The Circus Came to Town

Posted in Look tagged at 12:49 pm by onetinyacorn

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