Fun places I have visited:

Budweiser Brewery , St. Louis Missouri

If you find it fascinating to see how things are made then the Budweiser brewery is something you might consider visiting. This 119 acre brewery is a site to see complete with a few of the famous Clydesdales. The grounds are quite ornate trimmed with black iron fences, and red brick buildings. Every building/fence/pillar surface is seemingly adorned with the Anheuser-Busch eagle. When visiting you have several tour options however, the free tour takes you through  several of the buildings including the packaging facility. At the end of the tour there is an opportunity to try several of their products (if you are 21 or older).



Wrigley Field, Home of the Chicago Cubs, Illinois

If you’ve never been to a baseball game I would suggest you try and make it sometime to Wrigley Field. The stands are generally packed full, and there’s nothing like being around die-hard Cubs fans. The green ivy around the back wall of the outfield is iconic. You might even see a bat break, a homerun and if you’re really lucky catch a foul ball. Yet, I guess what would be even more momentous is to see the Cubs win.

image: Entrace into Wrigley Field

image: View of Wrigley Field

Salmon Fishing on Lake Michigan, Port Washington WI

If you are the type of person that likes a good boat ride and reeling in the catch, this is something you may want to try. The small town of Port Washington, WI is a quaint town north of Milwaukee with a beautiful harbor. It is also a hopping place for salmon and trout fishing throughout the summer. This past May of ’08 I had the opportunity to go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan with my parents and brother. It was my first time being on a body of water of its magnitude. The boat, Foxy Lady, was captained by a man named Dan and a young man. This type of fishing may be different then what you are used to- it’s sport fishing. The captain and first mate set up the fishing rods which there are probably around (10-20) and your job is to wait until the fish bites and reel it in! The fish that you are attempting to catch are quite large (2 – 3′) long. So it takes quite a bit of time to bring them in, especially if they are fighters. I really enjoyed our evening trip, which started around 4:00PM and we stayed out on the water until after dark. We not only caught 4 big fish, but were able to see the sunset. It was a very scenic and exciting evening. The only downside is that it was a bit pricy. I would suggest trying to get a group of three or more people together to help defray the cost of the fishing trip. Having more people is not a downside for this event, like other sporting events it is nice to have more than 2 people for camaraderie and it is equally nice to have a small crowd cheering for you while you’re reeling in the fish. Here are some pictures from my trip:

image: Port Washington marina

image: Port Washington marina

image: Me holding up my catch

image: Me holding up my catch

image: Fishing rods during sunset

image: Fishing rods during sunset

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho

I know most of you have heard about the crazy geology in  the western United States, or have at least  seen the mountains. Well if you’re interested in seeing some more crazy geology this is the place to check out!  This is not your average “walk in the woods” National Park. Craters is a  park in Idaho  that consists of a very old lava field (old in our terms but perhaps not geologic time). There are many trails to explore, even “caves” or properly known as lava tubes.  The park is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and exhibits wildlife that you normally don’t find in your back yard.  OH – and I can’t forget!  Here you can see sagebrush at its best! Enjoy some pictures I took as I worked there as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern.

image: North Crater Trail, Pahoehoe and Aa lava

image: North Crater Trail, Pahoehoe and Aa lava

Image from Indian tunnel- lava tube

image:  Indian tunnel- lava tube

Prickley pair cactus

image: Prickly pear cactus

Horny toad - really its a lizard

image: Horny toad – really it’s a lizard!

Coors field (preferably during a Rockies vs. Cubs game), Colorado

If you are one for scenery and not necessarily baseball, here is a  field you might enjoy visiting, with or without catching a game.  Nestled in Denver, Colorado this newly built stadium (as of the 90s) has a spectacular view of the rocky mountains. Luckily, I had the pleasure of seeing the home team take on the Chicago Cubs during the summer of 2006. I really enjoyed the view from the stadium! (I think the Cubs even won.)

Metropolitian Museum of Art, New York

If there is one art museum in the United States that you should go see this one is it! This museum has a wonderful collection of art across time and culture.  It has artifacts from the Olmec civilization to Rembrandt’s fine works of the Baroque era.  If you do go, don’t be overwhelmed! It is a very large museum that is almost impossible to cover in just one day. So just go to the various galleries that interest you the most, or take a guided tour. Guided tours here are amazing, especially, if you are an art novice.  You can get much more out of a painting or a sculpture when you hear its story.  My fondest memory of  the MET was when the tour guide analyzed the famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

Audobon Center of the North Woods, Minnesota

This is a place where you can experience nature in the heartland. There are various events put on by the Audubon Center throughout the year, but if you really want to experience nature I would take one of their college classes.  When I was there I took a class called Winter Ecology, however, it seems it has evolved into a new class called Wolves and other Large Predators.  It took place during January, and really changed my attitude about winter and nature (as you have hopefully read in my February 24, 2009 post). Not only did I learn how to interpret tracks of animals, I  also learned  how to distinguish between certain types of trees, cross-country ski, and properly document field notes.  All the while in preparation to track wolves  along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Here are my photos from this experience:


Plane used for radio telemetry to track collared wolves

image: We used this plane to track collared wolves via radio telemetry.

A crazy skiier encountered along the trail

image: A crazy skier encountered along the trail

Wolves we took prints from at the Wildlife Science Center

image: Wolves we took prints from at the Wildlife Science Center

American Museum of Natural History

If any of you have watched the movie Night at the Museum you have gotten a little taste of  the American Museum of Natural History.  There, like many other natural history museums, you can see dinosaurs, taxidermies, and  a planeterium. Yet, this museum (like no other museum I have been too) really satisfies the biologist, geologist, anthropologist (and other ologist) that may lie  within. The museum is laid out very well and, from what I remember, elevator accessible. I think the museum even offers “a night at the museum,” which is a sleepover with many  fun-filled activities – feel free to bring the kids too!


Places I’d love to visit : leave me a comment if you’ve been there!

British Museum, London

Louvre, France

Machu Picchu, Peru

Redwood National Park ,California

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Red Sea, Egypt

Preikestolen cliff , Norway

Vatican and Saint Peter’s basilica, Rome

Milford sound,  New Zealand

Sagrada Familia, Spain

Mt. Sinai,  Sinai Peninsula

Kruger National  park, South Africa

Olympic National Park, Washington


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