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Winter in Lakeside, Michigan.

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This past weekend Julie and I headed up to Lakeside, Michigan with some friends, for the first time in the winter.
UntitledAfter breakfast at the Inn we headed down to the beach to see what it was like in the winter. I had no idea or concept that there would be a buildup of ice like what we witnessed.

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Much like in the summer we stayed at the Lakeside Inn. It was surprisingly full of people for a weekend in February. The breakfast buffet leaves much to be desired but the inn has multiple large fireplaces and is always interesting.

Greenbush Brewing UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledOn Saturday we hit up a couple of the breweries that are part of the Berrien County Beer Tour including Greenbush, Tapestry, and Cultivate. We’ve been to Greenbush multiple times but I had no idea the other two were near by.

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Tapistry Brewing had some of the better beer on our stops and the largest selection. Food wise, the Charcuterie was great.

Cultivate Brewing Company
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Cultivate Brewing Company seemed to be the newest of the bunch and a place much more suited for a summer afternoon. The brewery opens up onto a large field with large garage doors that transform the place into a large patio. Probably the most light I’ve ever seen in a brewery.

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Overall we had a great time. It was much different than the summer but it was a really neat experience to see the area without the summer tourists and the ice formations on the lake were amazing.

Vancouver, BC

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After arriving via train in Seattle we grabbed a rental car and headed up to Vancouver, British Columbia. The drive was about 4 hours which included a 45 minutes to cross the border. In Vancouver we stayed in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood near City Hall. From here we were able to take public transportation, walk or drive into the city.

Architectural Walking Tour
UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledThe Architectural Institute of British Columbia hosts walking tours throughout Vancouver every day of the week. Their color-coded schedule leads much to be desired though as we meant to take the Gastown: Historic Beginnings of Vancouver tour but ended up on the Downtown: The business core of Vancouver. This was immediately obvious to us since the both tours started at the AIBC’s headquarters in Gastown but about 10 minutes without the tour title being discussed at any point we put two and two together. It was nice to have a guided walk around Vancouver but we weren’t really interested in the business district. One of the things we did learn about Vancouver, is much like all great cities it was burned to the ground at one point in the Great Vancouver Fire.

Harbour Centre
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After the tour we headed up to the restaurant at the top of the Harbour Centre which rotates for a 360 degree view of the city. It was great to get a visual scale of the city and the surrounding area.

North Vancouver
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For a quick afternoon trip we took the Water Taxi across to North Vancouver and visited the Lonsdale Quay market. North Vancouver is a commuter neighborhood about 15 minutes via ferry across the harbor from Vancouver.

Postmark Brewing Company
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Just past the Eastern edge of Gastown sits the Postmark Brewing Company which is part of The Settlement Building brand collective, this includes a bakery, restaurant, winery and brewery. We didn’t eat their but we sat near the food service window and everything look great.

Port of Vancouver
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We took a tour of the Port of Vancouver which is the largest sea port in Canada and the fourth largest in North America by tonnage. It’s hard to appreciate the setting of a large city, mountains and the ocean in the midst of an massive active shipping port.

Side Notes:
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*Julie insisted we stop by the Rogers Arena so we could inquire about championship t-shirts at the Canucks team store.

CAF: Scavenger Hunt

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This past Saturday I participated in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt which took place in the Loop and South Loop neighborhoods. There was a group of six of us with Julie and I participating on separate teams. The scavenger hunt consisted of a map with 23 buildings listed A through W, a set of 23 pictures listed 1 through 23 and then a set of 23 clues (one for each building). Finally there was an answer card to enter all of your answers, one letter from each answer then made up a final question. So the idea was to find the picture of the building, which led you to the clue, then to the building to locate the answer and write it on the answer card. Once the answer card was complete it would spell out a final puzzle. Once you had the final question you returned to the starting point and then had to answer another question that was similarly complicated. My team got a late start but as seasoned competitors we were able to make up lost ground and more or less ran away from the field. I believe our total time was about an hour and thirty minutes, though this was not a timed event. Out of our three teams we placed 1st, 2nd and 4th.

Motor Row Brewing
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After the event we headed to a new brewery in the Motor Row District which is just south of the South Loop near McCormick Place. I believe Motor Row Brewing opened in January of this year. It’s a small place but they will be expanding their tap room to a second floor that will hold 60 people later this summer.

Breakroom Brewery
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After Motor Row we headed to Breakroom Brewery for dinner which is just Southwest of Ravenswood on the Northside. Breakroom is connected to a Heineman Bar Company which is a craftsmanship that specializes in the construction of bars. Quite a bit of a wait for a table but the food was worth it. Plus the Montrose Saloon is across the street.