• Four beer fans with autumn imagery on a counter top with text overlay that says "Review of Japanese fall (秋) beers."
    Japan,  travel

    Reviewing Japanese fall beers

    Seasonal beers are found throughout the world.  For example, Märzen (a.k.a. Oktoberfest) beers were traditionally brewed in March for consumption in September.  Japan has numerous seasonal festivals and breweries have capitalized by creating fall beers.  Japan’s big four (Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, and Suntory) breweries release autumn beers, which are available from late-August into October.  The packaging evokes fall with red, orange, and yellow colors and images of falling leaves on the cans.  If you’re visiting Japan during this time of the year it is a great opportunity to try beers that are notably different.  Now onto sampling Japanese fall beers. Asahi Kurenai (紅) is Asahi’s fall beer.  Although 紅 translates…

  • Black-and-white overview of a family grave site with an obelisk in the center. Text overlays the image saying "Benjamin Harrison Burial Place. Indianapolis, Indiana."
    Indiana,  presidents

    Benjamin Harrison Burial Place in Indianapolis, Ind.

    Following his departure from the presidency, Benjamin Harrison returned to his home in Indianapolis, Ind.  In 1896, he married Mary Lord Dimmick, the widowed niece of his deceased wife Caroline.  He returned to practicing law and represented the Republic of Venezuela in its boundary dispute with British Guiana in 1898.  In February 1901, doctors believed Harrison was suffering from a severe case of influenza.  Despite treatment, his condition worsened, and he died from pneumonia on March 13, 1901.  He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery next to his first wife.  In 1948, Mary Dimmick Harrison was buried next to her husband in the family plot. Crown Hill Cemetery is almost…

  • Diagonal view of a three-story, brick Italianate house with "Touring the Benjamin Harrison presidential site" overlaying the image.
    Indiana,  presidents

    Touring the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

    In 1875, Benjamin and Caroline Harrison relocated their family from downtown Indianapolis to the Old Northside.  While campaigning for president in 1888, he gave speeches outside the house.  After leaving the presidency, Harrison married Mary Lord Dommick after his first wife’s death and resided at the house until his death in 1901.  Eventually, Mary Dimmick Harrison sold the house on the condition that it remain a memorial to her husband.  In 1974, the Arthur Jordan Foundation renovated the house and opened it as a historic house museum.  The home is now known as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Arriving at the museum The museum is at the intersection of North…

  • Image of a yard of bricks with "Kissing the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway" overlaying the image.
    Indiana

    Kissing the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

    Few places come to mind as quickly as Indianapolis Motor Speedway when discussing motorsports.  For fervent fans, visiting Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is like a pilgrimage.  However, even the casual fan can enjoy a visit to the historic track, its accompanying museum, and walk away with memories of kissing the bricks at IMS. Arriving at the speedway Entrance to the speedway for fans is between Turns 1 and 2 along 16th Street.  Visitors drive through the South Tunnel before seeing the museum in front of them with parking on each side. Museum atrium The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum opened in 1976 and underwent a renovation in 2016.  It currently has…

  • Several trees in front of a large, grey concrete tower with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows."
    ballparks,  Japan,  Tokyo

    My night with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows – August 24, 2019

    The Tokyo Yakult Swallows play in one of the oldest professional baseball stadiums in Japan.  Although Meiji Jingu Stadium lacks many of the modern amenities fans expect from a ballpark, fans regularly pack the park.  The ballpark is part of Meiji Jingu Gaien, which is a large athletics complex with a futsal court, an indoor skating rink, tennis courts, and more. Arriving at the ballpark As with many ballparks in Japan, Meiji Jingu Stadium has multiple public transit stations nearby.  Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations, which are both on the Chūō-Sōbu Line, are the two closest train stations to the ballpark.  It is a 13-minute walk (about 0.6 miles/1 kilometer) from…

  • View from behind plate during a baseball game with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Seattle Mariners."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Seattle Mariners – August 6, 2019

    In the days of corporate naming rights, ballpark names come and go.  Whether you still call the Seattle Mariners home ballpark Safeco Field or whether you’ve adapted to calling it T-Mobile Park, the team has played its home games at the same stadium since 1999.  Areas of the ballpark have been remodeled or renovated since its opening, but overall the park has remained the same. Arriving at the ballpark There are multiple parking garages and privately-operated parking lots near T-Mobile Park.  Prices at the garages and lots vary typically depending on proximity to the ballpark.  Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail line offers service via the Stadium Station, which is…

  • Car port entry to a motel with text overlaying that says "My experience at Best Western Lakewood."
    hotel review,  Washington state

    My experience at the Best Western Lakewood

    For my first visit to a Tacoma Rainiers game in several years, I was looking for a mid-priced hotel within a reasonable driving distance to the ballpark (read about my visit to the ballpark here).  The Best Western Lakewood fit the bill.  It is about 15-minute drive from the ballpark or a 40-minute bus commute on Pierce Transit Route #2.  The hotel is about a 20-minute drive to downtown Tacoma, but is only 14 minutes from Tacoma Mall.  Additionally, it is less than 10 minutes to great outdoor spots like American Lake Park and Fort Steilacoom Park. 2 queen beds room Although I was traveling with my wife, we chose…

  • View of a baseball stadium showing a pitcher on the mound with a grandstand behind him and Mount Rainier in the distance. Text overlaying the image says "My night with the Tacoma Rainiers."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Tacoma Rainiers – August 3, 2019

    The Tacoma Rainiers play in a ballpark that was originally built in 100 days prior to the 1960 season.  Fifty years later Cheney Stadium underwent a major renovation and stands as a South Sound staple.  The ballpark also affords fans the opportunity to see the highest mountain in Washington state, Mount Rainier. Arriving at the ballpark Cheney Stadium is approximately six miles from downtown Tacoma.  It is close to the I-5 and Washington State Route 16 interchange, which makes it easy to access from several nearby cities.  Parking in an adjoining lot to the stadium costs $5.  Pierce Transit Route #2 runs from downtown to 19th Street and South Stevens…

  • Street corner with a large building and text overlaying image that says "My experience at the Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett."
    hotel review,  Washington state

    My experience at the Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett

    For my visit to an Everett AquaSox baseball game, I wanted a hotel close to the ballpark and easily accessible from I-5 (read about my visit to the AquaSox game here).  The Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett was a great match.  The hotel is a five-minute drive or a 25-minute walk to Funko Field.  Additionally, it is about half mile to Angel of the Winds Arena or Funko headquarters.  Paine Field, which restarted commercial air service in March 2019, is a 12-minute drive from the hotel. King guest room Traveling with my wife Katie, we opted for a king guest room.  It comfortably fit our two large suitcases, two carry-on bags, and…

  • Overview of a baseball field from behind home plate with text overlaying it that says "My night with the Everett AquaSox."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Everett AquaSox – August 2, 2019

    The Everett AquaSox play in the oldest ballpark in the Northwest League.  However, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium has undergone several renovations and looks good for a facility that opened in 1949.  A naming-rights deal between the Everett School District and local toy maker Funko signed before the 2019 has brought new life to the park, too. Arriving at the ballpark Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium is less than a mile from downtown Everett.  The ballpark is also under a mile from an interchange with I-5.  So, it is incredibly easy to reach the stadium from anywhere in the area.  Limited parking near the team’s front office at…