By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 18, 2007 at 5:25 AM

Hoyt Park -- I used to think I'd seen everything Milwaukee had to offer, but after stumbling on Hoyt Park for the first time, I realized once again that was foolishness; I was ignorant of this great park barely two miles from my doorstep. With a fabulous -- if crumbly -- suspension bridge that looks like a WPA project spanning the Menomonee River, woodsy trails overgrown with wild grape vines, picnic areas, soccer pitches, grass snakes slithering at the edges of the sidewalks (much to the delight of more than one child, I suspect) and the buzz about a renovated pool (have you SEEN that pool?), Hoyt Park is a West Side gem. -- Bobby Tanzilo

Adventure Rock -- My son received a 10-visit punch card to Adventure Rock, 21250 W. Capitol Dr., as a gift from his grandma this summer and it's been an amazing experience for him. The indoor climbing facility has multiple self-belay stations that allow a kid to clip in and climb while parents just watch. The routes range from super easy to difficult, so anyone can give the wall a whirl. Also, Adventure Rock has a bouldering cave, a bouldering room and bolts in the climbing walls so kids and adults can learn to lead climb. The staff is really friendly and helpful, and -- as an added bonus -- there's a Subway right next door that's always spot-on after three or four hours of climbing. Adventure Rock's daily fee is $12 or 10 visits for $95. -- Molly Snyder Edler

Sriracha hot chili sauce -- I don't remember the first time I had it -- probably at one Asian restaurant or another -- but now I can't live without that clear plastic squeeze bottle with the green cap and the rooster logo. Sriracha's hot chili sauce, made from sun ripened chilies that are ground with garlic into a paste, is great in soups, sauces, noodles and just about any other situation that calls for condiments. It used to be hard to find. Now, most upscale grocers carry it near the Asian foods section. -- Drew Olson

Bulleit Bourbon -- Autumn is a great time for drinking. You've got a plethora of seasonal beers, such as Oktoberfest and pumpkin lagers, and with the weather taking its annual nosedive, you can warm up with apple cider or hot cocoa drinks. Personally, I enjoy a nice sipping bourbon this time of year and in my research I've found Bulleit to be my favorite on account of its smooth drinkability and, of course, affordability. It's comparable in price to a glass of Maker's Mark, but it has its own distinctiveness that separated it from its contemporaries. The recipe is 175 years old and each batch is distilled and aged in American white oak barrels that are flame charred, which adds to its smoky color and flavor. It's 90 proof bourbon, yet somehow it doesn't burn going down. Still, I recommend you take it slow and enjoy each sip. -- Julie Lawrence

Tellicherry dustless pepper -- Tellicherry, a region in India, is the source of some fine pepper. Luckily, you don't have to travel that far to get it. Available at The Spice House (Milwaukee Public Market, 1031 N. Old World 3rd St. and Tosa Village), this stuff is ground in Milwaukee but fully ripened on the vine in India. If you like pepper, pick up some of this tasty stuff today. -- Jeff Sherman

Moisturizing -- It's that time of year. Harsh weather. Dry conditions. Your skin is going to be asking for help soon. Keep a small bottle of lotion in the car and one on the desk. Hit those elbows, knees and heels when you get out of the shower, too. Your skin will thank you. -- D.O.

Clif Organic Z Bar (Chocolate Brownie) -- I skip too many breakfasts, replacing food with coffee. But when I'm starving, in a hurry and carrying less than a buck in my wallet, I head straight to Whole Foods for their $.49 Z Bars. These organic energy bars contain 120 calories, three grams of fat and three grams of protein. The label also says they cram in 12 vitamins and minerals, which can't be bad, right? In short, they do the trick holding me over 'til lunch -- and I always have enough spare change in my pocket to cover this dirt-cheap breakfast. -- Andy Tarnoff

Josh Rouse's "Hollywood Bass Player" -- This track from the new record "Country Mouse City House" is not only one of my current favorite tunes, it also has a great animated video. Check out this somewhat biographic song and video from Rouse, and see him Oct. 26 at Turner Hall.  -- J.S.

Comet's Booze-a-latte -- This is a more than a $7 drink -- it's a $7 drinking experience. Now, before you gawk at the thought of paying that much for a coffee concoction, let me clarify by saying that the coffee component of the Booze-a-latte is minimal at best. Comet's finest start with a pint glass, add a touch of soy creamer, a wee bit of iced coffee, and continue to fill the rest of the space up with chocolate-flavored vodka, ginger brandy and Kahlua, which is a coffee-flavored liqueur. One is plenty for a little pick-me-up, as the Booze-a-latte definitely lives up to its name. -- J.L.