Editor’s note: Let the record reflect that Whalebone Bay is an interesting snorkeling spot if you’re staying on St. George’s Island in Bermuda, and I highly encourage everyone to go. I’m just a complete scaredy-cat when it comes to slippery aquatic creatures of the night. Also, watch this awesome video that explains the correct plural form(s) of the word ‘octopus.’
I slowly shied away from the tank, my eyes darting back and forth.
“What’s wrong, huh?” my brother teased, though he already knew. The little rascal—well, big rascal, as he was younger but taller than me—had nonchalantly remarked that an octopus can climb from one tank to another, a fact I wished I could unlearn as quickly as I heard it.
Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays you love or you loathe. It’s either a chance to celebrate your epic, undying love for one another — complete with roses, candles, and Jacques Torres chocolates, of course — or it’s like having a severe case of déjà vu as you encounter slobbery, sappy, stupid couples everywhere.
But whether you’re with someone, think you’re with someone, or just plain don’t care, February 14 is a great excuse to let New York City’s bars work their magic. Take it from us, the NYC Cocktail Bar Yentes: we’re damn good matchmakers when it comes to hooking you up with a bar you’ll love.
So open your minds, your hearts, and your wallets, folks. Here are five romantic NYC bars that are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Aww, did you miss us? (Just kidding. Most of you were probably doing something more important, like getting politically active, checking out the latest cocktail bar, or watching your 800th cat video on YouTube.)
In all seriousness, it’s a been a hot minute since we’ve posted on this blog — one month, to be exact. But between unexpected delays getting back home and a major life change, we’ve had time to reflect on what’s next for It’s Five O’Clock Here, our travels, and our lives.
So what happened in January 2018 that led to solitude and some Serious Deep Thinking? From California coastline to new roommates, here’s the deal. (And spoiler alert: cute kitten photos ahead.)
Well, hey there, 2018. It seems like just yesterday that I was waxing poetic about how amazing 2017 was going to be, and now it’s passed by in the blink of an eye. No, scratch that: faster than the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. (Right, King Arthur?)
From Indianapolis to icewine and Belfast to bitters, here’s how 2017 turned out to be our best year yet.
We couldn’t stop laughing. Mr. Five O’Clock and I had just ripped open our holiday gifts and discovered that we’d given each other similar bitters-related presents. He had selected spices and herbs to create bitters for me; I had purchased a bitters-making kit from Hella Cocktail Co. (formerly known as Hella Bitters) for him. This was true love at its finest, we grinned conspiratorially.
Those gifts we exchanged in December 2014 started our lifelong love affair with bitters. (I know this because I combed through my e-mails to verify the date, as fact-checking is key here. When Mr. Five O’Clock gets home, I can tell him I won our bet.)
We’ve been huge fans of Hella Cocktail Co.’s products from the moment we unwrapped those gifts three years ago. We’re practically thisclose to being the OG fans of the company, so you know our fondness for their bottles is legit.
So when we met Eddie, one of the company’s co-founders, through Honeymoon Israel last year, it was like the stars aligned. And when Eddie
the cocktail Santa sent us some Hella Cocktail Co. syrups, mixers, and bitters to check out for the 2017 holiday season, it was some seriously magical Hella holiday déjà vu all over again.
So how did the Hella Great Gift Opening Session of 2017 go down? What kind of cocktails can you make with these goodies? What does “hella” even mean? And what are bitters, anyway? Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get this out of the way early: yes, the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel will be forever linked to Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, “Lost in Translation.” Yes, you may have originally clicked on this post because you want to pretend you’re Scarlett Johansson sipping on cocktails with Bill Murray at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar.
The iconic hotel bar may have looked stunning in Coppola’s film, but is it really that classy and sophisticated in real life? Are the drinks any good? And, most importantly, is it worth a detour in your precious Tokyo itinerary?
The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes. In other words, for good times, you’ll want to make it
Suntory New York Bar time. Here’s why.
It’s been a mere week since Mr. Five O’Clock and I returned to NYC from visiting Japan, and in some ways, it feels like we’re waking up from the best dream of lives. (Oh, wait, I did just wake up… and it’s 3 AM. Curse you, jet lag!)
Plenty of things surprised us throughout our two weeks in Japan, from the kindness of the Japanese people to those freakin’ cool ramen-eating booths. Perhaps what surprised me most of all, however, was how much I grew to love this country that had originally not even been on my radar.
In putting our jet lag to good use, we’ve got our first post about Japan all ready! Here are 10 things that surprised us while visiting Japan.
Despite its close proximity to New York City, the number of times I’ve been to Washington, D.C. is shockingly small. In fact, the last time I ventured out to our nation’s capital was back in 2014, when I barely knew the difference between dry and sweet vermouth.
Flash forward to July 2017: when an opportunity to visit D.C. for work presented itself, I jumped on it faster than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. OK, that’s hyperbole. But still, I couldn’t wait to explore D.C.’s food and drinks scene once again.
One undeniable truth you can hold to be self-evident? America’s capital has some terrific spots to imbibe. Here’s a round up of our favorite places to drink in Washington, D.C. right now.
When I was a wee lass all of 21 years old, I sniffed my first bit of scotch and promptly handed the glass back to my friend. What was this foul stench that reminded me of a dirty, dank bog?
Let’s be honest: at 21, I was more into pinot noir than hard liquor. I was kind of an eejit back then, erroneously assuming that all scotch was disgusting because it was too smoky and peaty for my taste.
What I didn’t realize then — and many of my current friends still don’t — is that the Laphroaig scotch I tasted wasn’t nearly representative of what’s out there in Scotland’s whisky world. NOT ALL SCOTCH IS AS SMOKY AND PEATY AS LAPHROAIG, my friends. I repeat, not all scotch equals Laphroaig. (Nothing against it; I actually like it now that my palette is more developed.)
Flash forward ten years later: the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland completely upended my expectations of what scotch is and can be. If you want to truly understand Scotland, there’s no better place than the Scotch Whisky Experience. Here’s why.
In the “Drinking Buddies” series, I ask fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite bar experience from their travels. In today’s edition, Brianne of A Traveling Life gives you the inside scoop on drinking at the edge of the world in Uruguay.