You might be surprised to learn that Indianapolis has been on my (fairly) secret bucket list for years. In fact, Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I’m so stoked to be visiting this week!
As someone with a long line of Irish ancestors on the family tree (as in, I’m Irish all year round and not just on St. Patrick’s Day), you might say I’ve got Guinness running through my veins.
In my thirty-odd years on this planet, I’ve found there’s nothing quite as good the perfect pour of a pint of the Black Stuff. That’s why, on our recent family heritage trip in May 2017, we knew we’d need to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Grail of Beer Lovers — er, I mean the Guinness Storehouse — in Dublin, Ireland.
After spending six hours (!) at the joint, we’re here to share what to do — and not do — on your visit to the Guinness Storehouse.
You’ll never forget your first… negroni, that is.
My first ever negroni was like a first kiss gone horribly wrong: we knocked teeth (actually, my two front teeth hit the rim of my glass because it was too dark to see properly); it was slobbery; and we just didn’t really connect. At the time, I liked bitterness in my cocktails about as much as I like stepping on chewing gum in flip flops on the Times Square subway platform.
All that changed, however, once I tried a negroni at August Laura in Brooklyn last year. Their negroni was boozy, to be sure, but also well balanced and had just enough bite to leave me wanting more. I’ve finally warmed up to the drink, which is traditionally made with equal parts gin, campari, and vermouth rosso. It’s a good thing that I have, because August Laura is participating in Negroni Week 2017!
I’m going to let you in on a secret: I usually don’t stay in hostels. Maybe it’s because, at 31 years old, I don’t want my beauty sleep interrupted by some young whippersnappers bursting into my room at 3 AM singing “We Are The Champions.” (File under experiences from my 20s I’d rather forget.) St. Christopher’s Inn in Bruges, however, changed my mind 100% about what an excellent hostel experience can be.
From their friendly service to hosting one of the best beer tastings in Bruges, here’s why I would stay at St. Christopher’s Inn again and again.
In the “Five O’Clock Fridays” series, we’ll highlight a particular drink we’re loving right now. Depending on where we stumble upon this brilliant beverage, we’ll either provide a recipe to go along with it, or provide tasting notes and point you to where you can purchase it. Today’s edition: the Kentucky Colonel!
Oh, Amsterdam. You’re like that friend in college that was always asking me to hang out, but I was always busy for one reason or another. I had a feeling we’d get along; it was just that glitzier cities like Rome and Hong Kong were calling my name more loudly. When I finally came to visit you, however, I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been together sooner.
I fell in love with you, Amsterdam. Hard. Yes, you helped me to understand my Dutch heritage a bit better, but you also surprised me in the most unexpected ways. Your picture-perfect canals. Your relaxed, blue jeans attitude. Even your damn maddening bike lanes won me over in the end.
Though I was uncertain at first, after three days together, I can officially say I’m enamored. This is the true saga of how I fell in love with the capital of the Netherlands in 72 hours, and how you will, too.
The moment my parents returned from their trip to Amsterdam last spring, they eagerly regaled us with tales of their Dutch adventures. Though they spoke about the usual suspects — the Anne Frank House! Museums galore! Rijsttafel! — I was shocked to learn what topped their list of Amsterdam favorites: the Heineken Experience.
As a beer aficionado with Dutch ancestors, I knew immediately that I needed to visit the Heineken Experience on my March 2017 trip to Amsterdam. Would it be touristy? Cheesy? I didn’t know, but I didn’t care; I was in.
It took zero effort to convince fellow travel blogger Ashley to visit the Heineken Experience with me (probably because we have some serious beer telepathy going on). Turns out we had the best ‘dam time of our lives there. Here’s why.
I’ll be honest: when one of my best friends told me that she was moving to Sacramento, California’s capital city, I immediately thought, That’s too bad — you can say adios to great food and drinks!
As a California native, however, I should have known better. Sacramento has been called “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” and with good reason. The region’s 1.5 million acres of regional farmland and Mediterranean climate, among other things, make it an agricultural powerhouse.
I recently explored Sacramento as part of a visit to my friend’s new digs in February 2017. Though my main goal was to explore Lodi’s excellent wine country, I was caught off guard by how much I genuinely loved Sacramento’s bars and restaurants.
Some stops I made were intentional and others accidental, but they all shared one thing in common: the caliber of the drinks was top notch. Here are my favorite places to grab drinks in Sacramento.
Nearly a year ago – on April 4, 2016 – I unveiled “It’s Five O’Clock Here,” my travel and drinks website, to the world. At the time, I had no idea what kind of impact it would have on my life, but I knew that I had to press that “Publish” button or else I’d never know if I could hack it at travel blogging.
What a difference a year makes. I’m currently en route to Boston as I type this, gearing up to visit Amsterdam and Belgium. I won’t be alone: Ashley, the hilarious travel blogger behind My Wanderlusty Life, will be throwing back a pint or two of beer with me. Still, it’s odd to think that a year ago, I had yet to meet her for the first time on a “blogger blind date” in Boston.
But that’s how travel blogging works. It keeps you on your toes, your fingers glued to a coffee mug in one hand and your camera or laptop in the other. You’re always on the hunt for that next topic or idea for a new post.
Despite this, the rewards will come. You will feel more creatively alive than you have in years. You will have complete autonomy of—and accountability for—your work product. Plus, you never know who will enter your life and when; I’ve been astounded by the number of incredible people I’ve met through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook before we met IRL.
As with everything, though, I’m not always looking through rose-colored glasses. There are days—though thankfully they are fewer now—when I struggle to get work done and toss my computer (OK, my notebook, actually; computers are @#$!ing expensive) at the wall.
So today, let’s pull back the curtain on travel blogging. I’m here to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly—or, what I’ve learned from one year of blogging.
Spring is nearly upon us, which means it’s wine tasting season! Granted, you can actually go wine tasting year round, but now is generally the time I start daydreaming about driving around wine country and checking out vineyards with unbeatable views and delicious pinots. In previous years, I’ve toured Sonoma, Long Island, the Finger Lakes, and Paso Robles — but this year, I headed somewhere new: Lodi.
And you know what? After spending time there, I’ve seen the light. (Or at least the sunlight filtering through rows and rows of old vine zinfandel grapes.) I’ve become an official lifelong #LodiWine fan. In fact, if I wasn’t headed abroad soon, I’d be back in town for their ZinFest in mid-May.
But what wine does Lodi specialize in? And how the heck do you even get there? Patience, Vino Jedi. Here’s everything you need to know about why Lodi needs to be your next wine country destination.