Why I’m So Excited To Visit Indiana

Surprised to learn that Indianapolis is on my bucket list? Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I'm excited to visit!

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!

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Drinking for a Cause: Negroni Week 2017

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!

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Where to Drink in Sacramento Right Now

Sacramento, California's capital city, has a surprisingly robust bar scene. From craft beer to cocktails, here are my favorite watering holes in Sacramento.

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.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: What I’ve Learned in One Year of Blogging

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.

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Why Lodi Needs to Be Your Next Wine Country Destination

Have you ever gone wine tasting in California? Check out the wineries in Lodi. They're the Zinfandel Capital of the World!

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.

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Where to Drink in Hawaii Right Now

Looking for the best places to drink in Hawaii? We've found spots serving cocktails, wine, and beer. One spot even overlooks a volcano!

Picture this: you’re sitting on the beach in Hawaii in your comfy lounge chair. You’ve got Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” in hand, your SPF 50 sunblock applied, and your sharpest Oakleys on. What’s missing from this picture? Why, a cold beverage, of course. You need to get a drink in Hawaii, stat!

Only problem is, where do you even start? The hotel bar is always a safe (and, let’s face it, usually lazy) option, but if you’re reading this post, you probably want something that’s a cut above a typical piña colada.

Not that I have anything against piña coladas… oh wait, I do. I’m allergic to pineapple, so that’s never happening. I’m pretty sad about that one. But I digress.

If you want to find a drink in Hawaii that will rock your world, read on to discover some of our favorites.

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Pretty in Pink (and Red): Delicious Valentine’s Day Drinks

In the mood for love or hanging out with your BFFs for Galentine's Day? Check out these pink and red drinks that are perfect for Valentine's Day!

I don’t know about you, but Valentine’s Day usually sends me into a tailspin of stress. I always want to find the perfect grand romantic gesture, something that would have Lloyd Dobler — John Cusack’s character in Say Anything — nodding in approval.

Of course, this mostly revolves around upping our food and drinks game, not holding up boom boxes playing Peter Gabriel songs (though Mr. Five O’Clock does think it’s romantic when I sing to him, which happens maybe once a month). Sick of buying champagne every year, then, I decided to mix things up and seek out some creative pink and red drinks for my valentine this February.

Whether you’re in the mood for love or hanging out with your BFFs for Galentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered in the Valentine’s Day drinks department. Read on to see our colorful roundup of cocktails, wine, and beer!

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The Perfect Brooklyn Cocktail Bar Crawl

Manhattan, you’ve got some grade A competition when it comes to cocktail bars. Sure, you’ve got Dead Rabbit, Death & Co, and Raines Law Room. But sometimes, I just want to be able to walk for three minutes to get to my next bar instead of schlepping my stuff 20 minutes on the subway, you know? That’s why we’ve created this nifty Brooklyn cocktail bar crawl itinerary for everyone out there who wants an amazing cocktail without the hassle of taxis and trains.

It’s Five O’Clock Here: making your bar planning as easy and fun as possible. Oh man, that sounded way too cheesy.

Read on to discover where you should go next time you’re in Brooklyn, NYC’s coolest borough.

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Photo Essay: Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

True, Seattle is nailing all things beer and cocktails--but Chihuly Garden and Glass should be a required stop on every Seattle itinerary.

What if I told you that my top sightseeing priority in Seattle wasn’t actually a killer craft beer spot? Would that be heresy? (Egads, say it ain’t so!) True, Seattle is nailing all things beer and cocktails (read about it here). But there’s another place which I believe should be on every Seattle visitor’s itinerary: Chihuly Garden and Glass.

I fell in love with Dale Chihuly’s glass art back in 2008, when San Francisco’s de Young Museum held a special exhibition highlighting his work. I was captivated by the vibrant colors of the installations and the innovative techniques that Chihuly used to manipulate the glass. When I heard that Chihuly Garden and Glass opened in 2012 in Seattle Center, then, I knew I had to go.

It’s really true that words do not do this place justice. Instead, I’ve created a photo essay so you can get a taste of what I saw in September 2016. (But I swear, nothing’s like experiencing it firsthand. You’ll have to see it for yourself!)

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5 Places You’ll Want to Drink in Seattle Right Now

This Pacific Northwest city is killing it when it comes to cocktails, wine, and beer. Here's a round up of the best places to drink in Seattle right now.

Despite being an East Coast transplant who lives and breathes New York City, I still find myself missing the West Coast at the most unexpected times. Sometimes, it’s those San Diego beach photos I see on Instagram during an especially vicious blizzard. Other times, it’s the thought of open spaces and towering California redwoods when I look up at silver Manhattan skyscrapers. But lately, I’ve been missing another West Coast city: Seattle.

Seattle has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It may have had something to do with watching that particular Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie as a teen (I used to daydream about spending Valentine’s Day dining at the Space Needle). Or maybe it was because my sister-in-law, Rachel, had lived there for years, and her verdant, tranquil photos of the Pacific Northwest were giving me a major case of FOMO.

But whatever the reason, I finally made it over to the Emerald City back in September 2016. What I found was not only those amazing open spaces, but a bar scene that’s a cut above elsewhere.

Here’s a round up of my favorite places to drink in Seattle right now.

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