I can hardly believe it’s been a week in Germany so far — so much has happened and yet there’s still time left to get into trouble (and out of it, naturally).
From Munich’s massive Oktoberfest celebration to the tiny Bavarian town of Mittenwald, a day trip to Innsbruck in Austria and now a local stay in Berlin, we’ve covered a ton of ground.
There have been some mishaps, as my traveling companion and I seem to be a magnet for issues; but we’ve managed to keep smiling and laughing our way through the frustrations.
To say I’m obsessed with Berlin, especially, would be an understatement. Here’s to the next few days of discovery and debauchery!
I’m running on empty today, after being emotionally drained and awoken multiple times last night by what I thought was an alert in a dream. It wasn’t until 6am that I realized the alert was happening in real life, and it wasn’t until I was on a chair, smoke detector in hand, that I discovered it was coming from my beloved Jambox.
I must not have turned it off after its last use, so I had a woman’s voice tell me every 10 minutes or so to recharge the battery. Hint: This is not an ideal way to wake up.
All that to say, I’m ready to recharge myself and my Jambox.
- Before the Fall: I’ve been on a book binge lately, devouring the shelves of stories I bought months ago but hadn’t committed to reading. This novel details the events of a (fictional) horrific private plane crash from multiple perspectives, as we try to piece together what happened and why there are just two survivors. It left me breathless most of the way, but I was a bit disappointed in the final chapters. Still, I’d recommend the read — just not while you’re in-flight.
- Heavenly, Tahoe: I spent last weekend in Tahoe for a good friend’s 30th birthday celebration, marking my first adventure there in the winter (and with a bed)! We had our fill of snow games during the day, plus cozy cabin fun at night. Our backyard was a winter wonderland, making it hard to leave, so I’ll just need to find 15 other people to rent the house out with me again soon. Should be as easy as a Floridian sledding down a snowy hill, right?
- Basecamp Fitness: It’s only natural to try the countless fitness facilities SF has to offer. A friend brought us in for a free trial and we picked Plyo, AKA “the toughest class ever,” according to the girl next to me, who’s worked out there for a year. The schtick is simple: You do a minute on a resistance bike, a minute doing something else, then back to the bike and so on. You’re “done” in 35 minutes, although they encourage you to stay for the optional 10-minute abs session after. I’m sure I’ll be back soon to see how other classes compare.
- Pagan Idol: It’s the Tahoe birthday girl’s actual birthday, so we’re set to escape even further tonight — to a magical, tropical bar downtown. The tiki hut is reserved, the drinks will be flowing and I’m practicing my “luau” for the occasion. Added bonus: The excitement of tonight’s festivities are about the only thing getting me through today. And, the promise of a warm space away from the cold, rainy outdoors is even better!
I’m low on sleep but high on energy to bring you all this week’s finds. Here’s hoping I don’t crash before I finish…
- La Croix Cocktails: I previously mentioned my love for La Croix flavored sparkling water. Well, I’m hopelessly addicted now that I have an endless supply at work. Good thing a writer at Gizmodo curated nine cocktail recipes to make with La Croix! Happy hour just got a little happier.
- RunKeeper: With my newfound Run Club at work, I wanted to try this wildly popular app to map my route and pace. The welcome series of emails was a little aggressive, but I’m otherwise pleased with the experience so far. Bonus: It’s on sale for just $20/year — get it while you can!
- Firefly: I recently celebrated three months with my company by joining my referring co-worker and our mutual friend at this spot in Noe Valley. It’s largely veg-focused, but I can attest that the fried chicken and biscuit were also stellar. It was a nice departure from my usual menu, especially with the tart and vibrant fried green tomatoes. Yum!
- Jay Pharaoh: SNL’s king of impressions has done it again — this time, mimicking various rappers. Best of all, host and musical guest Drake had something to say about it. Despite the crap quality (thanks for hoarding your videos, SNL), you won’t be disappointed, fam.*
*Am I using that correctly? I’m too old and white to be cool.
Memorial Day kicks off the start of sandals, swimsuits and surf (for the rest of the country … let’s be honest, that started four months ago in Florida). So, here are some of my favorite cocktail recipes to beat the heat with — little drink umbrella required.
“Cosmopolitan” Trendy Summer Drink
This was recently served at a friend’s going-away barbecue, and I couldn’t get enough. So light and refreshing!
- Orange, lemon or lime, cut into wheels
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup ginger ale
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 cup light beer
- Add citrus wheels to a pitcher, then fill a third of it with ice.
- Add vodka, lemonade and ginger ale.
- Top with the beer.
Cherry Lemon Drop
My drink of choice this past weekend, this one will have you going back for seconds — and fifths!
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 bottle cherry vodka
- 1 bottle lemonade
- Superfine sugar, on a small plate
- Rub lemon wedge around the rim around each glass. Put wedge aside.
- Roll rim of the glass in superfine sugar.
- Shake off excess sugar over sink or trash can.
- Mix 1 part cherry vodka, two parts lemonade in glass. Top drink with lemon wedge.
Your summer just isn’t complete without the Spanish-inspired flavors of sangria. Delicioso!
- 1 bottle of chilled red wine
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 orange, cut into wedges
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 shot brandy
- 2 cups ginger ale or club soda
- Add ice to the pitcher first, and then pour wine into it.
- Squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine.
- Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar and brandy.
- Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.
In honor of National Margarita Day, I would like to raise a glass, a maraca and a sombrero to one of my favorite drinks. My love affair with margs began years ago and has only grown since my first sip … OK, gulp.
I don’t do frozen margaritas, unless they’re specially priced at a 2-for-1 discount. Salt or sugar on the glass rim is a must, and I consider the drink incomplete without this accoutrement. (Quick: What’s Spanish for “garnish”?)
My favorite margs were those consumed in the church bingo hall with my mother and late grandmother. Nothing tastes quite as sweet as bonding over bingo cards, big drinks and blessings from the Lord.
No matter which way you take ’em, I hope you are celebrating in full force today. Shake up some tequila, knock a few back and let me know how that hangover is feeling tomorrow. ¡Olé!