MOJITOS.

Mojitos. The ultimate summer drink. Refreshing, delicious, and so easy to make.  Follow this recipe and you’ll be sipping some summer sweetness in no time at all. And please, whatever you do, never buy the prepackaged mix!

2 ounces of white rum
1 ounce simple syrup or sweetened lime juice
(simple syrup // equal parts sugar and water, dissolved together)
8-10 fresh mint leaves (the more mint, the merrier)
1 small lime juiced

Combine ingredients and muddle the leaves with a muddler or hard flat surface (e.g. end of a wooden spoon). The more you muddle, the more mint flavor you will taste. Add a generous amount of ice and top off your glass with club soda or sparkling water. Stir and enjoy! (Note If you like your cocktails sweeter, just add more sweetened lime juice or simple syrup)

CHINATOWN.

Roommate and I had quite the NYC adventure yesterday. Despite spending five hours on the bus there and five hours on the train back (both of which should have only taken three and a half), we had a lovely afternoon covering most of lower Manhattan. Street markets and lunching in Chelsea. Fro-yo and Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Window shopping in Soho and people watching in Chinatown. And a grand finale of Italian feasting in Little Italy.

Then quite literally a race to Penn Station. Oh New York, you really are a maze of insanity.

Chinatown had me taken aback. Chinatown, DC? It probably should be given a new name. At some point you really do cross a cultural threshold. So many delicious and exciting looking markets and restaurants. And so many interesting people. Roommate and I were quite torn on where to eat dinner after considering the option of pho and dumplings. Chianti and caprese salad may have won this time, but I’ll be back Chinatown. Don’t you worry.

TROPICAL DAYDREAMS.

One of my favorite places in the world (so far!) is Bermuda. It will probably always have a special place in my heart because I was introduced to this amazing island at such a young age and have visited again and again. I love its British roots and real sense of community. Fun fact! You can’t live in Bermuda unless you are an island native or marry a Bermudian. This makes me sad. But it’s probably best I keep it as a favorite getaway instead.

These photos were taken on my most recent trip in 2009, soon after returning home from Italy. At the time I don’t think I fully appreciated this trip because I was still recovering from study abroad withdrawal, but looking through these photos now gives me only sweet memories and a longing to go back. With summer growing nearer and nearer each day, I can’t help but daydream about tropical places and endless summer days.

HHI.

Right now in DC, the weather is a chilly 40 something degrees with rain in the forecast for the next two days. Ick. What happened to spring? These photos of the beach from Hilton Head Island make me dread this weather even more. Christine and I managed to get down to the beach, whether by bike or car, every day of my trip. HHI has the flattest beaches I have ever seen, which makes them so great for riding bikes. In fact, the whole island is great for riding bikes with so many bike trails and lots of great scenery. An island full of bikes. And dogs. And old people. And beautiful, beautiful beaches.

WEST PALM BEACH.

This time last year, I hit the road with a good friend and we headed south in search of some sunshine after barely surviving the snowpocalypse of 2010.  West Palm Beach was the perfect remedy for a little spring fever. Okay, a lot of spring fever. I had never visited WPB (or Palm Beach) before, but I think I get the hype now. Especially in the cooler months when there is zero humidity. We spent our days admiring the most beautiful water I have ever seen in Florida, feasting on seafood, champange, and fresh squeezed orange juice, experiencing all that is polo, and hitting up CityPlace for a little spring shopping.

There hasn’t been nearly as much snow as last year, but I never seem to escape March without catching some sort of spring fever. So in one week I’ll be heading down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to get a taste of the island life. Looking forward to picnics on the beach, bike rides and kayaking, and gorgeous sunsets. Also making a pit stop in Charleston, which I already have sweet, sweet memories from.