Category Archives: Life

Looking Ahead

by Wendy
When manic weather swings from balmy to cold rain, and New Year’s motivation has left the party long ago, and you’re powering through the work routine in the daytime and hibernating at home in the evening, travel adventures can feel far away from reality. Looking back at old photos helps spark inspiration, as well as the reassurance to keep looking ahead. There will be beauty on both familiar and unfamiliar paths. Continue reading

Favorite Dive Bars

by Wendy
What constitutes a great dive bar? I’ve read articles and watched television shows dedicated to the topic. Does a dive bar by definition have to be at least 10 years old? Can a dive bar serve delicious food? Is a dive bar allowed to remodel anything? What if it gets “discovered” – still a dive bar? Who knew it could be so controversial.

I’m no expert. The older I get, the more I gravitate to places not too crowded but lively, not too expensive but with a decent menu, not overly-stylized but with clean facilities. Yet I can think of a few dive bars that have been special to me in the past. Continue reading

Books Read in 2017

by Wendy
One of my resolutions was to read 24 books in 2017. I reached the goal and look forward to aiming for it again in 2018. The list of what I read over the past year follows. It’s an assortment of American, French, English, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish and Spanish writers. Some are classics, some were recently published, and some I’ve read previously and wanted to revisit. I actually love to reread books, which is a good thing because we have an extensive collection and it helps save money.  Continue reading

10 Things I Loved About A Lake House Weekend

by Wendy
1) A change of scenery. As much as I love cities, I appreciated being out in the country, surrounded by family, tranquill trees, Kentucky bluegrass and greenish lake, lightening bugs and quiet.

2) Driving a boat for the first time. Feeling the warm sun and breeze cutting through a humid afternoon as you steer through the water. Stopping in the shade for some of us to swim, all of us to relax and talk and laugh. Continue reading

A Meal Fit for the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms

by Sunny

follow me on Twitter @sunnylooksleaps

First things first…no season 7 spoilers ahead 🙂

Maybe you don’t have HBO or enjoy 1,000+ page books and you’ve never heard of/seen Game of Thrones. You’re not sure what the hype is about.  All of the Tweets and Instas of Game of Thrones watch parties and countdowns to Season 7 baffle you.  Well, whether you’re new to the game or a diehard fan, I have a fun story to share about a Game of Thrones themed dinner Jimmy and I attended the night before the Season 7 premiere.

Continue reading

Molto Bella Restaurants in New Jersey

by Wendy
There are a lot of things I love about New Jersey. Visiting family. Spending a day at the shore. The boardwalk arcades. Seeing landmarks of my husband’s childhood. The accent. I also really love the food in New Jersey.

As Jack will tell you, New Jersey knows Italian food. Even residents without any Italian ancestry have strong opinions on where to get the best cannoli, mozzarella or prosciutto (even if many don’t pronounce the last vowel – it’s “mozzerelle” or “prosciutt”). The New Jersey tomato should have its own blog about how great it is. I might even say New Jersey pizza style is superior to my beloved New York City and Chicago (please, no hate mail). Continue reading

Standing in Line for Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors

by Wendy
I always look forward to spring break visits from my sister April and nephew J. We love hanging out in our DC neighborhood and taking road trips to nearby cities like NYC. Since they’ve been to Washington many times previously, Jack and I always try to design a varied itinerary.

At the top of the list this year are the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture and the temporary Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” exhibit at the Hirshhorn. While all Smithsonian museums are busy, these two are generating a lot of buzz. I hadn’t the privilege of seeing either one yet. Both offer free admission, but require timed entry passes due to popularity. The advance online option doesn’t work out, so I must try for same-day timed entry tickets. I’m determined to secure entry to at least one of these coveted attractions, though there’s a good chance this will involve standing in at least one long line. Continue reading

Happy Hour at Home

by Wendy
Jack and I have been in town a lot recently. We take advantage of time between trips to enjoy a quiet routine, including delicious home cooked meals that Jack makes and happy hour in our own living room.

Beer and wine are quite portable, easy to pack for a road trip or pop open after returning from a long journey. But you need the right ingredients and a bit more care to mix an excellent drink. So non-travel weekends often include Manhattans, gin cocktails, or my latest favorite, a Bloody Mary. We’ve tried several different recipes, but my go-to is as follows: Continue reading

How Not to Study Spanish

by Wendy
Jack and I are taking another Spanish class this year. In many ways, we are good students. We arrive on time, we participate, we thank our teacher before leaving. We even brought her a bottle of wine, assuming that she probably needs one after listening to our horrific accent for 3 hours. We can laugh at our mistakes. We have the best of intentions to study in the evenings and on the weekends.

Unfortunately what we refer to as “studying” is a mix of mostly ineffective habits. I told Jack I was working on a post titled, “How Not to Study Spanish.” His response: “Yes, we certainly have that down.” Continue reading