Spring Salad

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If you visited the You & Yours tasting room sometime during it’s first year, you may remember one of our most popular cocktails, the Side Salad! After a year or so we felt it was time for a refresh, so we’ve been rotating through updated versions of the bell pepper-based cocktail each season ever since! Our summer menu goes live in just a couple of weeks so come grab our current iteration, the Spring Salad, ASAP! But fret not if you can’t make it in, scroll down for the recipe to make at home. :)

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Spring Salad | Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Y&Y Vodka
  • 1 oz yellow bell pepper & mango purée*
  • 0.5 oz orange cordial**
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 drops of harissa olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except oil) to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and double strain into a footed coupe. Garnish with a micro marigold and 3 drops of harissa olive oil on each side of the flower.

*Yellow bell pepper & mango purée: Combine one part freshly juiced yellow bell peppers (strained) and one part mango puree (1:1 – mango puree:water). Keep mix refrigerated.

**Orange cordial: Bring one part fresh orange juice and one part white sugar to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool. Keep mix refrigerated.

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Introducing: The Kitchen at You & Yours Distilling Co.!

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The You & Yours kitchen is HERE, and I can hardly contain myself! After years of dreaming about offering our customers both a cocktail and a light bite in the Tasting Room, it’s finally a reality and I can’t wait to share these dishes with you.

To bring the vision to life, I was fortunate enough to collaborate with my friend, Chef Brian Redzikowski (of Kettner Exchange), who helped create a menu of *somewhat* southern-inspired small plates that loosely tie back to my southern and Texas roots, albeit with a strong southern California undertone.

I already have a few favorites (I’m looking at you, “Taco Bell” Egg Rolls), but half the fun is getting to see what our customers gravitate towards! So without further ado, read on to learn a little bit more about the thought process and inspiration behind each dish!

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Ham + Biscuit Plate

Thinly sliced Benton’s Country ham from Tennessee (one of my favorite hams in the world) and flaky buttermilk biscuits come together for a plate of classic southern comfort. This dish also features a rotating house-made seasonal jam and butter. A gorgeous rhubarb & orange jam and charred scallion butter are the springtime accompaniments.

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Arugula & Chicory Salad

A cheese board in salad form! Fresh arugula and chicory from La Mesa-based Two Forks Farm are tossed with Petite Basque cheese, pink peppercorn-spiced pecans, dates and a savory honey mustard vinaigrette. Bet you didn’t know a salad could be this good.

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Carrot Tartare

Did you even know your life was missing this dish? Our (veggie) take on the classic French staple, but with a southern twist. Top a Texas Toast-style toast point with a combo of roasted and coarsely ground carrots, cornichons, tarragon, and capers. Topped with a bit of pecorino and arugula.

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Patatas Bravas

It’s hard to go wrong with a plate of potatoes, but we like to think we’ve elevated this humble root vegetable just a touch. Baby potatoes are fried to an ideal crisp and topped with a spicy, smoky bravas sauce and creamy roasted garlic aioli. A little spicy bit of heaven in every bite.

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Spicy Salmon Poké

Craving something on the lighter side? Our spicy salmon poké starts off with fresh salmon tossed simply in soy, layered atop sushi rice and fresh greens, then drizzled with a classic creamy spicy sauce and finished off with house-made nori chips. Paper thin coins of cucumber and breakfast radish add texture and interest.

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Crispy Eggplant Stack

A comforting Italian delicacy in tapas form. This dish has quickly become a customer favorite, and there’s a reason why. Panko-breaded eggplant is layered with fresh and local Burrata cheese, and the whole dish gets a generous blanket of our creamy Y&Y Vodka sauce. Inspired by the plates (and plates and plates) of Rigatoni alla Vodka I survived on while studying abroad in Italy! Just try stopping at one bite.

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Broken Shrimp & Grits

You’ve probably heard of shrimp & grits, but have you ever heard of broken shrimp? Sourced from Catalina Offshore, these shrimp are just the same quality as their traditional counterparts; the only difference is that these guys get a little beaten up during processing. They may have lost their tails, but they’re just as delicious! In the spirit of reducing waste, we are all about re-purposing these perfectly good crustaceans in the form of a southern classic. They’re tossed in a Tabasco sofrito and nestled on top of the creamiest parmesan grits this side of the Mississippi.

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Fried Chicken

Would it even be a somewhat southern-inspired menu without fried chicken? We’ve taken this staple and turned the dial up – juicy chicken pieces ( I like to call them adult nuggets) are double battered and fried to perfection, then finished with a house-made buffalo drizzle. And we’ve included a gorgeous bed of rainbow chard from Two Forks Farm because, balance.

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“Taco Bell” Egg Rolls

I mean, do I even need to say anything here? My high school and college-aged selves are bursting with glee! Elegant appetizer meets ultimate drinking food… A cheesy seasoned ground beef mixture is delicately rolled into phyllo-like sheets and fried to the lightest crisp, served with {not-from-a-packet} hot sauce and drizzle of crema.

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Worms In Dirt

This childhood dessert has grown up beautifully. The 21+ parfait-style treat starts off with Provisional Gin chocolate mousse, layered with velvety devil’s food cake, graham cracker sand, and Stella Jean’s vanilla ice cream. It wouldn’t be complete without few worms, which are made in-house with our Y&Y Summer Citrus Vodka. You won’t be able to resist!

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The best part is that each dish is conveniently paired with one of our signature You & Yours cocktails so you can pair and share to your heart’s content! We can’t wait for you to try these beautiful southern small plates and hear what your favorites are. Come see us soon! Xo, LKJ

Prized Pony

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Behold a You & Yours classic, the Prized Pony! The Prized Pony is our version of Moscow Mule at You & Yours Distilling Co., with a little twist. Everything we serve in the tasting room is made in house, i.e. distilled (duh) or juiced and made fresh and as such, we wanted to create a Mule without using store-bought ginger beer. Instead, we make a fresh juiced ginger root syrup combined with our favorite sparkling water to achieve that spicy-sweet fizziness. And in addition to the traditional Angostura bitters, we add a few dashes of peach bitters as well for a bit of a southern spin.

Speaking of a southern spin, this cocktail is practically BEGGING to be served at your Kentucky Derby part. I mean, just look at that cute little jockey pick! They’re so fun and festive, and being a Mule variation, a definite crowd pleaser. Serving a pitcher of Prized Ponies would be a lovely companion/alternative to your standard Mint Julep. If you’d like to recreate the look here, grab some cute little Horse Jockey garnish picks of your own on Amazon. Or perhaps these cute horse shoe picks!

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Prized Pony | Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except Topo Chico) to a shaker with ice and shake briefly. Add a splash of Topo Chico to the shaker and strain into a tall Collins glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or rosemary and a lime wheel.

Ginger cordial: Bring one part freshly juiced ginger root (juice chopped, unpeeled ginger and strain), one part water, and two parts sugar to a simmer until sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool. Strain into a sealed container and keep refrigerated.

Coriander lime cordial: Bring 1 cup lime juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil. Add 1/4 oz each of whole coriander and cloves (optional) and let simmer for 15 minutes. Cool, strain and keep mix refrigerated.

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Review of the Week Vol. 4 { A Canned WINE COOLER }

Welcome back to Review of the Week! A fun little series where I tell you about one thing I enjoyed that past week so you can too!

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This week it’s a *gasp* WINE COOLER! Never thought I’d say that but I promise this one is actually worth a try! While in Palm Springs a couple of weekends ago, we stopped by a VONS supermarket to check out our just-landed You & Yours canned cocktails. Having recently locked down all southern California locations of the retailer, we were SO excited to see our products on shelves out in the wild. After perusing the aisles, we couldn’t resist picking up a couple of other canned RTDs to try… I’ve been a huge fan of Union Wine Co.‘s Underwood line of wines in a can over the years and thought it was high-time I tried some of their wine coolers too. I was hooked by the packaging right away, but after taking a peek at the ingredients (just wine, hops and real fruit juice), I knew had to give the Riesling Radler a try.

When I popped it open, I have to admit it smelled EXACTLY like opening up a bag of Bugles… you know the little corn snacks you put on your finger tips? Lol. Not exactly off-putting (I love a good salty snack) but just… unexpected. After the Bugle aroma subsided, it had a super sweet nose to it, making me a bit worried it was going to be too saccharine. But when I took a sip the sweetness thankfully gave way to an extremely palatable and dry, almost bitter finish. Every sip is a roller coaster, let me tell you! But in a good way. It’s sweet up front, then deliciously complex and juicy before rolling through to a pithy grapefruit peel-like finish. It’s pretty brilliant because the sweet start is perfectly balanced by that bitter finish, which keeps you going back in for sip after sip.

My only drawback, if I had to name one, would be the alcohol content. They’re *extremely* sessionable at just 3% ABV. They don’t exactly pack a punch, but if you have a friend or family member who maybe isn’t a big drinker, this is a really fun option for them to get in on just a little bit of fun. And no matter you’re desired poolside ABV, these Radlers are definitely worthy of a spot in your summer bevvy lineup!

Have you tried the Riesling Radler yet? If so, would love to know your thoughts! And if not, click here to find out where to buy them near you.

Blood & Sand(lot)

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Baseball is back and so is our speciality cocktail, the Blood & Sand(lot)! Suhh-wing (BATTER BATTER) by the You & Yours Distilling Co. tasting room before or after the next home game for our take on the classic Scotch cocktail! :) ⚾️Not local to San Diego? Scroll down for how to make this festive game day cocktail at home!

 

 

 

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Blood & Sand(lot) |  Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Y&Y Vodka
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz orange cordial*
  • 0.5 oz blood orange juice
  • 1 egg white, separated
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash liquid smoke

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker WITHOUT ice. Shake vigorously to create a frothy mixture from the egg white. Add ice and shake briefly. Double strain into a footed coupe. Garnish with 10 drops of Angostura bitters placed in back to back “C” shapes, and use a toothpick or straw to gently draw a line through the drops to create the baseball stitching effect!

*Orange cordial: Bring one part fresh orange juice (strained) and one part white sugar to a gentle boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes and cool. Keep mix refrigerated.

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Crystal Ball

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Cheers to another Spring Menu cocktail recipe! This one from You & Yours Distilling Co. can only be described as what would happen if Ken tried to make Barbie an Old Fashioned. It’s light and airy and feminine but gets straight to the point.

I love that it combines two trends I’m loving at the moment – “up, on a rock” and “a little extra on the side.” I’m into cocktails served up AND on a rock for a couple of reasons: I think the aesthetic is cool and unexpected and I like that using a coupe coupled with a touch of dilution from the ice makes a direct-style cocktail just a touch more delicate and approachable. On top of the ice/garnish situation, serving the drink with a little extra cocktail on the side – so you can top yourself up at your leisure – is genius IMO because it allows the drink to be presented in one way, yet you’re not missing out on enjoying a full cocktail. These two cocktail trends combined provide a lovely, sensuous and subtly drawn out imbibing experience. Scroll down to snag the recipe.

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Crystal Ball  |  Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except salt spray) to a mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds and strain over a large ice sphere in a coupe and spritz a few times with salt spray. Garnish with a grapefruit peel placed around the inner rim. If there is leftover cocktail remaining in the mixing glass, serve it in a small tasting glass or snifter on the side, and refill the coupe at your leisure!

*Grapefruit cordial: Bring one part fresh grapefruit juice (strained) and one part white sugar to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes and cool. Keep mix refrigerated.

**Lemon oleo: Peel 2-3 lemons and combine peel and 1/2 c sugar in a container. Let rest 4+ hours overnight, then drain off lemon oil and store oil in a sealed container.

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Review of the Week Vol. 3 {A Juicy, Salty Red Blend from Australia}

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Welcome back to Review of the Week: A fun little post series where I share something I loved recently so you can enjoy it too!

This week I’m introducing you to a stupid delicious wine we picked up at Vino Carta last week… After a bit of a rough day for both Luke and myself, we decided to lift our collective spirits with a glass of wine (or two) before heading home to cook dinner. We love stopping into Vino Carta in our neighborhood on a casual week night. Their selection of natural and biodynamic wines is robust and constantly changing, with a wide variety of price points. And their staff are so knowledgeable. All we have to do is walk in and say three words (“easy, mid-week red” or “sassy, warm-weather white”) and the spot-on suggestions come at us like machine gun fire.

This particular evening we were looking for something juicy and easy-drinking, but a varietal or blend we don’t drink all the time. We were between two bottles – a pinot noir from our fave, Santa Lucia Highlands (something we drink a lot) and this random Amy Atwood selection we’d never seen before but sounded really good. Without hesitation the gal on duty pointed us towards the Amy Atwood red blend and we immediately heeded her advice.

We’d intended on just having a small glass and heading home, but ended up enjoying the whole bottle over stories of all the fires we’d put out that day and alternating giving the other a pep talk, lol. It was so utterly drinkable and well balanced, I took the empty bottle home so we could remember what pure joy we’d just drank. I kept saying it tasted like a strawberry fruit snack spritzed with sea water. You know that unspeakably juicy & addictive quality that characterizes sweet things like fruit snacks, Gushers and Starbursts? THAT IS THIS WINE! We couldn’t stop.

Here’s a snap of the info on the back if you’re interested in picking up a bottle! Just ask the gals at Vino Carta and I’m sure they’ll point you in the right direction. This would be a great girls-night-in or casual dinner party pick! Happy drinking! :)

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Be sure to check out previous ROTWs: A Ginger Turmeric Cappuccino and Mexican-inspired Gin & Tonic.

A Weekend with Family in Palmetto Bluff, SC

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When my mom told my brother and I that she was surprising us and our significant others with a fun weekend trip for our birthdays late last fall (my brother and I were born 8 days apart – albeit with almost 8 years in between), and that she wasn’t going to tell us where we were going until the plane landed, I knew almost immediately where she was taking us. I kept it to myself, knowing she was bursting with glee to keep it a secret from us. However, I just knew she was taking us to South Carolina. She frequents the gorgeous southern state pretty often for tennis retreats and girls’ trips and I’ve repeatedly mentioned to her how badly I’d been wanting to visit a specific part of the state – Palmetto Bluff and the surrounding area.

Sure enough a few months later when our plane landed in Atlanta, GA and our driver announced we were just a short 45 minute drive away I knew I’d guessed correctly! When we pulled up to our home for the weekend – a gorgeous rental property on the Montage Resort grounds – I was giddy. Even though it was dark by the time we arrived and impossible to see the beautiful scenery, the cool, crisp air and sound of the cicadas buzzing around our back porch was almost a direct dose of bliss.

Our first day we woke up to the most beautiful morning and enjoyed coffee on our screened in porch while the guys played a round of golf. Us ladies were happy to relax and read before meeting them for a late breakfast. After we fueled up on mimosas and southern fare at Buffalo’s, we took a walk down the wharf for some more fresh air. I don’t know what it is – maybe living somewhere with one season year round – but I just couldn’t get enough of the crisp late fall South Carolina air and gentle breeze. You could have chained me to a chair outside by the water all weekend and I would have been a happy camper!

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After taking a survey of the water and surrounding natural scenery, we hopped on bikes and went for a long bike ride to see the rest of the property. Palmetto Bluff has several trails and little lakes and picnic areas so you can bike all day and never see the same thing twice. We stopped a few times along the way for photo ops of course!

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After our long ride we were thirsty, naturally, so we decided to grab a cocktail at the main Montage lodge. They have a bar, restaurant, spa, pool and gorgeous water feature with an adjacent patio, which is where we plopped ourselves for the next hour or so. We sipped on gin & tonics and rosé while we caught up and watched the gators float in and out of sight (yikes).

Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head to our first scheduled group activity – a visit to the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club! Because you should always get a little buzz on before handling rifles! (Just kidding, don’t try this at home, lol).

Our time at the shooting range was definitely the highlight of the trip for me! I don’t have the best eyesight and despite being born and raised in the great state of Texas, I’d never shot a gun of any kind prior to this trip, so I didn’t know if it was going to be my thing… well, I was wrong. It’s TOTALLY MY THING! I had so much fun learning how to shoot the clays from each launch point and seeing who could hit each clay first (a little sibling/significant other competition is always interesting lol), I didn’t want to leave! I enjoyed it so much, I’ve vowed to head out to one of the shooting clubs here in Temecula on my next free weekend at home! I think I have a new hobby y’all, lol.

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When we returned home from shooting it was more porch time, albeit this time with a bit of champagne instead of coffees. Before we knew it it was time to get ready for dinner! All dressed up and ready to go, we headed into town to a local steakhouse that was phenomenal! I wish I could remember the name but I’ve Googled repeatedly to no avail. I promise to update if it comes to me :)

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The next morning we hopped back on our bikes in search of some breakfast and another walk down the wharf before it was time to meet my mom’s friends for a little boat ride! Some friends of hers live in Palmetto Bluff and were sweet enough to take us out for the day. We got a wonderful tour of the Bluff and adjacent waterways, before anchoring up in a little spot out of the wind and enjoying some conversation over a cold glass of white wine. Gradually we all decided it was time for lunch, so we cruised up and tied up the boat in front of Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island for some fried shrimp po’ boys and crab cakes. Deliciously full and a little buzzed (always), we hopped aboard and made our way back home for some down time.

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Eager to soak up every minute of South Carolina, Luke and I jetted off by ourselves and opted for some more exploring by bike. After a stunning ride through a canopy of trees – and a few more photo ops – we stumbled upon a nice quiet little corner of Palmetto Bluff with newer homes, a gift shop, a grab and go restaurant and a gorgeous oyster shell-stucco’d bar (that wasn’t open unfortunately) and just took our time puttering around and perusing the tiny village. Just across the way, we found a small pond and with a tiny dock and just sat for a while, which was glorious. Well, funny story, I sat. Luke paced, as he was a little spooked by potential gators! HAH. Don’t tell him I told you that.

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Once Luke had enough of gator watch, we rode back to the house to grab our swim suits and meet my mom at the pool for a sunset cocktail and a dip!

Pretty tuckered out from two full days, we were all feeling a low key evening so we rode our bikes to a sweet little bistro, the Canoe Club, also on property and dined on a wonderful last meal together.

Luke and I had a superrrrrrr early flight the next morning as we were heading straight to Panama but luckily my mom, brother and his girlfriend all had another morning before flying back to Dallas. Lucky dogs!

All in all, I could just move to South Carolina right about now. I love the weather, the scenery, the vibe, the people, the FOOD!, and pace of life so much. I felt so at home there somehow when we visited in Charleston the year before last, so I have a feeling we’ll be spending a bit more time there in the coming years.

What about you, have you visited South Carolina? Did you love it? What other parts of the state should we explore? Please tell me in the comments below! Xo

Oh Snap! A Snap Pea & Sunday Gin Sour

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New cocktail menu tastings are DEFINITELY in the top five when it comes to things I get to do for my “job” at You & Yours Distilling Co. and our most recent spring menu tasting did not disappoint. In fact, I think this Snap Pea Sunday Gin Sour, the “Oh Snap!,” by our tasting room manager, April, might be one of my favorite cocktails ever presented at Y&Y.

Fresh juiced snap peas lend a gentle but invigorating jolt of grassiness that compliments our bright and citrusy Sunday Gin just flawlessly. And the frothiness from the egg white and bit of complexity from a dash or two of peach bitters and fresh mint send it totally over the top. I think it might even be the new Bunny Foo Foo! 😉#ifyouknowyouknow… keep scrolling for the recipe or better yet, sign up for one of our March Cocktail Classes to learn how to make it from April herself!

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Oh Snap! Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Sunday Gin
  • 1.5 oz snap pea + honey mix (see recipe below)
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes peach bitters
  • 1 small sprig of mint
  • 1 egg white, separated

Directions:

Add all ingredients (tear mint before adding) to a cocktail shaker WITHOUT ICE and dry shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. The longer you shake, the frothier the cocktail will be. Then add ice and shake a second time. Double strain directly into a short rocks glass and garnish with a single snap pea.

Snap pea + honey mix: Combine two parts fresh juiced snap peas with one part honey simple syrup (1:1 honey to water, heated gently until fully dissolved). Keep mix refrigerated.

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2019 Travel Plans & Bucket List

I had so much fun writing last year’s post around this time last year so I thought I’d share this year’s travel plans too. If you’ve been to any of the locations, or are planning trips of your own, please share your recs!

Distillerista-2019-Travel-Plans{ luggage essentials: Senreve Maestra bag in noir, Away The Bigger Carry On in navy, Longchamp Overnighter in gunmetal and a Scottish Fold stowaway 😉 }

Spring…

  • March – We’re contemplating a quick snow trip before its too late in the season – thinking of meeting some friends in Park City, UT mid-March. TBD, but I hope we can swing it!
  • April – The trip I’m MOST excited for this year is definitely when we head back to The Bahamas in mid-April. The Bahamas are so special to us for tons of reasons – I’ve been traveling there with my family for twenty+ years, it was the first vacation Luke came on with me and my family when we officially started dating, it’s where we got engaged, spent my birthday and it’s where we’ll be getting married next year! I can’t wait to head back to do a bit of wedding planning and a looooot of relaxing.
  • May – We’ve been promising to take my mom to Santa Barbara for YEARS so this Mothers’ day (which always falls on or around her birthday) I think we’re finally going to pull the trigger! It’s one of our all-time favorite spots to travel to for a long weekend – see my past trip recaps here and here.

Summer…

  • June –  SO excited for this… we’re headed to Europe! I haven’t been back in almost 5 years, which feels a little crazy. And I’m doubly excited as we’re doing something a little different this time, a rail trip through Scandinavia! We’ll be starting in Denmark, making our way through Olso and the fjords of Norway before ending the trip in Sweden. Then to top it off we’ll hit London on our way home to catch up with some friends and spend a few days in my very favorite city!
  • July – Hopefully making time for a trip to NYC with girlfriends to scope out my wedding dress. (!!!)

Fall…

  • October – Can’t wait to celebrate Luke’s 35th birthday (he’s a Halloween baby) in JAPAN for the Rugby World Cup! I can’t imagine a better collision of Luke’s favorite things – rugby, travel, yakitori, lollll …the list goes on. And perhaps a quick couple of nights in Hong Kong before we head home as well – it’s been at the top of his bucket list for ages.

Winter…

  • No plans beyond the fall just yet, but since we spent the Holidays down under last year, I’m looking forward to nice quiet holidays at home this year.

And not that the year is leaving us much room for additional travel, hah, but here’s a short list of where I’d like to go this year if we get the chance!

  • New England – Been dying to take a fall road trip through NE for years now, especially since we have dear friends in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island and I have family in Maine… Maybe this will be the year!
  • Montana – Cough, cough @Luke. Montana is at the top of my list and as such, I’ve been promised a trip for quite a while now. I think it’s high time he paid up, don’t you?!
  • Canada – I have only been once, to Victoria a loooong time ago, and there are so many parts of the country I’d still love to explore.
  • Oaxaca – high, high on our list. Perhaps we can tack it on to a return trip to Mexico City! One of our favorites.

What about you, where are you traveling this year?!