Skimbaco Lifestyle | online magazine » SKIMBACO TRAVEL http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com Skimbaco Lifestyle, online magazine inspiring you to live life to the fullest. Travel, home, food, fashion, family. Mon, 24 Aug 2015 23:15:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 My Husband Asked if I Wanted to Go on a Road Trip.. and We Ended Up Reliving our Pasthttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/my-husband-asked-if-i-wanted-to-go-on-a-road-trip-and-we-ended-up-reliving-our-past.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/my-husband-asked-if-i-wanted-to-go-on-a-road-trip-and-we-ended-up-reliving-our-past.html#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:26:33 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45753&preview_id=45753 When is the last time you felt like going on a little trip, and then just… left? We went for a vacation to Texas a few weeks ago. It was a mixed business trip with…]]>
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When is the last time you felt like going on a little trip, and then just... left?

When is the last time you felt like going on a little trip, and then just… left?

We went for a vacation to Texas a few weeks ago. It was a mixed business trip with a family visit, as Matt and I attended the Young Living convention, and then visited family. It was a great trip, but it didn’t feel any easier to wake up last Monday morning to go to work.

In fact, we both felt like we needed a vacation after the vacation!

Vacations don't always look like this.

The week back to work felt longer than ever, and Matt’s work days stretched late, but he surprised us on Friday by coming home earlier. I was still in a haze trying to get work done and hang out with the kids, and watch the puppy. Then this conversation happened.

Matt: Do you want to go for a road trip?

Me: Yes! When? Where?

Matt: Now. But I’m tired from this week, so max six hour drive.

Me: What about all of the food we bought for the weekend yesterday? Hm, I will just chop all of the veggies and we will take them with us. We will have picnics and veggies and hummus all weekend.

Matt: OK. We need a cooler bag.

And just like that, we decided to go on a road trip.

We packed, we made dinner, we chopped vegetables, and went to buy a cooler bag, and two hours later, we were on the road.

While Matt wanted to drive all the way to Atlantic coast to take us to the beach, I didn’t want to arrive back home again tired from the trip, so I suggested driving a few hours North, to Watertown, NY, where we used to live. Now when kids are older, we have been trying to take them to places that hold family memories. We have been moving around for 18 years, so “home” is a relative expression. Our memories and homes are scattered around the world, and we lived in Watertown in 2002-2005. We moved there from Schweinfurt, Germany, and we moved from there to Lakewood, Ohio.

All American Victoria house in upstate New York

Oh, the memory lane

Watertown is where we purchased our first house together, and where our son Kristian was born. It wasn’t the perfect town, but it was a safe town to raise kids, and I loved how close to Canada we were for weekend trips to Montreal and Ottawa. With the Lake Ontario, the 1000 Island area and the Adirondacks close by, we were surrounded by beauty.

Kids were young, all three under five while we lived there. The years before Watertown had been busy too. Isabella was born in Finland while Matt was deployed in Kosovo, and Gabriella was born in Germany, just six weeks before we moved back to United States. We also spent three months traveling in the US before moving to Watertown. Yes, we had been traveling a lot, and in many ways I thought our travel days were over, and it was our time to settle down, especially because I had just found out I was pregnant again, before we even got to Watertown.

I loved our Victorian house, and I saw our family there for a long time. Matt was always busy working as a helicopter test pilot, and I kept busy at home. I always forced him to help me with the multiple house-projects I had. My parents flew in from Finland, and my dad helped to rewire the electricity in the house, and built the white picket fence. There was an abandoned old church close to us, and I dreamed of buying it and turning it into a coffee shop. I know I had dreams just staying there, although I knew Matt’s career dreams were somewhere else. And life did have more adventures for us, and we left Watertown in fall 2005, and never returned until this weekend.

In many ways, it was better than we remembered.

Our house was still there, but so much of its character was gone. In a way it made me sad, but at the same time it was easy not to miss the beautiful home we once had, this house didn’t look nearly as cozy as when we lived in it. The old church was there too, and to my disappointment the roof was caving in, and nothing had been done to it in ten years, and now it was too late for the over hundred year old building to be saved.

our-old-watertown-home

Watertown had grown a lot, and in very odd way after ten years, and after seeing so many other run down New York towns, I was expecting Watertown to look more run down too. I thought maybe my vision of the beautiful streets (Paddock and Flower, where we lived) were altered in my memories, and maybe the rows of Victorian and Colonial houses were not as amazing as I remembered them to be. We drove around the town, and sighed, even Watertown is much more beautiful than the town where we live now.

I had felt the same way of Lakewood, Ohio, after visiting there this winter and summer. A small sting in my heart saying that maybe if we had just stayed in Watertown (or in Lakewood), our life would be somehow better right now, and maybe we could have prevented some of the hard things we have gone through. But what would our lives be without all of the adventures? We had lived life to the fullest, that’s for sure.

Today the Sackets Harbor Battlefield is interpreted to the public by exhibits, outdoor signs, guided and self-guided tours, and a restored 1850's Navy Yard and Commandant's House. During the summer months, guides dressed in military clothing of 1813 reenact the camp life of the common soldier.

We drove to Sackets Harbor, cute little town by Lake Ontario. Sacrets Harbor was the historic battlefield of the war 1812, and it and we headed for the Sackets Harbor Battlefield for a picnic. After letting Hugo, our dog, to run in the water, and walking around the park, we pulled out the veggies and hummus of the cooler bag and set up a picnic on the lawn. Afterwards, we took naps and read books and I just gazed the lake view. It was the best thing ever.

summer time picnic

We continued the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and stopped in towns like Clayton, and visited the Tibbitts Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent.

Great Lakes Seaway Trail upstate New York

We told stories to kids about the time we lived in Watertown, and showed the places we had liked going. We had been out the entire day, and we were all getting tired, and we considering just calling it a night. We were just driving around and at sevenish on the evening we happened to drive by the Watertown Fairgrounds and saw people parking their cars for an event. We could tell that the parking lot was really filling up just by driving by, and then we saw the sign what was going on… A Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Matt and I just looked at each others and we both got teary eyed. This extempore road trip was sending us a message bigger than we expected. See, on our third date, we went to Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. It was in Germany in 1997, and while we were not big fans, when an All-American band plays in Germany close to an American military base, there is no other option but go! Ironically we listened to Sweet Home Alabama in the concert then, and a year later we were living in Alabama, married.

What are the odds that we return to Watertown ten years later only to drive by the concert at the moment it is starting?

We knew we had to go to the concert, and just figure it out, with three kids and a dog and all.

We ended the night… with serendipitous Lynyrd Skynyrd concert tailgating

I had never been tailgating before.

We got a huge take-out pizza from our old favorite pizza place, and parked behind the fairgrounds to listen to the concert. Kids didn’t really like (or believe) our music taste, but for us it wasn’t just about rock’n’roll. It was about memories of the past 18 years.

We remembered how we knew on that day in 1997 that we wanted to be together forever. All what we knew back then that we were from the opposite sides of the world, but the only home we ever wanted again was with each others. Several countries, states and addresses later, we had returned to one of our “homes” only to remember what truly mattered to us: being together in this crazy world.

Tailgating at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert

Some old photos…

I had to take pictures of some of our old photos from that time.

This is my father – handling baby sitting a year old Gaby and building a fence at the same time.

Ukki and Gaby

Mother’s Day 2003.

mothers-day-2003

Summer 2003 in Sackets Harbor.

girls-in-sackets-harbor-2003

Matt and Me in summer 2004 in Sackets Harbor.

summer-2004

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Let’s connect!

Visit Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s profile on Pinterest.

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Taste the Goodness of the Moravian Cookie Trail in Winston-Salem, N.C.http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/taste-the-goodness-of-the-moravian-cookie-trail-in-winston-salem-n-c.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/taste-the-goodness-of-the-moravian-cookie-trail-in-winston-salem-n-c.html#respond Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:44:26 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45704&preview_id=45704 With more than a million pounds baked each year, Winston-Salem, N.C. is famous for its production of the world’s thinnest cookie. It’s called a Moravian cookie. Known for its simple, but rich flavor, the Moravian…]]>
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Moravian cookie one

With more than a million pounds baked each year, Winston-Salem, N.C. is famous for its production of the world’s thinnest cookie. It’s called a Moravian cookie. Known for its simple, but rich flavor, the Moravian cookie is a holiday staple in many households. Here, in North Carolina, we munch on this cookie year-round and trust me,  it is delicious with tea. When you visit historic Old Salem, you will want to venture into Winkler Bakery, which is more than 200 years old.

Winkler Bakery in Winston-Salem, N.C. is more than 200 years. Its famous for producing Moravian baked goods.

The bakery, with bakers in period costume, features the original wood-fired dome oven that has baked bread, cakes, and confections since it was built in 1807. The Moravian sugar cake is traditionally served during Easter sunrise services in the Moravian faith, and it was being made during my visit to Winkler Bakery this summer. All the proceeds of baked goods bought at Winkler go to help preserve the Old Salem Museum and Gardens.

Moravian cakes.  These cakes are popular for Easter Sunrise Services in the Moravian faith.

To get a better understanding of what makes this little thin cookie so special to North Carolina, is to understand its history. In 1766, the Moravians, a devout, religious group from Eastern Europe, established a thriving community of Salem.

Old Salem in Winston-Salem is now a historic museum.

Their pioneer work as fine craftsmen and artisans of pottery, tannery, and furniture making, established the city as a sought after trade center. The Moravian cookie is one of Salem’s greatest accomplishments. The Moravians referred to these cookies as “cakes” and traditionally baked them for family and friends during the Christmas holidays. Today, there are a lot of varieties of Moravian cookies, but the original cookies combined the flavors of molasses, ginger, and aromatic cloves.

At  Winkler  Bakery in Old Salem, bakers  still bake in the original wood-fired dome oven.

These ingredients were chosen because they were readily available during this time period, and they could be stored for long periods of time. Salem was a very isolated part of North Carolina in the eighteenth century. It took people awhile to get here, and during the winter months, the area was just too hard to get to safely. On a Southern tour, President George Washington spent two nights in the town and we can only assume that he munched on this cookie in the tavern.

The Moravian cookie as we enjoy it today in the U.S. was born in Salem. The history of the cookie has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s thin for practical reasons. The thinner the dough, there would be more cookies to produce. Thinner cookies also bake more quickly allowing more time for other baking and daily chores.

Three food companies are now headquartered in Winston-Salem and specialize in Moravian baked goods. These businesses are part of the Moravian Cookie Trail. Dewey’s Bakery, Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies, and Winkler Bakery in Old Salem are where you can see the baking in action. Old Salem is a historic area near downtown Winston-Salem. Most buildings are ticketed admission, but Winkler Bakery is open to the public without a ticket, and you can buy a wide variety of Moravian baked goods here.

Salem Baking Company brings the Moravian cookie tradition on a national level. The company bakes and distributes more than a million pounds a year. They also are responsible for thinking “outside the box” and now Moravian cookies have found new life in the world of hors d’oeuvres. Pairings such as ginger and bleu cheese and lemon and mascarpone present a sweet and savory taste to a dinner party.

Original Moravian Cookie Recipe

(It’s recommended to cut the recipe in half)

3/4 cup butter and lard or shortening, mixed
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons ground ginger
1-pint black molasses
1 teaspoon salt
7 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon soda
4 tablespoons ground cloves
1/4 cup boiling water

To make cookies:
Cream butter and lard with sugar. Add molasses. Sift flour with spices and salt. Add soda to boiling water. Add flour mixture and soda water to creamed mixture.

Work well with the hands. Cover and store in a cold place overnight, preferably longer. Roll to infinite thinness on board.
Bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 degrees, for a very few minutes or just until they begin to brown.

Recipe from North Carolina and Old Salem Cookery (Published in 1955)

All the proceeds from the baked goods sold in Winkler Bakery go to Old Salem Museum and Gardens.

Plan your trip to Winston-Salem, N.C and taste the Moravian Cookie Trail. The city can also be credited for establishing Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and it is home to the beautiful Wake Forest University, The North Carolina School of the Arts, and Salem College, the first women’s college in the U.S.  Winston-Salem is also the gateway to the NC Wine Region in Yadkin Valley. We recommend dining on Moravian inspired cuisine at The Tavern in Old Salem. Reservations are suggested.

This story was made possible by a media visit. 

Post by Leigh Hines

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

“I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.” Leigh Hines of Hines Sight Blog

Let’s connect

Visit Leigh Hines of Hinessightblog.com’s profile on Pinterest.

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Alabama: Top 5 Road Trip Highlightshttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/alabama-top-5-road-trip-highlights.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/alabama-top-5-road-trip-highlights.html#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2015 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/?p=45478 We are always up for a new destination, especially when we can find a state-side road trip with great views and award-winning food! If you are heading to Alabama for some Southern hospitality, you can use…]]>
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Alabama Adventures

We are always up for a new destination, especially when we can find a state-side road trip with great views and award-winning food! If you are heading to Alabama for some Southern hospitality, you can use our top 5 spots to plan your own Alabama adventure!

1. Food Festivals
Live music, phenomenal food (think gumbo and handmade ice cream) and free admission – Alabama food festivals are a no-brainer to add to the road trip list! If you’re planning to head out on your Alabama adventure soon, be sure to check out the upcoming events. We’re thinking Lobsterfest and the Peanut Boil Festival both sound like tasty ideas!
Food Festival Alabama
2. Saw’s BBQ
Smoked Chicken and White Barbecue Sauce – Need we say more? This dreamy dish is served up at Saw’s BBQ, a humble spot in Birmingham, Alabama. If you’re a BBQ traditionalist, though, don’t fret – they’ve got something for everyone. Ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, stuffed taters – you name it, they’ve got it, and we want it all!

If all that wasn’t enough to put Saw’s on your Alabama road trip itinerary; Paula Deen just dished out her “10 Best BBQ Places in America”, and this soul-food-centric restaurant took the number 1 spot!

 
Alabama BBQ
3. Orange Beach
You had us at “sugar-white sand beaches”! This might be a spot where we each spend a day doing our own thing – the golfer heads to the course and the beach lover dips her toes into the sea while indulging in a good book and a dose of Vitamin D! Our ideal visit to Orange Beach? Well, after a day of relaxation, we would top it off with some of Alabama’s extraordinary seafood and then head out for a sunset sail! (Chartering a boat is easy – Don’t worry, they come with a captain!)
 
Orange Beach Alabama
4. SpringHouse
We believe road trips can be luxurious and even deserve a white tablecloth restaurant from time to time! An impressive stone-clad building overlooking Lake Martin, with cozy fireplaces and a relaxing atmosphere, SpringHouse, in Alexander City, Alabama, is a road trip splurge we’d like to make. If the exposed rustic beams, stunning open kitchen and water views aren’t enough to sway you – the impressively artistic and locally sourced fare certainly should. Save room for SpringHouses signature s’mores dessert and be sure to try something from their ever-evolving cocktail menu!
Fine Dining Alabama
5. Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway
Boasting stunning views, beautiful beaches, historic sites and much more – the Coastal Connection is a great way to sample Alabama’s rich culture. Watch the dolphins play in the gulf, do a bit of bird watching, head out to sea or simply take in the views from your spot in the sand! We’re ready get planning so we can hit the road and start embracing the sights and flavors of this incredible region!
Scenic Byway Alabama
Barbecue, beaches and southern hospitality is winning combination, and Sweet Home Alabama has it all! We’re ready to hit the open road, stopping along the way to savor the flavors of Alabama, marvel at the sparkling water of the Gulf and take in the rich, Southern culture any chance we get! Whether you’re still stitching together last minute summer plans, or you’re looking ahead for your next adventure – consider an Alabama road trip, maybe we’ll bump into you at a BBQ joint!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alabama Tourism. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Travel Insight: Is Travel a Privilege or a Choice?http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/travel-insight-is-travel-a-privilege-or-a-choice.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/08/travel-insight-is-travel-a-privilege-or-a-choice.html#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:01:30 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45611&preview_id=45611 This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of U.S. Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine. Traveling as a lifestyle At Skimbaco, we have made some lifestyle choices where travel is…]]>
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of U.S. Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine.

Is travel a privilege or a choice? Or a little bit of both?

Traveling as a lifestyle

At Skimbaco, we have made some lifestyle choices where travel is a priority in our lives. My statistics are not even close to Katja’s stats, but I’ve traveled to twelve countries and twenty states in my lifetime. I’ve conducted most of my traveling as an adult because that is when I got bitten by the travel bug. My own children have traveled a lot more than I did as a child. They both took their first flights at the age of four. I was 17 when I got on my first plane. We still have so much more that we want to see and experience. We recently returned from Washington D.C. My son’s second visit. My daughter’s first, and the first time I had been since 1993.

Washington DC_Kids

For my family, to travel is our choice, but it also a privilege. We may choose not to go to expensive concerts or we may choose not to have the latest electronic gadgets in the household so we can put those expenses toward travel opportunities. To us, to travel and the experiences from our travels are the oxygen that helps us breath, and to live. Without travel, something would be missing from our lives. By making some financial sacrifices in other areas in our lives, we are blessed with the means to travel. We are lucky.

The harsh reality is that not everyone can afford to travel. In fact, 20 percent of Americans have never left their home state. Other families may have left the state for just one other sunny state. And although, we can agree Walt Disney World is magical, it’s a made up place and not as beautiful our own big country with its small towns, large cities, historic monuments, and vast landscape to explore.

Washington Monument_Jack photo

For many families, the choice is either putting food on their family’s table or traveling. Or the choice is paying their mortgage or traveling. That is not really a choice at all, is it? Traveling will always take a backseat to life’s necessities. Traveling is a privilege. It would be fantastic if everyone could have that privilege in life without worrying about how they would pay their bills if they were to take their dream trip to New York City, San Francisco or somewhere in-between.

nyc

That’s why at Skimbaco, we like the idea of U.S. Cellular’s “Big Country” concept, a series that seeks out every day Americans who for one reason or another have never gone far from home and takes them on a trip of a lifetime! Throughout the five-part series, host Andrew Zimmern will guide these real U.S. Cellular customers who haven’t gone far from home to see the places and people they’ve only dreamed of seeing. U.S. Cellular will be a catalyst in helping to make its customers’ travel dreams a reality, allowing them to explore the Middle of Anywhere – great cities across the nation – and enabling them to stay connected to their family and friends back home through its nationwide coverage and technology. You will be able to catch the show during relevant programming across Food Network & Travel Channel during commercial breaks. You can also catch the series during your favorite Scripp network shows.

The episodes really make you smile when you see people living out their travel dreams. The shows are rather addicting because you are so happy for these people who for whatever reason haven’t had the opportunity to travel.

Here’s the best part of all. There is still a chance to be part of this series. U.S. Cellular is also holding an online open casting call for the 5th episode.

U.S. Cellular is looking to cast one more special customer to take on a trip of a lifetime for the season finale of Big Country! Please visit the link where you can nominate another deserving U.S. Cellular customer to star in the season finale of Big Country with national coverage from U.S. Cellular and TV host Andrew Zimmern on the show Big Country.

What are you waiting for? There’s a “Big Country” out there to explore. Now is your chance in a lifetime to experience it.

Post by Leigh Hines

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

“I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.” Leigh Hines of Hines Sight Blog

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of US Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Spend a day like the Royals: Visit the Drottningholm Palace in Swedenhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/spend-a-day-like-the-royals-visit-the-drottningholm-palace-in-sweden.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/spend-a-day-like-the-royals-visit-the-drottningholm-palace-in-sweden.html#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:13:08 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45620&preview_id=45620 Drottningholm Palace The Drottningholm Palace is about a twenty-minute-drive from downtown Stockholm, and makes a perfect day trip from the city. To make it an unique experience, you can also take a boat from downtown…]]>
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Drottningholm-Palace-stockholm-sweden

Drottningholm Palace

The Drottningholm Palace is about a twenty-minute-drive from downtown Stockholm, and makes a perfect day trip from the city. To make it an unique experience, you can also take a boat from downtown Stockholm to Drottningholm.

Drottningholm-Palace-gate

The Drottningholm Palace is the home residence of the King and Queen of Sweden, and they reside in the southern wing of the palace. The rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round. The Royal Guard is guarding the palace, and it’s quite impressive to think – the King and Queen truly have this incredible place still as one of their residences. We had no idea how large the palace and its surroundings were before our visit. You will want to bring good walking shoes and walk though not just the palace, but the surrounding gardens and park as well. There is so much to see, so be prepared to spend the entire day. It is easy to walk around with a stroller, if you have younger children.

Drottningholm-Palace-royal-guard

I have seen many castles and palaces around Europe, but I have to say Drottningholm is one my favorites. Drottningholm Palace is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, and is is the most well-preserved royal castle built in the 1600s in Sweden and at the same time is representative of all European architecture for the period. Just seeing the royal library, and the dance hall where the royal weddings are held was quite an experience.

Drottningholm-Palace-lion

Unfortunately there was no photography inside the palace, so all of my photos are from the gorgeous exterior and the surroundings. But simply said, the palace had the royal feel from the moment you stepped though the gate inside the grounds. Every single detail was perfected.

flower-pot-at-Drottningholm-Palace

The palace grounds include a museum, theatre, impressive gardens and a park, Chinese Pavillion, restaurants and a cafe, chapel and a gift shop.

Drottningholm-Palace-teather

The Museum De Vries with bronze sculptures dating back to the beginning of the 1600s and the rococo theatre is stunning to see inside. Well, pretty much anything you see at Drottningholm will stop you on your tracks.

Drottningholm-Palace-statue-teather

Chinese Pavilion

One of the most unique features in the Drottningholm Palace park, is the Chinese Pavilion, which was one of the main reason the Drottningholm Palace was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

chinese-pavillion-palace

The Chinese Pavilion is a Chinese-inspired royal pavilion originally built between 1753–1769 as a surprise gift. The Chinese Pavilion was given for Queen Lovisa Ulrika’s birthday on 24 July 1753 from King Adolf Frederick. When he gave the pavilion to her, she received a golden key to the castle from the young 7-year-old Crown Prince Gustav (later King Gustav III), dressed as a Chinese mandarin.

chinese-pavilion

The original Chinese Pavilion has been reconstructed afterwards.

chinese-pavillion-at-Drottningholm-Palace

chinese-pavillion-drottningholm-palace-stockholm

Close to the Chinese Pavilion is another quite unique sight: a circus tent. You can most certainly see that if the royals had a Chinese Pavilion to live the global lifestyle, of course they had their own circus tent for entertainment as well, right? Well, actually wrong.

circus-tent-for-army

The circus tent is actually a wooden building wand it was actually built for the royal guards. The tent disguised the guards perfectly, pretty brilliant, right?

army-tent-royal-guard

Gardens and park

drotningholm-palace-garden-house

While there is so much to see at the royal palace and the museums, save some time just for walking the gardens and enjoying a lunch in one of the restaurants or the cafe.

drotningholm-palace-gardens

You can also bring your own lunch, and if you are traveling with a dog, dogs are welcome to the park and garden, and also the cafe by the Chinese Pavilion.

coffee-shop-by-chinene-pavillion

We enjoyed some waffles after walking the palace grounds.

fika-drotningholm-palace

Read more about the Drottningsholm Palace and make sure to check out the seasonal opening hours before heading for a visit.

Drottningholm-Palace-in-sweden

More my Sweden favorites on my Findery notemap:

Follow Skimbaco Lifestyle’s board Stockholm and Sweden Style on Pinterest.

Some of my photos from Sweden on Instagram.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

 

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Let’s connect!

Visit Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s profile on Pinterest.

skimbaco-moments

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Take a Boat to this Modern Art Museum in Stockholm’s Archipelagohttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/take-a-boat-to-this-modern-art-museum-in-stockholms-archipelago.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/take-a-boat-to-this-modern-art-museum-in-stockholms-archipelago.html#respond Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:47:16 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45565&preview_id=45565 Take a trip to Stockholm’s Artipelag It is not often you visit an European capital and one of it’s most interesting modern art museum’s requires a road trip or a boat cruise and a hike…]]>
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ART-in-stockholm-archipelago

Take a trip to Stockholm’s Artipelag

It is not often you visit an European capital and one of it’s most interesting modern art museum’s requires a road trip or a boat cruise and a hike in the woods to reach it. Artipelag in Stockholm’s archipelago is one of them. It’s not situated in the gorgeous downtown Stockholm, but in town of Värmdö, about 25-minute-drive from Stockholm by car, or better yet: you can take a boat! You can take a boat from Nybroplan to Artipelag and it takes one hour 35 minutes to get there with a classic archipelago ship M/S Gustafsberg VII. The journey through Skurusundet and the very narrow strait Baggenstäket is an experience in itself. We had just taken a brunch cruise in the archipelago, so we drove to Värmdö instead.

Stockholm Artipelag museum

Once you get to the museum parking lot, you immediately realize, this is not your typical museum visit. You will have two ways to reach the museum; short through the woods, or a little bit longer by the water. We, of course, picked the scenic route! It’s not really all that long walk, it’s a 800 meter/ half a mile long walk on boardwalk (easy with strollers and accessible with wheelchair) by the sea.

stockholm-archipelago-boats

Before you even see Artipelag, you get the feeling this is more than just an art museum. Artipelag is a private project by the founders of BabyBjörn, Björn and Lillemor Jakobson. And just like BabyBjörn adds the playfulness in the children’s products, Artipelag is where art and nature come together in a beautiful play together.

artipelag-sign

“I want people to come here and experience the nature. There are so many beautiful trees, ant-hills and moss-covered stones to look at and rocks to sit on with views of Baggensfjärden bay. I think I could talk about this place until the cows come home.”

said Björn Jakobson in an interview in the Artipelag magazine.

art-museum-stockholm

The museum building is an excellent example of Scandinavian minimal architecture. The building blends in with the nature, and the museum restaurant has a large deck outside making it an excellent place to enjoy typical Swedish lunch, with a side of sea view and nature. You could easily also bring your own picnic style lunch and eat by the water, the nature area of Artipelag is quite large and makes it nice nature visit with family or friends.

nature-inside-the-museum

Inside the museum you can see how they left a large rock inside the restaurant to highlight the mixture of art and nature and how the building was designed to fit in the nature. According to the architect Nyréns Arkitektkontor Artipelag is integrated in the landscape in such a way that it feels like it is growing out of the cliff it’s standing on.

swedish-architecture-at-artpelag-museum

The rest of the Artipelag continues the same feel of nature and art integrated together. The natural wood inside is warm and inviting, but the minimalistic look gives the serene feeling like nature does, and let’s the art shine.

scandinavian-architecture

The large windows let sunshine in and make you feel you are part of the beautiful landscape even when indoors. Bringing nature inside is always part of Scandinavian living, and large window walls are a common sight in Scandinavian architecture.

inside-artipelag-museum-in-stockholm

The high quality of (often natural) materials, function and beauty always meet in Scandinavian design, and Artipelag is an excellent master piece of the perfect marriage of nature and art, design and function.

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In addition to art exhibitions at Artipelag, they also have a concert hall for performances, restaurant and cafe, and a design shop. Artipelag has several different seasonal opening hours, please check their website before visiting.

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artipelag-art-museum-art

More my Sweden favorites on my Findery notemap:

Follow Skimbaco Lifestyle’s board Stockholm and Sweden Style on Pinterest.

Some of my photos from Sweden on Instagram.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

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Authentic Swedish Smörgåsbord on a Brunch Cruise in Stockholm’s Archipelago with S/S Stockholmhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/authentic-swedish-smorgasbord-on-cruise.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/authentic-swedish-smorgasbord-on-cruise.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:03:06 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45521&preview_id=45521 Cruise the Stockholm Archipelago I am currently working on my “Road Trip through Nordic Countries” notemap on Findery, and you can read also my post “Road trip tips for Denmark and Southern Sweden” on Huffington…]]>
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S/S Stockholm cruises around Stockholm archipelago | Travel feature by @skimbaco

Cruise the Stockholm Archipelago

I am currently working on my “Road Trip through Nordic Countries” notemap on Findery, and you can read also my post “Road trip tips for Denmark and Southern Sweden” on Huffington Post. I am finally going through the massive amount of photos from our three years in Sweden. I still have so many stories, and so many places we discovered, which I want to share with you. Stockholm archipelago is one of them, and so is this lovely authentic Swedish brunch cruise!

The Stockholm archipelago is gorgeous, and if I would get my dream vacation in Sweden, it would be sailing around the archipelago. Stockholm archipelago is the largest archipelago in Sweden with approximately 24,000 islands and islets. It is the the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea (the largest being across the Baltic in Finland). Island after island, and boats leisurely sailing, there is plenty of pretty sights to see. No wonder the archipelago has over 50,000 holiday cottages, many of them gorgeous old mansions, which you can see from the sea. If you can’t get on a private boat to tour Stockholm archipelago, there are several options to experience it. If you want to combine it with a culinary adventure (my favorite kind of adventure), I recommend going on a brunch, lunch or dinner cruise.

Stockholm, Sweden, via @skimbaco

We took a smörgåsbord brunch cruise with S/S Stockholm. The company offers several brunch, lunch and dinner cruises around the archipelago, and we opted for a three-hour long brunch cruise serving the authentic Swedish smörgåsbord, a buffet with several authentic Swedish dishes. It truly is a very unique Swedish dining experience, and most of the people on board with us were actually locals. If locals love it – you know it is an authentic experience!

Swedish smorgasbrod | Travel feature by @skimbaco

I have to admit though, I wish I had more pictures of the amazing views of the archipelago, but I was on a family vacation, and I was way more focused on taking pictures of our family and the foods, so instead of giving your a picture tour of Stockholm archipelago, I am giving you a picture tour of very typical fancy Swedish smörgåsbord.

Authentic Swedish Smörgåsbord

What is Swedish Smörgåsbord? | Travel feature by @skimbaco

The lunch was served buffet style, like smörgåsbord always is, with several Swedish delicatessen like smoked salmon, prawn and crayfish mélange, Baltic herring, prawns, and of course, Swedish meatballs with lingonberries.

pickled herring selection in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

S/S Stockholm had a large selection of the ship’s home pickled herring and Baltic herring, and that was served with sour cream, onions, egg halves and Västerbotten cheese. Some of the herring was pickled raw – and then there is also herring that is first breaded and broiled, and then pickled.

herring and eggs in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

Then there was of course prawns.

Smoked salmon, prawns, part of the Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

That was not all of the fish selection, this was Sweden after all. There was ship’s home marinated salmon, warm smoked salmon
fish pâté, Arctic prawns, accompanied with variety of sauces.

Cold fish dishes in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

After the fish and shellfish, there was an array of hearty salads. These salads could be a meal on its own!

Swedish Salad selection on S/S Stockholm buffet cruise

I love the Scandinavian potato salad with sour cream (get the recipe for Finnish potato salad here), and there was also delicious bean salad and cabbage salad, and malted wheat. One of my favorites was also the salad with roasted golden beets. And the marinated beets of course are always good.

Swedish buffet salads in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

At this point I was in sea food heaven and food coma, and in all honesty I just skipped the cold meats such as salami, ham, roast beef and sausages. It was all there, but I just could not go there anymore.

cold cut meats in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

And can you believe it – not even one photo of the MAIN dishes? Yes, I totally skipped the main dishes and focused on my favorite sea food dishes that I knew I would miss dearly after leaving Sweden.

Here is a list of main dishes they serve: Jansson’s Temptation (caserole with potatoes and sardines in cream), Chipolatas, Chicken drumsticks, Feta gratinated vegetables, Meatballs, Ship’s quiche, Hot vegetables, Bacon, Egg special of the day and Boiled potatoes.

Cheese and Dessert

After taking a break from food (and focusing in wine, the S/S Stockholm had excellent wine selection as well), I was actually able to perk myself up from my food coma to eat again. Because I much rather skip the main course than dessert!

Cheede plate in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

Cheese dessert table was set by the window.

Cheese selection in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

After the cheese plate we still had to take small bites of the incredible dessert offering. The dessert included pannacotta, fruit salad, Swedish pancake cake, chocolate mousse, ice cream, parfait crème caramel and apple crumble, and several different cookies and pastries.

Raspberry panna cotta with liquorice froth was one of my favorites.

Raspberry panna cotta with liquorice froth in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

And of course, they also served Swedish chocolate coconut balls (get the chocolate coconut balls recipe here, they are super easy to make at home).

coconut chocolate balls in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

This dessert is Swedish pancakes with whipped creme and berries constructed to a pancake cake. The Swedish pancakes are slightly thicker versions of French crêpes, but not as thick and fluffy as American pancakes.

Pancake cake with berries in Swedish Smörgåsbord dessert table | Travel feature by @skimbaco

Kids half priced

I admit that my photos don’t maybe reflect on the entire menu, and focus more on the more exotic Swedish dishes. If you are wondering if this is a good cruise for younger children, I would say absolutely. There were many child-friendly dishes to choose from, usually the Swedish meatballs are a kid-favorite.

Swedish meatballs in Swedish Smörgåsbord | Travel feature by @skimbaco

Added bonus: children under 5 travel and eat for free and children 6-11 years old get the buffet cruise half priced.

S/S Stockholm cruise in Stockholm archipelago

Read more at Stromma.se. The brunch cruise cost 465 SEK/person, it’s around 55 dollars/49 euros per person, kids half the price. For a three-hour cruise and the quality of the food I think it’s a very good deal in the expensive Stockholm.

Stockholm cruise

Of course, you can enjoy Swedish foods also on many of the boats and restaurants ashore.

Stockholm shore  | Travel feature by @skimbaco


This post is featured in my Findery notemap of my favorite finds in Scandinavia and in my Fliboard magazine about Sweden.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

You can find more about Sweden on my Pinterest board.

Follow Skimbaco Lifestyle’s board Stockholm and Sweden Style on Pinterest.


Disclosure: This post was done as part of my partnership with Findery. Join me on Findery and add your travel notes on a notemap! Download the Findery app today!

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

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Travel like Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Kennedy: Experience the French Riviera at Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Rochttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/french-riviera-luxury-at-hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/french-riviera-luxury-at-hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.html#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:03:25 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45493&preview_id=45493
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cap eden roc

Ultimate Luxury in Cap d’Antibes

It is no secret that the south of France is one of my favorite destinations in the world. I simply love the beach environment mixed with the slow-paced European lifestyle and beauty of the Mediterranean. There are so many things to see and do in the many picturesque seaside towns that dot the southern French coast; however, if you are looking for a quintessential riviera experience, I recommend a visit to Cap d’Antibes and the famed Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has a rich history filled with stories and iconic people that spans decades. The hotel was originally built in 1869 as a destinations for writers seeking inspiration and was opened as the Grand Hotel du Cap in 1889 by an Italian hotelier. Over the years, the property became the preferred spot of the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the Kennedy family. Because of its vibrant history and its development into the “it” spot on the French Riviera, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc exudes classic riviera glamour and sophistication.

Antibes is easy to visit from many point of destinations along the riviera. I was staying in Nice which is about a 40 minute train ride to the Cap d’Antibes train station with the hotel being a short cab ride from there. Antibes is a beautiful little town with beach access as well.  After traveling down the tree and mansion lined Boulevard John F Kennedy, you arrive at the pristine property.

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If you are visiting Eden-Roc for the day, I recommend lunch at Eden Roc grill or an evening cocktail at the Eden Roc Champagne lounge (open during the high season) which serves some of the world’s finest champagnes.

I opted for an afternoon lunch at the Eden-Roc grill. It was a windy day on the Cap so patio seating was closed, however, we had a great ocean view table on the inside. All the tables have wonderful views so it seems like there is not necessarily a bad seat in the house. The property is so iconic, being featured in Dior advertisements and a myriad of Slim Aarons photos that looking out across the famed infinity pool is a surreal experience.

Expect to dine amongst an international jet-set crowd in a relaxed environment. Most guests were generally casual, relaxing and enjoying a bottle of rosé…isn’t that how life is supposed to be?

hamburger in France

The menu offers an array of classic French choices and lunch options. I opted for the Eden-Roc Burger which I highly recommend for a nice light selection.

The property is truly a luxurious experience that I will not forget. I highly recommend strolling through the pine tree lined paths that meander through the property after a delicious lunch.

 

eden roc path

 

Visit Hotel-Du-Cap-Eden-Roc for booking information.

 

Post by Wes Holland

Monsieur Curations - Men's Lifestyle at Skimbaco Lifestyle, feature by Wes Holland

“I dream of being a business leader in the fashion world. Whether that be creating and running my own luxury retail consulting firm, or heading a department for a renowned fashion house, I want to mix the intellectually stimulating side of business with the creativity that the fashion world offers. Make sure to subscribe to Skimbaco Fashion weekly feed.” Wes Holland of Life Through Preppy Glasses.

Let’s connect!

Follow Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s board Monsieur Curations for MEN on Pinterest.

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Top Amazon Prime Day Deals for Travelershttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/top-amazon-prime-day-deals-for-travelers.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/top-amazon-prime-day-deals-for-travelers.html#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:41:20 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45442&preview_id=45442 Amazon one dale sale Amazon is trying something new to get you to try their Prime (for free) with their Amazon Prime Day, promising more deals than Black Friday. The Prime itself turns out to…]]>
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Amazon Prime Day deals for travelers

Amazon one dale sale

Amazon is trying something new to get you to try their Prime (for free) with their Amazon Prime Day, promising more deals than Black Friday. The Prime itself turns out to be a great deal on its own.

I always thought the Prime really is a good deal, if you order a lot from Amazon because with Prime you will enjoy the unlimited free 2-day shipping. But with the $99 per year fee it just didn’t make sense to me. However, the Prime Day made me look more into Prime, and it’s so much more than free shipping. You can also instantly stream thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video, listen to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and get unlimited photo storage with anywhere access. Say what?? I currently pay ten bucks a month each for Spotify, Dropbox and Netflix. The $99 annual Prime fee sounds like a deal to me now! You can also borrow one Kindle book for free each month – with no due dates. The Prime is perfect travel companion providing free music, movies and books too, and storage to save all your travel photos!

Today only, Prime members have exclusive access to great sales on Amazon. Try Prime today and get immediate access to deals, and you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days, and after your free trial, Amazon Prime is just $99/year. You can cancel anytime.

Amazon Prime Deals for Travelers

Here are some of my deal picks for travelers.

Samsonite luggage deal http://amzn.to/1V3Hh36

If you travel a lot, I highly recommend investing in good luggage. I used to buy inexpensive luggage for $90-150 for suitcase, and they only lasted about a year. Now I have been using my Osprey bag for 5 years, and still going strong. If Osprey’s style isn’t for you, my other to-go brand is Samsonite.

Check out the Samsonite Airspeed 2 Piece Spinner Set, normally $429.99, today $144.99.

samsung camera, normally $799.99, today $299.99 http://amzn.to/1HuS5jD

I don’t own this one, but I love my Samsung Galaxy NX camera, and I love how I can share photos via Instagram or other social media networks directly from the camera. The Samsung mirrorless wifi cameras are perfect for travelers! My camera also automatically backs up all photos to my Dropbox account or on Google Drive.

Samsung NX300 20.3MP CMOS Smart WiFi Mirrorless Digital Camera with 20-50mm Lens and 3.3″ AMOLED Touch Screen (White), normally $799.99, today $299.99.

RAVPower Portable Charger 16000mAh External Battery Pack Power Bank with iSmart Technology  http://amzn.to/1I2Kdt3

Nothing is more annoying than when you are traveling, and taking photos of the sights you see, using your phone as a map to find places… and then your phone dies! I always carry a portable charger to keep my phone and camera charged up. You will thank me the next time you are on the go and need some more juice for your phone, or camera.

This Battery Pack Power Bank with iSmart Technology is usually $$114.99, now only $36.99.

Bose headphones

I don’t travel without my headphones!

Get this Bose headphone deal today only: Bose SoundTrue Headphones On-Ear Style, normally $149.95, today: $79.99.

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Need a good weekender bag?

Try the Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffel Bag, normal retail price $79.99, today $60.74.

prime day deal kindle

Fly a lot? You will so appreciate the Kindle unlimited. Unlimited reading. Unlimited listening. Any device. Sale prices today:
6 Months: normally $59.94 – Now $44.95
12 Months: normally $119.88 – Now $80.32
24 Months: normally $239.76 – Now $143.86

Amazon also has amazing Kindle deals, check out now, some of them have already sold out.

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Let’s connect!

Visit Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s profile on Pinterest.

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Cocktails & Dreams: Sparkling Lavender Lemonade at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon Cityhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/ritz-carlton-pentagon-city-sparkling-lavender-lemonade.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/07/ritz-carlton-pentagon-city-sparkling-lavender-lemonade.html#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:10:37 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=45264&preview_id=45264 Can’t wait to visit Washington D.C. I’ll be checking into the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia later this month as my family visits Washington D.C. for the first time. We’ll be in Arlington on…]]>
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Arlington Ritz Lemonade

Can’t wait to visit Washington D.C.

I’ll be checking into the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia later this month as my family visits Washington D.C. for the first time. We’ll be in Arlington on the last day of our trip, and I already have afternoon tea on my agenda. I cannot wait to order this sparkling lemonade cocktail (can be made virgin) that is served in the Fyve Restaurant Lounge.  It’s made with fresh lavender, and is sure to be refreshing during humid, hot D.C. summers. Lucky for us, I already got the recipe to share!

Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
1 cup sparkling water or champagne

Lavender Simple Syrup Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. fresh lavender buds
Directions to make the syrup:
Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate.

Directions to make the lemonade :
Prepare the simple syrup ahead of time. For the lemonade: stir all ingredients together until combined. Serve over ice.

Conveniently located for D.C. travel.

Now is the perfect time to visit Washington, D.C. The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City is a metro stop away from monuments and landmarks, and is just a few miles away from Arlington Cemetery. Weekend rates start at just $159 this summer. Be sure to follow @Hinessightblog on Instagram as I capture this beautiful hotel in person.  Also, my own children will be showing you D.C. travel from their perspective. You can find them at @Hinessightblogkids on Instagram.

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Photo credit: Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City

Post by Leigh Hines

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

“I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.” Leigh Hines of Hines Sight Blog

Let’s connect

Visit Leigh Hines of Hinessightblog.com’s profile on Pinterest.

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