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The Gift of Travel

The Gift of Travel

As a swirl of warm air drifts across your face while you make your way down the street, it is evident that summer + Wedding Season are upon us. Click here to read more about how you can incorporate more surprise into your 2018 Wedding Season!

Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh

Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh

Set in a 1903 beaux arts–style building, this polished hotel in Downtown is a short walk to all of the sites + sounds of the Steel City Downtown area! Keep your eyes peeled as you travel around the hotel for unique design + whimsical details!

Sensational Steel City

Sensational Steel City

Pittsburgh is not only one of our top destinations to send road trip travelers but also our hometown! As native Pittsburghers, we know all the best places to explore, eat + enjoy the rich culture the city has to offer.

By Dominique Vitale + Corinne Hogge

Phantastic Philadelphia

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Phantastic Philadelphia

You don’t have to be a history junkie to love the city of Philly! Take a trip through time as you explore this wonderfully historic city and discover the modern place it has become! 

By Dominique Vitale + Corinne Hogge

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Testimonial Tuesday: Meet the Team

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Testimonial Tuesday: Meet the Team

Pack Up + Go showcases recent trips + travelers with our Testimonial Tuesday feature.

In the fourth “Meet the Team” Testimonial Tuesday features, we introduce you to Pack Up + Go’s content creator, social media maverick + resident pun lover!

 

 Crater Lake in Oregon!

Crater Lake in Oregon!

Q: What is your name?

 Walking around London!

Walking around London!

A: Corinne Hogge

Q: What do you do for Pack Up + Go?

A: Marketing Manager aka sharing the joy of Pack Up + Go with everyone online!

Q: What is your favorite aspect of traveling?

A: Walking around new cities to see unique architecture + finding unique street art!

Q: Favorite place you have ever visited in the US?

A: In addition to my hometown of Philadelphia and my new home of Pittsburgh, Chicago + Seattle are my favorite cities, while the Redwoods + Everglades are my favorite natural sites that I have experienced!

Q: What sense (sight, smell, etc.) do you value most while traveling?

A: Definitely sight! I love looking around at the structures of a city, but also watching tourists and city dwellers interact is always heartwarming.

 Kinzua Bridge in Allegheny National Forest!

Kinzua Bridge in Allegheny National Forest!

Q: Do you prefer vacations that involve the outdoors, are city oriented, or a little bit of both?

A: Absolutely both! I grew up camping with parents that did not like staying in hotels, so the very idea of a vacation to me involves staying outdoors and then traveling to cities to explore!

Q: What is your favorite ’90s jam?

A: Un-break My Heart by Toni Braxton was my 6-year-old self’s jam

Q: If you could only have 3 items on a desert island, what would they be? 

A: My boyfriend, Nick, my dog, Daisy, + sunscreen!

Q: Favorite food category?

A: Is appetizers a category?

Q: If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?

A: Most definitely, Jean Grey from X-Men

Q: What is the title of your biography?

A: Where is Corinne?

 Hanging in Lake Washington in Seattle, WA!

Hanging in Lake Washington in Seattle, WA!

 

 

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Best BBQ Round Up

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Best BBQ Round Up

With Memorial Day weekend on our doorstep, it is a perfect time to fire up those taste buds + enjoy some of the best BBQ that this country has to offer! Check out these local favorites to discover some of the most sought-after barbecue in the country.

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Record Store Romp

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Record Store Romp

 

We love visiting local Record Stores when we explore new cities 🎶  Make every Saturday a Small Business Saturday + Shop Small 🔖

We love visiting local Record Stores when we explore new cities 🎶

Make every Saturday a Small Business Saturday + Shop Small 🔖

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Today in 1904, Salvador Dalí was born!

Fans of his artwork should visit The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL which has the largest collection of Dalí’s works outside Europe!

Molly + Clarice enjoyed “Fantaisies Diurnes” on their trip to the Sunshine State!

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Ketucky Derby + Mint Julep

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Ketucky Derby + Mint Julep

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Just in time for the 144th Kentucky Derby, we share with you some history, interesting facts, and a recipe of the unique event and its official drink, the mint julep!

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continuously held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, the Kentucky Derby receives this nickname from the approximate length of time it takes the winner to run from the starting gate to the finish line. The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race.

History of the Kentucky Derby:

The Kentucky Derby’s long history began in 1872, when Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark – of the famed pair Lewis and Clark – traveled to Europe. While there, Clark attended the Epsom Derby in England, a well-known horse race run since 1780, and also fraternized with the French Jockey Club, a group that developed another popular horse race, the Grand Prix de Paris Longchamps. Clark was inspired by his travels and experiences, and, upon his return, was determined to create a spectacle horse racing event in the States. With the help of his uncle’s John & Henry Churchill, who gifted Clark the necessary land to develop a racetrack, and by formally organizing a group of local race fans to be named the Louisville Jockey Club, Clark and his new club raised funds to build a permanent racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. On May 17th, 1875, the racetrack opened its gates and the Louisville Jockey Club sponsored the very first Kentucky Derby. A total of fifteen three-year-old Thoroughbred horses raced one and a half miles in front of a cheering crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators. Aristides was the first winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Who Races?

20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, which is a larger field size than most horse races; where on average 8 horses race against one another. The 20 horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must first travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million.

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Kentucky Derby Interesting Facts:

  • The youngest jockey to win the esteemed race, Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton, was just 15 come derby day in 1892
  • Bill Shoemaker continues to hold the title as the oldest winner; he was 54 when he took home the 1986 title (He has also ridden the most Kentucky Derby horses (26) in history)
  • The Derby is also referred to as ‘The Run for the Roses’ because the winner is awarded a 40lbs blanket sewn with over 400 roses post-race
  • Over $150 million in wagers have been placed over the last several Kentucky Derby races.
  • Horses must be 3 years or younger in order to compete
  • 19 past winners have had names beginning with the letter “S,” including Secretariat, the fastest horse in Kentucky Derby history, who completed the 1973 race in just under two minutes
  • The amount of food consumed at the Derby is pretty astounding. On average, spectators will eat 142,000 hot dogs, 18,000 barbecue sandwiches, 13,800 pounds of beef, 32,400 jumbo shrimp, 9,000 scallops, 8,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 cookies and 300,000 strawberries.
  • On Derby Day the infield will hold around 80,000 revelers, making it Kentucky’s third-largest city, behind Lexington + Louisville
  • The 1¼-mile distance has been standard since 1896 (The first 21 were contested at 1½ miles)
  • Fourteen female trainers have competed, with Shelley Riley coming closest to winning!
  • Thousands of elegantly dressed women will grace Churchill Downs on Saturday - specifically with really colorful, large hats!
  • Southern hospitality surrenders shamelessly to greed on Derby weekend, when you can pay at least $300 a night for a Louisville motel room that costs $55 any other time
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Mint Julep Interesting Facts:

  1. It became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1983!
  2. Traditionally, mint juleps were often served in silver or pewter cups + held only by the bottom and top edges of the cup (This allows frost to form on the outside of the cup)
  3. The term “julep” is generally defined as a sweet drink, particularly one used as a vehicle for medicine.
  4. The first appearance of a mint julep in print came in a book by John Davis published in London in 1803, where it was described as “a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.”
  5. May 30th is National Mint Julep Day
  6. It takes 7,800 liters of bourbon and 2,250 pounds of locally grown mint to make the 120,000 Mint Juleps sold at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby weekend
  7. The first Juleps didn’t include bourbon or mint - just rum, water + sugar
  8. Around 1800, mint slipped into the equation. Many antebellum Juleps were made with cognac or other French brandies
  9. Juleps and similar libations were called antifogmatics + were often consumed in the morning
  10. President Theodore Roosevelt loved mint juleps and used them as an enticement to get his various cabinet members to play tennis with him! 
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Mint Julep Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Tsp. Sugar
  • 10 Mint leaves (or more if you love it!)
  • Crushed Ice
  • 2oz. Kentucky Bourbon (Old Forester is the official whiskey of the Kentucky Derby!)
  • Seltzer
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Recipe:

  1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a pewter cup (or old-fashioned glass) + top with the sugar
  2. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down
  3. Add a splash of seltzer water - this is optional, depending on how strong of a drink you would like!
  4. Fill the glass ¾ full with crushed ice + add the bourbon
  5. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, + garnish with a sprig of mint!
  6. Serve immediately + enjoy the Derby!
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