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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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Most booked month ever!

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Most booked month ever!

Thank you to our enthusiastic travelers + followers who have made June 2018 our most booked month ever!  Unfortunately, this means that after May 2nd (Wednesday) we will no longer be accepting trips booked for June departure!  We appreciate your continued support, and urge you to book your July + August trips as soon as you can!

Thank you to our enthusiastic travelers + followers who have made June 2018 our most booked month ever!

Unfortunately, this means that after May 2nd (Wednesday) we will no longer be accepting trips booked for June departure!

We appreciate your continued support, and urge you to book your July + August trips as soon as you can!

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Pizza Party

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Pizza Party

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You scream, I scream, we all scream…for Pizza!

This bar (Spirit in Lawrenceville) in Pittsburgh sure knows how to grab our attention!

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FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!

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FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!

We are a small but dedicated team of travel agents + enthusiasts, devoted to creating unforgettable, unique experiences for each + every traveler. 

With your help, we can expand our technological, marketing, and logistical capabilities. Vote for Pack Up + Go in the FedEx® Small Business Grant Contest! 

Thank you for your continued support!!

Find more Information + Vote Here!

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Smoothie bowls, Fresh Fruit + Juices, Oh My!

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Smoothie bowls, Fresh Fruit + Juices, Oh My!

There is no doubt that smoothie bowls are having their moment  🍓🥝🍉🍌🍒🍏

Equally famous for their inherent instagrammability + healthful qualities, these dishes are poppin’ up in cities all over the country!

We did the research + found delicious some great options for you to enjoy all over the U.S. - hopefully, you find this guide as sweet as we did!

 

Denver

Who: Berriegood Co.

Where: 681 E. Louisiana Ave., #102, Denver, CO, 80210

Style: Berriegood Co. is Denver’s first açaí superfruit café serving nutritious + delicious handcrafted açaí bowls and smoothies! This locally + female-owned business was founded to share the fun (and deliciousness!) of plant-based bowls in an effort to transform ideas about health and happiness in the community. They focus on responsible sourcing of ingredients, purchasing as many non-GMO and organic ingredients as possible to ensure that customers receive the best taste and nutritional experience around.

 

New Orleans

Who: Raw Republic Juice 

 

Where: 4528 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Style: Specializing in açaí berry bowls, smoothies + fresh juices, Raw Republic represents a movement of people who approach each day with an unwavering commitment to a cleaner lifestyle. They say “we eat organic + we juice often!”

Seattle

Who:Jars Juice

Where: 1099 Stewart St #101, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

Style: It is the goal of Jars Juice to help people solidify their foundation to change their lives. They make it their mission to serve the local community with tasty drinks that satisfy cravings, as well as providing nutritionist resources + healthy snacks fit for busy, everyday life. Jars Juice commits itself to assisting customers in building a well-balanced diet for a change that will impact their lives in a positive way!

Chicago

 

Who: Graze Chicago

Where: 125 S. Clark St. Chicago, Illinois 60603

Style: Graze takes pride in crafting high quality, energy-boosting superfood smoothies + creamy acai bowls. Inspired by warm weather + sunny skies, Graze serves a fresh and nutritious on-the-go menu to be enjoyed year-round. Mindfully prepared, all ingredients are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and thoughtfully sourced. Immerse yourself in one of two of their Chicago locations! 

 

San Diego

Who: Vitality Tap

Where: 650 1st Ave San Diego, California 92101

Style: Vitality Tap offers their customers a distinct level of confidence that they’re receiving only the very best when visiting our establishments. They pride themselves on the exclusive use of organic produce that is fresh, raw + locally-sourced. They are innovative health seekers that constantly educate themselves on the latest research about the health benefits of juice cleansing and to keep product rotation original! #DoYouEvenJuice?

 

Did we miss your favorite juice or smoothie bar? Let us know which “can’t miss” stops should be added to our list!

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Irish Mule Recipe

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Irish Mule Recipe

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this refreshing, Leprechaun approved recipe! 

We put a spin on the classic vodka mule recipe by adding Wigle Rye Whiskey to compliment the holiday. Adding lime, simple syrup + sage with Natrona ginger beer puts a unique, flavorful twist on this cocktail. 

 
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Recipe:

  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey

  • 6 oz. ginger beer (or more!)

  • ½ - ¾ oz. of simple syrup

  • Juice of half a lime (about 1 ounce)

  • Lime slices (optional, for garnish)

  • Sage sprig (optional, for garnish)

  • Ice (crushed if possible)

 
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  1. Fill a Moscow Mule mug (or rocks glass if you don’t have a mug!) with crushed ice

  2. Squeeze in lime juice

  3. Pour in the whiskey - we used a local Pittsburgh company, Wigle Whiskey, for our brand of choice, but your favorite whiskey is a perfect addition!

  4. Fill with cold ginger beer - we used the local Natrona Bottling Company’s classic variation for our ginger beer brand of choice!

  5. Serve with a stirring rod.

  6. Add sage + muddle (*optional*)

  7. Add a lime wedge for garnish (*optional*)

 
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Note:

Ginger beer is to taste! If you like more of a whiskey taste, add less ginger beer. For a milder drink, add more! 

 
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