Out & About

First and foremost, I want to wish my boyfriend Mike a very Happy Birthday!

What better way to celebrate than with red velvet cake pops dipped in nutella and rolled in chocolate chip cookies? Yes, Mike has the biggest sweet tooth ever.

Because Mike and I have tests this week, we celebrated yesterday, and will be semi-studious today. It actually worked out well, since yesterday was sunny and gorgeous, and today is kind of grey and meh. We started out by going on our first spring hike. A nice 6.5 miles to start the day!

You know it’s spring when the skunk cabbage starts to bloom!

It was so nice out that about halfway through the hike, I took off my fleece. This long and arduous winter had me worried that I would never be walking around in just a t-shirt again! We relaxed for a little after our hike, and then headed to Port Jefferson for dinner.

This week happened to be Long Island Restaurant Week, which is always a great way to discover new places to eat. After doing a lot of research, I decided that Fifth Season was the best choice- they change their menu every 12 weeks in order to feature local and seasonal ingredients. The seasonal drink menu alone was fantastic. Mike got an apricot mojito that was delish. I think next time, I’ll try either the lemon basil collins or the ruby red martini.

I only took pictures of what I ordered, because I was too excited to dig in. To start, I had roasted spring vegetables with a kalamata vinaigrette, mesclun greens, polenta croutons and a percorino romano tuille. Mike devoured the tuille since I am not a cheese fan. The vegetables were out of control good. I absolutely love fennel, and roasting it really brought out the licorice flavor.

For the entree, I had Atlantic salmon with squash and zucchini, sweet potatoes, and a coconut ginger jam. I’m not normally a fan of cooked zucchini or coconut, for that matter, but the thin strips remained crispy and flavorful. The coconut was pretty subtle, and enhanced the ginger. I’m sure that you’re wondering why I ordered this dish if I didn’t like a few of the components. Well for starters, a few of the other dishes on the menu that were pescatarain friendly had chorizo and/or pancetta incorporated, and I am not ok with pork. I am also trying to challenge my taste buds to see if I can start to like some of the foods that I normally turn my nose up at.

When I looked at the menu online, I knew Mike would order the molten chocolate cake with caramel and vanilla bean gelato, so I asked if they could put a candle somewhere and write Happy Birthday in chocolate

Did I mention the cake was gluten free? I think because it was just chocolate and butter. Hey, no complaints, here!

My dessert was pretty outrageous as well. Bartlett pear and rhubarb cobbler with caramel mascarpone gelato. I’d never had mascarpone before, but after this gelato, I might have to experiment with it. I really wanted to try their seasonal sorbet, which was ruby red grapefruit and strawberry rhubarb, but I employed my rule of “don’t order anything you can cook at home.” I foresee grapefruit sorbet in my ice cream maker sooner than later.

After dinner, Mike and I took a stroll by the waterfront. I’ve been wanting to do an outfit shot for a while, and I finally worked up the courage.

 

This was so much harder than I anticipated, so I give all you style blog gals huge props.

Dress: American Apparel, Cardigan, Jacket: H&M, Shoes: John Fluevog, Peacock headband: NYC street vendor, Clutch: from my fabulous sister

 

All in all, I’ve had a pretty great weekend. What did you all do?

 

We’re The Fugawee

My dad is hysterical, but sometimes likes to tell corny jokes and come up with puns that make my sister and I groan “awwwwww.” He once told us a joke he heard from a friend that ends with the punchline “We’re the Fugawee.” Google the joke if you haven’t heard it before. Anywho, because of that joke, whenever my sister and I don’t know where we’re going, we exclaim, “We’re the Fugawee?!” That was essentially the theme of the hike that Mike and I went on yesterday afternoon.

I had acquired a map of Long Island that showed all of the biking and hiking trails a while ago, so I pulled it out and tried to find something that was an easy loop. Since I had gone for a 6 mile run earlier in the day, I didn’t want anything too strenuous, maybe 4-5 miles. We found a relatively easy looking loop in a county park that was about 5 miles, so we packed some water and snacks, and we were on our way!

When we arrived at the park, we checked out this map, which told us nothing about where we were or where we were supposed to go. Good way to start off, right?

This was posted below the map. So, we don’t really know where we’re going, and there is a hostile woman on horseback roaming the park. Bring it on, Wendy!

Since there were no signs, we picked a random direction to go in. Mike has a really great GPS and pedometer feature on his phone, so he turned it on to make sure we wouldn’t end up in the Atlantic Ocean. ¬†Look at how pretty the trail is! Too bad it was not the trail we wanted. The park had a lot of horse trails, so after venturing down this trail and running into a lot of piles of dung, we decided to turn around.

We walked in the opposite direction for a little, and look what we stumbled upon- a sign to the trail we wanted! We were pretty excited to be going in the right direction, so we frolicked off in the direction of the lake.

About a half mile into our hike, we came across a fork in the trail. We could either go straight or turn left to cross over a bridge. There were, of course, no trail markers. We decided to cross over the bridge, but then came across ANOTHER fork in the trail. If you think that forks in the trail will be a recurring theme in this story, then you are correct. If you think that us making a left at every fork will be another theme, you are also correct. So yes, we made another left. Up a trail made of sand. Side note: I hate sand. Love the beach, hate sand. I guess it’s easier for the horses to walk on, but it is not easier for me to walk on.

Luckily, I found a way to go up the trail without having to walk on the sand. Just kidding, I made Mike carry me.

We finally got a view of the lake, so while there still weren’t any trail markers, we were getting slightly more confident that we were heading the right way. I have a decent sense of direction, but I get very nervous when I feel disoriented. Mike encouraged me to enjoy the walk and the lovely weather, and to not worry about the “right” way to go.

The trail eventually turned into dirt (yay!!!) and was scattered with Sassafras leaves. I love teachable moments, so I started rambling to Mike. I went to nature camp as a kid (and am darn proud of it) and distinctly remember learning about Sassafras. It is easily recognizable due to the 3 shapes of the leaves: ghost, mitten, and oblong.

See the 3 different kinds? You learn something new every day!

Once the trail turned to dirt, blue markers started popping up here and there, but to call them sporadic would be an exaggeration. We continued to make lefts when faced with split paths, which was frequently, and I stopped worrying about whether or not we were going the way we were supposed to.

I wanted to take a nice picture for you wonderful readers but none of them turned out well. It seems that pictures of me turn out better when I stand on one leg and make a fish face. Such is life. The area was really beautiful. The leaves have already started to change colors and the air was crisp and refreshing. While I’m used to more inclines, the trail offered some nice twists and turns that kept things interesting.

2.5 hours in, my knees started to ache and I began to wonder if I would have to build a shelter out of branches and leaves for us to stay the night in. Magic phone GPS showed us heading in the right way, so we ambled on.

And ambled, and ambled and ambled. Climbed a few trees and took some pictures, then ambled more.

After 3 and 1/4 hours, Mike spotted a clearing that looked familiar, so we sprinted up a massive hill into a field that…..was right next to where we parked the car!!!

Yup, that is the route that we hiked. According to the magic phone, we walked 8 miles. We were both pretty spent when we got back to the car, but it was a really great adventure. The company and the scenery really couldn’t have been better.


Moral of the story? If you convince your fantastic boyfriend to go on a 5-mile turned 8-mile hike, he will be famished by the end and buy the two of you an extra-large cup of pumpkin spice frozen yogurt from Red Mango.

Oh, and you will have an uncomfortable amount of sand in the bottom of your shoe.

What did you all do this weekend? How did you enjoy the glorious weather?

–Ariel