Cherish the Love You Have As you may already know, I’m a teacher. And if you’re a teacher you also know that the end of the school year can be even more stressful than the beginning. As the last weekend of the school year approached, I felt like I needed a little getaway more than ever. I mentioned to my boyfriend, Phillip, in passing that I wanted to spend the weekend on a lake. I really wanted to escape the city for some much needed downtime. I had originally wanted to do a little solo trip, but when Phillip offered to plan the weekend and take the stress out of it for me, how could I say no? (He’s way too good to me and I don’t deserve him!) The Cranwell Resort. Lenox, Massacusetts I can sit here and talk about stress or how I relieve it or how I could be doing more or less to destress, but I’m not going to do that in this post. Instead, I want to talk about how you need to cherish love and take the time to connect with your loved ones. Love is a Verb Turn off your cell phone. Listen to your partner when he or she speaks. Look him in the eye. Embrace his kisses. Love every inch of him. Acknowledge all of the good things instead of complaining about and trying to change the more undesirable things. Eat chocolate together. (This one is very important!) It's the Simple Things I’m not an expert on love, but I know enough to know when someone really loves me. Here are a few of the ways I feel love from my partner. When he listens to me. When he plans a whole day around what I like. When he knows what I need more than I, myself, might know. When he doesn’t lose his patience with me even when I go from zero to 100 real quick. Some of these things may seem so simple, but it’s the simple, everyday things that keep a relationship strong. Fill your Cup Relationships are hard work. I’ve been foolish to try to walk away when things aren’t easy. Phillip has taught me that when you love someone, you don’t just give up on them. You try harder. You love more. You do what it takes to nurture that love. And you try to be the best version of yourself for them. So if you're feeling depleted, or like you have little to give, take some time for yourself. Do the things that fill you up. When your cup is full, you have more to give away. Fill your cup with love (and margaritas!) Real love is out there, people. And sometimes you will find in at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places, but don’t give up on love and don’t give up on yourself. Someone very wise once told me something that I don’t think will ever leave me. “God takes things away from you when you don’t appreciate them”. This may or may not be true, but it resonated with me. I don’t ever want to take advantage of love and the people that I love the most. How do you show love and when do you feel most loved? Leave us a comment below. Stay tuned for a Part 2 about how we spent our special weekend in Berkshires together. Another Historic Hotel checked off the list! Summer Days Summer is officially here. Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of light in the year. I celebrated with friends at Bar Taco while enjoying margaritas and beautiful views. I've been an English teacher for 11 years now and for the past 2 summers, I didn't work! It's great to have time off in the summer to regroup, rest, and travel a bit. With my summer vacation starting in less than a week, I've got beach, sand and sun on my mind! What are your favorite things about the summer? Here's a list of some of the things I love about summer. Toes in the Sand, Book in my Hand I love to read, but as many teachers know, the school year is more about reading student essays than it is reading for pleasure. I can't wait to sit on the beach and actually read something for myself! Here are a few of the books on my summer reading list. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'm late on this train, but I love Chimamanda's work and I've heard great things about this book. A realistic fiction story of love, race and identity. One of my former students recommended this and I look forward to digging into it this weekend! Night by Elie Weisel. Admittedly, I'm reading this one for work, in order to get ready to teach it for the first time next year. I read it so many years ago, but it's one of those classics you could read over and over and the writing is just so poignant. Who knew writing about World War 2 could be so beautiful? If you have any other book recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments section or on our instagram page! Getaways Although I do have one (or two) big trips planned for the summer, I look forward to just getting in my car and driving down to the Jersey Shore or up to Plymouth, Massachusetts to see my family. We have a tradition in my family of getting a place on the shore and beach bumming it for a week. It's a really fun time in Seaside Park. I love running the long stretches of beach, riding my bike to the bakery in the morning, and swimming until the sun goes down. Not to mention the awesome crab feast we have a Bum Rogers. These are hands down the best crabs I have ever tasted. If you ever get down to the shore, don't forget to try them out! Bum Rogers crabs are buttery, garlicky and absolutely delicious About 10 years ago, my family moved to Plymouth, Massachusttes to open a restaurant and live on the beautiful New England coast. About a 3.5 hour drive from NYC, Plymouth is a small beach town located between Boston and Cape Cod. There's nothing better than gathering together with family for a good meal and and all night dance party at my Aunt Mona's house! My favorite place to go is The Blue Eyed Crab. This is a caribbean style seafood restaurant serving up great cocktails made with rum from all over the world. My cousin has been a chef for over 25 years and his food is the real deal. It's inventive and flavorful with great Caribbean flare. I try to get down there once a year. They just celebrated their 10 year anniversary at The Crab. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, tell Jimmy that I sent you! I love the crab bisque with homemade cornbread croutons and the Charred Pineapple Mojito. There are so many daily specials so just go in and have your pick. Family time in Plymouth Massachusetts Floating around in Plymouth What Day Is It? I lose track of time in the summer. No alarm clock, no agenda, no problem! This is the luxury of being a teacher and I wouldn't trade it for anything! Last year I spent a chunk of my days in Manhattan with a few trips in between. It's really nice to be off when everyone else is working. You get to enjoy the beauty and somewhat calm of the city without the hustle. Luckily, I have many teacher friends that I can share this freedom with, but one of the best things is taking myself on some solo dates to explore my city! One of my favorite places to go and treat myself to a glass of Rosé, delicious baguettes and other french delicacies is Buvette. I can sit at the bar of this West Village gem and feel for just a moment like I am in France. Rosé at Buvette What are your favorite things about summer? Share with us in the comments and we hope your first day of summer is off to a great start! Making Travel Decisions Over a Glass of Wine Decisions, decisions... Deciding on a travel destination has been a tremendous headache for me during the past month. As I have stated in the past, I want my next trip to be an immersive experience. Switzerland, France, Iceland, Argentina, Chile? I have concluded that those destinations are out of contention for this summer. I'm not a huge planner by nature. For instance, my big trips in the last few years have been decided in a day. Once I have made a decision, all the loose planning is done in a matter of days. Done and done; I'm on the way. Unfortunately I feel like a trip to the aforementioned destinations should be something special, an immersive experience. It's important to realize that this goal can only be achieved successfully through careful planning. So where do I travel? Presently I sit with a glass of wine in hand while browsing travel websites. I ask myself why I've never taken a vacation where the goal is just to decompress. By and large I feel that I need to have a relaxing time this go around. Sometimes a glass of wine is all you need to make a travel decision I take a sip of La Galope Sauvignon Blanc and the initial citrus notes open up to a palette of lush tropical fruits. The finish is reminiscent of grassy fields. Each sip is smooth, clean and features a gentle acidity. I focus once more on the tropical fruits and then it hits me. Why have I never taken a beach vacation to a tropical destination? Hawaii?! I've often wondered what it would be like to go to this faraway state but have never seriously considered visiting. My initial interest has resulted in more thorough research. Consequently it's looking more and more likely that a visit to Hawaii might be in the works. https://www.instagram.com/p/BT17A0xFK1_/ Great beaches, hiking trails, history and great food? Sign me up! I still have a lot of research to complete before I make a final decision. But if the goal is to relax and decompress, I sit here tonight feeling confident that this type of vacation may just may be what I need. Have any travel advice for me? Have you been to Hawaii and have some recommendations? I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below! Street Food Makes Me Happy I Love Street Food There's no doubt that I like to eat. I like to explore, taste and experience all types of food. While I may enjoy eating out at nice restaurants, I also love to hit up local cheap spots. I like food trucks in particular because the good ones provide quality fare at great prices. In addition I feel that there's nothing like the experience of eating al fresco. The process of purchasing, then sitting down to enjoy your meal in an outdoor setting is a pleasurable one. Given my love of outdoor fare, I thought it appropriate to write about some of my favorite spots. And although we are celebrating our Summer In the City theme at The Daily Croissant, I'd be remiss not to include some of my favorite food destinations from Connecticut, which also boasts a rich food truck scene. Seafood from a Truck?! Unfortunately I know way too many people who feel that food trucks don't offer great fare. Correspondingly it would be impossible to convince them to try seafood from one. Lobsta rolls are my jam! Lobstercraft is comprised of two trucks that travel throughout Westchester, NY and Fairfield, CT. I've had the opportunity to try out their rolls a few times and have never been disappointed. My favorite is the Heat Wave which is filled with lobster meat and habanero infused butter. The lobster meat blends with the butter to create a tender, flavorful bite, every time. Tacos!!! Anyone who knows me is aware of my infatuation with tacos. There's just something about this Mexican staple that has endeared itself to America, and also my stomach heart. My favorite are Tacos Al Pastor which are filled with spit-grilled pork and pineapple chunks. Spit-grilled pork, pineapple chunks, cilantro, onions and lime. What's not to like?! I've consumed my fair share of tacos al pastor and I feel that El Charrito, in Greenwich, prepares them particularly well. El Charrito is comprised of two take-out locations in addition to a truck that's located in nearby Stamford. Their tacos are served in a more traditional manner, with two corn tortillas while staying away from non-traditional combinations. Food! This post just touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my love of food trucks. I hope to bring you more about my culinary adventures in future posts and I look forward to a long summer of food discovery in and around the tri-state area. Have any food truck recommendations in the tri-state area? Drop us some comments below! Taco Tuesday at Playa Betty's We're pretty serious about food over here at The Daily Croissant. We do our research, take recommendations, and stumble upon some of the great food we find in NYC. It was a spontaneous Saturday outing when my winery plans got cancelled and I had a craving for tacos that we found our beloved Playa Betty. Playa Betty's for Taco Tuesday California Style beach food in Manhattan Serving up some of the best fish tacos in city, Playa Betty's transports you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the California coast. Make-your-own guacamole, happy hour drink prices on weekends and a unique taco menu were the highlights of Playa Betty. If you can't get to the beach today, visit Playa Betty's for what will feel like an escape from the city. Make-Your-Own Guacamole Drink Up We tried a variety of cocktails at the bar. The Paloma Margarita is a sweet and sour frozen grapefruit beverage. This is $8 on the happy hour menu. The Holla Pain Yo Margarita was my favorite (made with Jalapeño infused tequila of course!) The Betty Blue is a yummy coconut vodka drink which is more reminiscent of the Caribbean than it is of California. Sip these cocktails at the bar on a hot summer day and all of your worries will float away! Betty Blue and Michelada Holla Pain Yo Margarita Taco Time Playa Betty is known for their Baja Fish tacos. These were my favorite of the bunch. (Almost as good as in San Diego) A good sized piece of crispy mahi mahi served with avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and cotija cheese. Another unique and delicious option is the Tac-O-Fella. A breaded and fried to perfection oyster with wilted spinach and chorizo. This was a special treat. Tacos are $3 from 4-10 p.m every Tuesday! Baja Fish Tacos With the warm weather finally here, there are many nights where I want to jet out of the city and head straight to to the beach. But when the beach is out of my reach I have my little tacoasis right in Manhattan. So whether you're craving tacos, margaritas or just good beach vibes, Playa Betty's will deliver! What are some of your favorite places for dining al fresco? Where do you beat the heat in Manhattan? Share your own #summerinthecity swag with us in the comments below!