FIVE on FRIDAY: What I'm LOVING this Week

I couldn't let the day go by without joining the FIVE on FRIDAY linky.  Here's what I'm LOVING this week.

1. I am loving the Washington Duke Inn's Summer Menu. It's inspired by everything we love in the summer. Corn, tomatoes, watermelon, berries, kale. I got a first taste of Executive Chef Jason Cunningham's seasonal menu this week. I can't wait to go back and dine on this patio. You can bet that I will order the Blackberry Shortcake. It's been three days now, and I'm still talking about that dessert. You can view the summer menu at this Four Diamond award-winning luxury hotel in Durham here.

2. I tried my very first Vesper Martini this week. It is the drink of choice for James Bond, and since I tell my kids that I'm a secret agent then it is only fitting that I fell in love with it, too. But, it was made with really good gin, and vodka. That makes a difference. Will and I toured TOPO Distillery in Chapel Hill with several of my foodie blogging friends, and we were very impressed.  Top of the Hill is the only distillery in the southeast that handcrafts and bottles its spirits from scratch using local and organic ingredients. We literally raised our glass, and tasted the difference of what 100% organic Carolina soft red winter wheat makes. It's GOOD!

3. I am loving the pop of Lilly Pulitzer in the lobby at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. This Destination Resort hotel has undergone an extensive renovation, and I attended the relaunch party this week.  We dined in the Old Well room, and toured the newly renovated ballroom facilities, and guest rooms.

I'm impressed with the guest rooms. They have a very residential feel, and the silhouettes of famous alumni add some historic pizazz.  This is the Inn's sixth renovation since 1924.

The full-length mirror in the hall bathroom is getting a standing ovation from me.  For packages for an overnight, visit

4. I am loving Finnish Tuna Salad.  It's refreshing, and light for summer. It's my editor, Katja Presnal's recipe. She is Finnish.  Occasionally, I just crave it. I love to eat it inside a pita. I made it last week, and I love the crunch of the English cucumber and green apple. You can get her healthy Finnish Tuna Salad recipe here on Skimbaco Lifestyle.

5. I am loving Summer Sidewalk Sales, and my personal shopper who helps carry my purchases.  My 3-year-old was in Curious George camp, but my son did not have a camp today. We dropped my daughter off at 9:30 a.m. and the two of us hit North Hill's summer sidewalk sale.  I was so proud of him.  He did not complain once, and he even helped me pick out a dress on sale.  And I scored some neutral shoes on sale at Monkee's, too.  I call that a successful day.

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