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After spending the first half of our trip in Split, we were off to Dubrovnik, the center of Croatia’s unique history. Stone walk ways, worn smooth by centuries of inhabitants, surrounded by majestic walls, Dubrovnik is a sight unlike any other.

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Split, Croatia

For the first stop in our honeymoon journey, W and I chose the very central city of Split Croatia as our connection to the rest of the Dalmatian coast. A few notes from our stay in Split:

  • Split, as I mentioned, is a port city that has boats and ferries out to many of the visitable Croatian islands (Croatia’s nickname is sometimes “the Land of a Thousand Islands” because, true to form, there are 1,426 islands that make up Croatia, though only 46-48 are permanently inhabited.

Getting There:

  • Even though Split is a travel hub, there aren’t many ways to get there from the air; we connected through Frankfurt on Croatian Airlines for both arrival and departure.
    Split’s airport is teeny; the gate, baggage claim, and customs are all in the same large hall. Outside of customs, there are a few newspaper/convenience stores, a few currency exchange booths, and some tourism kiosks, but that’s about it.
    Getting to Split from the airport (the airport is about 45 minutes north west of the actual city) is actually pretty simple; there were a few taxis and private transport options, but we chose the shuttle bus they have to Split proper, located right outside the airport to the right. It’s coach style, and decently priced (about 60 kuna for 2 people, so less that $10 USD total – you pay on the bus, either in euros or kuna). With a relatively large stable of coaches (there were 4 in line to take folks when we arrived), they do a pretty good job with frequency. The bus drops you off at the Split bus depot, which is basically where all tourists enter the city.

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It’s been three weeks, but we still have so many memories from our special night. Although our official photos aren’t ready yet, check out some Instagram photos from our guests using the hashtag #darwinwed.

Note – some of the photos posted aren’t public, so unless you are friends with the poster, you might not be able to enlarge them! Enjoy! Hover/use the white bar on the bottom to page forward/back.

How-To: The Stodtini

FYI- This post was written back in December, but for various reasons never made it onto the blog until now. W is back from her Asia travels, and I’ve been putzing around home, work, and taking care of our little Nugget. Since this was supposed to go up a few months ago and it is almost spring (but still cold as heck from this never ending winter), the drink of Winter 2013 is now the drink of Spring 2014!

darwindiscovered_stodtini-1Happy Spring! As you dream about the warm weather, how about a nice refreshing drink recipe to help you through this miserably long polar vortex winter? This past winter was a special time for me, finally finishing grad school after a long 2.5 years of work, school, and nothing else. So, in honor of the impending spring season, and my classmate Kate – who also graduated – I present to you DarwinDiscovered’s Drink of the Season, Spring 2014: The Stod-tini! It’s simple, it’s classy, and it’s delicious – so you can spend more quality time with those you care about, and less time worrying about what to drink.

What you’ll need:

  • St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
  • a Pear-flavored vodka of your choice (or infuse your own, like we did)
  • club soda

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Homemade infused pear and apple vodka

In our never-ending quest to stock our newly assembled bar (and cart), W and I found ourselves at our local county liquor store one evening perusing the selection of fancily-flavored liquors. We thought, “Pay $25 for a bottle of Absolut Pear Vodka? We have to be able to do it ourselves for cheaper!” And thus, our vodka infusing was borne. (editor’s note: unfortunately, it cost us just about the same amount to infuse the vodka when you consider all the materials, but I (would like to) think our choice of fresh ingredients and vodka make it a better choice)

Homemade infused pear and apple vodka Homemade infused pear and apple vodka

The ingredients:

Two 1-L bottles of Tito’s – Texas-based sextuple-distilled premium vodka, for our infusing target. Might as well have something smooth, silky, and easy to drink if you are going to make it for yourself. We also like the classic look of the Tito’s bottles, and they were perfect for pouring in our infused vodka back for storage.
10-12 Seckel Pears – These are the best for infusing, given their relatively firm flesh, and their small-ish size. I thought that the firmness might enable them to stay a bit more consistent while infusing, rather than turning into a mush. Something like a Bartlett pear may be softer and riper to use, and might turn out sweeter – but we discovered the Seckel was plenty sweet enough.
6-8 Gala or Fuji Apples – again, I don’t think it makes too big a deal what variety of apple you use, but I’d stay away from some of the darker flesh types, as the infusing process will add a bit of golden brown color to your vodka already.
Two 1L Infusing Canisters – these can really be any air-tight container that has a large enough opening to fit your fruit in. We found the glass barrel-looking ones for about ~$7 each at HomeGoods. Air-tight is the only requirement.
Cheese cloth – for straining the fruit out after your infusing period

Homemade infused pear and apple vodka

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