Weekend: Friends Who “Forget” to Venmo You 💰

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EDITOR’S NOTE 

Happy Saturday. As Kate Middleton (who, if you missed it, released a new photo and heartfelt statement yesterday) and the rest of the royal family celebrate the official birthday of King Charles III (see photos of the family and festivities here), I’ll be celebrating my own birthday. While I won’t have a big parade, I will have Boozy Melon Sour Slushies, which in my opinion, are even better. Plus, No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Dream Bars and Coffee Oreo Cake — both of which I’ll probably serve in what I consider to be the greatest invention of all time, the pasta bowl. I might also treat myself to “summer’s fashion choice,” which of all things, is apparently the chunky hiking sandal. And to round things out, I’ll probably rewatch some of those “Can you watch my boss?” TikTok videos since, honestly, they feel like a gift.

— Melissa Goldberg / Senior Editor / Washington, DC

 
READ: “Jackpot Summer” by Elyssa Friedland

“Jackpot Summer” by Elyssa Friedland

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When the Jacobson siblings return to the Jersey Shore to pack up their beloved beach house, none are feeling too lucky: Matthew’s time is taken up by a soul-sucking corporate law job; Laura’s marriage is falling apart; Sophie’s art career is at a perpetual standstill; and Noah has completely failed to launch. That seems to change when three of the siblings go in on a winning Powerball ticket, becoming millionaires overnight. But it doesn’t take long for the siblings to learn that, would you believe it, money doesn’t equal happiness, forcing them to grapple with buried secrets and tough questions about their relationships. We asked “Jackpot Summer” author Elyssa Friedland a few questions. Here’s what she had to say…

Q: What’s an unpopular opinion you stand by?

Friedland: I don’t like Halloween candy. I don’t believe dessert should come in a wrapper. 

Q: What’s the last thing you read that you can’t stop thinking about? 

Friedland: Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack. This was “Knives Out” in a book. The author did so many cool tricks, like bringing the reader in to help solve the mystery.

Q: What are you currently listening to? 

Friedland: The “Dateline” podcast. I’m sorry if that’s creepy. 

 
EAT: Dished By Kate’s Smash Banh Mi Tacos

Warning: You’ll Want To Put These Smash Banh Mi Tacos on Repeat

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Pizza bagels. Chipwiches. Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme. Even though we have no authority to do so, let us introduce a new addition to the food mashup hall of fame: Dished By Kate’s Smash Banh Mi Tacos. A light, bright, and supremely summery riff on 2023’s viral Smash Burger Tacos, this Vietnamese-inspired recipe combines umami-rich meat, lots of fresh herbs, creamy mayonnaise, crunchy veggies, and sweet and tangy nuoc cham dressing — all piled on crispy mini tortillas.

The Time Commitment: Not only can this recipe be made in about 20 minutes, but it requires very little — which is really what summer should be about.

Key Tips: This recipe is full of ingredients you probably have on hand, but there are a couple you might need to buy, including fish sauce, a “non-negotiable” according to Dished By Kate (we like this one), and Thai basil, which can be tricky to find (in that case, use regular basil instead). Another swap to keep in mind? Subbing the chicken for pork, beef, or a plant-based alternative.

Other Takes: While you could make a classic Banh Mi sandwich, there are plenty of twists on the smash taco trend that are worth the hype, including this vegetarian take on the Big Mac Taco. Same with these Mediterranean Turkey Smash Burger Tacos and these Crispy Smash Dumplings, which have all the flavors of juicy dumplings — but without the tricky folding. You could also have smash tacos for breakfast (or, even better, breakfast for dinner), with this hearty combo of spicy chorizo, candied bacon, and fried egg.

 
Traverse City, Michigan

Forget Cape Cod — Northern Michigan Is the Beach Destination to Visit This Summer

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We’ll go out on a limb here: When you think of the best beach vacations, Michigan probably isn’t what comes to mind. But America’s so-called Third Coast has more than 3,000 miles of shoreline and includes places like Traverse City. In recent years, fresh creative energy has quietly transformed the Northern Michigan city, resulting in impressive shops, stylish restaurants, and a booming wine scene. That’s in addition to everything the region is already known for — namely, endless rows of cherry trees, rolling countryside, and strikingly blue waters.

🛏 While not quite as centrally located as hotels downtown (see: Delamar Traverse City), Alexandra Inn’s boutique vibes are worth the approximately 15-minute drive. The locally owned and operated inn includes plenty of luxe touches (hello, soaking tubs), thoughtful extras (beach yoga classes, weekly live music), and magnificent spots for catching the sunset (like the rooftop terrace). And did we mention the freshly baked cookies every night?

🌅 Of course, the lakes are Northern Michigan’s main draw — and a two-hour evening sail aboard the Schooner Manitou is one of the best ways to enjoy them. But the water isn’t the only natural attraction. You could bike the 10.5-mile Traverse Area Recreation Trail, which passes through the city. Or, hop in the car and head to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which includes towering sand dunes, many hiking trails, and the stunning Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

Cherries in Traverse City, Michigan

🍷 Traverse City is surrounded by quaint towns, vibrant peninsulas, and charming islands, so make sure to allow ample time for day trips. One great option is the Old Mission Peninsula, home to a wide array of wineries, including: the modernist 2 Lads Winery, popular for its exceptional reds (do not miss the Cabernet Franc); Black Star Farms, which is known for its Riesling; and Mari Vineyards, which grows 24 varieties of grapes and has a picturesque outdoor patio.

🍴 Traverse City is nicknamed the “Cherry Capital of the World,” so it’s practically state law to buy some at a roadside farm stand and attend the National Cherry Festival (starting later this month). You can also find a bounty of other local produce on menus across the area, including Modern Bird, where vegetable-forward dishes are the star, and Farm Club, a market, restaurant, and brewery featuring whatever is in season at Loma Farm. Need a break from farm-to-table? Stop by Crocodile Palace for fiery Szechuan.

 
Ask An Expert Etiquette Edition

We asked you to vote on an etiquette question you’d like answered. The winner was:

Q: I have no problem covering the bill when my friend and I go out to dinner, with the understanding they’ll pay me back. But they always “forget” to Venmo me. I don’t want to nag or start a confrontation, so how can I address this with them?

Woman looking mad at phone.

“It’s important to approach the situation with a balance of tact and firmness. While it’s great that you’re generous with covering the bill, it’s also fair to expect your friend to follow through with their promise to pay you back. Here are a few strategies to address the situation without causing a confrontation:

  • Friendly reminder: The next time you go out, you could say something like, ‘Hey, can you Venmo me for our last dinner before I cover this one? It helps me keep my budget on track.’

  • Set clear expectations: At the start of the meal, casually mention, ‘Let’s settle up for this dinner right after we eat so we don’t forget.’

  • Suggest an alternative: If this becomes a recurring issue, propose splitting the bill. You might say, ‘How about we ask for separate checks this time? It might make things easier for both of us.’”

Jacqueline Whitmore
Featured Expert

Jacqueline Whitmore

Etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

 
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Which etiquette question should an expert answer next week?

 
skimm picks

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Summer workout gear that'll keep you cool.

From breezy running shorts to breathable sneakers you can throw in the wash.


The perfect wine to sip on this summer.

Tinto Amorio's natural wine sampler includes a chilled red, an orange wine, and a skin contact orange — the cool kids of the wine world — and pairs well with fresh summer dishes, from seafood to salads.


Thoughtful, last-minute Father's Day gifts.

Subscriptions are the procrastinator's best friend. Our favorites? Atlas Coffee Club for the caffeine fiend, a book-of-the-month box for the reader, and an Uncommon Experiences virtual class if quality time is his love language.

 
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Unleash your competitive side with today’s games and puzzles. Choose from an anagram word search, digital jigsaw puzzle, or crossword (with a twist). Better yet: Try them all.

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Have a book, recipe, or travel rec? Or, a dicey etiquette question you want answered by an expert? Submit them here.

 
 

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