lifestyle, Travel

The Ski Trip

Last January I went on a ski trip to Vermont. I’ve never been skiing in my life. I really just wanted to know once and for all what people do in these lodges. What even is skiing? Is it fun and can I actually do it? This was the first time in years that I had a clump of disposable income, so I signed up for a group trip, bought goggles, snow pants and gloves, and took off for a powdery weekend.

We left the snow free streets of Manhattan and rolled into -35 degree weather and snowdrifts as high as your hips. It was colder than Chicago, where I remember slowly becoming acclimated to freezing cold weather over the course of the 8 years that I spent there. This was a whole new ballgame. I became very grateful for the big gloves that I bought online from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

I have never seen so much snow in my life.

I spent the weekend realizing that I don’t like skiing. I took a lesson, and there was a point where it was starting to click. I managed to ski down a hill with my classmates and even executed what felt like a graceful turn around a corner. But the experience was nerve wracking for me. I went on a ski lift for the first and last time, hating the fact that I was on a little seat dangling in the breeze with nothing holding me in. Then you have to steel your nerves when you jump off at the end.

A guy in my group tried to help me, but tbh, I really just wanted to stop before I broke something. The final straw was getting a good speed going then panicking because kids were skiing in front of me, falling down, but landing in such a way that my feet remained clipped to my skis as I slid down a mountain on my back getting snow up my nose.

The next day I went souvenir shopping.I was not about to risk dying just because sliding down a hill in an inner tube sounds fun. And I wasn’t going snowshoeing, either. The whole adventure was kind of fizzling out simply because I realized pretty quickly that this type of thing is better if you’ve been raised doing it, so that you feel excited about hitting the slopes rather than annoyed and frightened.

The takeaway is that I went somewhere new and tried something that I had no familiarity with. I finally learned how it feels to ski, and now I know that those ski boots make you feel like a transformer. I know what it feels like to take the Moover by myself into town because I was the only black woman in the group and I didn’t really click with the other women. I know what it’s like to possibly be the only black woman on a bigass hill surrounded by mostly white people zipping around with sticks on their feet. A different person might have thrown themselves in and made friends, but then this would be a post about the friends I met while skiing.

Was it horrible? No! I definitely got my money’s worth. Tons of snow, I went through the whole ski boot fitting and ski renting procedure, and now my jacket has a crumpled ski lift ticket dangling from it. I tromped around in the freezing cold and didn’t die. And I have officially been to Vermont.

Winning.

The snow was beautiful, the hotel was snug and perfectly New England in decor. I still carry the moose keychain around every day. I brought back maple candy for all of my co-workers. After this I did my visual merchandising class, my javascript class and my fashion internship. It was the first step on a path towards a more enlightened adulthood. I might try crosscountry skiing next, though. No hills and a clear objective may be better for me, and I’ll get to wear my snowpants.

2020 is coming in a few hours, and I’m mostly satisfied with how the year went, even though it took a sudden hard turn in the middle. I am not living the same life that I was when I went on this trip. I think I had some growth and got some clarity, but I still have a list of things that I want to learn and do. Right now I’m chilling at home with some candles,thinking about my goals and intentions for the year and being grateful that everything ended up ok.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year to anyone reading this.Take good care of yourself and do everything you can to make good decisions in the coming months. Make realistic resolutions, and be flexible about them.

Good luck!

SEBMarketBK/Faith

adventures, beach, black women, Fashion, food, self confidence, Travel

The Hamptons

Yup.

One time, last summer, I saw an ad on meetup for someone looking to go to the Hamptons. I met with the person for drinks, made a whole plan…and they bailed. Supposedly you can only go to the Hamptons when it’s sunny. Apparently I was supposed to change my plan because things weren’t perfect for her.

But I had my jitney ticket , so… I went. Welcome to my solo trip to Montauk.

The journey.

This is the beach. It was basically empty because the lightest rain was falling. Not even a real rainshower, just barely a mist. So I got to finally experience the beach in Montauk without a massive crowd. Introvert paradise.

I had some food. I enjoyed not having to wait on a long line, fight for a table or wait a long time for my meal. I just sat there eating and watching boats go by with no stress.

You know what this is. You’ve watched Kid Gorgeous. You know the joke.

Then I took the LIRR home.

The thing I hate the most about people is when they just leave you hanging after gassing you up. At the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone to decide how your time is going to be spent. If someone bails on your plans, don’t stay home and sulk. Go out and do what you were planning (unless you desperately need two people, but most plans can shrink to a solo capacity if needed).

This wasn’t easy for me at all. I’ve never been to Montauk and as a black woman, it can be seriously intimidating traveling alone. But I went and I lived.

I lived. And I bought this tshirt.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

Accessories, Fashion, Sassy Ethnic Bohemian, Style, Travel

product review: vinrella water bottle umbrellas, or why didn’t anyone do this before?!?!?

This is one of those ‘duh!’ products that make you wonder why you never thought to ask how come umbrellas come in crackly plastic or easily soaked cloth sheathes instead of plastic canisters. Vinrella, a brand new company started by an enterprising mother and daughter from Texas, has done the most practical thing in the world- put a cover on an umbrella that protects your belongings from getting soaked. WaterBottle_UmbrellasI got a query asking if I’d be interested in working with the product, and this was a no brainer yes. I was raised by a Guyanese mother with Victorian English values. She was death on leaving the house without tissues, mints, and an umbrella in your purse or bookbag. A lady must be prepared! However, I am always getting stuck with a wet umbrella, shoving it in a plastic bag and then forgetting about it. Then I end up with a mildew-y rusty umbrella that is no longer cute. The Vinrella water bottle umbrella seemed like an answer to my prayers. 

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I picked red, since it is my unbreakable habit to buy only red umbrellas. I like the idea of pulling out a bright, bold color on a grey and drizzly day. The Vinrella bumbershoot was the perfect red, with a pattern that matches the plastic water bottle style canister that it comes in. You fold up the umbrella and it fits quite neatly into the canister. The handle screws on securely, so you could actually clip this to your bag, along with your keys. I popped it into my bag when I went out to do my street vending for the day (which is going quite nicely, thank you!).

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Popped it right into my Life is good stowaway canvas tote. Where it fit like any other umbrella or water bottle. So far so good… but what’s gonna happen when it actually rains? I’ll tell you…

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I literally got caught outside in the rain after an event. I had just started home and there was a massive crack of thunder and the heavens opened. Yes! I pulled my Vinrella umbrella out of my bag, unscrewed the canister, and unsheathed my umbrella. I went out and while others were scurrying, I was sheltered under a decent sized cover, in stunningly defiant red with flowing peacock feather graphic.

I got to my destination, closed the umbrella with the plastic button which is so much easier to find and operate than the usual metal blade thingy. I got it closed, and swirled the wet umbrella back together and put it in the canister. DONE. That’s it- I was done. My stuff was dry and I just opened the umbrella at ome and let it air dry overnight, then back in it’s canister. 

Drawbacks? If you’re making multiple trips make sure to pour the collected water out of the canister, and I worry a little about whether or not the plastic bottle will break and how will I replace it if it does. 

The Vinrella umbrella (you can get it in water bottle or wine bottle holders) retails for $20 and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Check them out here. They’ve already been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, Family Circle and on the Today show with good reason- this is a cool idea, and saves your purse, cosmetics, extra gym shoes, etc from getting soaked even though you made it through the rain. 

Good job!

 

 

Fashion, Photography, Sassy Ethnic Bohemian, Style, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zig Zag (in Xilitla)

I was going to submit a fashion photo for the Weekly Photo Contest, but then I remembered that trip to Mexico… in 2008 I read a story about the sculpture garden, Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico. They said that the jungle was taking it over, and that it was falling into disrepair. Created by sculptor Edward James, it was a wonderland of twisting shapes, a thoroughly surrealist vision. My mission became clear- I HAD to go see it. I forced an ex-boyfriend into tagging along ( http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1023367/how-to-plan-a-safe-mexico-vacation) and I grabbed my Pentax K-1000, and went for it.

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No digital, all film- adventure! Even getting there was a zigzag- since I took a plane to Mexico City, then a plane to Tampico, then a bus to Xilitla, then a cab to Las Pozas

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 I mean, Cancun? cabo? Nah. I went in September, which is the Off Season. There was no one around but the natives of the area. And it was stunningly, heartbreakingly beautiful 02490014bw02490024

I even did a travel issue of my online zine, theMAGAZINE(ok) just so that I could write and show off my photos of Las Pozas:

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Never stick to the straight and narrow. Head left when everyone goes right, and you’ll see things that are wonderful. 

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