Monday, September 27, 2010

New York vs. California: Camping Edition


About 3 years ago five friends started a fabulous tradition: In the wake of a traumatic separation induced by college graduation, we began summering in Tahoe. Yes, yes it is as glamorous as it sounds.

Subsequent moves (jobs, credentials, the Peace Corps, grad schooling, growing up, etc.) made this tradition more and more difficult to execute as time went on: I had moved to New York then San Francisco, Becky to Sacramento, Aimee eventually landed in Washington, Nicole headed to grad school then to Vacaville and our Styna went to Kazakhstan.

Anyway, this year we continued the annual Tahoe-fest (sans a few key members of the fab five) and extended the invite to a few new people from all walks of life and even people that ARE NOT from the great state of California (Styna is rolling over in her Kazakh burlap sack).

One of those wildcard invites was Thomas Faller, my boyfriend and lifetime New Yorker, who had no doubt traveled the farthest to join our prestigious campfire circle. Tom was able to teach us wilderness people a few of his city slicker ways, which were both entertaining and appreciated. Examples below:

When camping with a New Yorker:
  • Booze is important: Real important. Arguably more important than food. We’re talking beer, champagne, vodka and their respective accoutrements (green olives, orange juice, sprite, shakers, whathaveyou). +1 NY
  • Tent instructions are optional: When there are more than one college degrees working on something the instructions only slow down the process. -1 NY
  • Showers are unnecessary: As long as you have a hat. (WVU has never been so represented in Tahoe before.) + 1 WVU
NY v. CA camping priorities can also be seen in our chosen reading materials, packing processes and beverage choices.
  • NY brought Freakonomics while CA brought US Weekly.+1 NY
  • NY brings a black Samsonite rolling luggage, CA brings duffels and recycled Trader Joe bags. + 1 CA
  • While CA prefers hot coca in the morning, NY leans toward hot totties and bloody marys. + 1 CA, + 1 NY

While we missed two members of the original crew, all the newbies managed to make it another lovely weekend with friends on the West Lake (best lake) and I think we can safely admit that all are welcome on our Tahoe trips, now we’re like the UN of camping.

Also, for those of you (me) keeping score:
NY: 2
CA: 2
WVU: 1


Friday, September 3, 2010

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the (Trendy) Tree.

I’ve been back in San Francisco for 6 months now, and, so far the most rewarding aspect of my triumphant return has been facial recognition from my nieces and nephew.

I’m no longer the ‘abstract aunt.’ The aunt recognized only in last year’s family pictures or my senior high school portrait from 2002 (which, was a damn good picture, although I have changed slightly since).

Anyway, now I’m Auntie Bo: A real life tangible person. And more importantly I’m now real enough to be impersonated by my niece Averie (luckily the 9 month old isn’t turning me into a characterture quite yet, give him time).


Now, it’s no secret that I like to accessorize an outfit with a good belt. This is a fashion statement that my dear friend, Ashley Barrett, taught me years ago and it was a lesson in personal style that was encouraged by street fashion in NYC’s East Village. And now, this rule of belt has officially been passed unto my dear niece (future fashionista).


Cinch you in, create a waste, hourglass you up, match your boots, Summer, Winter AND Fall, you name it. Belts can make (or break) an outfit (snap in Z-formation). Averie is fortunate to have learned this valuable lesson in fashion at such a tender age (she also has an affinity for my Marc Jacobs mouse flats, bless her heart).

Here she is, posing with a belt she found in her play box, prancing around the house saying that she looks like Auntie Bo (my cup runneth over).

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I think being an aunt just became fashionable. God help her if she picks up on any of my other fashion traits. I’m not sure the other preschoolers would appreciate her in a 1960’s vintage turquoise necklace, cowboy boots or embracing the overall mismatching of patterns themes I’m known for.

Me and Ashley - The birth of 'the belt.'

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