Filtering by Category: TRAVEL

Old St. George's

01-DSC07634 02-DSC07629 03-DSC07462 Ducks in a row! So cute!

Welcome to St. George's, which used to be called New London, and why the English bothered to go any further than this is beyond me. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to a spattering of buildings and structures from the early 1600s, lots of wee little islands home to old forts and batteries, and the most striking harbor waters I've ever seen in my life. Lucky ducks, indeed!

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It was New Year's Eve day and we all decided to spend the afternoon there after I returned from a morning horseback ride. You can't tell, but I have a swollen lip from where a branch smacked me in the face while cantering up a narrow but lush, tropical trail!

The 1.5 hr. ride went at least an hour over (I wasn't complaining, believe me - the views and galloping through the waves breaking at my toes were spectacular) and my best friend, M and the petite had all been waiting for me. I tried texting from atop my horse, Lucky, to no avail. M was so worried she'd been calling every stable on the island! I was sweaty and sore and smelled like a barncat, but peeled off my jeans and tank and threw this dress on, mussed some dry shampoo into my hair and twisted it up into this haphazard twist, and off we went to St. George's.

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Which is gorgeous, as you can see. Old and marvelous! I'm a sucker for glossy black doors, may our next home be blessed with one. (We can't mess with the Victorian palette on ours.) Can you see the little crosses in the wood panels above the green shutters in St. Peter's Church? After it blew down 84,000 times, they wizened up and made a framework from precious Bermuda cedar, with limestone walls and a slate roof just like every other standing house there.

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This fantastic old penny farthing was one in a pair permanently parked outside the delightful Bermuda Hat Lady Millinery Shop, which was sadly closed for the holiday. The windows were decked out with Christmas decorations and returning to have a look around inside would justify another trip back on its own! So darling, and the millinery looked divine.

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The famous golden onion for the NYE drop in St. George's Town Hall!

All over the island you could see some still-battered areas from Hurricanes Gonzalo and Fay, which gave the island a one-two whack within days of each other last fall. Sailboats washed ashore or flipped upside down in a bay, swaths of upturned or lashed trees in great big fields, a few rooftops crumbling under blue tarps whipping around in the wind, and a few of the shops closest to the water in St. George's were just reopening after fixing damage and flooding.

Shop owners met customers with genuine warmth and gratitude - there's a still a long winter before throngs of tourists return with an influx of cash, and living on the island is expensive. Outside of an obligatory stop at Marks & Spencer, we made an effort to spend at shop local and handmade as much as possible!

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I'll take a break from Bermuda to post some wintry looks next time, but I hope you're enjoying a look around this gem of an island through my lens. Keep warm, the feels-like this sunny Saturday morning is -10°F!

'Fete of Florists' Dress - Modcloth | Nude Patent Wedges – BCBG Generation (similar here and here) | Grey Chain Belt - Zara (excellent alternative here) | Crackled Leather Hardware Clutch - She & Lo | Cole Haan Sunglasses

XOXO, FFAF

Wingaersheek Chic

01-DSC01540 Welcome to Wingarsheek Beach! It's a Gloucester gem, a North Shore nod from Ann to Cod, a literal clamdigger's dream at the sweet spot between a rock bottom low tide and when the waves begin to lap their way back to shore.

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If traffic's good, it's only an hour from home, with plenty of nearby parking for a mere $15 (NO BARRELS!), the holy grail of snack shacks, clean and spacious restrooms, gorgeous warm water with lots of rocky, rugged interest that doesn't interfere with soft, fine sand, and beach-goers from all walks of life. In other words, a real keeper of a beach.

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Even with September underway, I think there are still a handful of beach weekends left yet in 2014, which is par for the course back home but not always true to old Boston town. And we have a sailing lesson to bang out before October! And a horseback ride through the Berkshires! I think we were both hoping that chunky, creamy fisherman sweaters would be appropriate for both, but we'll have to wait and see.

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For now, it's still sweltering enough for linen trousers and silk tanks, but nothing to justify round-the-clock A/C.

Perfect, really.

It's kind of insane and overwhelming how many beaches there are to try out and explore here, when you think about it. It's so foreign! I'm used to Temescal vs. Anza, Baker vs. Ocean, Stinson vs. Funston; divisive contests of scarcity and the somewhat arbitrary pride of locals. Here I get the sense that even if you grew up in the area, you still haven't explored every beach, every apple orchard, every historical site, every lobster shack, every prestigious university.

(But then again, I haven't been to every ski resort in Tahoe, or every vineyard in the wine country...)

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M was delighted that there was plenty of gross dead stuff to pillage, and people dug for clams like whoa. Piles and piles and wagons and coolers full of them! It was astonishing. I haven't seen anything like it since I was a girl and got dragged all over the Pacific Coast while my folks amassed obscene amounts of fresh abalone, sulking from the shore with the wind pushing sand into my little eyes.

And everyone was doing it! Digging for clams, I mean. Hapless tourists joining in on the fun, old (and highly efficient) pros, big families, packs of teenagers. It was wild. Who knew?

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Definitely a two tote bag kind of day at the beach, featuring a first-generation Everlane and Hipp & Kirk. Below is my favorite beach towel of all time, from a 1953 cover of Esquire Magazine. Just as much for the beach babe motif as for the "Californians Are Crazy" bit at the bottom. It's not just looks - the thing is massive and soft and plush as heck.

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Since this is probably one of the more exposed posts I've ever done here, I wanted to mention something great happening over at Modcloth with regard to the representation of women and body positivity. The co-founder has pledged to promote total #fashiontruth, meaning that the company will strive to cast a variety of women in their ads and social media campaigns, and to show them as their true selves, to source, make, and sell clothing in a range of sizes, and to honor their customers as a community and put them at the center of everything they do. Fabulous!

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The idea is to be what you want to see in fashion, and I particularly look forward to their collaborations and celebrations of more body types and POC women in their social media streams. You can start by signing the petition for the Truth In Advertising Act, if you feel so inclined.

Finally, consider yourselves warmed warned: There are just three last seaworthy posts to go before FFAF folds into an inevitable autumn and what everyone hopes will be a merciful winter.

Navy anchor cover-up (which doesn't quite cover up my bum, I know - it's the beach!) – J. Crew (similar here) | Tulle Underwire Tank Swimsuit – J. Crew | Everlane Tote Bag | Canvas Tote – Hipp & Kirk | Anchor Earrings - Plague of Pigeons| Dean Sunglasses in English Oak – Warby Parker | Sparkle Lemon iPhone 5 Case - Kate Spade | Druzy Claw Ring – Lauren Wolf

Until next time, y'all!

XOXO, FFAF

Barnstable Babes

DSC00450 I have been preoccupied as of late and to the detriment of this blog. I post so erratically these days it's a wonder any of you come back at all, but you do and I am grateful! By the way, things are wonderful, just busy and new and nonstop, so when body and mind demand a break, I am trying to listen, even if means stepping back from the things that bring me pleasure.

Let's dive in, then?

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My third summer in New England and at long last I made it to Provincetown in all its midsummer glory. It was just a short visit, but we had a nice little adventure that day.

I can see the appeal - Cape Cod beaches, freewheeling queer abandon, highly walkable everything, the most darling clapboard B&Bs with their cake frosting rose gardens and all sorts of characters - but was a bit taken aback by the touristy feel, which I hadn't expected (probably very silly of me) and I wasn't too sad to return to a quiet, spacious Cape house tucked away in the woods at the end of the day. We'll be back, I'm quite sure of it.

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The tomboy power-clashing barefoot in brickish polka dot Topman shorts and an extreme angler print cotton shirt I found for her at Target. It got many compliments at the beachfront bar. I'm sure people find better things to do than risk tetanus in rotted dock shenanigans when they're in P-Town, but we'd more or less done them all already and decided it was still a good idea.

I made a mess of French and fishtail braids because I knew how windy and hot it'd be, and got my fair share of compliments, too!

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Watching the big ferry come tearing in from the bay is kind of a terrifying sight! From where we were sitting and having a cocktail it looked like it was going to smash through a few smaller boats and then into where we were sitting, but at the last possible moment turns and heads for the pier and a seemingly endless parade of people begin streaming into town, rolling their suitcases right down the middle of the street.

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These J. Crew earrings have a cantaloupe color scheme that I love, with brushed gold and a little sparkle, and I wore them to dress us this super casual white cotton maxi sundress (even though nobody really dresses up in P-Town, as M was sure to remind me several times).

Did you know the weather is forecast to be in the 80s steadily for the next 10 days, and it's been that or higher for the past week or so? SUMMER IS NOT OVER. M won't stop heckling me about fall, hashtag too soon.

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It's just beautiful there, isn't it? The colors are incredible - the water, the dunes, the painted boats and weathered wood of the docks and homes, the resilient flora. It all makes for a very enchanting atmosphere, a nice and deliberate, purposeful slowdown. Makes a gal wanna buy a boat and just float away for a while. I hope your summers have been - and continue to be, since the dog days keep a-comin' - sufficiently if not exceedingly lovely.

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Then there was this little fella! He was quite remarkable and we hope he wasn't injured at all. I was standing only a few feet away and he was sure to spread his wings just so and turn his head to the angle while I snapped and snapped away. The locals have taught him well, it seems! It was pretty cool.

And now I'm off to call the chimney sweep before sweater weather is here. Better put in our order for some firewood while I'm at it. Shh!

XOXO,

FFAF

 

 

Endless Summer

DSC00066 OMG, bring me back to the Cape. Please. These photos are from our end of June sojourn with the family. It's been five weeks since we left that wondrous vacation house and a whopping, wholly unacceptable four weeks since our last beach day. Sure, we spent an impromptu weekend in Manhattan but summer is feeling not so endless with that much time between seaside jaunts. I need all the oceans and R&R and low tide sunset strolls and too-early morning shark sighting excursions.

We're gonna fix that Singing Beach style tomorrow, but tonight we head to Boston's mega-ultra-lesbian-dance-party-deluxe Dyke Night Second Saturdays at Machine (it's a mouthful, I know) for St. Harridan's Fashion Show.

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LONG LIVE SKAKET BEACH.

Best damn Cape Cod beach ever, hand to God.

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During vacation, I made the house these warm, drool-worthy, buttery scones for breakfast one morning. My girl KA hooked me up with her incredible chocolate chip scone recipe, and it turns out I can hook you up with it, too, because it's a Smitten Kitten jam. If you've ever made a face at an offensively dry, crusty old scone, try these. They have the perfect structure and balance of light crunch and softness for dunking into coffee or tea, but are wonderfully creamy.

I will say this, though: definitely try either salted sweet cream butter or add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt, and maybe even a dash of vanilla or something to give them just a touch more dimension in terms of flavor. Then they're absolutely perfect!

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More Skaket Beach, because it's so magical and good and the snack shack rules and the sea grasses are so lush and the sand is ultra-soft and sandy.

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The massive wooden deck of the Cape house is surrounded by forest, and at night the frogs croak and fireflies glow and other winged critters sing and it's just beyond dreamy and calming. Of course, beware the mosquitoes. They'll suck your blood (they'll suck your blood). Sometimes your dog might run into the woods and bring back the bones of some unknown previously living thing, but hey! They're on vacation, too, right? I mean. Yeah. THEY ARE.

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This is like the horror movie shot of the stupid idiot girl who hears a noise and then follows it into the rapidly darkening and terrifying wilderness, "Hello? Hello? I can hear you! Hello?"

Pro tip: I am not that girl. I carry a knife and am much less polite.

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What in god's name is a trip to the Cape without a community seating lobster supper? Nothing, that's what. Arnold's is an institution. You wait in line to order outstanding food and then another line to order an outstanding ridiculous rummy cocktail and then another line for the bring-you-to-your-knees raw bar. It's for your own good. Pace yourself.

And then go play some GD mini golf with your GD family and work it all off because that is some TRULY WHOLESOME FAMILY OUTING MALARKEY. Allow it.

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I painted my nails this completely beautiful and artistic rendition of The Starry Night for lobsters and sandy dunes and Provincetown. Don't question me.

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The house came with a big stack of mysterious and very, very delightful LPs and I just happened to bring my little portable turntable along. Thank god, can you imagine my state of torture if I'd happened upon these gems from the 1920s-1970s and didn't have the Crosley? Pretty sure I would have driven home to fetch it if that had been the case.

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The tomboy took this one of my mama and I after a few rounds of mojitos and big seafood shack dinner. We were sitting in the sunroom listening to The Beatles and my mama's many Beatles stories. This was a really, really lovely vacation.

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After a long and idyllic day at the beach, simplicity rules. This is an easy little striped cotton dress from Atwell, one of the in-house Gilt brands. It goes great with actual beach waves, a pile of bracelets, and neutral sandals or fuss-free heels - I chose a chunky-heeled leather pair. My little clutch is J. Crew, and ties in with the navy with a nice pop of deep sea green.

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That's it for now! Did y'all see the FFAF shout-out in Curve Magazine from that dear and gorgeous sweet peach Anita Dolce Vita at dapperQ? She's such a powerful voice for femmes, and especially femmes of color. Pretty great stuff!

Hope your summers are going swimmingly,

FFAF

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