Endless Summer The Finale: Caribbean Wine Festival, Adult Paint Night, and Girls Night Out

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Here is the last post in my summer series. This summer was great overall. The only thing that I didn’t get to do that was on my list was make it to the beach. Who knows, there may be a Caribbean getaway in my near future to make up for it……..

 

Linganore Caribbean Wine Festival

Linganore Winecellars  located in Mt. Airy, Maryland holds several popular festivals annually. This year’s event list included:

  • Caribbean Wine Festival May 24&25**
  • Vine Rewind June 21&22
  • Reggae Wine Festival July 19&20
  • Taste of Linganore: Wine and Food Festival August 10
  • Fall Reggae Wine Festival Oct 18&19

They also host other wine tasting events throughout the year that are worth taking a look at if you’re ever in the area. I had always wanted to go to one of the festivals as I always hear that many friends and associates make it a yearly ritual. I had several friends who were going so I decided that this year was the year. I wore shorts from forever 21, and a top from Target with an old crossbody bag and belt from Torrid. My hair was already straight from the week before so I used some Shea Moisture soufflé to do a light twist and curl on the hair and it actually held up! The weather was warm but I didn’t sweat my hair out!!!!

Tickets were $18 if you’re over 21 and want to taste, and $15 for designated drivers. The winery is absolutely gorgeous but I will suggest getting their early to get a good parking spot and to also try to beat the LONG line of cars that you will encounter trying to turn into the property. My bff went on a bus trip and I’d have to say that this is truly the best option to get there for several reasons. One reason is that you don’t have to worry about driving and it gives you more time to sober up if you’re a little tipsy (keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to get drunk if you plan on driving at all, safety first), two her bus ride was more like a party bus so you start the fun early. My bff’s bus had rum punch for riders and sold West Indian food for cheaper than what you would find in the festival), reason three is that your group could get a reserved tent area (space to lay a blanket down was virtually nonexistent by the time we got there around 1:00), and lastly you don’t have to worry about finding a place to park because they have a designated parking area for buses.

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Once we got our parking space, and trekked up the hill with our bags and coolers, it didn’t take long for us to make it through the line. We paid at the  entrance and received a commemorative wine glass which I thought was really nice. After walking around, we realized we wouldn’t be able to find a spot to lay out our blanket so we headed to one of the tasting stations to sample the wines. You could purchase room temperature wine or chilled wine if you wanted to drink it while there and they would pop the bottle for you. We each bought a different kind of wine so that we could share it later. We found a table to sit in a courtyard area so we set up camp. The music was good and the weather was perfect. I ran into several people I knew and made some new friends. We even shared our vodka soaked fruit with strangers that we chatted up. Everyone was so friendly and there were even a few kids at the event. There was lots to see around the winery as they had different vendors with lots of items to purchase.

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The only negatives about the event was that (1) it was crowded and (2) leaving was a fiasco. The event attracted more people on that weekend than the winery anticipated. They must have received tons of complaints because by the time they had the next festival, they switched to online sales only for tickets so that they could control the amount of tickets sold. When it was time to leave, and after chatting up some new friends (see pics), we hopped into my gf’s truck and found that we were STUCK!!! It had been raining previously and it created a muddy mess in the section that we were parked in. I can laugh at it now, but…. well heck I was laughing then too!!!! Two of us got out and tried to rock the truck to get us out of the space but we only sunk in deeper. Three strangers came out to our rescue and one of them slipped in the mud and was covered head to toe!!!. Speaking of toes, I had mud all up in mine!!! By that point, we ditched our sandals (mine were brand new btw) because they were covered in mud causing us to slide more in the mud. After countless failed attempts, we were able to get out thanks to the help of strangers. We had to zig zag up the hill in order to avoid getting stuck again. Note to self: if it has been raining within a few days of the festival (which is rain or shine) either don’t go or go with a bus group.

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Adult Paint Night

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As  you all should know by now, I love art and one of my favorite pastimes that I DON’T do, is paint. Painting is such a relaxing process and at times can become obsessive and time consuming for me. A fellow Penn State alum Matthew Rice, also known as Mateo Blu is an accomplished artist with an interesting background. He was raised in inner city Baltimore City and despite all odds, went on to PSU and played on the renowned football team. While there, he pursued his passion for art, and after graduating played professional football in the NFL before retiring due to health reasons. It was after making a decision to pursue his passion full time, that Mateo Blu flourished. Matthew is about positive change and helping his community. He visits schools to promote art through the Blu Art Foundation and his most recent venture challenges adults to ‘let go’ and follow their creative inner being.

 

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*Original works by Mateo Blu 

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*these photos were done by some of the other students in the class

 

Matthew’s class took me completely out of my comfort zone and it was the best thing for me creatively! I was always used to planning and knowing what I wanted to do in advance. We sat there during one lesson and listened to different songs that Matthew chose for us and allowed the music to guide us as it affected our mood. I must admit that it took me a while to get into the grove and even while riding the waves of the beat, I was still unsure and still self conscious of my indecisiveness. This class exposed me to exactly what I needed to take my art to another level, to have more confidence in my creative ability. Also being in the Eubie Blake Center , named after the musical icon who was born in Maryland, was added inspiration as they have beautiful artwork showcased around the building. It is my hope that Matthew has another adult class in the fall, and if so I will be attending with my mother who is an artist in her own right.

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*some paintings found around the cultural center

 

Girls Night Out

One of my coworkers wanted to celebrate her milestone birthday so a group of us went out to Ozio, a martini and cigar lounge in DC. We knew that while we wanted to dance, we wanted to go someplace that had a mature vibe. I suggested a rooftop bar so that we could take advantage of the weather since it wasn’t cold yet. Ozio had nice pictures on the website and another coworker said that her cousin had been there previously and had a good time.

I had decided to wear a kimono dress from Asos Curve that I had in my closet since March and never wore. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I had been tying it wrong the whole time and didn’t like the way it looked so I never wore it. I kept wondering why it didn’t look like the model and why it had such a deep v-cut. I couldn’t see how anyone’s bra wouldn’t show!! The day before the outing I decided to try it on one more time before putting it in my ‘sell’ pile. Instead of tying it behind me, I tied it in front of me and that ladies and gentlemen made ALL the difference. I had to laugh at myself. I wore the dress with a Kensie belt that I had purchased many moons ago from Filenes Basement in Tyson’s Corner. I also wore earrings from Burlington and a cuff bracelet from The Avenue. I had planned on wearing my hear in a sleep long ponytail but my hair wasn’t cooperating. I ended up taking it out  and rocking the curls and it actually looked pretty good.

We chose valet which was $20 to avoid having to drive around to find a spot on the busy DC streets and to have to walk far in heels although I opted to wear flats because I wanted to have a good time and I have come to the realization that I know my limitations and I’d much rather be comfortable and happy then in pain walking pigeon toed and miserable to impress strangers.

The décor was lovely as expected based on the pictures, the weather turned out to be perfect as well, not hot or cold. The DJ was pretty good and the bartenders were attentive and friendly. I don’t care for smoking and was thankful that I that was mostly contained to one floor. They had a bathroom attendant to tend to your needs which was a nice touch. I left only having three complaints, (1) not enough people dancing… it seemed like this was the place to go to before the after party. It seems like it is one of those places that’s hit or miss (2) after midnight, they removed all the chairs so we had to pick up our belongings and they covered the roof (3) after paying $20 for valet, they took so long even though the line wasn’t that long that we had to fetch our own car.

 

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I hope you enjoyed the last of my summer series, now it’s time to head into fall!!!!!!! Boots, blazers, cardigans, OH MY!!!!

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