Yosemite National Park/Napa Valley – What a journey.

After a weekend of partying at the now infamous #HennyPalooza party, I realized that I never had a chance to post pictures from my recent excursion to Yosemite National Park and then to Napa Valley. Yosemite which you can see from the first gallery was nothing short of breathtaking (literally in some cases, 9,000 ft altitude will do that).  The sites were truly marvelous and the experience was memorable.  From the hikes to the people Yosemite is a must do.  We stayed in Yosemite Valley; it is where the treacherous 11 hour Half Dome trail is located and also where some of the best views of the park are as well. Check out the pics below.

After our journey through the mountainous, Sequoia tree filled wilderness we ventured onward to Napa Valley for some relaxation. We stayed in Calistoga at the Chateau de Vie, a simply charming, five star service, bed and breakfast. The owners Philip and Peter were a delight to be around and they wanted nothing less than to provide us with the best service they possible could, and they succeeded. THE FOOD WAS OUT OF SIGHT. *psychedelic voice. If you ever go, try the Tampanade. Overall, wine country was a very relaxing experience. I’m more of a green person, so to walk through vineyards, bike through the quaint downtown, and to enjoy the fruit of the towns labor was everything I needed. Calistoga specifically, to me, had a little more character than Napa. Nothing against Napa, but it seemed slightly too touristy for me. And yes, we were there six hours before the earthquake, so we made it out JUST in time! All the best to the valley in its recovery. A great experience indeed. Pictures below. DSC_0178































A Weekend to Remember: #IntimateBBQ

Sometimes a small intimate gathering is all you need to remind you why life is worth living.

Robin Williams: Legendary

As I sit and watch “Dead Poets Society,” I find myself feeling meloncholy and nostalgic.  Throughout most of my childhood and even most of my adulthood, I’ve enjoyed this man’s creations and interpretations.  His artistic, uninhibited, and honest work served to enlighten and entertain.  From Aladdin to Hook to Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams contributed to countless hours of pure enjoyment and I am grateful.  Thank you and I wish you a restful peace. 


N.C.A.A. Must allow Colleges to Pay Athletes…

“In a decision that could drastically reshape the world of college sports, a federal judge ruled on Friday that the N.C.A.A.’s decades-old rules barring payments to college athletes were in violation of antitrust laws.” — via N.Y. Times — This is big news right here.  For years student athletes were taken advantage of and profited from.  At least today there is a step in the right direction, assuming the N.C.A.A.’s inevitable appeal will not hold up.  For information click here: N.Y. Times 


Do-Si-Do – A weekend in NoFo.



Listen here, if you haven’t been out east to the North Folk of Long Island aka, “NoFo”, then you haven’t maximized your Long Island/New York experience. From beautiful landscapes complimented by pleasant personalities, a weekend here is a must do. We stayed at “SunnySide Up” in the “Over-easy room.” The service was exceptional, personal, and nothing short of five stars. Cheryl and her crew went from strangers to family in a matter of hours. She was abreast of all the happenings in the area. I mean, Siri and Yelp are cool, but everyone at Sunny Side Up made me quickly realize why human connection and personal service trumps any data driven solution. The itinerary included a trip to a few vineyards including the famous Pindar, a barnyard dance at the Hallockville Museum Farm, and golf (yes, I’ve started to golf.) Check out the pictures below and head on out east, there’s a whole new world that you need to see out there. #SomethingNew #It’sJustDifferent

The Rules of Engagement Vol. 1 – What Men Fear Most… and why you may not want to pressure him




Been a long time coming since The Dating Scene started. In fact the first post was in 2008…2008!!!! There have been countless stories, lessons, and most of all debates on the everlasting quandary of love, like, and dating.  But at this point in my life (and most of my peers’ lives), engagement and marriage is the new frontier. Not to say that we have solved the scene of dating, but one way or another we trudged our way through it and ended up with someone significant or, at bare minimum, we have a better sense of ourselves and what we want. As such, our current endeavor is to understand the rules of engagement and from there the road of marriage.  So follow along…

What Men Fear Most.

This post serves to enlighten as to why men delay true commitment, aka engagement/marriage.  I base this mostly on first hand experience. However, as I’ve shared these prevailing thoughts with men, from strangers to inner circle friends, the reactions are always the same, “YOOOO…that’s exactly how I feel,” “Preach on…,”or “wow, you’re right.”  So I think I’m on to something.

What women want:

If you are a woman in the 28-34 range or older, chances are you are not about wasting time.  It’s a luxury you can’t afford. Not only biologically, but you also are exhausted with putting effort into a relationship only to see it go nowhere.  You want longevity, consistency, and a future.  If you have been dating someone for three months you start to think, “okay where is this going?” Around six months you think it may be time to meet the close friends. After a year of dating maybe it’s time to “meet the parents” (*cue Gaylord Focker). Every six months after that you think, “Does he even know my ring size?” or “I’m ready for the next level, what’s the deal?”

And who could blame you if the relationship is going swell.  You two love each other.  You make him better. He makes you better. You’ve met his friends and he has met yours. You met his parents. You’ve left your mark in his place (i.e., toothbrush and feminine products) so if he were to invite a woman over she’d know that he has a girl (BTW…y’all ain’t slick.)  But, seriously, what’s the hold up on taking it to the next level? I’ll tell you.

Here are a couple of things going on in his head:

1. Exiting the dating scene for a man is like a legendary professional athlete retiring from the game he was born and bred to play. It’s not that easy.

Most know that Father Time has caught up to them; they’re not as young as they used to be and it is time to leave the game in their mind. But in their heart, they think they can still perform at top levels and think that the game needs them. Think Derek Jeter.

For a man, the dating scene is an arena where he, in his own mind at least, is a living legend.  The opportunity to score is endless and he needs to continue scoring as often as he wants. It is a thrill, a challenge he was socialized to embrace, one that is much more difficult to leave than we think. Why do you think we have bachelor parties?  It’s similar to what Derek Jeter’s retirement tour is this year. He goes from stadium to stadium and gets a standing ovation from the crowd and even gifts from the opposing team, all celebrating his contribution to and departure from the game. As a man, the departure from the dating scene is quite similar. And our boys know it and are compelled to celebrate it. But deep down, he still may want to hold on to it.

2. Progressing from “In a Relationship” to engaged for a man is like getting a promotion. Sure—we’re excited about all of the additional benefits, but with promotions come new on-the-job pressures and responsibilities. Are we really ready?

Here are the two biggest pressures men feel:

a. “I now have to provide for someone other than myself”

b. “I feel the need to protect my family”

Although there are blurred lines (*Robin Thicke voice) between gender roles now more than ever before, innately most men are still driven to provide and protect. I’m telling you, the feeling is REAL and for men who don’t take the time to mentally prepare for it, they will run right in the other direction.  Because think about it: for much of our lives we are being taken care of (thanks mom ), then we finally figure out how to take care of ourselves (thanks Food Network). NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, there is someone else’s life who we are responsible for?  Wait Wait WAIITTT…. you mean to tell me that now I have TO DIE FIRST??  Like… if there is a noise in the middle of the night, I’m now deemed the noise checker and probably first dier?  NAH… you mean to tell me that if she loses her job, I have to work like a Jamaican and find three jobs like Oliver so we don’t get thrown out onto the street. (I’m Jamaican btw.) OH, if there is enough food for only one person, she gets it? (but I’m still hungry.)

YES. YES. AND YES. Sh*t gets real! (‘Till death do yall part… might I add)

This is why most men may fight against any pressure to commit, especially regarding ENGAGEMENT (which really means MARRIAGE). He just might not be ready to take this on yet. It’s like getting a promotion you aren’t prepared for. The position where not only are you responsible for the lives of the people on your team, but the success or failure of your entire business. Instead of getting answers from a manager, you are now responsible for providing the answers.

Until a man finds his “soul mate” and RECOGNIZES it wholeheartedly (this is key), he will probably avoid any conversation about marriage, engagement, kids, or anything else that reminds him of the pressures he is probably not ready to overcome.  Think about it this way: wouldn’t you rather a man who approaches engagement willing and ready, as opposed to one who simply gave in to your constant sometimes subtle/sometimes overt/sometimes from your parents/sometimes from his parents/sometimes from grandparents, pressure to get engaged.

Give him Time and Space (for my Lance Drummonds fans), and continue to show him that you ARE the one. He will start to tackle each fear one by one, and if he doesn’t then keep it moving.  *Deuces. But honestly, it takes time; it’s not an overnight process.  Support him through it because let’s face it, since most women embrace lifetime commitment fearlessly, you’re clearly the stronger gender and we men need you.


LD. Out.





Family Vacation


Stowe, Vermont is my new home away from home. Quiet, serene, and simply rejuvenating. A connection to the simple life that blends nature, people, and food in a way that makes you forget any if not all of your cares. I can never get enough of it. And the fact that my family joined me this year took my annual visit to this haven to a completely new level. Hiking, StoweFlake Ballon festival, toasts, and laughs. Great times were had.


Artist to watch for: Banks


MY GOODNESS! It’s been awhile since I’ve fallen in love with new music, but here we go again. I’ve listened to “Warm Water” by the L.A. native, Banks (@hernameisbanks), about a thousand times in the past few weeks. I figured instead of selfishly satisfying my addiction, I would be better served to share this musical wealth with you. Her sultry, endearing, and emotional vocals will have you wishing it would rain to accompany the clearly soothing, musical magic she has put together..   Enjoy. Also “Brain” is MY ISHT! #GetUSome