22 January 2012

Home for the Holidays

Finally...some photos from my visit to St. Augustine this Christmas. It was not only the first time I'd been home in a year, but also the first time my family and I had been sailing since 2001.

Sailing was once a big part of my life. Throughout my childhood my family and I would go sailing every weekend and cruise to the Bahamas every summer. As years passed, I suppose we outgrew our 27' Catalina and my dad and I made the last cruise to the islands on our own.

Mom and I in the cabin on her wedding day. She and my dad were married on our sailboat, Momi.

Mom and I on Opus, our dinghy that transported us between the boat and shore.

Me at probably 3 years old. It must have been a chilly FL winter :)

Mom and my younger brother, Jonathan.

Since then, our sailboat, Momi, was somewhat abandoned. About a year ago my dad sold Momi and began the search for his new dream sailboat. Just a week before I arrived home for the holiday, my parents sailed home their new (well, new to us) 36' Catalina named Moondance. It was so special to, once again, go sailing with my family. We all felt the nostalgia welling up in our hearts as we hoisted the sails and I sat up on the forward deck, just like old times. Here are a few photos from our various outings on the boat.

It was amazing to return to my salty roots after so many years! I am taking another trip to St. Augustine this Wednesday and look forward to a couple more outings on Moondance with my family!

09 January 2012

ESP Handmade

Hello all! How were your holidays? Mine were fantastic and I'll have many photos coming soon. But before I get into all that, I am so excited to share something with you.

While I was home in dear St. Augustine, FL I got to see my best friend Emily Pinto. It had been a year since I'd seen her, which felt crazy because we used to live together in college and see each other nearly every day. Since college she's been living in Guatemala, volunteering, and traveling around Central America. While in Guatemala she pursued her goal to design and produce a line of accessories. The result was ESP Handmade, a collection of beautiful scarves, bags, and jewelry made by the indigenous back strap loom weavers in Guatemala. While at college and visiting in Guatemala last year, Emily developed and interest in and volunteered with Trama Textiles, an organization of women who weave textiles with traditional back strap looms. Emily chose this special organization to make many of her products. A purchase from ESP Handmade is not only a beautiful handmade piece, but it also supports a group of talented women in Guatemala who work hard to support their families.

That is why I couldn't resist purchasing this gorgeous bag from ESP Handmade while I was home. I think the description on the website is best:

Our Antiqua weekender bags are crafted with genuine leather and cotton fabric from traditional Mayan 'huipiles' - a blouse that is worn by indigenous women in Guatemala and heavily decorated with embroidered designs. Each bag features short handles as well as a strap that can be worn across the body for greater convenience. Fully lined with perfect proportions (21"x16") as well as exterior and interior pockets to keep important items like your passport handy!

My Antigua weekender has quickly become my go-to bag for carry-on luggage to FL and weekend trips to Newport. I couldn't be more proud of my friend for starting such an amazing company! Everyone should visit her website to see all the other products. Also, check out the ESP Facebook page...I know you'll like it :)

Emily and I, 2010