Hotels vs AirBNB

As many of you may know one of my many interests is travel and event planning.  It’s why I own my own agency White Orchid Travel & Events, LLC.    It is one of the many ways I’m able to use  my creativity to express myself and I love it.   I can only give my honest opinion which you may or not agree with.  As a woman of color,  I know that things can be different for me than my white counterparts.  So I am aware of this and although I don’t go around expecting to be treated differently,  I am keenly aware it could happen.

I do not recommend Airbnb for the above reason mentioned.  It seems that people of color, especially, black women are treated far more harshly and physically if something goes wrong or the host is unhappy about something.   I have seen the videos of women being manhandled, thrown down a flight of stairs, escorted by the police, etc.  I don’t go away and spend my money to be treated like that.   You cannot regulate people’s prejudices and stupidity.  You can only try to put yourself in as safe a situation as you possible can.  I know many women of color who have stated that they have had really good experiences using Airbnb and I’m happy that they have, but until all are treated well, it’s a concern.

The reasons I prefer a hotel over Airbnb anytime are simple.  A hotel wants your repeat business and referrals.  They count on them.  They will work with you and are much more open and flexible when it comes to checking out, extending your stay, meeting your needs, changing your reservation, etc.  In other words they will go out of their way to make it work if possible.  Worst case scenario and things can’t be worked out, they do not grab you, shove you, push you down stairs, throw your stuff out in the street, etc.  They call the police if necessary and ask them to escort you out.  Most people know when the police show up, its time to go.  However unpleasant, it’s usually an encounter that doesn’t end with physical removal.   Keep this in mind the next time you have to decide between the two.  I say do whatever works for you, but as for me, I will continue to use hotels over Airbnb every time.


Around The World – Long Island Wine Country

I recently had the pleasure of venturing out to Long Island Wine Country while being hosted by Sound View Greenport.  It was one of the most delightful experiences I’ve had.  The wonderful thing is that it’s 2-3 hours outside of NYC, my home base and it’s a completely different world.  I’m so glad I accepted the invitation from Site Unseen and ventured out to this charming and beautiful setting.

During my stay there, I stayed at Sound View Greenport, a property with decks and beachfront space in every room.  It’s a beautiful place with a really good restaurant, The Halyard.   The Halyard has a wrap around deck that I imagine gets plenty of use in the warmer summer months.  It’s a great spot to dine and take in the phenomenal views.

We were driven around town in this adorable restored trolley.

We took a boat ride to a historical lighthouse and explored what is was like to live in a lighthouse.

One of the wineries we visited was Macari Vineyards which specializes in events for groups.  We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and pie.  I had the pleasure of getting the blueberry cream slice, but honestly I sampled all the pies.  Macari definitely knows their market and makes some great wines.  They also have a space downstairs for small group tastings and they do a really good job of servicing their customer.

Another vineyard we spent time at was Palmer Vineyard.  This vineyard is more laid back and a great place to visit if you just want to hang out in the backyard and sample some wine.  It’s a great place to just gather with friends and enjoy a Sunday afternoon.

Long Island Wine Country is a beautiful place to enjoy some of the world’s finest wines.  It’s a short distance from Manhattan and well worth the trip.  The food is farm fresh, the wine is awesome and the scenery allows you to take a deep breath, let go, relax and breath!!!

White Orchid Travel & Events, LLC is happy to help you plan your Long Island getaway!!! Just reach out and let us know how we can help you.


Accessories – Hair & Skin Products

ORS Olive Oil recently hosted a natural hair day event in New York City and it was glorious!!! The event was hosted by several moderators including the wonderful Bethann Hardison one of the first black models to become sought after.  She is probably better known these days as a talent manager.  One of her most famous clients is the model Tyson Beckford.   The event featured hair styling, makeup tutorials, cocktails and of course food.  At the end of the event we were all given a gift bag full of  Olive Oil products.  The Coconut Mousse, Avocado Shampoo, Orange Essence Hair Conditioner, Edge Control, Hair Milk, Curly Pudding and Sheen Spray.   I’m loving the Hair Milk for styling and night maintenance.  I used the shampoo and conditioner to wash my hair and it smelled so good!!!   I definitely plan to continue to use these product and recommend that you give them a try.  The tees shirt was a nice touch!!


These are also two of my favorites.  I suffer from dry skin so I’m always looking for something to keep my skin moisturized and conditioned.  It seems I have to repeatedly apply product to stay moisturized.  One of the downfalls of aging I’m sure.  These two products do a pretty good job of helping me on my never ending quest for soft skin.  The Body Milk by Etro is just delightful without being too light or too heavy.  I also enjoy the TSI Blossom by Native Naturals as well.  It’s nourishing like it says without being too heavy.   Either of these should get you through the day.

Cocktails – Grown Up Hot Chocolate

Winter is here.  I know I know, we would all rather be on some tropical island laying on a beach with a Pina Coloda in hand.  Alas for those of us who live with seasons, we are in the midst of winter, so may I suggest my version of hot chocolate to help you on those cold winter nights.  This is not for the kiddies!!!

You can make whatever flavor that floats your boat.  I prefer coconut.  Your have as many choices as there are chocolate candies out there.  I use 2-3 Lindt Coconut balls, mixed with a dash of vanilla I bought when I was in Mexico and a splash of Patron Cafe Tequila and hot milk.  Heat milk, add chocolate balls, vanilla and stir until smooth, then add splash of Patron Cafe Tequila and enjoy!!!

Accessories – Sunglasses

Why is it when I go shopping for sunglasses, I never see any like this.  Dolce & Gabbana have some of the most gorgeous, unusual sunglasses out there.  Funky, eclectic and so stylish and chic!!!


Emilio Pucci




I know it doesn’t seem like it, but summer is coming again!!! Get your eye wear game on ladies!





Around the World – Niagara Falls & Buffalo, NY

First I have to say, I cannot believe I am a life long New Yorker and have never visited Niagara Falls.  I’ve gone through Buffalo before, but didn’t stop to experience what it has to offer.    This time I had a chance to experience both and I must say what a wonderful experience it was.

First of all let me say how breathtakingly beautiful Niagara Falls is.  I am so annoyed with myself for not visiting sooner and getting to experience the beauty of the place.  I was on the New York side of the falls staying in Buffalo.  I will definitely experience it one day from the Canadian side.  It is a must.

While in Buffalo, one of the things I experienced was a visit to The Darwin House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is a beauty.  If only we lived in spaces like this now, at least in NYC we don’t.  It was truly stunning.

One of the must sees, especially if you are a Jazz fan, is the Colored Musicians Club which is historical and a treat for your ears and eyes.  You can listen to some of the most famous and pioneering artists who inspired the love of Jazz.

There’s also the Naval and Military Park for those who would like to experience some of the equipment and machinery used by our men and women in the Armed Forces.  Its an outdoor Museum dedicated to our military.

Lastly one of my favorite places was The Hotel Henry.  This unique hotel was at one point a psychiatric hospital.  The grounds are sprawling with 13 buildings.  The entire property has not yet been converted so there are still some of the old buildings on the property, but it is worth the trip.

Buffalo, New York and Niagara Falls is a quick flight or 8 hour drive from NYC and a great option for a weekend or midweek getaway.  The flights are affordable and so are the accommodations.  If you would like to arrange a nice getaway here or anywhere else or have any further questions, hit us up in the comments section.

Food – Classic Key Lime Pie


1cup Honey Graham Crackers
1cup Honey Nut Cheerios
7ounces salted sweet cream butter
1/4cup light brown sugar
1/4teaspoon cardamom
6large egg yolks
1/2pint softened vanilla bean ice cream
14ounces can sweetened condensed milk
1/2cup Key Lime juice


For the Crust:

  1. Place Graham Crackers in a large plastic bag and roll with rolling pin until finely crushed. Pour into a medium bowl. Repeat method for Honey Nut Cheerios and add to bowl.
    1. Add brown sugar and cardamon to the cereal mix. Slowly stir in melted butter and hand mix until even consistency is obtained.
    2. Press mixture into 9-inch pie pan working from center of pan to outer edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

    For the Filling:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer or whisk for one minute. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk and mix for six minutes more.
    3. Add ice cream and continue mixing until smooth. Add Key Lime juice. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Bake for for 12 minutes.
    4. Place pie on a cooling rack in the freezer for at least one hour. Remove 20 minutes prior to serving. Add whipped cream and garnish before serving.

Recipe courtesy of David Sloan and