Aired: November 10th, 2021
Audio and Photo Source: Crystal James and Instagram
This episode of Wine Down Wednesday was truly a joy! Our typical guests are avid travelers, having passport stamps in the double digits and going on trips multiple times a year. With the number of Black travelers growing in number, it is true that more and more people are hitting globetrotter status. However, there are still many "mid-tier" travelers who enjoy travel but lean toward domestic and go internationally once every couple of years. To have this perspective on the show was absolutely refreshing as we celebrate and recognize every kind of traveler.
Our special guest, Crystal James, shared with us a bunch a travel wisdom and a few travel stories. She reminded us the dangers of drinking in the sun, the importance of solo travel and our ability to be transported to other countries right at home. Tune in for another Wine Down Wednesday You don't want to miss.
Wine Down Wednesday: Crystal James
Orion Brown (00:00:04):
A, oh, I forgot to put the title on this. My bad y'all technologies. Hey, Hey, y'all I hope you have your wine. Cause it is the Wine Down, baby. I need it. I can't tell you. Y'all think I do this for you. I do this for me. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Orion Brown and I am the founder and CEO of BlackTravelBox. We're a personal care products company for travelers of color. And uh, I'm like, this is the highlight of my week. You guys cause the mayhem and the foolishness and the foolishness and the mayhem and the, the number of moments that I've had to just stare at people. Because I aint have nothing good to say. You know, when you're a kid and they say if you don't have nothing good to say, keep it to yourself. Um, you know, the Lord is still working on me.
Orion Brown (00:01:05):
Um, but I always look forward to the Wine Down because not only for the wine, but for the great company and you guys always keep me rolling in the comments. I'm so excited. Um, we have another guest this week. Oh, Volorit like whiskey. Um, I mean, girl, you gotta come back and then we can do whiskey. I'm just saying we can have a whiskey, a special whiskey wine down. And actually I have a hookup that we could actually probably get a few of our audience members hooked up with some great whiskey samples and do that. So maybe we need to get that plan for when it gets cold out. Um, so for y'all who would like the whiskey go ahead and throw a whiskey glass in the, in the comments there. Um, man, I hope you guys are doing well. I am, as you can see, like my background, I can, well, you can see my, my little ring lights trying to keep me bright, but um, I moved of, oh gosh, it's been about a month now. Um, and y'all um, I am dating my apartment. I come home and look at him like, oh, you're looking good tonight. Look at you. All shining and sparkling and stuff. Um, and you know, sometimes you just gotta do a little something.
Orion Brown (00:02:21):
I don't know what, oh, you're here. The hi, the Instagram was like, there's something wrong. It's a thing. And I was like no, I don't know how technology works.
Crystal James (00:02:35):
How are you?
Orion Brown (00:02:36):
I'm so, so, well, how are you doing?
Crystal James (00:02:40):
Orion Brown (00:02:41):
Thank you so much for being a pitch hitter today. Y'all seriously. So we have Wine Down Wednesday interviews booked until like February. People are like, Ooh, I want to get in. And then when it's their week, they be like, so what happened was...God aint done with me yet. I'm telling you that now.
Crystal James (00:03:02):
That's how it always is.
Orion Brown (00:03:04):
Sometimes it'd be like that. But welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Thank you so much for being here. Our traditional Wine Down, I'm waving at everybody. Look at y'all coming in. Hey, I hope you have your drinks. It doesn't have to be wine. I mean, you know, I'm never going to have the people out here sideways. I don't have that kind of insurance. So if y'all got to get a diet Pepsi, you got to be some Kool-Aid do what you gotta do. A fizzy water. I, you know, pinkies up for the LaCroix. Um, but bring your drinks and less Kiki. Cause baby, I needed, I don't know about y'all's week, but I need it. So our traditional wines out is, and I made people do this long intro and every time they come, they're like in the middle. They're like, I forgot what you asked me, but I'm not going to change it because I think these are core. This is core. It's the core tradition. Um, so introduce yourself to everybody. Tell, tell us your name, tell us where you live and where you're from. If those are two different places. Um, and how many stamps do you have on your passport? And it doesn't have to be exact, just like roundabout.
Crystal James (00:04:10):
Okay. Well, my name is Crystal James. I am from Huntington, New York. I now live in Farmingdale, New York. Okay. And so my passport think if I count right, it's five.
Orion Brown (00:04:28):
Nice. I like it. I like it. And what, what is dope about being outside of New York city, but still being in the New York area?
Crystal James (00:04:42):
The silence. That's the only thing. The only thing is this silence and don't hear sirens and traffic at two and three o'clock in the morning that, yeah, that's the only plus. I mean, I lived in Queens and Brooklyn, but other than that, that is, I think the key point to being in long island is and finding parking. Yeah. If you have a car being able to park you don't,
Orion Brown (00:05:16):
It's unheard of for like what like a 12, 20 mile radius. I don't know what it is. It's crazy.
Crystal James (00:05:23):
It is. Some of the people that live in buildings. Like I have friends that live in buildings in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the Bronx, like they pay to park their car in like a garage or they walk two or three blocks. They're driving around the block three, four or five 20 times looking for parking. Not doing that.
Orion Brown (00:05:42):
Those of you who don't live in a big city, imagine going to target and being like, I just want to find a spot near the door and all the spots are at the other end of the parking lot. And you're like, but that's every day, every day running to work, running to the doctor's office, whatever, going to get groceries, get groceries, get back home, and then realize you gotta hopefully have somebody in tandem so that they can take the bags and you go find a parking or vice versa.
Crystal James (00:06:11):
And don't let it snow. And then you shuffle your space out because you got, cause somebody done got in your space.
Orion Brown (00:06:18):
That's when you just get that's when you just get the chains on your tires and you fake it, like everybody's like, I can't get mad space. Nobody's shoveled it. Right?
Crystal James (00:06:27):
Orion Brown (00:06:28):
Oh my gosh. I lived in Peekskill for a while and I, I know the, uh, of the quiet there's, there's something about the quiet. Long island, y'all free for those who have never been to New York or even if you have, when they call it long island, this is the longest island. Like, I feel like if you're on the train, there are 472 stops and you still aren't at the end of it. It's just like, oh, now you're in the Hampton. Like what now? Sway.
Crystal James (00:06:58):
Because they stop at every little city. Like every six, if you're coming from Penn station, to me, I think it's 13 or 14 stops. Yeah. And to drive from my house to Penn station would take 35 minutes. And on the train it takes an hour.
Orion Brown (00:07:18):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Doors are closing and somebody stands there and then the doors open back up. It's a whole, and the funny thing about long island to me is also the further out you get the weirder, the city names are, oh yeah.
Crystal James (00:07:32):
Yes. I still haven't gotten used to chap book, whatever. And Quock, and I'm like, what?
Orion Brown (00:07:42):
[inaudible] I went to once and I was like, it took me four times to say it. Right. And I'm still probably not saying it. Right.
Crystal James (00:07:49):
I'm like, yeah. [inaudible]. [inaudible] I'm like
Orion Brown (00:07:55):
[inaudible] and [inaudible]
Crystal James (00:07:58):
I'm like, it's all the same town. You just divided it by a street. Why you got 20 different names?
Orion Brown (00:08:04):
I mean, I think it's real estate, but I digress. I digress. So what's, what's kept you in New York. Have you lived outside of New York or have you just always been here?
Crystal James (00:08:16):
Nope. Lived outside of New York. I lived in Alabama for almost five years.
Orion Brown (00:08:23):
Oh, that's a
Crystal James (00:08:23):
Good run. Yeah. I went to college there, so, but I left not too long after graduation. I was like, I got to go.
Orion Brown (00:08:33):
I love it. I love it. But let's talk about some of these travels. I want to get a feel for some of the experiences you had and knowing that you're a person who likes quiet. Are you like when you travel, do you travel to relax? Is that okay? So then tell us a little bit about some of the places that you've gone through that have been some of like the best relaxation spots.
Crystal James (00:08:57):
My, I think my ultimate best to relaxation spot out of the us would have to be, I think Jamaica, it's just warmth food and drinks and that's it. Everything
Orion Brown (00:09:18):
I agree, right? Like,
Crystal James (00:09:21):
Yes. I that's just like, you can't even keep the food. I just want the warmth drinks and just the music. It's that's, that's the corn things to me right now.
Orion Brown (00:09:34):
Meanwhile, I'm across the table from you going, you going to eat that. Um,
Crystal James (00:09:39):
But with that, like it, and that's the worst. Cause I'm the person like you don't want to travel with because they're always like, are you going to eat or no? I'm if I paid $1,800 for this trip, I'm drinking $1,800 worth
Orion Brown (00:09:52):
All the math on this is so good.
Crystal James (00:09:56):
Um, there's there's no need for it. I don't like people like, oh, did you try now?
Orion Brown (00:10:02):
I want a liquid diet right now. It's a fast what you're talking about. Yes. So, so what spots do you go to? Like, are you going to all-inclusives or like, how do you structure it? If you're like, I want peace and quiet. I want chill. And I want drinks. Like w how do you even approach that?
Crystal James (00:10:23):
I have to do all inclusive. And it has to be with people that are not going. I have to go with people that are going to understand this is a vacation for me. Let's do and run a hundred different places. So they, you know, generally it's, it's a cool factor because they understand one. I'm not a morning person, but if you wake me up with a cup of coffee, I'll get up
Orion Brown (00:10:51):
Crystal James (00:10:53):
Balance. Yeah. As long as you breathe, as long as I can smell that caffeine in the morning, I will pretty much get up. I will give you two hours, three hours to do like the whole, whatever you need to do, but then you need to understand I'm not moving from this beach chair till I am lifting or show drunk that I literally can't stand up. Oh my God.
Orion Brown (00:11:17):
Oh my gosh. Let us talk about the dangers and wonders of drinking copiously on a beach. Um,
Crystal James (00:11:29):
Uh, excruciating painful sunburn.
Orion Brown (00:11:33):
The thinking now y'all see, I'm bright as hell. And we have this beautiful chocolate beauty here, chocolate brass. You got the brownie brown. We can all burn. We can. And we'll all burn, especially if we pass.
Crystal James (00:11:47):
Yeah. Yes. And the worst is the pool, the lawn, the, um, beach chairs in the water. That's the worst because you don't realize that you are burning because you're also cool. Yeah. So then when you get out the water and you realize, oh, okay, like this is not right.
Orion Brown (00:12:09):
It hurts to walk. Why does it hurt
Crystal James (00:12:11):
Orion Brown (00:12:13):
In the Philippines and got trashed at my friend's wedding. And I'm going to say it, the Lord is not done with me yet. A trap. Well, her father, this is why I love practical people. She has a huge family. Her family's from the Philippines. We actually took over a resort, which is actually cheaper on the backend because everybody's like paying for their room and all that stuff. So dad's like, let me go to like Filipino Costco and bring in all the alcohol. So the first night, okay, great. Everybody's having drinks. This man is at the end of the night going, oh, let me take your water glass. Of course more liquor in there. Go ahead. Drink that. Cause we can't, we're not leaving none of this. No, you're going to drink all of this. So by the next day I was a little lobster. I passed out at like three in the afternoon and I woke up to just bright red skin. I couldn't even move. I couldn't even move.
Crystal James (00:13:03):
Mm. That, and there's that enough? Not Zima or anything else you could put on in the world to make it feel better.
Orion Brown (00:13:10):
You basically would have to get in like a kiddie pool of aloe. That's really the only way that would work pretty much.
Crystal James (00:13:17):
And then they'll move. Like you can't move. Like you don't want to move your body because if you move and know the aloe, just swishes a certain way.
Orion Brown (00:13:28):
Yeah. The tiniest bit of friction y'all preserve your skin. We don't have a sunscreen yet. So big ups to Black girls, sunscreen, gall head, get that. It don't make you look at it. She will come through with one soon. But like, yeah. Now I'm like, I have no shame. I'm like she spray all the things, you know? Cause I will be like roasted corn and it's just
Crystal James (00:13:52):
Intense, intense pain. I think that was my worst was when we went to Bermuda. And that was our first time getting like a sunburn because I didn't think, um, dark. And I'm like, I'm S I'm dark skinned. I'm like, I'm just not going to burn. I, you know, that was my philosophy. I'm dark skin. I'm not going to burn.
Orion Brown (00:14:13):
She said I'm impervious to the sun's rays. But we were raised like that. I remember being a kid and coming home and my mom's like, oh, you got that little reddish tan again. And I'm like, it's not like now I look back. And I was like, no, I was just getting burnt up all the time. It was a little bit of brown and then the red and oh, you got that reddish tan. That's the skin don't turn red unless it's influenced.
Crystal James (00:14:37):
Right. And that's how it was. It was, it was literally like when I got back to the room and I took this and I was like, oh, but why am I like 20 shades darker? And then it still didn't hit me till I went to take a
Orion Brown (00:14:51):
Oh yeah. And that water hits.
Crystal James (00:14:55):
I think I saw Jesus Christ himself.
Orion Brown (00:14:59):
Uh, Laura came down and said, let me go ahead and turn this to why. Cause you and paying girl.
Crystal James (00:15:05):
I mean, I'm I, and I love a hot, hot shower. So it even worse like that hot water hit. And I was just like, Ooh, that for a second, because you can't really move because your whole body is just telling you like, okay, dummy, dummy, dummy, dummy, dummy. And I'm not going to let you move. You're going to stay. That can suffer. And that's pretty much,
Orion Brown (00:15:27):
Oh my gosh. I immediately heard in my head and forgive me for the artist's job. But I was like, my mind still let me know it's oh my gosh. So what do you do now? Because if your emo is to go to the beach and have all the drinks, like, what are some of the things, what are the precautions that you put in place to try to avoid those things? So you can get the most out of the trip.
Crystal James (00:15:51):
I make sure that I either get in the pool or go inside somewhere. At least every two hours, two and a half hours tops. I will set a timer to get to that point because of that,
Orion Brown (00:16:06):
The smart, just to be like, okay, let me get up, go to the ladies room, take a moment in the AC,
Crystal James (00:16:13):
Got to, got to bring it back to reality because that's it. And it's worse than when you come home and you laying in bed and every time you get out your bed, you got dead skin because now all this skin is coming off. That's not normal. Like I'm a snake. Like that's yeah.
Orion Brown (00:16:33):
When you pull in potato chips off your shoulders, you've you've gone a little crispy. It's gone a little crispy. So, so you said you, you got about five passport stamps. Were all of those trips, those types of relaxing trips, or have you done anything a little bit more rambunctious? She said no.
Crystal James (00:16:53):
Who were family trips? And I believe that's why I've got super intoxicated because being with my entire family will make you become an alcoholic. Um, so I was like, no, I've learned now. I don't do family trips.
Orion Brown (00:17:16):
Tap out. Yeah. That's a good precaution. I feel you.
Crystal James (00:17:21):
Because then I feel like I not relaxing and I have to drink more to relax. So yeah, no, no I do. But most of them, yeah. I try to do at least once a year, a relaxed, unfortunately this year didn't happen. I had two trips planned, one got canceled. Um, because the resort called me like three weeks before and was like, oh, by the way, you need to take COVID tests. When you get here, if you test positive, we'll put you in a hotel of our choice. Well, I paid for a five-star resort and then you could put me in the cockroach and mine though, down the street, non
Orion Brown (00:18:07):
Don't go to the Cocker Rouge for Mundo hotel. Cause it's not going to be good. It's a motel. It's not even
Crystal James (00:18:12):
Right. And was like, you kind of, but I was like, and that's why I was just like, you know what? I'm gonna hold off til next year. So that one, and I have another one plan and they're both going to be relaxation trips, one goalie by myself. So I know it's going to be total relaxation because Ooh, no one, nobody bothered me. Just
Orion Brown (00:18:37):
Do you normally do solo trips, like domestic or international?
Crystal James (00:18:41):
Yes, I do. Mostly domestic. I'll do, like I went a couple of weekends ago. I went to PA for the weekend just to, to get away. Um, this weekend I'm going to Connecticut again by myself just to chill out. Um, I'm good. I booked a spa day. I got a hotel room. I'm going to treat myself to a really nice dinner and just relax. That's it? No phone, no, nothing. Like I go off when I do like my little weekend trips or you know, two or three days, I kind of try to take it off the grid. Just get away from social media. The news whatever's going on is just kinda like me refinding me something that I learned during COVID with living by my, you know, I live alone. So it was like, I had even more time to like play crazy movies in my head
Orion Brown (00:19:41):
Crystal James (00:19:42):
That I also didn't realize what crazy movies in my head, because the things going on to subside them. But then when it was like, okay, so now in my house for 24 straight hours a day seven, okay. You are losing your mind and you need to regroup. So that's my that's what really? I mean, I was doing it before, but it was like day trips. It was never, now I go and I stay the night. So I don't feel like I'm rushing. Like I have now have to get back in the car. I got to drive back two hours.
Orion Brown (00:20:13):
You're exhausted by the time you get back.
Crystal James (00:20:15):
Right. So I didn't have fun anyway. So now it's like, I'm gonna take my time. I'm gonna get there. Do something fun. Spend the night, get up the next morning. I'm refreshed. I get my coffee. I hit the road. I'm good.
Orion Brown (00:20:30):
Ooh. I love that. And it's it's I love that. Kind of like getting back to yourself, thought of just existing in a space other than the space that you've been stuck in with no expectations, no constraints. Other than like, you know, don't lick anybody. We, it's not popular right now. Don't do that. Um, that's a really, I've had a few trips over COVID that I had to do stuff and I tried to like take a day and man, those days are like
Crystal James (00:21:00):
Best. Yes, it's all about. And I tell everybody, I'm like, you have to find your outlet. Like me always been a journal person. So from when I was young, because I'm my mom's only child. So it was just me and her. So always wrote in my journal. And then I kind of stopped as I got older, I have over the last probably four or five years journals more than I think I did when I was a kid. Wow. A journal every day. Like just little crazy thoughts that have come to my head. Um, and that's what I do. Like when I'm on, like, if it's a rainy day and I'm on vacation somewhere, me and my journal, like all those little crazy thoughts that are coming into my head, little sayings or something like I'll be in the store the other day I was in Dunkin donuts. And the guy, the lady in front of me was talking to our son and she said, you know, you'll never understand what you have in life until you lose what you have in life. And I was like, wow, I like
Orion Brown (00:22:11):
Dropping knowledge in Dunkin donuts.
Crystal James (00:22:13):
And the kid was like, cause I dunno, he was yelling. He, well, he wanted something to add, came from, from Walmart and he wanted something and she was just like, and when she said it to him, he kind of looked at her like, okay, well back to the trampoline or whatever it was that he wanted. But I was like, that's, that's deep. Like you can take that in so many different ways. And then, you know, it's like, now you have to live life like travel, enjoy. Like I tell anybody I'm not a crazy food type of person, but I will try anything once, you know, pretty much I will try it thing. Probably won't like it. I'm going to try it. And that's my thing. Like even now, like I'll go to different restaurants just to, uh, just to try something. Like if I see it on Instagram, Facebook, I tag it to myself and I sent it and I'm like, okay. And I've gone to so many restaurants now that I'm just like during COVID. I was like the takeout queen every, every week I went to a different restaurant and tried something different.
Orion Brown (00:23:18):
That is amazing.
Crystal James (00:23:20):
I learned now I really don't like, like African, African food. That's just like, it's just, the spices is not working for me. But I did find out that I like Indian food. They know that. So I was like, okay, this works out. Well, learn something new about myself. But it was like, you gotta, you have to open up like, just like what vacations. I got to tell people, if you can't, a lot of people are like, oh, I don't like to travel, but you know what? Then make your own destinations where you are in your town. Find something -
Orion Brown (00:23:54):
Yes. Stayacations are amazing.
Crystal James (00:23:57):
I'm like, I'm where I live. There's like every I'm going to say probably every six months, seven months, there's a new little restaurant or a speakeasy. Something is popping up somewhere. Try it. You don't know. Oh. And spend money. You can jump on a train and take an Uber costs you $30. So you spending what? $60 for a night. And you can still see what's out there.
Orion Brown (00:24:21):
This is how y'all know she live on long island. Cause that would not happen in Manhattan. Um, so you got a question. So Cantiese Burrell said, what is the craziest food you've ever tried since you've tried everything. Once
Crystal James (00:24:34):
I think the craziest food I have ever tried was when I was in new Orleans and I tried alligator never. That's the thought of it still makes me nauseous. And people will tell you everything tastes like chicken. It doesn't.
Orion Brown (00:24:52):
Yeah, I would agree. It doesn't taste like chicken. It has some similarities, but it does not. It's not, you wouldn't throw that in my mouth and I'd be like, oh, we're eating chicken.
Crystal James (00:25:00):
No, that was not, I knew that was not chicken. And you know, my friend, he was like, it's going to taste like chicken.
Orion Brown (00:25:12):
No, I love about your friends,
Crystal James (00:25:16):
God chicken at all. And then I got some busy people that, you know, will tell me like delicacies, like they're like, oh, try snails. I'm like, okay. That's just one thing. I'm not going to try something that I will pull pour salt on in my front lawn. I'm not putting in my mouth.
Orion Brown (00:25:32):
It was salt on it, on your plate. And that's not the same smells, but yeah, that's fair. I've I've had as cargo. And it wasn't that. I didn't like, like they had it in some kind of, I mean, honestly, if you put 98% of the things I'm planning in gravy, I probably going to eat it, but I am a texture person. And if it takes me too long to choose something that my stomach has a weird association. So my tongue may be enjoying it. My head be like, Hmm, this is interesting. This is different. I can eat this on some toast. And then the stomach's like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You're still chewing. We can't do this right back the other way. Um,
Crystal James (00:26:16):
Totally agree. But you have to
Orion Brown (00:26:20):
Know what your, you have to know what your tolerances are.
Crystal James (00:26:23):
Most definitely. Like, I keep telling everybody I'm like my ultimate dream trip is to go to Africa, but then I'm like, what am I going to eat? Like, I'm not, I'm open to trying a lot of things, but they eat a lot of extra things that
Orion Brown (00:26:43):
Crystal James (00:26:43):
Don't know. And then trying African food and like, just, and like I said, I tried three different African restaurants. And again, I think the spices that they use, that I, my tongue couldn't get used to, you know, it wasn't for my palette, but again, if I go over there, it could be totally different. So
Orion Brown (00:27:02):
It depends on where you go. Like if you're going to Nigerian restaurants versus, and the good thing about being in the New York area is that you are actually getting authentic food. Cause what I would say my rule of thumb is I used to say, I'll try anything once until I realized sometimes that one time they don't know how to cook, but you don't know it because you never had things. So I'm like, I will try it twice. If I have the same experience twice, then I know I don't like it. Um, I, I personally don't love Ethiopian food between the spongy bread. I'm like, I don't like my bread wet. Um, that's just me. Um, like it took me years to get used to the cornbread and the potlicker touching. Like I'm still like, it can touch for a second, but then we got to move it back over here, put some butter on it, throw it back.
Orion Brown (00:27:48):
Um, so I, I, I'm not a big, big fan. Some of the meats and stuff I like, but I feel you, I went to a Jordanian place once and, and I'm not even saying, I just liked Jordanian food. Cause this really was the one. So I do need to go back again to another place. But I remember smelling the food and getting so nauseated that I had to leave. And I was like, I feel like what is now called the Karen? I was like, I was like, oh, you guys, I can't stay here. Oh no. Oh, where's the manager. Um, I just couldn't do it. But you know, I've also gone to South Africa and had a, and I've told this story on here a few times. So those of you who hang out with us a lot, you've already like, yeah, we know what you ate. Uh, I had Springbok carpaccio, which is basically raw deer, raw African deer. And it has like, um, it's, it's like vinegar cooked and it has like pears and it tasted amazing. But I was chewing so long. I was chewing so very long and, and I was like, I'm not done. And I didn't really cut through it all the way. Do you ever try to swallow something and it's still in your mouth, but it's also in your throat at the same time? Nope.
Crystal James (00:28:53):
And I think that's me. What? Like Turkish food. I think I'm not, I felt like, I don't know if it's they under cook everything and then expect it to like continue to cook in its sources when they bring it to the table. But I was like, why? Like this is supposed to be chicken. Why am I chewing this long? Like, this is like a super tough steak.
Orion Brown (00:29:18):
Crystal James (00:29:19):
Working for me.
Orion Brown (00:29:21):
There is something about the undercook and the overcoat. That's really hard to get a balance. And it's so tricky. Especially like, even with American restaurants, if I don't know, you know how to make steak, then I'm not going to get anything medium rare, a good steak, steak place that knows what they're doing. They can give you something medium rare and you get the tenderness. You're not chewing it for ages. It's, you know, crispy on the outside pink in the middle or red in the middle, depending on how you like it. But some of these spots you're like, Hmm, Texas corral. Y'all better make that. Well, cause I don't know what you're doing back there. How many times did you drop it? Sorry, Texas corral. But um,
Crystal James (00:30:00):
And look, how long has your, your chef been a chef? That's also the question. Yeah. You gotta leave out to look at that. Even when you go away, you still gotta look at that. Like I tell people like, you know, when you go away and you do an all inclusive, you gotta get outside of that. All inclusive. You have. Yes. The locals are, see what else is out there? Like when I went to Puerto Rico, we went, of course we stayed on a resort. But then we went into like old San Juan, you know, where we literally got a plate of food for $5. That was enough to feed three people. It was the best food I've ever had in my life. Like
Orion Brown (00:30:42):
Really? So Puerto Rico is the highlight. You're like Puerto Rican. I I'm here for you.
Crystal James (00:30:46):
I, I hands down when you go into like those little villages, first of all, the food is super cheap. They're super excited to have you there. If you're American or any other thing other than Puerto Rican, they they're like, oh my God, because one year you're there and you're going to spend money. But the food that it's like super fresh it's
Orion Brown (00:31:11):
Courtney said mofongo
Crystal James (00:31:14):
F like I was, I fell in love. Like we live, act into that little village and try like three different restaurants. Cause it was that good. I love that. Oh. And I'm like, I'm not a [inaudible] person. Cause I don't really care for rice. That much hands down, you can send me to Puerto Rico. I would probably eat Pia.
Orion Brown (00:31:36):
She said, oh, eat all your rice. You got nothing
Crystal James (00:31:39):
All day because it's just, I don't know if it's in my, my, and it's so funny because a friend of mine was like, it's the water? She was like, she was like, think about it. She was like, if you make certain things or certain states, it tastes different.
Orion Brown (00:31:55):
Right? Cause in New York,
Crystal James (00:31:56):
Yes, she was like, it's the water? I was like, it's rice. She was like, I'm telling you, it's the water. Now I've had Paya here in New York. I've had Paya, Florida. I've had Paya and South Carolina, nowhere hands down. Does it come anywhere near paella and Puerto Rico.
Orion Brown (00:32:17):
All right, Josh, you just dropped the gym. You want to get your whole life, go get some play on Puerto Rico.
Crystal James (00:32:23):
Orion Brown (00:32:26):
And it's the territory. So you don't actually need a passport. Right? You just need a driver's license to get in there.
Crystal James (00:32:33):
That's it? Go ahead. I mean,
Orion Brown (00:32:35):
That's C and that's, these are the little gyms. When you talk about like, there's something really interesting about resort life and doing that, especially if you're just like, I need everything taken care of and I just need to be relaxed. And I totally feel that, especially when you can be like, I just need a massage come to my room. I'm not getting the best that's that's life right there. But there's something so neat about getting into the neighborhoods and the local restaurants. And like you said, like, how long has your chef mentorship? If anybody tells me their momma made something, I am going to eat it. Yes. I do not care what their mama is on the street, cooking it. I do not care here or there. I will eat it anywhere.
Crystal James (00:33:19):
Cause you know it, you know, it's good. And they have Matt and I, and I mean, listen, I'm the type of person. Like I like, as they say, they're like the bougie quote quote resorts, but I've also gone. Like when we went to the, to the Virgin islands, we were younger. So it didn't affect us as much. But we literally rented like in the Virgin islands in St. Croix, you can rent huts on the beach. Nice. There's no air conditioning. There's no like noodley. It's just like, if you go camping, they have outdoor showers, the toilets and everything are outside. Super cheap. You go up the hill, like you have a grill outside. You can go up to like the main quarters or whatever. And you can read pots and pans and they have like a store on premise where you can get your ice and they'll give you a cooler.
Crystal James (00:34:12):
Like they give you, you can read everything or you can get wow. In your package. When I was younger, I think honestly, that was probably one of the best trips I've ever had in my life. Wow. Would I do it today? No, because this thing about like, I need indoor, like I need a roof over my toilet and like, I can't be public showering, but that to me, I think I best strips. And I was like, and I mean, you didn't need the AC because you had the breeze off the ocean every single night. Like how do you, how do you beat that? It was, you can't beat it. That's the best. There's no TV, no phone, no nothing. It was literally like a bungalow with like three beds in it. And a ceiling fan
Orion Brown (00:35:04):
I'll do like, was this a vacation? Was this a friend group? Or
Crystal James (00:35:08):
It was actually, it was four girls. We got together and we had limited funds. We were in college. So money is like, non-existent the other thing? I didn't know how we, one of, one of them found it and we were like, sure, why not? And literally we had the best time, like we got there, like we got the all-inclusive. So they gave us pots and pans. We had our coffee or whatever. And we, one night we walked up the hill and we bought steaks and we grilled. But, and into like, they had like, you know, you can go when you got up to the top of the hill or whatever, there was restaurants and stuff like that you could do in like a whole, you know, you could take the cabin to the city, everything like that. But we did that, maybe two, we were there for four nights. I'm gonna say two nights, we went into the city, other two nights, we kinda just hung out and it was other people on the beach. So kind of like everybody did everything. One person was like, oh, we're throwing some, some shrimp on the grill, please come over. And it was just like, like every, like a big, huge family party. And it was a maple
Orion Brown (00:36:11):
And you didn't even have to drink that hard,
Crystal James (00:36:14):
Honestly. I mean, we drank, but it was like, I think that was one of the best, one of my sober vacations. Yeah.
Orion Brown (00:36:21):
As you're enjoying it, you're enjoying the experience.
Crystal James (00:36:24):
And it was just like, you know, and then you, you kinda also wanted to be alert because you're like, all right, we sleeping on the beach. Like, what's gonna crawl up here. You know? Like, you know, you looking, you go into the bedroom flashlight, walking into the little toilet thing. Like, okay, we still on the beach. Let's not act super crazy.
Orion Brown (00:36:43):
I don't get too comfortable because there are sandflies. Um, yeah,
Crystal James (00:36:50):
There was, there was the sandflies, there was the mosquito, you know, you walk in and you're not paying attention. You're walking right into a spiderweb and inspired and looking at you like, Hey, how are you doing? Why are you into, um, so yeah, you know, the scorpions, you just, you needed to make sure you was, but it was like I said, I think that was one of my best trips.
Orion Brown (00:37:13):
That's amazing. Yeah. So, so you mentioned that you're going to, do you have, what was it you had one solo trip or two trips that you were going to do? One was canceled. Did you do the other one? And are you traveling anywhere else? Um,
Crystal James (00:37:28):
My one trip that was canceled from this year was supposed to been to the Dr. And that's when they politely told me that I would have to stay in a hotel of their choice. And I'm like, yeah, no, we're not doing that. So Dr is now scheduled for March of next year and I'm super excited. And since I'm, and I'm going to redo my birthday, cause I'm working, I'm taking it back two years to 45 because COVID was like in the middle of my 45th birthday. So I am treating myself, which will be my vacation alone. I don't want nobody to come with me, which you know, all my friends, like I think you're crazy. You can say what you want care. I want to go to Turks and kcals and I'm going by myself.
Orion Brown (00:38:14):
Ooh. And that's beautiful.
Crystal James (00:38:17):
Why? Because then I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. So I'm going to go alone and enjoy it.
Orion Brown (00:38:26):
And you know, there's something really interesting, no shades of people who are like, Ooh, I don't like doing this. I don't know where I was, but I overheard a guy talking like, yeah, I just can't go to like movies and dinners and stuff by myself. Like, that's just weird. And you know, I think a lot of us were sort of told that societaly, that that's like a sad thing to do. But when you get to a point in your life where you've been around yourself enough, hopefully you find a space where you just actually enjoy your company. And I think that that's like a really good hallmark of it. If you can go on a trip and be like, I don't necessarily have to kick it with anybody during this trip. If I talk to somebody at the bar on the beach, it's fine, but I'm just going to hang out with me.
Orion Brown (00:39:13):
I might read myself a book. I might take myself a nap. I might have a couple drinks for myself and watch the sunset. And it really is an interesting place to be where you're just like, yeah, I like my company. And I think a lot of us with COVID had to learn what we liked and what we didn't like and what our company was like. Yeah. So I just, I commend you, not because I'm not going to give you the that's so brave. It's like when chunky girls wear bikinis and they're like, you're so brave, but I think I commend you for being, for creating that boundary and being like, y'all can think what you want. You may need each other's company, but I need, I need some waves and a massage and I need to not have to explain nothing to nobody. Yeah. And that's growth. Yes. That's growth.
Crystal James (00:40:06):
All right. Like I said, Colby being, I guess being like in lockdown, COVID taught me so much about this. What I wanted to do. Like everybody said, oh, I, I did a bucket list and I checked it off. I was like, okay, I didn't do a bucket list. I still don't have a bucket list. I just basically am like, okay, I see this commercial. I want to do it. Like I tell everybody my ultimate trip for my 50th birthday, I had been saving for this trip for the last seven years is I'm going to Dubai. I'm going, I will probably have to mortgage my house. Right. I'm going to Dubai,
Orion Brown (00:40:48):
Wait a minute. I take it back. Cause I was about to say, no, it's not that expensive, but the five-star accommodations. And I will say Dubai does not play when it comes to five star. Like if you're going to stay in like the Gemara hotel, you could easily find a room. That's like 2300 a night. It's no joke, but it's really dope. So that's awesome.
Crystal James (00:41:10):
I always, I already said it. I was like, I know I'm gonna tell you, I'm going to take a second mortgage out just to pay for my trip.
Orion Brown (00:41:18):
Well that the century you deserve it. Half a century in this may and foolishness, you can serve it. I love that. I said,
Crystal James (00:41:26):
When I die, it wasn't going to anyway,
Orion Brown (00:41:30):
This is for me. This is for me.
Crystal James (00:41:34):
Orion Brown (00:41:36):
I love it. And by the way, Black don't crack. So let's just put that out there. Um, that is really interesting. Like you talk about it and actually you made me think about my own bucket list because at one point in my life I wrote one, but then I never came back to it. And then like years later I came back to and I was like, oh, I did some of these things, but I wasn't like, I wasn't in the, I'm going to put this list because these things are so big that I can't ever achieve them. Maybe at the time that I wrote it, maybe. But like over time, I never, you know, similar to what you're saying. If you have the means and not everybody does, but if you have the means to live in the moment and you see something and you're like, I'm just going to make it happen. I'm not going to be afraid of it because oftentimes like even some of the things that challenged me were, I may be able to afford this right now. But what if something happens? What if my car breaks down the week after I go? What if this? And what if that, and it takes, so it takes the wind out of your sails when you're afraid like that. That's what I treat yourself.
Crystal James (00:42:47):
That's like, I've always been like, okay, I can do this because what if something happens four years down the road? I can't. And then like I had so many friends that died from COVID and I have so many friends that work in healthcare that have now left their careers nurses that were making a hundred K are now working as medical assistants, making $20 an hour. And they're ecstatic because they're like, I can't go back to working doing, and I'm like, you know, what, what am I, why am I worried about my tomorrows? Cause my tomorrow's not promised. It's you know what? I've been saving all my life for what to, to worry about when I turned 67. And by the time we retired in Japan would be 70, 72.
Orion Brown (00:43:35):
Ain't no pensions left. So social security left like
Crystal James (00:43:39):
72 probably, and then die within three years and say,
Orion Brown (00:43:45):
You said, I'm gonna make it to 75. And then I'll be like, peace. I'm going to hang out with Jesus. Wow.
Crystal James (00:43:51):
But it's like, I'm like, no, I'm going to live it. Now I'm going to enjoy it now. And I have no problem. I don't want to ask you. I have no problem with enjoying it by myself. Like you have to be comfortable. And I tell everybody, yes, you want to have a nest egg of your just in case, but don't live your life on your Justin cases. Cause you don't, you never ever know what could happen. This pandemic could spare up, flare up again. And then now what? Now everything is shut down again. And you're going to say, oh, that year and a half that we were out of lockdown. Why didn't I, I could have, Nope. I'm not doing the or could have with us. I'm doing okay, I'm leaving. Who's taking me to the airport or who's going to know more like who's picking me up from the airport
Orion Brown (00:44:39):
To pick me up. Cause I'm out, I'm already gone.
Crystal James (00:44:42):
I'm going to get in there. I just need to know who gonna to pick me up. Right. That's my thing. I
Orion Brown (00:44:48):
Crystal James (00:44:49):
Uber are both like, don't, don't do that to me.
Orion Brown (00:44:52):
Give me one or the other, but not both.
Crystal James (00:44:55):
And usually it's, it's the come pick me up. Cause now I'm tired. I'm exhausted. My kidney's already about to shut down on me. Like I need, I need relief. Like I need, I need somebody. I need some love there. I need somebody to come get me.
Orion Brown (00:45:10):
Oh. And I've loved that. And it's good to have people who can, who can be that kind of support that they're like, yup. She on a trip. She don't call me to pick up. I'm already ready. I brought her a sandwich, you know, whatever.
Crystal James (00:45:24):
And it, and it's like that. Like I felt like my mom actually, she, she lives in South Carolina. So I do that trip on a regular, like I was there like a week last week just for, just for a long weekend. No, no rhyme or reason. Just all right. Um, got a cheap flight, $70 round trip from come and go into visible.
Orion Brown (00:45:45):
You cannot beat that with an ugly stick. Where did you fly out of LaGuardia or?
Crystal James (00:45:50):
Yeah. Unfortunate. But Hey, it is what it is. $70 round trip seven, actually 70, 68. So whatever.
Orion Brown (00:46:00):
But that's what the taxes and stuff. So, you know, the actual trip was like 40.
Crystal James (00:46:04):
Yeah. But I was like, you know what? I'm good. Like I just, I was on like, I, you know, I got the little email saying, oh, $29 a flight. So I was like, oh, okay. I can leave on Wednesday, come back on. I was like, all right, I'm out. Um, what am I sitting here for doing what I can work remote. I can work anywhere. She got, why what's the problem Now is especially now with being able to work wherever you want. Why wouldn't you, especially people that have that, that luxury. Right.
Orion Brown (00:46:39):
And it is a luxury as much as we want to be like, oh, I've been trapped in the house this whole time. Some folks got stuck outside or stuck with no job. So I definitely recognize that. However, it's funny, you mentioned this idea of having that flexibility and being able to travel because I know a lot of Caribbean countries started opening up their doors and like The Bahamas and stuff like that. They're like, okay, just come and be an ex-pat for three months, six months. We'll give you an extended visa. You can come kick it down here. Our COVID numbers are lower. We got good wifi. So have you looked at any of those opportunities or is it more appealing to just kinda be able to bounce back and forth to places?
Crystal James (00:47:26):
Honestly, I did look at that, but then I was like, my whole mindset was okay. You, you do need to still be realistic crystal because did, and something happens to your mom or your dad. Yeah. You S and what have you can't get back? Like what if something does happen and everything gets shut down chicken can't get home. Like that's fair. Yeah. I mean, if it wasn't for that factor, wouldn't have been a thought I'm going w what, what? Okay. So I can do a country here. So I'll do February here. I'll do March here. I'll do April. And I mean, again, I can't do that because I don't have children. So I have that luxury again. And I say, I tell everybody
Orion Brown (00:48:10):
They got online school. I'm just saying these little kids, they live in that work from home life to
Crystal James (00:48:15):
It's too much. Some of them, a little too much. They need to be, they, we got the little bicycle gang around here and I'm like, okay, see, I'm gonna hit somebody's child. It's going to, I believe, need to be in school. But yeah. I mean, I tell people like, if you, if you have the, if you have that opportunity, take advantage of it. And I mean, think about it. Think about what you're, you're opening your child up to too. If you have that possibility, like they now lived in a whole nother country, they know a whole nother culture firsthand. Yeah. I wish my mom would've did something like that with me. Instead of leaving me here in New York till I was 18, like opened me up, broadened my horizons.
Orion Brown (00:49:04):
Uh, you know, what is so ironic because I didn't go to New York until I was an adult. I grew up in Chicago and lived primarily in the Midwest. And so New York was like bright lights, big city, melting pot, all of these things. So to here in New York would be like, I need to expand. My horizons is both eye-opening, but also it's like, it kind of tickles me because we all can expand ourselves from the familiar, there's always a place to stretch. Yes. And I think that's the fun of it going places and being like the more I'm a fish out of water. So long as it seemed safe, like I will put caveats around it. Um, although it's really hard to find places that I find that sketchy humans outside of Chicago, but, uh, but like in general, I'm like it, the more, I feel like a fish out of water, the more invigorated I feel by the trips, like, it's just, there's something really unique about going to a place that feels really different and understanding like a different way of life. At least to me,
Crystal James (00:50:11):
Like, I want to go to the Midwest lake. I went once for business and we ended up getting snowed in. So it was like, okay,
Orion Brown (00:50:24):
Crystal James (00:50:24):
Summer. Right. Which I, you know, of course, you know, the job dummies, they sent us in the middle of February and Landed on a Thursday and it was beautiful. And then like, we got out of meetings and stuff Thursday night. And I was like, what, what, what, what happened? Like where's the ground? I don't see anything but snow. So we were supposed to come on that Monday and we literally didn't leave to Wednesday because we were so we, I never saw anything about the hotel.
Orion Brown (00:50:51):
Crystal James (00:50:52):
Man. But nothing but the hotel, but I want, I want to go to like Montana or Wyoming, Colorado. Like I want to go there and be for at least three or four weeks. I just want to see what it's, how it is.
Orion Brown (00:51:09):
Come to Colorado. Colorado is dope and it's not cold. It gets chilly, but it's not cold. Everybody thinks, oh, it's the mountains and the snow caps. And I'm like, yeah, don't come here. Um, but that's just because I want it all to myself. The weather is phenomenal, leaving Chicago and coming here, it's sunny. Most of the time, even in the winter time when it's like bitter cold, it's like a mild day in Chicago in the winter time. So it's um, and I agree with you. Montana's on my list. If I were to say I had a us, but well, actually I honestly would love to go to every state in the union at some point. Um, but like Montana is one of those places that it's still like, it's, it's the, give me a home where the Buffalo roam, right? Like it's the America that we hear about in songs, not the parts that talk about slavery, but the other side, all the parts right.
Orion Brown (00:52:02):
Where it's just open and it's breathtaking. There's a bit of that out here as well. I mean, you know, I'm right around the mountains, some in Denver, um, but west of the mountains, it's a lot more rural. It's a lot, it's not a big city. Um, and so, yeah, I'm right there with you. There's some crazy stuff here. We have the largest sand dune in north America. Whoa. It, so I've been to Dubai. If you stand the right way and look away from the mountains, it looks like you're in a full desert. Like it's insane. And I was like, I had no idea, no clue that that was here.
Crystal James (00:52:40):
Oh my God. And that's something I want to see. Like, I want to experience that. Like I have, I can say I do have a, I wouldn't call it a bucket list. I have a checklist. Um, I think it's maybe like seven or eight states in the us that I want to go to. And it's only certain parts that I want. Like I want to go to Washington state, but I only want to go to Seattle. That's it. I only want it. And I, and I hate rain, but I just want to go. Cause I would just want to experience it. Yeah. And major I've literally, I just want to go to Seattle. I don't really want to go anywhere else in the state of Washington. I just want to go to Seattle. That's it? Nowhere else. And I want to go to Nebraska. Don't know where in Nebraska don't even know.
Crystal James (00:53:25):
I just, I just think it's a funny shaped state at the end and I want to visit it. I want to say that I went, I've been to Nebraska. So I mean, love that. I have a few that I want. And then another one that I actually want to say that I went to is I want to go to vote island, but I have to go in the middle of the summer when it is like our fall, because they don't have a summer. So I, our fall, when it still would be like 70 something degrees, I don't want to go on fall when you're already starting to get snow. And you guys have snow until like, Hey, no, I want to go like August when it'll be still like only 70 degrees, but okay. I do.
Orion Brown (00:54:07):
Yeah. I've had the, I've had the work trip a few years back where I ended up going to Rhode Island, which by the way, the silly little things that we have in our minds and our hearts from like childhood and stuff, I loved Campbell soup, Rhode Island, clam shouter. Most people have never even heard of it. It was like one of those soups that like, it's like the last skew on the list. Cause everybody knows like new England and maybe Manhattan. And I always like the Rhode Island. And so the first thing I did when I went to dinner in Rhode Island was got clam chowder. And I was like, now, do I need to call her out on it? Or do I just need to call it a clam shatter? And it tickled me and I absolutely enjoyed it. And I took a picture of my bowl and then it's, then it snowed. And I got locked out of my rental car. It was like, okay. So that's what we're doing with the weather. But I got soup in my belly, so I'm straight.
Crystal James (00:54:59):
Okay. Oh. So wait, I just, so if you visit Seattle then, okay, I'll go to Vancouver. Try it all. I listen, I right now my whole list, my world has been, I wanted to go to Seattle, but now that I know somewhere else, who does a recommendation when I go, I'm traveling. Yeah. I have no problem. Listen, I'm all about, I want to try it all. Yeah. I'm not limiting myself. And I don't think you should. We shouldn't have to, not in today's age, you shouldn't have to limit yourself on what you want to do. And especially, I mean, you have to look at it. Are you doing it for you want to see sights or you want to say that you experienced or certain thing there? Or are you going because you don't have a plan and whatever happens, happens. And that's me when I go to different states, like when I went to Tennessee, I didn't have a plan. I was like, all right, I'm in Tennessee. Let's see what I can get into.
Orion Brown (00:55:54):
Oh my. So I feel like you have some adventures we haven't even delved into
Crystal James (00:56:01):
'cause. I D I, cause I'm not that type. Like I used to be so regimented where everything in my life had to be totally planned out to the T like nine to nine, 10, we're going to do this nine, 15 to 9 45. Now I'm just like, whatever. If I get up at two o'clock in the afternoon, I get up at two o'clock in the afternoon. All right. What what's like, and I'm quick. Like, I, I went to Virginia and just drove to Virginia and stopped it. Um, I didn't even know. I know it was exit 96 off by 95. I don't know if that's Richmond. I don't know what
Orion Brown (00:56:37):
No, that I'm not sure,
Crystal James (00:56:39):
But it was exit 96. And I remember this only reason I remember it was because like I got off, there was, Donald's a seven 11 a hotel and a Dunkin donuts. I was like, I'm good, good in this radius. And I literally just went down to the guy at the desk and I was like, so it's around here, like close to do. And he kind of looked at me like, excuse me,
Orion Brown (00:57:01):
Crystal James (00:57:04):
What is around here? That's close that I can get into like, what? Like you have to live close if you're working at this hotel. Like what? And he was like, well, there's this barbecue space spot. And he was like, then there's like this lounge, you know, like 10 miles down the road. He was like, they have a live jazz band on Friday nights. And I was like, okay, cool. I'll snap. And literally, that's what I did. I was like, I went and I heard some jazz. I sat at the bar. I talked to some people, actually made a really cool friend and me and him are still friends to this day. I met him there in Virginia at a bar. And when he comes up to New York, he has family that lives in Queens. When he comes to New York, he's always like, Hey, what are you doing? You up? You want to grab a drink? Shoo. All, because I went to just driving down I 95 because I had nothing else to do on a weekend. And maybe
Orion Brown (00:58:01):
That's the way to
Crystal James (00:58:01):
Go. Now what I keep saying it out loud. I think I really do need a life because I don't seem to,
Orion Brown (00:58:10):
I think you're finding it in these places. Yeah. Because I think there's a definition and there's a, there's a, there's a stress of like, if you're not entangled in 15 different people at all times, and having all these things going on, that you don't have a life, but I'm like, if you breathe and you had a life, number one, number two, the step up from that as if you're breathing and doing things you want to do and are interested in, and you're not hurting anybody that to me really counts, you know, and especially having done, COVID also solo. I'm like, huh, I can really enjoy. And, um, appreciate things and not feel weird about it because everybody else is in the same boat. You prior to that, it would be like, well, why are you sitting at the table by yourself? Oh, you don't have somebody.
Orion Brown (00:59:08):
Those you hate when you, when you sit at the table and they remove the second place setting. Like I needed those plates for something liars. They need that plate. Um, but these are like the social cues that are like, oh, it's just you. Oh, would you like to check now? No. I'm about to eat. Excuse me. Like, no, I do not want to just eat the salad and leave. I'm about to have a steak. Yes. I know. It's 22 ounces. You know, you better bring me that other napkin. Uh, cause it's about to go down
Crystal James (00:59:36):
And I'm fine with it. I'm fine with it. Cool with it. Yeah. And I mean, like I said, I have, I have people that will take these adventures with me. Um, and then I have people that I'm just like, no, like I, I like to be in the car, so I have no problem with driving. Like I'll drive to Myrtle beach where my mom is 11 hour trip. Just get in the car, do it by myself. Cause it's just me.
Orion Brown (01:00:03):
Can you stop along the way though? Or do you just drive it all the way through drive
Crystal James (01:00:07):
It all the way through?
Orion Brown (01:00:09):
Ooh, you're a
Crystal James (01:00:09):
Trooper and it's just me and music. And I
Orion Brown (01:00:12):
Get my get road itis, like after about four hours, I'm like, I need a nap. Like I used to do, um, uh, North Carolina to Delaware and I think it was right around five, five and a half or something like that. And right around hour three, I get through DC and I'm like, no, I'm good. Oh, I'm so tired. And then it got to the point that I would, cause I was in business school at the time and going back and forth, I would just like stop at the same church and go in their parking lot and take a nap. Cause I'm like, nobody's gonna like kick you out of a church parking lot. Like, yeah. I don't know how you do it. 11 hours. Yeah.
Crystal James (01:00:49):
Uh, it doesn't, it doesn't bother me because again, it's just me, my thoughts and my music and I'm good. I rock it out and I'm just like, I like this. Nobody to bother me. I stopped when I want to stop. And it's just solitude. That's my, when I really need, like when I start to let my crazy movies really start to play in my head, that's my ultimate road trip. Because 11 hours of just me to be like, all right, you got six more hours to get it together. Like get out of your head. We think whatever you're thinking about, you're going to replay it in your head a hundred more times before you get there. But once you get there understand like it's a whole different,
Orion Brown (01:01:36):
You gotta be done. You gotta be done at that point. Right. There it look, we all find our ways to self-soothe and like therapeutically kind of work through step. Hopefully we do. I think, you know, the, the best of us do figure it out. You know, the, um, but there is something really interesting about being with your thoughts and having a structured timeframe. Like that's a little bit of the control, but I like it. Right? It's it's, it's, it's controlled chaos, which is cool. I love that. Well, I have a recommendation for you. So one, you need to go to Chicago in the summertime. Um, blues Fest, jazz Fest, gospel Fest. I mean obviously, hopefully once stuff opens, opens up, although they were doing concerts this summer, um, amazing restaurants. You can go out on the water, you can lay at the beach, you have rooftop, brunch, all those things. So definitely do. Chicago is my hometown. I love it for three months of the year. I love it. And um, Nebraska, I don't know a ton about, but I hear Omaha is actually kind of popping. Um, which is interesting. And it's actually in the middle between Chicago and Denver. So there actually is like an Amtrak that you could take from Chicago, hit Omaha, stay for a couple of days and then hit Denver. Okay.
Crystal James (01:03:03):
Ooh. See, I might have to look into that. That'd be, yeah. I'm going to say almost I need a good eight, nine days three and each, then the come back.
Orion Brown (01:03:17):
Yeah. I mean, or you know, make it, make it four inch. Well, yeah, you could do three in Chicago. I have a really good time. There's there's plenty to do. Maybe do two in Omaha. I don't know that pop in, but
Crystal James (01:03:30):
Ready to go after the day to
Orion Brown (01:03:33):
Right. Well, and that's the beautiful thing though. Like you could be like, oh, I'm gonna stay for three days. I'm just gonna stay for one and a half and get the next train out. Cause they come through the Amtrak and then you get to see all the beauty and all the nothing that's out there. Cause it's, it's pretty flat in the west is very flat. Uh, and then hit me up. If you come to Colorado, I will tell you all the places in all the spaces, there's some dope stuff out here.
Crystal James (01:03:58):
I'm excited like that. I'm telling you, Midwest is it's on my map. I just have to figure, I just don't want to go when it's like, I don't want to go. When I have to lug around like 14 coats and two pairs of boots and 20 pairs of stocks. Like it
Orion Brown (01:04:12):
Was 77 here last week.
Crystal James (01:04:15):
It wasn't 77 year.
Orion Brown (01:04:18):
So here's what happened November 1st, the Denver earth realized that it was supposed to be cold and like the temperature plummeted. And there was like little baby flakes that came down. And then the next day it was like 77.
Orion Brown (01:04:35):
But you know what? For the cold day, it wasn't even a cold cold day. It was like a, you know, fall when it's trying to be winter, but it's not there yet. And it's probably gonna meander like this for at least another month or month and a half. It really only gets crazy cold here. At least to me in January and February and crazy cold is low double digits. Like if they get in the single digits that are like, what is this? Which you know, New York, Chicago will be negative, double digits, easy. I'm out here, frolicking in the snow with a jacket on and people are like, why aren't you dying? And I'm like, it's lovely out
Crystal James (01:05:16):
When you say that, like I went to Florida this year for the first time in July, I told my best friend, I was like, I'll never do it again. I was like, you better be abused. And it was your birthday. I was like, it doesn't make sense. At six o'clock in the morning, it was already almost 90 degrees humidity. I was like, what is this? What we landed on at like 11 o'clock at night? And when we got in the rental car, it still said 90 degrees. I was like, Why? Why,
Orion Brown (01:05:53):
Crystal James (01:05:54):
All I kept saying was why I don't understand. Why? Why is it 90 degrees, 90% humidity at 11 o'clock at night, every day it was a hundred and change with a hundred percent humidity. I was like,
Orion Brown (01:06:14):
And why is so hot that the sky is crying
Crystal James (01:06:18):
Outside? Why? I don't understand
Orion Brown (01:06:23):
What was the reason
Crystal James (01:06:27):
I told. I was like, you changing your birthday, you going to your month, you gonna have to change. So another month
Orion Brown (01:06:32):
Or changed to another destination. I mean, you know, just travel for it. That's why you get your friend to travel to someplace dryer. Although I will say I went to Phoenix the first time I went to Phoenix, I had, it had been a very long time since I'd been a place that was over a hundred degrees. Like I had been in Mississippi before, where it'd be like 103 hundred five and sticky where your flip-flops would stick to the, to the pavement again to I get into Phoenix and I'm like, oh, it's not that bad. Cause it takes a second. Cause there's no humidity. So it takes a second to feel it. And then when you feel it you're like, this is what lizards feel like, like, and they had, like, I had never seen before they had like these spray things, like at the bars and stuff where they would just miss you with water to like, I guess, keeping you from passing out. And I was just like, this is the craziest, why don't y'all just sit inside then no air conditioning right there. Just put a big window so he could see outside. So I didn't, I struggled with some places too.
Crystal James (01:07:31):
That's the same thing in Vegas. Like I was like, why? Like, why were you walking down the street? You guys got things that just blow water on you randomly. Like it's no reason for it to be this hot or This early in the morning walk. That's going to always be my question. Why,
Orion Brown (01:07:51):
But why though, but why though? And this is where island travel makes so much sense because you get the breezes off the ocean and the other things that kind of balance out the equatorial heat. And you're just like, cool. And let me get a shade or a Palm tree to kick it under. And I'm straight. Ain't no Palm trees. I mean, not any good ones in Florida.
Crystal James (01:08:13):
It's just hot. Just super hot dream. I was like, yo, I only eat. I don't ever remember my life being that hot. I don't get it. And I mean, like I done the south every year when I was a kid like Alabama, south down south country, like back woods, south, no AC I was never that hot,
Orion Brown (01:08:41):
But it's the humidity. It's the humidity that ruins it. Like I've been to Kenya and I'm like, okay, so we're 46, 45 kilometers from the equator. Did not feel bad at all. Like, it didn't feel like that intense at all. And I'm like, I've been in other places where I'm like, I can't, I mean, there's parts of North Carolina in like July, August. I'm just like,
Crystal James (01:09:04):
Why gloss and
Orion Brown (01:09:06):
Crystal James (01:09:07):
Can I do that? No. And I'm like, when people walk in, that's what kills me is like hot stays like that. And I commend anybody who is a born and raised Floridian. You people don't sweat.
Orion Brown (01:09:20):
You acclimate. Yeah. You're asking me
Crystal James (01:09:23):
They don't sweat. I'm like, how is it that it's 155,000 degrees in your winery? I'm soaking wet. And they're like, what? I don't understand. But I, again, like I tell anybody, I commend anybody who lives in Florida in the middle of the summer. You had it. My ultimate ultimate respect. My respect goes beyond for you because I just don't. I still can't understand. And all I can continuously say is why, how,
Orion Brown (01:10:05):
How and why. Right? And that's, but that's the beauty like you acclimate to places I've lived in Minnesota where that negative, like I'm like, how can it be negative 60 with a windshield? Like that's negative degrees. It's just, shouldn't be, you shouldn't be alive if you're, I mean, you can survive it. It's not like it's you just bundle up and take short breasts. But, uh, it's, it's amazing what you can acclimate to, but this is also what vacation is for. It gives us an opportunity to visit opportunistically when it sucks at home, we can go somewhere else. So I really love that. I'm looking at the time, oh my God, we have been on almost an hour and a half. My goodness kicking it key to the max and I'm loving it. I think we've had some really good, some really good stories about like being comfortable with yourself and going out into the world and how to enjoy the space that you're in.
Orion Brown (01:11:05):
And also, um, the weirdness of the world and the food and the hot heat. And we know that there's some things that you ain't going to eat, but we know some places you go and traipse, you go traipse and we'll have to have you back. So you can tell us about these trips and adventures. Cause I feel like we missed the wild and crazy. We need to get that next time, but oh my gosh, this has been so, so much fun. Um, and I just, I, you know, before we go tell folks where they can find you stock your, your, your Instagram or whatnot. Um, and if you have anything that you do the day job, the side hustle, plug it all in here.
Crystal James (01:11:43):
Well, my Instagram is peaceful underscore 2 62, my day job. I'm a healthcare recruiter. So that's, you know, my life, I help people find jobs in healthcare, not as glamorous as it sounds. Trust me, not
Orion Brown (01:12:01):
Right now. It's probably not the most fun thing to do. I understand.
Crystal James (01:12:04):
No, not at all. Especially now with all the new rules and regulations and healthcare, it's rediculus to get somebody to work, but I love what I do. I've been doing it for 17 years. So either I'm really crazy or actually do love what I do. And I think I love it. Um, and my side hustle is I actually have a little bit of like I dabble in, I have a construction company with a friend of mine. So we do, we do go in and we gut old houses and redo the,
Orion Brown (01:12:36):
The old, how do you dabble in gutting houses that you can't dabble? That's like being like, okay, so I hit the door with a handle that, eh, that was adapted. I know you go in and construct.
Crystal James (01:12:47):
I see my whole thing is according to him, I don't do anything. I'm like, okay, but I'm the one that has the order, all the supplies. And I have to make sure that all of the guys are where they're supposed to be. And when they're not, then they're calling me, you know, when the general contractors are like, well, you know, I need 12 guys here and you only got seven what's going on. And I'm trying to balance that with my day job.
Orion Brown (01:13:12):
You're the COO, you're the operator of the, you know, the heart and soul of that,
Crystal James (01:13:17):
Uh, hands don't get dirty. So of course I don't, you know,
Orion Brown (01:13:21):
Okay. You're administration, I'm not mad at it. I'm supervising the people that get their hands dirty.
Crystal James (01:13:27):
I said, and I'm not going to get my hands dirty. No,
Orion Brown (01:13:32):
I don't do dirt.
Crystal James (01:13:33):
No, unless I'm outside working on a car, um, my getting my hands dirty. Cause you guys use like real tools that can end up breaking like a finger or hand. Um
Orion Brown (01:13:45):
Okay. That is very true. And, and construction site accidents are not pretty to see. No, I'm not mad at it. Uh, I've definitely had my clumsy moments trying to do habitat for humanity. And I'm like, well, it's for a good cause, but I'm, uh, I'm gonna need that finger back. Um, so I feel well. That is amazing. I love, um, like I've just been, I'm like one I'm hungry now. I want to try something weird. Now I'm thinking, why haven't I gone to these new restaurants? I've started to track, try a new, new places that have cropped up since COVID here. And now I'm like, re-invigorate like, you went to a different place every week. I think I need to do that. It's my short term bucket list to try something new every week, rediscover the city. So you've inspired me.
Crystal James (01:14:30):
And the best thing I can say about the one thing I've had that I never thought I would ever eat was seafood on a pizza. Just the thought of it. It sounds like you got a good, but when I was in Detroit, they have a seafood pizza that I was like, oh my God, like I literally can't wait to go back to Detroit. I literally want to take a plane, fly into Detroit, go get pizza, go back to the airport and then just fly home. Like I literally just want to go for the pizza.
Orion Brown (01:14:58):
That feels like a frontier flight. Cause all you need is your purse. Maybe you're changing underwear just in case something go down. That's it. And
Crystal James (01:15:08):
Like, I I'm literally like, I'm trying to figure out when I can do this before it gets too cold and they start to get snow in the next like three, four weeks. I really been looking at flights like, okay, I can get, if I leave out of here, they got this 5 47 flight. And to get me in there a little bit after seven, I was like, I'm pretty sure they probably don't open till about 11. I can get back on that seven o'clock flight that night. Like I'm, I'm working this out. That's
Orion Brown (01:15:39):
I mean, you could always stay overnight. Cause there's cool stuff to do in the motor city too. There's cool. History and jazz and all that stuff. So, or well jazz and blues or this, um, that like that's crazy now. I'm like, what's about the seafood pizza. Clearly. I'm going to have to follow and see where you, so you gotta, you gotta post it on your stories and show us the pizza and show us the quick roundtrip and how you did it. Um, but that's amazing. And now I'm jealous and I want pizza. They don't fancy this seafood pizza sounds great. Um, I think I'm hungry now. You just messed me up. It's time for me to eat something. Girl, this has been so much fun. This has been so much fun talking to you. Thank you for joining. I really appreciate you for all. Y'all have been hopping in and out of and seeing y'all come in, hitting the comments and the likes and stuff. I hope this blessed you and like the best way. Sometimes you just need a good belly laugh. Sometimes you just need to snort a little. I've gotten those I've snorted on here a few times and you just, sometimes you just need that release. So I hope we provided that for you. I hope it is smooth sailing for the rest of your week. Thank you all so much. Thank you for sharing this space and hit me up. When you come to Colorado, I will tell you where everything
Crystal James (01:16:55):
Orion Brown (01:16:58):
I love it. Love it. Have a great night. Thank you so much.
Crystal James (01:17:02):
Thank you. Good night, everyone. Bye.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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