The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the vaccinated can unmask, festivals are back and, most importantly, the sun is out. After more than a year of stress and lockdowns, this summer looks set to be one for the books (and not just sitting at home reading them!). It’s up to us to meet the moment, and that’s what this edition of the Weekender is here to help you do. From the best destinations for a “vacci-cation,” to some great beach reads and the essential gear for the journey, this is the ultimate guide to how to strut your summer stuff.
Joshua Eferighe, Reporter
smart summer trips
Croatia has long been a top tourist destination for Americans, but neighboring Montenegro? Less so. This often-overlooked slice of the Balkans is a gorgeous under-the-radar summer destination you should consider, and it’s now open to U.S. visitors with a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination card. Once you’re in, get ready for hiking, boat tours and cheap seafood restaurants. There’s a wealth of architectural diversity, from the ancient monasteries, cobbled streets and breathtaking Bay of Kotor to the ex-Yugoslavian country’s more modern communist-chic capital Podgorica. Did I mention Montenegro is also a wine-producing country? Pack your bags!
Bordering South Africa, this one-time German colony is open again to international travelers, and it’s quieter and more affordable than before. With a negative COVID-19 test, you can take in its sparse desert landscapes, stunning coastline and plethora of African wildlife. We recommend traveling up the famous Skeleton Coast along the Atlantic Ocean, where you might spot elephants, lions and zebras, and can visit one of the world’s largest Cape fur seal colonies. Other activities in this outdoorsy heaven include whale and dolphin watching, and the vigorous climb up “Big Daddy,” as the country’s largest red sand dune is known by the locals.
Paella and sangria, need I say more? Spain is reopening to vaccinated Americans early next month, and there’s so much to see and do here it’s hard to know where to start, but Barcelona is as good a place as any. Marvel at the trippy Gaudí architecture, pop into the covered market for some amazing fresh produce or relax on the city’s beach with a good book. If you want something off the beaten track, head south to Granada. This ancient hilltop town was once ruled by the Moors, and you can feel the Arabic influence. Take in the breathtaking detail of the Islamic carvings at the Alhambra Palace and then head to one of the cute cafés for coffee and shisha. Finish off the evening by watching a flamenco performance at one of the city’s bars.
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — and just in time for spring! These all-season low-tops are OZY’s favorite look for dressing up or down. But don’t wait around — these comfy kicks fly off the shelves and won’t be here for long.
After all that sea, sun and sand, your skin might be in need of some pampering. Time to get mellow with some melon: watermelon. This fun, sweet and juicy fruit is the base for Glow Recipe’sWatermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, which hydrates using an oil-free cooling gel-emulsion that instantly absorbs and seals. Packed with vitamins and amino acid-rich watermelon extract, this item is a must-have in your summer tote.
2. Advanced Water Bottle
Last summer, we all saw how climate change led to record temperatures and forest fires. And by now, we should know that using plastic bottles isn’t economically or environmentally responsible, as it takes up to 700 years for plastic to begin to decompose. So what’s stopping you from getting this smart bottle from Philips? Besides being reusable, the GoZero Hydration bottle also comes with a UV-C LED light that automatically activates every two hours to destroy odor-causing bacteria.
3. Sun Shelter
Sunscreen and shades only go so far when it comes to protecting yourself from the hole in the ozone layer, especially if you plan on attending a lengthy festival like Lollapalooza in Chicago or Afro Nation in Portugal. That’s what makes the Slumbertrek Auto Ezee Sun Shelter a game-changer. Whether you’re going camping or just social distancing at a local park, its lightweight build and simple engineering make this a summer product you can’t ignore.
smart summer shoes sponsored by cariuma
1. OCA Canvas
This is the only shoe you’ll need all summer. I know it sounds wild and you probably have to go from daytime barbecues to after-hours clubs, but trust me, they’re the perfect transitional sneaker for dressing up or down as summer rolls around. Not only are these shoes durable, but they also come in a variety of spring/summer colors, so you can change up your look throughout the season. OZY readers currently have the best deal on the market, with an exclusive 15% discount so you can pick up multiple pairs of these babies to get your summer started right.
We wear uncomfortable shoes more than we should. Whether for work or for an event, many of us have sacrificed our toes for fashion far too often, which is why this summer we’re saying “No!” Instead, we’re switching to these featherlight, machine-washable kicks. You can wander for miles in the latestIBIs, and it turns out what’s good for your feet is also good for the environment, as these are made from bamboo, sugarcane, organic mamona oil and cork. Get an OZY-exclusive 15% off your pair now.
3. IBI Slip-on
The production process for the slip-on versions of these best-selling IBI sneakers uses one-third of the carbon emissions of the industry average sneaker. Everything you love about the eco-friendly IBI – 100% vegan, recycled plastics – meets the cool, cushiony ease of a slip-on. They’re the perfect shoes for lazing around the house or heading down to the beach. For a limited time, there’s a 15% discount for OZY readers.
smart summer books & listens
While you may know Yuri Gagarin was the first human to journey into outer space, how familiar are you with the story behind the headlines? This summer, get intergalactic with this nonfiction audiobook by Stephen Walker, as it shares the secrets of the Space Race and Cold War tensions behind the Iron Curtain. You can expect a fascinating, fun and educational listen.
2. The Last Archive
Harvard historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore put together a podcast that will capture anyone’s imagination, no matter how long they’ve been under the sun. In it, she deep dives into peddlers of doubt — hoaxers, fraudsters, pseudoscientists — and how they’ve evolved throughout the 20th century, up until the Capitol insurrection on January 6. Retold through long-lost archival tapes and documents, intrepid reporting and radio drama reenactments, it’s perfect for our fake news, post-truth moment. Make sure to check it out!
3. Summer on the Bluffs
Released earlier this month, and written by the Emmy Award-winning co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin, this novel centers around a New York lawyer whose summer vacation ends up turning into an intense competition with her godsisters over the inheritance of a summer home in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, which is regarded as the most exclusive Black beach community in the country. Sure to be a riveting beach read!