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Culinary Adventures Thanks to Twitter!

6 Jan

You probably already know that Twitter is an awesome tool. But did you know it is a super awesome tool and can hook you up with cool opportunities? (Props to those who already do…)

In less than two hours I’ll be dining at one of DC’s best restaurants – 1789 – thanks to the generosity of Chef Dan. Based on @OneVanillaBean‘s blog post re-capping her experience the other day I know I’m in for a treat.

Here’s to Chef Dan for being so kind and a great night of dining with @Carolinefjones. Details on our meal tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Day trip: North Beach

16 Aug

I’ve been itching to go on a road trip. Not for any particular reason. Just a desire to escape the city for the day. Thankfully, a few friends felt the same way and we planned a trip to North Beach, Maryland to satisfy our travel bug this past weekend.

Our decision to check out North Beach hinged on two key points: 1) It’s only 45 minutes away and 2) Washingtonian recently deemed it akin to Key West. So Saturday morning we packed up the cooler, turned on a little Vampire Weekend, and headed out!

Upon arrival, it quickly became apparent that The Washingtonian had perhaps overstated the likeness of North Beach to Key West. I’m used to wide open beaches with miles of sand and waves for as far as the eye can see. North Beach consisted on two small strips of sand, rocks, trash in the water, and a teenager monitoring access to the beach.

After paying for beach passes (a first for me), we found a spot and settled in. Lucky for us we arrived early enough to spread out. For those arriving after noon the choices for parking your towel were limited. So if you ever go, go early!

Despite my beach neighbors’ incessant chattering about their desire to never work and affinity for singing along to bad R&B – the afternoon was relaxing. We had escaped the city, we could smell Bay air, and sand was under our toes.

The town was also fun to explore – we treated ourselves to Sweet Sue’s and checked out the finds at Nice and Fleazy Antiques. I fell in love with a box of wooden letter stamps and found two “V’s” to add to my initial collection. Purchasing the letters pretty much made the day a success in my book.

All in all, North Beach is nice, quick escape for the day, but certainly no beach vacation.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sculpture Garden Fountain Running

5 Jul

Food, wine, and fun at Jazz is a weekly tradition. Photo by TeddieN.

Jazz in the Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite summer DC traditions. The fact that we can lounge on the National Mall sipping wine, munching on snacks, enjoying live music, and kicking back after a long week for free is remarkable. If you have never attended, I recommend joining us next Friday especially after what happened this week – fountain running and crazy announcements. That’s right, fountain running. I think it’s primed to be a new DC sport.

The crowd at Jazz is tame for a bunch of 20-somethings averaging a bottle of wine per person. At the end of the day, people respect the park and privilege to picnic for an evening.

But this week, Jazz took a turn toward mayhem with the introduction of fountain running. I firmly believe fountain running started because of the pre-event announcement telling everyone not to get in the fountain. You can “dip your toes in,” but you can not, under any circumstances, get in the fountain. Thanks for letting us know Sculpture Garden. You just gave all of us a grand idea!

Honestly, traipsing through the fountain has NEVER crossed my mind. EVER. One, the park is crowded. I don’t want to fight my way up to the water. Two, it’s probably gross. Who knows what sort of creatures live in there. Three, what if I get my clothes all wet? Yuck.

I’ve never seen anyone  get in the fountain in the four years I’ve attended Jazz. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened. I’m just saying it has never been a “problem.” Not this week (which seems ironic considering it wasn’t even hot).

This week, about half a dozen couples charged across the fountain at the conclusion of Jazz to the delight  of everyone in the park. I don’t know who started it since I was on the outskirts of the fountain, but once the the first couple took the plunge everyone followed suit.

With the crowd chanting and cheering, pair after pair charged across to the other side, some more successfully than others. I witnessed a number of trips, falls, and flops during the excursion, which only egged on the crowd more. And, it wasn’t just young adults breaking the rules. A mother even ran through with her child in tow.

Of course, the fountain running was not appreciated by the park and the announcement to vacant quickly followed. But this wasn’t any announcement. Oh no. This was the announcement of all announcements. Why?

1. The girl making the announcement threw her voice in the hopes we would take her more seriously.

2. She kept telling us to exit immediately in her crazy voice. Over, and over, and over, and over.

3. She even tried to convince us to leave by telling us to put on our shoes.

4. Two of the exits were closed, but we needed to EXIT IMMEDIATELY.

5. No one bothered to move for at least 30 minutes.

The announcement was so great, I even have a little audio clip for you to experience a taste of the evening. You’re welcome!

Take Steps with Me to Cure IBD

25 Jun

The Young Professionals team gathers for a group picture before setting off for the 2009 Take Steps Walk.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is a cause near and dear to my heart because I’ve lived with Crohn’s disease for the past 17 years. CCFA has been a critical resource for my family and I over the years, providing a support and education network when we needed it the most.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, known collectively as IBD, are chronic digestive diseases. I’m one of more than 1.4 million American adults and children living with a digestive illness. That works out to about 1 in every 200 people.

Tomorrow is our Chapter’s Take Steps walk on the National Mall to raise funds for and awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Chances are you know someone managing IBD even if you don’t realize they are sick. Due to the social stigma surrounding digestive illnesses many patients silently endure the daily ups and downs of active and remitting disease.

Take Steps is an opportunity for us to break down these barriers and make life more manageable for patients who live day to day with intense pain, limited treatment options, the threat of long term hospital stays, and possibility of multiple surgeries.

Funds raised ensure CCFA’s education, research, and patient support programs are able to continue. For example, $500 raised ensures we are able to provide unlimited online chat support for six months and $2,500 ensures one child is able to attend Camp Oasis for a week during the summer.

I hope after learning a little about IBD you will consider taking part in this cause by walking, donating, or posting information about CCFA on one of your social media profiles. I promise, every tweet, Facebook status update, or blog post helps educate the public about life with IBD.

Walk Details

Where:

Corner of 15th and Constitution (northeast corner of the Washington Monument Grounds)

When:

4:30 p.m. – Registration opens

5:15 p.m. – Opening Ceremony

5:30 p.m. – Walks starts

6:30 p.m. – Walkers return; dinner provided

Metro:

Federal Triangle or Smithsonian

Tee Off for Scholarship

27 May

Our players show-off their best UGA golf gear!

In full disclosure, this is a self-promotional post since I’m President of DC Dawgs. But the tournament is open to anyone and a great opportunity to play golf for a good cause so I wanted to share the information. We even have a few UF alums playing!

I’ve provided all the details below!

Second Annual DC Dawgs Golf Tournament

Sponsored by Penn Quarter Sports Tavern

Saturday, June 5, 2010

South Riding Golf Club

Tee Off: 12:30 p.m.

Join the DC Dawgs on Saturday, June 5, 2010 for our second annual golf tournament supporting the UGA Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment Fund. Whether you’re a seasoned pro ready for the competition or a novice golfer looking to enjoy time on the course, join us for an afternoon filled with fun, food, and friends.

Registration includes a BBQ dinner after the tournament, beverages, and fantastic prizes. All proceeds raised from the tournament will directly benefit the endowment.

Take part in what is has become a favorite DC Dawgs tradition. Register online at: http://tinyurl.com/SECGOLF

A generous thanks to our sponsor and game-watching bar, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern

Gold Cup Summed Up In a Photo

4 May

Waiting for the Horses Along the Rail

For the third year I attended Gold Cup out in Plains, VA this past weekend. It’s one of those “must attend” events around here. Whether that’s true or not, I love an opportunity to put on a dress, large hat, and hang out with other Southerners.

My friend @teddien was group photographer for the day and I loved the above photo. That’s me on the left!

Touring the White House Gardens

19 Apr

A view of the White House from the South Lawn.

No matter how long I live here the allure of the city’s monuments and history never wanes. Whether I’m taking my weekend run around the National Mall or listening to the sound of taps from Arlington Cemetery waft through my open window, I love how the ambiance of DC weaves into daily life.

This past weekend I had the privilege to intersperse a bit more DC history into my life. I visited the White House Gardens. The White House Gardens were opened to the public for the first time in 1972 by Pat Nixon and have since been a springtime tradition. It’s one of the rare times the public is able to traverse the iron fence surrounding the White House and experience the grounds as the first family does.

It was President Washington who first envisioned a botanical garden at the White House and purchased the land that we now know as the South Lawn. However, it was John Adams who ordered the first planting of a garden, which was then completely redesigned by Thomas Jefferson. It was also Jefferson who started the tradition of planting trees, though it is believed that none of the seedling trees he planted survived to present day.

Although Jefferson’s trees no longer grace the White House grounds, there are more than three dozen commemorative trees. This tradition was started by President Hayes in 1876 to commemorate the nation’s centennial. Though, by the end of the tour it seemed to me that all the trees were planted by the Clintons and Bushs.

Somewhat fascinating is the number of changes the gardens have undergone. The current layout of the garden is based on FDR’s redesign in 1935, yet many of the elements that past Presidents or First Ladies added no longer stand.

For example, during the 183o’s President Jackson had an orangery built to enable year-round gardening, but it was later demolished. And, in 1913 Ellen Wilson replaced Edith Roosevelt’s colonial garden with what we now know as the rose garden.

New to the tour this year was Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden, which drew the largest crowd of onlookers.  I was surprised by how small the garden was up close. I envisioned it being much larger!

The Children’s Garden, created by Lady Bird Johnson in 1969, was also popular. The garden features handprints of the first children along the pathway. I guess that is the White House’s equivalent to cementing your kids handprints in the driveway!

Beauty of the gardens aside, I love how the grounds let each First Family express a bit of their personality. The changes represent popular cultural beliefs of the time and strolling through the grounds is an enjoyable way to reflect on our nation’s history.

Enjoy all my tour photos on Flickr!