Tag Archives: DC adventures

The Search for Boundary Stones – Part I

I recently learned a bit of DC history that has now turned into a scavenger hunt for me and a few friends.  In the last 1700s, Andrew Ellicott, a surveyor who helped map the boundaries of the District of Columbia (and continued and completed Pierre L’Enfant’s work on the street plan for DC), laid a stone at every mile marker along the original DC boundary lines.  At the time, the DC boundary lines formed a diamond shape that extended west of the Potomac River.  Now a big chunk of that land is Virginia and Maryland, but the stones still mark the original boundary lines, or at least come close — many have been moved as the areas were developed, or when the stones had been damaged or destroyed. Continue reading

Rally for Breakfast

I joined a few thousand people on the Mall for a rally on Saturday, and while I couldn’t see or hear much of the actual show but I did get to see a lot of very funny signs.  No, the rally was not really about breakfast, but the food-themed signs were very much appreciated by a fellow pancake and bacon fan.

by Brunch Girl on Flickr

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Camping Brunch

One of the best things about cooking breakfast over a campfire is that you cook pretty much everything in one pan.  Which means everything tastes like bacon grease.  The grease means everything is sort of brown and looks gross in pictures, but it tastes amazing, which is the real point anyway.

Well I went camping in Assateague Island a few weeks ago with some friends and after a late night by the campfire we all woke up very hungry and in need of some greasy food to get us moving. We cooked up a massive feast, which one of my friends decided to turn into a sandwich.  Toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, syrup, pancake, and toast.  Yep, that is the massive sandwich pictured above.  The fact that we all fit into the car after the weekend of campfire cooking is kind of astonishing.

Screen on the Green schedule announced

The schedule for the four Screen on the Green movies has been released.  All four are old classics that you’ve heard mentioned many times but have likely not seen (or at least in a long time).  Everyone worked hard to bring the outdoor movie series back, so make sure you get it on your calendar and remember to go!

  • July 20, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • July 27, Dog Day Afternoon
  • August 3, On The Waterfront
  • August 10, Rebel Without A Cause

4th of July favorite: concert rehearsal at the Capitol

When I was a kid, we would go to the Capitol to watch the fireworks and listen to the concert held on the west lawn.  That was “back in the day” when security was not such an issue and you could get in and out pretty quickly and easily.  Today, with the security check points causing longer lines, I am not so inclined to deal with the holiday crowds.  But a free concert with a gorgeous view is always nice, which is why the July 3rd dress rehearsal for the Capitol Fourth Concert at the Capitol is so ideal.  There were lines when we showed up at 7:40 (for an 8pm start) but they were not too long and moved pretty quickly.  We were there too late for a great view of the stage so we went to the top of the hill where we could see just enough of the stage, and have a good view of the big screens and the Washington Monument.  We pulled out our wine grape juice that was in a thermos, some dinner that we packed up as our picnic, and spent the evening listening to music and watching a gorgeous sunset in the Nation’s capital.  What more patriotic way can you kick off your 4th of July holiday?

See more pictures here.

recessionista favorite: Artomatic – only 5 days left!


First, let me say I had NO idea that Artomatic has been around for 10 years.  I remember hearing a lot about it last year, but before then? Maybe I was living under a rock.  Or maybe they have only just gotten better at their marketing.  Either way, I’m glad to see an event bring so much light to the art scene in DC.

The expansion to larger venues does mean that there is a lot more, well, medicore art displayed. However, mixed in with the stuff that makes you feel like you are in a grade-school art show there are some impressive exhibits.  Few of them would get me to pull out my wallet, but an afternoon browsing the 9 floors of 55 M Street hardley felt like a waste.

Artomatic is only open until July 5, so clear some time in your schedule to head over.  It’s open until 10pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and open until 1am on Friday and Saturday.

a recessionista favorite: Jazz in the Garden

photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr

photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr

While it is somewhat customary to hightail it out of town to the beach on Memorial Day weekend, I cannot think of a more dreary way to spend the start of my summer than stuck in traffic on my way to a jam-packed beach.  So, I usually choose to stay in town to enjoy a long weekend of fun in DC.  To start my long weekend this year, I packed a picnic and met a bunch of friends at the Sculpture Garden for the kick off of Jazz in the Garden, one of my favorite free summer concerts in the city. Continue reading

a spring afternoon in Dumbarton Oaks

In searching for some places to see the cherry blossoms away from the crowds, one recommendation jumped out right away for me: Dumbarton Oaks.  I had somehow never visited the gardens there and decided it was time to make a trip to see for myself if the gardens were really as special as I had been told.  I fell in love.  The only thing that was able to pull me away was the threat of a parking ticket if I didn’t move my car within two hours.

The Federal-style mansion at Dumbarton Oaks was built in 1800’s and bought by Mildred and Robert Bliss in 1920, who added on to the original house to create a museum for their collections of artifacts and books. Mildred worked with Beatrix Farrand to transform the 10 acres of land surrounding the mansion into an amazing collection of European-style gardens that are some of the most impressive and tranquil you can imagine.

I found it particularly interesting to learn that Mildred wanted the gardens to fit the topography of the land, rather than make the land fit into the garden plans.  The result is a series of smaller gardens, each with its own look and feel, connected by winding maze-like walkways.  Around each turn you find another statue or bench, urging you to stop and take in your surroundings.

Below are a few of my favorite pictures from my afternoon adventure.  You can see the full set here, but I recommend instead setting aside an afternoon to visit the gardens yourself. Continue reading

Cherry Blossoms and the Annual Tourist Invasion

imgp0441Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons in DC. Flowers peaking out all over, trees take new shape with fresh buds on their branches, and the weather keeps everything feeling fresh and welcoming.  And, of course, everything is enhanced by the beautiful cherry blossoms.  But with the cherry blossoms come the swarms of tourists.  It’s an annoying price to pay, but worth it if you can brave the crowds or find a spot to enjoy the pepto-colored flowers away from the tourists.

I haven’t made it out yet this year, but you can see my pictures from last year here. I am thinking that this year I will try to enjoy the cherry blossoms from a few of the less traveled spots, like the National Arboretum. If you have suggestions of good places to go, please let me know in the comments.  I’ll post my finds, along with pictures, later this week.

If you are coming to DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, or if you are a local who just wants to enjoy the beautiful season, here are a few useful websites to help you plan your visit: Continue reading

Obama's Inauguration…and why I missed it

I had the opportunity to get out of DC this weekend, and to escape the massive crowds of tourists and continual gridlock.  But I turned it down.  This Inauguration is truly history and I wanted to experience it, feel the excitement, hear the sounds, and see just how big a crowd like this would feel (and fit!) in my hometown.  After Sunday’s concert, a few late nights out, and the craziness I experienced on Tuesday, I can say that I am glad I was part of history…but I also glad that Inaugurations only happen once every four years

After getting into Sunday’s concert with less hassle than anticipated, I decided to not worry about showing up at the crack of dawn for Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony.  I had tickets for the Blue standing room area on the Capitol lawn, and, from what I remembered from the two other Inaugurations I have attended, you were set to get in as long as you had a ticket.  However, I was not expecting the security meltdown that prevented 4,000 ticket holders from getting into the ceremony on time. Continue reading