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Georgetown Bridge

If you’ve ever watched those sleek boats glide over the water and wondered what it’d be like to be the one racing along then come out to the “National Learn to Row” clinic at the Dee Campbell Boathouse in Old Town (Alexandria, VA) this Saturday, June 7. They’ll teach you the basics on the erg and even get you out on the water.

It’s a very DC thing to do ~ Washington DC was recently ranked “Fittest City in the US”  by the American College of Sports Medicine. I’m guessing that fitness includes Northern Virginia seeing as we’re so close. Click here for additional information on Learn To Row!

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Arlington House and cemetery

Arlington House ~ The Robert E. Lee Memorial

Arlington House was built by George Washington Parke Custis and his slaves between 1802 and 1818. His daughter, Mary Custis, great-granddaughter of First Lady Martha Washington, married Robert E. Lee. The Lees inherited Arlington House when her father passed away. Arlington House has a long, interesting history ~ it’s been a home for the Lee Family and Custis Families, a plantation estate and home to 63 slaves, a monument honoring George Washington, a military headquarters, a community for emancipated slaves and is currently a National Cemetery.

Arlington Tomb sign

Alrington Single cross
Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Guard
Old Guard Soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

We stayed for the changing of the guard ceremony which takes place on the hour (Oct-March) and every half hour (April -Sept). Note: the ceremony may seem “over” but don’t start talking until you leave the site of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.” We were “shusshed” for whispering after the ceremony. I cringe at that as I would never want to be disrespectful in such a place of honor.

Arlington Eternal Flame
Eternal Flame at the John F. Kennedy gravesite

Arlington Amphitheater
Arlington Amphitheater

Arlington Women's Memorial
Quote at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington Cemetery

Arlington House Sideview

Gravestone of George W. George ~ I tried to find more information about him but there wasn’t much on the internet. One of the fascinating things about Arlington Cemetery is all the famous people buried there. It reminded me of when I went through the National Portrait Gallery in London. I wanted to look up the stories of all the names I saw. I’m sure there’s an interesting life story behind all of those graves.

Arlington L'Enfant site

Burial site of Pierre L’Enfant, a French-born American civil engineer who designed the streets of Washington DC in the late 1700s. His grave has sweeping views of Washington DC ~ including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.

Arlington Cemetery
The family photo at Arlington Cemetery

If you visit Arlington Cemetery, check out their site here. The cemetery is open 7 Days a week, 365 days a year. The hours are 8am – 7pm (April – September) and 8am – 5pm (October – March). The parking garage closes 1 hour after cemetery. From the Arlington, it’s an easy walk over the Memorial Bridge to the Mall and the monuments.

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We are officially Mamma Mia! fans.

Mama Mia

Logan in front of the Broadway poster (2014)

and a few years before…

Logan at Mama Mia Nov 2007

Logan in front of Broadway Mama Mia! poster (2007)

We went to see Mama Mia! for the fifth time last night at National Theater in Washington DC. The show was  fabulous! My daughter leaned over after the third song and whispered It never gets old!”  We all agreed we liked it even better than the Mama Mia show we saw on Broadway in January 2014. In fairness, the Broadway show had just recently changed out almost all of their cast except for “Donna.” Unfortunately, the chemistry hadn’t developed yet among the new actors.

The musical is campy, funny, and you can’t help but start tapping your feet when the music begins. Mamma Mia! is based on ABBA songs. ABBA was an internationally popular Swedish pop group that started in 1972. They won Eurovision in 1974 with the song “Waterloo”   The play was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and opened in London in 1999. It’s currently ranked as the 9th longest running Broadway show. 

Admittedly, I was not an ABBA fan before seeing the play in 2007 but there’s just something about the play that makes me smile and I can relate to most of the songs.  I’m glad John likes it too ~ makes it more fun for the whole family to enjoy.

We each have our favorite songs and mine is “Does Your Mother Know” It’s sassy and, last night, “Pepper”(P. Tucker Worley) and “Tanya” (Gabrielle Mirabella) did a great job with the song and dance. P. Tucker Worley did a back flip and some killer toe-touches.  Fun, fun, fun!

There is a sad part of the play that causes both myself and my daughter to shed a tear.  It’s the song “Slipping Through My Fingers” It goes right for the heart. Here’s a video of ABBA singing the original.

One of the best parts of the show is at the very end when everyone stands up to sing and dance along ~ it becomes a feel-good party.

I’m glad we went on the closing night or else we might have been tempted to go again before the show left town. If it comes to your town, be sure to go. You won’t regret it. Since some people consider us groupies at this point, we might have to travel down to Atlanta in September and see it there at the beautiful Fox Theater.

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White House

It’s not too late to enter the White House Easter Egg Roll. I’ve had a few friends attend the Easter Roll and, for them, it ranked as an experience of a lifetime. My daughter has aged out (it’s for children 13 and younger) but for anyone with young children who are within the DC area, here are the details:

The online White House Easter Egg Roll lottery will be open this weekend only. It ends Monday, 10 March at 10 am. The non-transferable tickets are free.

This year the event, which dates back to 1878, will be held on April 21 and will consist of several types of events. Besides the traditional rolling of hard-boiled eggs on the South Lawn, there will be live music, storytelling, sports courts and cooking stations. The results of the lottery will be available on March 14 and over 30,000 people are expected to attend.

For lottery registration go here. GOOD LUCK!

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As spring approaches, the Texas bluebonnets will be blooming and many Texans will be searching for them.

Click here for a great website appropriately titled Texas Bluebonnet Sightings which allows readers to post the latest sightings.

Here in Northern Virginia, we eagerly await the blooming Cherry Blossoms!
DC Cherry Blossoms 2011

Unfortunately, another winter storm is approaching this weekend…

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When my friend, Jayne, suggested an impromptu visit to Eastern Market, I jumped at the chance. It’s a seven-days-a-week market in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC. On weekdays, the South Market (indoor) offers produce, meat, poultry, cheese, dairy products, vegan items and flowers.  On the weekends, local farmers and local artists/crafters come out to play.

We got there early (about 8:30am) and snagged a great parking spot just off the market area but many of the vendors were a little late setting up. Can’t blame them since it was freezing cold! We popped into Le Pain de Quotidien for tea and to warm up a bit. Great dog watching too ~ lots of folks out with their beautiful puppies.

Here are a couple of my “finds” for the day:
Vintage Purse Logan

Eastern Market Vintage Purse

A vintage purse with a painted shoe ~ got it for my daughter

Coffee Table

Coffee table close up

Coffee table and couch

A coffee table made of yardsticks ~ what’s not to love. It’s completely covered with the yardsticks, every inch. It’s very sturdy and the writings on the yardsticks are funny such as: “Report suspicious activity to Sherriff Larry R. Mincks, Sr.”

DC Scream

I love this painting inspired by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. The artist, Zachary Sasim had several paintings I wanted to purchase but, in the end, I couldn’t resist this one. I relate to it ~ don’t we all feel the anxiety when I think of DC politics.

Mirror

Couldn’t resist this old window pane with mirrors ~ goes perfectly over the mantel.

I feel like my house décor will be going in a different direction and I’ll call it “local artist chic”

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Went to my first professional Hockey Game last night and had a fabulous time. I can only imagine what fun the true die-hard hockey fans feel like, especially when the puck goes in the net which it did FOUR times! The Capitals beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2!
Hockey Game III
View from the nosebleed section. We had plenty of company up there.

We hopped on Metro’s yellow line at Huntington in Northern Virginia and it took us about 20 minutes to get to Gallery Place/Verizon Center. Too easy! We went half a block down to Clyde’s for a quick bite. It was packed with Capital fans and we started to walk out thinking it was too busy when the maître de stopped us and said he’d check for a table for four. He led us to a booth in the bar area and we ended up having a great meal (burgers/Portobello sandwich/salmon ~ all good). The question is how much should we have tipped for such special attention. Haven’t had that happen to us before ~ usually they let us walk out the door. Service at Clyde’s was fantastic ~ our server was so efficient and I marveled at her friendly, unflappable attitude amongst the crush of people. I highly recommend Clyde’s if you’re going to a show/game at the Verizon center.

Game time was 7pm and it started off with beautiful renditions of “O, Canada” and “The Star Spangled Banner” ~ loved that the announcer encouraged the audience to sing along! As I looked around from our nosebleed seats, I could only see red ~ everyone (except us) seemed to be wearing a Capitals jersey. It was a relatively youthful crowd and I’m guessing more than a few were on “dates” ~ I love to people-watch especially people on first dates. So romantic.

Secretary of State John Kerry was there to drop the ceremonial puck and to honor eight players going to the Sochi Winter Olympics.  When the US team members, John Carlson (Capitals) and Blake Wheeler (Jets) were announced, the “U.S.A” chant began. Left me feeling rather patriotic. Other Washington Capital team members going to the Olympics are: Alex Ovechkin (crowd favorite) for  Russia, Nicklas Backstrom for Sweden and Martin Erat for the Czech Republic. From the Winnipeg Jets: Michael Frolik and Ondrej Pavelec will play for the Czech Republic, and Olli Jokinen for Finland.

Hockey Secretary on the ice
Not the best photo but that’s John Kerry and the Olympic-bound players.

The game was very exciting with non-stop, back and forth skating. I was exhausted just watching. The Capitals not only won last night but gained four new hockey fans!

If you want to attend a game, click here for tickets.

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