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Weekend Review: Hillwood Estate

This past weekend, Mom came to visit. Like other times she’s visited, I try to take her somewhere special in DC. This trip we went to Hillwood Estate, a great recommendation from my colleague Elizabeth. Mom loved it and raved about how perfect the day was. 🙂

We got there around 10 AM when they first opened and it was great to explore the grounds while no one else was there. We even stopped into the little cafe and had Afternoon Tea. It was true afternoon tea with a small selection plate and a pot of brew. Mom and I felt the tiniest bit fancy and we both had an amazing day.

I don’t want to bore you with the back story, because the pictures are so fun, but I feel like I have to give you some info to go off of here. The Hillwood Estate was owned by Majorie Merriweather Post. If you live in the area, that’s the same Merriweather Post as the Pavilion. For everyone else, that’s the same Post as in Post cereal. YUP! Cereal tycoon in the hizzous. Over her lifetime, not only did she participate in being independently stinkin’ rich, but she also had a taste for art. After a stint in Russia with her 3rd hubby, she started collecting a lot of Russian artifacts. And that’s how Hillwood was born. First as her own private museum and later public after she passed away. And now… PICTURES!

There was much much more of the insides, but I think there’s enough there to entertain you. The gardens were amazing too, but my favorite was the Japanese Garden. I couldn’t help but play and I loved these pictures Mom took of me!

Enjoy, I tried to make the captions as descriptive as possible.

Hillwood Estate - Entrance

Hillwood Estate – Entrance

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

First floor library

First floor library

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

Main dining hall

Main dining hall

Breakfast nook

Breakfast nook

Amazing centerpiece - they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Amazing centerpiece – they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Me playing!

Me playing!

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! :)

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! 🙂

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Weekend Review: Beer, beer, and more beer

Ok, so it’s Friday and I’m only now finding time to tell you about last weekend. My bad.

Anyways – here we go. Last Saturday, I organized a brewery tour for my work peeps. We were meant to go on a wine tour, but not everyone bought their ticket in time…so, the alternative was beer. We started at Bluejacket which is down at Navy Yard. We started with some early morning tasters, food, and then a tour (which went a little longer than any of us anticipated).

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The whole team (minus 1) at the start of the tour.

The tour was really great and informative. If you’re a hardcore beer lover, get to Bluejacket and take the tour. If you just like to drink beer, then get to Bluejacket and skip the tour. After we finished up there, we headed to our next destination, Chocolate City Brewery. And like any good transit loving people, we hopped in a Lyft (not an Uber, because of all the recent controversy). We even won fun sunnies from the driver, he was awesome!

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Sweet Lyft sunnies

Going from Bluejacket to Chocolate City was a complete 180. We went from high-end beer works, to something that resembled a garage. However, the building was cool looking…

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Chocolate City Brewery

And there was some awesome street art nearby that we all took advantage of. This is officially, my favorite work photo evar!

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We’ll call this one “Movement”

Things got a little blurry after Chocolate City. We went to Atlas Brew Works and then ended up out on H Street for quite awhile. There was some epic jukeboxing happening as well as some serious Donkey Kong competition. In the end, there were 3 left standing and I’m honestly surprised we looked this good. ps. That’s totes my boss on the left, how awesome is she??

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Last Women Standing!

Sunday was very much a day of rest and recovery, but not before I had some ME time and got my hair did. It’s been awhile since I’ve had color put in and while I wasn’t really interested in going back to blue or purple, I did think it would be fun to get a little honey/ombre going. Here’s me on Tuesday, with a little curl. The cut is still the same and the rest of my hair is still start, just the long side is now blonde/honey. I’ll be sure to let you know if blondes have more fun.

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Do blondes have more fun?

And last but not least from this week, was Mesha’s surprise birthday party. It wasn’t technically the weekend, but who cares, it was fun. I’ve known Mesha for about 5 years now and we first met when we played gaelic football. We were carpool buddies and pretty much always lost. Since her birthday is always around Thanksgiving, she’s never had a real birthday party. So her awesome wife, Sam, planned one for her and she was genuinely surprised as there were about 15-20 people there! The funny part is that Mesha thought she was coming out to meet me just to hang. Sam told her I was having ‘man troubles’ (never far from the truth) and just needed some quality friend time. She joked when she got there that she almost came out in sweatpants! Ha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Mesha doesn’t like cake, so she got a “beer cake” instead. Pretty sweet, right?

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Mesha’s beer cake

So yeah, that was my weekend. The days after Tuesday have sort of been a blur of emotions. Some happy, some meh, some lonely, some missing family. I didn’t really have a proper Thanksgiving as I decided to stay and just make a little extra cash on the side with pet sitting, but part of me wishes I had gone home. Though I know if I went home, I would have wished I had stayed. Anyways, that’s a story for another time; but, I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with your loved ones. Now, on to Christmas!

Music Monday: Chromeo

This probably won’t be a regular sort of post for me, but this is too good not to share. After seeing Chromeo live at 9:30 Club last Monday, I stumbled across their new video, “Old 45’s.” Awesome shot, right? Hello mirrored guitar!

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It’s Monday, you look like you need some music, so I thought I’d share.

I saw a comment on Instagram that basically said…this is what would happen if Peter Frampton and Prince met up in 2014. I pretty much agree. Happy Monday, peeps!

Weekend review: Labor Day (plus a rewind!)

This past weekend flew by and while I had intentions of at least one other blog post…alas, it is Monday night. Already. Sadsies.

I did a lot of work over my holiday weekend, but I did manage at least one, fun awesome day of wine tasting with my sis and a few friends. It’s kind of turned into a tradition that my sis and I go wine tasting and after a few really fun trips with a couple of people…we’ve sort of, accidentally on purpose, turned into a wine group.

Yesterday, we checked out Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville, VA. And yes, the tasting room is actually in a wine cave!

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While the winery itself has that “small business” feel to it, there are over 200 acres of land/vineyards. All of us really loved that Maggie herself, was behind the counter, pouring her guests tastings and interacting with everyone. Of course, we got a photo!

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And here’s the view!

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They had a live jazz band there as well. Here’s Belle enjoying the music (and yes, we only pick wineries that are pup friendly so Belle can join the fun!).

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It was a great day with the wine group and we’re already planning our next winery adventure. It’s pretty fun to just pick a spot, meet up, eat and drink for a few hours, and walk away with some great memories.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d do a quick recap of the past few weeks since I haven’t quite found my blogging groove again. I’m working on figuring out a schedule that works for me, but for now…here we go. Here are 4 great pics that sum up my past couple weekends.

1. Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon: Had brunch with a long-time friend and her hubby a few weekends back. They were visiting for a conference and we met up for bottomless mimosas at Beuchert’s Saloon. We kept the party going and had a few more bevvies. I don’t know what we’re all laughing at here, but this picture is priceless in my book. I do love the friends I’ve made along the way and even though we don’t talk every day, we’ve managed to stay in touch.

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Road trip to Richmond: I visited Richmond, VA last weekend to catch up with an old college friend. In truth, we were really only acquaintances at best, but life has a way of bringing people together when you need them most and now she’s definitely a friend. Here’s her adorable pup, Annabelle. You know I was in love!

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3. Puppy sitting
I’ve been puppy sitting again to boost my travel fund. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be, especially when you get to hang out in rich people’s houses and enjoy their fancy hammocks. Man, I love a good hammock.

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4. New job!
And last, but not least…my new job! I’m in love, people. In love! My coworkers are fab and I love all the events and adventures I get to go on. It’s not all conferences in SF, but just getting to be a part of something greater has put new spirit and excitement in my blood. They look to me as a marketing guru and when I voice an opinion, I”m heard! I’m also doing TONS of reading which feels good and I feel like my writing has been elevated. There is a big hill to climb, in terms of getting our site/blog/feed really out there…but it’s good to be a part of a team again. Here I am in Crystal City, checking out an art installation called #crystalwings. We saw it coming back from an event. Fun, right?!

photo 4(1)And that’s a wrap. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday program!

Weekend review: DC United!

This past weekend was spent celebrating a friend’s birthday. She’s a big soccer fan and while I don’t care much for the sport, I do care about tailgating and having fun with friends.

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Plan on checking out a DC United game while in town and want a cool DC insider tip? OK, here goes…

An all you can eat and drink experience with the Screaming Eagles, DC United’s ultimate fans, will set you back a whopping $12. At first I was skeptical, surely they must be serving up the crappiest of beer and the sort of hot dogs where you can’t even pronounce the ingredients; but no, only the best for this crowd. A variety of DC Brau brews were on tap and tasty noms like chorizo, bratwurst, tortellini, and veggie burgers were up for grabs! Om, nom, nom. Not to mention the cornhole and the ever welcoming regulars – they were all to happy to add a few more eagles to their screaming crew.

We also happened to be there on military appreciation night, so we snagged these sweet camo hats too.

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I KNOW! The seats weren’t half bad either and the atmosphere was great. Made a few new friends, waved a few flags, and felt all patriotic ‘n shiz.

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United ended up in a draw against Montreal, but I think everyone was simply excited by the fact that we didn’t lose. Hellz yeah! USA, USA, USA!

Weekend review: Museums galore!

Bam! Not even the end of January and I’ve already knocked out my entire DC Bucket List for 2014. Ok, so it wasn’t massive but I’ve been tipping away at that list for nearly 5 years. About time, right? And I even added a bonus museum to the list – just for fun.

On Friday, I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Chinatown. If you just walk up, the ticket price can be a little expensive, but I booked the tickets online and since I’m a local the tickets were only $15. I tried to find additional coupons, but none exist for online purchases. You know me, always looking for a good deal 🙂

I have to admit, the figures were very life-like and the eyes were probably the creepiest part of the figures. Here I am, discussing important Civil War strategies with Ulysses S. Grant. The wax museum offers period clothing to help make the photos more realistic, but I think my fishnet tights really turned this “staged photo” into an authentic portrait.

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The presidential wax feature ran all the way up to the Obama’s (but no Bo!) and you could even sit in a replica of the Oval Office. You had to pay for those pictures, but I did jump in this photo opp with everyone’s favorite first family – the Kennedy’s. Like my fur fox* jacket? Jackie totally approved.

*Note: faux fur fox jackets, also provided by the museum.

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Madame Tussaud’s also had an entire celebrity section where the look-a-likes were a bit hit or miss, in my opinion. All in all, it was a laughable experience. Not the best museum in all of DC, but when you’re whittling down your bucket list, you gotta try them all!

On Saturday, I knocked out that last remaining bucket list item and visited the American History Museum with my Mom. She came up for an extended visit as I was originally meant to have my knee surgery this weekend; however, plans changed last minute due to the surgeon’s schedule, so we had an impromptu mother/daughter weekend instead.

I had recently read that the museum had a First Lady exhibition and it’s latest acquisition was Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown by Jason Wu (the red one!). For some reason, I didn’t really think to snap any photos in any of the exhibits, but I did snap this selfie in front of the Star Spangled Banner bit right as you walk in (which by the way, they have the original flag! A-mazing.).

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All in all, a really fun (albeit slightly nerdy) weekend!

Weekend review: Botanical Gardens

It only took me 4 years, but I finally crossed the Botanical Gardens off my DC bucket list this past weekend! Want to know what I have say about that? 2 thumbs up!

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It’s a fairly simplistic adventure, but one that I was really excited about. I think I must have twirled, touched, and ooh’d/ahh’d all over the place for a solid 30 minutes. If you like plants, especially those housed in a giant glass building, then this is definitely the place for you. I mean, just look at that glass jungle…

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Or that turtle topiary…

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I did, of course, enjoy all the other plants (which for the most part, they do encourage you to touch).

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And kudos to whoever thought it was a good idea to use every inch of space, especially for your crawling plants..

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But what’s a botanical garden without an orchid feature. Easily (and probably overly cliche), my favorite.

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All together now…oooooh!

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