Saturday, July 23, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
There were a lot of beginners there, so we didn’t feel left out! The contra dance moves were pretty simple, and before we knew it, it was time for the real dance! We actually got really nervous, but two experienced contra dancers came over and finally convinced Natalie and Mishta to dance with them. Haley couldn’t dance because of her knee surgery, but she got asked to dance seven times while we were out on the floor! The atmosphere was so friendly, and everyone in the Glen Echo community was so warm and outgoing. Everyone wanted to make sure that all participants were having a good time. Natalie and Mishta had the time of their lives on the dance floor. We quickly got the hang of line dancing, with the help of experienced partners, who didn’t hesitate to twirl us as if we had been contra dancing for our entire lives! By the end of the first dance, we were so proud of ourselves, and not to mention extremely dizzy! The night was filled with laughter and fun and we can’t wait to go back and take our friends there!
I had a really fun time at Glen Echo Dance Night even though I couldn’t do the contra dancing. The people were so friendly, and you could tell they were having a genuinely good time. When my knee is fully healed, I definitely want to go back and try the dance!
Everyone needs to experience Glen Echo Dance Night. It was classic fun. My favorite part about the night was when I danced with a teacher from Whitman who told me he met his wife while contra dancing! I got the hang of contra dancing really quickly because my partners were so helpful! I without doubt recommend everyone attends this event – it was so worth it!
Admission Price: $9
Time: 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm (beginner's lesson: 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm)
Location: Glen Echo Park
Transportation: Montgomery County Ride-On bus #29 (operates daily from Friendship Heights and Bethesda metro stations)
Friday, May 27, 2011
We started our Memorial Day activities with the concert at the Capitol. The Union Station metro stop was a half hour walk from the concert venue, which was a litter further than we expected. However, it was good for us to experience Union Station because it DC's most awesome train station. During the thirty minute walk we had a beautiful view of the Capitol, which guided us to our concert seats. We were directed through a security check right when we got there. Tons of people covered the West Lawn so our seats were pretty far away from the stage. Bringing a blanket was a great idea since we could relax and enjoy the music. Our favorite performer was Kris Allen and he sang "Proud to be an American".
The concert got a little slow because there weren't a lot of singers but we were touched by the stories of war veterans in between each song. The concert gave us a great opportunity to sit on the lawn of the nation's capitol and feel proud to be an American.
National Memorial Day Concert
The Memorial Day Concert is held every memorial day weekend to honor the service and sacrifice of those who serve for our country. It's on Sunday, May 29th on the West Lawn of the Capitol at 8 pm. The concert is especially meaningful this year, since it will commemorate the 10th year since September 11th and the 70th year since Pearl Harbor. It'll be hosted by actor Gary Sinise, and performers include Kris Allen, B.B. King, Forest Whitaker, Pia Toscano, and the National Symphony Orchestra (just to name a few). The gates open to the public at 5:00; the concert is free and tickets aren't necessary.
National Memorial Day Parade
The National Memorial Day Parade is an annual parade that takes place in Washington DC. It is presented by the American Veterans Center and honors those who have served our country. Before the parade was established, Memorial Day was beginning to lose its meaning among United States civilians. In order to restore tradition and remembrance of those who served, the American Veterans Center started the parade in 2005 and has occurred every year on Memorial Day Weekend since then. People of all ages come to participate in the parade in order to recognize and thank the heroes of war, as well as remembering those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. The parade starts at 2:00 pm on Monday, May 30th.
World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial is one of the newer monuments on the National Mall in Washington DC, and is dedicated to the 16 million Americans who served in the forces during World War II. It was opened to the public for the first time on April 29th, 2004. The Memorial consists of 56 pillars, which represent the states and territories at the time of the war, and it us a great place to pay your respects to World War II veterans. The memorial represents an important symbol of American national unity, and is a timeless reminder of strength and power. On Monday, May 30th at 9 a.m. the National Park Service will sponsor a wreath laying ceremony in honor of our veterans. Guest speakers will give statements and many of the surviving World War II veterans will be in attendance.
Admission Price: FREE
Time: Memorial Day Weekend
Location: National Mall, DC
Transportation: Concert - metro accessible from Union Station (Red Line) and Federal Center SW (Blue/Orange Line)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Gravelly Point Park was LOUD! We parked our cars in the parking lot next to the park :) The drive over wasn’t confusing because we’ve become so familiar with the area near the airport. This time, we brought sandwiches. We stopped at Jetties again because we can’t get enough of their delicious food! The park was right next to the Potomac River, so it was breezy even on this blazing hot day. And then it happened. A plane flew overhead. We all shrieked! This was the beginning of a great afternoon.
We slowly got accustomed to the planes as we munched on our sandwiches, but the thrill of the close proximity of the planes never got old. When we finished eating, we lay on our backs in the grass to experience the thrill of the thrill of the thrill! Boy, it was thrilling. This adventure was new to all three of us, and we all had a great time. If you visit Gravelly Point Park, make sure to bring sunglasses, a snack, and a friend. The following items are optional: frisbee, pogo stick, dog, mouse, poster board, bracelets, clogs, dishrags, ceramic mugs, or light bulbs. Just kidding! Those items would be a little excessive. Also, for all you bikers out there, just know that this park is bike accessible through the Mount Vernon trail. Make sure to check this place out if you’re looking for an adventure!
I had a nice time. I thought the planes would come a little closer to us, but it was still pretty exciting. Bringing a picnic blanket was key, so that we could lie down and relax.
Gravelly Point Park was a place I had never heard of before. I’m so glad we went, but the only thing that would’ve made the experience better is if Jetties had put honey dijon instead of yellow mustard on my sandwich. I also enjoyed catching a few rays with the occasional plane flying overhead.
Gravelly Point Park was really cool, but like Natalie, I expected more. It was extremely hot, but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon though, however I wouldn't go back there again just to watch the planes.
Location: GW Parkway Arlington, VA 22202
Gravelly Point is a park located only a few hundred feet from the runway at National Airport. It's a great place to lay on your back and watch planes fly right over your belly! You can even feel the ground rumble as the planes take off. Visitors say it's an invigorating experience that everyone must try. Not only is it a great picnic destination, it's also a great place to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July!
Admission Price: FREE
Time: Everyday, dawn till dusk
Location: Arlington, VA
Transportation: Accessible from the northbound lanes of the GW parkway (it's the first right as you leave the airport)
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Kennedy Center was spectacular. As soon as we got off the metro at Foggy Bottom, a free shuttle bus to the Kennedy Center was waiting at the top of the escalator. The shuttle took about 5 minutes, and before we knew it, we had arrived! The Millenium Stage is in the Grand Foyer, and it was very easy to find. We recommend you get there early if you want front row seats because we arrived at 6 o’clock on the dot, yet we had seats that were quite far from the stage. At first, we didn’t know what to expect because these free concerts have a variety of different performances, and we didn’t want to get stuck with a boring symphony. Lucky for us, we chose the right day to go to The Kennedy Center. Scott Alan had the voice of an angel! He presented a beautiful performance of vocals and piano, and was accompanied by Mykal Kilgore (vocals), and Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf (cello). Between each of his songs, which were amazing, Scott Alan kept us entertained by cracking jokes. He is hilarious, talented, and an awesome person. We were determined to meet him, and guess what? – we did! After the concert Scott and Mykal signed our programs and we got to talk with them for a few minutes! Waiting in line to meet them was nerve-wracking, but when it was finally our turn, we knew it was worth the wait! They even left us with a special video. Check it out below!
The concert was taped courtesy of the Kennedy Center. Click here for a video of the full performance! P.S. - For all you Twitter tweeters out there, follow @ScottAlanNet and @mykalwitha_y! #theyrock
Location: 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566
Admission Price: FREE (for the free performances)
Time: Everyday at 6 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Transportation: Metro Accessible from Foggy Bottom/GWU Station (Orange/Blue Line)
Time: 10 am - 5 pm on Sundays
Location: Capitol Hill
Transportation: Metro accessible from the Eastern Market stop (orange/blue line)
Friday, May 20, 2011
Getting to Roosevelt Island was a hassle. The only way you can access the island is from the Northbound side of GW Parkway, so of course, we ended up at the National Airport once again. When we finally arrived at the island, parking was a little tight, but we managed to find a spot. The walking bridge over to the island is perfect for taking scenic pictures, however the brown Potomac River water made us a little depressed (especially because settlers could see the bottom of the river centuries ago!) The map on the island was easy to read, and led us right to the Theodore Roosevelt memorial. The statue was huge! How had none of us ever seen this before? Oh right, because it’s hidden on a lush, forest–filled island. Even though the drive over was frustrating, we all think the trip was worth it. We only visited the main memorial area, but there is a trail that goes around the entire island! We played a fun game of hide-and-go-seek around the statues, and we had a great time! On our back home, we stopped by Jetties on Foxhall Road, which is quite possibly the best sandwich place in the world. We highly recommend you stop by there before visiting the island so that you can have a picnic! All in all, it was a great trip and a perfect way to spend our Saturday morning!
I love the shrine dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt since he was a pretty cool guy! I enjoyed reading his quotes about nature that were engraved on statues surrounding the memorial. My favorite quote was “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”
Roosevelt Island was a pleasant surprise, and the landscape was beautiful! Next time I go, I’ll definitely bring my running shoes because it’s a great place for a jog!
I really enjoyed our trip to Roosevelt Island. I want to go back to explore the rest of the trails on the island. I think people should check this place out, because not a lot of people know about the Theodore Roosevelt memorial that’s on the island.
Theodore Roosevelt Island is located on the Potomac River in D.C. in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. It is not to be confused with Roosevelt Island in New York. The island has several alternative names including My Lord’s Island, Barbadoes Island, Mason’s Island, Analostan Island, and Anacostine Island. It is maintained as a park and has a paved walkway with a statue of Theodore Roosevelt. In order to get to the island, you have to cross a footbridge from a bank on the Potomac in Arlington, Virginia. With 88.5 acres, there is much to explore. Coincidentally, Roosevelt Island was established on May 21, 1932, meaning our visit will be on the island's 79th birthday. Happy birthday Roosevelt Island!
Admission Price: FREE
Time: 6 am - 10 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Transportation: Free parking off George Washington Memorial Parkway