Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glen Echo Dance Night

Swing ‘em round partner! Glen Echo Dance Night is the place to be on Friday nights! We have never had so much fun. Ever. When we arrived at the Spanish Ballroom, where the dance was held, the doorman warned us that we would be hooked to Dance Night for life – and boy, was he right! Natalie and Mishta headed to the dance floor, and the 45-minute beginner’s lesson started.


Beginner's Lesson


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!


Natalie and her dance partner




Contra dancing is so much fun. It’s a little awkward at first since it’s good dance etiquette to stare into your partner’s eyes. It is surprisingly fun to dance with random men! They are all really nice and help guide you in the right direction. It’s a great way to meet new people, and it’s totally worth the $9. I highly recommend the beginner’s lesson so you don’t look like a total noob.
- Natalie

 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!
- Haley

 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!
- Mishta


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)

Our Rating: ★★★★★

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Events

Our Opinions
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".


video
Kris Allen's performance 


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.


What an awesome concert venue!

The National Mall was chaotic on Memorial Day! We visited the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the WWII Memorial. There were tons of Vets at each Memorial, especially the WWII memorial. There were even guides to lead the Vets from memorial to memorial and make sure they got the honor they deserved. Overall, we had a good time observing the Memorial Day activities and respecting those who fought for our country. 

Memorial Day


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)
Our Rating: ★★★★★

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gravelly Point Park

Our Opinions about Gravelly Point Park 
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.

video
Duck!


 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!

Catching some rays...and some planes!

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.
- Natalie 


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.
- Haley


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.
- Mishta 


Background
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)
Our Rating: ★★★☆☆

Monday, May 23, 2011

Free Performance at The Kennedy Center

Our Opinions about the concert
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! 

video
A message from Scott Alan and Mykal Kilgore

You can see who is performing each day by visiting the Kennedy Center website and checking the schedule for the free performances. All in all, this event is something we recommend all of you do, because not a lot of people know that there are free concerts, and who doesn’t like visiting the Kennedy Center every now and then!?

video
Mykal Kilgore singing

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

Background
Location: 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566
The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts opened in 1971, and is known for presenting great performances and promoting upcoming artists from around the world. Everyday there is something going on at the Kennedy Center, whether it’s a musical, a play, or a dance performance. What’s neat about the Kennedy Center is that it puts on free performances every day at 6 pm in the Grand Foyer. No tickets are required! We’ll be attending the free performance on Tuesday, May 24th, where rising star Scott Alan will be putting on a show! We are so excited! Stay tuned!


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)
Our Rating: ★★★★☆


Eastern Market

Our Opinions of Eastern Market
WOW! We loved Eastern Market so much! The metro stop was a block away from the market which was super convenient. We first went into the flea market which is only open on Sundays. There were stands selling hemp dresses, tibetan jewelry, african crafts and native american trinkets. This flea market was by far our favorite part. Haley bargained with a vendor and bought a cool handmade bag from India for only eighteen dollars!

Mishta and Haley at the flea market

There was also an indoor fresh food market that sold everything from cupcakes to raw meat. We didn't linger in there since the smell of meat was overwhelming. Outside the food market, there were vendors selling cool artwork, including a giraffe statue made out of recycled Arizona Tea cans. We sampled many fruits, vegetables and fresh dips from the local farm stands, who sell their organic food at the market every weekend. Overall, we loved the warm and friendly atmosphere of the market, but wish we had brought more money to buy the cool handicrafts. 

I enjoyed a delicious fresh fruit smoothie and Indian spice hummus. The metro ride back was quite interesting -- I got smushed by the Metro doors when we forgot to get off a stop, and Mishta sat next to a man who was having a loud conversation with himself. Eastern Market is a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning!
- Natalie

I'm so glad we went to Eastern Market. I've never really heard about it, so I didn't know what to expect, but now I understand why people love it so much. My favorite stand in the flea market was the one that sold sports jerseys, because it sold Rajon Rondo's jersey, my favorite basketball player. Since there was too much to explore in the short time we had, I definitely plan on going back especially to snag an empanada!
- Haley

I loved Eastern Market!!! I can't wait to take my Mom and my sister there, because I know they will love it as much as I did. I bought the most delicious peach at a fruit stand, and the weather was perfect so everyone was in a good mood. My favorite part of our trip was when we made fun of a women who almost forgot to get off at her stop. Ironically, it was our stop as well, and we had to make a mad dash for the doors.
- Mishta

Beautiful hand painted chairs

Check out more pics of Eastern Market in our photo gallery.

Background
Location: 7th and C Streets, SE, Washington, DC
The Eastern Market is a public market built in 1871 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC. The market was initially built as a symbol of urbanization in order to change DC’s original “sleepy southern town image.” Eastern Market is the oldest continuously running food market in the Washington DC area, however an unexpected fire in 2007 disrupted, but never closed, market activities. Thankfully, the market building reopened two years later. The market has become a popular stop for locals and for tourists because of the thriving stalls of fresh meats and produce, baked goods, and crafts.
More information: Eastern Market Website

Admission Price: FREE
Time: 10 am - 5 pm on Sundays
Location: Capitol Hill
Transportation: Metro accessible from the Eastern Market stop (orange/blue line)
Our Rating: ★★★★

Friday, May 20, 2011

Roosevelt Island

Our Opinions about Roosevelt Island
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!

Natalie, Haley and Muddy Waters

 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.”
- Natalie

 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!
- Haley

 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.
- Mishta 



Background
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 

Our Rating: ★★★★☆

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Billy Goat Trail

Our Opinions about the Billy Goat Trail
The Billy Goat Trail was a ton of fun! At first, we didn't know where to go (because we are noobs!) but we quickly found the trail with the help of some fellow hikers. Unfortunately, the part we wanted to hike, part A, was closed because the Potomac River flooded the trail. We ended up hiking part B of the Billy Goat Trail. It was an easy hike along the Potomac, and even though we were looking forward to the challenging part A trail, it was still very enjoyable. The trees were marked with blue paint so it was virtually impossible to get lost. However, our hike was cut short when the path led us straight into the Potomac River! Apparently, this trail was flooded too. Overall, we had an awesome time, but make sure not to go on these trails after a huge rainstorm.



video
Our firsthand account of part B

I LOVED the hike! Next time I'll be sure to pack some sandwiches so I can have a picnic on the rocks. There is also a really pretty lake at the part A trailhead, which I never knew about. I recommend you all go check it out!
- Natalie


Today was a great day because I got to sleep in. I couldn't go on the trail with Natalie and Mishta because of my knee, but I wish I could've gone and I'm glad they had fun.
- Haley


I loved the Billy Goat Trail, even though it would've been 100 times better if there were actual goats on it! Singing songs with Natalie while we hiked was the highlight of my trip and we both decided that we're going to go back as soon as we can to hike the challenging part of the trail. 
- Mishta 
Mishta at the trailhead

Background
Location: 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854
The Billy Goat Trail is a 4.7 mile hiking trail along the Potomac River. It's a moderately challenging hike, so it's a great workout, but not meant for really young kids. There are three sections of the trail: part A, part B, and part C. Part A is the most popular and difficult part of the trail because it's steeper and hikers are required to scramble over rocks at some points. Parts B and C are less strenuous and the path is clearly marked. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the trail, so make sure you leave a bowl of water at home for Buddy. The Billy Goat Trail is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying Maryland's flora and fauna.


Admission Price: FREE
Time: Everyday, dusk to dawn
Location: Potomac, MD
Transportation: Free parking across from Old Angler's Inn

Our Rating: ★★★★

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Great Falls, MD

Location: 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854
Hey! It's Natalie! After the peeps show, we drove to Great Falls, MD to have a nice picnic next to the gushing water. Access to the falls was easy -- it's just a short walk down the C&O canal and through a scenic path. Located on the Potomac River, Great Falls is as close to Niagra Falls as Maryland will get. The path winds through a lush temperate forest with a few smaller falls along the way. Make sure you stay away from the railings though, falling into the white waters could be treacherous.

Don't try kayaking here!

The path ended with a beautiful scenic overlook of the vast Great Falls. We stopped there for a while and enjoyed our Chipotle lunch. We interrupted a few romantic dates, but love conquers all. Overall, Great Falls is a great place to clear your mind and explore nature. 

ThreeinDc vs. Great Falls

Admission Price: FREE
Time: Everyday, 9 am- 4:45 pm
Location: Potomac, MD
Transportation: Free parking
Our Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Washington Capitals Practice at Kettler

Location: 627 N Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22203
If you live in DC, you’re most likely a Caps fan. If you’re not….you should probably become one. Over the past ten years, hockey has become an increasingly popular sport, which explains the escalating number of fans for the Washington Capitals. In 1997, this NHL team moved their home hockey rink to the Verizon Center, which is metro accessible from Gallery Place-Chinatown (Red line). Unfortunately, the season for the Caps is over because they are no longer in the playoffs, however we found a fun activity for fans to do when the Caps are in action. The Kettler Capitals Iceplex is the practice arena for the team. Located in Arlington, it is the highest ice rink above street level in America. All Caps practices are free and open to the public. Any rink that allows fans to watch an NHL hockey team practice is pretty awesome, so even though we never actually did this activity, it sounds like a lot of fun! Now you know where to go if you ever want to get up close and personal with Ovechkin and his teammates!

Admission Price: FREE
Time: Non-Game day: 10:30 am; Game day: 10 am; Day after game: 11 am
Location: Kettler Capitals Iceplex
Transportation: Metro Accessible from Ballston-MU (Orange Line)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Peeps Diorama Contest

Our Opinions on the Peeps Contest
Okay, so here’s the dealio- you should probably only go to this event if you are truly 100% passionate about Peeps. The Peeps Diorama show was held in the Artisphere in Arlington. After given a brochure about the event, we were directed to the 2nd floor of the building where we started our self-guided tour. It was not what we expected. The dioramas were located on tables that were dispersed throughout the floor. They were cute, but not as impressive as we thought they would be. We looked at each diorama for approximately two minutes, and the only ones displayed were the runner ups, which we could’ve just looked at on the website. Overall, the peeps were cute, but the display wasn’t appealing.


Natalie with the winning diorama

I’m biased because I’m obsessed with peeps, so I thought it was awesome! I always look forward to the contest every year so visiting the Artisphere was a dream come true.
- Natalie

The peeps show was pretty cool and the “Hoarders” Diorama was my favorite. It is really fascinating to think how much time these artists put into their designs.
- Haley

 I thought this trip was a huge waste of time. I wasn’t impressed with the set up of the contest, and it wasn’t worth the drive over to Arlington. I only went because I know how much Natalie loves Peeps.
- Mishta 

Background
Location: Artisphere Arts Center - 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209
Marshmallows, corn syrup, gelatin, and carnauba wax. What do you get when you put these ingredients together? You guessed it – Peeps! Primarily used to fill Easter baskets, these sweet treats have also spurred a new tradition in the Washington area. The Peeps Diorama Contest started in 2007 and since then has evolved into a bigger and better competition over the years, attracting plenty of skilled artisans. Style Reporter Dan Zak states that competitors should “either create a masterpiece, or don’t bother entering”. Intense right? Last year, the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest drew over 1,100 entries, ranging from witty plays on pop culture to items of serious craftsmanship. This year, the winner of the competition was the "Chilean CoPeepapo Mine Rescue" diorama (pictured below courtesy of The Washington Post). The dioramas of all the contestants will be on display at the Artisphere until May 31. Who knew that these marshmallow treats could inspire such a level of creativity?!


The winner of the 2011 Peeps Diorama Contest


Admission Price: FREE
Time: 11 am - 11pm everyday until May 31st
Transportation: Metro Accessible from Rosslyn (Blue/Orange Line)
Our Rating: ★★☆

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Haunted Adventure in Georgetown

Location: 3600 M St., NW Washington, DC 20007
Boo! Mishta here! Have you ever seen the horror movie The Exorcist? Well, we were all in it. Just kidding, but we did go visit the notorious "Exorcist" stairs which are featured in one of the scenes in the movie. The Exorcist is a movie that was produced in 1973, and was adapted from the novel written by William Peter Blatty, who attended Georgetown University. We decided to make a quick stop at these stone steps so we could feature them on our blog. If you've seen the movie, you know what scene I'm talking about - where the priest jumps out of a window and goes tumbling down a steep flight of stairs. Well these are those stairs. Natalie and I walked up the steps, all 75 of them, while Haley watched us hike these steps of doom. The height of the stairs is supposedly equivalent to a 5-story building, and a lot of people use them for a good workout. I can definitely see why because even I felt my quads starting to burn! The "Exorcist" Stairs are the perfect place to to swing by for movie buffs, fans of The Exorcist, and people who want to visit an eerie location from a famous horror movie. The steps connect Prospect Street with M Street below and are located close to the Key Bridge. Beware of ghosts and have a spooktacular time!



Admission Price: FREE
Time: Open 24/7
Location: Georgetown, Washington DC
Transportation: Parking at M Street or the Gas Station by the steps
Our Rating: ★★★★☆

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Arboretum

Our Opinions on the Arboretum
The National Arboretum is a nice place to go if you want to see dead flowers and get terribly lost. Both of these things happened to us. After a traffic-filled, forty minute drive through the city, we missed the tiny Arboretum sign telling us where to turn. We had to drive twenty minutes towards Bladensburg and got lost again on South Dakota Avenue. It was awesome. We finally turned around and found the arboretum entrance only to be greeted by overgrown grass, weeds and empty parking lots. The place is pretty spread out, so we had to drive from one flower collection to another. The azalea signs excited us, but we were disappointed when we found they were all dead.

Beautiful brown Azaleas

The only cool part was the Capitol Columns which were not even that great. Apparently, both Andrew Jackson and Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugurations were held in front of these columns which were moved from the city and put in the Arboretum. There were two families with young kids who were enjoying themselves at the columns and reflection pool. We talked to the mother and she said she tries to bring her kids to the Arboretum a couple times each spring.

Capitol Columns

We were ready to leave when we stumbled upon a herb garden. It was mostly brick and there were only a few potted plants. We wish we visited the Botanical Gardens instead of the unkempt Arboretum. But our terrible adventure doesn't end there. We were only a little lost when we found ourselves at the arrivals terminal of National Airport. Mind you, the Arboretum is located in D.C., nowhere near the airport. We don't regret our trip to the Arboretum, because we can warn you all to not waste your time.

Oops

I thought it was great................ not.
- Natalie

Driving sucked.
- Haley

I have more flowers in my backyard.
- Mishta

Background
Location: 24th and R Sts., NE, Washington, DC
The National Arboretum is a large botanical garden in the city filled with many different species of trees and flowers. It was established in 1927 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Arboretum is so unique because it's a beautiful 446-acre park located only 2 miles from the Capitol. There has been controversy over the past year surrounding the arboretum's decision to remove their azalea and boxwood collections due to budget cuts. There are even a few organizations raising money to save the azaleas and boxwoods (http://savetheazaleas.org/). However, the arboretum has recently decided to suspend their decision to remove the flowers because of the chaos it created.
More Information: http://www.usna.usda.gov/index.html

Admission Price: FREE
Time: 8 am to 5 pm daily 
Location: Washington, DC 
Transportation: Metro accessible from Stadium Armory (Blue/Orange Line) and then Metrobus B-2
Our Rating: ★☆

Nationals Game

Our Opinions of the Game
We had so much fun at the Nats game yesterday! The metro ride was only 25 minutes, and the trains were full of fans going to the game. The walk from the Navy Yard stop was only two minutes, and there were vendors selling cheap refreshments, hot dogs, and Nats gear. We bought our tickets there which was really easy. We walked up to an automatic ticket machine and bought tickets that were only $10! Our seats were pretty high up, but we could still see the action really well. The new Nats stadium is built so that the majority of the seats have a great view of the game. The game was pretty intense too, since the Nats had lost the last three games in the week to the Marlins. Also, the Florida Marlins are notorious for beating the Nats at home. We made six runs in the first inning, with both Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Marquis getting two runs each. This historic inning was only the second time the Nats have scored six or more runs in the first inning. 


The view of the diamond from our seats


I had a great time cheering up high and yelling "Here we go, boys!" at the players. I got a little dizzy at first since our seats were so high up. Maybe it was altitude sickness. We also ran into my best bud from elementary school who was there with a friend. The Nats game is obviously a great pastime for teens! 
- Natalie 


I didn't know if I would enjoy the game, since baseball isn't my favorite sport, but I ended up having an awesome time. I found my favorite player - outfielder Roger Bernadina - and went crazy every time he caught a fly ball even though Mishta and Natalie thought it was a little embarrassing.  Although we were in section 405, getting there on crutches was really easy.  Elevators were easily accessible and they were quite speedy!
- Haley


I can't believe I've never been to a Nats game before this Sunday! The weather was beautiful which made the game even more enjoyable. I finally got to eat Ben's Chili Bowl, which I highly recommend everyone try. No, but seriously, don't leave the stadium until you get a bowl of that chili- you won't regret it! I will most definitely be attending more games this spring and summer. 
- Mishta



video
Singing during the 7th inning stretch


Background
Location: 1500 South Capitol St., SE Washington, DC 20003
The Washington Nationals, or the “Nats” are a baseball team in the eastern division of Major League Baseball. They played their first three seasons in the RFK Stadium in D.C. but then switched venues when the Nationals Park was built in Southeast D.C. in 2008. The franchise started off as the Montreal Expos in 1969, when they first joined the league. In 2005, they moved to Washington D.C. and have been there ever since. In the MLB there are two leagues—the American League and the National League. The Nationals are in the National League in the East division. Within this division, the Nats are currently ranked 4th with a record of 16-18. The Nationals are one of two teams in the league that have never been to the World Series. From some of the seats in the stadium, spectators can even catch a glimpse of the Washington Monument and the Capitol building. The Stadium has 23 seating zones, and 3,300 of those seats are available for $10 or less. Go Nats!
More information: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=was.

Sitting in section 405--not a lot of people, but a lot of fun!


Admission Price: Nosebleed seats- $10
Time: Game time
Location: Nationals Park
Transportation: Metro Accessible from Navy Yard Station (Green Line)
Our Rating: ★★★★★

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Quick Trip to The National Zoo

Location: 3001 Connecticut Ave, Washington D.C.
Hey everyone, it's Haley! On Friday, we decided to take an impromptu visit to the zoo. Even though it wasn't on our events calendar, we decided to go anyway since the zoo is such a classic D.C. attraction. Natalie and I went to the zoo in September, but Mishta had never been. I wouldn't recommend going to the zoo if you've visited within the past year because nothing really changes. But this trip was worth it because we got to see the lion cubs! The highlight of the trip was definitely the lions. We couldn't get a good picture of the cubs since they were lying far away, but here's a link to a lion cub photo gallery. Below is a picture of the daddy lion.


The smelly Ape House only had one lame ape who was hiding in the corner with his back turned to all the tourists. Also, a large part of the zoo was under construction because of the elephant house rennovation. Since I had knee surgery, we took advantage of the zoo's free wheelchairs, so I didn't have to crutch around. This was quite convenient for me, but for Natalie and Mishta, it was a nightmare at times. The zoo is built on a hill, so on the way down they had to make sure I didn't roll away, and on the way up, they had to use all their might to make it to the top. It was quite the ride for me. The zoo was overflowing with kids on field trips who were very loud, but that's expected. All in all, it wasn't that fun for me and Natalie because we've been recently, but Mishta had a great time, especially since she got to pet goats!


Admission Price: FREE
Time: April-October 10 am to 6 pm daily; November-March 10 am to 4:30 pm daily
Location: The National Zoo
Transportaion: 3 hour parking is $15; Metro accesible from Woodley Park/Zoo (Red Line)
Our Rating: ★★★☆☆

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glen Echo Dance Night

Background
Location: Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD 20817
Glen Echo Park has been a part of Maryland's Historic District since 1891. Every Friday the park hosts a contra dance in their Spanish Ballroom or in their open air Bumper Car Pavilion. Contra dance is a style of partnered folk dance, and is a great way to meet new people! You don't even have to bring a partner! The dance goes on from 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm, however there is a beginner's lesson from 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm, which is included in the price of admission. We will be attending the Contra Dance night, but Glen Echo always offers different classes with other dance styles including Blues, Cajun & Zydeco, Country, Salsa, Swing, and Waltz. We can't wait to get our groove on!
More information: Glen Echo Website

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)

Stay tuned! We'll be attending this event on May 27th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Metro Guide!

How to Use the Metro
Using the Metro is simple as long as you know which stop to get off at. There are five different colored lines that take you all over the DC/ Metropolitan area. Since we're taking the tro, as we like to call it, to Eastern Market this weekend, we'll walk you through the steps to get there. We'll start at the Tenleytown stop, which is on the red line, and get off at the Eastern market stop, which is on the blue/orange line. Because we have to switch lines, we'll get off at Metro Center. This is a huge stop where a lot of people get off in order to change lines. At Metro Center, we'll follow signs to the blue/orange line. It's really important to know the direction of the train you want. Above each side of the Metro, there's a sign that says the ending stop of the train going in that direction. If you look at the map below, you can see that one side of the blue/orange line ends at Vienna/ Franconia-Springfield, and the other side of the line ends at New Carrollton/ Largo Town Center. Since we're going to Eastern Market, we want to take the train towards New Carrollton/ Largo Town Center. Easy Peasy. When you get off the train, make sure to watch your step so you don't fall through the crack and into the tracks.


Stay Tuned! We're going to Eastern Market on May 22, and we'll update this post with our opinions, photos, and review of the event!

About This Blog

Our first post! For our senior project, we decided to create, launch, and maintain a blog about the area's offbeat and fun activities for teenagers. It is easy for teenagers to forget that the Washington area is rich in cultural and recreational attractions. We are going to uncover these hidden treasures and evaluate them with fresh eyes. We think if more teens knew what is out there, they might get off their Facebook pages and couches. This blog will have a strong point of view since we will each give our opinion of the event. This blog will become a repository of current events and activities that are available to young teens, and will serve as a one stop link that will lead viewers to an easily accessible collection of attractions they can explore.