Events/Performances, Fun

The Weekend Comes to the Verizon Center

IMG_1332
6lack warming up the crowd

(Note: There is an image slideshow at the end of this post.  All videos can be found on my YouTube channel.)

On Thursday, May 18th, 15,000 people were treated to a dance party by Belly, 6lack, The Weeknd, and some surprise guests, including Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane, to perform “Black Beatles”.

One to make an incredibly strong entrance, the crowd went positively insane when The Weeknd appeared in the middle of the runway stage, to perform “Starboy”.

His set list included all of the crowd’s favorite hits, including “Party Monster”, “Often”, “I Feel It Coming”, “Six Feet Under”, “I Can’t Feel My Face”, “Reminder”, and “Secrets” (amongst others).  Which, whenever he began another song, he had to shush the crowd, due to the deafening roar.

But the special touches are what made the show amazing – he performed along with a live band the whole time, which when you look at the overall stage shape, made you realize he was walking along a futuristic guitar.  The floating stage morphed into so many different origami-ish shapes, including a spaceship, a plane, and an X (amongst others).

IMG_1368

Overall, I kind of wished I had bought floor seats, as opposed to my 200-Level ones, as it would absolutely have been worth the ticket price.  If you’re on the fence about spending the money, do it!  If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would!  (Click here to access his tour dates.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

How to Spend Christmas Vacation in DC

img_7986
Me (the blonde) and some of my  family on Christmas Eve!

I am super lucky to have a the week between Christmas and New Year’s, off.  It was a much-needed break to spend time with family and SLEEP (and pack, and clean, and workout, and run errands, and other “adulting” activities).  But in between that time, I also got to see and do some great things in D.C.!

If you’re not from here, you might not necessarily know that you can find something to do every night of the week!  Between sporting events, theater productions, concerts, parties, bars, restaurants, and other fun things; you can be busy every hour of every day!

In the last week, I’ve been able to take full advantage of some of what D.C. has to offer. They are both great family activities AND date ideas!

Il Fornaio (Reston Location) 

img_7974

Although my family tends to switch up Christmas Eve dinner locations from time to time, Il Fornaio in Reston is always the favorite.  With a large enough party, you get to enjoy the private room, complete with fireplace.  The food is excellent and of course, I’m a fan of any place that serves gluten-free pasta!

NOTE: If you go there, there is garage parking on St. Francis Street! Facing the restaurant, St. Francis Street is to your left.  Once you pass the restaurant on your right, the first garage on the right is where you can park.  The elevator to Market Street level is in the back. When you exit the lobby, turn right, and the entrance is half a block on the right.

Hay-Adams Hotel Dinner

This year, my dad and his wife are remodeling their kitchen, which made for a great reason to try something different!  They made reservations for dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel, which far exceeded expectations.  When we arrived, we were shown to a check-in lounge where we enjoyed sodas and champagne while we waited for our table to be ready.  When it was time, we were shown to the elevator to head to the rooftop for our seating.  We were lucky to be shown to our table as the sun was setting, allowing us to step outside, onto the terrace, to take some shots of the Whitehouse and the monument before it was too dark.

img_7999

Dinner was a buffet of different carving stations, vegetables, seafoods, pastas, breads, and an amazing assortment of desserts!  Champagne, sodas, coffee, water were all included.  But definitely ask for a glass of their port wine at the end – you won’t be disappointed!

As we were leaving, they handed out chocolate gingerbread men and also had hot chocolate and cider service downstairs in the lobby.

I highly recommend finding other dinners you can attend there – it’s well-worth it!

Dinner and a Movie in Courthouse (Arlington)

img_8004
Watching Sing in 3D with my family

The evening after Christmas, my mom, one of my sisters, and I grabbed pizza at Fireworks and took in a movie at one of the most comfortable AMC theaters I’ve ever been to – Courthouse!

If you’ve never been to Fireworks, it’s worth it to go.  The owner’s wife has Celiac, which prompted him to make sure his menu catered to this allergy (this was long before any fast food pizza place was selling gluten-free dough). They can make any pizza you want with that dough, and it’s amazing!

After we stuffed ourselves of that and their incredible deviled eggs (I highly recommend them), we walked through the Courthouse Plaza to AMC Courthouse.  This used to be a little worse for wear and a few years ago, they remodeled it to include full reclining, large leather chairs!  We saw “Sing” in 3D and it was super fun – I recommend it to those of you with children or have an inner child 🙂

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical

fullsizeoutput_2022

If there’s one thing I truly love, it’s going to the theater.  I love to see stories come to life in a magical fashion.  In this case, they took one of my favorite Christmas books/movies and turned it into a full-on magical display.  Performed at the National Theater, the entire performance was narrated by The Grinch’s dog Max.  It had everything you would expect – an over-the-top set design, colorful  costumes and makeup, and spot-on characterizations of each of the characters.  The added bonus to it was the encouraged crowd interaction throughout the performance, the snow that falls on the audience, and the confetti/streamers, during the Christmas Day scene.  NOTE: Make sure to sit in the first 10 rows to truly enjoy it, as the snow and the confetti don’t rain down on the entire audience.

This is playing until December 31st.  Tickets can be found here.

Capitals Game at Verizon Center

Baseball and hockey are two sports I don’t enjoy watching on TV and it’s because it’s missing that one element – the fan interaction.  Each year, I go to several baseball games and hockey matches for the food, the atmosphere, the nostalgia, and the energy.  It’s the only way I’ll watch it.

Caps games are especially fun as even if you don’t like hockey, you’ll soon realize that you actually do!  With a great team, a great mascot (Slapshot), and a great arena, you get hooked fast.

It was fun to take this in with my mom before I head off to Iceland today!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Events/Performances, Fun, Travel, United States

Summer Sixteen: Drake and Future

14034799_10154391280182356_8410190060356952768_n

On Friday, August 19th, Drake and Future turned the Verizon Center into a massive party for three hours, performing THIRTY of their biggest hits, complete with pyrotechnics, a floating “stage”, and the most incredible use of LED boards and hovering light displays I’ve ever seen.

14021469_10154391279697356_50152434659244395_n

Yes, I am a huge Drake fan.  I’m the one that on my flights, to and from San Francisco (for work), I can play his entire catalog on shuffle, and get lost in his music.  He’s powerful, emotional, and relatable (okay, not to mention, attractive).  Whether the writing is entirely his own or not, it’s inspiring to hear the creativity that goes into his songs. As a writer, it’s a huge inspiration.  So naturally, when his tour dates came out, I immediately knew what I was getting myself for my birthday.

14080003_10154391279047356_4770814761150538047_n

While the songs came to life and the performance was sick, it was the crowd that made the show, proving Drake’s music transcends across the world.  People of all races and ages were there, all of them dancing, singing, and rapping along to every song that was performed. Having never been to a rap concert before (much less sitting four rows behind the stage), my sister and I had no idea what to expect.  Out of all the concerts we have been to over the years, we had never had more women come up to us and compliment us on some part of our outfit, or be more polite if they needed to walk past us.  And, it would also be the first time that every single woman who was in attendance (which was a lot), was on point with their outfits.  To be amongst beautiful and nice people took our experience to a whole other level.

14034796_10154390438742356_8893802504994799362_n

Below is my slideshow of pics, as well as a couple of the twenty videos I took.  For the entire collection of videos from the show, click here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Events/Performances, Fun

Justin Timberlake Performed Right Over Us!

I’ve been to my fair share of concerts in my life – I’ve been all the way upfront, gotten a hug from Mark McGrath, sat in suites and even met a few musicians here and there.  Out of all the concerts and all the fun, I’ve NEVER been to a concert that engaged the audience as much as Justin Timberlake’s did Monday evening.

To a packed crowd, he sang songs off his newest album, took Sexy Back (again), performed hits from notable musicians, such as Elvis Presley (click here to see video), to Bel Biv Devoe, as well as Michael Jackson.  Talent aside, the true highlight of the concert was the moving stage (click here to see video)… that moved all the way to the back of the arena, to play for the fans that would otherwise need binoculars (click here to see video).

BUT… in the process.. he performed directly over us not once, but twice (check out the first performance here and see the embedded below for the second).

It was a truly remarkable experience.  Check out my slideshow below for more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.