I’ve been fangirling over The Knocks for the last four years, so whenNu Androids finally got them to come to D.C., there was no chance I was going to miss them!
I was first introduced to their music by a friend who had seen them perform at a small party in New York. Songs like “Classic” had this chill, happy vibe that was incredibly infectious, resulting in me not just listening to, but downloading their entire catalog of work. Since then, I had been waiting for the day they’d come to D.C. and throw it down “House Party” style… until June 9th.
One of the cool things about this Electronic Music duo is that while some of their songs have gone mainstream, they are all about doing this for the love of music. It means they are playing smaller venues, keeping it at a “house party” level, making the overall atmosphere feel more intimate, which they certainly accomplished at Flash.
They were only supposed to play two hours that Saturday night, but when their time was about up, they requested to extend their play time another hour. The cheers to that news were deafening, as they definitely killed it with the remixes of their songs (which, while their album versions are great, their live sets are better). Truly, it was one of the best EDM shows I’ve been to in a long time, and I can’t wait for them to come back (ahem, Nu Androids).
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)
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
Hay-Adams Dinner lounge
Hay-Adams dinner lounge
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.
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)
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
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 will admit, I’ve never been to a Cirque du Soleil show before. I’m not sure why. Growing up, this troupe would erect their tents each fall in the grounds, directly across from Tysons Galleria, drawing a huge crowd. And, in all the times I’ve been to Vegas, I’ve never bothered to see a show there either (then again, I’ve never quite made it to a show there in general). So, when given the opportunity to go and witness a dress rehearsal for a brand new show, and the first launched by a woman, how could I say no?
On September 8, my boyfriend and I drove to the National Harbor to their events grounds to see Ovo – Cirque du Soleil’s newest show. There, the infamous yellow and blue big top tents greeted us at the top of a hill, inviting us to the magic it held inside. Upon closer inspection of our tickets, we were invited to join other VIP guests in the Tapis Rouge room. Once inside, we were greeted by staff holding champagne and wine while a photographer was ready to snap a complimentary photo of us in front of the Ovo display. Once being able to wander, it’s immediately noticed how plush and chic the interior is. And, in the center, a decorative motorized lazy susan displayed artistic hors d’ oeuvres for you to enjoy. This was in addition to the huge pineapples on a stick, with shrimp skewers, servers were walking around with.
About 30 minutes into relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere, it was announced that we were to take our seats. We wandered out of the tent and into the big top where the familiar circus smells were all around: popcorn, funnel cakes, candy and more. After saying hi to a few more friends, we made our way to Section 101, Row D – just a few rows back from the stage. When seated, we noticed the the giant lit-up egg (Ovo means egg in Portuguese) that glowed brightly amongst the dark stage. Soon thereafter, the show began.
To not give away the entire show, it can be summarized as a beautiful concert of bugs, living in harmony. The producer took the best of the animal kingdom and brought together a symphony of ideas, creating a spectacular acrobatic show with a romantic twist. The attendees oohed and aahed over every acrobatic twist, turn and lengthy handstand done, whether in the air or on the stage. Some even commented on the flexibility and balance of these performers, while they maintained full character.
By intermission, we were invited to go back to the VIP tent to enjoy some sweet treats and more champagne. Instead of a rotating lazy susan, there was a static circular display of candy jars and containers to fill up on your favorites, as well as servers with pineapples on sticks, offering chocolate-covered strawberries. It was also really great to catch up with some friends.
By the second act, people were amazed and overwhelmed at the synchonous motions of the grasshoppers and their rock wall/trampoline bounce scene. By far, my favorite to see and probably one of the most challenging to perform right. Although all scenes in this show were amazing, this part was definitely noteworthy enough to make you want to see the show again.
When it was over, the only question left unanswered was the egg and what was inside of it, something no one has the answer to. Still, on the way out, there was a loud buzz of the recounting of all that was seen, the story that unfolded and comments of how each wanted to see it again – I agree. In fact, I’m making it a mission in life to see all Cirque shows still in existence!
Shout outs go to Aba Kwawu, Angie Goff, Katherine Kennedy, Jenny Goff, Kate Michael, Alex Naini and all of those that were there but I didn’t see!