Washington, D.C. To-Do List for Thanksgiving Weekend

Guess who’s stuck in Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving?¬†

Not Taylor Swift, me ūüėČ If you’re raising your hand too, I’ve got a few ideas of things you can do to still have a fabulous weekend in the city.

VOLUNTEER

So you have no family here or you’re stuck having to work on Friday… guess what, there are people who have it worse than you. So why not give back and help those less fortunate.¬†The D.C. Jewish Community Center hosts a number of “everything but the turkey” volunteer events¬†between Sunday November 19th and Tuesday November 21st (including one that is family friendly.) All of the shifts to assist with thanksgiving food preparation the week of Thanksgiving are already full at Food & Friends but you can still buy one of the Thanksgiving Pies they are selling to benefit their¬†Slice of Life initiative (that one’s a win-win for everyone involved!).¬†The Holiday Helpings opportunities at¬†Bread for the City are also mostly all filled up (we’re obviously a city that loves to volunteer!)¬†but you can still find some openings by looking through their volunteer opportunity calendar here. You can also participate in one of the region’s many Turkey Trots like the one benefiting SOME at Freedom Plaza¬†on¬†Thursday, November 23, 2017.

SOME is also accepting Thanksgiving donation baskets at 71 O Street on Friday, November 17 (8AM-4PM), Saturday November 18 (10AM-1PM) and Monday November 20 (8AM-4PM). You can learn more about this opportunity and what they need <here>. 

SEE A SHOW/PLAY/CONCERT/GAME

There’s always something happening at the newly re-branded Capitol One Arena in Chinatown. During Thanksgiving week, we’re looking at Lady gaga on Sunday, November 19th, hockey games on Saturday (Capitals vs Minnesota), Monday (vs. Calgary), Wednesday (vs. Ottawa) and Friday (vs. Tampa Bay) or basketball (Wizards vs. Portland on Saturday November 25.¬†Other concerts include St. Vincent,¬†performing at D.C.’s newest venue The Anthem on¬†November 27 or Diplo at Echostage November 25th. On the more classical side, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform the score from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while audiences relive the magic of the film on giant screens (November 24-25 and 26.)

Picture courtesy of the Kennedy Center

And of course, the Nutcracker starts at the Kennedy Center too… because Christmas. That means yep, A Christmas Carol is back at Ford’s Theater too.¬†Less Christmas-y, you can catch performances of Twelfth Night by the Shakespeare Theater Company at Sidney Harman Hall (November 14-December 20th, tickets here), Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage (November 10-December 24, tickets here) or¬†The Second City Presents ‚ÄėNothing to Lose (But Our Chains)’¬†(November 11 ‚Äď December 31) at Woolly Mammoth Theater.¬†¬†

CHECK OUT AN EXHIBIT OR A NEW MUSEUM

The University of Iowa Museum of Art was kind enough to loan us Jackson Pollock‚Äôs ‘Mural’, the artist’s largest work¬†which will be on display at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building starting November 19th. While you’re there, you can still catch the Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting exhibit which opened on the West Building a few weeks ago.¬† And since the Freer Gallery of Art just reopened after nearly two years of renovations, why not check out its¬†Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt exhibit (Miaou! open through January 15, 2018 at the Sackler Galleries), Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia (open through November 2020) or instagram your way through¬†Subodh Gupta: ‘Terminal a¬†new large-scale installation made from towers of brass containers that are connected by thread.

Image courtesy of the Hauser & Wirth Gallery

You can also catch the last few days of Kingdom of Colors at Artechouse. The¬†¬†immersive visual experience, designed by French filmmaker¬†Thomas Blanchard¬†and artist¬†Oilhack (with a soundtrack by Lyon-based composer Leonardo Villiger), closes November 26th. And there will be 5 augmented reality cocktails at this one! Finally, if that’s your thing, you can also visit D.C.’s newest museum, the Museum of the Bible, which will open November 17 (tickets are free.)

START CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

It might be Thanksgiving weekend, but as soon I’ve you’ve digested that Turkey the city is all about the holidays. Thanksgiving weekend is really Christmas season’s first weekend and you can get into the holiday spirits at one of those events:

  • Season‚Äôs Greenings, the United States Botanical Garden annual holiday show, opens Friday, November 23 (and runs through January 1, 2018.) Tickets are free but you might want to wait until a little later in December when the crowds die down a little. There will be a number of special evenings as well throughout the month with live music… and less children! You can read my recap of the 2015 edition right here.

  • Get a head start on buying those Christmas presents at the Downtown Holiday Market, whose tents will start appearing¬†by the National Portrait Gallery as early as Saturday November 24.¬†¬†
  • If the weather is nice, you can head to the National Zoo for ZooLights, a fun display of LED Christmas lights. (Free admission; 5-9 PM daily; November 24 ‚Äď January 1, 2018)
  • CityCenterDC will light its impressive 75 feet tall holiday tree on Saturday, November 25 (6 PM) Also making an appearance, the 25-foot reindeer (I love those!)¬†¬†
  • Donald Trump and his family will also be lighting the National Christmas Tree that Saturday. You had to enter a lottery¬†to go to the actual ceremony but you can also just go check it out on Sunday instead. In addition to the National Christmas Tree, each state and US Territory has a smaller tree on display in President’s Park.¬†

 

Happy Watermelon Day!

Rather than give you a French inspired recipe using¬†summer’s most refreshing fruit, past√®que, I give you one of the most colourful house in Washington, DC and one of my favourite piece of street art in the city: the Watermelon house!!

DC's Watermelon House

The row house is located at 1112 Q Street near Logan Circle. Its exposed side has been painted in pink and green to resemble a has a watermelon slice, complete with seeds. Story has it all started with a bad paint job and since everything I know about Logan Circle’s famed Watermelon House I know from this Washington Post article, you can read all about it there too.

Oh, and if you really want some recipes, I do have two super refreshing ones for you right here.

Bonne journée de la pastèque!! Are you celebrating?

Bon Quatorze Juillet / Have a Tasty Bastille Day

I just got back from a week of holiday back¬†home. Other than that tiny¬†little event when France lost the UEFA championship to Portugal, everything was absolutely wonderful. If anything, I feel like I got an early taste of the Quatorze¬†Juillet since there were flags absolutely everywhere and I sang the Marseillaise like 50 times (it’s kind of the¬†de-facto soccer chant for supporters of the French national team.) Seriously, my instagram feed (<– follow me!) turned completely bleu blanc rouge over the last 2 weeks ūüėȬ†

A Very French Instagram

A very patriotic instagram

At least I get to pretend I’m back in Paris a little longer because tomorrow is our national holiday (you say Bastille Day, and that’s ok, I say Quatorze Juillet… please just don’t say France independence day!). I’m stoked, as always, to celebrate at the French Embassy with my Frenchies. It’s always pretty special to¬†celebrate July 14th with the French community and fellow French expats from the Washington area every year.

Elsewhere in the city, Washington’s many French restaurants always step up to the plate to celebrate one of the thing we are most proud of: our food!

  • Grab made to order crepes ($10) on the terrace at Caf√© du Parc as well as a wine flight and cheese & charcuterie board ($30) from 5-8PM. After that, head to the restaurant to enjoy a special Taste of Bordeaux menu.
  • Celebrate Bastille Day at Bastille in Alexandria. Out of all the special Bastille Day menu I’ve seen, this is the one that I’m most excited about AND it’s available through¬†July 17. I’d have a hard time deciding what to order between the canard aux p√™ches (see picture below), loup de mer (my favourite fish!) and entrecote B√©arnaise if I went! Bonus: you can add a wine pairing to your menu too!¬†
Canard peche at Bastille in Alexandria VA

Picture courtesy Flash Public Relations via Chef Christophe Poteaux’s facebook feed

  • 2491 in Virginia is celebrating all week, with a special menu through Sunday, July 17. Highlights include a lobster thermidor and a lapin √† la Proven√ßal, which are not items you frequently see on French menus here in the US. The desserts by chef¬†Caitlin Dysart, as always, sound absolutely delightful like¬†the blueberry Vacherin with¬†lavender ice cream or the apricot clafoutis.
  • If you haven’t had a chance to check out La Jambe in Shaw yet, here’s a perfect excuse! They’re come up with an adorable “bleu, blanc, rouge” board special for the holiday, which, along with a glass of wine, will only set you back $20!

    Bastille day at La Jambe

    If shopping is more your scene, City Center DC has some great shops (go easy on the champagne at Louis Vuitton, or your wallet might hurt tomorrow!) AND great food… plus music, wine tasting and mini-facials at Caudalie!¬†

    Bastille Day at City Center

    There’s a ton of tasty pics floating around my instagram feed today and way too many fabulous options to list them all. I’ll give you these two drool-inducing pics though:

    delicious

    But last but not least, of course, you can also celebrate with a night in. It’s going to be like a million degrees tonight, so that’s a perfectly acceptable option! You can always grab a bottle of French wine at one of the many great wine shops around town. I always find some great fun bottles at DCANTER on Capitol Hill and am never disappointed with the amazing selection at Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park. Bonus: Weygandt Wines is offering 20% off its French bottles on July 14th! For the films, I’ve got you covered with this¬†handy list of the best French films on Netflix.¬†

    Anyhoo, as I mentioned I’ll be at the French Embassy tonight… following me on snapchat if you want to see what that looks like on Bastille Day!¬†

    Bon Quatorze Juillet à tous!! 

April’s Fool: A fishy F√™te in France…

poisson d'avril, april's fool in franceThe origins of April Fools are widely debated but the most commonly accepted explanation credits France for starting the holiday. That’s right. It all always come back to the French somehow ūüėČ

According to this theory, April’s Fool goes back to 1564 when King Charles XIV changed the calendar around, moving the start of the year from late March to early January. Not everyone was quick to catch onto the change and some people kept celebrating New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st. And these people had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs and so victims of the pranks were called Poisson d‚ÄôAvril, or April Fish‚ÄĒwhich, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools. Why fish… well, that we don’t know but it stuck for some reason.

1er avril, poisson d'avril
¬†So April Fool’s Day in France is still a fishy f√™te called Poisson d’Avril. One of the most common prank is little kids trying to¬†pin paper fish they’ve either drawn themselves or coloured onto the back of their unsuspecting classmates or parents… But the best part of April’s Fools for most French people is that all the patisseries and bakeries create fish shaped chocolates for the occasion. It may always come back to the french, but for the French, it always comes back to pastries. And that’s not April’s Fools…¬†

Poisson d'avril... au chocolat au lait!

[This post was initially published on this blog on April 1st, 2010. No joke!]

Tips for Enjoying Cherry Blossom Season In DC


Spring is coming! Every year the highlight of the season in Washington is, of course, the annual blooming of the district’s¬†3,000 Yoshino cherry trees. The whole town gets cherry fever and hundreds of thousands of tourists (and locals too) descend on the Tidal Basin and the National Mall to admire the delicate white and¬†pink flowers. This year, peak bloom will hit between March 18-23, 2 weeks earlier than originally anticipated due to the recent warm temperatures. This means most of the¬†National Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs from March 20 to April 17, will probably happen sans-blossom. Regardless, here are a few tips for navigating this huge Washington, DC event.

DC Cherry Blossoms

 

SET YOUR ALARM CLOCK EARLY

The Cherry Blossom trees were a gift of good will from Japan to the United States in 1912 and represent the budding relationship between the two countries. They‚Äôre scattered around the city, but the prettiest, most picture perfect pink concentration is¬†around the Tidal Basin, just off the National Mall. Avoiding the stroller pushing, selfie snapping crowd during peak bloom around there is impossible, but your best bet for some quiet cherry blossom time will be early in the morning on a weekday. Like 7AM early, right at sunrise. The evening is also a lot quieter and you can even join a ranger on a lantern walk from 8-10PM (Fridays/Saturdays 3/18, 19, 25, 26 and March 1 and 2nd.) Don’t forget to check the¬†National Cherry Blossom Festival‚Äôs website for a full schedule of events. The day of the parade (April 16), of the kite festival (April 2) or of Cherry Blossom 10 miler race (April 3) are likely to be even busier than usual.

Cherry blossoms at MLK memorial

LEAVE YOUR CAR AT HOME 

Seriously, don’t drive to the Tidal Basin if you can avoid it. Traffic will atrocious and there’s NO parking out there! The closest metro to the Tidal Basin is the Smithsonian metro stop on the blue¬†and orange lines, though the circulator‚Äôs new national mall line,¬†departing from Union Station, will also get you pretty close.¬†I always walk there from my place, but my best advice is to grab a cab, lyft or uber, especially if you‚Äôre going early in the morning. Capital Bikeshare is a great option for your trip back from the Tidal Basin. On your way there you might not find an empty docket for the bike. Make sure to be on the lookout for one of the pink¬†#bikeinbloom bike too! However you get there, make sure to wear comfy shoes since you’ll be doing a lot of walking regardless.¬†¬†
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

LEAVE THE TREES ALONE 

This¬†really should have been tip number one. Don’t pick blossoms from trees or hold on to a branch. These are big no-nos and if you see someone doing this, you should yell at them. Don’t yell at tourists though for standing on the wrong side of a metro escalator ūüėČ Rookie mistake, just¬†kindly let them know that we have rules here, and that they should be standing on the right, walking on the left.¬†

DC Cherry Blossom trees

BRING SNACKS… AND¬†ALLERGY MEDICINE¬†

Bring some snacks if you‚Äôre planning on walking the whole tidal basin. Even better, bring a blanket, some food and have a picnic. Just remember don’t litter (there aren’t a ton of garbage cans down there) don’t drink alcohol in public. In the United States, there is such a thing as open container laws so you can’t openly drink alcohol in public places like sidewalks, parks or¬†the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. Womp womp… leave that bottle of ros√© at home! Finally ‚Äď take or pack allergy medicine. All over the city all sorts of trees are booming too so even if you’ve never suffered from seasonal allergies before, you might still want to pack or take a¬†zyrtec!

TAKE TO THE WATERS! 

In addition to the tidal basin and the Washington monument area, you can also find cherry blossoms along the shoreline of East Potomac Park, extending all the way to Hains Point. A great way to appreciate those trees is by taking a DC water taxi from Georgetown or from Old Town Alexandria. If the water temperatures are warm enough, you might even be able to rent a kayak from Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown and paddle your way to the blossoms. Perks, you also get a good workout! But one of my favourite things to do during peak bloom is renting a pedal boat at the Tidal Basin for a picture perfect view of the monuments and the dusty pink blossoms reflecting on the water. If you’re headed to see the blossoms on a weekday, you can even book your boat in advance to reduce wait time.pedalo sur le tidal basin a washington

 

THINK BEYOND THE TIDAL BASIN

While the trees along the Tidal Basin are definitely the most striking, there are other pockets of cherry blossom action in other locations across the city. Here are some alternative spots to see the pink-and-white blooms:

  • There’s ¬†more than 20 varieties of cherry blossoms at the 95-acre Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia which is a great option if you don’t want to come all the way into the city. Bonus: the¬†Korean Bell Garden, while not Japanese at all, makes for a very pretty backdrop.
  • Rather than risk having your dog(s) trampled by hordes of tourists at the Tidal Basin, bring your furry friend(s) to the dog-friendly¬†National Arboretum.¬†You and your pup(s) will be able to enjoy cherry blossoms without being overwhelmed by¬†crowds.¬†
  • For families, Stanton Park in Capitol Hill is both lined with pretty cherry trees AND has a playground for your kiddos.¬†
  • Dumbarton Oaks¬†in Georgetown is great for¬†off-the-beaten path cherry blossom viewing. ¬†General admissions there will set you back $8 though.
  • Take a drive through the wealthy suburb of Kenwood¬†near¬†Bethesda where the streets will be lined with¬†cotton candy trees.¬†

IMG_6366_2

 

EMBRACE THE SEASON AND THE PINK

Peak bloom only lasts 4 days and odds are, if you’re not from DC, you’ve had to plans your trip including book your hotel and travel WAY in advance. And odds are it might not coincide with when the blossoms are out. And that’s ok. There’s still SO much you can do. The White House might be blooming with tulips and the capitol ground with magnolias. You can get tickets to the DC United home opener on March 20th (there are additional home games March 26, April 9 and April 16) or the Nationals home opener on April 7 (or one of the follow up games April 9-14 as well as pre-season games April 1-2).

The whole town also turns pink during cherry blossom season, and while it might seem cheesy, I love the way restaurants celebrate with special menu items. I typically stick to the desserts and cocktails though and also use the festival as the official kick-off date for ros√©-drinking season. This time of year is also the perfect excuse to discover or re-discover some of the best japanese restaurants in town. Finally, if you’ve never done afternoon tea at the¬†The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, now’s your chance!¬†The original Japanese delegation to America stayed there in 1860 and the hotel goes all out that to commemorate, with spring d√©cor, a cherry blossom afternoon tea and cherry-inspired cocktails.¬†

Cherry blossoms inspired eats

Cherry rose cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar in Washington, DC

Whether you’re a veteran cherry-blossom festival goer or this is your first time in DC, I¬†hope these tips will to help you navigate cherry blossoms season. Washington is truly pretty in pink and while the Champs de Mars’¬†cerisiers are very lovely too,¬†short of going to Japan Washington’s¬†cherry blossoms are truly some of the most beautiful in the world.¬†If¬†you‚Äôve got any tips to share about cherry blossoms time in DC, let me know in the comments!

Season’s Greenings at the US Botanic Garden

Every holiday season in Washington, I look forward to escaping the winter cold by taking a quick tropical break at the United States Botanic Garden. The dry heat in the desert environment and the warm humidity in the lush tropical rainforest immediately transport you hundreds of miles away. The colourful orchids also have a way of brightening up any grey day! 

Cactus

IMG_4376

IMG_2486

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, this year, there’s not much winter chills to be escaped, but I still looked forward to visiting the indoor garden for another reason: the annual display of National Mall landmarks¬†made out of dried plant materials in the Garden Court. I’m always amazed at how detailed the structures are. For the bigger structures like that of the US Capitol, Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination¬†can spend up to 600 hours turning pine cone scales, acorn caps and cinnamon sticks into intricate works of art! Check it out:

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

The National Monument

The National Monument

The US Capitol Building

The US Capitol Building

US Botanic Garden

Even the US Botanic Garden gets a plant-made replica!

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress structure is so intricate!

Albert Einstein Memorial

One of my favourite DC statue got a replica too: the Albert Einstein Memorial

The Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian Castle

The Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial

The White House

The not-quite-white White House

In addition to the replicas,¬†there’s also a train display in the East Gallery that perfect for young children. Be warned though, there’s typically a long line to get into that exhibit. Otherwise, it’s free as well, just like the rest of the Botanic Garden. Season’s Greenings typically opens the day after Thanksgiving and closes right after the new years. For 2016, the exhibit is open until January 3rd, 2016.¬†¬†

The White House in Gingerbread

One of my favourite “political” memoir,¬†Sucr√© d’Etat*,¬†wasn’t written by a politician at all, but by a pastry chef. And not just any pastry chef: the longest serving executive pastry chef to ever work in the White House kitchen. And a Frenchie of course ūüėȬ†Chef Roland Mesnier¬†made delicious desserts for 5 different presidents starting with Jimmy Carter in 1979 and wrapping up with George W. Bush in 2004.

White House pastry chefs are responsible for the planning, managing and preparing of all desserts and pastries served at the White House, including for State Dinners and for the private entertaining by the First Family. Among the many confections that the White House pastry chef is responsible for is the yearly gingerbread house that is one of the highlights of the holiday displays at 1600 Pennsylvania.

White House Gingerbread

Friday (December 19), he’ll be on hand to talk about his latest book,¬†The White House in Gingerbread, a memoir and cookbook that tells among other things the story behind each of the holiday gingerbread houses he created for display in the White House State Dining Room. And what better place to do that than in front of his latest creation, a STUNNING replica of the White House (the largest one ever created) currently displayed at the Historic Decatur House across from the White House. He’ll be joined by the co-author of¬†The White House in Gingerbread, Chef Mark Ramsdell of Praline Bakery and Bistro in Bethesda from 3-5PM (reservations required here, $25 without the book, $55 with a copy of the book) to sign copies of the book and demonstrate how to build a gingerbread house. The Gingerbread White House is on display until December 22, from 10AM-3PM, Monday-Saturday and is¬†is complimented by a White House holiday inspired d√©cor designed by HGTV design star Genevieve Gorder, host of the annual HGTV White House Christmas Tour. Go check it out!!¬†

 

Experience the sparkle of the season at Georgetown GLOW

Two years ago my friend Sylvain Cornevaux, then Cultural Director for l’Alliance Fran√ßaise, partnered with¬†the Georgetown Business Improvement District and other groups to bring a week-long public art and light display festival to DC’s oldest neighbour. Inspired by Lyon’s renowned¬†F√™te des Lumi√®res, the festival, now in its third year, has now evolved into Georgetown Glow,¬†independently organized by the BID in parallel¬†to their annual holiday window display competition.¬†

The 10-night light art exhibition puts a modern, artistic twist on traditional holiday displays and takes place nightly along the C&O Canal between December 11 and 20th (from 6-10PM). The event still has a bit of a French flair, and three of the five artists represented in¬†Georgetown Glow 2015 –¬†Isabelle Duverger, Arthur Gallice and Herv√© Orgeas, are Frenchies. Overall, the event makes for a fun stroll through Georgetown, especially since the temperatures have been so warm.¬†Here is some of the¬†work presented at¬†Georgetown Glow:

"iGlow" by the DC-based trans-disciplinary design collective HiJAC

“iGlow” by the DC-based trans-disciplinary design collective HiJAC, ¬†is a corridor of light in the courtyard outside of Grace Church in Georgetown

‪DC‬ artist Kelly Towles, known around town for his colourful murals, created the A Happy Place light and video installation for Georgetown Glow 2015.

‚Ä™DC‚Ĩ artist Kelly Towles, known around town for his large scale¬†murals, created the “A Happy Place” light and video installation in the Jefferson Court office courtyard¬†on K Street

 

 Laia Cabrera & Co.'s "Shifting Gaze," a video mapping/sound/animation mashup along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Laia Cabrera & Co.’s “Shifting Gaze,” a video mapping/sound/animation mashup along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

 

Frenchies Herve Orgeas and Arthur Gallice tell the story of 2 "lovers" in 'WIRED People Project: The Lovers" under the historic Wisconsin Avenue Bridge.

Frenchies Herve Orgeas and Arthur Gallice tell the story of 2 “lovers” in ‘WIRED People Project: The Lovers” under the historic Wisconsin Avenue Bridge

 

There’s nothing truly holiday-y in¬†Georgetown Glow, if anything it reminded me a bit of the Nuit Blanche…¬†¬†Curator¬†Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams has been involved with the Downtown BID’s Art All Night event, which I did not attend this year, but have found rather disappointing in the past, perhaps only because¬†the caliber of the work presented falls well below what I have experienced at the original Nuit Blanche in Paris. There were definitely moments, however, at¬†Georgetown Glow where I felt like I could have been at Art All Night, particularly watching¬†Kelly Towles’ “A Happy Place.” I really wish they would bring more work like this and like “Wired” to¬†Art All Night… hopefully next year right?¬†

Until then,¬†Georgetown Glow 2015 is taking place from¬†Friday, December 11 ¬†to Sunday, December 20. All of the work, except Kelly’s, are lit between¬†6 and 10 PM¬†nightly. Kelly gets a shorter window: 7-9PM.¬†Georgetown Glow is organized by the Georgetown Business
Improvement District (BID) with support from the JBG Companies (read this great article about the real estate giant’s sponsorship of street art around town), Jamestown/Georgetown Park, The Washington Harbour Ice Rink, HOK Architects, Hickok Cole Architects, AIR (American Institutes for Research), RB Properties, Inc., Sea Catch Restaurant, Jaguar/Land Rover, The Georgetown Current Newspapers, Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown Suites, and Think Out Loud Productions. Maps are provided though 3 of the five pieces can be found alongside the C&O Canal.¬†

 

 

Holiday Spirit on Ice at City Center DC

I’m pretty sure the folks over at City Center DC didn’t anticipate that it would be 70 degrees outside when they planned a¬†live ice sculpting event for December 12th. Despite the unseasonably warm temperature, the event was a ton of fun! While two sculptors worked on an ice dress and a Christmas tree at the Park at CityCenterDC, additional sculptures were slowly melting away in Palmer Alley! My favourite was the Birkin bag, of course ūüėČ

Check out some of my pictures below. 

Ice sculpture at city center DC

Live ice sculpting at City Center DC

Ice sculptures at City Center DC

 Ice Menorah at City Center DC

Carolers at City Center DC

Ice sculpture at City Center DC

Ice sculpture at city center DC
And while I’m pretty sure none of the sculpture survived the evening, you can catch more icy action at the National Habor where ICE! at Gaylord National¬†features 2 million pounds of¬†hand-carved ice sculptures and five ice slides, among other attractions, inside 15,000-square-foot tent kept at a cool¬†9 degrees. Ok, that’s actually cold not cool! Brrr.¬†

It’s the Most Boozytiful Time of The Year

Mad props to my good friend Colleen who made this awesome wine advent calendar for her office. OK, yes, it helps that she works in the wine industry… but still, I think we all agree this is THE best way to countdown to Christmas day!

Picture courtsey of Colleen V. for International Cellars Inc.

Picture courtesy of Colleen V. for International Cellars Inc.

I’ve seen a lot of super original and cute advent calendar inspiration online this season, but this one is by far my favourite!! Every day until the 25th, International Cellars will be highlighting a different wine and region with a bottle from their advent calendar so make sure to follow them. And if you’re looking to make your own wine advent calendar (it’s not too late right?) World Market has a great tutorial (and sells the wine rack you need to make it, of course!)¬† Make sure the last bottle is champagne that you’ll toast Christmas with!! Cheers!¬†