Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Girl's Weekend in the District

My husband's schedule flips flops constantly and every other month he works EVERY weekend. (Bummer, I know.) But this weekend I decided that I would make it count, it was so dismal and rainy the weeks before. And what better way to do that than support a great cause and enjoy Alexandria with my girlfriends? 

Supporting The Tiger Lily Foundation at the EmPOWER Ball. I want to urge all of my readers to look into this organization that supports women battling  breast cancer. Maimah Karmo's story is incredible. The event truly made an impact on me. My grandmother passed from cancer and I left the Hilton McLean saturday night tremendously moved and ready to volunteer my time. A big thank you to The DC Ladies for telling me about the EmPOWER ball.

And then of course, brunching on a Sunday in Old Town. French Toast Brioche... what can I say? Best anywhere. Followed by some strolling the colorful of streets and parks surrounding the area. 

What am I wearing?

Gown- BCBG Max Azria
Jeans- Jcrew 
Sweater- Jcrew 
Coat- London Fog
Shoes- Coach

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm Going Back to Charleston, Back to where I Belong....Well after DC :)

In 1939 when Rhett Butler (aka Clark Gable) said those infamous words leaving Scarlett crying in her mansion, a crowd of teenagers in a local theater stood up cheering. They cheered for their city, now named one of the best cities in the world, Charleston SC. No, that's not recorded in a history of film book anywhere. I heard it as a little girl, crawled up next to my grandmother listening to stories about her home. 

This past July my Mom, myself and some friends travelled down to Charleston SC. We piled up in a van and drove the eight hours from DC to land in Charleston around six pm. I noticed my mom's face soften and I could tell she was recalling the summers of her childhood spent with her grandparents and cousins. What crossed my mind was... GRANDMA why on earth did you let Papa take you up to the frigid northeast?! You see my grandparents had a very notebookesque story. They met at a USO dance right after the war. They fell in love and started a life together in my native CT. But I still feel a connection to this place. My wonderful aunt lives there. The history is amazing. The southern cuisine is sooo delicious I promise you won't eat for days after you return home from your visit. 

My tips for a visit:

Go to the battery. The history lover will just swoon at the homes that overlook the harbor. You can't help but imagine yourself walking one of the balconys waiting to attend a party. 

Rainbow Row. Quick but worth it. You can end your walk of the battery here. 

The Hominy Grill. Reccomended by my Aunt Honey and to die for! Pumpkin Ginger Bread is a must. 

Avoid the busy beaches and if you want to sun yourself go to one of the islands. 

Mt. Pleasant. Dinner at the Shrimp Boats. 

Charleston Tea Plantation. The only tea planatation in America and free samples. Cheap tour 10$. 

The Angel Oak. Breathtaking.

Walk the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant. If you look closely at some of the shops you can see old signs from the '40s. 

Magnolia Cemetary. No one will be there, but you can learn so much from a cemetary. The old Civil War graves send a chill right through you. 

The Citadel. My grandparents were married here after the war. There is a beautiful Church and a small museum that gives you some interesting facts about students throughout the centuries.

Pineapple Fountain. Just for a neat picture. You can wade in it "at your own risk."

So even though I went on this trip before I started my blog I wanted to share it with you all. Charleston is a place where you can truly experience the beauty of the South and a piece of United States History. 

Some photos from my trip:

Doris and Herbie. The Grandparents. LOVE. 

The McClenaghan Family home.

You cannot visit Charleston and not get Chicken and Waffles. A personal favorite. 

My Mom and I on the Battery.

The shrimp boats in Mt. Pleasant. 

Although I went to Charleston awhile ago I wanted to share this with you all in the hopes you will pack up a car on a long weekend and GO! Experience this wonderful city.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall with the Founding Fathers

This weekend was my cousin Karen's last weekend in DC. She was here on assignment for two months and I have been totally spoiled. We've  had a pretty awesome time together meeting for dinner downtown, enjoying wine nights and this weekend we ventured to the western part of VA to the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Monticello is absolutely breathtaking. The home is unlike any other historic site I have visited before. Jerfferson is my favorite founding father after all, so of course I'd be partial to his estate. The tour is about forty five minutes and walking the grounds takes you past lush gardens and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After we toured the home, gardens and visited the Jefferson gravesite ( his descendants are still buried there HOW COOL) Karen and I were famished. We ate a quick bite at the cafe and she blurted out "So we HAVE to got to Montpelier now!" OK.

We took the wrong turn five times but made the last tour of James' and Dolley Madison's home. What I liked about Montepelier was that it was a work in progress. They aren't just placing period furniture in rooms and saying this is what James and Dolley would have lived like. They are doing lots of research to find Madison original pieces etc.... and it was so serene. Dolley is known for her love of parties and socializing. But here was her refuge. When you go stand on the porch in the front of the house and gaze at the Blue Ridge Mountains you will never want to leave. 

So verdict: if Brent ever wanted to take me away to Charlottesville I'd be on board.  

Here are some shots from the day... but before I go I want to encourage all my readers to support public history. Take the short drive out to Monticello and Montpelier and visit the homes of these remarkable individuals.


What I am wearing

Shoes: Ann Taylor
Jeans: JCrew
Shirt: JCrew
Scarf: JCrew
Sweater: Banana Republic