Tag Archives: free things to do in dc

Update on My Summer Bucket List

cape cod

So, my Summer Bucket List. It feels like just last week I was writing up the list and anxiously anticipating the summer months ahead. Now here we are in the middle of September and I’m already Googling new cognac boots and spending too much money on fall scented candles from Bath and Body Works.

This summer went far from planned. To start, we moved. We had started looking at some new little nest options but weren’t planning on moving until later this season. However, we fell in love with an apartment and it was priced appropriately. In this area those two factors mean ACT NOW. So we did. While we accomplished some things on the Bucket List, many got left behind or forgotten altogether. Despite that, it truly was an amazing summer. We traveled, we “cheers-ed”, we laughed, we lived in the moment, and we were certainly never bored.

Here’s the rundown on our list:

– Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day

So, I didn’t make it to eight. I think I read five? When I created the list I anticipated reading much more on my vacations to Cape Cod and Europe than I actually did. Aside from travel time in the car or planes, I hardly read at all on those trips, which is actually probably a good sign. I will say that by creating a book list I really made it a point to pick up the titles I wanted to read. The list helped put the reading process back into my daily routine (even if I was only reading a few pages before bed), and that was ultimately the point. I definitely plan to create a fall reading list to share later this month.

– Go to Six Flags

Yep, we didn’t make it. We truly had no free weekends, and with all the other awesome things we were doing it never even crossed our minds.

– Attend at least one outdoor concert

Woo! We can actually cross this one off the list. Early in the summer we saw that Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson were going to be performing at Wolf Trap and we scooped up tickets and blocked out the evening on our calendar. Wolf Trap is a really fun and unique concert venue with a rustic vibe. They allow everyone to bring in their own blankets, picnic baskets, and alcohol, so we packed up nibbles and a bottle of wine and had a really perfect summer date night.

– Try three new restaurants in our area

I know we had to have done this, but I’m having trouble remembering what restaurants we frequented all summer. Crepes, BBQ, and lots of fresh seafood were all part of our summer diets, and we made it a point to try out new spots when we went out. While not at all in our area, the best meal we ate this season was hands-down at Barbecoa in London.

– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets

I made it to the Annapolis market (meh), but so far I still haven’t gotten to Fell’s Point for theirs. Free Saturday mornings were at a premium. It is still on my list to get to though, and fall markets are sometimes even better than summer!

– Go to Sandy Point State Park

Nope, didn’t make it. Like Six Flags, it never even crossed our minds. Maybe next year!

– Visit a local winery

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to an actual winery. I did get to a few wine festivals and tried lots of new local wines – even finding some new favorites and go-tos. Boordy still has some events happening this fall, and I’m going to keep this goal for the coming season.

– Make homemade doughnuts

In the midst of travel and moving this never happened. For a couple of weeks there I was doing minimal cooking, let alone baking. Now that my pots and pans are unpacked and I’ve gotten the hang of my new gas stove (love it!) I may give this a go.

– Have a picnic outside on a blanket

We did this a few times, but as mentioned above, my favorite picnic was definitely at the Gavin/Matt concert.

– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants

So the neighborhood we lived in before we moved in August was pretty residential and had deer. Lots and lots of deer. When my first few tomatoes started to appear back in June the deer swept in and ate my plant down to a stump. It is just finally recovering and has a few lone green tomatoes sprouting, but I have low hopes. We have much better outdoor space at our new apartment and I can’t wait to start fresh in the spring.

– Craft something

I think I crafted a few things over the last few months, but I honestly can’t remember. I did finally get around to staining an unfinished wood crate over Labor Day weekend. We used it as part of our wedding reception decor, and I’ve been meaning to stain it for two years now. Inspired by my new outdoor patio space and a three day weekend, I set about staining it and turning it into a small bookshelf/side table. I love the end result and the bit of personality it adds to our primarily Ikea-furnished living space.

– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling

Unfortunately, this never happened. We never saw anything that really struck us that we loved enough to haul around. We do plan to go through some photos and hopefully get some great prints from our travels to add to a gallery wall that is on our to-do list.

So, we didn’t do all that well at crossing things off the list, but so is life. What was something on your summer bucket list that you never got to? Or, what was something fun and unexpected you did this season? xx

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Mid-Week Peaks

Happy Wednesday, friends! The past week included a lovely three-day weekend filled with a visit from family, lots of good food, a baseball game, and more! I shared some shots from the weekend in a photo post on Monday, but here’s a run-down of this week’s mid-week peaks:

  • 4th of July in Annapolis

J’s brother and his wife arrived at our little nest mid-morning on Friday to visit and spend the weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding area. After some lunch and catching up, we made the short drive to Annapolis to show them around one of our favorite cities and soak in the 4th of July festivities. After a walking tour of West & Main Streets, we headed to the Naval Academy to explore the buildings and grounds (despite having done this several times with different guests, J and I always end up discovering something new each time, and we never tire of seeing the beautiful architecture!) We then headed back up the hill, stumbling upon Galway Bay Irish Pub and stopping in for a drink. While Galway Bay was awesome, the weather was perfect on Friday, so we decided to continue the party at one of J’s and my favorite watering holes, 1747 Pub, for some refreshments on the patio.

1747

Sidenote, I just counted, and in the 7ish hours we spent in downtown Annapolis on Friday, we visited 5 different restaurant/bars. In my opinion, the best way to see a city is by foot, eating your through it. Food and drink breaks become a common trend in any sightseeing tour with me and J. 🙂

Over the course of the rest of the evening we enjoyed some time down by the water, taking in the picturesque views before heading across the bridge to the Eastport area of Annapolis to track down Davis’ Pub for dinner. Once we made it back to Main Street, the crowds had really started to grow as everyone prepared for the parade and fireworks. None of us were too interested in sticking around for the traffic jam, so we decided to head to the car and catch the fireworks on TV back home where we enjoyed the A/C, playtime with the cat, and awesome 4th of July/nautical themed sugar cookies I picked up from  Sweet Hearts Patisserie.

Boats on a Bay

  •  A Saturday in DC

We had tickets to a National’s baseball game for early Saturday evening, so after a leisurely morning, we all got set to head into DC for the day. First stop was the National Arboretum, a place I highly recommend to anyone looking for free things to do in DC that are a little off the beaten path. In addition to gorgeous gardens, bonsai collections, and walking trails, the Arboretum also hosts the original columns from the U.S. Capitol. The columns are really stunning, and J’s history teacher brother definitely enjoyed the idea that President Lincoln once walked the very stones we stood upon.

arboretumcolumns

 After a little exploring at the Arboretum, we were all ready for some lunch and headed toward Capitol Hill/Eastern Market for a taste of We the Pizza, one of my favorite DC lunch spots. After we all pigged out on Spike Mendelsohn’s awesome pizza and homemade sodas, we strolled through the open air Eastern Market. With the typical Saturday afternoon bustle, there was plenty to see from all the arts, crafts, and food vendors before making our way to Nat’s Stadium for the baseball game, where the Nationals crushed the Cubs in a 13-0 game.

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By the time Sunday rolled around I couldn’t believe we were almost through the 3-day weekend. Time goes by way too fast when you’re having fun. It was awesome to have J’s brother and wife to visit, as we never get to spend time as just the 4 “kids.” It was such a fun weekend, and definitely the highlight of the week.

What’s been a highlight of your week? How did you spend the 4th of July weekend? xx

4th of July Weekend in Photos

Liberty

Crabby

1747

Cookies

Baby Bay

Boats on a Bay

Bay Sun

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natitude

Mid-Week Peaks

Phew, Wednesday already! If you’re just joining me you can check out the story behind Mid-Week Peaks. Here are a few highlights from the past week:

-Discovered a “Hidden” Gem

A coworker invited me and J to come hear her boyfriend’s band play at a bar in Chinatown Friday evening, so after work we got ourselves together and decided to be social. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown on a Friday night, we ended up at Jackpot DC, a great laid-back basement bar with a good beer list and free popcorn. We would have walked right by if we weren’t looking for it, and it’s somewhere we’ll definitely be back to.

-Saturday in the City

J needed to do an errand in Northwest DC on Saturday, so we planned the day accordingly and headed out to enjoy the gorgeous weather. We spent the afternoon strolling through neighborhoods and enjoying each others company, even ducking into the Corcoran Gallery for a couple of  hours to take advantage of Free Summer Saturdays. The Corcoran was recently purchased by GWU, and its collection is being absorbed by the National Gallery sometime in the near future. Neither of us had been before, and the free admission was a great excuse to see one of DC’s original galleries in all of its glory while we still could. We wrapped up the day at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, enjoying burgers and a milkshake for two. It was one of those perfectly ordinary, fantastic days.

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-Honeysuckle

Aside from maybe cookies in the oven, because… um, cookies!, my favorite smell in the world is probably honeysuckle. I was walking through our neighborhood Monday evening and honeysuckle blooms were everywhere. The smell reminds me of being a kid, playing in the backyard with my brother, and picking the flower and tasting the “syrup” on walks with my mom down to the Dairy Queen for an after-dinner ice cream cone. Ah, summer.

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-J is Home!

This probably should have made the peaks-list last week, but J is officially on his summer hours at work and he’s home in the evenings! From late August – mid-May, J works until after 9:00pm each night. Add in his commute, and I’m lucky if he makes it home by 10. During the summer, he works a normal-person schedule and is home around 6:30. It’s so nice to have my buddy back in the evenings, and he’s a much better conversationalist than the cat.

So there we have it! How’s your week been? Any great highlights to share?