Friday, December 30, 2011

POV/Christmas Tree Lighting

Last week or so my sorority and I went for rooftop drinks on top of the W hotel and then walked over to see the National Christmas Tree. I had never been up to the rooftop bar (called POV) and the views were AH-MAZING to say the least!!!! They had the heaters on and the windows open and it was a perfect night to be up there, not a cloud in the sky! It was so fun pointing out different landmarks and trying to visualize where you were on the DC map.

Here's what the W hotel website says about POV:
Feel the buzz of getting high up where the nation's most important monuments and spectacular landmarks are all around you at our 11th-floor rooftop terrace bar. Be outed when you step onto the terrace and cozy down in bold velveteen red banquettes and steel-framed daybeds, or make yourself comfortable in chocolate high-back wicker lounge chairs under a majestic red-and-white awning with glossy ceiling fans. An outdoor bar paneled in fresh green grass provides direct access to seasonal sips to go with the sunshine or sunset, and toast to unadulterated panoramas of the cityscape. Our POV—and yours—gets sharper as the evening progresses, especially when the sights light up at night!
Drinks are QUITE pricey, glass of wine started at $10 and cocktails start at $16. But to have one or two cocktails with some of your sisters and to admire the view, that price isn't so bad! I was so interested in the view, I didn't take any pictures really of the place...oh well!

In the summers they host a workout/brunch that is supposedly super fun. I think for $50 bucks you get a workout and then brunch...with UNLIMITED bellinis and bloodies.

After indulging in a few cocktails, we headed over to see the tree! We had a great turnout to the HH and the tree and I was SO glad this year the weather cooperated and it wasn't too bad out! Last year I was going to go but it was BEYOND freezing and I had no interest in loosing any appendages to frostbite. I went to see the tree lighting this year but this was the first time I had been up and close to the tree. As I said before, the tree is new this year after a bad storm took out the last one back in April. Every time I see this tree I'm a bit disappointing in the size. I don't know why but I always think its going to be bigger in person. Oh well.

Really cool interesting ceiling light in POV

National Christmas Tree

Virginia State Christmas Tree
(every state sends their own decorations in to decorate their state tree)

Guess I never got close enough to the Christmas tree to notice
there is a train that loops around the space and there's even this little town set up too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wreaths Across America

I recently volunteered with Wreaths Across America where I placed wreaths on the graves at Arlington Cemetery. I found out about the opportunity through work and there were roughly 90 people from my company. This is the 20th year that WWA has been laying wreaths across their 600+ locations. I brought my dad and my boyfriend, and even some of his family (!) to help out.

A little about WWA:
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992. Our mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on the second Saturday of December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
You can sponsor a wreath for $15 or donate any dollar amount here. This year was a bit chaotic and uncoordinated (from the feedback I heard) because this is the first year they let people place wreaths anywhere in the cemetery. Before, there were designated areas blocked off for the wreaths and the trucks, obviously, stayed around there. This year, trucks were dispersed all around the cemetery so after the opening ceremony in the amphitheater, everyone was in one area and headed to similar trucks and there were long lines and the wreaths ran out. One of my colleages later said that they walked further out and after about an hour of walking was able to find a truck that still had wreaths and everyone was able to contribute. Of course, the metro was single tracking on the blue line that morning (the only line into the cemetery) so people from my company we were all supposed to meet at the visitors center, but that didn't happen. Oh well, we still got to be a part of a really unique and special event!

All of the wreaths were brought in huge 18 wheelers

There were so many volunteers and not enough wreaths that a lot
of people only got a few wreaths to place on graves

I learned that you place rocks on Jewish graves as a way
to show that you have come to pay your respects.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Eastern Market

Well, I can finally scratch visiting Eastern Market off my bucket list. And sad to say I wasn't that impressed. I mean, granted I was super spoiled with outdoor markets in London and I loved the FABULOUS Borough Market, this one disappointed. I guess if the concept of outdoor markets were new to me, I'd find this cool but alas, I did not.

Let's compare the differences from Wikipedia:

Eastern Market (DC)

The Eastern Market is a public market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., housed in a 19th century brick building. The Eastern Market is on the National Register of Historic Places. Badly damaged by an early-morning fire on April 30, 2007, the market building reopened on June 26, 2009.

The Eastern Market was designed by Adolf Cluss and was in continuous operation as a public market from 1873 until April 30, 2007. It was the first in a larger city-owned public market system, initiated to urbanize Washington, make orderly provision for the distribution of goods to its residents, and serve as a magnet to draw residents.

The market nearly closed because of competition from grocery store chains and a decline in neighborhood investment. Local residents fought to keep it open, and the area has since been revitalized. Eastern Market continues to host a thriving farmers' market. Fresh meats, baked goods and cheeses are sold from indoor stalls, and fresh produce is sold outside along the tent-covered sidewalk. Artisans and antiques dealers also sell their goods outside the market on weekends, making Eastern Market a popular stop for locals as well as tourists. The Market 5 Gallery organizes art shows, music and theater performances, and craft sales at the Eastern Market.

Borough Market (London)

Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in Southwark, London, England. It is one of the largest food markets in London, and sells a large variety of foods from all over the world.

The wholesale market operates on all weekday mornings from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., but the retail market operates only on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market, which has focused historically on fruits and vegetables, has in recent years added stalls dealing with the fine food retail market, including famous traders.

The present market, located on Southwark Street and Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, is a successor to one that originally adjoined the end of London Bridge. It was first mentioned in 1276, although the market itself claims to have existed since 1014 "and probably much earlier" and was subsequently moved south of St Margaret's church on the High Street. The present buildings were designed in 1851, with additions in the 1860s.

Stallholders come to trade at the market from different parts of the UK and traditional European products are also shipped over and sold. Amongst the produce on sale are fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. There is also a wide variety of cooked and snack food on sale for the many tourists who flock to the market.

Pretty cool bike lock place

Meats for sale

A door into the building part of Eastern Market

Beautiful flowers for sale

Friday, December 23, 2011

Too True

My good friend Sami sent me this card and I had to chuckle. It is sooooo true! Even she is preggers! I am super happy for all of my friends that are pregnant (there's like 8 of them right now!) and I'm just glad its them and not me! I will NOT be drinking the water any time soon! As my FB said a few weeks ago:
All these people getting knocked up... I'm just getting drunk..... Dear LBJ (little baby Jesus) thank God.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Think You Know How to Google?

I knew some of this, but man, how useful is this?!?! Pretty cool!

(click to enlarge)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Notable Phi Mus in History

To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand. To think of God as a protector and guide of us all. To keep forever sacred the memory of those we have loved and lost. To be to others what we would they would be to us. To keep our lives gentle, merciful and just, Thus being true to the womanhood of love. To walk in the way of honor, guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds. Being steadfast in every duty small or large. Believing that our given word is binding. Striving to esteem the inner man above culture, wealth or pedigree. Being honorable, courteous, tender, Thus being true to the womanhood of honor. To serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn. To give freely of our sympathies. To reverence God as our Maker, striving to serve Him in all things. To minister to the needy and unfortunate. To practice day by day love, honor, truth. Thus keeping true to the meaning, spirit and reality of Phi Mu.

Every time I see or speak our creed, I get a bit tingly inside. It amazes me that so many women have come before me and have stayed steadfast to the ideals of noble womanhood.

According to my good friend Wikipedia, the following women have paved the path in the past 159 years and made great strides along with Mary Ann Dupont (Lines), Mary Elizabeth Myrick (Daniel), and Martha Bibb Hardaway (Redding) in making waves in history! All of these women are awesome! And every other Phi Mu too :)

Arts and Entertainment



  • Evett Simmons (Alpha Tau) - president of the National Bar Association
  • Pat Mitchell (Alpha Alpha) - president, PBS
  • Toria Tolley (Beta Nu) - VP/consultant, The Psychological Advantage, former CNN weekend anchor
  • Tammy Cohen (Alpha Lambda) - owner and founder of Employers Reference Source, Inc. (ERS)

Politics & Public Service

  • Carol Laise (Gamma Delta) - U.S. Ambassador to Nepal 1966-1973, first woman director general of the Foreign Service
  • Betty Montgomery (Delta Kappa) - first female Attorney General of Ohio
  • Melinda Schwegmann (Alpha Eta) - first female Lt. Governor of Louisiana
  • Elizabeth Weaver (Delta) - former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and chief justice
  • Tova Wiley (Eta Alpha) - first woman to hold the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy, winner of the Legion of Merit Award
  • Beverly B. Martin (Alpha Iota) - U.S. Federal Judge, sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit



  • Gail S. Barron (Alpha Alpha) - winner of the Boston Marathon, 1978.