Monday, November 28, 2011

This Day in History v.24

As part of my Mountbatten Programme, we took a day trip to Cambridge, England. I had been to Cambridge before with my other study abroad programme in 2006. So Cambridge was pretty old hat to me by then....ha, just kidding. Its still beautiful!

If you don't know much about Cambridge:

The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about 50 miles (80 km) north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the city.
Cambridge is well known as the home of the University of Cambridge. The university includes the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King's College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. The Cambridge skyline is dominated by the last two buildings, along with the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital in the far south of the city and St John's College Chapel tower in the north.

For the actual university:

It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world, and the seventh-oldest globally. The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge that was formed in 1209, early records suggest, by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, they have a long history of rivalry with each other.
Academically Cambridge ranks as one of the top universities in the world: first in the world in both the 2010 and 2011 QS World University Rankings, sixth in the world in the 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and fifth in the world (and first in Europe) in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Cambridge regularly contends with Oxford for first place in UK league tables. In the most recently published ranking of UK universities, published by The Guardian newspaper, Cambridge was ranked first.
Graduates of the University have won a total of 61 Nobel Prizes, the most of any university in the world. In 2009, the marketing consultancy World Brand Lab rated Cambridge University as the 50th most influential brand in the world, and the 4th most influential university brand, behind only Harvard, MIT and Stanford University,while in 2011, The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings ranked Cambridge as the 3rd most reputable university in the world, after Harvard and MIT.

List of the Popes

Oldest Church in England

Pretty view from a random table

Newton's rock

Francis Bacon

How pretty!

Sir Isaac Newton


Look at that green, green grass!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Hope you are having as much fun as I am today!
Eat lots and drink more!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Harbour, Maryland

The Awakening Sculpture

I recently wrote about the Peep Store at National Harbor! This is actually the second time I had been to the National Harbor, the first time was for a work conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. That place is freaking H-U-G-E! I'd go to the NH more often if there was an easier way to get there! Well, actually there apparently is a bus that leaves from Branch Avenue...but really who goes that far on the green line?!?!?! I think there's a water taxi from Alexandria, but no idea about that. So by car is really the only other option. There are a few awesome places out there that I'd like to go to, but its just a hassle. For example, Bobby Key's, a dueling piano bar...that would be awesome, jsut wish it was closer! They've got events there all year round, like the Holiday Market, summer movie series, culinary festivals, outdoor concerts, and they even hosted Cirque du Soleil in 2008.

There's also this really odd looking sculpture called the Awakening that looks like a statue coming out of the sand. I looked it up on wikipedia, and here's what its all about:

The Awakening (1980) is a 70-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself, located at National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland, USA, just outside the District of Columbia. It was created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. and originally installed at Hains Point, Washington, D.C.

The statue consists of five separate aluminum pieces buried in the ground, giving the impression of a distressed giant attempting to free himself from the ground. The left hand and right foot barely protrude, while the bent left leg and knee jut into the air. The 17-foot (5.2 m) high right arm and hand reach farther out of the ground. The bearded face, with the mouth in mid-scream, struggles to emerge from the earth.


The Awakening was created for Washington, D.C.’s 1980 International Sculpture Conference Exhibition. Although its National Park Service "temporary permit" had long expired, the statue remained for 27 years at the southern end of Hains Point, across the Potomac River from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

In 2007, the National Park Service announced that the sculpture would be moved to the National Harbor, after the artist sold the statue for $750,000. The sculpture was excavated and removed from Hains Point on February 20, 2008, and then was installed at National Harbor in a configuration to correct scale issues that existed in the original sculpture.

Such pretty views!

Different retailers/restaurants around the area

More views

The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Day in History v.23

One of my last escapades before I left London was to mark Tower of London off my to-do list. I was able to visit the place when we had our UBS Christmas Party in tents just outside of it, on its lawn. Yes, it was just as bad-ass as you're thinking....007 theme with plenty of alcohol flowing. This was OBVIOUSLY before all of the investment banks tanked and started cutting staff left and right...thankfully they didn't cut my Christmas party! Anyways, back on topic.

Yes, yes Tower of London. You were awesome. The history, the jewels, the fact that you still have beefeaters in their full regatta is amazing! Beefeaters are actually called The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London. Yeah Beefeater is just so much shorter. They are responsible for looking after any prisoners at the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels, but since there hasn't been prisoners there in YEARS, they act as tour guides.

If you'd like to learn a bit more about the Tower, thanks to Wikipedia, here you go:

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison since at least 1100, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.
Today the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. It is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site.

The White Tower

Yes, there was jousting on the yard. YES!

Beefeater telling us about the history

The lawn I had my Christmas party!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Bloggiversary!

Happy 2nd bloggiversary (birthday) Searching for a Destination Unknown!!! Wow, TWO WHOLE YEARS of blogging?!?!?! Whoa! To read up on my first birthday, click here. To go way back like a car seat (yes, I just said that) and see my first blog, go here.

Lots of things have happened in the past year! Such as:
-I have a boyfriend (cue Joey Laurence "WHOOOOAAAH" here)
-I got a promotion at work!
-I am the VP of Membership of the DC Phi Mu Alum Chapter
-I am the Phi Mu scholarship adviser at American
-I am trying to start the Lambda Epsilon Chapter Association
-I've gone on lots of vacations: Montauk, NY; New York City, NY; Annapolis, MD; Nashville, TN and though I wouldn't call Bonnaroo a vacation, I still went to Manchester, TN.

So, in the past year, I have...
-written 130 posts
-been viewed 9,026 times. (Last year it was only 2,224, whooooaaaaa what a jump!)
-discovered people find my blog by searching the following terms:
  • Sorority Squat
  • Waity Katy
  • Saint Nicholas
  • Car Free
  • Flat Aiden
  • Saint
  • Percy Pigs
-been viewed in 24 countries:
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • US
  • UK

**HELLOOOOO all you people from different countries out there reading my blog!** This shout out is for you!

I find it pretty awesome that people from all over the world read my inner thoughts and maybe I somehow put a smile on your face for just a minute every other day or so. I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for a truly awesome two years. Its been another crazy and exciting year! Stay tuned for what great adventures are in store for the next year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sssssshhhhhoooould I go to Homecoming?

Um, duh betches. Is that even a legit question? OF COURSE I WOULD GO TO HOMECOMING. Duh. I was super excited to see some sisters and people I hadn't seen in the past year or even longer! Like I've said before, I never went to Homecoming while I was in college, but now that we're out and we don't get to see people often, Homecoming is a great time to reconnect and realize that not much has changed since college. We still drink A LOT and can throw down just as hard. The recovery, however, is much more difficult.

You can see other Homecoming posts here and here.

Never have I ever had an itemized list of choices for my jello shots

Why yes, that IS a cooler full of jello shots. ITS JELLO SHOT TIME!!!!!

Yes, they are scared. We learned real quick NOT to take the multi colored layer shot..it was like a small meal that you had to chew...not good. A+ for effort on the delivery Danielle, it was just soooo much.

I flailed around too much and didn't get many pictures.

Love these girls. Not sure why I didn't have the proper squatting technique.

Yay for 20 wonderful years at CNU!

Wow, things sure have changed....we have a house!

Ahh LOVE these girls!

Girls in front of Chris Rice's DJ booth.

Yes, I dressed him. No, I didn't know we matched that much....

Old school Phi Mu tent...you know you know, just how those Phi Mus roll....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome to Virginia

I've ridden the Orange Line every day M-F since April and never noticed this sign until last week. Did you know there is a "Welcome to Virginia" sign on the outbound entrance on the bottom platform in Rosslyn? Well, now you do! Apparently this is the only occurrence of a state welcome sign within the Metrorail system. I'm just full of random, useless information.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lucky Strike

A few weeks ago my team at work had a happy hour at Lucky Strike, an upscale bowling alley in Gallery Place behind the Verizon Center. I forgot how much fun bowling can be! Well, I probably liked it because it was an upscale place and I didn't feel like I was getting leered at by potbellied old men with nothing better to do than bowl. For some reason bowling alleys always freaked me out...not sure why. But this was so much fun!! You should try it some day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deep Throat

Hahahah, not sure why a historical reference to Watergate still cracks me up years after I heard it, but it sure does!! I recently saw this sign erected (haha, also funny...wow I'm like a middle school kid snickering in the corner) close to my gym on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. The sign is near the garage in which Mark “Deep Throat” Felt met up with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward to discuss the Watergate scandal. This location helped unravel the political scandal that ultimately resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

The sign says:
“Mark Felt, second in command at the FBI, met Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward here in this parking garage to discuss the Watergate scandal. Felt provided Woodward information that exposed the Nixon administration’s obstruction of the FBI’s Watergate investigation. He chose the garage as an anonymous secure location. They met at this garage six times between October 1972 and November 1973. The Watergate scandal resulted in President Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Woodward’s managing editor, Howard Simons, gave Felt the code name “Deep Throat.” Woodward’s promise not to reveal his source was kept until Felt announced his role as Deep Throat in 2005.”

Then there's the really really really ghetto sign that marks the actual spot in the garage the two met. I walked and walked and walked until I figured out I was on the B floor and had to go down to the D floor to get to 32D. It was really sketch and quiet in the garage in the middle of the day (much like it probably was at 2am when the pair would meet) and I finally found the marker. I don't know what I was looking for, but it definitely wasn't this:

Yes, that is a "temporary" piece of paper duck-taped to the wall. How very, very interesting. I love how the sign says "Fine for Removal or Defacement of Historical Marker" ... a piece of paper is a historical marker?!?!?! I love what this article says about the location:
Indeed, 32D occupies a dark corner in the lower level of the garage and is adjacent to an exit door that leads up a secluded stairwell and then onto the street, making it easy for Deep Throat to slip away safely after each rendezvous. No clandestine meetings ---that we know of--- happen there nowadays. Could the cigarette butts on the garage floor mean something more than just an innocent smoke?
So there you have it. Deep throat in all of its glory.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How do you Swipe?

Sounds sooooo dirty.....?!?!?!?!?! HA, its totally legit though. I read this article on DCist about how you swipe your metro card. I'm totally a "Slammer", I have commuter rage and I'm just too impatient and I take out my aggression on the stupid turnstile that never wants to work properly!

The article was just too funny not to post:
Which style are you?

Single: You stride towards the faregate, and in a single, smooth motion you tap the SmarTrip card to the sensor. You're confident, composed and conditioned to know that the single tap of the card is enough to let the faregates know, "hey, I'm here, I've got the money, and I'd like to get through."

Slide: You may be just as confident as the single swiper, but you're more interested in efficiency. Sliding your SmarTrip card along the top of the sensor is part of a smooth and energy-saving motion. Timing is everything -- but the people who do this well don't even break a stride as they glide on through the faregates.

Shake: It might be that you're nervous by nature, or maybe you're just not very trusting of technology. Either way, you don't tap, and you don't slide -- you shake. The SmarTrip card has to go back and forth along the sensor at least four times, though more is always preferred. For some reason, much like the antsy elevator rider, you're convinced that seeming pressed for time will encourage the faregates to open more quickly.

Slam: You're the Thor of the commuting world, aggressively slamming your SmarTrip card on the sensor. The faregate doesn't open because you've got money on the card, but rather to spare itself yet another burst of your commuter rage.

Stealth: You're either a spy-in-training or simply too lazy to take your SmarTrip card out. Instead, you touch your wallet to the reader. Or your bag. Or a special lanyard around your neck. Either way, the casual observer is none-the-wiser, for you seem to have tricked your way into the system.

Slow and Steady: Why rush the faregates? You're the type to stop, gently lower your SmarTrip card on to the reader and carefully retract, fearing that any sudden movement will lock the gates completely.

Sleeper: Somehow, you have yet to jump on the SmarTrip train. Yes, you're a paper farecard user, the very type that SmarTrip-holders dread ending up behind.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Annapolis, Maryland

Several times now I've been to Annapolis and I think this was the first visit that I've seen more than the inside of the bar. I made a request to my boyfriend that I actually wanted to experience the city for once! We went to Annapolis for the boat show. This week in particular was the sailboat show, but according to the boy the next week's powerboat show is just so much cooler. Whatever. Ha. Boyfriend's brother lives in Annapolis so its always very convenient for us to visit! The weekend was beautiful in terms of weather and there was lots of drinking on patios for the weekend! I must say that we get along so well because both of our friends are such a hot mess and lots of fun!

Hmm...not so sure about this since I grew up an Army brat!


I think this is the Naval Academy?

I should have taken pictures of all the Sperries I saw at this boat show! Some of the boats required you to take your shoes off before you got on and the piles and piles and piles of Sperries! I actually found out that Sperries do wedges and flats too! WHOA!

Lots of street performers!

OMG I wanted to steal this doggie!!!!! He was a friend of a friend's dog that we dragged to all of these outdoor patios and I just wanted to take him home with me! He was sooooo cuddely. He's a goldendoodle...a mix between a golden retriever and a poodle!

Navy flag

Main street downtown

Ha I find this sign funny

Weird that I took a picture of the cemetery..hahaha

Not sure what this thing is but it was a bar we were at...this was right after I took a few shots. See what I mean about crazy friends!