playing dress up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s that time again. Matt and I always seem to have visitors and house guests. Since April, our house has been a turn style of people. This week, we are back in the saddle once again and we find ourselves playing dress up. I like playing dress up especially when it’s to be a tour guide.  When most people visit DC their time is often spent on the National Mall, but there’s much more to the city than that. As a resident of the area,  I can tell you there are lots of other interesting places to explore than the Mall. So here are some suggestions of interesting places besides the National Mall to take your out-of-town visitors.

1. Waterfront- If you are heading down to Nationals Park or going to Bluejacket, the Waterfront is an awesome area to take your guests. While you are down there you might as well take them to the Titanic Memorial.

2. Roosevelt Island– This is a hidden gem in the city. Often, I don’t take people here, but when I do they are always thankful.

3. The Roofdeck of the Kennedy Center– This one is prime. Now that the Old Post Office Pavilion is closed and the Washington Monument isn’t open (yet) this is one of the best view’s in the city next to the P.O.V Lounge.

4. A Capitol tour– Sure, I am a nerd and yes, this is my favorite place but I think everyone needs to go here at least once.

5. Old Town Alexandria– Woah, calm down  I know this isn’t “in the District” but it’s a great place and really screams East Coast mixed with Southern hospitality. King Street is a major road in Alexandria and it will lead you to explore the historic Old Town Alexandria. 

6. Eastern Market– It doesn’t matter if you like art, food, or music there is something for everyone at Eastern Market.

Go out and explore. Next time you have guests in town, I hope you take them “off the beaten path” and do some local things rather than making their stay totally tourist.

visitors

Being a tourist in your own city is never fun unless you have a really good excuse. I used to have a great excuse, Matt, but then he moved here and became a local. This week Matt and I have visitors coming for a week, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them all the tourist places while getting the local flavor. I asked Matt to write a blog about being on the “other side” of the tourism trap in DC. It’s one thing having someone guide you around this city, but it’s another to play the role of tour guide.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#MinnesotansTakeOnDC

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

Tonight, and for the next week, two of my friends from Minnesota will be visiting and staying with Kendal Ann and I. I’m pretty excited. Yes, I’ve made some great new friends in my short time living in DC thus far, but it’s always great to see friends from back home who you haven’t seen in a while. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality with friends and exploring this great city even more.

One of the odd things for me will be taking the role of tour guide instead of being a tourist when my friends are here. As I said earlier, I’ve only been living in DC for a short time, but before that, when Kendal Ann and I were doing the long distance thing, I visited quite frequently. Those frequent visits took me to lots of new places that I had never heard of or had been to before. It was great – so many new firsts and I still have new firsts every week! But seeing all these new places and learning more about this city has given me my own view of places I think are interesting, places I’ve seen but have never been to before and places that I won’t ever go back to. I think that happens to everyone though once they start living somewhere new because you really start to try new things and new places, all while figuring out what you like and what you don’t like.

I think that I have a pretty decent grasp on where to go and how to get around in the city. However, I still accidentally walk past the White House and when it finally registers with me I’m like, “Oh hey, Obama” in my head. One interesting thing though that won’t be problematic per say, is the fact that I stick to routes that I trust and routes that I know when getting from Point A to Point B. Like I said, not a bad thing, but it’s something that I should try to work on while being the tour guide, just so my friends get a variety of different views throughout the city.

Overall, I’m looking forward to giving my friends a view of DC through my eyes, focusing on the sights and sounds that I think are important parts of the current city that I live in. It’s going to be a great week with big things on the horizon. I’ll give you an update of how it went next week!

If you’re interested in the things that I’ll be doing and the places that I will be taking my friends, I’ll just leave a link to my Twitter and the hashtag #MinnesotansTakeOnDC.

Albany, NY

hello, upstate!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Later today, I will be getting on a plan that will take me from Washington, DC to Albany, NY. Yes, that’s right, I am heading to Upstate New York and I simply cannot wait. Thankfully, this trip does not have a business entity looped in. The trip is only for personal purposes. After 11 months without seeing my dear friend, Emily, I will once again be reunited with her (and you too, Patrick, even though it’s been two weeks, it feels like 11 months!).

For this trip, I have no expectations other than fun and seeing the true life of an “Upstate-er”. I am sure we will walk down memory lane which will include the Empire State Plaza, state capital and Saint Rose campus. From my understanding, Albany’s neighborhoods are varied demographically, geographically, architecturally, and historically- just like any other city. Downtown Albany is the city’s oldest neighborhood and centered on State Street. Downtown Albany has the oldest streets, but today downtown consists mostly of office buildings inhabited by state agencies, though a recent push to bring in permanent residents has led to proposed apartments and condominiums.

For me, Albany is about a new adventure, rekindling of friendship, laughter and one step closer to checking off a few things on my 2014 bucket list. I believe you should travel to one new place every year, but this year I want to make it to three new places.

Albany, I cannot wait to see you in all your glory!