a holiday with friends

Not only do I love Fourth of July but I love having visitors. I am so excited about this weekend because both of those things will be mixed together. Two years ago I was introduced to Emily, who was interning in DC, and we hit it off. Ever since that summer our friendship has thrived. Emily has spend a 4th in DC before but now she is bringing her boyfriend Rob along for a wild ride. Read below to hear Emily’s thoughts and expectations for this holiday weekend.

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

a DC Fourth of July

guest blog presented by: Emily Gydesen
You can find Emily on LinkedIn & check out her blog she had running while she was in DC.

As an avid follower of “omg it’s kendalann”, I was very excited when Kendal asked me to write a post about my upcoming weekend in DC. Two summers ago, I had the incredible opportunity to spend two months living and working in our nation’s capital. I met so many great people in DC that summer and I am fortunate that my friendship with Kendal has continued despite our geographical separation (I currently live about 6 hours northeast of DC, in Albany, NY).   Fireworks

This will be my second time getting back to DC since my summer there. While it is going to be a very quick trip, I am so looking forward to everything we have planned! To kick off our celebrations for the day, a group of us are going to watch the Washington Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs! I can’t think of many things more American than going to a baseball game on the 4th of July. To continue the celebrations after the game, I am hopeful we can find some frozen red, white and blue margaritas to cool down a little. If there is one thing I remember from my summer in DC, it is how hot and humid it can get in the city!

Hopefully, if all goes as planned, the only thing we’ll have to worry about during the day is where we want to watch the fireworks from in the evening. Even though the fireworks won’t start until dark, it is very important to claim a spot early because of the large crowds of people around for the day’s festivities. Two years ago, I watched the fireworks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I’m excited to see where we watch them from this year!

The only other thing I really want to do while in DC is go out for brunch on Saturday morning! Until I lived in DC, I had no idea how much fun brunch can be. Many restaurants in the capital offer specials for their weekend brunches. I would recommend checking out reviews and trying a number of different places before settling on a favorite spot. This weekend, we are going to try a new place for brunch, a local restaurant called Medium Rare. I’m excited!

I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July!! Thanks for reading 🙂

a harvard study

on 4th of July

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

For as long as Americans (and really, I) can remember, the nation has celebrated the Fourth of July by staging grand fireworks shows in public squares and lighting smaller displays at home. Did you know that 4th of July festivities could make you more Republican? A few weeks ago, one of our friends said, “did you know that you are 6%DC-fireworks-skyline more Republican for every year you watched the fireworks with your family as a child?” This statement got me to thinking and after some research this is what I found, according to the report, published by Harvard University, July 4th-themed festivities (defined by the study as fireworks, parades, political speeches, and barbecues) not only energize primarily Republicans, but also turn children into Republicans and increase GOP voter turnout.

“In 2010, an estimated 144 million Americans age 18 or older celebrated Fourth of July by attending a barbecue. Another 98 million watched the fireworks or went to a community festivity, while more than 28 million saw a parade,” the authors write. “Beyond the immediate fervor of the festivity, however, do national day celebrations matter? Does participation in national ceremonies and parades have a deeper impact by affecting children’s political beliefs, identity, and behavior?”

Simply put: “Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party. All in all, attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent,” says the report, which was written by Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.

This is a fascinating article to me, after living in DC and reading this article seeing the fireworks and celebrating the FOurth of July gives a new reason and light to all of the festivities. As we know, not everyone will be particularly concerned with the possible political implications of July 4th celebrations. If you’re looking for a more patriotic experience, you might want to check out a parade in a particularly Republican-skewing part of town – according to the report, “Republican adults celebrate Fourth of July more intensively in the first place.”

I for one, love the Fourth of July. Having the opportunity to celebrate such an awesome Nation. Plus, the fireworks display in Washington, DC is unlike any other in the United States. The show, is administered by the National Park Service and it illuminates all of the monuments from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Make sure you get to your location early because the show begins at 9:10 PM. The show lasts roughly 17 minutes and will be accompanied by live music from “A Capitol Fourth,” the concert held each Independence Day on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn. Whatever you political leanings are, make sure you get out and see the amazing show and celebrate the birthday of our Nation’s Capital!

location, location, location

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

Folks, I am talking about the 4th of July in our Nation’s Capital. No, it’s not “too far” away to start planning the best holiday known to mankind. Fourth of July in Washington, DC is something special. DC is crawling with tourists who infested the city like a bad flu, but even with them around nothing can stop me from enjoying the birthday of my nation.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. Where are you watching your fireworks? After a long discussion with my friends we finally found the perfect place! No, I am not telling you where we are going, but I will tell you a few gems for suggestions. Spectacular views of the fireworks can be seen from the following:

I hope you use one of these locations for fireworks or find an even better hidden gem!

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.


I have a dream

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Today we celebrate a big day. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. In this speech he called for an end to racism in the United States. He delivered this speech to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. This speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

stop, hoodie time

party with your friends

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

A boy from Brooklyn makes all his dreams come true. Every time he walks out on to that stage, thouhoodie-allen-tickets_11-21-13_3_51f17ce1c9c04sands of eyes are locked on him. He begins to rap and the crowd goes wild. The crowd is thrilled. We are sharing one of those moments with each other. It’s that moment when he stops and holds to mic out, for everyone to rap to his lyrics. That’s the moment. It’s defines everything, and you know what for this guy it happens at every one of his shows. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am talking about Hoodie Allen.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend my third Hoodie show. Just like the first, it was incredible…absolutely breathtaking. This guy, puts on a show like nothing I’ve seen before. I try my hardest not to like him as much as I do, but I can’t help it. I love what he stands for. I love the beats, granted the lyrics are getting a little shotty, but over all he remembers his fans (especially the ones who were with him when he had nothing) and he’s gracious.  I remember standing in a room with maybe 200 other devoted fans the first time I saw him take stage. This time there were easily thousands (2,200) of people dancing with me and singing along at his sold out show. I am amazed at what he has done and where he will be going with his music career.

Like he said last night to all of his loyal fans who have been with him since the beginning, this one’s for you (sidebar, I thought he was going to go old school, no he went two years ago when he was just getting big– I wish he would have played Long Island Iced Tea for all the fans from the beginning, instead he played one of my favs, take a listen)

halloween in the city

nothing like celebrating halloween

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

I love tours and tours in DC are never disappointing. There is always something to learn and something to see, over all it’s a wonderful time. I bring you three Ghost Tours that DC has to offer. Granted I haven’t been on one yet, the reviews say they are some one scary. These tours will dive into the ghostly history of DC. What are you waiting for?

National Building Museum Ghost Tour

This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up, so feel free to bring your kids along on this one. Tales of mystery, murder and ghosts are just a few of the things you can expect to hear. If legend is to be believed, you may see a few things of interest as well.

Tours are offered weekly in the fall, so visit the museum site for more details.

Natalie Zanin’s Ghost Story Tour of Washington

Started in 2001, this tour bills itself as the district’s longest running ghost tour. They must be doing something right (or wrong, to keep having these undead spirits haunting around them all the time). The Ghost Story Tour is another family-friendly attraction (children age eight and older are welcome). Purchase tickets online here.

Washington, DC Ghost Tour

These tours are getting more and more family-oriented. The Washington D.C. Ghost Tour prides itself on providing accurate information on the rich (and sometimes scary) history of the nation’s capital. The tour takes place in Lafayette Park, which is also known by the less inviting “Tragedy Square,” and seeks to be one of the most creepily informative tours you’ll ever take.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Fright at the Museum: Dead Man Walking

This sounds like so much fun! Fright at the Museum takes place at the Crime Museum in DC. The museum is turned into a haunted house, and said to be one of the scariest in the city.

Tickets can be purchases online here.

THE ZOO– of course they celebrate Halloween. Check out these awesome events.

Boo at the Zoo

October 25-27, 2013, 5:30-8:30 p.m. National Zoo, Washington, DC. Visit bats, spiders, owls, and other animals at the zoo while trick-or-treating. Enjoy animal encounters, keeper talks, festive decorations, and haunted trails at the annual National Zoo’s Halloween celebration. Costumed volunteers will hand out candy at more than 40 treat stations.

Night of the Living Zoo

October 30, 2013, 6:30 – 10 p.m. National Zoo, Washington DC. Wear your best costume while enjoying the zoo by moonlight. Experience bone-chilling and mind-boggling performance art including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists. You must be at least 21 years old to attend this event. A valid ID is required for admission. This is an adults-only event.

With all of these awesome events going on in DC for Halloween, I will certainty get my fill. I can’t wait to go on a ghost tour, learn about the city’s history and to event step into a haunted house. For me Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and this year I will be celebrating properly.