Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

Haunting Up A Good Time With Alexandria Ghost Tours


Photo courtesy of Flickr user dave_7

This past weekend I was invited out to join some of my friends on a Ghost and Graveyard Tour of Old Town Alexandria. Run by Alexandria Colonial Tours, the one-hour walk is guided by a costumed guide (complete with candle-lit lantern) and covers six-blocks around historic Old Town around King Street. Just as advertised, “your guide will abandon you in a graveyard!” My friends joked that the walk was pretty much a tourist trap but even as locals we learned a thing or two about some of the culture and traditions of 18th century America. I was intrigued that hand fans used back in the day actually conveyed more than a cool breeze. Some of the more notable stops along our South route tour included Gadsby’s Tavern and the historic Christ Church, who’s graveyard served as the final point in our tour.

Besides our tour guide, we ran into quite a few costumed actors along the route which added to the atmosphere of the story-telling whether they were placed on purpose or by coincidence. Our group did have a laugh when we saw one of the actor’s answer his cell phone and give directions to the tavern.

If you are interested in ghosts, history, or people dressed up in 18th century garb, then Old Town Alexandria should be your next stop.

Tours run through November 28th with tickets priced at $10 for adults, $5 for children 7-17. Check out their website for complete times and details.

On Location Tours: Seeing The Other Famous Side Of DC


Courtesy of On Screen Tours

Living in our Nation’s Capital means living in one of the most traveled to destinations in the country. We put up with tourists during Cherry Blossom season, spring, summer, full, and sometimes winter. As a result we have a strong market here for all kinds of tour companies, everything from double decker buses to segway people movers.

However earlier this month I got to go on a tour that is a bit different that your average tour company. On Location Tours, known for putting on tours of television and film location tours in New York City, has recently launched a new tour company that focuses on showing off DC locales that have been used in some of your favorite movies and TV shows. The tour makes sense since our city’s famous places are often filmed- it’s not too surprising to see a shoot on The National Mall or an explosion in Georgetown.

It all starts at Union Station (where all the tours usually start) where I went to meet the “local actor” that leads all of their tours. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the tour guide a local actor but also my friend David Vargas who I recently worked with on Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Vargas did a great job interacting with the group and providing all the facts in an entertaining and enjoyable way. Having a working actor giving the tour also provided an insider look at how films are made;  David answered lots of questions fro the group about working as an actor on the set.

At first the tour took us to all usual tourist attractions: The Capitol, The Lincoln Memorial, and other sites along The National Mall. However what made it interesting, and frankly what I think is the greatest asset to the tour, are the movie clips that were shown in the bus throughout the tour. It made it really interesting to see a location and then instantly see it as depicted on the screen. What also impressed me during the tour was just the sheer number of films have actually been filmed in this city. On Location Tours did some great research and I was pleasantly surprised to learn about and visit locations from True Lies and Wedding Crashers.

Tours run every Saturday morning at 10 AM and lasts for 2.5 hours. While you may think that a guided tour maybe a touristy thing to do, the group I was in was actually full of locals who really enjoyed learning more about the area they work, live, and play in. If you are a fan of the movies, it’s definitely a different way to experience Washington DC.

On Location Tours

Hello DC

Sticky Fingers Vegan BakeryGood morning! I’m Sean, one of the dudes who helped build this whole Metblogs thing. Usually I call Los Angeles home but this week I’m here in DC. I was actually born here so I guess I could kinda call this home too. Anyway, my point is I’ll probably be making a few posts, including some video of whatever chaos that I happen to be running into and thought I’d give you a heads up so you weren’t confused trying to figure out who the new guy is. In addition to wandering the streets looking for inauguration madness, I’ll most likely be working out of the Metblogs DC offices, aka Sticky Fingers. You should be able to find me there 24/7 should you feel the need. Otherwise, Hi!

Sisterhood Of The Traveling Post-Its

Maybe it was the freezing temperatures that kept people at home that night. When I walked into Mackey’s Public House this past Saturday the crowds were light but cheery.

I was out on the town after watching the Wizards come so close but not close enough against the Lakers. At least they pulled off a comeback but I have a bad feeling when it comes to the future outlook of the home basketball team.

So I was at a table with my date when I see a server walk over and strike up a conversation with a table of women. He wasn’t getting drink order or phone numbers- but inquiring about the mess they appeared to have made on their table.

I glanced over and noticed that these ladies were drinking on a table covered in Post-It notes.

The small white company branded notes told me that the display wasn’t part of the bar decor. Laughter was the only understandable behavior as the women scribbled down notes on new post-it notes and stuck them on the table, their friends, and their own body parts. Was this some drinking game I’ve never heard of? Was it the result of a long happy hour that’s evolved to behavior too drunken to really understand? After the server left I had to do the same and I leaned over to find out.

I walked over and introduced myself, asking what was on these notes that were being exchanged. A blonde probably the size of my pinky told me that each note represented a different ex-boy friend and the night was spent exchanging stories while creating paper representations of old flames.

And just like that I was sucked into a scene fit for any romantic chick flick or episode of Sex and the City.

After the explanation I was handed a blank pad and a pen and asked to contribute. Any combination of words, sentences, or diagrams were permitted. As I write this I have thought of five better stories I could have recalled but I scribbled down the first thing that came to my mind that night.

I won’t disclose what I wrote but it was one word and it required no explanation once I slammed it down on the table.

The ladies hooted and hollered and stuck the note on my pants.

I didn’t get any of their names but found out that they all knew each other through a combination of roommates and classmates at various graduate and undergraduate studies. I’m actually glad I didn’t get a name for fear that I may become a post-it note, an inside joke scribbled on a piece of paper on a night of drinking.

The owner of the pad and originator of the spontaneous activity had two post-it notes stuck on her shirt. One read “Leggy”, which is apparently her nick name, and the other read “Emotionally Uninterested.”

She explained, “I dated this guy who told me that he wasn’t emotionally unavailable to women- he was just emotionally uninterested.”

Other stories that were told me that night included trickery to land a date in the Bethesda Metro, a proposal in the middle of the ocean, and a Marine who hasn’t made a move after three dates.

“We’ve been dating for a month and after three dates he hasn’t even kissed me- isn’t that weird?”

After looking at the owner of the note I wondered myself and it sparked debate and further stories between me, my date, and her.

The conversation between the ladies soon turned to dancing so my date and I returned to our table to enjoy our drinks and watched four ladies and a pad of post-it notes out in Washington DC.

As I finished my drink the DJ puts on Beyonce’s latest track, a catchy dance beat called “Single Ladies.”

I laughed as it was an appropriate theme song of the night, as the ladies sang, danced, and displayed their bare ring fingers.

An Open Letter of Thanks To Random Girl at the Naylor Rd. Station (and Metro too)

Manu Script

image found here.

Dear Metblog readers, indulge me in a brief personal story and the use of this forum to say thank you to someone.  Hopefully you’ll just find it a heartwarming little story about how good people can be in our area.  

Dear Random Girl who eventually got off at the Naylor Rd. Station:

Thank you for finding my Iphone.  Although I’ve never met you or saw you or know anything about you-I appreciate your finding my Iphone.

See, I was heading home to drop off the comic books I had bought at SPX and to get changed to go out for the evening.  In my fervor of comic book delightedness I must have only half-heartedly put my phone into my sweatshirt hoodie pocket after checking it (like I always do) coming over the river on the yellow line bridge.  Questions of whether to go all the way to Clarendon or not coupled with handfuls of newly signed books must have distracted me as I left my train at Crystal City because it wasn’t until I got outside and reached for my phone again that I realized it was gone. 


Pickup DC Style Ultimate Frisbee, Pickup Friends

Courtesy of Flickr User Kyle Walton

Courtesy of Flickr User Kyle Walton

I just found this ad on the Washington, DC Craigslist:

We have two long running pickup ultimate frisbee games that are looking for a few new players. A number of the regular players have recently headed off to new and exciting lives involving international travel, marriage, grad school or longrunning saturday morning hangovers, so a few new regulars would be welcome.

The pickup games are ALL skill level and very laid back. We have everyone from overweight shorter guys to incredibly sneaky and fast women to 6 foot 5 former college athletes and total novices. We welcome all ages and genders, and we generally don’t keep score. The spirit of ultimate frisbee is collegial and fun, and we try to make sure that everyone has a good time. Its just good exercise and a ton of fun.

I’ve seen these guys playing on the Mall before and it always looks like they are having a great time. Stop by and get some frisbee in. You might just see me there one of these days.

Saturday Game Location
Saturdays from 11am to 1pm
In the Field of Garisson Elementary School on the Corner of S and 11th NW-two blocks from the U street metro

Tuesday Game Location
Tuesdays from 6-8 pm
On the Mall in front of smithsonian air and Space museum. Corner of 7th and Jefferson SW

Breakin’ Out the Wings


A scant six months ago, I joined the wild and crazy crew here on MBDC; I was branching out in my blogscapades and wanted to try my hand at writing about the area that I’ve come to love.

Everyone here has been extremely good to me, one of the new kids on the block. The experience has been inspiring and has driven my creativity in approaching this area to new heights. I’ve been driven to explore this town more than I ever have before, in search of new restaurants, new venues, and new entertainment. Much of these experiences I’ve yet to share; sadly, I won’t be doing so on this stage.

Instead, I’m leaving MBDC and moving to We Love DC. My continued excitment over living here remains unabated. With our imminent purchase of a home in northern VA, I look forward to planting our roots deep into the soil and growing old with the District – inside the zone and through the Beltway. And sharing all of this with the great people of the area with more passion and freedom than before.

So thank you, readers, writers, commentors and the MBDC staff for taking a chance on and accepting the missives from one of the small fish in this vast pond. May your futures remain bright and your cameras nearby.

See you on the other side.

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Well, as some of you may be aware, because you are either extra stinky today, thirsty, or just plain out of the wet stuff, WSSC reported a water main failure this morning in Montgomery County. Now, as of the most recent update, it’s now two breaks, which occurred after initiating standard procedures to shut down valves to identify where the leaks are occurring and what is affected overall. There are a number of government closings listed here (aren’t you glad school’s out?!). Good news, and there supposedly is some of it, by 7:30pm tonight we’ll have our water back, but as with every upside, there is a down. The water purification recommendations will be in effect for the next three days (until Thursday).

For those of you who will need potable water, it is recommended that you boil your water (rolling boil) for over a minute before you use it (and for those who need cold water, don’t add ice cubes from your automatic ice maker, unless it’s got a filter on it, wait for it to reach room temperature or cool it in your fridge). Other methods for treating your water can also be achieved through typical backpackers methods such as a SteriPen or purification tablets (REI, HTO, or other outdoor store) for larger volumes.

Detained by Montgomery County Police For Buying Sugar

I was detained by the police today and accused of stealing. I was also illegally detained against my will by several Wal*Mart employees preceding the detention by police. My crime? Leaving Wal*Mart with four bags of sugar (that I had just purchased) without showing a receipt, because I was not given one by the Wal*Mart cashier. I was threatened with being taken to jail, threatened with physical violence as I attempted to leave, and had to defend myself and my property while Wal*Mart security attempted to rip it from my hands, breaking my bags and causing one of my items to break open on the pavement. After I was released (having been completely innocent all along), I was lectured by the police officer and Wal*Mart manager about how next time I could make it easier on myself by just agreeing to give up my rights to their goons to begin with. While the initial employee who detained me apologized, the others, including the Wal*Mart Manager, did not.

I was at the Germantown Wal*Mart to buy four bags of sugar because earlier in the day I had been at Butler’s Orchard picking 10 pounds of strawberries to turn into delicious jam. And to make delicious jam, you need lots of sugar. I grabbed four bags and headed to the checkout, where I also decided I could use some refreshment. I grabbed a Mountain Dew from the cooler, but the cashier had already processed my card for the four bags of sugar. He apologized and rang up another transaction for the Mt. Dew. At that point, he crumpled up my receipt for the four bags of sugar and handed me the receipt for the Mountain Dew. I headed for the exit, and was greeted by Wal*Mart security who wanted to check my receipt. I produced the receipt for the Mountain Dew and explained that the cashier had tossed the other receipt for the sugar. I would repeat this explanation 6 more times before this affair ended. The rest of the tale is below… (more…)

Out at the Farm

The specialsMost of the Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) efforts in the area started their disbursements of crops this weeks, and we headed out to Bluemont, VA to Great Country Farms to pick strawberries and get our farm share. The drive out to Bluemont is not for the totally-city-mouse, as once you get past Leesburg and out past the last of the exurbs, you’re into deep farm country, with narrow roads and large farm vehicles looming over the cars. Don’t let that discourage you, though, as what’s at the end of the hour’s drive is the farm, and fresh produce.

We were not deterred by the intense heat advisory that all the news channels have been on about since the weather advisory hit the wires on Friday. We got to the farm around 12:30 or so, and checked in with the office in the main building of the farm. Thankfully, their AC was working well, and they hooked us up with the “You Pick” implements so that we could go out into the fields and pick our strawberries.

Our full share gave us the opportunity to ride out into the fields and pick 6 more pints of strawberries. Farmer Ray was running the tractor shuttle, a hefty tractor hooked up to three large carts, each able to hold a dozen or more people. We climbed up into the cart, and headed off to the fields. The ride it self was 5 or 6 bumpy minutes along a farm road back into the fields of strawberries. Great Country had set up a water station at the drop-off, which was much appreciated in the heat. Farmer Ray gave us a few tips to finding the best strawberries, and we headed out into the fields to grab our share.

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