Hello my loves & Happy 2019!
I hope everyone had a safe night and is recovering well. I'm currently drinking coffee surrounded by planners full of lists for this final day before heading back to work.
One of my goals this year is to get better about my health and wellness. I'm starting the year off with Yoga for Adrienne's 30 Day Yoga Challenge and I'm going to be tracking my water intake, and working on taking vitamins more consistently. I am tracking all of this in my wellness extension for my planner (basically just extra sheets to stick in my normal planner) and for each week they have a column for the positive word for the week. I wanted to share my word for this week with you all.
ra· di· ate | \ˈrā-dē-ˌāt \
1: to proceed in a direct line from or toward a center
2: to send out rays : shine brightly
If you want to know my word each week, be sure to subscribe to my email list! Now on to today's post.
December was a month full of traveling. I went to the city two weekends in a row, spent lots of time in New Haven, and went home to Virginia for the first time in a year! It was a crazy month spent on many trains, subway cars, and in the car. (Thankfully no planes). And now while normally I don't do a "catch-all" kind of post I really wanted to share some of the top spots I visited this month. So without further ado:
Top 6 December Travel Spots
1. John's Pizza (60 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)
I was attending the SMA Holiday Party in NYC and Jeremy suggested we grab a bite to eat afterwards at one of his favorite pizza places in the city. As we approached the restaurant I started getting this sense of familiarity. As soon as we stepped inside, I knew I had been there before. This was one of the places my HS drama teacher would take us to eat on our annual trip to NYC. I was flooded with nostalgia and was beyond excited to eat. We got a salad and margarita pizza to share & a glass of wine. While we were waiting for our food a bunch of men came in with incredibly nice suits on. Maybe it was the mafia? Not sure, but it definitely felt like we were in a movie. The pizza was incredible and 10/10 would recommend.
Tip: I tried to go back on my most recent trip to the city. However, it was dinner time on a Saturday night & so the line was out the door. I'd recommend going during the "off-hours" or when you aren't starving and are more willing to stand in line.
2. National Harbor, MD
This has been one of my favorite spots since I was going there for Battle at the Capitol as a competitive cheerleader. It has since grown even more -with more shops and restaurants than I can count. We ate at Fiorella (I got pizza, shocker, and a holiday themed alcoholic beverage) before heading over to the Gaylord Hotel. If you've never been to a Gaylord Hotel, well those are a trip all by themselves. Every year around the holidays they do this incredible ICE show with sculptures and slides and it's a tradition in my family to go.
This year the theme was Charlie Brown and it was by far the best one yet. After we waited in a line that was FOREVER LONG (and very chaotic & frankly unsafe) we walked through the ice display. We then took a walk over to the MASSIVE Ferris Wheel that my brother has been wanting to go on since all of eternity. Luckily for him this was the year & we all waited in line. My mom and I almost chickened out, but ended up getting on. Yes the view was cool in the moment I opened up my eyes to look. tbh though I was freaking out for most of the ride.
Tip: This place is pricey. ICE is freezing cold (because you know the ice can't melt). Plan accordingly.
3. The Chipped Cup (3610 Broadway,New York, NY 10031)
My friend Rachel Williams and I finally got to meet up in the city at this perfect little coffee shop in Hamilton Heights. We had the best time catching up over some incredible coffee and I can't wait to go back.
Tip: The vibe/aesthetic/what have you was very hipster. The conversations around us definitely included some theatre people, which was also pretty awesome. Bring your computer or notebook because this is the perfect little workspot and I would've loved to sit and blog for a few hours.
4. Downtown Fredericksburg
My bestest pal Molly and I hadn't seen each other since the summer after graduation (2017). When we found out we both would miraculously be home at the same time, we immediately reserved December 26th in our calendars. Molly picked me up just like old times since my car was in New Haven. We spent the morning eating brunch at this lovely little spot Mercantile, which is a sister restaurant to the ever so hipster FoodE (which I've never eaten at, but I've heard amazing things about). We sat at the bar ordered coffee and ya typical morning alcoholic beverages. Molly got breakfast tacos and I got biscuits and gravy with potatoes. We spent the rest of the day going to antique stores and stopping at one of my favorite bookstores, Riverby Books. I, of course, did not walk out of there empty handed and picked up a book called No Baggage. We stopped at Goolrick's Pharmacy, which is this old time pharmacy and diner. We got coffee flavored milkshakes because that's just Molly and I.
It was the perfect day with the perfect best friend.
Tip: Not to pricey and lots of good photo spots. (Fun fact: I had my senior photos done here!) Bring a camera and enjoy this beautiful historic spot!
5. Circle in the Square
You didn't think I'd get through this entire post without mentioning Once on this Island did you? This theatre is beautiful, but the show currently running inside is even more beautiful. My HS did a production of this show after I graduated and I fell in love with the story. Years later, I got to see this show one cold November evening on Broadway. And it didn't disappoint. I also have a little bit of love/bias in my heart for sandbox shows in the round if you didn't know. The sand. The rain. The tech. Alex Newell (even when sick-which you couldn't tell until after at the stage door) My jaw was constantly dropped.
I've never seen a show on Broadway twice. I've seen a show and then seen the national tour, but never the same Broadway show. The closing announcement came and I knew another trip to see this show was necessary. This time I took my mom because it had been years since she had seen a show in the city. Leah Salonga was back in it and of course she slayed. Alex Newell was even better if that's possible. It was a beautiful night with this cast telling the most beautiful story.
I recently posted on FB and Instagram about it and said the show was better than Hamilton. While I feel no need to offer an explanation, I wanted to explain myself a little bit. Because I loved Hamilton. However, I went into the show knowing all of the lyrics and being super familiar with the story. The show itself has very little dialogue outside of what is in the cast recording. So for me, it was more of a concert type experience. I also think I blacked out a little because I was so excited I was there. So don't get me wrong, Hamilton deserves the hype. I just wish I went into it with more of a blind eye because I have more of an honest reaction to the shows I know less about (i.e. The Color Purple).
Tip: There is only one bathroom with about 6 stalls so go to the bathroom before arriving if you don't want to wait in a massive line.
6. Illuminate Light Show (13191 Dawn Blvd Doswell, VA 23047)
This light show was INCREDIBLE. One of my favorite holiday traditions is driving around with my family on Christmas Eve to go look at Christmas lights. And my favorite house to look at is this one where you turn on the radio and the lights are synched up to music. Well this light show was that on steroids. There were so many songs and it was about a 30 minute drive through and it was so much fun.
Tip: The line to get in is MASSIVE and takes about an hour. Be prepared with snacks and good attitudes. But I promise it's worth it.
Well that's the list friends. I hope you all had a fantastic day and start to your New Year! Be sure to come back to this here blog for a new post on Thursday!
Much love always,