24 Hours in Washington DC

I’ve walked the streets of London, climbed the Eiffel Tower, and tried Belgian chocolate from the shops of Bruges, but I never visited the capital of the United States – Washington D.C. – until now.

The opportunity for a quick visit arose when we decided to road trip it down to Virginia to see my sister graduate from A.I.T army training, and I was determined to see D.C. while the chance was within reach.

But I learned a lot about the capital city that I didn’t know before. Basically, you have to see it to understand just how huge and overwhelming it is. But I loved it.

We were short on time, but here’s what I saw in the two days I visited Washington D.C., and what you should consider seeing on your trip there, too.

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The view from The Washington Monument on the National Mall 

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Summer in Massachusetts: Cape Cod Lavender Farm

If there’s one time a year that gets everyone in Massachusetts excited – it’s summer. And if there’s one place that gets everyone in Massachusetts excited – it’s Cape Cod (or the Cape, as it’s known locally).

Put those two together and you’re golden.

But aside from the incredible beaches, seafood and shopping offered down the Cape during the on-months, there’s even more, if you know where to look.

I’ve been pretty obsessed with lavender for awhile – I have a few plants growing in my own garden at home. The smell during the peak season is to-die-for; it has that gorgeous balance of sweet and strong that entices. I use it in my tea (hello, lavender-chamomile my old friend), and as a natural perfume and sleep aid. Drying bunches and keeping them on-hand keeps the air clean in the house, and makes every breath feel like summertime.

So when I heard about Cape Cod Lavender Farm, I had no choice but to see what it was all about.

And it certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Rocking Chair Reads: My Favorite Summer Night Books

Can you smell it in the air? It’s the smell of sand castles, sparklers and cookouts. Yes, summer is nearly upon us, and I cannot wait for long days and cool nights.

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One of my absolute favorite things to do after a long day of hanging out in the sun is to come home, pour a glass of iced tea, and curl up with a good book while listening to the crickets chirping nearby. Nothing is more relaxing.

But there are so many choices of books to go with (it’s actually overwhelming) – and I’d like to offer you some of mine to narrow the field.

Here are my top rocking chair reads:

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5 (More) Documentaries Worth Checking Out

There are two things I do extremely often: Work on my writing, and watch films (usually with a glass of pinot, but I digress). Because I’m such a cinema-holic, I usually cycle through films and television series pretty quickly, so I’m always looking for new material to intrigue and entertain.

And lately, I’ve been on a serious documentary kick. I’ve written previously about some choice documentaries to check out (seriously, if you haven’t you should), but I’ve decided to add a few more to that mix.

But these documentaries are a bit different than the ones I’ve shared before. The point of a documentary is to give you a glimpse of a world you aren’t familiar with – they’re here to break your bubble, in a way, to let the bigger picture in.

In this world, there’s a lot more lurking just beneath the surface – dark psyches, urban legends, and things that go bump in the night. And nothing is scarier – or more fascinating than – human beings themselves.

These documentaries offer a look at the part of human nature we don’t like to talk about. The taboo, the nerve-wracking, the tormented and the often terrifying side of ourselves – and the world that surrounds us.

Here are my recommendations for the least snore-worthy documentary films that fit into this described category.

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Remembering William Peter Blatty: The Man Behind “The Exorcist”

Many of the included source links in this post feature images from the film that some may find scary or disturbing. Keep that in mind when clicking (As in, not at 3 AM when you can’t sleep).

There are a few things I was afraid of as a kid. The dark, spiders (okay, still afraid of that one), and the cover to my mom’s DVD copy of “The Exorcist” (1973).

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Still freaks me out. The Exorcist (1973). (c) Warner Bros

I’ll admit it. Just hearing the infamous “Tubular Bells” theme from the movie when she watched it around Halloween used to freak me out.

It wasn’t until I was older that I even watched this cinematic classic about a 12-year old girl possessed by a demon. And I have to admit, it still gives me chills whenever I see it.

But the film is second to the book in fear-factor. I read it on the beach two summers ago after coming across it on sale in the bookstore, and it stuck in my mind for a week after.

There was quite a lot of talent involved in writing a book filled with terrifying imagery, powerful symbolism, and possessive of an uncanny ability to send chills down your spine, making its author is one worth remembering.

But even people with great talent can’t live forever. William Peter Blatty, author of “The Exorcist,” passed away  on January 12th, 2017, at the age of 89.

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Make 2017 The Year of Giving: Google’s One Today

2017 is a new year, and I’m sure 99.9% of the population is super stoked that 2016 is over and done with (count me in that figure).

So to fit in with new beginnings, I’ve made it a personal goal to try and give to charity more. Why? Because charities are made up of people who are trying to do as much good in the world as possible, and they need all the help they can get.

It can be troublesome, though, to drop what you’re doing during your busy day and search for a charity relevant to your interest. And if you’re like me, you don’t have hundreds to give away – you have your own bills to pay, after all.

Enter Google’s One Today.

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Academy Awards 2015: Why “The Theory of Everything” proves a worthy pick

With the official release of the Academy-Award nominated films this year, and with the Golden Globe awards not far behind us, we as a media-consuming public can look forward to a star-studded show this year, and many well-deserving movies are up for nomination.

One movie I noticed a lot on the official nominations is the English biopic about Stephen and Jane Hawking called “The Theory of Everything,” directed by James Marsh. The film takes its source material from a memoir by Jane Hawking, “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.” Continue reading “Academy Awards 2015: Why “The Theory of Everything” proves a worthy pick”