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Monday, May 30, 2016

Around The World Embassy Tours

I and my husband finally got to experience this tour event (2015). The fact is that previously, we booked a schedule via Rill's Bus Service, but unfortunately we both got ill after we arrived from our vacation in the, we had to cancel it! :(.

Around the World Embassy Tour happens every first Saturday of May yearly wherein at least 40 participating embassies open their doors to the public showcasing their culture, art, food and exhibits. This is a signature event supported by Passport DC and a part of Cultural Tourism DC project. 
It's a once a year experience to take the chance and visit popular embassy open houses and witness street dance performances and exhibitions in the nation's capital.

The tour includes giving visitors a "Passport DC Souvenir Passport" to be stamped at each embassy they visit. Take note: passports are NOT free and cost $5. each. They can be bought at any available info booths in the area. They are not official passports by the way. I call them "toy passports", - only for the tour, used as remembrance. ;)

The tour starts promptly at 10AM and ends exactly at 4PM. Judging by the time length given, it is impossible to visit ALL participating embassies...perhaps one of the reasons why this event is being held every year to give ample time for visitors to complete their visits.

If you are visiting, an itinerary plan is highly recommended as to where to go first and where to go last due to time constraints. The only challenge in this tour would be waiting in long lines. Some embassies have short lines and nothing at all! Usually smaller embassies are the ones which are easy to access right away.

Brochure maps are available for free which are of good help too!
You can only get around by walking and by metro bus. Buses are readily available in some designated pick up spots which are all printed in the brochure with instructions. If you are very familiar within the DC area, you'll probably don't have any problem where to go and how to go around. Hassle-free!...except for long lines!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brookside Gardens - A Random Visit!

Brookside Gardens located in Wheaton, Maryland at Glenallan Ave., is worth the visit every spring, because the garden is always rich in colorful blooms from January to December.

In the winter (Dec.-Feb.), there might be a limit of plants to be seen depending on the snow and really below freezing temperatures, but still they have plants that thrive like paperback maple which has interesting bark, hollies and flowers such as snowdrops, lenten roses, witchhazel and winter jasmine. 
But still you can see four regular seasonal displays and exhibits throughout the year inside the conservatories of the garden. ;) You can discover more about the additional garden features when you visit. It's a nice experience discovering them with your own eyes while admiring the floral beauty and nature at the same time.

Spring season is probably one of the busiest season in the garden as it becomes crowded due to the colorful tulips!

It's a common instinct for many that spring is the season for the most colorful blooms in the gardens, where many various florals are at their peak blooms.
Brookside Gardens spans almost 50 acres wide, and was opened as early as 1969 with gardens that surround the conservatories, offices and library. In the later years, many gardens were added along with additional features and wider landscapes complemented by changing displays of interesting and new plants and gardens every change of the season.

I've visited various botanical gardens in various places, and although I find Brookside Gardens a bit smaller in area than others, the entrance is FREE!
Bigger gardens with really super huge acres usually have entrance fees.

There are also guided tours offered to groups who are interested in gardening and horticultural aspects by making an advance reservation by phone. (301-962-1407)

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Good Start For Cozy Winters Reviews

I love to shop both online and in the stores. It's always interesting to know the reason behind why do most women love shopping, and men, not much... Lol! But seriously, when I do shop online, I usually based what I buy on someone's reviews. 

It was good to see Cozy Winters Reviews doing product reviews and I recommend this should be updated with more recent posts because I believe it would help many buying customers in the end. 

 I am sure it would go a long way to help many shopaholics before they would buy certain products such as those included in the reviews. Believe me, I don't mind spending time reading reviews about a product I want to buy because they really are helping me get the entire idea about how a product would work before I buy it. At least I can use my money's worth in the end, right? So, keep it up and keep on updating the reviews. The more recent posts, the better help it can give to the public as well! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour @ Patriot Center - The Experience!

It was my first time to attend a Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour concert as well as a first timer to visit Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. I was surprised to know, Patriot Center is more huge than American Music Theater in Lancaster which I usually go to watch inspiration concerts such as the Gaither Vocal Bands :).

Well, obviously, later I got to know and figured out that Patriot Center is an arena, while American Music Theater is merely a theater ;). - just a bigger theater

Being a 10,000-seater arena is something, -so to speak. They host big basketball games, family shows, big concerts and other ceremonies.
And food wise, you'll never get hungry while watching a show too! All sorts of food is around where food stalls surround the arena, quite the opposite when you're in AMT. I only remember buying a drink in a small food stand in the lobby of AMT once, since I was there few months ago. But of course, the shows I watched at both places were spectacular as always! :).

And talking about shows, the Homecoming Concert was so inspiring! I love to meditate through music sometimes and I love hearing Bill Gaither's music because I always end up singing their songs (as long as I know the lyrics, lol!) or just humming with them. I love slow gospel music for meditations, - one way of letting me feel the spirit of God in me.
I also love how Bill Gaither hosted his Homecoming concert in a full evening of entertainment and meaningful music, and his guests with the best-loved voices in gospel music. Of course, with the GVB and other group guests as well!

I am a big fan of GVB too!...can you tell? I was glad I had the experience of watching this concert. I am greatly blessed!

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Historical Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is the most prominent landmark you'll ever see when you're around the metro DC area, because its structures towers over everything considering its height which is at 555 ft. & 5.5 inches.
Some people would always call it the "big pencil" due to its obelisk shape topped with a 3,300 lb. marble capstone, covered by a 9-inch pyramid of cast aluminum which was considered to be a rare metal in the 18th century.

The monument is also one of the most visited landmark in Washington DC, although free tickets are always available for a timed entrance going up inside the monument. Take note though that the free tickets are always limited for a day. It opens daily except Christmas Day.
Visitors who want to access the top pf the monument will have to undergo security screening (just like an airport security screening) before entering. Then you will have to wait for a few minutes for the elevator going up since visitors are controlled to prevent overcrowding on top.

You will be boarding the elevator towards the top for 70 seconds (1 minute, 10 seconds) taking you to the 500-ft. level to see the sweeping views of the nations capital at the observation deck.
One level below the observation deck is a museum full of photos and other historical facts about the monument and about all vital information regarding the life and achievements and contributions of George Washington; - the first president of the USA.

Me inside the museum level of the Washington Monument
When you go down you will again board the elevator and take a slow descent while the elevator guide shares interesting  historical facts as you go past 195 memorial stones while viewing them which are attached on the monuments interior walls.