Dirty Sneaks Vol 3 – Mt. Vernon Trail @ Daingerfield Island


Saturdays just don’t feel right to me unless it begins with a nature walk.

I like to get up and on the road before the rest of the world wakes up.

No radio. Just me and my thoughts. And coffee.  Always coffee.

I love a good woodsy adventure, but being near water is always tops for me.


I could never live in one of those dry square states. I need rivers, lakes, AND the ocean, thank you very much.


Mt. Vernon Trail has the river on one side and the woods on the other. Perfect combination.


My favorite stretch of the trail runs through Daingerfield Island. Which by the way is blatant false advertising. Totally not an island.


More like a park, I guess? I don’t know. You can sail, kayak, windsurf on the water or play football and soccer in the fields. I go for the absolutely scenic, sun dappled paths.


Love a good “dapple”, but it’s hard to capture without the right camera.


Joggers ruining my shot.


The greenery is even better in person.

There’s also a restaurant onsite, Indigo Landing, which has a large deck, an indoor/outdoor bar and a panoramic view. I’ve never been, so I’m not sure whether the vibe is tolerant of yoga pants and sneakers, but c’mon it’s gotta be.  They know people come through there to bike and stuff.


Any day that starts with a view like this is gonna be fantastic. How about you break up the routine this Saturday? Get up early! Get out! Bike! Run! Walk! Go get lost in nature before your Saturday to do list talks you out of doing something special for yourself.

“But I have kids! I don’t have time to get up and get out by myself!”

Bring your kids! Nature doesn’t card.

Free and easy to get to. Just hop on George Washington Memorial Parkway.  The sign for Daingerfield Island is just south of the exits for the airport. Minutes away from DC and Arlington. Click here for better directions.

The weather is starting to change so we gotta sneak in a few more outdoor adventures before it’s time to hibernate!


Out the Broke Box – Skyscapes

It’s the middle of the work week.

Payday is two days too far.

Work sucks.

Your fridge is filled with leftovers,

and it’s the same old crap on TV.

Oh, the ennui of our pedestrian lives!

(Also known as First World Problems.)

We wait for that 5 o’clock bell to ring and leap from our desks with the gusto of a modern day Fred Flintsone. Keys in hand, Smarttrip cards at the ready, we prepare to fight our way through traffic and a sea of humans jockeying for that aisle seat on the Green Line.

For what? What exactly are we rushing home for?

To lounge on our Swedish sectionals and await the weekend to free us from this oppressive cycle of Work-Eat-Sleep-Work-Eat-Sleep?

The good Lord gives us 365 days a year, if we’re lucky. Are we only to enjoy 104 of them??

(I’ll wait for the nerds to do the math.  It’s accurate. Let’s move on.)

Nay I say!

F5 yo’ life! Hit refresh and recharge your batteries by taking a little time for you.

Screw rushing home in traffic.  Screw smelling the armpits of the passenger next to you on the train.

And you know what? Screw happy hour. You’re broke.  We discussed that. You don’t have money for happy hour.

Why not do something different?  Why not…perhaps….go take in a view?

You don’t even need money. All you need are eyeballs…


This is the view from the top of the Kennedy Center.


Did you know you can go hang out on the rooftop even if you’re not seeing a show? Yeah, the Kennedy Center is real cool.  Like White House Security. Ziiing!


Sweet skyline and monumental views…


How about a little rooftop picnic by sunset?


The space up top is vast.  You won’t get in anyone’s way.


Plus there’s a rooftop bar and cafe.  But it’s not payday yet, remember?  So pack your own hummus.


Stay until the sun begins to set…


And long after….


There. You showed this workweek who’s boss and it ain’t cost ya nuthin’. I hear the Newseum balcony is another spot with a great panoramic view.  Maybe I’ll try that next.

Where are some of your favorite places to watch the sunset in the DMV?



Labor Day Weekend


Well, I guess you win.

All of you pumpkin lovin’, latte sippin, sweater snugglin’, autumn lovers.

Summer’s over. Are you happy??

You killed it with all of your wishing for cooler weather. WHY? WHY?

Why can’t it be beaches forever? And tank tops and sunnies? Why can’t all footwear be replaced by flip flops?


Ok, fine. It doesn’t HAVE to be summer FOREVER. But since when does AUGUST signal thoughts of pumpkin flavored beverages and fall decorations??

Can I get a Dog Day up in here?

Can we LIVE in the moment, people?


But alas, Labor Day is the symbolic “last weekend” of the summer, so here are some things to do around town for those of us who have eschewed out of town travel and decided to staycay it up.


Jazz in the Garden – Tonight is the last night for the weekly summer series at the National Sculpture Garden.  They’re playing Zydeco, Cajun and Louisiana Funk. Whatever, man.  I’m down.  Will I see you there?

jazz in park

Source: JulesDTD

National Sculpture Garden  9th and Constitution Ave  5pm – 8:30pm


Have you been to that BIG MAZE at the National Building Museum? Yeah I haven’t either, but lookit:

dc maze

Photo credit R. Lopez (www.underabushel.com)

Pretty cool! Tonight is the last night of extended summer hours. It costs to walk the maze but you can join the Summer Block Party with Hill Country’s Backyard BBQ for free on the west lawn.

National Building Museum – The BIG Maze , 401 F ST NW Washington, DC .  Extended summer hours are from 5pm to 9pm. Follow link for admission rates, etc


Hey, you Marylanders:  Greenbelt’s Labor Day Festival starts tonight at 6pm and runs through Monday. Also, it’s FREE!

So there, if you’re a PG County resident and you don’t want to travel too far check this out.  Carnival rides, games, live entertainment, food, art…it’s a festival.  You know what it’s about.


Source: greenbeltlaborday.com

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Roosevelt Center 101 Centerway Greenbelt, MD  Friday Aug 29th 6pm thru Monday Sep 1st 6pm


If you haven’t made it to the Maryland State Fair, this is your last weekend to go! Not free, but very cheap, plus kids 5 and under are FREE.

You know what to expect at a state fair: rides, games, food, art, karaoke, live entertainment, liveSTOCK. One of the daily events listed is “Birthing Center”.  Like for cattle.  Sooo go and traumatize your kids with THAT.

md state fair

source: marylandstatefair.com

Maryland State Fair  200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093



DC Blues Festival  The festival is free from 12 to 7.  The after party’s gonna cost ya though, but not much.  So if the names Shirletta Settles and Shakura S’Aida mean anything to you, go on and get your blues on tomorrow at the Carter Barron Ampitheater Rock Creek Park. 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW Washington, DC


Epicurience Virginia,  This is for you foodie dudies with a little more cash to spare, and I mean more than a little. This food and wine festival is an annual, epic, epicurean experience in Leesburg, VA.


Over 40 food and wine vendors, so lots of vino and bites for tasting and sampling. There are wine classes and tasting competitions, as well as chef demonstrations.  If the the words heirloom, farm to table, Saveur magazine, and Chef Scott Drewno mean anything to you, you’re a foodie. Go treat yourself.  You didn’t do anything all summer–get classy wasted, then Uber home.

Epicurience Virginia 2014 at Morven Park, Leesburg, Virginia.  Tonight’s opening tasting is sold out but the event runs through Labor Day.


Let’s get artsy, shall we?

Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival is an annual event that kicks off the Kennedy Center’s upcoming play season. Sit in on open rehearsals and readings of new plays by local theater companies as well as national playwrights.  FREE!

Kennedy Center Saturday 12 noon–10 p.m Sunday 6–7 p.m. and Monday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.


Let’s get a little nerdy, shall we?

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Roche Renn Fest_1

Source: arundelvoice.com

Travelest thou back in time to a merry olde day wherein which ye…wanderest the…aisles of…

No.  Sorry. I can’t.

RennFest–dress up in Olde English costumes (or not).  Eat big meats on a stick (or less scary food). Take in a jousting. Listen to ancient music. And uh, I’m sure you can make candles and pottery and throw your annoying little cousin in the stocks.  Look, either this is your thang or it’s not.  People seem to like these fests, sooo..

Maryland Rennaissance Festival 1821 Crownsville Road



Last but not least, why not begin the weekend turndown with a little class and elegance?

Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol  A little Pops in the Park on the west lawn of the Capitol. The concert is free and starts at 8pm or come earlier for the rehearsal from 3 to 6.  You can bring food but no alcohol or glass bottles.

Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday weekend!  Goodbye, Summer.  You were gone too soon.


More Virginia Love – Occoquan


I have become everything I have ever mocked.

Thanks to this blog, I have turned into an incessant shutterbug.

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Whenever I go ANYWHERE I have to take a jillion pics before finally putting away my camera, only to whip it out again later and annoy the people around me.


Trust me, I don’t enjoy it. But I do what I must, to bring my little tales of unique excursions to the masses.

I do it for you, beloved readers.

All zero of you.

So after our July 4th kayaking trip, our lil group decided to hang out on Mill Street in Historic Occoquan.

I wholeheartedly recommend finding a quaint, charming, little city just outside of metro area, to do some walking and window shopping.


Occoquan is far enough south to feel like you’ve gotten away but close enough to make it a spontaneous day trip.

We found the historic district to be particularly artsy.  The storefronts and signage alone were so cute and unique!


Coooool window box!   Mill Street Studio  — not only an art studio, but also a gallery, where apparently they have:


This little town has no shortage of galleries and boutiques.  Who knew they were so hip?


vintage boutiques,


artist owned co-op studios,


.international clothing and handmade accessories.

How ADORABLE is this Secret Garden Cafe?  Walk by fast and you’ll miss it!


It’s just raining sunshine in this little hidden patio.  Brunch anyone?

We had the best of luck that day, as we stumbled upon a free wine and beer tasting at Tastefully Yours!

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If memory serves me correctly, they did not skimp on the vino. ;-)

We had a knowledgeable, engaging and hilarious sommelier. She had a ton of stories and she basically told us that we Yanks don’t know jack about how to properly store and serve wine.  Touché.  We left so much the wiser.

Not only do they have free wine tastings but they had artisanal olive oil tastings downstairs.

And gelato.

And fancy pants cheese.

And outdoor seating.

Just GO.

We ended our trip with an outdoor lunch overlooking the river at Madigan’s.

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“Act like you’ve been somewhere.” – said Bday girl’s husband as I snapped this pic.

HA! Ok, ok, I’ll put the dang camera down.


SO!  Any little nearby/faraway feeling towns that I should check out? Let me know in the comments or everywhere @outtheboxdmv . You just may plan my next mini getaway! 


Scenes from the Weekend – Artscape 2014


I spent my whole weekend at “festivals”.

I told you guys about Saturday’s Reggae Festival at Linganore Winery .  Those tickets sold out fast! Glad I got mine ‘cuz the music, the wine tasting and the vendors were great. I took one lonely picture. I’m not uploading it.

Then on Sunday, I somehow wound up at Artscape in Baltimore.  Which, as a DMV “events blogger” (is that what I am? Nah), I totally knew all about and was SO in the loop of and planning to attend anyway.

Yeah right.

This year, like every other year, I completely forgot about this cool 3 day event despite my weak intentions to go.  So how did I end up there this year? Word of mouth reached my ear about a FREE Anthony Hamilton concert in Baltimore…


Yep, I found out via good ol’ fashioned grapevine. Take THAT internet!

Turns out, the concert was a part of the annual Artscape festival! I finally made it! We strolled around for hours and barely put a dent in all there was to see. Let’s see…what did we happen upon as we made our way to the concert stage?

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…painters, uh, painting.


…local artists’ booths with some really neat work on display. Neat AND nifty.


…bands that make ya dance


…stunted out cars


…cool crafts..and trucks covered in 10,000 bottle caps

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…ponies selling fruit. I kid you not.

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…stuff for the kiddies.


…general random weirdness

And finally—–



Hey, don’t miss this event next year!





Reggae Festival – Linganore Winery

Hey y’all!

Just poppin in to tell you about this weekend’s Reggae Festival at Linganore Winery in Mt. Airy, MD.

Look at me, informing you about stuff BEFOREHAND for once.

Tickets will not be sold at the door so you must purchase them online.

I’ve visited Linganore before with a couple of friends and had a great time. We took the tour and did a tasting and it was fabulous.  They make great wine there. Plus it’s a winery, so you know–scenic and beautiful and all of that.

There will be reggae bands, Caribbean food, and wine tasting. Bring blankets, chairs, and more food if you like but DON’T bring your own alcohol.

Wanna see some really pretty pics of  Linganore? Google it. This is just a pop in post,  people.

Why are you still reading this anyway? Go to the website and get your tickets!

Saturday, July 19, 2014 and Sunday, July 20, 2014 • 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM both days

Linganore Winecellars
13601 Glissans Mill Rd., Mt. Airy, MD.


Kayaking on the 4th


This post is dedicated to someone so EXPLOSIVELY individual, it’s only fitting that she came skyrocketing into this world on Independence Day. 20140705_211806

Someone who, on the 4th, happened to be celebrating a, uh, “milestone  birthday”, as it were.

“WHICH milestone is irrelevant!” I can hear her saying.

So I’ll omit the which. Ok, ok. It was her 21ST!! ;-)

HA. Birthdays ARE for wishin’, amirite?

Now, most ladies celebrate this particular day with an over the top “age-ain’t-nothin’-but-a-number-i’m-still-sexy-hand-me-my-tiara” type of shindig.


DJS Events via Huffington Post . I WISH I were allowed in events that swanky.

With heels, champagne toasts, $500 reserved rooms at upscale lounges, and dancing all night in an age inappropriate dress to rap songs you don’t understand or ever listen to.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that AT ALL.

You havin’ one of those parties? Invite me, please.

But this blog is about doing something a little different every once in a while. Trying things you’ve never tried. Going places you never go.

I mean, how many ladies choose to celebrate the BIG UH-OH with a kayak and a paddle board?!20140704_142322 20140704_142307

So cool.

Well, she originally chose PAINTBALL because, my gosh she’s cray.

Hey, I was down for that, too, but the backup plan worked out splendidly.

If you’ve never heard of paddleboard think of a gondola operator on a surfboard.


Engage your core. Try not to fall in. No! You’re thinkin too hard! Now you’ve fallen!

The weather was perfect. Clear skies. No humidity.  Look at that ripple on the water! 20140704_130833 20140704_140600

The wind was in full force and it got a bit choppy out there, especially beyond the bridge.  So I don’t have any pictures of the deep, wide open area as I was trying to not capsize, lose my camera, or wash away to sea.


Seriously, the winds were so strong you had to paddle against it just to stay in place! Nothing better than a full body workout while you’re having fun!

So, if you’re up for a little adventure, check out Penguin’s Paddling at Hamptons Landing Marina on Neabsco Creek in Woodbridge, VA. 20140704_104446

Yep, VIRGINIA.  Finally showing VA some love on this DMV blog. 20140704_104609

Book their boats for the day or by the hour. Check out their website for pricing and directions. 20140704_142249

As for you, Bday Girl, your enthusiasm for life, your adventurous spirit, and your willingness to always try something new is why AFTER ALL THESE YEARS,  you STILL make 21 look good.

All these many years…



MANY years..

…. many.

Hey stick around–cuz after the party was the AFTER PARTY! Check back for my next post where I continue to put VA in the spotlight, and follow me everywhere @outtheboxdmv