Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe in DC

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

178 Comment

  • Rave: A beautiful afternoon at the DC United game Saturday, and a W in the home opener

  • Rave: Yesterday πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Soaked up lots of sun yesterday.
    Rant: Walked to work in total darkness this morning.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rave: Leaving work at noon today!

    Rant: …to go get my annual physical. I have to fast for 8 hours before the appointment, so I am starving!

    • Oh, I hate that. I’m the type who has to eat every 2 hours, and I got the worst headache the last time I had to fast.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I get my blood work done at a lab that doesn’t open til 8 which kind of blows for the whole fasting thing. When I lived in Florida there was a lab that opened at 6 am, long before I get up, so fasting for blood work was a breeze.

      I can’t even imagine waiting as long as you are. Stay strong!

  • Rave: Had my first real (not commuting) bike ride yesterday. It felt so good to ride without work clothes and a backpack!

    Rant: Supposed to rain tomorrow.

  • Rave: This weather! Got a sista wearing dresses and heels and what not.

    Rant: I am not a loud talker, especially on the phone so the fact that this woman at work heard my conversation (through a closed office door) about my plans to go back to graduate school and told EVERYONE in the office has me feeling slightly pissed off today. I am a very private person and I don’t like people at work knowing my business. Why can’t some folks at work just mind their business! I dont bother anyone! Damn!
    * maybe I am being overly sensitive about this but I really dont like folks coming up to me saying “Oh I HEARD you are applying to a PhD program this year” Lesson for next time…keep those types of convos in text message and gchat*

    Rave: Saw alot of parents playing tennis and basketball with their little kiddies yesterday. I love seeing stuff like that. I love seeing parents taking time out to spend with their kids (something I never had but I dont begrudge anyone who experiences it)

    Query: I want a puppy. Something small and fluffy and young. Do animal shelters normally have dogs like that?

    Revel: I shall be attacking the beef patty recipe this weekend…if I am feeling fancy I MAY make cocobread as well.

    • I especially love the parents that are outdoors doing physical activities with the kids. It’s become such a rare thing and a reason so many kids have weight problems. Go out to the suburbs on a beautiful day and you don’t see anyone outside. πŸ™

      • Yes! Saw a Dad with his two boys “playing” tennis. It was the cutest thing. The kids couldnt play for squat but Dad made sure they were engaged and running around trying to hit the ball. I love seeing kids playing outside.

      • Really? I saw tons of parents playing outdoors with their kids yesterday in College Park.

        • Ok, I’ll admit I don’t spend too much time in MD. But I’ve spent plenty of time (too much time really) in neighborhoods in Fairfax County and they’re like ghost towns.

    • Check out Warl! It is in upper NW. My wife volunteers there, and they are terrific. We found our puppy K.C. there!

    • You’re not being overly sensitive. Unless you have the best boss ever AND they have a ton of leeway with upper management (i.e., a ton of job protection), it’s never a good idea to tell your company that you plan to leave more than a few weeks before you plan to go. If they are looking to cut staff, you risk being among the first. Your coworker is a jerk. Stuff like that spreads like wildfire.

      • 1. She didn’t say she planned on leaving her job
        2. She didn’t say she told anyone at work, just that someone at work overheard her phone conversation

        • 1. Most PhD programs require full time work and dedication, and most are funded, so most people consider a PhD program to be a full time job in and of itself.

          2. I didn’t imply that she told anyone. I am stating that in general, it’s not something that should be spread around, period. I feel sorry for the fact that she has a nosey, gossiping, inconsiderate coworker.

        • Yeah Mr/Ms Anonymous he didnt say I told anyone. But thank you both for the input *hugs* :):)

      • My take is the opposite. The eavesdropper and I’d bet the boss as well will be very proud to have you enroll in the PhD program, even if it means your days at work are numbered. That is a major badge of honor for the workplace, to have served as a launching pad for your future academic achievement. You may cringe a bit, but it is important to be gracious as others revel in your accomplishments.

        • My boss is being really awesome about it. She is all for young women getting out there and getting those PhD and MDs and JDs. She called me as soon as the rumor got to her in Florida and told me to go for it. So in that respect I am not worried…I guess I am just annoyed that that woman thought it was cool to go blabbering her mouth.

    • “Lesson for next time…keep those types of convos in text message and gchat*”

      Or use your cell phone and step outside of the office to talk about things like that.

      • Yes πŸ™ :):)

      • To be fair, PeachyKeen was having a phone conversation BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, not with her door open or in a cubicle environment.

        The co-worker should have the tact to “forget” anything she overhears from behind closed doors.

        • +1

          And if I was Peachykeen, I’d be having a little chitchat with my co-worker about discussing my personal business with other people in the office. I would certainly be shaming that co-worker into an apology.

    • I found my dog through petfinder and adopted her from Lucky Dog.

      • Was it a puppy or a full grown dog?
        *Is it strange that i want a baby dog? I feel like that’s a bad thing, but I am not sure why*

        • She was 11 months when I got her, so not a puppy but pretty young.

        • I’m not PG, but if you use petfinder you can select the “baby” option in your search. Pet finder compiles dogs from many rescue groups so there are countless options. I’m sure you could find a puppy that fits what you are looking for! Good luck! We found our pup on there a little over a year ago and adopting him was easily the best decision we ever made!

    • Yes shelters (and rescues) have many puppies. Pregnant dogs often give births in shelters (or, in better cases, foster homes). The rescue I volunteer for has around 30 puppies at any given time.

    • Emmaleigh504

      That’s awesome that you are planning to go to grad school! I hope you get in to the school you want and get the best deal possible!

      Quite jealous that you may get a dog. I want one but can’t get one unless I get rid of my cat (attacked by a pack of dogs, so understandably scared of them) and move. I love doggies!

      Happy Monday!

    • For a puppy – or any animal really – check http://www.petfinders.org. Puppies and kittens are often kept in foster care rather than in the general shelter, so you might not see them on an in-person visit. But WARL and the Humane society are also really good about helping you understand/decide if you’re ready for a puppy and what’s involved.

      Rave – while I’m here anyway – Humane Society spay & neuter clinic is the best. Only $70.00 per kitty – which is about 1/3 of what a vet charges. Very professional & caring.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      WARL has some shi-tzu puppies that are still nursing. They can go home when they are weaned. You can see them on Animal Planet’s puppy cam

  • RANT: Got my official furlough notice in the mail Friday.
    RAVE: God will not put more on me than I can handle.

    • Where do you work? I haven’t received any notice or any other information besides “all civilians are being furloughed” – I thought I’d have heard by now? This causes a huge amount of stress in our lives as we’re expecting our first child and 20% of my pay going bye-bye is a major issue when we don’t make that much. ggrrr

      • You have to be notified 30 days in advance and have to sign an acknowledgement that you received the notification. All DOJ employees got the notification a couple weeks ago, although furloughs aren’t yet a certainty for every component.

  • RAVE: Amazing weather this weekend.

    RAVE: Ripped the engine out of my scooter on Saturday and found out my piston head partially exploded. No other serious damage, so this should be a much less costly fix than I expected. I should be back to riding in a few weeks, after my parts come in.

    RAVE: SNL on Saturday night was hilarious. So many good sketches. This was my favorite: http://www.hulu.com/watch/465352

  • Rave: I think she likes me.

  • Rant: What’s up with stores not itemizing stuff I buy on final receipts these days?! I got charged incorrect totals for stuff I got at restaurants twice last week and the only copy of the receipts they gave me only had the total amount paid, while the one I signed had itemized costs on it. I think there’s a lot of receipt sketchyness going on lately in DC…

    Georgia Avenue potholes and construction road fixes are getting really bad, and DC should feel bad about it.

    Was dating a single mom until this weekend, her kid got injured, took him to the emergency room that day, that same night she wanted to go out to a nightclub… I didn’t think that was cool. Having a hard time overlooking that. Feeling bad about being judgmental though, but I feel she should have spent the evening with her kid at home instead of getting “Jiggy” in the club.

    • Hard to say not knowing the age of the kid or the extent of the injury but — having raised a couple of kids myself — I’d guess that that kid was probably OK, mom needs her grownup time and you should pretty much always trust the parent’s gut on things like these, especially if you’ve never been one yourself.

      • The kid’s mom had pretty much been irresponsible and rather self centered since I met her in my observations. The injury was pretty traumatic for the child, he is around 7 years old, at least he will be OK… I think it’s pretty safe to say a parent that truly cared would take the night off and spend it with their kid. There were a bunch of other issues going on there though. πŸ™

    • I giggled at Getting Jiggy….lmao
      but on a serious note yeah lady stay home with your kid. Booty shaking can wait.

    • Yeah I’ve been noticing some receipt shadyness going on too. My biggest pet peeve is all the tip line on receipts (no table service at said establishments) these days.

  • Rant: Dentist appointment this morning (first one in three years – woops! I used to be much better at consistent dental check ups but it feel to the side recently)
    Rave: No cavities!!
    Rave: Incredible weekend – ran the Pacers 8k with the husband (he kicked butt once again!), hit up the barn, enjoyed walking outside and loving the weather.

    • Wow, you’re lucky. I forgot to go to the dentist for three years (just didn’t realize so much time had passed between appointments) and I had 4 cavities! Never had one in my life before that!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I don’t remember when the last time I went was. My dentist here doesn’t send out the 6 month notice so that I can make an appointment or remember the one I made. They don’t even call the day before to remind me I have an appointment. I think I need a new dentist.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Also, getting a new dentist is fun for me because they always spaz (in a good way) over my freaky teeth πŸ™‚

        • Oooh, you should go to my dentist! He’s the coolest, super funny, and his receptionist makes you schedule your next 6 month check up before you walk out of the office. His name is George Kesten and he’s right across the MD line in Friendship Heights.

          • Dr Kesten is great! That’s where I go! But I don’t like the hygenist – the blonde lady? She always talks to me about her dating life, moving from her townhouse in Columbia, or whatever – I just want her to do her job. And I REALLY don’t want to hear about her dating life.

          • ::snort:: I’m glad I’m not the only one. She’s really nice but, man, is she an oversharer. I just generally enjoy being able to tell my friends how ridiculous she is.

          • SO glad I’m not the only one!!! I was like “I must be given off the vibe that I care?” but nope! It’s not just me! Whew! She once told me her boyfriend was tall and skinny and those guys tend to have the biggest…junk. I couldn’t say anything cuz my mouth was all being dental cleaned. I’ve thought

  • Rant: This is going to be a long week. And I’m starting to not feel great.

    Rave: starting to try to plan family visits – Pittsburgh here we come. Haven’t seen my ‘burgh family in a while, and i LOVE going there. We’re trying to get a babymoon to Chicago over memorial day, but not sure if that’s a good use of money given the impending furlough – it’s expensive largely because I can eat my way through Chicago pretty hardcore!

    • How is The Burg in the spring time. I went once and it depressed me (but it was winter time). I want to give it another chance.

      • Beautiful – Memorial Day should be a great weekend in terms of weather. I always love the ‘Burgh, though. Not really a fan of August there, but I don’t like heat. Fall is my favorite time there but late spring, you should be good!

        • OK I shall plan a weekend trip.
          I want to try those sammiches with the french fries (even though I hate french fries)

          • blech there is SO much better food. I’d rather eat at the Dirty O than have a Primanti Brothers sandwich. So gross. The Megabus goes to Pittsburgh now – it was a rather long trip (probably an hour longer than I’d have taken), but I wasn’t driving/paying for gas and it had WiFi. Great way to go.

        • novadancer

          sorry J but I disagree. I LOVE Primanti’s and I’m from the area πŸ˜‰ Primanti’s was always the treat after a night of dancing at metropol!

          • it’s probably because I’m from Philly, which has far superior sandwiches (mmm hoagies). Primanti’s has always seemed gross to me – sloppy, no one flavor. They are an institution, but I always picked the O (except that pizza is the worst thing ever – you KNEW you were drunk if you eat pizza from there!)
            That said, Pittsburgh has amazing restaurants and eating your way through the strip ending with Enrico’s biscotti is a great Saturday!

          • novadancer

            We agree on one thing… I did get spoiled going to college on the main line. Cheesesteaks… mmm. I need to make a trip up soon!

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Weather getting nicer
    Rant: Had to work most of the weekend but
    Rave: It’s so great to work on something you really like, it’s addictive
    Rave: the part of the weekend when I was not working was also great

  • Super-duper Rave: Got engaged over the weekend! And instead of a ring, he got me a beautiful necklace to wear until we go shopping for a ring.

    Rant: After the high wore off, we saw a news segment on how the average wedding now costs just under $30k. City Hall is lookng mighty good right now, maybe with a party for afterwards. Or maybe just have the party, skip City Hall, and ask a buddy to get ordained over the internet.

    • Congrats!
      You sound just like a friend of mine who just got engaged. She started off wanting the big wedding then realized that she didnt want to spend that much money on a wedding when they just bought a house. So her and the future hubs are going to the JOP, having a nice dinner and taking their kid to Disney the 15K she was going to spend is going toward furnishing their new home.

    • Our wedding barely cost 1/2 that. Don’t let the numbers fool you. It’s very easy to do as inexpensive as a wedding as you want in DC. Ours was classy with fantastic food. It can be done – aim for a Sunday (cheaper) and don’t get sucked in to the $4k photographer package. Use Etsy for as much as you can (invites are especially great there, as many artists will let you print your own at a huge savings) and you can do it!

      • Thanks! I am starting to see that it is possible to have a sane wedding- which is a relief. Just browsing Pinterest wedding stuff is nauseating, with all of the ridiculous crap you’re “supposed” to have/want.

        We’ve had a couple of friends get married first (in JOP, family-only ceremonies), and then have a reception a few months after. One couple we knew managed to do the whole thing for about $7000, which is right around where we’d like to be, if not under. Going to see if this can be done for $5000 or less (that still feels like a whole lot of money!). It may not be a gorgeous blow-out, and some people might think it’s cheap, but I don’t mind. I have the feeling that most of the budget will go towards decent food and drink, and the rest will be a compromise. And I’m cool with that.

        • The difference between an inexpensive wedding and a cheap wedding are huuuuge. My wedding was inexpensive. My SIL’s wedding was cheap (no cake until the last minute, and then it came from the Stop and Shop).
          Find a place you can BYO – food and drink. Bringing your own alcohol is definitely cheaper. It’s been suggested here that a BBQ style caterer can be inexpensive and delicious. Definitely check out David’s Bridal online – my husband and I got “remarried” in Vegas when he came back from Afghanistan (because I wanted a Vegas wedding to begin with) and the dress I got from there for $150, I liked it better than the dress I wore the day of my real wedding. lots of stuff can be found online to buy/borrow from brides who don’t need it anymore like vases. Linen rental online is WAY cheaper than anywhere else. We invested in a day-of coordinator who helped me save a lot of money by referring me to great online vendors even with her cost.

          • I got my dress from David’s Bridal Vera Wang line for $200, and spent an additional $150 in alterations to make it look like a million bucks. πŸ™‚ And we had georgetown cupcakes instead of a cake – they do free custom decorations too, we had our initials done in the colors we picked.

        • Here’s a moneysaver I wish I’d known about when I was planning my wedding– you can rent space at DC Public Schools on the weekends for less than $200/day. Friends of a friend had a lunch reception in the gymnasium at Oyster-Adams. No alcohol allowed, but that’s what the afterparty’s for πŸ™‚

    • Congrats! Don’t despair, you have lots of options. We just did a small ceremony and dinner for immediate family, with booze and appetizers and a late night party for friends. Our budget was same as yours too. Check out Chez Billy for reception space, we loved it!

    • When shopping for venues/options for the wedding reception, do not tell anyone it’s for a wedding. Say it is for your parent’s 50th wedding anniversary or something.

    • Thanks for all the suggestions, it’s going to be an interesting exercise in prioritizing, but it’s heartening to know that you can have a halfway decent event without either going into debt or blowing your entire savings on one day.

      And we’re definitely going to keep elopement on the radar just in case things get too insane. πŸ˜‰

    • I will say, if you don’t want dancing and you don’t need to invite over 50 people, an inexpensive wedding is doable. I had plans of having an outdoor/barn wedding in the country with an indian buffet and diy’ing everything β€” but make no mistake, feeding 100+ people will never be cheap, even if you don’t need to fork over 5,000+ for venue rental. we had a cake from whole foods, scaled back photography and negotiated a rate of 1,000 (my biggest regret b/c that’s the only thing I should have splurged on), I got a non-wedding wedding dress, hubs wore a regular suit, no bouquets, no wedding party, did the invites/programs/name cards myself, but we still spent over 25k because having drinks and dancing for our large families was important to us. it stinks, but it was so so so wonderful to have that for our families. now, if you don’t have 90 people you *need* to invite, a small intimate wedding would be incredibly lovely and very affordable.

  • Random Qs: Anyone know what was going on last night at 13th
    and Massachusetts NW? My boyfriend woke up because a guy was screaming
    for help and banging on the doors of the Belvedere (we’re across the
    street) and a load of cop cars showed up immediately, with two
    speeding of towards M st quickly after. This was about 12.45am.

  • Rant ad nauseam: Still no partner and no prospect of one.

    Rave: I think I’ve just become part of a music project. Looking forward to singing and playing again.

    Rave but a costly one: New project might finally convince me to invest in a piano (a digital one, alas, but they’re getting better these days).

    • Mail Order Spouse? lol

      • Well, online dating is kind of like looking through a catalog. Not much for customer service, though. “This dude, does he come with a warranty?”


        • Emmaleigh504

          hey, Irving Streete is looking for a lady if you aren’t too young. And didn’t Jack5 recently break up with someone (Sorry Jack5 if I’m confusing you with someone else).

          • The PoPville lonely hearts club–love it! (For the record, I’ll be 32 in June.)

          • Emmaleigh504

            Too young for Irving Streete πŸ™ Maybe Jack5 or maybe Zero_Sum will be looking soon (not that I wish this, just going by the post). I know there are other single guys on here, I just can’t remember.

            I so want to play match maker! I think Popville wedding would be awesome!

          • I’m old enough to date Irving Streete πŸ™‚

          • Emmaleigh504

            Irving Streete, we’ve got someone who meets your age requirement! Now y’all need to meet for coffee or drinks and see how you like each other πŸ˜‰ Shall I set something up?

    • Emmaleigh504

      Looking for a chick or a dude? I know lots of chicks on PoP looking for love.

      Maybe we need to set up a PoP singles mixer…

    • Blithe

      Don’t know if this would interest you, but I’ve been reading and doing the exercises in a book called: “Calling in ‘the One'” –“7 Weeks to Attract the Love of your Life”. It’s focus is on “clearing away the obstacles that have been holding you back from love”. It sounds smarmy, but the exercises are helping me sort out a lot of toxic sludge from my past — that really have impacted my relationships.
      I’m taking the scenic route though, so I can’t speak to the effectiveness of the “7 week” timeline. πŸ™‚

  • Revel Update: So I asked about European tour companies the other day now I think I want to do a solo trip (sans tour company). But im so scared! I want to start in Venice or Florence and travel to Paris then end up in GB. What are cheap and clean lodging options? Has anyone ever bought those $500 rail passes? Are they worth it? Realistically how much should I budget for a 11 day trip (2 travel days and 3 days in Italy, France and GB)? Any tips/ suggestions will be very much appreciated.

    • janie4

      So do you want to go to Italy to eat, see art, or shop? If it’s the first (which I freely admit is one of the reasons I went), it doesn’t matter which city you start in, the food is great both places (you need to go further off the beaten path though in Venice). if it’s art, start in Florence and the Uffizi. If it’s shopping, do you prefer leather and gold, or lace, textiles and glass?

      • Sooo im a fatty so food first BUT I would like to do some shopping and maybe see a little art. BUt food and wine is first and foremost for me in italy….and makeup from that store Kiko. (dont judge meh!)

        • janie4

          Totally not judging – I went to Venice because of my love of textiles. Makeup is probably more practical than the table clothes I bought that get used once a year.

          In that case, I’d head to Florence. Bologna, which is two hours away by train, has some of the best food in the country (didn’t make it there last time, but I will make it next time or die trying). You can find some good places to stay on About.com or Rick Steves. If you’re planning a summer trip, book now, as tickets will get more expensive. Sorry I don’t know any travel places.

          • I am planning for my 30th next year (so next April). I just like planning ahead. The more I think about it…the more inclined I am to stick with Italy and just go to London the last two or three days (I have family and a crap load of friends there that I want to see). Paris was just an after thought I will go there for New Years or something

          • anon. gardener

            If you’re going to Bologna, two places to consider – Ravenna and Parma. Ravenna for the beautiful mosaics and all around awesomeness – it is a great place to stroll. Parma is the home of prosciutto, and feels like a little French village. it’s another great place to stroll around. they are in opposite directions from Bologna, so you probably would want to pick just one. Also, in my experience nothing in Venice is cheap, so it is probably best to do it as a day trip. it is one of the most fascinating places I’ve been – we left piazza san marco immediately and got lost in the non-tourist neighborhoods, it was amazing.

    • Hi! I got to spend some time in Italy a couple of years ago. I stayed in this hotel in Florence and enjoyed it. And I was definitely on a budget!


      In general I found that website quite helpful for booking hotels (I think it’s a German site but has an English version). Good luck!! πŸ™‚

      • Thanks!
        Did you stay in any Bed and Breakfasts?

        • I didn’t get to stay in any B&Bs. I was there for school so my “home base” was Bologna and I made little trips to other cities. By the way, the train from Bologna to Venice is SUPER cheap, or at least it was 2 year ago. If you go in the morning and take the “regionale” instead of the Euro Star (one is a regional, slower train, the other is more fancy and quick) you can get to Venice for something like 10 Euro. I used to go to Venice just for a day trip on a weekend.


    • Take a look at the Lonely Planet website for recommendations on places to stay.

      Also, I suggest you consider scaling back.

      It’s 10 hours or so to travel from Florence to Paris by train (although there may be a night train). Paris to London isn’t so long (a few hours) but still you’ll need time to get to the train station, get from train station to your hotel/hostel.

      You can find out the train fare between different cities and compare the cost to the railpass.

    • I’m not sure what you consider “cheap” but I stayed at Hotel Orcagna in Florence and at Hotel Sevigne (now Hotel Emile, apparently) in Paris – both were in the “budget hotel” category and I was very happy with the rooms and prices. I did a lot of searching on tripadvisor.com to find hotels for my trip, it’s a great resource! If you find a good hotel in Venice, let me know – I’m hopefully headed there in May.

    • FYI – flights within Europe on European carriers can be much cheaper than rail travel. Check out RyanAir or Air Berlin, etc. I was surprised how cheap it was.

    • You should check out Rick Steves guidebooks! He has great recommendations for all budgets and his books are very practical.

    • anon. gardener

      Also, regarding hotels, you might want to look into something like homeaway.com . I suggested this to my boss when she was reeling over the cost of hotels in europe. she used homeaway, got a great deal, and had a fabulous experience.

    • If you’re only planning to travel between major cities, I recommend checking out RyanAir and EasyJet – they are European budget airlines and offer many fares between cities for less than 100 euros. The cost can add up though if you need to check luggage (they have tighter restrictions for carry-ons than U.S. airlines), change your travel dates, or if they fly out of an airport which requires an additional shuttle (i.e. RyanAir flies into Beauvais instead of CDG in Paris – it’s a pain to get to).

    • Start with examining what exactly you are scared of? Getting robbed? Being lonely? Getting lost? That will be the most helpful thing to plan your trip. I love traveling solo and definitely encourage it. Plus it is 100xs easier these days.

      • I think its being lonely and not having anyone to talk to. But a part of me craves that. Every trip I have taken with something i came home pissed off. Plus I know some french and NO italian (but rosetta stone can fix that–anyone wanna sell me their Rosetta Stone Italian for cheapies?)

        • The advantage of traveling solo is that you go where you want to go (no need to compromise with yourself!) and can engage with others as you choose. You also have to figure everything out yourself (where will I stay, eat, get around) which can be tiring. Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to going solo.

        • How long is the trip again? If it’s less than a week, don’t worry about not having a companion. The freedom to do exactly what you feel like doing will far outweigh the “pleasure” of company. If you really get lonely you’ll be able to find people to talk to.

          (For longer trips the same may apply, but having to negotiate unfamiliar places without knowing the language *can* get tiring without a companion to share the burden. Depends a lot on where you are.)

    • I did Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, and Paris by myself about 3 years ago. I planned it myself and took the train between all of them, but didn’t get a pass. I found locally run small hotels or hostels in all but Paris, there I used AirBnB and got a great deal. The place I stayed is no longer available, but I would check AirBnB in all the cities you’re going to. You can get in amazing locations at 1/3 the price of hotels there. If you are looking for hotels I recommend Trip Adviser.

      I second the Rick Steves guides, he even gives you walking tours of museums. I felt to much better about my brief time in the Louvre because I followed his guide and knew I saw all the important stuff. I didn’t have to feel guilty about skipping out on hours of ancient pottery (not my thing).

    • I stayed in Bologna for a few weeks some years ago and did day trips from there. Venice, Parma, Pisa & many other places are easily accessible by train. It was a great way to see a little of Italy while having a “home base.”

    • It sounds like you’re leaning towards a few days in several different places…but if you change your mind as you get further into planning, and decide you want to focus on exploring one city more in depth, short-term apartment rental can be a good lodging option. My friends do a week in a different European city every year, and have always had good luck with renting a reasonably-priced studio or 1br apartment (I forget the exact website they use…might be homeaway.com or airbnb.com.) They save a little money eating some of their meals in, and they’ve always enjoyed staying in a “real” (ie, non-tourist oriented) neighborhood that they might not have otherwise discovered by sticking to hotels.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: People who want to fight in my alley late at night.

    Rave: Usually it’s just a shouting fight, rarely we get fisticuffs, and (knock on wood) I haven’t seen weapons in the 6 years I’ve lived here. The police also respond very quickly. Thanks neighbor who called them.

    Rant: Ashlee is still sick and lost another pound. My once stocky kitty is wasting away. It’s stressing me out.

    Rave: The vet gave her a appetite stimulant and her lungs are clear, so we are going to try adding some more antibiotics and a decongestant. Cannot wait to have a cat snot free home.

  • Popville – whats the best place for macaroons (the french cookies, not the coconut things) in DC? Thanks in advance!

  • rant: I found out from my parents last night that my brother-in-law was cheating on my sister and he moved out. They have two small kids (2.5 and 6.5) and my sister stopped working a few years ago because she wanted to devote herself to her family — as far as I know she had no idea this was coming and I’m heartbroken to think what she and my nephews are going through.

  • Rant: This whole losing an hour thing. I am DRAGGING!

    Rave: I never actually changed my clock at the last time change, so it’s finally right!

    Rave: Someone just gave me a homemade loaf of bread. It’s currently sitting on my desk and smells a-mazing.

    Rave: Went to the Birchmere for Todd Snider’s “What the Folk” show on Saturday – awesome show! Plus I’m diggin’ the Birchmere!

    Random: While trying on a dress at H&M yesterday, some fabric got stuck in the zipper and there was NOTHING we could do to get it out. I couldn’t shimmy the dress up or down so eventually they had to cut me out of it!

  • Anybody checked out the townhouses at Dakota Crossing?

  • Sharing for Shits and Giggles: Someone on my FB just posted something about young people not going to church and how we make time for everything else. So I responded that I just dont like going to church. I dont ever feel like I get anything out of it. So I worship how I like and it makes me feel good and at peace. Sooome heffa unknown to me posts the following “Well hell is an option for you then”
    Now I am trying to figure out if I should tell this woman about herself or just let her languish in ignorance? Im not angry just trying to figure out when people feel they can say shit like that.

    • Allison

      Hmm, I think just like your FB friend opened herself up to your criticism when she posted about young people not going to church, you opened yourself up to criticism from the other person by responding to the original posting. That’s the weird essence of Facebook, everything you say is public (kind of like on here!) and open to criticism.

      • That’s true.
        I opted to ignore her anyway. I dont know her and I dont care to get into a verbal sparring match with a stranger.

        • Allison

          Exactly. Those situations are one of the many reasons I quit Facebook three years ago, and have never looked back. I recommend it to everyone.

      • Allison

        Clarification: That sounded weird. What she said wasn’t nice and wasn’t right, but my point is it’s not worth arguing with strangers on Facebook. Your day will probably be dragged down unnecessarily by it.

        • I get what you’re saying. Funny enough this was the first time I had been on fb in over a month lol. Showed my ass….let me stay off and hold on my my sanity.

    • saf

      Disclosure of bias here: regular churchgoer

      I cannot stand it when people do that. First, it makes people even less likely to look kindly of churchgoers. Second, it’s a fairly strict and very old-fashioned interpretation of (I’m assuming Christianity here, since you said church, as opposed to synagogue or mosque) Christian beliefs.

      And finally, that’s just hateful. And hateful is NOT a very Christian way to be.

  • Rant: Have to commute from Adams Morgan to Courthouse for the next couple of days. It wouldn’t be too bad if I didn’t have to be here super early.

    Rave: District Taco.

  • valentina

    Rant:Are there any doctors in DC that are accepting new patients??!!!! I need a to get a physical!

    • Kaiser? lol

    • GW is, but there’s a long wait – so I broke down and joined One Medical group. You can get a discount code usually, and they are easy to schedule. For $150 a year, which I think you can use your flex spending for if you have that, it’s great to not have to wait for appointments.
      That said, I used it for the IVF referral and have since gotten pregnant and will likely not go back there for a long time so I feel like it was a waste. But it’s a good insurance policy, I guess. The offices are nice and centrally located and they take insurance.

    • My doctor right across the street from Woodley Park Metro is still accepting patients. Dr. Shotashvili, practices at Comprehensive Primary Care. She’s great, definitely recommend her.

    • try DC Internal Medicine on 18th St. nw (maybe 19th, sorry). They recently accepted me as a new patient and I’ve been very happy there so far.

  • Rant: People who urinate in the bushes at Meridian Hill Park. Seriously, where do you think you are? There are families out there trying to enjoy their day. Use the public restrooms. They are there for a reason.

    • Man! That is so disgusting…between that a people spitting all willy nilly I dont know how I leave my house. Ugh

    • this drives me nuts too. one time i saw a homeless guy TAKING A DUMP right next to someone’s basement apartment, literally “going” on their window. i couldn’t believe and and called the cops, but they didn’t seem interested in doing much.

      • The guy I saw was far from homeless. Just a lazy idiot hanging out at the park who thought the nearest bush was a better place to go than the restrooms provided.

  • Rave: lots of walking this weekend! Dupont-Georgetown-Dupont-Adams Morgan-Mount Pleasant on Saturday, then Mount Pleasant-Adams Morgan-U Street-Logan Circle on Sunday.

    Rave: Keren Restaurant. Ate the fuul with 2 eggs for brunch at noon and wasn’t hungry again until 9 PM.

    Rave: Got our marriage license this morning!

    • lol! Yes, my mom would make Fuul on Saturday AMs and I swear we would be good playing outside for the rest of the day πŸ™‚ Rave – happy that Keren has been busy lately w/diverse customers!

    • The egg fuul at Keren is the TRUTH!

  • Rant: Heard from a friend from high school. He asked how I was doing then quickly jumped into his real agenda: selling me some monthly crap subscription. Yuck.

    • If this was an over the phone thing…I would slowly put down the phone.

      • Not even that much effort–it was a Facebook chat. I replied “hmmm” and ignored him. It was something that might have made him a few dollars over the course of a year. We’ve been out of high school for 14 years. So pathetic.

        • There is this guy on my FB who sells Ambit Energy (WTF that is) and he terrorized the news feed with that shit. Before I gave up FB (for Lent and to practice better time management) I was so over him and his damn schpeil

    • Allison

      I think the only appropriate response is to e-mail him a link to the clip from groundhog day where Phil punches Ned in the face for trying to sell him insurance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mV-UBaT0SI

  • Rave: Great run this weekend and outdoor bootcamp with my buddy – love the sunny weather
    Rave: Getting psyched for marathon next Sunday
    Rant: Typical pre-race jitters
    Rant: No post-race massages available – foam roller and epsom salt bath will have to do

  • Rave: It’s moped season, baby!

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