Monday, July 15, 2013


It takes a lot to have a perfect family vacation....

let see:

First you take an awesome train ride at the zoo with your five and six year old niece and nephew.  

second: take family photos and re-live those childhood memories that involved going camping in a school bus -- yes a school bus. 

Third: Classic Small Town Iowa Fourth of July festivities including Bomb Pops, a parade -including candy, large shaved ice, funnel cakes, pupusa, ice cream, s'mores,.. really just a lot of food.  

Forth: add some backyard camping.
(editor's note: somehow I was stuck sleeping in the "kids" tent... maybe when I'm 30 I'll be seen as an adult)

 Fifth: some hot tub action with a five and six year old.

Six: Science museum action with a four year old. 

Seven: sunset, corn, sunflowers, and a family in "comfy" clothes.  

Eight:  Host an awesome Baby shower for your sister.  
Nine:  Immediately regret the flight that got in at midnight and not taking Monday off from work.  

Next Time: a vacation that includes naps 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Birthday, Oscars, Library of Congress, and Oysters

the final days of my 2013: 28 things in 28 days challenge events 

Event 25:
Allison’s birthday bash!
Beer bong and a keg was included.
Happy Birthday beautiful lady!

Event 26:
I’m a sucker for the Oscars and headed to Buffalo Billiards to watch it.  
The service was horrible and I was personally disappointed with the outcomes of a lot of the winners… but I’m over it now.
my oscar ballot: before and after

Event 27:
I went to the Library of Congress for the first time -I know I can’t believe I’ve lived here for so long and have never been inside!-
First thoughts: Beautiful!
Second thought: The exhibits are amazing!
In my opinion it is a hidden gem of DC museums/exhibits. 

a list of their current exhibits. 
the inside was crazy beautiful!
the outside looking all grand!
(you couldn't take pictures inside the exhibits, the reading room, or the Thomas Jefferson Library.. but regardless you should still go)

Event 28:
My friend Ari is in love with Oysters… like an unhealthy obsession with them and some how she convinced me to go with her... 

And let me tell you: this Iowa girl is not a fan of them.

We went to Senart’s Oyster and Chop House by Eastern Market on 8th St SE… Ari said their Oyster bar happy hour special was great. I would take her word for it and not mine.

I did go well over my 28 things requirement this year and here is a quick snap shot of some of the other things I did:

Modern art floor! I love the idea of "breaking the rules" in art. 
I'm currently the Foursquare Mayor of the "American Art Museum" and have visited it way more then I ever mentioned in my February blogpost.  
"Nam June Paik: Global Visionary" and  American Civil War are two current must see exhibits!

beautiful day for museum hoping
Thursday night bluegrass! (New location: Argonaunt)
A small Natgeo Reunion when RJ was in town
I got my car fixed and two new tires!... probably the most useful thing I did in February.


Thanks for reading along!

read about my 2011 year challenge here
and my 2012 challenge here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Harry Potter, Smithsonian, Photoshop, Drinks, Solange, and a New Job.

As always I’m late in blogging about my 28 things in 28days challenge.

and now I present to you event 19-24... check back for the last 3!

Event 19:
A band that sings songs they have written about Harry Potter!

one of their songs!
It was awesome!

Event 20:
Smithsonian tweet up. 
I was one of the few lucky people that were able to go behind the scenes at National Museum of American History.
There is a great summary blog post here! by @hanseldee
more photos here

Event 21:
A GREAT exhibit at the National Gallery of Art about photoshop before photoshop was a computer program.
definitely a must see if you are in the DC area. 

Event 22:
I got happy hour with Katie and to make it fall into a "new thing" we headed to a new bar that I have never been to, Penn Social, they had a half *ass* done mural of the Big Ten.. missing about 4 schools all together. (but included Iowa!)
Their service was also “blah.” I’m use to my HstNE service. 

Event 23:
Allison had an extra ticket to see Solange Knowles at the Black Cat.
I had no idea what songs she was famous for, but I had a blast.

Event 24:
I got a new job!
I found out on Friday at around 4pm... I immediately texted my friends and found 3 willing souls to get happy hour with me!
thanks Rebecca, Zack, and Andi for celebrating with me!

leftover Pink Champagne from NYE... saved for a special occasion. 
at Cafe Promenade.
Check back for the last four days of my 28 things in 28 days challenge! 

Friday, March 1, 2013


Event 18 as part of my 2013: 28 things in 28 days

I’m a girl from Iowa and living in Iowa you don’t get to experience certain portions of American History, because wars weren’t really fought in the middle of the country.

When my friend Rachel suggested a day in Fredericksburg, I said YES without even thinking about it.

She had a whole list of things she wanted us to do: "Washington’s boyhood home, battlefields, AMAZING ice cream, lunch at one of the last pharmacy/soda shop" (her exact twitter words).

She picked me up early in the morning on a Sunday –who does she think she is- but she greeted me with coffee and later a donut so no real complaints.

Because it was a Sunday in February most of these places were closed. 

But we still got to go to a Battlefield!

cannons. seriously, you don't see these in Iowa. 

the original stone wall. 

real life bullet holes from the civil war. 
in the house from the picture above. 

Fredericksburg National Cemetery where Union and unknown soldiers were buried. 

After the battlefield we explored downtown Fredericksburg:
a local thrift store had a stack of old Iowa postcards.  Awesome!

and lunch at a local spot... any place that has pupusa is good with me

as always I will be posting updates on each days activity on this blog, but for more immediate updates check my twitter (@ksloss) #28things or instagram (@ksloss) 
read about my 2011 year challenge here
and my 2012 challenge here

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gordon Biersch and the Freer/Sackler Galleries

Event 15, 16, and 17 of my 28 things in 28 days challenge. 

Tonia, my partner in crime when it comes to doing random cultural DC things, wanted to hang out on this Friday and we planned a whole day full of stuff.

Up first: which I’m counting as event 15 because… it was an experience.
We went to a restaurant, a typical “American Food” place by Chinatown called  Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant.
We started off by ordering a couple of drinks (it was past noon, so no judging).
And after waiting 10 minutes we get our beers, then after 15 minutes the waitress comes up and asked “I took your order already, right?” “ummm, no”, and then we waited and waited and waited.  

Then food comes out! 
But it goes to the table next to us.
Then we get our food.
And everything is wrong: wrong fries, wrong sandwich, wrong order, just wrong.  
I ordered a BBQ burger and got a blue cheese burger that belong to the person behind us.  Our original food went to the table across from us, and their food went who knows where.

I had to wait an additional 10 minutes for them to bring out my food while Tonia already had her food. And the worst part was no one apologized to us, acknowledged what happened, and only offered to give me one free $5 beer for having to wait for my food.  

Normally bad service doesn’t bother me, but we had a whole day worth of events and the restaurant was basically empty.
yep, not a BBQ burger. But the free beer was delicious. 
Now to move on to the more exciting Event 16!

I have only ever gone to the Freer/Sackler Galleries to see one of their films and have never actually stepped into the galleries.   (their films festivals are awesome!) 

my first thoughts: this is definitely a hidden DC gem. 

When it comes to art there are two things I know I like
1) modern art
2) anything not influenced by Western Europe.

And this museum was filled with that ancient art vibe: from Japanese Samurai art, Ancient China, contemporary art, and a new great exhibit called “Roads of Arabia."

the famous "Peacock Room"
Seriously, you don't see this in European or American Art. 

Quing Dynasty Stamps . Simple, but beautiful. 
Tonia and I both worked at the Natgeo Samurai exhibit and I feel like it gave me a lifelong love for  Samurai cultural/art. 
A great exhibit.  
No photography was allowed in it and even though I saw folks breaking the rules, I couldn't get myself to do that. 

I honestly can’t believe how much I was impressed by this museum.  

It definitely made up for the bad restaurant experience. 
Event 17

I'm debating counting this as an event, but I will because I waited and waited in an endless line for the off chance that my lucky number would be called to get into a free event at the Freer/Sackler that required you to pre-register.

I forgot to pre-register.
I slacked off and expected to get into the event. 
I was number 55 on the wait list.... the last number they called was 51.
Boo, I know!

The event was a musical performance described as:  "five accomplished young performer-composers from syria and Tunisia create new music inspired by Arab traditions and infused and influences from Western classical music and jazz." 

I have no idea if it was good or not, but waiting the 1.5 hours to not see the performance was a new experience and a very new thing for me.  

But this experience did teach me that I should always pre-register for a free event.

lesson learned. 

as always I will be posting updates on each days activity on this blog, but for more immediate updates check my twitter (@ksloss) #28things or instagram (@ksloss) 

read about my 2011 year challenge here
and my 2012 challenge here