In case you can’t make it to Washington, DC in the springtime here is a peak of the cherry trees in my neighborhood. This city is awakening. It’s a magical time here. The best sightings are at the National Mall of course, but all over the city you can see the trees in bloom. It makes the long winter actually worthwhile. (sort of!) Next up the azaleas.
&pizza (pronounced "and pizza") is an American fast-casual restaurant chain, with over 30 locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Miami and Virginia. They sell personal and customizable oblong-shaped pizza. They tailor each location to its neighborhood, with local artists designing the interiors.
The Washington Post called the restaurant "the pizza shop for the 21st century", describing it as Chipotle for pizza" and was on the Fast Company World's Most Innovative Companies 2018 list. Buzz Feed calls them next generation of pizza.
That’s all well and good. I’m happy for all the accolades this Washington, DC franchise has received. But, what I love the most about this company is its commitment to paying a living wage to its employees. Bravo!
And, they give any employee who willing to ink the ampersand a free tattoo. How cool is that?
I’m fortunate to have an &pizza one block away from our condo. Doug and I love the customization of each pie. We watch our pizza being made each step of the way. So fill’er up with our favorite toppings and the magic happens. The pie goes in the specialty oven and comes out in minutes. The crust is perfect! But it’s not over. You walk to another bar and choose even more topping. Even an Italian visiting our fair city would approve! Well, maybe more toppings than they are used to in Rome, but it is delicious.
If you are visiting DC enter &pizza in your map app and you’ll find a location near you. Or, both Dulles and Reagan National airports have branches. Why not customize one for the road? This Washington, DC franchise will provide one more memory for your journey home.
I snapped a photo of our recent meal. Isn’t their branding awesome? Can you guess what our toppings were?
Many visitors who come to my city neglect to put the Library of Congress on their itinerary.
To me, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington, DC. I like to go and sit on a bench and simply stare at the ceiling. Everywhere you look is beauty and inspiration.
And when you do go, take a moment to visit the Jefferson Library exhibit. It’s worth a short stroll to look at all of the titles.
I posted some pictures of a recent “Freedom Friday” date with Doug.
While visiting the National Portrait Gallery here in DC the other day I spotted a childhood hero — Luis Muñoz Marin — Puerto Rico’s first elected governor.
When I was a little girl I met him as we were casually walking down the street. My parents were so excited as we took a family photo. I remember registering how important it was but not fully grasping why. Later as I began reading Puerto Rican history I could finally understand.
Every once in awhile a leader is born, destined to change history. They make hard choices. They make sacrifices most will never fully understand. They make mistakes. Aren’t perfect. But they persist and the world is better because of their imprint.
I loved discovering this hidden gems in corners of various cities while traveling in Italy. One particular artist caught my eye. It became a game to see where he'd show up. I found him in Pisa, Lucca, Milan, Parma, Bologna, San Gigminano, Florence... and I'm sure I missed so many!
Venice is one of those cities I get so caught up simply enjoying wandering in I often forget to stop and take pictures. Plus, my photographer husband does such a good job of capturing the spirit of the locations we are in that I get lazy. BUT, this morning we got up early to visit the fish market and discovered the city blanketed in mist and fog.
While D was busy capturing the bustle of the fish market I found this perfect corner to daydream and think of the thousands of feet that have walked these streets and ridden gandula across it's canals. I hope you enjoy this picture I took.
We took a tour of a Reggiano Parmesano factory in Castello di Annone, Italy. Fascinating! This is what 5 million dollars worth of inventory looks like!
Years ago D and I stumbled into one of the most perfect medieval Italian cities... Lucca. I can't remember how many times we have returned or brought friends here. I love it so much I make time to return and say hello.
Do yourself a favor and if you are near Pisa or willing to take a short train ride from Florence take a few days to soak in the magic.
Landed in Pisa starting our #Toccati2017 adventure.
Not a shabby view for our snack before bed.
I saw this Help Wanted poster while wandering in NYC. Ever work for someone like this?
One more reason to work for myself!
Washington DC has a rich jazz heritage that began in the early 1900's. There are several jazz clubs scattered throughout the city but my personal favorite is Twins Jazz Club. Next time you are visiting our city see who's on the roster and go!
Congratulations to our son, Justin Fike.
If you're looking for a fun read, I recommend Fire in the Dawn. And, that's not just because he's our son. Seriously, it's a great read!
Shout out to Janelle Hugel for the cover art!
The National Gallery’s East Building here in DC is the guardian of over 1,000 Rothko works in 1986 when the Rothko Foundation gave the museum the bulk of the artist’s remaining estate. It's quite the treasure. It's worth a return trip because one never knows what will be on display.
Today Janelle and I took a day off to recharge our souls with art. This slice of heaven never disappoints!
There is a farmers market across my street every Wednesday and Saturday.
Local farmers bring all kinds of surprises!
Hint: it's a cucumber variety.
So this was happening in my neighborhood till the wee hours of the morning.
I don't think there is another city in the US that celebrates as well as the DC metro area. From our rooftop, you could see fireworks on full display 360 degrees long after the National Fireworks finished. It was spectacular!