Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

Only 8 days until we move out of the RAF and head home for Christmas. I can't believe how quickly this semester has passed. I have never been this busy and I can't imagine suddenly being done with all of my assignments and requirements, but in just 8 days I will be laying on my couch in Minnesota watching some sort of terrible TV with no homework or need to wake up at 7:30 the next morning. That will be quite the adjustment.


This past week, I was able to cross a few major things off my list. On Saturday I finally took the LSAT. I have no idea how I did, but I am so glad to be done with it. On Monday I turned in my huge portfolio that contained almost every assignment and activity I did this semester. As you can see, they have to be professionally bound. But it was easy and not expensive, which is pretty good for not having to pay for any books this semester. I still have my final project for my Emerson class and plenty of work to do for my internship and I'm still feeling like I don't have enough time to get everything done, but I'll make it work.


My finished Porfolio!


During all of this work and these crazy last few weeks, I can't help but get excited for Christmas. I went to the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday which was a lot of fun. There were a bunch of different performers including OneRepublic and Big Time Rush. Michelle Obama read a Christmas book with Kermit the frog, and the whole Obama family lit the tree.





I have to admit that the tree was a bit dissappointing, though. Apparently the storm earlier this year knocked out the old tree, and the new one is expected to grow to the same size, but for now it's pretty pathetic.


My class was lucky enough to get a tour of the White House this week. We had to sign up, and leave our purses and things behind, and walk through many many levels of security, but once we got inside it was awesome. The White House had just been decorated for Christmas the night before and there were choirs singing Christmas Carols in one of the rooms. The tour was very brief, and there was no guide, which was too bad. I was hoping to see more or hear more about the rooms. But it was cool to see at least part. We actually decided to count all of the Christmas trees, there were 29 just in the small area we were allowed to see!


Just after our tour, looking Presidential.


A few days later, my roommates and I were wandering around Metro Center and Chinatown to get our portfolios bound and we ran into an outdoor holiday market!




Ilse and Rachel at the Holiday Market


It was filled with handmade gifts and art and we were able to get cupcakes from Curbside Cupcakes. My roommate and I both got red velvet, and they were amazing. The market made me think about all of the Christmas shopping I have to do in the next couple weeks, starting with the secret santa party I am having with my friends here at TWC. This inspired me to make a list of the best places to Christmas shop here in D.C. (in no particular order, they are all awesome):


1. Outdoor markets: Eastern Market, Chinatown Holiday Market etc. These markets have very unique and beautiful gifts that you can't find at any typical stores. They also have some of the most delicious desserts or holiday foods in case you are invited to a party and would like to bring a gift for the host.

2. Georgetown: This is one of my favorite places in D.C., it has so many shops, retaurants, and things to do and it feels like its own little city. Definitely a fun place to Christmas shop.

3. Pentagon City Mall: Typical mall. It is Metro accessible and pretty big, but always very busy. The best part is the outdoor area that is surrounded by shops and retaurants. In the winter there is a little skating rink and skate rental area right in the middle of the courtyard.

4. Metro Center/Chinatown: This is another really nice area to shop. Metro Center and Chinatown are surprisingly close to each other, just a couple blocks. There are some major stores tucked into the surrounding streets. There are also plenty of retaurants and a movie theater if you need a break from shopping, and the Holiday Market is set up right in between the two Metro stops.

5. Dupont Circle:This is another really different part of D.C., just a few stops down from the RAF on the Metro. There are a lot of great boutiques and good thrift store, and good relatively cheap food.

6. Union Station: This is just one Metro stop down from the RAF, and the shuttle will take you there any day of the week. Union Station has a bunch of stores, including a Barnes and Noble, and it's an easy stop to make on the way home from work.

7. Columbia Heights: This area is just off the Metro, and it has a Target, which is the best. There are a few other shops in the area and Sticky Fingers Bakery is there, too and they have some of the best vegan treats.

8. Old Town Alexandria: Alexandria is off the yellow line and the main street is King Street which is filled with boutiques and uniqe restaurants. Shopping here feels like you are out of the craziness of the city, but there is still plenty going on and plenty of places to find great gifts.

9. Chevy Chase Pavilion/Friendship Heights: This is past the zoo and Adam's Morgan on the red line. It's a great shopping area, but a little more upscale. There is an indoor area with a few shops, but most are up and down Wisconsin Ave.

10. The National Mall, Museum Gift Shops: The museum gift shops in D.C. are usually awesome. They have tons of different souvenirs that make great gifts if you aren't from the city. The Smithsonians have great shops that are worth considering for Christmas shopping.  

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