It took until Christmas break for me to sit still long enough to write. Several fun things took place throughout the fall, and even though these posts are very belated, I still wanted to capture the experiences.
In late-September, I attended a conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C. It was hosted by the Network of Executive Women. This was the first of their in-person events I’ve attended, and I have to say that I was blown away by the caliber of their speakers – Lisa Ling (CNN), Grace Killelea, Julie Sweet (CEO, Accenture North America), and Dr. Victoria Medvec.
Nestlé hosted an event for their female participants on the first evening, and our keynote speaker was Tiffany Dufu. She is the author of the book, Drop the Ball, which I highly recommend for any women who are wrestling with juggling “everything.” She was a dynamic speaker! I left the conference inspired to be a continuous learner and to continue making goals for what I want to achieve / learn throughout the year.
[One of my fellow Purina ladies! She is a gem.]
As often as possible, I try to combine work and play. I recently learned the word “bleasure” (business + pleasure), and I love it! On this trip, I saw a number of my favorite people.
First, one of my Grand Rapids friends (who’s been back in D.C. for years) picked me up at the airport and took me to All-Purpose Pizza for lunch. It was so fun to catch up with her! Of course, in all my excitement, I forgot to take a picture with her!
Secondly, my mom was in the midst of a trip with her church. They were visiting Williamsburg, Jamestown, Gettysburg, and D.C. We happened to have free time at the same time, which was perfect for walking through the monuments on a gorgeous day!
One of the things I’ve been meaning to do for the past few visits is to go to the Holocaust Museum. I learned we have one in D.C. after visiting the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and was curious to see it. The first time I attempted, they didn’t have any space left. The second time, I planned but they were closed due to a power outage. Third time’s a charm. It’s a heavy museum as expected, but I was glad to see it.
I thought the most moving display in the museum was the one below. The quote reads:
We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are the shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers from Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam, and because we are only made of fabric and leather and not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided hellfire.
-Yiddish Poet Moses Schulstein (1911-1981)
After the conference and the museum visit, one of my St. Louis friends (who moved to D.C. in June) came to pick me up at my hotel. After stopping to see her new place, we went to Indigo for dinner, which was delicious Indian food with a lively outdoor patio.
After dinner, I went to see Bruno Mars in concert, which was amazing! I was so impressed with him and his band! They were running, jumping, and dancing for the ENTIRE concert – all while singing and playing their instruments.
On Saturday, we had a day of fun! We walked to Eastern Market to have breakfast with friends who used to live in St. Louis, too! I saw them last summer when they were expecting their second son, so it was fun to meet him this visit!
After breakfast, we walked to the Capitol and decided to walk into the Library of Congress. If I’ve ever been in this building, I don’t remember. I LOVED it! It is incredibly gorgeous, and I loved Thomas Jefferson’s library and the exhibit of illustrations from court room sketch artists commemorating famous cases in American history.
Next, we walked through the United States Botanic Gardens. It was beautiful, but very small compared to the one in St. Louis.
After these stops, we made it to the bike rental station. I was nervous about getting hit by a car or running over a pedestrian, but we made it all the way from the Capitol to Georgetown without any collisions. We rented our bikes from Capital Bikeshare and made our way through the Mall past all of the monuments, around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial before heading along the river to Georgetown.
In Georgetown, we had cupcakes at Baked & Wired, walked through a number of fun shops, and ate a delicious Italian dinner at Filomena.
I flew back to St. Louis early on Sunday morning with a full heart after such a wonderful mix of work and play!