Black Friday in DC

After thanksgiving, hard to get up super early to go shopping. But it’s true that after having heard of the famous “Black Friday”, we want to live the experience, and know how it goes here in the United States.

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With my friends after our dinner of Thanksgiving, we went downtown to see which shops were open for Black Friday deals.
Surprise! Only Macy’s was open, and the deals were not so interesting as that.

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For my French friends > reductions are similar to a simple day of sales, nothing crazy.

After a good night of sleep, I went to the mall “Fashion Center at Pentagon City” where I could splurge, because all my favorite stores were there…

 

Madina.

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My first thanksgiving!

Born and raised in France, I did not know what  Thanksgiving was.
Sure, I had some ideas in watching movies on TV, but I never had the chance to participate in a real Thanksgiving meal.

So I was invited for a meal, where I could enjoy the delicious dishes prepared especially for this festive period;

 

Menu

Turkey

Mashed potatoe & Gravy

Green beens

Ham

Stuffing

Apple & pumpkin pie

Let me tell you that at the end of the evening, our stomachs were completely full; but the most is that now I know what thanksgiving is, and I can tell my friends and family how it goes in America!

Madina.

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Veterans day

It’s good to have a little break from classes, although I still have a ton of things and assignments to do …
For Veterans Day, I decided to relax and kidnap my friends again to continue my visits of DC.

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So we enjoyed the beautiful weather by visiting the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which

 “celebrate those men and women who may be broken in body – but never in spirit”

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The memorial was held just a few steps from the United States Botanic Garden, and as I really wanted to visit it since I arrived in DC, we went to take a look at the conservatory.

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Awesome garden!

Madina.

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Feeling hungry?

One fact about me: I love to eat.

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So I want to share with you three restaurants that I tested on U Street, near the campus of Howard.

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 Famous restaurant known for its chili dogs, half-smokes, and milkshakes.

It is also regularly visited by celebrities, such as Bill Cosby and Chris Tucker.

Mayor Adrian Fenty took then-President-elect Barack Obama to eat at Ben’s as part of his welcome to the city in January 2009.

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Next Door is a warm local restaurant and bar next to Ben’s Chili Bowl.

The business was started by the second generation sons who currently run the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.

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Sala Thai is specializing in Southeast Asia’s spiciest cuisine.

This restaurant is known for its friendly and warm service restaurant neighborhood.

Be tempted and visit these restaurants if it is not already done.
Bon appétit! :)

Madina.

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Globe-Trotter Special #APPS

It’s been three months since I moved to Washington DC, and I can say that at the beginning it has not always been easy not to be lost, to move around and find the desired locations. Being addicted to my iPhone, I could find apps that have helped me adapt quickly to the city!

Discover new places

> This app is a way to discover places, it allows people to share and conneKt to places they love. So if you visit or settles in a city, this app will allow you to know the interesting places.

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 iOS here, Android there.

Avoid getting lost and stay connected

> Having no sense of direction, I get lost all the time.

That is why I bless those applications that help me to find myself in case I In case I do not know how to go somewhere.

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iOS here, Android there.

Waze is a pretty cool application as it saves you the places where there are traffic jams, not bad at all…

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iOS here, Android there.

The last one is a map that may interest many, Wifi Map, that lists all the spots with free WiFi around you.

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iOS here, Android there.

To move around

Uber is my best friend! At first I tended to use Lyft for its friendly side, but Uber remains unbeatable on prices.

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Uber iOS , Android there.

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Lyft iOS here, Android there.

Madina.

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What I did for Halloween 🎃

I have suggested to you a list of interesting things to do for Halloween, MY weekend was special because it was also the birthday of my dear friend and roommate.

Here is then our little program for this October 31st:

8am

Preparation of the birthday cake …

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2pm

Birthday gift purchase…

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5pm

La Tasca! Great restaurant that brings Spain to downtown Washington: tapas, paellas and refreshing sangrias in a lively atmosphere over two dining floors.

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10pm

Time to party!

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Great Halloween weekend! I hope you enjoyed yours!

Madina.

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What to do for Halloween in DC! 🎃

So I’m late as Halloween was yesterday. This week has been very busy for me. But! I still want to offer you a small list of 5 things to do for the Halloween weekend in DC 🎃

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1 – Boo at the Zoo

You can go see the bats, spiders, owls, and other animals in the zoo while trick-or-treating. This can be nice to meet the animals of the park and see the festive decorations and haunted trails at the annual Halloween celebration of the National Zoo.

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2 – Night of the living Zoo

Wear your best costume while enjoying the zoo in the moonlight. For those looking for a blood-curdling experience: palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists.
You must be at least 21 years old to participate in this event.

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SATURDAY

3 – Scream City

This place gives you access to two haunted house experiences: Exorcism Estate, a demon-themed haunted house experience, and Slaughter Factory, Which drops you into the air of a crazed slaughterhouse – Scream City is Appropriate only for the bravest 13-year-olds and up.

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4 – Halloween haunt

The amusement park offers two mazes, six scaring zones and over 20 rides. Families and children will enjoy the new Planet Snoopy during the day, with preferred Halloween family activities, including hay maze, pumpkin painting, the chance to get behind the wheel of a tractor pedals, shows and more in Doswell, Viriginia.

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5 – 17th annual nightmare on M Street

Get ready for a costume party, you and your friends can get ready to cruise at over 30 bars and restaurants participating in DC, in both areas Gallery place and Dupont Circle. There is food and drink at every stop along the way.

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Happy Halloween!  🎃🎃

Madina.

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Top 7 things to do in DC

For people who are not interested in museums and historical places to visit (yes, museums can be cool as it can be annoying at times…), here is a top 7 things to do in DC 😉

Take a walk through Georgetown

There are plenty of interesting things to see and do and you can easily spend several hours exploring Georgetown; the area is a shopper’s paradise and the streets are lined with restaurants of every nationality. Take a tour of historic sites, do some shopping and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.

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Visit the National Zoo

Just down the road from the Cathedral, the National Zoo is yet another free play zone brought to you by the Smithsonian. Keep an eye out for the orangutans, which can travel freely on a system of cables above your head, and if you have small children with you, make your way all the way down to the petting farm and the pizza-garden playground.

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Walk, bike or Kayak along the C&O Canal

The Washington DC region has a wonderful historic park that offers a relief from hectic city life. You can take the whole family for a walk and learn about the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, you can explore the region’s bike trails or spend a few hours kayaking.

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Attend a sporting event

Washington DC’s professional sports teams offer entertainment for the whole family. You can get tickets to see the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Capitals, DC United, Mystics and more. The Verizon Center also hosts traveling sporting events like wrestling, ice-skating, and martial arts.

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Visit Alexandria

There are a variety of sightseeing tours of Alexandria available including cruises on the Potomac River, horse drawn carriage rides, ghost tours, and historic walking tours. Alexandria is a fun place to visit and you can easily spend a whole day here.

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Potomac River

Leave the buildings behind you and go kayaking – some areas are difficult! If you’re lazy, you can take a cruise along the monuments of the city and take beautiful photos!

Nightlife

Washington DC has a lively nightclub scene and you can find a wide range of clubs ranging from upscale hotspots featuring live bands to casual dive bars and enjoy an evening of dancing in the nation’s capital; U Street, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, H Street and more…

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Madina.

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Let’s get back to DC!

I explained in my previous post, my uncompleted visits in the US capital. Unfortunately, with my classes, assignments and exams, I still do not had time to accomplish what I wanted to do …

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Could not do it all, Washington is a city with many museums: there are about 200. Hard to visit them all, it would take time, and a good dose of motivation to see them all with interest. There are all the free museums, Smithsonians, which are concentrated in the famous large park, the National Mall. These museums are free because they depend on the National Park Service and go to the heart of the nation’s interests: Native Americans, art, history, natural history … Elsewhere in Washington, there other paid museums. Among them, the one I want to see at all costs: the international spy museum.

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At the other end of the Mall, the Capitol is recognizable with its dome, which was under scaffolding when I was there (coincidentally when I want to see it hmm…).

But! As always, I hope to have enough time to visit more, I’m still here for a few weeks :)

Madina.

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United States VS France

This is only recently that I moved to the United States, but I have noticed many differences between here and France.

So here’s a partial list of my discoveries  :)

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The first thing I noticed in arriving in this country is the ambient positivity and helpfulness of Americans; when I was struggling with my luggage upon my arrival everyone was willing to help me carry them, or tell me where to find my way to get to the campus …

In France, most passers would simply… have ignored me!

I realize that the cliché of “French complainers” is probably true, Americans do rarely complain, are always smiling, and it’s really nice.

Or is it just because I’m a “Frenchy”! 😉

Other super confusing thing here: the “hug” to greet … that changes from our “French kiss”.

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Nutella tartine – Peanut butter and jam toast

Ham pasta shells – Mac&Cheese

We are lucky in France to have a real food culture, and be educated, from a very young age, to have a healthy balanced diet, because in US, it is far from being the case!

Here it is not shocking eating nachos and cheese with fries …

Something else, Americans eat anywhere, anytime. They rarely take the time to have real meal, and have no set hours for lunch or dinner.

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The Americans have a different way of partying or having fun in general. The majority being fixed at 21 years old, they tend to “let go” when they can drink; the aim being to drink alcohol faster, to have the effects quickly.

Schedules are also very different: we start partying early, and finish early! The bars close at 2am, 3am; so we have dinner early, and at 9pm we already are preparing to go out … What makes a big difference with our french club arrivals around midnight, and our return at dawn by subway!

The list can be very long, but I expect to discover even more amazing things!

Madina.

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