Mother’s Day At The United States Botanic Garden

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  I could not have said it better than our Nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  I hope to shower my children with as much love, kindness, and laughter as she does for my siblings and me.

When planning what to surprise my mom this Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted something different and unique.  Fortunately there is so much to do in Washington, D.C.!   This year’s plan: taking my mother to the United States Botanic Garden where we’ll be able to design and plant her very own garden.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.  The three-acre National Garden draws its inspiration from the regional environments from the Mid-Atlantic.  Within the National Garden, the major features include the Butterfly Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, and the Lawn Terrace.

UPDATED USBG Terrace

You too can bring your mother to the USBG and help her choose from different plants to grow in her own vegetable garden!  From the ingredients you choose to be planted in your new garden, you can help her make two recipes and taste the fruits your garden will flourish into.  Get creative with your recipes and bond over family heritage traditions!  This program is designed for all ages; to learn more, visit here.

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to participate in the Mother’s Day Tour of the Rose Garden.  It is sure to be beautiful and a memorable experience for everyone!

USBG Rose Garden Tour

If you are staying at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown, your Personal Assistants are available to help plan your own Mother’s Day adventures either at theUnited States Botanic Garden or somewhere else. And if you are looking for a perfect brunch, join me at The Grill Room this Mother’s Day for a feast fit for a queen. It’s time to celebrate the most important women in our lives, our Moms!

 

Images via United States Botanic Garden

Top 5 Things To Do This Spring In Washington, D.C.

Great Falls

I absolutely love D.C. I’ve discovered that alongside the magnetic energetic buzz, there are countless recreational activities to partake in. I’m glad it’s finally time to put away the snow gear and to start enjoying everything D.C. has to offer! Here are five activities I am looking forward to this spring in Washington, D.C.

standup paddleboarding

Standup Paddleboarding (SUP)
I’m always looking for new ways to make fitness fun and this popular sport has taken a form of surfing to a new level! You’ll find yourself enjoying the waters all while working out your core mastering your balancing skills. With the warmer weather approaching, now is the perfect time to try out this fun activity.  You can learn more about here.

Great Falls

The Billy Goat Trail In Great Falls
If you’re anything like me, you’ve never met a view you didn’t like. It’s hard to believe such a beautiful natural view exists just minutes from D.C., you will find yourself engulfed by the Great Falls. Pack a picnic and set off for a leisurely walk along the Billy Goat Trail. You definitely don’t want to forget your camera for a photo op in front of the waterfalls!

kickball

Join A Kickball League
Hands down one of the easiest and fun ways to meet new people in D.C. is to join a kickball league. Join hundreds of young professionals to participate in an amusing game of kickball. This is something that is for everyone and it doesn’t hurt that you’re playing on one of the historical landmarks in D.C, the National Mall.

Visit The National Zoo And Meet Bao Bao
Tigers, lions, and bears, oh my! The Asia Trail exhibit is designed to imitate the pandas natural habitat in China and you can find yourself being just inches away from the bears to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience!

Freshfarm Farmers’ Markets
There are many benefits to supporting local farmers markets, from savoring produce at the peak of freshness, knowing where your food comes from, and enjoying plenty of breakfast and lunch options. No matter where in D.C. you are located, you may find a farmers market close to you!

Of course no visit to Washington, D.C. is complete without making a trip to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown as your home away from home. Let the team of Personal Assistants make your stay an unforgettable experience by setting up all these fun activities for you and your family.

 

 

Standup Paddleboarding Image via Boating in D.C.
Kickball Image via D.C. Kickball

Capella DC Staycation Tips for the Fall Season

rsz_kayaking_potomac_river copy

Summer vacations may be behind us, but weekends in September and October are one of my favorite times to experience the DC Metro area.  So much, I have decided to plan a staycation here at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown!  To do so, I’ve turned to my colleagues and D.C. natives for some of their most favorite activities and inspirations.

DC Staycation Tips:

Michael Katigbak, Capella D.C.’s Director of Sales & Marketing and his wife Courtney have lived in the city for many years, so I could not wait to hear their recommendations:

  • Walk to the Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown to rent kayaks for a smooth drift down the Potomac River and down to Roosevelt Island, the best way to see how the river shapes its physical form and influences its wildlife.
  • Head to the Georgetown’s infamous West End Cinema to watch some of the best international films with a beer or a glass of crisp wine (also, the popcorn is a must! It’s rated the best in D.C.!)
  • Check out Union Market, located about 20 minutes from Capella on New York Avenue, but totally worth the trip!  While you’re there, grab a bite to eat, like the lobster rolls and Korean empanadas
  • Relax at Meridian Hill Park on a Sunday afternoon while enjoying a picnic by the well known drum circle, where DCists bring their favorite instrument to entertain passers by

rsz_kayaking_potomac_river copy

Potomac River

Jason, one of Capella D.C.’s wonderful Sales Managers and his seven-year-old son Isaac love family activities.  Some of their favorites include:

  • Saturday afternoons at the National Building Museum, where children and adults can both learn about architecture, design and engineering.  The museum also has specific programs for children with a staff member dedicated to curating these programs.  There are also special exhibits throughout the year.  See them by clicking here
  • The Discovery Theater (part of Smithsonian), for a variety of exhibitions, collections and cultural experiences contained on the National Mall.  This museum is great for children ages 2-16
  • Following a fun day at the museums, check out Chef Geoff’s, where you will find a delicious menu for adults as well as kids just a short walk from the mall’s museums
  • Last but not least, you must stop by Pinstripes in Georgetown for an afternoon of bowling and bocce ball over lunch or dinner right next door to Capella D.C.

rsz_national_building_museum copy

National Building Museum

The opportunities and experiences are endless and I am so grateful to my team for giving me these wonderful suggestions!  With my reservation on the books, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  I also cannot forget to mention how excited I am to swim in the rooftop heated infinity pool and sip a cocktail from the lounge!  You can’t beat the feeling of exclusivity and outstanding views of our Nation’s Capital from the rooftop.

For more personalized recommendations and for information on planning your staycation experience be sure to contact one of our Personal Assistant’s at 202-617-2415 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

Baked and Wired – A Georgetown Must!

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

There is certainly no shortage of coffee and cupcake shops in Washington, but one of my absolute favorites is a local gem in Georgetown known as Baked and Wired.  Sometimes you need that extra boost and on those days, my colleagues and I know exactly where to go.  Most visitors never notice the shop; located on an off the beaten path on Thomas Jefferson St, just south of the canal in Georgetown.  But locals know, the variety of homemade baked goods, breakfast items, ice cream sandwiches, coffee and tea will have you hooked in no time!

Baked & Wired Street View Resized

All of the baked goods are made in small batches with the finest ingredients so you can truly taste the quality.  They even offer gluten free and vegan friendly items for those following strict diets!  I love their signature Cakecups.  Described as “whimsical, rustic and delicious,” I highly suggest the Carrot Cake, Unicorns & Rainbows, Red Velvet and Texas Sheetcake.

Similar to The Grill Room at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, Baked and Wired uses locally sourced ingredients, like their fresh milk and cream from Kreider Farms of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  The fresh dairy products are seriously the secret behind the most delicious lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos.

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

The breakfast quiche are dangerously good and another favorite of mine.  In fact, I’ve made it a tradition to treat myself to a “Manly” every other Friday.  This quiche has bacon, sausage and Gruyere cheese in a creamy egg custard and homemade crust.  There’s also a caramelized onion & goat cheese and mixed veggie quiches, which are both scrumptious.  You must taste one the next time you’re staying at Capella D.C.

Quiche Menu Baked & Wired Resized

With the fall season just around the corner, my friends at the shop gave me a sneak peek of what’s in store.  First, we can look forward to homemade “Chider,” a mix of chai and apple cider.  Next up, pumpkin doughnut muffins and pumpkin swirl brownies, I cannot wait!

Baked and Wired has become so popular at our hotel that we have even offered specialty cakecups as a sweet treat and welcome amenity for Capella guests.  Be sure to let your Personal Assistant know your preference so they can make sure you have it to enjoy each time you come back.  For more mouth watering updates, be sure to follow Baked and Wired on Instagram.

Like what you see? Stay tuned each month as I share insider experiences and recommendations.  As always, you can follow me, your Capella DC Insider, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Behind the Scenes at the Rye Bar Cocktail Class

Rye Bar Limeade

This summer the Rye Bar at Capella D.C. introduced its’ signature Cocktail Series, led by head bartender Angel Cervantes.  Held monthly on Saturday’s, this social event is full of cocktail creations, experiments and tastings all while learning the tricks of the Rye Bar trade from Angel himself.  I finally had the chance to attend myself and can’t wait to share a few of my favorite moments:

Rye Bar Limeade

The class consisted of about 15 guests including Angel, spaciously seated in Capella’s luxurious Executive Boardroom.  The first cocktail Angel created to kick off the class was his signature shared “Rye Limeade,” using a fifth of Filibuster Rye and bittersweet red liqueur, Campari.  This concoction was a fan favorite and set the tone perfectly for the rest of the class (see full recipe below).

To be the best at home bartender you need a few simple tools to mix, strain, squeeze, and infuse your cocktail.  Angel supplied all these tools for us to use, which definitely made a difference in the overall flavor and consistency of the cocktail!

Rye Bar Cocktail Series

Without giving too much away, Angel shared with us the four elements of a handcrafted cocktail.  Each one adds depth and flavor that you can’t find on your average bar menu.  There are plenty of amazing places in D.C. to find a fantastic cocktail, but Angel really sets the Rye Bar apart using Rye Whiskey as the focal point, and three other signature elements to naturally balance flavors.  Simultaneously Angel is generating new awareness and likability with Rye cocktails with many cocktailians traveling to the Nation’s Capital.

Rye Bar Limeade

Filibuster Rye 1 ½ oz

Lime Juice ½ oz

Campari ½ oz

Lavender Infused Simply Syrup 1 oz

To reserve your seats at the next Rye Bar Cocktail Class, be sure to contact your Capella Events team at 202-617-2429 or e-mail elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.  Get ready to experience how to create the wow factor in your cocktails and taste flavors that are exciting and unique to your palate.  Following the cocktail class is an excellent 3-course dinner with cocktail pairings in The Grill Room as well a signature Rye Bar takeaway gift!

Summer’s Freshest Food Finds at The Grill Room

The Grill Room Chesapeake Rockfish

When I dine at Capella Washington, D.C.’s The Grill Room, one thing is for certain.  The food put in front of me is always composed of the freshest ingredients available. This summer I’ve had the pleasure to be introduced to a variety of locally sourced dishes that have kept me feeling nutritious and fit!  In the spirit of bikini season and health awareness, I want to take a moment to share three fresh food finds being offered at The Grill Room this summer…

Starter: Roasted peach & burrata with hydroponic lettuce, sprouts and drizzled with lavender honey vinaigrette

This dish is full of sweet and savory flavors, and makes for the perfect summertime appetizer.  The Grill Room peaches are locally sourced from Crown Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia as well as Fifer Orchards in Delaware.  The Maryland Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream from Kreider Farms in Lancaster, PA.

Roasted Peach & Burrata

Lunch Entrée: Jumbo lump crab cake sandwich with tomato, avocado and tarter sauce in between a brioche bun with cracked rye.

This sandwich is full of Chesapeake Bay jumbo lump blue crabmeat from The Crab Place in Crisfield, Maryland. Known for its sweet taste and hearty texture, the meat from the blue crab is a true taste sensation. This premium grade crabmeat consists of whole lumps of white meat from the body of the crab with absolutely no shell or cartilage.  This has to be one of my favorite summer dishes using one of Maryland’s finest treasures.  Enjoy this with a cold glass of La Crema Chardonnay.

The Grill Room Crabcake Sandwich

Dinner Entrée: Chesapeake Bay Rockfish with parsley & celery broth, artichoke & tomato ragout topped with bacon.

Rockfish is the official fish of the state of Maryland, one of Washington, D.C.’s close neighbors.  It is considered a delicacy to many natives due to its firm texture and mild, sweet flavor.  Anything with artichokes in my opinion is absolutely delicious, especially when topped with the tomato ragout, herb and vegetable broth, and a hint of bacon.

The Grill Room Chesapeake Rockfish

I hope you enjoy these wonderful dishes for a quick weekday lunch or weekend date night this summer.  Don’t forget to reserve your seat on the outdoor patio adjacent to the C&O Canal!  For the complete menu, be sure to visit www.thegrillroomdc.com.  For reservations, call 202-617-2424.