The U.S. Open 2015

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Over Labor Day weekend, I traveled to NYC for a long weekend to visit Bridgette and Rob. One of the absolute highlights was going to THE US OPEN!!!! I am trying to not overuse exclamation points and writing in all caps in this post, but I think my face in the picture above says it all. I was so unbelievably excited to be there!!!We procured tickets months ago on the day they went on sale, and I’m so happy we grabbed grounds passes for the first Saturday evening of play.

Bridgette and I grew up as avid tennis players, and I started playing when I was five years old. We both played almost daily from then through high school, and tennis has long been my very favorite sport! Bridgette and I grew up playing on various tennis teams, competing and traveling, and we were even doubles partners for two years in high school! (Sistah Scholl) I’m not much of an athlete when it comes to other sports, but I was (and still am, sorta!) quite good at tennis. And I love it so much!! Every year, year after year, we’ve watched the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open (sorry, Australian Open, I always forget about you!), and it used to be a dream of mine to play at Wimbledon. I think it’s safe to say the time has passed for me to be a Wimbledon champion, but that’s okay! It was, however, still a dream to go to the Grand Slam tournaments, and I’m so glad that this year I finally made that dream a reality. Wimbledon and the French Open, I’m still working on getting to see you in person, too!

Needless to say, I was like a child on Christmas morning over Labor Day weekend when it was finally time to go out to Flushing Meadows to see the US Open in person! I apologized to Rob about by extreme giddiness that day, but I think he was pretty excited, too. Despite a little miscommunication with the policy of when we could actually enter the gates (some people told us the wrong info…), we were more than thrilled when we could finally enter the grounds at the US Open on Saturday evening!!! We didn’t have as much time to explore and wander and soak it all in as I would have liked, but we learned our lesson for next time (yes, there will be a next time, and that time we’ll know: Saturday grounds pass + Saturday evening ticketed seats).

And boy was it amazing!!! Really, I had so many ‘pinch me’ moments! There was great food and drinks, excited people everywhere, huge screens of some great matches that stretched on, and I loved being surrounded by so many people who love tennis and all of these athletes as much as I do! The grounds and the stadium are really beautiful, and there’s so much to see and do. I loved seeing the huge globe that’s quintessential to the US Open, we found some cute Nike apparel and branded t-shirts to take home, and we were even on TV! Yes! We were right behind Chris Evert (THE Chris Evert) as she aired live at the US Open, and my parents definitely saw us on TV (and recorded it!).

Inside Arthur Ashe stadium, the biggest stadium, we were able to see an evening women’s match and a men’s match. The highlight was watching Andy Murray play!!! I’ve loved Andy for years, and it was surreal watching him play in person. And he won! We were pretty high up, but we still could see so well. I was impressed with the size of the stadium (and it’s so pretty!), the views that we had, and just how electrifying it was to be there. I don’t think a giddy grin left my face the whole time!

I’m so, so happy the three of us were able to go to the US Open this year, and it was an incredible day, for sure. I already am plotting to come back again next year. It was amazing seeing something in real life that you’ve followed along on TV with for over two decades, and I loved being able to share that day with Bridgette and Rob!!

Weekend Recap: 1

After traveling several of the last weekends, it was refreshing to stay put in DC and enjoy all that Fall has to offer.

One of my favorite perks of my job is our 3:00pm departure time every Friday afternoon. Seriously, I could go on and on about how precious these extra 2.5 hours of freedom are to me! Allie, one of my dearest friends here in DC (and since my freshman year of college!), is moving back to North Carolina in December (don’t even get me started…), so we are attempting to cross some final DC bucket list items off of her to-do list.

We kicked off the weekend with fancy drinks at the historic and oh so beautiful Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. You can read more about Tabard Inn’s long and fascinating history here. We wandered around the eclectic, cozy, and ornate inn, poking our heads into the several dining areas. Allie and I settled on some Victorian couches in one of the bar areas & ordered some fun drinks. She got the Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy Zig and I got the Second to Last Word – delicious! We then headed to one of our favorite dinner spots in Georgetown, Old Glory, for some cornbread, BBQ, and pumpkin beer!

I started off Saturday morning playing tennis with Alyss… so fun! We’ve played a couple times this Fall, and it’s wonderful being back on the courts again. I could get used to this, for sure.

Allison & Lindsey then ventured out to the ‘burbs of Northern Virginia! The three of us have been friends since the very beginning of freshman year, and we all lived in the same suite our sophomore year at UNC. We’re all originally from Charlotte… then Chapel Hill… then moved to DC! We headed out to Great Falls National Park (which thankfully reopened this past week!) for an afternoon of hiking. It was a pretty cloudy day, but it was so nice to get out in the fresh, cool air and stretch our legs. I never get tired of seeing the beautiful falls, watching kayakers try to navigate the falls, and observing the leaves changing colors. Plus, it’s always fun to spend time with these two!

We headed to Trader Joe’s after our hike to pick up ingredients for a little chili & cornbread dinner party feast! I venture to TJ’s every week, since it’s right around the corner from my house, but it’s a rare occurrence for Allison & LIndsey to go… I think they had fun! We had a delicious cheese, crackers, & mulled red wine appetizer while prepping for chili and broccoli cheese cornbread. I love having intimate dinner parties with friends, and this one was so perfect and Fall-inspired.

I met up with my beautiful pregnant friend, Megan, for lunch on Sunday – she is constantly craving Mexican food, so we catered to that craving! I think Baby Gianna was happy, too. It’s so fun to watch your friends grow throughout the weeks right in front of you, and I absolutely cannot wait to meet Baby Gianna next month!

Allie and I met back up with our friends Mallory and Brett for a day in Old Town Alexandria and charming Del Ray. We started off at another DC bucket list item: the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. I’ve driven by this masonic temple dozens of times, but I’d always been so curious to go inside and see what it was really like. It’s also a central location in one of my favorite books, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol! It’s such a beautiful, iconic masonic temple, and I love that tours ($8) are open to the public, too. There is gorgeous artwork throughout, lots of statutes, a few museums, and lots of historic artifacts. The informational tour also takes you out to the high observation desk. This outdoor observation deck provides stunning panoramic views of Northern Virginia, Old Town Alexandria, the National Harbour in Maryland, and even of downtown Washington, DC + the monuments and the Capitol. It’s so pretty, and I love being on the highest structure around!

We then headed over to another Old Town favorite, Port City Brewery. Unfortunately, they are already sold out of their amazing Octoberfest beer, but I settled for their dark Porter (which I think would be so excellent poured over coffee ice cream, too!). The four of us then ventured over to Del Ray, a small suburb close to Old Town Alexandria. I had only ever heard of Del Ray, and I mistakenly thought there wasn’t much to it. Boy, was I wrong! It’s the cutest, most quaint town with a great main street. I can’t wait to check it out again! We went to the highly-recommended Taqueria Poblano for an a-ma-zing dinner. I love little authentic Mexican places, and you could just tell this is a local favorite. We all loved every dish we ordered, and I definitely would go back- yum! It was such a fun day with these friends, and I love packed days full of adventures like this.

After such a jam-packed and fun weekend, I ended it curled up on the couch (for the first time in weeks!) with a warm mug of apple cider + The Amazing Race – a great end to a fabulous weekend!