Best of Spring 2015 – Washington, DC

Now that winter is over, and the trees are in bloom, I am excited for Spring and eager to share my 2015 list of The Best of Spring – Washington, DC .

Cherry Blossoms – Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists descend on the Washington, DC region to revel in the beauty of Cherry Blossom trees and the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/.  The current forecast for peak bloom, according to the National Park Service, is April 11-14. Make a plan to see them in person before they are gone!

Cherry Blossoms at the Washington Monument

Cherry Blossoms at the Washington Monument

Washington Nationals baseball – The local team made a huge winter splash by signing 2013 Cy Young Award winning pitcher (American League, 2103) Max Scherzer. With current stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper also leading the team, big things are expected from the Washington Nationals in 2015. We may never again openly say “World Series or Bust” but the expectations are certainly high for the Nats this year. Opening Day is April 6th. Check out the schedule and get your tickets. Play Ball!  http://atmlb.com/1FFMLHy

Nationals Opening Day 2015
Waterfront Dining – DC has an abundance of great waterfront views. Why not take advantage and enjoy it with your favorite meal or beverage. Find out more here: http://dcmetroplus.com/dining-category/incredible-waterfront-dining-in-dc/

Bicycle and running paths – Washington, DC and the surrounding neighborhoods are adorned with hundreds of miles of beautiful trails. Whether you walk, bike or run, find your favorite path and enjoy. http://bikewashington.org/trails/

National Zoo – Everyone knows that bears hibernate for winter, but come spring there is no place better to see lions, tigers, bears, and of course pandas, than at the National Zoo. Admission is free (parking extra). Metro accessible.  http://nationalzoo.si.edu/

Panda at Washington National Zoo

Great Falls and assorted hiking trails – In city adorned by brilliant man-made monuments, we often forget the wonder that Mother Nature created, with Great Falls being among the very best in the area. If you’ve never hiked the Billy Goat Trail, or have not done so in a very long time, you owe it to yourself to get out there this spring. http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/Billy_Goat_A_8872.asp. For more hiking trails http://dc.about.com/od/hiking/a/BestHiking.htm

Annapolis, Middleburg, Skyline Drive and more – There are many places to visit within an hour or so drive of DC. Whether it’s the quaint towns of Middleburg and Annapolis or the hiking trails and spectacular views of Skyline Drive (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm) there is so much to see and do near Washington. Baltimore and the famed Inner Harbor is only an hour away http://baltimore.org/about-baltimore/inner-harbor (* plan accordingly for weekend and rush-hour traffic).  Photo below was taken in the Virginia countryside – part of the Shenandoah Mountains.

View from a moto ride 8.31.14

Celebrate Planet Earth – Celebrate the earth, music, and life in general, with a huge Earth Day concert. Earth Day on the Mall on April 18th with a mega-sized free concert, featuring No Doubt (w/ Gwen Stefani), Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train, Usher, etc. http://bit.ly/1FdAxXQ

This is just a small sample of the wonderful outdoor activities available in and around our Nation’s Capitol.  So get outside and enjoy the Best of Spring – Washington, DC style!

*All photos were taken by Steve from 4Staff.

A Time for “Giving” Thanks

thanksgiving_blessings_featurePhoto courtesy of Gospel Rescue Mission

And a Time for Thanks – “Giving”

How many of you have too much stuff in your closets? Come on, raise your hands.

I know that I’m guilty! I can be a “clothes collector”, and at times, reluctant (or just lazy) to clean out my closets.  Hey, just because I have not worm that short in 2 years, does not mean that it’s not a perfectly good shirt, right?  I might wear it again….someday.

My intentions have always been in the right place.  Over the years, I have donated my clothing many times, particularly at the holiday season.  I know that I have too much clothes, and I know that someone (less fortunate than me) would be very happy to have them.  However, somewhere along the way I got lazy, and it has been a while since I “shared” my clothing.

This Sunday morning, I set my alarm early, and drove with a car stuffed full with clothes, to the Gospel Rescue Mission (Washington, DC) – a homeless shelter for men.  I should tell you the reason why I chose to the Gospel Rescue Mission. I did not select the “Mission” for any religious reason. It was for the purpose of putting my clothes to good use. They don’t plan to sell my clothes (for what I believe would be a small fraction of what they are worth), they will USE my clothes to clothe the homeless! I left the mission with a warm and fuzzy feeling,  not because I now have cleaner closets, but because I know that I did some good.

I don’t mean to sound sanctimonious, because I know that many give and give again, but just a few days before Thanksgiving, I was reminded of the true meaning of the holiday. I gave, and they were thankful…and so was I. Personally, I know that I should be “thankful” more often. I have everything I need and more than enough to give away.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

For more information on the Gospel Mission Rescue – http://www.missiondc.org 202-745-7118

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Like many business professionals, I utilize LinkedIn as a networking resource.  If you use LinkedIn, you may have noticed that you can see people who have looked at your profile.  I don’t utilize that feature all that often, but I recently noticed that 3 of the last 10 people who looked at my profile had no name or picture (I am not claiming that is the norm or average).  LinkedIn states, “this person chose to be shown as anonymous.”  That’s a fairly large percentage of people who had interest in seeing my profile, but didn’t want me to know who they were.

anonymous

Perhaps readers can give me some insight into this.  Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to remain anonymous.  Could it be a competitor checking out my profile?  Perhaps I have an ex-girlfriend who decided to stalk me?  Perhaps those individuals wanted to remain anonymous due to concerns over their internet privacy.  Wait…that doesn’t make sense!  LinkedIn should be an I see you, you can see me forum.  Anyone with privacy concerns should certainly not be checking out any other profiles, least of all anonymously.

“This member chose to be shown as anonymous.” 

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Don’t be this person!

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool, particularly to those in sales and marketing, and certainly for job seekers.  They allow you to create a personal profile that can look different from your company website or your resume.  If you remain “anonymous” you remain unknown.  What good can that do?

LinkedIn is a professional network, so it works best when people introduce themselves with a well-written bio and a reasonably professional looking photo.  Please be yourself and not just some anonymous surfer dude.  And for goodness sake, please don’t scare people into thinking that they have an anonymous stalker.

V

So, unless your name is Guy Fawkes, or you starred in V for Vendetta, please don’t be anonymous.  Please be the real you!