Might As Well Go There Yourself
A Travel and Adventure Journal
The Washington Antiques Show, otherwise known as the Washington Winter Show, is going on now through January 14, 2018 at the The Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington, DC. And it’s fantastic. The show consists of several floors of wonderfully curated antiques, special events and lectures. On the day we visited there was a lively crowd of beautifully dressed party guests, lookers and shoppers. This year’s theme was “The Charm of Chinoiserie.” We saw some cool old framed flags, incredible estate jewelry, beautiful furniture, lovely silver pieces, and (given the theme) a bit of wonderful chinoiserie. The prices seemed inline with what you might expect and in some cases – less! Always a good thing.
One of the biggest events of the show each year is the lecture and luncheon. We were fortunate enough to attend this sold out event thanks to our fabulous friend Maria and her business partner Pamela and it was a memorable day to be certain. This year’s speaker, and honorary chair, was interior designer and author Charlotte Moss. She’s a rock star and a good speaker who presented a slide show of places we all need to go. She was witty and smart and her pictures from chateaus, private European gardens and architecturally awesome public spaces were absolutely amazing. An elegant woman named Sweet Dupuy was this year’s show chair. She and her committee had created stylish table settings for the event with blue and white striped tablecloths and blue chinoiserie bowls stuffed with white orchids and white freshly cut flowers. Each table had little gifts for attendees. The space where the luncheon is held has sky high ceilings and it’s always filled with bright light, even on a day with rain showers. We’d like to be back in the same spot next year.
Show hours are today (Saturday) from 11:00 AM until 8:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Tickets look extremely limited but check out the website to see what’s still available by clicking here.
Might As Well Go There Yourself
The Washington Winter Show/The Washington Antiques Show
January 12-14, 2018
Katzen Arts Center at American University
If you enjoy a good hike and an even better view you will love Refuge des Espuguettes. The Refuge is only accessible by hike and about six miles (may I mention straight up hill) from the city of Gavarnie, France. This city is along the Cirque de Gavarnie very close to the boarder of Spain. The refuge stands alone, surrounded by rolling hills and clouds that often leave the area full of fog in the early morning. Do not be surprised if you wake to a Donkey at your doorstep, as the area is surrounded with cows, horses, and donkeys. All of the food at Espuguettes is cooked by the wife, husband, and daughter trio that owns the refuge. The family is extremely hospitable, and all of the food was delicious and exactly what my group of exhausted hikers needed. The Refuge of Espuguettes is a must visit!!!
Might As Well Go There Yourself:
65120 Gavarnie, France
So one fun thing to put on your summer list is the Wahine Classic Surfing Competition in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Maddie Merriweather is proud to support this all girl surfing event which will be going on all weekend August 12-13. The surfing is awesome and we always like to head to Wrightsville for some delicious food and of course, a visit to the Trolly Stop (there’s something about their hot dog buns that just make them so incredible!).
For more information about the Wahine Classic, go to their official website: www.wahineclassic.com.
The idea of spending two days focusing on essentially nothing but shopping is always appealing to us, so this week we’ve been in Manhattan for the NY NOW Winter Show at the Javits Center. This show is absolutely incredible. You walk down isle after isle with booths that look like little mini-living spaces with real walls, shelving, floors, lighting fixtures, columns and more. And every booth is stuffed with shiny new things that make you think, “that’s cool” and “OMG, I LOVE that.” We love meeting artists, designers, creative types and sales teams at booth after booth. There’s just something about the size of this show that just makes you feel frenzied — WE-MUST-SEE-EVERY-SINGLE-BOOTH-IN-THIS-ENTIRE-BUILDING-IN-EIGHT-HOURS!!!! But you can’t. So your heart just starts racing as you walk about 20,000 Fitbit certified steps with your eyes twitching about. It’s like an awesome eight hour class at Soul Cycle with lunch in the middle.
After pounding the carpet all day, we (well, specifically our feet) were ready to relax. First stop: the Royalton for drinks with friends by the fire. We love the cozy living room feeling of Royalton’s front area. I don’t know if we actually made it to Bar 44 because the cushy leather furniture about ten feet from the front door sucked us in the moment we arrived. Plus, it’s all dark and sexy looking which helps when you haven’t had time to brush your hair in nine hours. Our buddy Melanie is a martini girl and we loved watching the waiter descend the stairs with her drink twinkling in the firelight with a thin, wide wedge of lemon.
Next, while some of our crew from the cocktail party wandered off to watch the Patriots and the Falcons in the Super Bowl, we decided it would be a perfect night to go somewhere where they don’t sell wings with BBQ sauce. We ended up at a Nomo Kitchen, a gorgeous restaurant lit with massive crystal chandeliers. Due to the fact that most of America was watching Lady Gaga dive off the roof of the NRG Stadium, we were able to be seated immediately at a long wooden table right in the center of this chic, airy restaurant. We ordered some tasty flat bread pizzas and lollipop chicken to start, along with some drinks. The atmosphere is great for lively conversations and staying awhile, and the food was delish. Plus they let us charge our iphones at the front desk which made us love them even more. Don’t worry — we did make it home in time to watch the Patriots come back to tie, and then defeat the Falcons. Our best to our buddy, Wyatt, the biggest Falcons fan in America.
While in town, we also went to see the new musical The Waitress. The best news — unlike Hamilton — we could actually afford the tickets, and we’ve gotta say — it was fantastic. The singing is amazing and there are some moments that just make you belly laugh. Okay, so they launch into the anthem “Sugar, Butter, Flour” too many times — so what. I think we’d go again just to see the actor Christopher Fitzgerald (who plays Ogie) do his version of Irish River dancing. It’s hilarious. Check it out.
Might as Well Go There Yourself:
Bar 44 at The Royalton
44 West 44th Street
New York, NY
Nomo Kitchen at Nomo Soho
9 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013
Tickets: we got our through Ticketmaster
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
256 West 47th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
You need to prepare yourself mentally for the Atlanta Gift Show. There are eighteen floors of gorgeous gifts and housewares with winding hallways, folks wearing big market passes stamped with QR codes and strange sets of elevators … and that’s just one of the buildings. But there’s nothing more fun than going to see the newest and most exciting products out there, so off we went.
The official title for this grand show is The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. Most folks however call it simply “The Atlanta Gift Show.” We went looking for some new things to bring to Maddie Merriweather’s trunk shows and of course, for our online store.
We started out at 9:00 am on the very first day of the show, visiting with vendors, finding new products, buying and asking questions. Atlanta’s gift show is different than NYNow (the gift show in New York), and you need to figure out the system. Turns out the system works like magic. You figure out what you want and then the staff members in all of the showrooms use little scanners to scan barcodes and voila, you’re new products are on their way.
Six hours later, we were toast. So it was time for a little relaxation and fun. At nightfall, we set out for a local restaurant called Watershed housed in a chic, industrial feeling building on the edge of Buckhead. Watershed is co-owned by Ross Jones, a North Carolinian who found her way to Hotlanta thirty years ago. We’d gotten a tip via an NC bridge group that if we found her place, we’d find good food. Well, the bridge group was right. There’s a daily special, but we opted to go à la carte after a long day of wholesale therapy. At the bar we found a pro bartender who whipped up their signature margarita and served it in a mason jar with a thick slice of fresh lime and just the right amount of ice. We added a little simple syrup to smooth things out and had a moment to enjoy the fab dark and cozy atmosphere. For dinner, we chose a nice spicy cauliflower soup, which tasted very farm-to-table and was mighty delicious. Cauliflower is so in right now and it was a favorite even when it wasn’t quite as popular. We added an order of yummy piping hot cornbread that came with about a 1″ pat of butter and real honey. It takes practice to smear on just the right amount of butter on the top of the 300 calorie per bite cornbread mini-loaf and then delicately spread on the gorgeous thick honey. But my God it’s worth it.
Might As Well Go There Yourself
Our beautiful, stylish cousin Liza is getting married and no one is more charming, so we were thrilled to help host a bridal shower in her honor in late September. This not only meant we had a chance to visit with family and meet several of Liza’s lovely bridesmaids, it also meant we got to have a really fun 48 hours in NYC.
We started with a wonderful lunch at Bar Americain, a chef Bobby Flay restaurant, which is right in the theater district. It was probably 2:00 pm by the time we arrived (without a reservation) and even though the restaurant was still fairly crowded we were seated immediately into a tight little french feeling table where you can eavesdrop on your neighbor’s conversations. I had a wonderful glass of white wine called “Le Pich”, a 2014 California Chardonnay from the Russian River area (my favorite). I don’t generally start drinking mid-day but well, we were on vacation. My husband had a wonderful Southwestern Cobb Salad with blue cheese, pulled chicken, bacon and chipotle dressing which he loved, and I had the ricotta crepes with asparagus which were light and delicious. I don’t pretend to know a thing about chef Bobby Flay, but he is putting out some seriously delicious food and the staff is wonderful and professional. I should mention the room at Bar Americain is enormous and the woodwork is stunning.
It was an absolutely beautiful day in NYC, so we decided to venture out on a walk through Central Park which is always a good idea. Plus it was the weekend of the 2016 Global Citizen Festival so I was thinking we just might run into Rihanna and her crew doing a sound check. I love Central Park and within 10 minutes we had seen street dancers, moms strolling babies, runners, bikers, a Dressage horse show (which apparently had Frederick the World’s Most Beautiful Horse – darn it! How could we have missed that?!). Anyway, we started getting a little hot so the Boathouse lured us in and since it was nearing 4:00 pm we decided to stop for a bottle of water. But it’s New York, so the water turned into a delicious Bellini and cheese plate. A fellow NYC visitor with two good looking table mates asked if he could have one of our chairs and we said of course. We were surprised when the bill came and this visitor had bought our drinks. I love a surprise Santa — such a lovely gesture.
That night we headed out with our buddy Loie who is always good company. I picked my new favorite, Cafe Clover, which serves healthy, beautiful food but the real draw for me is the incredible bartender who mixes up some inspired kraft cocktails. I started with a rose sangria that was perfect for the end of summer. It’s a gorgeous blush color and it goes down just a little too easily. My husband had a watermelon margarita, hand mixed, that was perfect — a little tangy and not overly sweet. I tell you it’s worth going just to hang out at this bar. The dinner was divine and perfect for a vegetarian. I can’t wait to go back.
That night we’d been invited to a secret bar which apparently is a hot spot for Broadway folks. You go up some stairs to an unmarked wood room with a pretty bar where you can look out on the street below. I can’t tell you where it was and I don’t know how many Broadway stars were there, but the conversation was great and so were the chips and salsa.
The next morning we had a chance to head to Carolina Herrera for our cousin’s wedding dress fitting. Her dress is beyond gorgeous (so is the bride!) and I loved watching the seamstress pin and adjust the stunning lace on the dress with such skill. These people know what they are doing.
The bridal shower was in a secret room in a pretty French restaurant called Claudette. You have to walk through the kitchen where you can get a peak at steamy boiling pots and yummy things being sautéed and then you head down the stairs to a sexy little dark room. It’s called the Flamingo Room because of the flamingo wall paper. This room feels a little like Vegas to me. There are no windows so if you start drinking champagne and then get into some wine, you’re not exactly sure what time it is, and at some point you really don’t care. The food was delicious and it was definitely memorable. I’d like to go back and have a nice french lunch upstairs one day.
If it seems like this description of 48 hours is nothing but a visit from one restaurant to the next, well, that’s probably true. But that’s just how this particular weekend went down and I’ve gotta say, it’s not a bad way to spend your time in one of the best food cities in the world.
For our final dinner we met for a big dinner with the bride, good-looking groom, parents, bridesmaids and family in another secret spot. It’s a restaurant called Supper that’s certainly unassuming from the outside. You go down several flights of stairs and walk out into a dimly lit open space with big long tables filled with folks clinking glasses and having a grand time eating some very delicious Italian food served family style. I’m sure most in-the-know New Yorkers would not consider this exactly a secret. But it just felt cool and off the beaten guidebook path to me. Note if you go: it’s cash only and you all have to show up exactly on time or they’ll give your spot anyway. If you go, try the Spaghetti al Limone — it was mighty tasty.
Might as Well Go There Yourself
152 West 52nd Street, NYC
10 Downing street, NYC
954 Madison Avenue, NYC
24 Fifth Avenue, NYC
156 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009