Earth Day in Washington, DC

by Yvonne N. Levesque in ,


When I planned a visit to my sister's in Falls Church, Va, I didn't expect such an event-filled weekend. I five days we clocked 37 miles of walking (see my next post about our visit to the Appalacian Trail) and visited everything for a Vietnamese shopping mall to swanky POV atop of the W Hotel.   I originally planned the visit when I heard that my favorite band, The Mowglis were in DC promoting their new album Kids In Love.  We had also heard Twitter rumors of an Earth Day celebration being put on by Global Citizen.

We walked right into a small crowd on the warm and sunny National Mall so we sought shelter in the shade of the Washington Monument. The Earth Day event, hosted by Will i. Am and Soledad O'Brien initially appeared to be a bust with O'Brien shhh'ing the mostly disinterested 20-something crowd between a performance of My Morning Jacket and an appearance of the French Politician Philippe Douste-Blazy.  

After lunch break and a visit to the National Portrait Gallery (subsequently missing performances by Fall Out Boy and Mary J. Blige) we returned to a much more enthusiastic crowd and moving segments about global poverty, substandard education, and open defection by speakers like musician Chris Martin, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Don Cheadle.

Ban Ki-Moon and various speakers in shadow of a Capital building under construction

Ban Ki-Moon and various speakers in shadow of a Capital building under construction

Usher performed with a big smile on his face despite a broken foot and he apologized to those the crowd who might find a golden crutch to be offensive.

 

Usher

Usher

The highlight of Global Citizen Earth Day was a appearance by No Doubt. 

The Earth Day crowd and Tony Kanal and Adrian Young of No Doubt

The Earth Day crowd and Tony Kanal and Adrian Young of No Doubt

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

No Doubt and the White House visible from the event

No Doubt and the White House visible from the event

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

We ended the day with a nothing-but-miraculous time-warping trip across town to U Street just in time to catch the travel-inspiring Mowglis perform sing-along crowd favorites and new cuts with their uniquely defiant love message and contagious joy of the open road.  You heard it here first - The Mowglis are this generation's B-52s.  Don't miss them this Saturday night at The Social in downtown Orlando. 


A Perfect July 4th in New Smyrna Beach

by Yvonne N. Levesque in ,


When we heard that our favorite city by the shore was planning a July 4th event with food trucks and music, we couldn't resist.

 

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We arrived about a hour before dusk and just after the rain. Great parking was easy to find just a couple of blocks away from Riverside Park in the historic Canal Street area of the Waterfront Loop.

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The crowd was enjoying music by Cactus a Jack and the Cadillacs who belted out oldies from the 60s, 70s, & 80s from the pavilion as part of the NSB's summer concert series.  

 

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We waited in line for food truck delights like Sweet City Gelato's Blood Orange Sorbetto (long lines are always a sign of great food!).

 

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The weather was perfect, 82 degrees with a nice breeze.  

Salty.org was giving away cold bottled water. Thanks, Salty.

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The crowd was diverse and there was definately a relaxed beach vibe.  Even the dogs seemed relaxed.

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The large playground was full of children and the water was sprinkled with boats.

 

 

Both boats and pets were dressed for the occasion.

 

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Parents helped thier children with sparklers as the older kids showed the younger how it's done.

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As the sun set, we watched a dozen or more golden lanterns fly up over the bridge from the South.

 

 

The fireworks were not so close that it scared the dogs and little children and the show was just long enough with the anticipated grand finalé.

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New Smyrna Beach is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to be.