"There's no place like home. . . there's no place like home. . . there's no place like home." Home for The Belt Team is Vienna, Virginia. Please stop by frequently and share with us all the things about life in Vienna that make Vienna truly the best place to live.

Welcome to Vienna, Virginia

Monday, October 13, 2014

Road Trip!

"Road Trip!"

Who doesn't love hearing those words?

So spontaneous sounding . . .  

Filled with excitement . . .

Potential adventure in the air . . . 

And you KNOW it's going to be fun!

Well - if you're looking for excitement, adventure, spontaneity & fun - but you don't have time to REALLY take a road trip - then you'll want to get a ticket for this season's first show from the Vienna Choral Society.

Vienna Choral Society has four shows planned this season (their 28th season!). And "Road Trip" is the inaugural event. December brings "Nowel e Navidad" (Christmas Around the World). In March they will present "Text & Sound" (When Music Paints A Thousand Words). And May's Concert for a Cause will be "Someone To Watch Over Me" (Everday Heroes). This last concert will be in partnership with the 2015 World Police And Fire Games, the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, and the Vienna Police Department.

This Saturday's show (October 18) will be an evening of music about people, places, unforgettable memories, and the open road. So grab your friends for a road trip and get your tickets online here. Shows starts at 7:30PM at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (2709 Hunter Mill Road in Oakton).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

4 Things To Know About Vienna For Your Next Cocktail Party

Next time you go to a cocktail party in Vienna, and you hit an awkward patch of conversation, here are four conversation starters:

1. Did you know that the entire student body at Madison High School was assigned the same book for summer reading? It's called "Peak". Have you read it?

2. Why do you think the Town of Vienna has so many mattress stores? You'll find Sleepy's, Mattress Discounters, Savvy Rest & Urban Mattress all within a few blocks of one another. (I'm wondering if Vienna really is a sleepier town that I think!).

3. Did you know the average home price in Vienna this year is up 8.7% over last year? When did you buy your house? (Side note: I built my house in 1986 and paid $139,700. It's now assessed at just under $700,000 and would likely sell over $800,000.)

4. I love trying all kinds of foods. Did you know there are more than 20 types of ethnic restaurants in Vienna - Greek, Mediterranean, American, Italian, Asian Fusion, Persian, Iranian, Irish, Afghan, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Latin American, Thai, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Lebanese & Indian! What's your favorite?

Happy Gabbing!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vienna Virginia - Meet The Neighbors

One of the things I love about living in Vienna is the people.

In fact, let's re-phrase that.

Probably the MOST important thing I love about Vienna is the people.

Vienna-ites are kind hearted & generous. Some have lived here for decades. And some are new transplants. You'll find senior citizens, young families, teenagers, empty nesters, singles & more. But after living here a while, what you realize is that Vienna-ites are the kind of people you like having as neighbors. And in a world where many people don't know their neighbors - that's kind of a cool thing.

The neighbors on my street are typical of what you find all over Vienna - whether in the Town limits - or in the neighborhoods in the surrounding Vienna zip codes. We have a few neighbors who have lived here since the homes were built in the 50's. And some who have torn down the old homes and built new homes for their growing families. Recently, my neighbors gathered for a "Men's Dessert Cook Off". A few months before that, it was for Happy Hour. The neighbors on the next block over have an annual Block Party. Gatherings like these happen all over town.

What I find interesting about living in Vienna, is that your neighbors often have all kinds of "mysterious" lives & careers. At one point on my block, we had an FBI agent, a CIA agent and a Fairfax County policeman all living within about 10 homes of one another. None of them really talked about their "day jobs", but we all certainly felt safe!

Vienna has also had its share of notoriety over time. "Back in the day", the Vienna Inn was known as the place to go if you were CIA - a good hangout where no one would blow your cover. At least that's how the story goes. And Vienna is also where Robert Hanssen lived. (Hanssen was one of the most well known spies ever arrested. And Foxstone Park in Vienna was where his "drops" were made.)

Keeping with the spy theme, you might also recognize the name of another Vienna resident - David Baldacci. Baldacci has written a myriad of well known novels involving the White House, CIA, Secret Service & more.

Quiet a few other "names" live in Vienna - whether professional athletes, politicians, CEO's - too many to list here. The thing is - when you live in Vienna, most people just aren't impressed by "names" and "what" you do. They are impressed by "who" you are. I've found that most of my neighbors are authentic, genuine good peeps. And that's JUST the way I like it!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fourth of July in Vienna & Northern Virginia

July 4th in Vienna is one of the days that our little town really shines!

Where else can you find the following:

  • Circus
  • Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band
  • Chili Cookoff
  • Pooches on Parade
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Antique Cars
  • Inflatables

Oh - and of course - FIREWORKS!

Start your day at the Vienna Community Center & Caffi Field for the July 4th Festival. It's from 11AM to 4PM. It's time to eat, drink & be merry. And I guarantee you'll either run into your friends or make new ones!

At 7PM, head over to Yeonas Park, where you can enjoy music from the popular local band Fat Chance. The Little League concession stand will be open just in case you didn't get your fill at the festival.

Then, settle in. because at 9:15PM - the fireworks show at Southside Park begins.

Now - in case you want to know about other options that are just a stone's throw away from Vienna, here is where else you can find fireworks in the Northern VA area:

  • Fairfax City: At Fairfax High School. Music begins at 7PM. Fireworks at dark.
  • Falls Church: George Mason High School. Music begins at 7PM. Fireworks at 9:20PM.
  • Herndon: Herndon Community Center. Rides at 5PM. Music & games at 6:30PM. Fireowrks at 9:30PM.
  • McLean: Langley High School: Grounds open at 8PM. Fireworks at 9:15PM
  • Reston: Lake Fairfax. Firworks at 9:15PM
  • Washington DC: the National Mall opens at 10AM. Parade at 11:45AM. Folklife festival 11AM to 5PM. Fireworks 9:15PM.
July 4th Festival & Fireworks - just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hands, Minds & Hearts - Happy Anniversary Ms McClenahan

Recently, I got a message about a wonderful teacher in Vienna who is celebrating her 40th Anniversary. Can you imagine teaching for 40 years?! I can't myself, but I have a daughter who is a first-year teacher and so this struck close to home.

My daughter Melissa loves her job and she truly loves the children she teaches. She comes home exhausted, but happy almost every single day. But being the mother of a teacher has opened my eyes. As a parent, I always appreciated my children's teachers. But I never really understood fully what a vocation it is and how much sacrifice takes place. 

So when I got the email below from Amanda Jones, Assistant Principal at Chesterbrook Academy in Vienna, I was happy to post it here.

“Please come celebrate Helga McClenahan at Chesterbrook Academy in Vienna.  We are celebrating Ms. McClenahan’s 40 years that she has given to the community, preparing our children for Kindergarten.  

We will holding the SURPRISE party on Friday, May 30th from 4 to 6 pm at our school, 9525 Leesburg Pike in Vienna. Chesterbrook Academy will be providing snacks and a great time.  

We are hoping to have as many past students, families and co-workers there to celebrate with us as possible, so please spread the word!  

Everyone is welcome, but please RSVP to amanda.jones@nlcinc.com so we can plan accordingly.”

Happy Anniversary Ms. McClenahan. There's a saying "A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart." It sounds like you have touched many!

Teachers like you are another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


If you're a fan of Saturday Night Live, then you recognize this line from Christopher Walken's skit on Saturday Night Live back in 2000. It's often rated as the funniest SNL skit ever.

Well - if YOU are looking for some cowbell too - we have JUST the place for you!

This Saturday night, Vienna Choral Society presents their last concert of the season. It's called "Parodies and PDQ Bach". The concert will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (located on Hunter Mill Road in Oakton) at 7:30PM.

Now, you're probably wondering what "Parodies and PDQ Bach" means and what that has to do with more cowbell! 

If you're like me, and you hear the name "Bach", you might feel the need to stifle a yawn. (Yes, as a child of the 60's & 70's - rock n roll is a bit more my style.) But VCS actually has some pretty cool stuff up their sleeves (as usual!). And it involves cowbell. chicken solos and bird whistles. (Wait, what?!)

Here's what they told me about the concert: 

"This comedic concert is inspired by the works of one of the least well known, least respected members of the famous Bach family of composers - P.D.Q. Bach. His works were discovered (or some might say actually written) by Peter Schickele, a contemporary composer with a talent for parody and poking fun at musical convention.  We'll be performing several of these works, and other pieces in the same spirit.  It's tongue-in-cheek music intended to entertain as much as present music through a light-hearted unacademic perspectiveParodies and PDQ Bach is an evening of mockery, humor, and some gosh-darn sophisticated singing. Plus a few end-of-surprises that you won’t want to miss!"

You can get tickets at the door - or you can skip the line & order nowWe say grab the kids, grab a friend or grab a date and be there or be square! 

Vienna Choral Society - just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yeonas Park - Like The Old Fashioned "Back Fence"

As we have been every year since 2002, The Belt Team is proud to be a sponsor of Vienna Little League. And since it's Little League season once again, we thought we would re-run this post. Enjoy!

Yesterday was another one of those "I LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA" days! If you live in Vienna, you will eventually make your way to Yeonas Park. You either have children who play baseball or your children have friends who play baseball or you have friends whose children play baseball. It's just one of those inevitable things.


So yesterday, we went to see a neighbor's son play in a Vienna Little League game at Yeonas. As we entered the parking lot, it was teeming with activity. There was an air of excitement that wafted by - almost as strongly as the smell of chili dogs on the grill at the snack bar. Last Saturday was Opening Day (more than 1,100 people attended!) and this was the first week of the season. PLAY BALL!

And just like every April for the past 50+ years, the Vienna Little Leaguers took the field.

And just like every April for the past 50+ years, the Vienna parents assumed their perches from which to root.

And just like every April for the past 50+ years, the siblings gathered in the common area to play with one another.

Yeonas Field in Vienna is kind of what the back fence used to be "in the olden days". Back then, neighbors would hang their laundry out to dry in the backyard and catch up on gossip over the back fence. Or they would mow their lawns and tend their gardens, and take breaks to chat with the neighbor next door or behind them.

Well, that's just what happens at Yeonas Park. Last night, two of my girlfriends, who are normally so busy they can't see straight (they are AWESOME Moms!), settled in to the bleachers to watch the game and had themselves a nice two hour chat. The Dads like to hang out along the fences, and they are usually much more "into" the game. But don't be mistaken, there's a lot of chit chat going on there too. In a world where we are always "on the go", it's nice to have this respite.

And you ALWAYS run into people you know. It's just a fabulous gathering place where people of diverse interests and diverse backgrounds "hang out" together. I love seeing the many multi-generational families that come to the ballgames - babes in arms, grandparents in wheelchairs, and even teenagers who might be "too cool" to otherwise hang with their parents.

Just visit once and you'll see what I mean. Vienna Little League gets into your blood. Did you ever notice the "V" stickers on so many car windows in Vienna? They either say "Go Blue" or "Go Black". The stickers represent the two leagues in Vienna (National & American). And once you're a part of a certain league, you are Blue (or Black) FOREVER. Many of those cars you see with stickers have kids who are long past Little League age, but they are part of that family always.

AND we have a long history of winning. When you go to the park, you'll see the list of many State Championship wins and even a Regional Championship that sent our team to the Little League World Series in Williamsport. But it's not only about winning. It's the life lessons that are learned along the way - things like loyalty and hard work and how important it is to spend time with the ones you love.

I just LOVE living in Vienna!

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