"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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cobra Patrol At Thistle Ridge!

"Cobra Patrol at Thistle Ridge!" It sounds like the title of an old Hardy Boys book, doesn't it?!

But "Cobra Patrol" is actually part of Den 7 and the Vienna Cub Scouts. And I had the pleasure of tagging along with them as they visited after school with one of Vienna's premier builders along the way to earning their Engineering Badge.


Last month, Bryan Deege (Vice President of Sekas Homes) and Susan Hussey (Realtor with The Belt Team and Director of Sales & Marketing for Thistle Ridge) hosted "Cobra Patrol" at Thistle Ridge (one of Sekas' new home projects in Vienna). Bryan gave the boys a thorough education in construction, planning & building and showed them everything from blueprints, floorplans & site plans - to a home just begun 5 days prior - to a home just nearing completion.















Bryan is passionate about what he does. And his passion definitely translated to the boys. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one of these Cub Scouts becomes a builder when he grows up!

The boys asked EXCELLENT questions.

One young man wanted to know how many contractors it takes to build a house. The answer was "over 100!"

The boys were particularly interested in how the various rooms on the plans were named. Ryan R wanted to know what a "billiard room" was. And after Bryan told the boys about the various creative things they have done in basements (like installing billiard rooms, home theatres & batting cages), one young man asked, "Can you put a hockey rink in the basement?"

I was truly impressed with how well the boys paid attention. Bryan talked about wiring and dry wall and drainage and all kinds of "technical" things. He talked about the sequencing of contractors and how he organizes who does what, when & how. Bryan told the boys, "The key to building good homes is being organized, detailed and having a commitment to doing things right." I think that's great advice for life - not just for building houses, don't you think?!

Bryan then toured the boys through an under-construction home and they got to see a lot of "behind-the-scenes" things - what's inside the walls & behind closed doors.



One young man wanted to know whether the builder gets to name the streets in his subdivision. Bryan explained how the street names must be unique (no two streets in the same town or city can have the same name), but that numbers can be repeated. Then he told them how the naming process works.

He said that the builder is required to submit a list of 15 names to the County for approval - a first choice and 14 backups. The County goes down the list and approves the first unique name it sees. Bryan then shared a story about how a certain street in Vienna was named. A few years back, Sekas Homes was building in the Bennett Kiln subdivision. John Sekas (the President of Sekas Homes) submitted a list of 15 street names and then told the County "and if none of those are available, name the street after my dog Brenner". Well, you got it - there is now a street in Vienna named Brenner - after John Sekas' dog. The boys thought that was HILARIOUS!


After a few more questions, and a walk over to see a lot that had just been cleared, the Cobra Patrol headed home. You can only postpone your homework for so long!


Thanks for a fun afternoon Cobra Patrol! What a well mannered, intelligent, lively group of young men you are. Your parents should be proud of you. And you are just another reason why I LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

(And PS - There are only 2 opportunities left to own a home in Thistle Ridge. prices start at $1,499,900. Contact Susan Hussey if you would like more info!)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NO HEARTS OF STONE HERE

We love sharing good news! And since we live in a town like Vienna, we get the opportunity frequently.

If you follow our blog regularly, then you've read a number of stories about the types of folks you'll find here in Vienna. They are warm and friendly and big-hearted. I've told you about my neighbor Sheila (the Cupcake Fairy) and my other neighbor down the street (the Anonymous One) and I've shared lots of stories about charity fundraising events and other "good deeds". People like Sheila and the "Anonymous One" are why I love living in Vienna.

So - back to sharing good news.

One Sunday a few months back, we had a guest homilist at our church. His name is Father Keith O'Hare. He is a priest in our Diocese (the Diocese of Arlington), but he is currently serving the people in Banica, Dominican Republic. This particular Sunday, he was at our church here in Vienna (St. Mark Catholic Church) and he shared a number of stories about what life is like for the people in Banica.

One of the stories he told was about the children in Banica and how little they have. He told us that the little girls in the towns he visits often carry around stones.

Stones? Why stones? To protect themselves maybe? Why on Earth would girls carry around stones?!

Because these are what the little girls play with as dolls. The stones are cuddled and kissed and nestled in the little girls' arms - just the way our girls here in Vienna walk around with their Baby Dolls. Sometimes the girls find ways to draw eyes & mouths on the stones, but mostly their dolls are just simple stones.

Father O'Hare shared, "To me what is so beautiful is that children who are hungry and malnourished will put their physical needs aside and ask me for a doll...it shows me that they hunger to love and be loved, as much as they feel physical hunger. (Of course we're working on their hunger situation, with various projects in motion now on that front.)"
 
Wow. That paints a picture. Doesn't it?

Sitting in another piew at St. Mark's that day was Katie Vitale. Katie didn't just listen to the stories Father O'Hare told, she HEARD them.

Fast forward 2 months - and 26 boxes containing 850 (new & gently used) dolls and teddy bears are on their way to the little girls in Banica. All thanks to Katie Vitale!



Katie organized the parish and school at St. Mark, along with her friends and neighbors, and after a mass collection of dolls & bears - it looks like Father O'Hare may be able to give a doll or bear to every child in the communities of Pil√≥n, Guaroa, and Manyaya. Wow! Despite the distance in miles - these children will know how much we love them and how much their love touched us.

People like Katie Vitale and the St. Mark parishioners & schoolchildren at St. Mark Catholic School are just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego?

Yes, ladies & gentlemen - it's time for ROUND SIX of our game - "Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego"? So far, we have visited:
  • Yeonas Field
  • Waters Field
  • Patrick Henry Library
  • The Vienna Police Department
  • W&OD Trail
Let us know where you can find this sight in Vienna:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inventory Going Down, Down, Down

The story in Vienna real estate today is that inventory is going DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. The number of homes on the market in Vienna is at its lowest level since March 2010. With that being said, we are still seeing very healthy numbers of contracts.

You can read details about Vienna's real estate market weekly on The Belt Team's Northern Virginia Real Estate Blog.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego? (Round Five!)

It's time for Round Five of "Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego"!  (If you don't know what we're talking about, click thru to find out more about our game of "Where In Vienna".)

The first four rounds of our game found us at Yeonas Field, Waters Field, Patrick Henry Library and then the Vienna Police Department. (Pictures of our previous Vienna sites are here.)

Now - see if you can guess where we are this week!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Home SWEET Home

Vienna, Virginia is home to many small, locally run businesses. Among them are a number of "Sweet Shops" like Pie Gourmet, Cupcakes! and Silva's Patissierie.

Vienna, Virginia is also home to some really Sweet Neighbors! How do I know this? Well, today I posted the following on my Facebook Wall:

"Vienna Peeps - Who has the BEST cupcakes? (Must be in Vienna) Is it Silva's? Cupcakes?, Pie Gourmet? Somewhere else? I need a cupcake . . . B_A_D!"

Well, barely an hour later I heard a knock on my door and one of my SWEET NEIGHBORS showed up with this! (Thank you Sheila Racinez!)

Vienna truly is Home SWEET Home!

PS - The cupcakes were from the new store in the Village Green called Cupcakes! and they were really yummy! What's your favorite Sweet Shop in Vienna?













Monday, November 1, 2010

Cold Feet - Warm Hearts

Despite tomorrow's chilly forecast (a low of 33 degrees and high of 53 degrees), the golf course at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA will be full of golfers who are there to raise money for 4 local charities. Keller Williams Realty's McLean office is hosting their First Annual Charity Golf event.

The event will feature a golf tournament, silent auction, live entertainment, reception & a live auction. The four charities that will benefit from the event are The Children's Inn at NIH, SHARE of McLean, Wounded Warriors and the Keller Williams McLean/Great Falls Scholarship fund.

It may be cold in Vienna tomorrow, but there will be lots of warm hearts!

If you are interested in donating or attending the reception, please contact The Belt Team!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego? ROUND FOUR!

If you haven't been following along, we're playing a new version of the game "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego". It's like the old game, except you have to guess where you would find the statue, sign, sculpture, etc . . . that we show pictured below. They are all in Vienna, Virginia!

ROUND ONE found us at the Vienna Little League's Yeonas Field:

ROUND TWO found us at Water's Field:

ROUND THREE found us at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna: 

The first three rounds were for beginners. Now it's time to move to the next level!

Here's ROUND FOUR. Where in Vienna do you see this?
Don't enlarge the photo  - it will give away the answer!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego? (Round Three!)

One of the things we love about Vienna, VA is that Vienna has its own personality. It's a fun place to live - with fun people, fun things to do & fun things to see. No Dullsville here! So this fall, we're highlighting some of the "fun" local statues, sculptures and sights - with a game we call "Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego". (Scroll down if you've forgotten what Carmen Sandiego is.)

Ok - Let's play the game!

So far, we've seen the statue of the Little League baseball player that you can find at Yeonas Park in Vienna.


















And we've seen the bicycle sculpture that you can find at Waters Field in "Downtown Vienna".

So now it's time for Round Three! Do you know where this is?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where In Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego? Round Two!

Remember that old TV show/computer game - "Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego"? The object of the game was to use various clues to capture Carmen Sandiego (or one of her henchman) by determining where in the world they were hiding. Last week, we started a version of this game on our blog. We are posting photos taken in various spots around town. Your job is to guess where the photo is taken. Our first photo was pretty easy. Today, we've posted Round Two. See if you can guess where it's located!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where in Vienna Is Carmen Sandiego?


There are all kinds of interesting statues, markers, sculptures and more around Vienna. So we thought we'd post a few & see if you can locate them.

Let's start with an easy one . . . (check back for some tougher challenges as we go along).

Do you know where this charming young man is?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Everyone Gets Their 15 Minutes!

Recently, we wrote a blog post about the exciting Outback Bowl that takes place each year between Madison High School (Vienna, VA) and Oakton High School (Oakton, VA). We highlighted the story of 2 players - Luke Willis from Oakton High School & Ryan McGuire from Madison High School.

Well, this week we hear that Ryan's brother, Andy McGuire, is the new local celebrity. You see - even a student here in "small town Vienna" can earn nationwide fame!

Last weekend, Madison High School faced Yorktown High School for their second game of the season. Unfortunately, Madison lost. BUT - Andy McGuire stepped into the national limelight.

Check out this video that we understand made it on to ESPN SportCenter's "Not Top 10" last night:



The video is nearing 300,000 views as we finish this post!

Andy - We think you would have made a great commercial for the old Timex watch company. Their slogan was "Timex - it takes a lickin and keeps on tickin"!


I Know What They Were Asking, But What Did It Really Sell For?

August sales & stats are out for Vienna real estate. If your neighbor's home was for sale and sold last month - and you've been wondering how much they REALLY got for it - you can find out on The Belt Team's Northern Virginia Real Estate Blog. (Oakton stats are posted as well!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's Time To Bowl!

It's not New Year's Eve - so it's not time for the Orange Bowl.

It's not New Year's Day - so it's not time for the Rose Bowl.

But it IS Labor Day Weekend - and it IS time for a bowl game!

Did you know that Vienna has its very own bowl game? We may be a small town, but we've got big spirit! And you'll see the colors flying tonight at the annual Outback Bowl Game between cross-town rivals - the Madison High School Warhawks and the Oakton High School Cougars.

Tonight's game takes place on the field at Madison at 7:30PM. Anyone who is anyone in Vienna will be there. (The rest of us will be too - LOL!) And just like a "real bowl game", the festivities start much earlier. You'll see kids and parents alike tailgating - I hear there some elaborate tailgates planned. I'm sure that Madison's award winning marching band will be performing. (And we're planning on attending a pre-game party ourselves!)

There's a lot of talent on both teams, but we'll especially be watching two Seniors: running back Luke Willis for the Cougars and linebacker/tight end Ryan McGuire for the Warhawks. Both boys are not only talented football players, but are great baseball players as well. (Luke Willis plays for the Cougars and recently committed to #12 Coastal Carolina for baseball. Ryan McGuire plays for Liberty District Champions, the Madison Warhawks.)

This won't be the last time they face each other on a field. Luke & Ryan will face off across the diamond when baseball season arrives next Spring. But the irony is that both boys played together on the same travel baseball team at the age of 13 - a team that went all the way to the Top Ten in the AAU National Baseball Championship.



This summer they were friends. Tonight they are rivals. And tomorrow they'll be friends again. But only one will have the bragging rights that come with a win tonight!

And that's what makes the Outback Bowl great . . . the friendships & fun that take place off the field . . . and the fierce competition on the field.

Just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8 Things You Must Do In Vienna Before Summer Ends

It's not really summer in Vienna until ______________ (fill-in-the-blank).

The temperatures are becoming a little more moderate. (Well, 80's sure beats 90's/100's doesn't it?!) And that means the summer season is coming to a close. I know summer doesn't "technically" end until about September 22nd, but when "Back-To-School" comes around - doesn't it feel like summer is over?

So you're back from vacation & back in Vienna. How did you fill in the blank in the sentence above? If you filled it in with something you haven't done yet - don't worry - you still have a few days left.

Here are a few of the ways we would fill in the blank:

*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we picnic on the lawn & catch a performance at Wolftrap. We recently had a casually elegant picnic at the top of the sledding hill at Wolftrap and then rocked out at The Counting Crows concert. Now THAT's what I'm talking about! And it's not too late. You can still catch Donna Summer, Tony Bennett, "The Sound of Music", "The Ultimate Doo Wop Show", "The Lord of The Rings", Abba, Jackson Browne & the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China!



*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we enjoy a meal al-fresco and there are lots of options. My daughter & I recently shared a meal at Noodles (a super-popular destination for those with children in tow). Or you can try Sushi Yoshi or Church Street Cellars (both on charming Church Street).



*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we have grown or eaten so many tomatoes that we can't bear the thought of making or eating another jar of marinara sauce or another caprese salad. If you haven't had your fill of tomatoes yet, you can find the best ones at the Vienna Farmer's Market or the cute little organic market across the street from Whole Foods.



*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we have splashed in the fountains at the Vienna Town Green (or at least dipped our toes in!).





*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we have jogged, walked, run, rode, strolled the W&OD Trail. (And don't forget - it's slow to the right, pass on the left!)



*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we have gotten ice cream or custard, walked outside and attempted (unsuccessfully) to eat it before it melts. And you've got lots of options here - Neilsen's Custard Store, Baskin Robins, Dairy Queen and Cold Stone Creamery - to name a few. We haven't done this one yet - so I'm thinking we should have a family taste-test contest and make the rounds of all four! (And PS - Neilsen's even has curb-side pick up if you call ahead!)

*** It's not really summer in the Town of Vienna until we have finished our Spring cleaning and called in for a "special pickup". (Yes - we know Spring cleaning is meant to be done in the Spring, but some folks don't get around to it until school is out!) If you live in the Town of Vienna - you receive two free "special pick-ups" per year for things you may not be able to recyle - like discarded furniture, brush, playground equipment, things you couldn't sell at your garage sale (or even give away). Check the requirements here.

*** It's not really summer in Vienna until we catch a FREE concert at either the Vienna Town Green or Nottoway Park. The Vienna Town Green series has wound down, but you can still catch The Grandsons (rockabilly/wing/lounge music) at 7:30PM on the 26th at Nottoway Nights!

Lastly, while some people mourn the end of summer (and if that's you, then you can extend summer a little bit by attempting the entire list above) - here's an old commercial that presents another point of view:

Endless summer . . . just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Be A Winner and Eat Your Dinner"

"Be a winner and eat your dinner". My Dad used to say that to me almost every night when I was a kid. I had a small appetite and he was always encouraging me to eat more. Well - I don't have that problem any more (darn it!). I really enjoy dining out. And that means I always look forward to "D.C. Restaurant Week"!

Twice a year, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan DC sponsors a week where local restaurants offer 3-course fixed price meals. The cost is $20.10 for lunch and $35.10 for dinner. This summer, "DC Restaurant Week" takes place from August 16-22. Some restaurants offer both specially priced meals and some offer just one or the other. It's a chance to try places you might not normally go to - maybe splurge a little - or try that place you've been hearing everyone talk about.

And if you live in Vienna, Virginia - you don't have to go all the way to DC for "DC Restaurant Week" because it comes to you! So take out your daytimer - ask your spouse out for a date - grab your girlfriends - and try one of the restaurants listed below. (Note - we included restaurants in Tysons Corner even though they are "technically" in McLean because we really think of Tysons as Vienna).

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.” Oscar Wilde

Capital Grille

"Find me a man who's interesting enough to have dinner with and I'll be happy. Lauren Bacall

Chef Geoff's

“Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument” Richard Whately

Chima Brazilian Steakhouse

"A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner." Samuel Johnson

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

La Sandia

"Dinner was made for eating, not for talking." William Makepeace Thackeray

Lebanese Taverna

"I like to be bought flowers and taken out for dinner. I like a man to be a gentleman. I don't like to be treated as if I am brainless. I like to be respected and to give respect." Sharon Stone

Maplewood Grill

"It is easy enough to be moral after a good dinner beside a snug coal fire, and with our hearts well warmed with fine old port." Henry Mayhew

Morton's Steakhouse

"Make your having dinner out become The Event of the Night, instead of just the beginning." John Walters

Panache

"Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument." Voltaire

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

"Show me another pleasure like dinner which comes every day and lasts an hour." Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

The Palm

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays." Henny Youngman

Wildfire

DC Restaurant Week . . . just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA, VA!

(More posts about restaurants in Vienna: "Bazin's On Church", "It's Friday Night - What Should We Do", "Travel Around The World - Right Here in Vienna" )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vienna Real Estate Update

So . . . you know what your neighbors were asking for their home - but what did it actually sell for? Here's a list of all the settled sales in Vienna, VA (22180, 22181, 22182) for July 2010.

Plus - check out this new listing on Arabian Avenue in The Trails!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Did You Know Sunday Is A Holiday?

One of the great things about living in Vienna, VA is that the climate in the summertime is perfect for gardening. Just drive around town and you'll see all sorts of gardens - from flower gardens to herb gardens to vegetable gardens. Some are tiny little plots and others take over entire acres of land. Vegetables especially seem to grow like crazy once we hit August. You'll see people's gardens absolutely OVERFLOWING with tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash.

And as you're driving around town, you might also notice that LOTS of people have front porches. It's one of the reasons we love living in Vienna. It might be old-fashioned, but we like to sit out on our front porch & chat with the various neighbors as they stroll by on their evening walks. Today's world may be filled with emails, texts, tweets and IM's - but we still enjoy the give and take of face-to-face conversation.

Now, you may be thinking "what does that have to do with holidays?" . . . in fact, August doesn't have any "holidays" in it, does it?

Well - Sunday, August 8th is not a federal holiday; BUT it IS a different kind of holiday. It is "National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day". Seriously, try googling it and a bazillion different sites (well maybe not a whole bazillion) will come up - all devoted to "National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day".

There's a saying that goes around at this time of year. It goes "My grandfather always said that if you have to buy zucchini, you must not have any friends." So - now that you know Sunday, August 8th is a holiday - are you going to celebrate it?

Zucchini in August . . . just another reason why WE LOVE LIVING IN VIENNA, VA!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm In A New York State of Mind

You're probably wondering (since this is a blog about "Life in Vienna, VA") what being in a New York state of mind has to do with Vienna?

Well - stay with me here. You might think it's kind of a stretch, but there really is a connection. (And if you are a true "New Yorker", perhaps you'll keep this quote from Meyer Berger in mind: "Each man reads his own meaning into New York". My perspective is certainly more that of a native Vienna-an than a native New Yorker! )

So . . .

Being located where we are here in Vienna, it's super easy to get to New York City. From Vienna, you can of course drive. You can also take a bus from DC. But we prefer taking Metro to Union Station and then hopping aboard Amtrak . The Acela is our preferred train because less than 3 hours later, you're in Grand Central Station - New York City.

My mother and I used to do this once a year at Christmastime. It's arguably one of the most beautiful times of year in Manhattan. And my memories of it will never fade. Seeing Broadway shows, eating dinner at midnight, strolling by the store windows decorated so beautifully, stopping in at Cafe Carlyle for a Bobby Short show.

Times have changed and we don't get up to New York as often as we used to. But as I drove through Vienna this week, something caught my eye that made me think back and reminisce. And then I realized that even though I might not have time to visit New York, I can still have a few "New York moments" right here in Vienna. So here they are:

Store Windows

Have you ever noticed the full length windows at Karin's Florist on Maple Avenue in Vienna? They change their displays with the season and they offer a lovely vista as you drive by their store. This Spring, it was a beautiful vision of "April Showers Bring May Flowers". The windows were full of pastel colored parasols & umbrellas and gorgeous flowers and greenery. This summer, the windows are full of beach balls and beach umbrellas. Every time I drive by, I remember the windows in New York and I wonder what we will see at Karin's this Christmas?!

Diners & Dives

In New York City, no matter what time of day or night, you can get a full meal. And you'll find tiny little hole-in-the-wall places that only the locals know about. Their diners & dives are world renowned. Well, here in Vienna - we have our own diners & dives. People come from all over the DC area to go to the Vienna Inn - our local dive. But don't be fooled, there's lots of history there. And it's a great place to meet the locals. And if you're looking for breakfast at 2AM or dinner at 6AM - try the Amphora in Vienna. It's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And the menu has everything from cream chipped beef to prime rib to souvlaki to shrimp to pancakes. Plus one of the best bakeries around - try the New York Cheesecake!

David Letterman & Cafe Carlyle

My favorite part of the "Late Night with David Letterman" show (which films in New York City) is the last 5 minutes when various bands are showcased. Sometimes they have high profile groups and sometimes they host new, up & coming bands. You never know who you might see. Well, if you live in Vienna, you often have the opportunity to see the same bands that perform on Letterman, except right here in Vienna at Jammin Java - a great little venue on Maple Avenue. For example, last week, Letterman had "Steel Train" on and guess who's playing at Jammin Java tonight? Yup - that would be "Steel Train"!

Now, if you're more of a Cafe Carlyle person (read "not so loud!"), don't despair. Vienna has one of the area's best piano bars. It's at the Maplewood Grill. And not only are the performers good, the 'regulars' provide just as much entertainment. And unlike at Cafe Carlyle, there's no cover charge and no minimum!

There are lots of other "New York moments" available to those who live in Vienna - seeing shows at the theater in DC when they are on their way up to Broadway, catching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the nearby Patriot Center - and more. We've shared ours with you, but what are your favorites?

And what we've decided is that while New York City is fun to visit, we love living in Vienna!



Monday, July 12, 2010

Power Bars, Protein Shakes & Prayers

Many of the agents in our Keller Williams McLean office (including The Belt Team) have family members serving in the military overseas. One colleague's son (Josh Gibson) is an Army medic stationed in Iraq and starting this month he will be working with us to coordinate care packages for the troops there.

Our KW Cares McLean charitable foundation will provide the postage and we are collecting items for the care packages now. Our first box will ship on July 26th. If you would like to participate, please drop items you would like to donate (see list below) at our office (6820 Elm Street in McLean) or contact a Belt Team member and we will make a pick up. Here are the items the soldiers have particularly requested this month:

~ Canned meat like tuna, chicken or salmon (MUST HAVE A POP TOP)
~ Power bars
~ Protein powder or protein shakes
~ Beef jerkey
~ NONMELTING candy

Here's what a recent message from Josh said: "We just played tug-o-war in 125 degree heat (148 with humidity factored in) with full gear including full armor to celebrate Independence Day! So stuff being as NON melting as possible is really important!" You gotta love the spirit of the men & women serving our country!

Thanks for your help and please keep all our soldiers in your prayers!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hearts of Gold

Vienna, VA is in Fairfax County - one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. And the people in Vienna have hearts of gold. Philanthropies abound here - with everything from million dollar gala events in hotel ballrooms to raise money for the American Cancer Society to lemonade stands & bake sales held by local school children to raise money for Haiti.

One local fundraiser we have participated in is the local AAUW (American Association of University Women) Annual Booksale. This year will be their 41st year! The proceeds benefit scholarships for women. The sale itself takes place in September, but AAUW is collecting donations (see list below) in Vienna this month - on Saturday, July 10th & Saturday, July 31st. Donations can be dropped at Sun Trust Bank (515 Maple Ave East) in Vienna from 10AM to 4PM.

Please consider donating! You can clean your house, recycle and help someone else get on their feet - all at the same time. (AAUW normally receives a significant number of donated books from the McLean branch of the Fairfax County Public Library, but due to construction - this is not an option this year. So they would really appreciate your help!) And AAUW says 2/3 of the value of your donation is tax deductible!

Items Needed (new or gently used / children or adult)

~ Books
~ DVD's
~ VHS tapes
~ CD's
~ Software
~ Audio books


Hearts of gold . . . just another reason why we love living in Vienna!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vienna Real Estate Update

So . . . you know what your neighbors were asking for their home - but what did it actually sell for? Here's a list of all the settled sales in Vienna, VA (22180, 22181, 22182) for June 2010.

And how did the Vienna real estate market fare in June? Check out June Sales & Stats here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weekends In Vienna

While many people are headed out of town for the weekend (read long drives, traffic, kids asking "Are we there yet?") - we're staying home in Vienna this weekend (read no commute, save the gas money & spend it on entertainment, fun things to do). Our only challenge is deciding WHICH fun thing to do!

Friday, June 25th

* RAIN, A Beatles Tribute - 8PM at Wolftrap ($25-$40)

* Fat Chance (rock music) - 6:30PM at the Vienna Town Green (Free)

* Family Skate Night - 6:30PM at the Vienna Community Center ($1)

* Beatlegras (Jammin Java's web site says: "not another Beatle impersonator act but three seasoned singer/musicians (with 5 platinum albums between them) who love the Beatles and bring a very organic interpretation of the Lennon/McCartney catalog through the magical world of bluegrass.") - 7PM at Jammin Java ($20)

* Five After Five - at Whole Foods Market - 5PM to 7PM - Enjoy 5 tapas-style plates of food paired with 5 wine or beer samples - this week's theme is "American Classics"

* Movie In The Park: "Toy Story 2" - at dusk (approx 8:45PM) at Glyndon Park (Free)

* The Blackjacks Homecoming Show & Fight The Lion CD Release - 10PM at Jammin Java ($10)

*Dr. Sketchy's DC Drawing Party - 8PM at The Soundry ($10-$15)

* Reinhardt Liebig - in the piano bar in the evening at Maplewood Grill (no cover charge)

* Vienna Babe Ruth Senior League Tournament - at Waters Field all weekend (Free)

Saturday, June 26th

* RAIN, A Beatles Tribute - 8PM at Wolftrap ($25-$40)

* Vienna Farmers Market - 8AM-Noon at The Caboose

* Open Mike Night - 6:30PM at Vienna Town Green (Free)

* The Bigger Lights & Hotspur & Storm The Beaches - 5:30PM & 8:30PM at Jammin Java ($10-$13)

* Baby Canvasses II (art show opening & adoption)- 7PM at The Soundry (no cover charge)

* Reinhardt Liebig - in the piano bar in the evening at Maplewood Grill (no cover charge)

* Half Price Bottled Beer & Burgers - 3 to 5PM at Maplewood Grill

* Vienna Babe Ruth Senior League Tournament - at Waters Field all weekend (Free)

Sunday, June 27th

* Sunday Brunch - 11Am to 2PM at Bazins on Church (YUM!)

* Richard Walton Group (jazz) - 6:30PM at Vienna Town Green (Free)

* Gordon Lightfoot - 8PM at Wolftrap ($22 - $40)

* Rosie Likes Red, Corrin Campbell & Find Vienna - 1:30PM at Jammin Java ($10-$13)

* An Acoustic Storyteller Evening with Lloyd Dobler Effect - 7PM at Jammin Java ($12)

* Vienna Babe Ruth Senior League Tournament - at Waters Field all weekend (Free)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Mom - I'm Bored"

How often do your children say that during the summer? They can't wait for school to get out and then soon enough those dreaded words come . . . "Mom, I'm bored. There's nothing to do." This year, instead of responding the way YOUR Mom probably did ("Well, I can find you something to do - you can scrub the floor or mow the lawn or clean your room!") - here's an idea:



The Town of Vienna is having a Scavenger Hunt! When we were growing up, scavenger hunts were a popular thing to do at birthday parties. You would divide into groups and then set off in the neighborhood in search of silly items on a list. There was a deadline and the group who collected the most items on the list won. (There were versions of this game played in college too - but that's a story for another day!)

Well this Scavenger Hunt is a little different. It's called "Vienna's Hidden Gems Family Scavenger Hunt". And it's a photo Scavenger Hunt. The idea is to search all around Vienna for "hidden gems". Vienna defines a hidden gem as a "little known about place in the Town of Vienna". There are 7 categories and you have to find one gem in each category.

Here are the categories:

1) Play in a Safe Place
2) Explore Nature
3) Celebrate the Arts
4) Follow a Trail
5) Play a Sport
6) Explore History
7) Make a Lasting Memory

Each picture must include a family member in the photo. (And you can even include family pets!)

We think this is a great idea. What a fun way to reconnect with your children (especially your teens!) and discover some really interesting places in your own hometown of Vienna. I'm betting you can be pretty creative in both your selection of "gems" and in how you construct each photo!

The deadline is August 20th. Here are the rules and application for the Vienna Hidden Gems Family Scavenger Hunt.

We LOVE living in Vienna, Virginia!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Foreclosures & Short Sales in Vienna, VA?

We are often contacted by folks who are looking to buy a foreclosure or short sale in Vienna, VA. After all, don’t we hear about foreclosures and short sales in the news all the time? Here are some things you may be interested to know (and it might not be what you think!):

Foreclosures & Short Sales in Vienna, VA

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is History A Mystery? Not In Vienna!

"The great eventful Present hides the Past; but through the din of its loud life hints and echoes from the life behind steal in." John Greenleaf Whittier

Now that's an intriguing way to look at history don't you think?

When I was growing up, I always thought studying history was boring. Forget the past, I was ready for the future. (I could flatter myself and say that I was on the same page as Thomas Jefferson when he said "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." But really, I was just an impatient kid.) Now as I get older, I realize what a treasure our past can be - a font of learning and really quite an interesting topic!

Those of us who live in Vienna are surrounded by history. And thanks to Historic Vienna, Inc - much of it has been marked and preserved. In 1988, the Town of Vienna established a Register of "Vienna Historic Structures, Sites and Places". This is not really an "official" designation (for example - it does not mean a site is on the National Historic Register) - but it's a way for the Town to recognize our historic sites & encourage interest in them.

Any site that is designated by the Vienna Town Council can put up a special marker like the one pictured below:



You'll notice that the marker has a small number in the lower right corner. This number corresponds with the Register of Vienna Historic Structures, Sites and Places. For example, the one pictured above is #6 on the Register - Freeman House.



There are at least 22 sites with Vienna Historic Markers. You can pick up a Register with a full listing of the locations at the Freeman Store & Museum (#6 on the Register).

This time of year is a great time to do a Historic Scavenger Hunt. Take your children, your scout troop, your classroom - and walk around Vienna to see some of these sites. It's an easy history lesson where history might actually come to life for your kids (and maybe even you!).


Here are some examples of what you'll see:

Register #6 - Freeman House - was built in 1858. In addition to being a home, it has also served as a post office, fire station, civil war hospital, store and railroad station - and was occupied by both sides during the Civil War.

Register #1 - Money & King - is the oldest continuously operating business in Fairfax County.

Register #16 - Vienna Railroad Station - built in 1856. (As a side note - did you know that the Vienna Community Center is on the site where the Park Street Railroad Station used to be? This is where the 5th skirmish of the Civil War - part of the Battle of Manassas - took place. It was the first time in history that a railroad was used tactically in battle.)

In addition to all the Vienna Historic Markers, there are a number of locations in Vienna that have been marked as historic by Fairfax County. These includes sites like the first courthouse in Fairfax County (at the intersection of Old Courthouse Road and Rt 123) - hence the name of the street! Here's the list of Fairfax County Historic Markers in Vienna.

If you're a history buff - Vienna is definitely the place to be. And even if you're not - you might find it interesting.

We LOVE living in Vienna!

(More posts about Vienna History: Have You Met The Ghosts of Vienna? and How Old Is Vienna? )

Friday, June 4, 2010

Everybody's Working For The Weekend

Remember that old 80's song "Everybody's Working For The Weekend"? Well, guess what - the weekend is here! And if you live in Vienna - there are lots of great ways to enjoy the weekend. Here are a few ideas:

Friday, JUNE 4th:

Ari Hest & Sarah Siskind at Jammin Java - $15

Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles at Jammin Java - $12

The Poetry Lab at The Soundry - FREE

Alchemy (a vocal band) at the Vienna Town Green - FREE

Riverdance at Wolftrap - $20 to $70

Rienhardt Leibig at the Piano Bar at Maplewood Grill - No Cover Charge

Family Skate Night at the Vienna Community Center - $1

Neilsen's Custard - today's specials are lemon & coffee

SAT, JUNE 5th

Vienna Farmers Market

Nathaniel Rateliff at Jammin Java - $10

Mista Forty's Birthday Special with Live Performaces by Dia & Mista Forty at Jammin Java - $10

Riverdance at Wolftrap - $20 to $70

Rienhardt Leibig at the Piano Bar at Maplewood Grill - No Cover Charge

Open House at 9622 Prelude Ct - FREE

SUN, JUNE 6th

Athlete & Carney at Jammin Java - $12

Riverdance at Wolftrap - $20 to $70

Burger & A Pint Special at Maplewood Grill - $14 (and their burgers are yummy!)

Cletus & Lori (folk music) at the Vienna Town Green - FREE

Open House at 9606 Podium Drive - FREE

Open House at Thistle Ridge - FREE

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens - workshop on "Gardening With Deer" - FREE

Bingo at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department - $10 game pack minimum



These are just a small sampling of fun things to do in Vienna this weekend. Rather eclectic - don't you think? There's something for everyone - young and old, down-home and highbrow, costly and free. We LOVE living in Vienna!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Luck Madison Warhawks!

We'd like to wish Vienna's James Madison High School Warhawk baseball team "GOOD LUCK" in today's semi-final game for the Northern Region Championship. Hope to see you in the finals!

Friday, May 28, 2010

8 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in Vienna, Virginia

This weekend, we mark another Memorial Day. Who will you be remembering?

On May 2, 2000 - the White House put out a statement that said "As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation's freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day. "

Here are a few ideas for things to do in Vienna this Memorial Day weekend:

1. "The President's Own" (the United States Marine Band) will be playing a FREE concert at Wolftrap on Sunday, May 30th. The concert will be followed by fireworks. Gates open at 6:30PM, show at 8PM, fireworks at 9:45PM.

2. Meet & greet the folks who stay in & around the Vienna area when they come for Rolling Thunder. It's not hard to miss them - just look for the big groups of Harley Davidson riders. These veterans of the Vietnam war convene for a demonstration each year to urge the government to account for all MIA's and POW's and also ride to show their love & respect for veterans and soldiers of all wars. If you want to actually see the "RIDE" on Sunday (it's a very moving sight), the best spots are along the Memorial Bridge & Constitution Avenue.

3. Enjoy the Memorial Day Tribute at Viva Vienna. Viva Vienna is a huge festival that takes place in Vienna each year (rides, vendors, food, entertainment & more!). In the midst of the festival on Monday, stop by the Vienna Town Green for a Memorial Day tribute - FREE - 3 to 4PM

4. Mike Klee's True Blue American Show - Also at Viva Vienna, you'll find a Children's Stage. On Monday at 3PM, your kids might enjoy learning about American history & being entertained at the same time!

5. Call your grandpa, mom, brother, aunt, friend - whomever you know is serving or has served our country and tell them THANK YOU!

6. The Soundry's "Verbal Assault" - May 28th at 8PM at The Soundry in Vienna. One of the freedoms we most celebrate in the United States, is the freedom of speech. This unique event is a weekly celebration of expression. Tonight's theme is "Solitary Confinement". Here's what the web site says: "Verbal Assault has been sentenced to “Silentary Confinement”! What are we to do?!? Use movement, body language, facial expressions, chalk, and the GIANT Whiteboard to express yourself and a party we will have. Once you cross the threshold of silence, not a sound we will make, but we will be heard. Most communicative will be awarded an awesome prize. Watch out for the Improper Imps!"

7. Stop in at one of Vienna's many churches to attend a service or say a prayer for peace & for protection of our armed forces. There are too many churches in Vienna to list them all, but here are a few options - St. Mark Catholic Church, Vienna Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of Vienna, Church of the Holy Comforter, Wesley United Methodist Church, Vienna Baptist Church, Our Lady of Good Counsel.

8. Lastly, what's more "All-American" than baseball? (You know how we love baseball here at TheresNoPlaceLikeVienna.com!) There are some great games going on in Vienna this weekend. Stop by Waters Field during the weekend to see Vienna Babe Ruth's Senior League games. Or stop by James Madison High School tonight (May 28th) at 7PM to see Madison take on Hayfield in the Northern Region tournament. Madison will also host the Northern Region Quarterfinals on Monday at 1PM and 4PM.

There are LOTS of other great ways to celebrate Memorial Day in the Washington DC area. But whatever you do, make sure you remember why we mark this day.

Happy Memorial Day!



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Madison Miracle Hijacks Hardware From McLean Highlanders

Vienna has a LONG history & reputation for producing great baseball players. And if you missed this week's District Championship Baseball Game between Vienna's Madison HS Warhawks and McLean HS's Highlanders, you missed an EPIC game! Lucky for you, we are blessed with another post from Guest Blogger, Dave Graham. Enjoy!

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MADISON 4
McLEAN 1


We often hear during the NFL playoffs that it is tough to beat a team three straight times in a season. The same typically applies to the Liberty District Baseball Tournament. However, when one of the teams won the previous two games by a combined score of 24-6, is the top ranked team in the Northern Region and the second ranked team in the state, a third consecutive victory would seem to be a foregone conclusion. Facing such a daunting challenge, the Madison Warhawks rose to the occasion pulling off a miraculous upset to snatch the Liberty District Championship trophy from the hands of the defending District Champion McLean Highlanders.

Central to the stunning victory was a bold pitching strategy formulated by Madison Coach Mark “Pudge” Gjormand. Having given up a dozen runs in each of the previous contests between the teams, Gjormand had to find a way to shut down the McLean bats. Heeding the advice of Albert Einstein that “one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” Gjormand devised a scheme to keep the Highlanders off balance by pulling his pitcher every other inning regardless of how well he was doing.

When David faced Goliath, he chose five smooth stones. Gjormand chose four to hurl the stone. The first three---Eli Facenda, Dan Powers and Nate Favero---pitched two innings apiece and the fourth---Danny Cate---closed in the seventh. They embodied the age diversity of the team; respectively, they are a junior, freshman, sophomore and senior. The first and third are more finesse pitchers while the second and fourth are more power pitchers. Facenda, a stocky lefty, was followed by a trio of righties who kept getting longer and lankier. Backed by several stellar defensive plays, the quartet combined to limit the potent McLean line up to three hits and a lone unearned run.

In addition to having the advantages of being a prohibitive underdog and having a daring pitching strategy, another factor in the Warhawk’s favor was that although the Highlanders were the higher seed, the location of the game had been predetermined to be Madison. To be sure the Highlander faithful were well represented but the Warhawk Nation was out in force and made the confines at JMHS “visitor” friendly.

Against that backdrop, the Highlanders sent Sean Fitzgerald, the Liberty District Pitcher of the Year, to the mound. He had pitched three innings Friday night getting the win in extra innings in the semifinal game. He began this game in impressive fashion needing only thirteen pitches to set down the side in order on an infield pop up, a comebacker and a strike out.

Facenda started the game pitching carefully to Liberty District Player of the Year Riley Beiro ultimately issuing a five pitch walk. On a 1-1 count, he induced a room service ground ball to short and Andy McGuire, Favero and Jonny Graham dialed 6-4-3 for a splendid twin killing. This loomed particularly large when Fitzgerald shot a grounder through the left side for a single. Facenda retired the side on a comebacker.

Scott Bernier led off the second for the Warhawks by wearing a curve ball in the back. After a strike out, Jay Kenyon crushed a drive on a bounce off the fence to the left of the 415 sign in left center with Bernier scurrying home. Austin Mellor entered as a courtesy runner. It looked like Madison would put another run on the board when Graham scorched a shot to center. However, the fleet Beiro, who played shallow all game, raced in to make the catch and doubled the runner off second to end the inning.

Josh Sborz led off the second with a rocket barely over the second baseman’s leap that went to the fence for a double. After a pop up to second, James Oldenburg sacrificed the runner to third and was safe at first when the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Facenda picked off Oldenburg who broke for second. Graham looked Sborz back to third and fired to shortstop Andy McGuire who started to chase Oldenburg back to first then relayed home where Kenyon blocked the plate and tagged Sborz for a crucial out. After the textbook execution of the rundown, Charlie Geiger walked to put runners at first and second. Facenda got ahead of the next hitter 1-2, ran the count full and ultimately recorded a swinging strike out to conclude an eight pitch at bat.

Fitzgerald mowed down Madison in order in the top of the third needing only thirteen pitches sandwiching a pair of strike outs around a ground out.
In the bottom of the third with the top of the Highlander order coming to the plate, people were wondering if Facenda had been injured as Madison sent Powers to the mound. A freshman facing the top of the order in a 1-0 game when the starter had only thrown thirty pitches? Little did they know it was part of a plan. Beiro fouled off a pair of two strike pitches before drawing a walk on a full count. Chris Russo grounded a single through the left side to put runners at first and second. Powers got a huge out on strikes then a force play at second put runners at the corners. A wild pitch moved the runner to second but Beiro held third. With the runners off with the pitch, Powers escaped the jam getting another swinging strike out on a full count.

Matt Moore was plunked in the posterior with a curve ball to start the eventful fourth for the Warhawks. He was forced at second on Teddy Turner’s hard grounder to first. Bernier reached out and poked an outside pitch for a bloop single barely out of reach of the second baseman. The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and after a strike out, Kenyon hit a grounder to short. The throw to first bounced and the first baseman knocked it down but couldn’t scoop it allowing Turner to score and putting runners at first and third. Mellor again entered as a courtesy runner. With an 0-2 count on Graham, Mellor advanced to second uncontested on a pitch in the dirt. On the ensuing offering, Graham fisted an inside breaking ball just hard enough to dump a single out of reach of the shortstop to drive in a pair of runs. The inning ended on a ground out but somehow Madison had manufactured three runs with only two bloop hits. Depending on who you were rooting for, the hits were either cheap or good pieces of hitting against a terrific pitcher. Either way, they gave Madison a 4-0 lead.

With one out in the bottom of the frame and Powers still on the mound, Oldenburg walked on a full count pitch and took second on a passed ball. After a fly out to right, Oldenburg scored when Bruce Beatty’s grounder was booted. The error meant that for what would turn out to be the only time in the ballgame, McLean batters would face a pitcher a second time. Beiro reached first when he was hit by a 2-2 pitch but Powers bore down, quickly got ahead of the next hitter 0-2 and ended the inning on a grounder to short.

Fitzgerald dominated with a 1-2-3 fifth needing only ten pitches to retire the side. Sticking with their game plan, Madison sent Favero out to pitch the bottom of the fifth. Andy McGuire started things with a web gem as he backhanded Fitzgerald’s bullet on one hop and lasered the throw to first. Denis Buckley was hit in the back with a curve ball and Chase Mills entered as a courtesy runner. Sborz scalded a line drive right at McGuire who made a fine catch jumping but not needing to fully extend to haul it in. The inning ended on a fly out on a full count. It was indicative of the kind of night it was for McLean that two balls they roped in the fifth produced outs while Madison used a pair of dinkers in the fourth to produce three runs. A sense of frustration must have been mounting for the “home” team.

Turner started the Warhawk sixth by drilling a shot over shortstop for a single. With one out, Ryan McGuire sacrificed him to second and he stole third getting a great jump off second and going in with a headfirst slide. It was all for naught as Fitzgerald ended the inning on a called strike three on a 3-2 pitch.

Facing the bottom third of the line up, Favero retired the side in order. His replacement at second, David Belt, stayed with a high pop up for the first out and a made a solid play on a grounder for the second out. The inning ended on a comebacker.

Graham led off the seventh going with the pitch to stroke a soft line drive to left for a single. Mellor entered as a pinch runner and Favero sacrificed him to second. Fitzgerald got his eighth strike out of the game for the second out and ended the inning on a comebacker. On the night he walked no one but the two batters he hit led to a pair of runs. Though charged with four runs, only one of them was earned.

With the top of the order coming up, Cate took the mound for Madison. He was focused and quite loose having warmed up a number of times in previous innings. He started the inning facing the dangerous Beiro. After fouling off a two strike pitch, Beiro looked at called strike three and stalked back to the dugout shooting a disgusted look at the plate umpire. Russo hit a hard grounder to short on an 0-1 pitch. Andy McGuire’s throw to first was high but Graham leaped and made an acrobatic play to snare the ball and make a sweep tag on Russo for the out. The game ended on another grounder to short with McGuire making the pick up and another strong throw to first for his seventh assist of the night.

It was a tough loss for a marvelous McLean team that had won 29 of 31 Liberty District regular season and playoff games over the last two years. In particular, it was a tough loss for Fitzgerald who was attempting the remarkable feat of winning both the semifinal and final games of the District tournament. After pitching three innings three days earlier, he had tossed 108 pitches in seven innings. Next year he will pitch for the Fighting Irish and hear about Notre Dame’s fabled Four Horsemen backfield that played football in the 1920’s. On this night though, Madison rode its own version of the Four Horsemen---Facenda, Powers, Favero and Cate---to a victory that will long live in Warhawk folklore.

As the exuberant Madison players and coaches celebrated on the infield, one could almost hear Al Michaels saying, “Do you believe in miracles?” Coach Gjormand summed it up noting, “We had a great approach against one of the best pitchers in the Northern Region. We beat a great team tonight; I tip my hat to them. They don’t make many mistakes but we took advantage when we had the opportunity. We played almost a flawless game, battled for everything and got a few breaks. We had been planning how to win this game for a long time and decided to run a potpourri of pitchers at them. Eli, Dan, Nate and Danny all did a great job. Our kids have been resilient all year and I’m excited for this group to win their first championship.”

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Other posts about Vienna Baseball: Yeonas Park - The Old-Fashioned Back Fence , Baseball At Waters Field, Baseball & Apple Pie

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Friday Night - What Should We Do?

Well, if you live in Vienna, Virginia - you have LOTS of options - and you don't even have to leave Vienna! Here are some ideas for this coming Friday, May 21st:

Catch a performance or some "live music":
  • "The Mikado" done by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players at Wolftrap (tickets are $8-$48)
  • Ellis Paul & Michael Clem (Eddie From Ohio) at Jammin Java (tickets are $20)
  • The Splinters at the Vienna Town Green (FREE)
  • Reinhardt Liebig in the Piano Bar at Maplewood Grill (NO COVER CHARGE)
  • "Verbal Assault" - an open mic for poetry, monologues, etc at The Soundry (FREE)

Try a new restaurant or a new cuisine:

Pack a picnic and enjoy one of Vienna's parks:

What are YOU doing for fun in Vienna? We'd love to know!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sellers Market In Vienna?

Average days on market is still trending to the low side for 2010 in Vienna, while the number of months supply is at its lowest level ever for 2010 - with only a 2.3 month supply of homes. This puts us in a Sellers Market in Vienna. (Keep in mind that this is a general statement. If you are looking to buy or sell, make sure you talk to your Realtor about the inventory and supply of homes in your specific price range, school district, etc.)

Click here for today's full Vienna Real Estate Update .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Remember that old Song, "Old MacDonald Had A Farm"?

Old MacDonald Had A Farm - E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a Crepe?

Wait - that doesn't sound right. Let's try again.

Old MacDonald Had A Farm - E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some Popcorn?

Now that's not right either. Let's try one more time.

Old MacDonald Had A Farm - E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some Crab Cakes?


OK WAIT! WHAT KIND OF FARM IS THIS?


Well - it's the Vienna Farmer's Market! It just opened for the season and will remain open until October 30th. The Vienna Farmer's Market is a "producer only market", which means that what the vendors sell at the market must be raised, grown or made on their own farms. It's located in the "Caboose" parking lot in the heart of Vienna and is open Saturdays from 8AM to Noon.

Meet Sidney Kuhn, of Kuhn Orchards. Sidney drives from Cashtown, PA (outside of Gettysburg) every Saturday at 4AM to make the Vienna Farmer's Market. Kuhn Orchards has been a family farm for over 90 years and Sidney is the 5th generation to work in the business!

If you love to cook, it's a great place to find whatever is fresh & in season. And the vendors are great at giving you tips on how to prepare the foods they are selling. (They even provide recipes on the Vienna Farmer's Market web site!)


Folks who are trying to "eat healthy" love the market as well for the things you can find like salsa and sausage without preservatives & additives. And some of us just like to taste our way around the market - first the popcorn man, then the salsa lady, taste a crab cake, then finish up with a crepe. YUM!


Oh - and of course there is the "normal" farmer's market fare - fresh produce, flowers, meats, dairy products & more. Recently, Diane Nugent & her daughter Madison came to buy their favorite popcorn. Madison said she "loved the pretty lilacs and other plants" for sale. So gardeners - take note as well!


Here's a list of some of the vendors & products you may find at the market on any given day:
  • Middleburg Creamery - homemade ice cream, root beer floats
  • Kuhn Orchard - fruit, herbs, cut flowers
  • Friendly Hall Farms - produce, jams
  • Blue Ridge Gardens - annuals, perennials
  • Guata Java - organic coffee
  • Gypsy Hill - packaged rubs & dips
  • The Crab Ladies - crab cakes
  • Ole Pioneer's Kitchen - breakfast, appetizer & dinner meats
  • South Mountain Creamery - milk, cream, yogurt, eggs, cheese
  • The Swiss Bakery & Pastry Shop - artisan breads, pretzels, pastries, cookies
  • Lois' Produce - fresh fruits & produce
  • Smith Family Farm - grass-fed meats, pastured pork, poultry, turkey
The Vienna Farmer's Market is just another reason why we love living in Vienna. You don't have to live on a farm when the farm comes to you! Theres No Place Like Vienna!