National Harbor

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Stay Cool My Friends!

By Lani Gering Whewie….it was a hot damn (and not in the good way) July! I am sooooo hoping that August doesn’t follow suit. This ungodly hot weather really cuts into our sailing time and how am I supposed to maintain my golden tan if it’s too hot to soak in some sun? On the flip side…there are some “cool”, literally and figuratively, adult things to do inside some of my favorite places in the Harbor this month. Let’s start with a nice cool beverage at the Belvedere Lounge accompanied by the Summer Laser Light and Fountain show in the Atrium of the Gaylord Resort. The whole Atrium comes alive with this spectacular, swashbuckling show! Guests and visitors will be amazed when they view this dazzling display of lights, fountains, lasers and more. After the show head up to the Replay Lounge on the rooftop for a Material Girl Frose, Under the Sea Margarita or a Caribbean Queen Pina Colada – their summer frozen drink collection! Don’t forget to check out Friday and Saturday Night Movies in the Atrium through September 5th as well! Lots of “Hot Deals” taking place at the Capital Wheel this month. Enjoy a cold beverage in the air-conditioned comfort of a climate controlled gondola as you spin above the Harbor overlooking the Potomac from the Washington Monument to Mount Vernon. Just grab your beverage at the Flight Deck before you board and you are in business. They are once again celebrating National Dog Day at the Wheel. I have to admit that the last place I want to take my dog is on a wheel ride or to a baseball game but….I get it…there are lots of you out there who are “on board” J with it. Here is a way to celebrate your favorite…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Hot Times in the Harbor

By Susan Bounds “A bawdy, boozy night of revelry that goes down easy.” -Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Theatre Guide The National Harbor’s Waterfront District premiere restaurant, Bond 45 and New York Producer Holly-Anne Devlin are happy to announce that Speakeasy At The Sunset Room – an all-in-one immersive mixology experience that combines the worlds of cirque, illusion, burlesque and musical theatre with an upscale cocktail flight – will open at the Sunset Room in National Harbor for a limited engagement this summer following a sold out run in New York City.  Hailed as “deliciously decadent” (Newsbreak), and “dazzling, splashy, sexy, intoxicating” (NY Theatre Guide). Enjoy the delectable delicacies of Bond 45, while being tantalized by the world’s hottest stage, cirque and burlesque stars.  Each ticket for this magical mixology experience includes a flight of five cocktails and a delicious appetizer from Bond 45’s world class culinary team. Dinner and a Show packages which include a delicious three course meal at Bond 45 are also on offer.  This is the perfect celebratory night for friends, couples, bachelorette parties, Girls Night’s Out and more! Speakeasy is directed by Holly-Anne Devlin whose Broadway and Touring credits include Jersey Boys, Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays and Bring It On The Musical, choreographed by Broadway’s Michael Fatica (Beetlejuice, Hello Dolly, Frozen) and features the top cirque, burlesque, and theatrical performers in the world including Broadway’s Annelise Baker (Jagged Little Pill) as Imogen; Madison O’Connor (The Radio City Rockette’s) as Amour; Nichelle Lewis (Hairspray) as Bessie Bourbon, Lauren Mary Moore  as Fleur De Lis; international burlesque and opera singing sensation, Opera Gaga; star of Legendary on HBO Max Karma Stylez; Golden Clown of Monaco, international cirque star, Chen Lei,  tap dancing sensation, Brian Davis (After Midnight); and Oscar at the Crown star, Jada Temple as the mistress of ceremonies, Madam Lulu; along with internationally acclaimed burlesque and variety artists, Tansy Burlesque, Audrey Love, MisSa Blue, Chrishon Jerome, Hayley Lampart (Kinky Boots), Barnaby Llewellyn and Peekaboo Pointe; “America’s Got Talent” contortionist, Aryn; All Star Cheerleader Charlee Shae, world renowned cirque artist Allison Schieler and special guest stars from Broadway will also make appearances throughout the run….

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Let’s Show the Fleet Street Pubs Some Love!

By Lani Gering Every month I am in search of subject matter for this space and some months it’s easier than others. I wanted to do more than just talk about the events and what goes on down on the waterfront and about the time I was about to head back in that direction I saw a Facebook post from one of our many favorite bartenders in the Harbor – Leah Sbitan. She indicated she was back behind the bar roving between Public House and Irish Whisper and picking up shifts at Brother Jimmy’s. A lot has happened since the last time I saw her – she got married, she had two cute kids and she’s embarked on a real estate career. Seeing that she had come back to her “roots” made me think about the last time I wrote anything about our friends on Fleet Street! When I lived in the Harbor I made my rounds to check on my “people” at least once a week and I always ended up at Public House as my last stop. They were the first business to advertise with the OTC when the Harbor was brand new so I have a soft spot in my heart for Jon Ball and his people – many of whom are still close friends. Much has changed since in the last 12 or so years. Public House, Cadillac Ranch, and Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar have held their ground, Harrington’s Irish Pub closed and the space was split into Brother Jimmy’s BBQ and Irish Whisper (all owned by the same parent company as Public House). Granite City Food & Brewery has come and gone and it is rumored that a Denver-based chain, Tom’s Watch Bar, will be opening in that huge space this winter. The Brass…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

The Season Has Begun – Finally

By Lani Gering It sure seems like it has taken forever for the Harbor to shake off the wintertime dust! Sure there were some fun events for the Cherry Blossoms in March and April but the real fun starts May 1st. This day marks the beginning of the fun summertime season at the Harbor. The Salute the Sunset concerts are back on, Movies on the Potomac are up and running, the free weekly Fitness Classes are taking place, Friday Summer Sounds is on the schedule and Kids Day starts on Thursdays beginning in June. The Salute the Sunset concert series continues entertaining us with patriotic performances on Saturdays and select Wednesday evenings. This year there will be a Drill at Dusk performance by the US Air Force Honor Guard on select evenings as well. The concerts and the drills are performed by various US Military bands and begin at 7 pm. Bring your chairs and grab some eats to go from one of the many eateries on the Plaza. FREE! May Schedule Drill at Dusk – 4th, 7th, 11th, 18th, 25th Army Band – 14th Navy Band – 21st & 28th Movies on the Potomac A full roster of some of our favorite family classics and date night movies hit the big screen on the Plaza throughout the season. Family Nights on Sundays at 6 pm and Date Nights on Thursdays at 7 pm. The theme for this month is Animals. Pack up some portable seating and join in the fun. FREE! Family Night 1st – Sing 2 8th – Babe 15th – 101 Dalmatians circa 1996 22nd – The Secret Life of Pets 29th – Lion King circa 1994 Date Night 5th – Best In Show 12th – Dream Horse 19th – Jaws 26th – Must Love Dogs Get…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Who Says You Can’t Go Home

By Lani Gering As many of you regular readers of this column know, I had to move out of the condo that I occupied in One National Harbor for over 11 years almost 2 years ago due to the monetary strains caused by the pandemic. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I know it may sound ridiculous to some of you but I truly did love living in the Harbor. I had my routine and liked to go on a walk about to check out new businesses and see what other action was up at my favorite places. I vowed to make it the 4 whole miles back across the bridge from Old Town on a regular basis and I did for the first year, however, it has been less frequent – other than doing the monthly distribution – in these last 9 months. I was struggling with what to write about since about the only notable happening in the Harbor in April is the continuing Cherry Blossom activities that I wrote about in the March column and the springtime and Easter happenings at the Gaylord. So….I decided to take the drive across the Woody Bridge with Bob in tow to spend the afternoon in the Harbor. Wouldn’t you know that the day we picked ended up with the wind blowing a gale and rain pelting down so the walk about didn’t happen. Not to be discouraged, we went ahead and parked the truck in the Fleet Street garage and made the trek through the elements to my all time favorite place in the Harbor – Bond 45. Bond was like my “Cheers” bar when I lived there. I could walk out one of the many ‘secret’ exits from the ONH building and across the street…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Celebrating the Cherry Blossoms In the Harbor With the Region’s Earliest Blooming Cherry Tree Waterfront Display

By Lani Gering I can’t believe it is almost Cherry Blossom time. That is a sure sign that spring is on its way.  With this in mind, I contacted my friend Vickie Bendure of Bendure Communications to see if she had any update on what is happening this year in the Harbor and she came to the rescue. Please check out the following information and put the Harbor first on your list for blossom peeping! National Harbor has become known for its spring display of hundreds of cherry trees lining the waterfront. The trees bloom each year in March and are some of the earliest blooms in the D.C. region. This year marks the 110th anniversary since Japan gifted its beautiful cherry trees to Washington, D.C. and, once again, National Harbor is an official participant of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. To celebrate National Harbor’s own spectacular display, the property is hosting a Cherry Blossom Celebration beginning March 17 through April 17. The month-long celebration will be filled with entertainment, hotel room packages, food and drink specials, classes and more. On Saturday, March 19, Minyo Crusaders will perform from 4 to 5 p.m. on the waterfront stage (150 National Plaza.) The group performs minyo music with Latin and African influences and uses instruments from around the world. They will give a short talk explaining minyo and traditional Japanese dance and then will invite (voluntary) audience participation in learning the dance choreography and being part of the performance. The Japan Foundation organized the performance in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in the U.S.A. and National Harbor. In addition, there will be a formal cherry tree planting ceremony at 3 p.m. on March 19 with the Embassy of Japan.  National Harbor has selected a special Kanzan cherry tree. They have been…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

National Harbor Celebrates the Year of the Tiger

By Lani Gering I just love the Chinese New Year “stuff” every year. I really get excited when I go to a Chinese restaurant and they have the place mats that have all of the years and animals on them. You know, the ones that tell you who you are and aren’t compatible with, what your personality is like, etc.  According to my reliable source – Chinesenewyear.net – Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. “According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.” According to my source: “People born in years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charm of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger than life quality in them. Tigers are lively and cheerful, and they love freedom and independence. They are a zodiac sign that absolutely must have their personal space. Tigers usually have a keen sense of justice. When faced with injustices, whether against themselves or others, you can be sure Tigers will not stand aside. However, Tigers may also appear unrefined or thoughtless in the way they handle things. In a less developed person, these traits can easily turn…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Out With the Old, In With the New (kinda)

By Lani Gering Out With the Old, In With the New (kinda) As I was brainstorming about what the subject matter for this column was going to be going into the New Year I decided to dig back into the archives and see what inspired me in years past. Well…2020 found me introducing Ollie – the vehicle that drove itself – and now it’s gone and last year I talked about how to “safely” navigate the stupid virus while dining in the Harbor and that’s still hanging around. I really would have preferred Ollie to stick around! January is normally a really slow month everywhere but after having such a flurry of holiday activity this December compared to the almost total absence of it in the Harbor last December – remember that the Gaylord was totally shut down in 2020 – this January is on its way to being a record setter. And…tack on the fact that there is yet another new variant of the virus roaming around, it isn’t looking like the mask mandate in PG County is going to be lifted again anytime soon. Let’s just hope that those who have yet to be vaccinated and boosted get with the program, follow the science and get taken care of. January is a good month to reflect on the last year and revel in the good stuff and shine on the bad. There is only one way to go and that is forward. I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s resolution because it seems I can never live up to it. It’s the same way when I pretend I’m Catholic during Lent – I am actually Episcopalian aka Catholic lite. In my 68 years I’ve never made it past a week with the Lent business. I guess…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Celebrate Holidays at National Harbor

Celebrate Holidays at National Harbor 2 million lights over acres of entertainment National Harbor celebrates Holidays at the Harbor nightly with a 54-foot tall tree at the Belvedere event space (adjacent to Bond 45, 149 Waterfront St.) and spectacular light show every half hour from sunset to 9 p.m. A fireworks display will take place every Saturday through Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. The Christmas movie theme continues in the Waterfront District as National Harbor shows favorite Christmas movies on the outdoor, waterfront screen (150 National Plaza) starting at 2 p.m. on Sundays.  Movies are as follows: Dec. 5, The Year Without a Santa Claus* Dec. 12, Elf* Dec. 19, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation* Jan. 2, It’s a Wonderful Life *these movies are also part of Gaylord National’s I Love Christmas Movies experience. In addition to the dazzling MGM National Harbor conservatory, with its splendid holiday display, MGM will also present Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Dec. 16-19—a family holiday spectacular that will delight all ages. This annual tradition wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry. Young children will also enjoy Storytime on Saturdays at 2 p.m. on American Way when the Prince George’s County Library and Mahogany Books will take turns reading to children. Free holiday hot chocolate will be available at various retailers on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. through Jan. 2. Free cocoa mugs will be given out by select retailers with a purchase of $50 or more, while supplies last. Toys for Tots will collect new, unwrapped toys for those in need on American Way on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. As a thank you for a donation, The Capital Wheel will hand out one ticket per family (valid on Dec. 4 only.) In addition to great events and lots of holiday shopping options including 85…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

So. Much. Christmas.

By Lani Gering So. Much. Christmas. Those of you who have followed this column know that I go a little nutty with the holiday happenings in the Harbor and especially those at the Gaylord. It was a very sad holiday last year for me without the Resort being open so I am very happy they are going all out this year. While many of you have asked me what the theme for ICE is this year, I am sad to say it isn’t coming back. But, the new theme – “So. Much. Christmas.” – is literally that! I can’t believe all of the new activities that have been added. I contacted Patrice Clayton, the GNR PR Guru, for some detailed info and she was at the ready.  The newly added experiences include holiday cooking classes, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, a festive desserts shop and ice bumper cars and a snow ball making and tossing experience. In addition, Gaylord National will feature several suites decked out in holiday décor for a home-for-the-holidays feel. These new experiences perfectly complement the resort’s other fan-favorite Christmas attractions and its new Gaylord Hotels original production, I Love Christmas Movies ™. Visitors can enjoy the following newly announced experiences: Overnight guests can leave Christmas tree-decorating to the experts and book one of the resort’s Christmas Dreams Suites complete with garland, wreaths, lights and even holiday stockings. This home away from home includes a one-hour professional photo shoot in the resort creating the perfect setting for family Christmas pictures or even a sweet holiday proposal. The Christmas Tree Lot is reminiscent of the time-old tradition of selecting the perfect Christmas tree. This “instagrammable” pop-up bar will bring visitors together over spirited holiday cocktails and fun photo opportunities. For guests looking to impress at the next holiday gathering, Gaylord National’s Resort Chef will lead a…

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