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Friday, June 6, 2014

May Events I Went to...

I was pretty busy this month with personal events. Below are the events I was able to squeeze in.
  • John Legend @ the Kennedy Center
  • Yelp Gets Buzzed at Peet's Coffee & Tea
  • Merlot's Masterpiece: Colorful Rain
  • Cherry Blossom Volunteer Appreciation Event
  • Nats Game
  • Free Movies
John Legend @ the Kennedy Center

Oooooooo John Legend you foxy minx.  Boy, does he have charisma and I can listen to his buttery voice all day long reading a phone book for all I care.

Youtube Onstage and the Kennedy Center teamed up to offer a free concert featuring John Legend.

I was super excited when I first heard John Legend was coming to the Kennedy Center to perform for freeeeee.  I was a little worried when I heard they weren't passing out tickets till an hour and a half ahead of the performance.  John Legend lately has been blowing up because of his hit song All of Me.  I was paranoid I wouldn't score tickets since I had work that day.

I decided to leave work early and hopefully I wouldn't be too far back waiting in line.  When I finally got there I was surprised and happy.  There weren't nearly as many people in front of me that I thought there would be.  The Kennedy Center also passed out bottled waters, popcorn, and popsicles to people waiting in line to make it more bearable.   They did make us wait outside after all and it was pretty hot that day.  I didn't mind waiting in line and waiting for my friends to come.

When the time came, they promptly passed out tickets and I was happy to discover I got 1st tier center seats!  There were a couple acts before John legend.  The MC was a sportscaster from some network and he was hilarious.  I feel bad I can't remember his name, but I applaud him.

Some of the acts were Playing for Change, Les Twins, Lindsey Stirling, Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox, and Mike Relm.

I thought Playing for Change was really touching and the tribute to Zach Sobiech "Clouds" was heartfelt.  Postmodern Jukebox was fun to listen to too, I love Oldies kind of music.  The Les Twins act was ok to me, some of their moves were impressive, but I was expecting more.

Lindsey Stirlings' story was impressive and her music was nice to listen to, but some of her songs sound too alike.

Finally when John Legend came out I was a little tired, but it was totally worth it to wait for him.  I though he would play one or two songs and that would be it.  No, he played all his hit songs.  I had such a great view of him and the Opera house at the Kennedy Center where he played was such an intimate atmosphere.  John Legend is a soft talker and makes you feel like hes talking to you personally.  Swooooooon.

One of the best concerts I've ever been too.

Yelp Gets Buzzed at Peet's Coffee & Tea

I'd forgotten how awesome Yelp was until I went to this event.  I signed up weeks ago for this event, not thinking I would get in, since it was mainly for Elite Yelpers.  To my surprise I received an invitation the day before the event.  I almost cancelled, none of my friends were going since they didn't get an invite and the Yelp event was for free coffee, I'm don't even drink coffee. haha

I decided it would be a good opportunity to put myself outside of my comfort zone and meet some cool new people.  I know Yelp throws great parties, so I decided in the end I did not want to miss out, and if it was awkward, I could always leave early.

I arrived right when it started and I signed in and got a name tag.  The super friendly host Kimberly told me I could order anything off the menu and to enjoy the free food coming around the room.  They also had some free freebies right off the bat for me.  I got Yelp sunglasses, chap-sticks, and arm bands.  It was awkward in the beginning, but throughout the event I settled in into my comfort zone and everyone was friendly.

I ordered the Matcha Green Tea Freddo which is their version of Starbucks' Green Tea Frappuccino. Delicious!  Boy, I totally ordered another one since it was unlimited everything!!  The food came around too frequency, haha.  I was turning the servers down and they insisted I try at least a bite of everything.  No one was stingy, all the servers were super friendly and genuine!  You could really tell they love their job and they are all coffee freaks(in a good way)!

I got to learn the art of making the perfect Cappuccino, I had no idea how much work goes into making one.  A cool tidbit I learned is, you have about 10 seconds after an espresso is made to drink it or mix it to make a cappuccino before it turns bitter.

At the end of the event everyone was given a huge gift box filled with 1/2 a pound of coffee, 2 coffee pods, 5 free drink vouchers, and a stainless steel drink tumbler.  I was amazed about how good the quality all the free stuff was.  That gift box had to be worth around easily $50 if not more.

All in all it was a super amazing event and I'm so happy I decided to go even though I went by myself.  I rather experience a cool event by myself then missing it all together.

Merlot's Masterpiece: Colorful Rain

I bought a deal for 2 on Groupon to Merlot's Masterpiece, one of those painting events.  I took my friend as part of her bday present.  This is my third time trying out these painting classes.  I would have to say my very first time was the best painting experience I've had so far.

This class was fun, but the instructor didn't really show us any techniques or help us that much with our painting.  Also the painting had the girl stenciled on the canvas already, but the stenciling was sloppy and parts of her were too thick.  I would have done better, had I just free handed the girl myself, but I didn't have an eraser and it would have made my painting smudgy.  Also they only provided gigantic paint brushes so we couldn't paint the delicate parts well.

I had fun dripping the different colors, but it was so time consuming to wait for the color to dry, before I could drip another color.

Overall, it was fun, but a lot harder than I was expecting the painting to be.  My friend and I had fun and that's all that really matters in the end.  I liked how my painting turned out.  I gave my painting to my niece as part of her bday present and she loved it.

Cherry Blossom Volunteer Appreciation Event

I am once again impressed with how the Cherry Blossom Festival treats their volunteers.  I was informed there was an appreciation event coming up for all the volunteers, so I signed up not expecting too much.  The event said they would provide food and have a raffle to say thanks for all our hard work.

When I volunteer I don't really expect anything in return, it's volunteering for the sake of volunteering.  So I was excited for the event, but I didn't have any expectations.  Wow, I was impressed.  They catered food from Carmine's the restaurant.  They had an open bar with wine, beers, soda, etc for free.  They also had free ice cream from Gifford's.  They had a big raffle of free stuff,  my name was actually called and I got a t-shirt and a Japanese wooden key chain that is now hanging proudly in my car.  Also every volunteer received a good sized gift bag with tons of goodies inside and everyone got a Georgetown Cupcake to bring home.

The event was a bit far to get to, but well worth it.  It was really nice to see how much the Cherry Blossom Festival appreciated our time and help and why I love volunteering for them every year.

Nats Game

I love my company and appreciate them giving out free Suite Box tickets to the Nats games.  Every ticket includes the buffet and open bar.  I took my friend as part of their bday present (I know, I'm an awesome friend right?! haha jk).  We stuffed our faces out and enjoyed the game.

Luckily we came early and got an outdoor table at the buffet.  We had a perfect view of the game and perfect shelter once it started raining.  Everyone around us got soaked to the bone while we were dry as a bone.

Once they paused the game for bad weather we decided to go home.  Stuffing my face out and watching most of the game for free was good enough for me.

Free Movies I Saw

Free movies I went to for the month of May.  I missed out on a lot of movies for May and I was pretty bummed about it. But a lot of those movies had screening in June so I didn't miss as much as I thought I did.
Follow @tranofthoughts on twitter if you want a heads up on upcoming free movie tickets in the DMV area.
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Obvious Child
  • How to Train Your Dragons 2

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