Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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We’ve been talking since before our wedding (yes, over a year ago) about getting to DC because we both have friends there. I really wanted it to be during baseball season so we could hit up one of the nearby stadiums. We finally made it happen a few weeks ago and it was perfect timing.

We stayed with friends in the Capital Hill area, which was beautiful and close to so many things. Flying in on Thursday night gave us the whole days Friday, just the two of us, to explore. We walked almost everywhere (with the exception of one Lyft ride towards the end of the day because our legs were wore OUT). We had both been to DC before, but I hadn’t been since elementary school. One completely free day obviously isn’t a whole lot for DC, but I feel like we made the most of it.

We hit up Bullfrog Bagels for a quick, delicious breakfast, then continued walking towards the mall. We made tentative plans the night before and it was actually nice to not be on a strict schedule. We just talked and took in the sites. The weather was beautiful too, albeit a little too windy for my liking, especially coming from the summer weather in Atlanta. We saw the Capital and made our way down the mall.

Our first official stop was the National Museum of American History. It’s so great that the Smithsonian museums are free because we didn’t even make a dent in all there was to see in just one of them. But we got to see some great stuff, mainly covering all of the wars. It sounds depressing but it’s really interesting seeing how men and women have fought for our country to make it what it is today.

We then made our way to the National Portrait Gallery, which was top of my list. They had a really cool women’s suffrage installation and then of course, the presidential portraits. Each president’s portrait is so unique, especially seeing them all together. I definitely recommend it.

On Saturday we hit up the International Spy Museum. I failed and took no pictures, but I definitely recommend it. It’s a private museum, so it’s not free, but it’s worth it. It’s great for families and very interactive. The only downside was that it’s so new (only opened a few months ago) that it was very crowded. So we didn’t do a lot of the interactive things because we didn’t want to wait and fight for space. But it was fascinating to hear and see stories of international espionage, techniques used in specific cases, and just how long spies have been used for various things.

Our final stop was, of course, a Nationals game and like I said earlier, it was perfect not only because they were playing the Braves, but it was the DC Vanderbilt alumni chapter game for the summer (go ‘Dores!). We added another new stadium to our lists (that makes 7 for me…8 if you include just a stadium tour for one). The stadium reminded me a lot of the Braves new(ish) stadium and it was a great time seeing lots of friends!

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Build a House!

I organize service events for my local alumni chapter. One of our favorite organizations to work with/support is Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. We are supporting and helping build another house in 2014 but no houses can be built without the support of the community! We have a build day coming up and will put in lots of hard work to get the house started, but there is a lot more than the manual labor that goes into supporting a house.

If you’re not familiar with the process of Habitat for Humanity, it’s a lot more than just building a house and handing it over to someone. The family receiving the house (who has gone through an extensive application process to be selected) helps build alongside the volunteers, attends classes to learn financial skills as well as general homeowner info/skills, and is held accountable for the upkeep of the house. It really is an incredible process. This year, we are helping build with a single mother who has two daughters. She has a good and consistent job and loves entertaining – so is excited to have a home within which to do just that!

I can’t wait for build day but we need your financial help too! Every little bit helps – $5 to $50 or more. Please consider giving whatever amount you can, small or large, to a great cause that literally helps dreams come true. Go here to donate and make sure you designate your donation to the Vanderbilt Alumni build in the comments section.

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Alumni Event

Atlanta has the largest Vanderbilt Alumni Chapter outside of Nashville. I’ve gradually gotten more involved since moving back to Atlanta and I enjoy planning fun events (hence the item on my 30 Before 30 list). Atlanta has so many fun events, there are plenty I have still not been to, and the Martinis & IMAX event at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History was one of those events.

I went to Fernbank growing up and I think events as such venues are always a great idea. Believe it or not, Fernbank started this event in 1996 – long before I was old enough to drink. It has evolved and now appears to be, after attending last week, one the hottest tickets on Friday nights in Atlanta! It was also salsa night, which is once a month, and definitely helped with the turnout.

You don’t have to attend one of the IMAX films, but I wanted to see one – most of the films they show are very interesting. We saw Jerusalem – showing the city from the religions point of view – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Three young girls tell their story of growing up in the city considered holy to all three religions. It was very interesting and presented many facts about the city that I did not know. I also have personal interest since my mom is traveling to Jerusalem in a couple weeks (I’m so jealous).

Anyway – the event was SO much fun – there was a fun crowd, the drinks were delicious, and the dancing looked fun (though we did not have much time to participate due to the film viewing). I will definitely be going back another month on salsa night.