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I should write a blog post about the whirlwind journey I embarked on as I searched for a new career. The interviews, the take home projects and my favorite questions, “Do you use The Twitter?” and “How many Facebook friends do you have?”

But, I won’t talk about any of those things. What I would like to address are the coffee shops. Ahhh, coffee shops. There were many of them. Some had wifi. Some had great coffee. Some didn’t have bathrooms. Coffee shops became my constant. My sanctuary. I could look over my notes, get a caffeine fix and most importantly, survey the best places to grab a cuppa joe in the DC area.

How I rate the coffee shops on a of scale 1-5

  • phenomenal coffee
  • wifi
  • easily accessible bathroom
  • staff doesn’t care that you’ve been there for awhile (hours and hours)
  • roomy
  • stylish decor and interesting music are a plus

Alexandria

June Coffee 2/5 Located across the street from the King Street Metro, June Coffee sits in a little courtyard. This place gets major marks taken off.  a) no bathroom, and b) there is a $5 minimum purchase if you use a credit card.  I ended up having to buy a large soy latte and a banana and a muffin — come on, I just need a place to sit down for 20 minutes! The shop is very small. The only real seats were uncomfortable bar stools, and the coffee wasn’t all that.

Uptowner Cafe 4/5 You can find the Uptowner Cafe in the heart of Old Town on Harvard Street. I. Love. This. Place. Need proof?

Fantastic sandwiches, amazing coffee, great people watching, soothing classical music. I once spent about 4 hours here between interviews and no one seemed to care. If this place had wifi it would be my top favorite.

Arlington

Starbucks 2/5 Very small and crowded Starbucks in the middle of Rosslyn. Lost my seat once and had to stand out in the rain.

Corner Bakery 2/5 Nothing memorable about this location. Ordered a tall skim latte, my goto for late afternoon interviews.

Reston

Cosi 4/5 and then 0/5 I’m a big Cosi fan. Love the coffee, sandwiches and tribal music. I snacked on a Cosi Break Bar and used the Free Wifi. I was in coffee heaven. Well, at least I thought I was until the next morning my email account was hacked and sent strange emails to 1/2 my address book. Not exactly the kind of Thank You note you want to write to an employer after an interview. I believe my account was compromised while sitting at this Cosi. Beware!

DC

Union Station 4/5 I love Union Station almost as much as I love rail travel, so sneaking away into this gorgeous landmark to grab a coffee is always a treat. Would rather be on my way to NYC than into an interview, but the coffee, the hustle & bustle and the ambiance made my coffee break a memorable one.

Au Bon Pain 3/5 Very impressed by the coffee, the seating and the French music. Twas a good pit stop.

Bourbon Coffee 5/5 Three words: Macadamia Nut Mocha. Yes, please!  Here you have it folks, the best coffee shop I encountered during my coffee shop sabbatical. Free Wifi. Deep orange-red walls with loud prints hung high on the wall. This place is a real treat. If you find yourself at 2101 L St. NW, Washington DC, enter the premises immediately.

Cosi 4/5 Now, I’ve got some serious love for this Cosi because it could potentially be the coffee shop I’ll be frequenting most often starting this week.

Yes, Cosi was my final coffee shop stop on my career search, as I’ll be working at the Library of Congress as a Content Strategist through CACI starting this week.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last few months. To persevere when the path gets tough. To open my mind to new opportunities. But what I found to be most important is that perfect satisfaction that exists in the form of a coffee cup. Because no matter what obstacles appear to stand in the way, there will always be that perfect little coffee shop, and that perfect little cup of coffee welcoming you, urging you, to follow your dreams.


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Husband and I had a bit of a night out on the town last night. We headed to the Mobile Tech Cocktail presented by Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series. It was the first Tech Cocktail event that we had the chance to attend, and it was a really fantastic experience! We connected with a lot of great tech people and watched product demos from QR Arts and WhereMark.

The event was held at Current Sushi, formerly Dragonfly, a spot I used to frequent 5 or 6 years ago. Definitely feeling the new staircase, the strange bathrooms and the overall vibe of the place. Much improved!

Had to snap a picture of the back area of the bar. I felt a strong urge to perform the entire score of ‘Rent’ against the backdrop. How about a rendition of  ‘Tech Me or Leave Me’ … ?

If you ever have the chance to attend a Tech Cocktail event, you will not be disappointed!

Like many women, I hate shopping. I need to be in a very peculiar/particular mood  to go on a shopping trip. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fashion or dressing up, (I have a strong attachment to high heels, cocktail dresses and bold styles), it’s just that for me, 4 things must happen to create the scenario for the perfect shopping trip.

1) Everything must fit and look simply dazzling in the dressing room.

2) I must have a gift card and/or a very clear and detailed reason WHY I am purchasing the item. (Wedding, Birthday Party, Presentation for Work, etc).

3) If it is a casual item, (not for work or for a social event) I prefer if it is on sale. Even better, if it is brand name and on sale. Score!

4) I shop best alone. I love window shopping with my mom, BFF, husband — but I am only going to waste your time and mine, when I walk into the dressing room with 20 items, and return with 0.

Recently, I did have a successful shopping trip. Here is what I purchased:

Item: Blue Patterned Dress by Angie

Reason for Purchase: Need clothes to wear on the water.

Further Justification: Would work over a bathing suit, loved the fit of the smocked waist, the soothing color, the length and the paisley pattern on the trim of the dress.

$: On sale

Item: ECI Sleeveless Print Dress

Reason for Purchase: Possible candidate for a birthday party outfit.

Further Justification: Could also work at wine fests, summer happy hours and outdoor concerts. Perfect with a big chunky necklace and espadrilles.

$: Also on sale

Item: Sleeveless top with tribal-ish pattern and beaded neckline, from Jones New York.

Reason for Purchase: Needed a Spring/Summer top.  Possibly for Mother’s Day.

Further Justification: Paired with black pants or capris, and a smart heel, this is a quick outfit to throw on to grab lunch.  Anna at, ‘Her Fashion Affair,” answers the question, ” Are capri pants really a fashion faux pas?” What do you think? I dislike shorts and believe if you are tall and wear them with a heel, capris are a comfortable option.

$: Majorly on sale! This item was originally $99.99 and I snagged it for $12.75.

This weekend’s boat trip to Mattawoman Creek reminded me of this lovely CSNY song. Loved hearing stories about the river, spotting two bald eagles and waking up to a cool spring breeze.

The Lee Shore
by David Crosby
from the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album “4 Way Street”

Wheel gull spin and glide … you’ve got no place to hide
‘Cause you don’t need one

All along the Lee shore
Shells lie scattered in the sand
Winking up like shining eyes, at me
From the sea

Here is one like sunrise
It’s older than you know
It’s still lying there where some careless wave
Forgot it long ago

When I awoke this morning
I dove beneath my floating home
Down below her graceful side in the turning tide
To watch the sea fish roam

There I heard a story
From the sailors of the Sandra Marie
There’s another island a day’s run away from here
And it’s empty and free

From here to Venezuela
There’s nothing more to see
Than a hundred thousand islands
flung like jewels upon the sea
For you and me

Sunset smells of dinner
Women are calling at me to end my tales
But perhaps I’ll see you, the next quiet place
I furl my sails

Kel

Kel

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