Things to Do - BEST OF 2013
(The picture is P with her great grandmother, who visited us over Xmas break).
As you may or may not have realized by now, I LOVE a list.
This year a group of us bloggers got together to post some of our favorites from 2013 on the same day. So after you peruse my list, click on over to Julia's Book Bag to see what she loved in 2013, then keep linking and following the chain til you arrive back here. And while you're at it please comment with your own best of lists, I'm always interested in new reads/places to go/music, etc.
BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2013
* Tolstoy's The Cossacks - a wonderful portrait of life in a foreign land.
* Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers - 1970s art, feminism, rebellion, and discontent.
* Alice Munro's Dear Life: Stories - there's a reason she won the Nobel.
* Alix Ohlin's Signs and Wonders - wonderful short stories about loss/change, some of the best I've ever read.
* Lauren Groff's Arcadia - growing up in a hippie commune.
* Aminatta Forna's The Hired Man - a Croatian village after the war.
* James Salter's All That Is - one life, summarized.
* Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity - life in an Indian slum.
* Emily Matchar's Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity - back to the earth, well, sort of.
* Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia - the book that convinced me not to travel to Russia.
* Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs - the book that made me want to throw my Apple products out the window.
* Stephen Grosz's The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves - we're all so complicated.
BEST MOVIES AND TV I WATCHED IN 2013
* The final season of Breaking Bad (drug dealing is complicated)
* Baz Luhrmann's the Great Gatsby (F** the critics, I loved it)
* Frances Ha (becoming an adult is complicated)
* The Stories We Tell (family secrets are complicated)
* The Gatekeepers (Israel is complicated)
* Looper (time travel is complicated)
* House of Cards, Season 1 (Washington DC is complicated)
* Before Midnight (marriage is complicated)
* No! (politics and advertising are complicated)
* The League, Seasons 1-4 (funniest show on tv, hands down)
* The Beautiful Now (high school is complicated)
* Drinking Buddies (relationships & fidelity are complicated)
Honorable mentions - This Is Not a Film, & the Place Beyond the Pines
BEST KIDS' MOVIES AND TV WE WATCHED IN 2013
* Wreck it Ralph
* Despicable Me 2
* Master Chef Junior
* family viewings of old Project Runway seasons
BEST NEW-TO-ME MUSIC I LISTENED TO IN 2013
* Josh Ritter's The Beast In Its Tracks
* Vampire Weekend's Obvious Bicycle
* Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's self-titled album
* The Cups song (so much family entertainment)
* Alabama Shakes' Boys & Girls
* Bahama's Bar Chords
* Gregory Isakov
* Grouplove's Never Trust A Happy Song
* The Lumineer's cover of This Must Be the Place
* The Virgins' Strike Gently
* Local Natives' Hummingbird
BEST KIDS' BOOKS WE READ IN 2013 (Click on the image to enter Amazon)
Honorable mentions - Bear Has a Story to Tell and Where Children Sleep
BEST NEW-TO-ME LOCAL PLACES TO GO WITH KIDS IN 2013
* Winkler Botanical Preserve (Alexandria, VA).
* Baltimore Museum of Industry (Baltimore, MD) (previously posted here).
* Hiking the Turkey Run loop trail (McLean, VA) (previously posted here).
* Hains Point Cherry Blossoms (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* The National Arboretum's Nature Playspace in the Washington Youth Garden (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* Adventure Park USA (New Market, MD) (so so cheesy, but the kids loved it and the Living Social Deal kept prices low) (previously posted here).
* Dumbarton Oaks (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* Peter Coffin's Here & There exhibit at the Hirshhorn (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* Medieval Times (Hanover, MD) (previously posted here).
* Halloween at the White House (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* The World's Fair Train Exhibit at the US Botanic Gardens (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
* The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Farm to Table Kids' Event (Washington DC) (previously posted here).
BEST NEW-TO-ME VACATION PLACES OF 2013
* The world's longest (and coolest) model railroad (Flemington, NJ) (previously posted here).
* Coe Hall (Long Island, NY) (previously posted here).
* Middleton Place (Charleston, SC) (previously posted here).
* The Magic Gardens (Philadelphia, PA) (previously posted here).
* A week at the beach in Corolla, NC (previously posted here).
* The Indianapolis Museum of Art and Nature Park(Indianapolis, IN) (previously posted here).
* Smith Mountain Lake (Moneta, VA) (previously posted here).
* Dinner on the deck at Trader's Point Creamery (Indianapolis, IN) (previously posted here).
* Hiking the Ravello Circuit (Italy) (previously posted here).
* Walking on the beach on Kiawah Island and dinner at Husk (Charleston, WV) (previously posted here).
* Times Square & MOMA on a snowy weekend (NYC, NY) (previously posted here).
* Hiking the Path of the Gods (Italy) (previously posted here).