Category Archives: Experience

Weekender: Autumn Running

U.S. Capitol - Washington, DC

U.S. Capitol – Washington, DC

In my opinion, autumn is the best season in Washington for outdoor enthusiasts.  By late September, winds and lingering summer storms have swept the haze and humidity out of the city making room for crisp days and chilly nights.

For someone who loathes summers in Washington, I welcome autumn not only for the weather but for the abundance of races like the Army 10-Miler and neighborhood Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving.

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article about Washingtonians’ obsession with running.  The article suggested that the reason there are so many runners in the city is not due to the climate and terrain, but because Washingtonians are (stereotypically) more competitive and driven.

I don’t necessarily agree.

Washingtonians deal with extremes:  oppressive summers, crippling traffic, and self-induced job stress, to name a few.

We also know how to blow off steam, whether it’s checking out the newest neighborhood watering hole or getting up early to run on the mall, through Rock Creek Park, or along the Potomac River on the Mount Vernon Trail.

This autumn, consider walking, running, or biking the sights and take advantage of Washington’s history and flat terrain while lifting the mood and reducing stress.

Our days are numbered as we inch closer to the gray winter months.  Set a personal goal, sign up for a race, and get out there.  The city’s sights, set against blue backdrops and accented with vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows are yours for the taking.

Scheveningen – Come Again?

Scheveningen - September 2013

Scheveningen – September 2013

Scheveningen may be the one of the most difficult Dutch words to pronounce for English speakers.  However, this beachfront destination shouldn’t be missed when visiting The Hague.

Scheveningen is located on the North Sea.  Its roots date back to the 12th century and before it became a travel destination for beachgoers, its main industry was fishing.

In fact, the painter Henrik Mesdag captured life in Scheveningen in 1881 in his famous work,  Panorama Mesdag.

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I arrived in The Hague after a speedy two-and a-half hour train ride from Paris via Thalys, a Belgian rail company that serves Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne.  I checked into my hotel and decided to take a much-needed walk to stretch and enjoy natural air.  Plus, the skies were clear and the air was crisp, which was a welcomed change from my gloomy stay in Paris.

I’ve been to the North Sea three times, twice to Ostend, Belgium, and now Scheveningen.  Like most coastal areas, the weather can be erratic.  In the U.S., especially in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where my family lives, I’ve experienced these swift weather changes during hurricane season.  In the few hours I was in Scheveningen, I experienced sun, heavy cloud cover, drizzle, and strong gusts of wind.

Take an umbrella.

Shops, restaurants, and markets pepper the winding streets and it’s obvious that they swell with people and bustle during high season from June to August.   I was able to enjoy an intimate street market where I found food vendors, artists, and a guy selling old vinyl records.  Score!

In late September, Scheveningen was hushed and drawing its season to a close.  In any weather, however, The Hague is walkable with comfortable terrain.  If you’re adventurous, it’s also bikeable.  Trams and buses stop nearby making it a must-see destination while in The Hague for business or pleasure, in high season or low.  You’ll want to visit during your stay and you’ll definitely want to learn how to pronounce it to try and fit in with the locals.

Don’t miss the Panorama Mesdag.  You can find it here:

Zeestraat 65
2518 AA  Den Haag

Interested in snaps from The Hague and Amsterdam?  Visit the photo gallery.