Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Hill is Alive with the Sound of...

Trains, jazz bands, fondue fountains, and more!

Anytime I question whether or not DC is as fabulous as NYC, I remember the holiday party season on the Hill. JK invited JM and I to more holiday parties, and, again, we were thrilled to see how each company celebrated the season.

JM and I met in Union Station at 6pm and went to find tracks 11 & 12 where the CSX party was being held. It felt a little bit like the "I'd like to exchange an egg" episode of 90210. We finally found the track without signage indicating the location of the party anywhere. CSX brought in 4 historic trains and loaded them with buffets and sitting rooms. In the center, between the tracks, heat lamps warmed the crowd as a band played music. The food was delicious and the concept was clever. It was interesting to see the old cabin rooms with beds and couches.

We left CSX around 7:30 and headed into Union Station's main foyer for the Fox/ Newscorp holiday party. According to JK, Fox always has a theme that incorporates a casino. Last years party was magnificent with a Titannic theme. I can't believe I've been two years now! This year, "A Good Year at a Monte Carlo Night Party" was the theme. We were asked to bring non-perishable food items for a Washington Area Shelter. Dr. Blues and The Out of Town Blues Band played throughout the downstairs, with the bar created from vintage barrells and white planks. Faux palm trees lined the ballroom, and the cuisine included tarts and risotto served out of a parmesean wheel.

Upstairs, a raffle ticket and $25,000 fake money was given to you upon entry. Red velvet sofas and lush satin curtains created a vintage casino feelings. JM and I were taught to play craps on a full, real craps table. Dealers wore black tuxedos with vests.

JK met us at Fox, and we headed across the street to the Phoenix Park Hotel for the Lockheed Martin party (again, one we went to last year). The second floor of the hotel was once again used as a maze of different food experiences. This year, carolers were not dressed festivally singing with us, but luckily, the fondue fountains were again around. Check out our strawberry mess below. Mmmmm.

JM and I went back to Fox on our way home, but ultimately called it a night. As JM put it, he wasn't as "wowed" as last year. But, that's also because each of the parties we went to last year, we've gone to again... in the same locations, with the same food, and similar themes. It was still one fabulous evening of party hopping! Oh, yeah, gifts we got... almost forgot.

CSX gave us 256 MB memory drives as a parting gift with the Greenbrier Resort handing out chocolates. Fox was a total disappointment this year, with no gift bags... last year they gave Titannic DVDs and documentaries. Lockheed Martin gave us adorable velvet red bags stuffed with chocolate in the shape of the Capitol and the White House.

A girl could gain 700 lbs this time of year in DC!


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