When I landed in DC on Saturday morning, I hustled through the airport to get my checked bag… because I had lunch plans!
After I booked my flight to DC, I immediately reached out to Hilary, Ashley, Lauren, and Dawn to see if anyone was available for a get-together. The 5 of us met at Fitbloggin this summer and immediately clicked. I’m so thankful they were all available to meetup!
Hilary picked me up at the airport and we took off for Alexandria for lunch. When I heard we were going to Virginia for lunch, I was a little concerned that it might be far from the airport, but it really wasn’t at all.
We met at a little brewpub-pizza place called Rustico. It was SO delicious!
Hilary and I made great time from Reagan International, so we had plenty of time to visit before the rest of our crew arrived. And, what were we visiting about???
Hilary is PREGNANT!
Such exciting news… and she’s the first of our bunch to have a baby! As a result, I asked a million questions of my dear friend who unfortunately has had major morning sickness. If you’re a reader of her blog, this is why you’re not seeing posts these days. My hope is that she’ll return to the blogging world at some point. I know that I would love to read more…
Once the ladies arrived, we had a great opportunity to catch up. Chatting about this, that, and everything, time flew, and our food arrived before we knew it!
I splurgingly ordered a Spinach pizza, which was fantastic! I took home more than half of it for my brother to enjoy over the holidays.
After we had a chance to eat, it was time for presents! Ashley had used a website called Elfster to arrange for our secret santa exchange! I had never used Elfster until now, and as a big fan, I’m excited to tell you more about it.
It’s likely the best site for gift exchanges because it keeps things completely anonymous. Ashley entered everyone’s names and email addresses and the tool matched us up and sent us email notifications of who we were assigned to. We set our gift limit at $20, and the tool also enabled you to ask questions of your recipient.
I was assigned Lauren’s name, and I wanted to ask her a few questions about her preferences. It was super-easy to send her anonymous questions via the website!
When we exchanged, I received a fabulous gift from Dawn. When I opened the first box and saw that it was a Coach box… I didn’t want to get TOO excited (but I was!)
Inside was an adorable Coach keychain. I totally need a new keychain, so this was perfect! (And, who doesn’t love Coach!) My keys have already found a happy home on the new keyring…
She also gifted me a water body from the local yoga studio in my brother’s town. Thanks, Dawn!
After I opened my gift, I got to give Lauren her present next. My gift was handmade, and I was beyond excited to see if she liked it!
My gift was a purple infinity scarf that I hand knitted with some beautiful Cascade Yarn. If you’re a knitter, I HIGHLY recommend this pattern. It’s super-easy and knits up really nicely. Click here for the free pattern I found on Ravelry, and click here to connect with me on Ravelry if we haven’t already.
Thankfully, Lauren loved the gift and frankly… it looked GORGEOUS on her!
After opening the rest of our gifts and a quick photo shoot, it was time to leave. We stopped over at Buzz across the street to get a quick coffee and then headed on our way.
Luckily for me, I also got to spend some extra time with Dawn who gave me a ride to my brother’s house, in the same town where she lives! We got stuck in horrible traffic, but it was amazing to have that extra time to visit.
To the lovely DC ladies, it was AMAZING to see each of you. I am so glad we had some time to visit, and I can’t wait to see you guys again next time I travel Eastward!
Did you do any secret santa exchanges this year? What did you give/receive?