24 HOUR ADVENTURE
When CHER announced that she would be performing shows at the brand new MGM National Harbor, my Mom (a lifelong Cher fan) jumped at the chance to see her live! We had a nice lil 24 hour adventure of mother-daughter bonding fun!
We chose to stay across the harbor in Old Town Alexandria, there is much more to do as the MGM is a lil isolated. In fact, it's not even walkable from the National Harbor shops and restaurants.
Here is a lil recap of our trip!
8:18am: Board the AMTRAK at Staples Mill Station. Mom was already on the train from Norfolk. My mother has never driven a day in her life and 95 gives me anxiety. The $50 roundtrip ticket is totally worth it to not drive.
10:15am: We arrived at Alexandria Station, which is connected to the Metro Station. However, we didn't have a real reason to take the Metro, but nice to know it was right there. We took a Lyft to our hotel and it was only $6.55. Our driver Pauline said she drives to pay her daughters tuition and we watched a peaceful moment between a cop and a homeless man.
10:45am: My parents recently stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Richmond and had a great time, so we chose to stay at the Crowne Plaza Alexandria. We were pleased to be able to check in early! I slapped on some makeup before we decided to walk to King Street (the quaint shopping district of ALX).
12:00pm: The Crowne Plaza overlooks the harbor and is a bit north of King Street, we walked about 12 minutes through a quiet neighborhood until we got to the Alexandria Waterfront. We planned to take the Waterfront Taxi to the National Harbor and were checking on departure times. $8 one way and the ride is about 25 minutes.
12:10pm: We walked past Vola's Dockside Grill and noticed it was Mahi Margarita Monday! Every Monday from open-close, you can get $5 Margaritas as well as $5 Mahi tacos. Hell yes! Mom got a Lemongrass Ginger marg while I got Spicy Pineapple. (It could have been spicier!) She got malt vinegar chips and I got old bay fries. We sat by the window and watched soooo many pups walk by. Alexandria loves their doggies.
1:00pm: After lunch we took a stroll down King Street. It was full of restaurants, salons, European gift shops, and cupcakeries. There weren't very many shops that caught my eye, except The Dog Park, a boutique shop for pets. I have to refrain from buying my animals souvenirs because they are so ungrateful. We eventually passed by KILLER E.S.P. (espresso, sorbet, & pies), which was a coffee shop that also offered vegan baked goods, frozen desserts, plus sweet & savory pies. It was about time for a mid-day matcha latte (with almond milk), Mom got mango sorbet and I bought a GOUTER (goo-tay) juice for the next morning. They are Washington D.C. based brand that offers raw, organic cleanses and tonics. I had a feeling I might want to remove some toxins after the show.
2:00pm: We took the FREE King Street Trolley back the Waterfront. The trolley just goes up and down King Street from the Waterfront to the Metro Station, making stops along the way. We relaxed in our hotel room with a lil Teen Mom 2 before heading to the Waterfront Taxi.
4:05pm: We thought it would be fun to take the Waterfront Taxi across the Harbor because why sit in a Lyft during potential Northern Virginia traffic. It's a chill ride across the water and then you're in Maryland! The taxi stops at the Gaylord Convention Center before stopping at the National Harbor. We could see a crew team rowing while waiting to depart.
4:45pm: The National Harbor is pretty cute, with boujie restaurants and shops. We found out that there is a circulator that takes people from National Harbor > Gaylord Convention Center > Tanger Outlet Mall > MGM. It was $5 to ride, which would covered us all day if we wanted to. We could have taken the circulator back to ride the water taxi home, if we really wanted to. I had just enough time to take some pictures of the bronze presidents and sample some tea and Capital Teas before our ride came.
5:30pm: The MGM is so beautiful! There is a conservatory with gorgeous flowers with pink hues. There have fine-dining restaurants as well as an international food court, plus great shopping and the CASINO, of course. We had a drink at Blossom, a cherry blossom themed bar. Two $16 drinks later, my Mom and I went on the floor to gamble for an hour or so. She loves the penny slots but I would much rather blow money on tangible things, like booze! I won $43 and decided to cash out and find a place to charge my phone, like the classy bitch that I am.
7:00pm: We meet at Bento Sushi Bar. The woman in front of me kept ordering octopus when the cashier kept saying they didn't have that. I ordered us sushi burritos and two sake cups! The burritos were kinda slim but let's be real, it's casino food. I reminisced about all of the sake cups we drank in Japan. I almost ordered krinkly fries from Shake Shack but I didn't wanna ruin my buzz.
8:05pm: We make our way to the theater and head to our seats. Sure, we were in the balcony but the theater isn't huge, so there wasn't a bad seat in the house. (Just a weird glare). I have a really hard time paying retail prices for wine, so I opted for the signature cocktail: The Desert Rose. $16 for raspberry vodka, creme de cassis, lemon, and prosecco.....Mom got a Moscato because that's her shit. I didn't even get another drink because I didn't want to miss a second of the show!
8:20pm: The show started!! No opening act, I MEAN, WHO OPENS FOR CHER?
This concert gave me life! She sang all of her classic hits and changed costumes almost every song! I can't decide what my favorite costume was but it was probably the leather number from the 'If I Could Turn Back Time' video. During each costume change, there were videos highlight great moments over her career that spans 5 decades! Spoiler alert: she sang 'The Beat Goes On' and it was synced with a video performance from 1965. It was so amazing! My phone screwed up when I was trying to get a video of 'Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves' and I was bummed because it's my favorite song! I had to snap myself out of it and say 'BITCH,YOU'RE SEEING CHER'! So I put the phone down and enjoyed the rest of the show. In general, the crowd and the energy was electric and it truly gave me life!!! So glad that Cher added East Coast dates to her tour, so my Mom and I could see her live!
10:00pm: And just like that, the show was over! We hit the casino floor for an hour or so and it was poppin' off! I played $5 on a Sex and the City slot machine and lost it all within 10 seconds. Mom cashed out her winnings and we Lyft'd back to Old Town Alexandria. A $10 ride, not too bad.
9:00am: We wanted to take the free trolley to the Metro station but it doesn't start running until 10am. So we had breakfast at the Railstop Cafe on the second floor of our hotel. We had omelettes, hash browns, and coffee. Pretty delicious for hotel food, the service was wack though. Mom signed up for her first Uber account because the hotel offered a free $15 ride credit! Then she promptly deleted her account. It was a nice 8 minute ride to the station. Oh how I love showing up minutes before my train departs. We left at 10:18, just 24 hours and 3 minutes after we arrived!