New and Emerging: Piney Branch Elementary School

This evening, the Prince William County School Board decided to name their newest elementary school member Piney Branch Elementary School. The school is located on Linton Hall Road in Gainesville. This school is not to be confused with Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Speculation before the school was named clouded the School Boarm members as several Republican committee members supported the name “Ronald Reagan Elementary School”.

The website Virginia Virtucon reports that, “Since the new elementary school on Linton Hall Road here in Prince William County is set to open in 2011, the year when celebrations are being planned for the centennial of President Ronald Reagan’s birth, I think that it is only fitting that the school be named “Ronald Reagan Elementary School.”  On Oct. 7, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell calling on state officials to “take appropriate measures” to mark the occasion of President Reagan’s birth.  In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly voted to designate Feb. 6th as Ronald Reagan Day in Virginia with only one member out of all 140 delegates and senators voting against it.  It is clear that such a honor would have bipartisan support and the legacy of Reagan’s presidency could serve as an inspiration to the students at this school.”

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Pool time Fun! Splashdown Water Park

Splashdown Water Park is a great place for recreation and fun for those living around Northern Virginia. This local water park is located in Prince William County at an official county park known as Ben Lomond Park. The park has facilities catered to a younger audience and is a great place for parents to relax.

Splashdown’s motto is “It’s like a day at the beach without the drive!” and the park lives up to this slogan. The park has 770 foot lazy river, a lap pool, activity pools, cannon ball slides, 4 story water slides, tropical twister water slides, lilly pad and log walks, and a huge sandy beach area with tons of sand. Prices are relatively low and parking is free.

The park hosts birthday parties and play date programs as well. There are cabana and life jacket rentals and the park even offers swimming lessons. Season passes and tickets are now available online. The park is located at 7500 Ben Lomond Park Drive, Manassas Virginia, 20109.

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Fun fit for a King: Kings Dominion

Located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Kings Dominion is a great place for families and children of all ages to enjoy a day off. The amusement park is owned by Paramount and is the only major theme park in Virginia (there is a Six Flags in Baltimore, Maryland). The park includes several roller coasters, a concert hall, and a water park is about two hours from Northern Virginia.

Kings Dominion is home to fifteen roller coasters including the Volcano, the Anaconda, the Intimidator 305, Flight of Fear, and the Dominator. The park offers an extensive collection of water attractions as well, many that are great for young children.

Paramount and the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has partnered with the children’s network Nickelodeon to provide genuine and authentic live action performances of some favorite novelty characters. Dora the Explorer, Spongebob, and Diego can all be seen at the park.

When planning a visit, be sure to purchase tickets online for a great discount. Starting in April, the park will be open on weekends and certain holidays/weeks. Season passes are now available online for the 2011 season. The park is located on 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA 23047.

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Delicious Authentic Korean Bread: Shilla Bakery

Looking for a sweet treat or a nice cup of coffee? Swing by Shilla Bakery in Annandale, Virginia! The Korean bakery offers a large array of cookies, cakes, and breads that will suit anyone’s appetite. The intimate coffeehouse setting makes the bakery a great place to meet up with old friends or to whiz by on the way to work.

The bakery offers over 30 types of breads and has specialty cakes that are not sold in traditional American markets. Shilla sells cakes that are made of unique ingredients such as sweet potato, mocha, and coconut. They also have small gelato fruit dishes for sale that are great for a quick and healthy snack. Shilla specializes in a recent Asian drink trend: Bubble tea, which is a smoothie-like drink with special ingredients inside. During the summer time, they are a huge vendor of “Bingsoo” which is a shaved ice treat topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and freshly sliced fruit.

Shilla is located in Fairfax County, at 7039 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003. The small business has recently expanded to a Centreville location as well at 6015 Centreville Crest Lane Centreville, VA 20121.


Luxury Living: Lake Manassas

A quaint golf course community, Lake Manassas is a Gainesville housing community with its own shopping center. The neighborhood offers an impressive array of golf holes and a Clubhouse with delicious food. Lake Manassas has a good compromise of upper-style living retirement homes and large roomy houses for those with young children. The landscape is also very aesthetic; the Home Owner’s Association guarantees flowers year round and grass that is always green.

A unique feature of the neighborhood is a private road connecting it to the local shopping area. The shopping center includes several shops including Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Bubbles Hair Salon, and Wegmans Grocery. Other stores include Michael’s Craft Store, Staples, and Dunkin Donuts.



Tyson’s Corner Center

Located twenty minutes outside of Washington D.C., McLean Virginia is home to several prominent businesses and residences. This town is cozily nestled in Fairfax County by Vienna and has been burgeoning exponentially within the past few years. McLean is perfect for those seeking D.C. living, without the D.C. chaos or traffic.

The nation’s fifth largest mall, Tysons Corner Center is located in the heart of McLean, with its sister branch Tyson’s Galleria just across the street. The shopping center has over 300 shops and boutiques and a movie theater. For the more high end shopper, the Galleria offers and impressive bouquet of luxury stores including Chanel, Gucci, and Neiman Marcus.



McLean Virginia: Home of D.C.’s Best

Found in Northern Virginia, the community of McLean has recently found itself becoming more and more relevant. Housing markets and businesses have begun to emerge in the area, quickly industrializing the region and harvesting its full potential. Located on the outskirts of the District, McLean is a modest compromise between the hustle and bustle of city life and the rural areas of Virginia.

Several notable residents call McLean their home; Newt Gingrich (former Speaker of the House of Representatives), Colin Powell (former Secretary of State), and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have all taken advantage of the area’s prime location. Several corporate officers also live in McLean which also has headquartered companies such as USA Today, Mars, and Freddie Mac.

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Carlyle Living

The USPTO’s glass cuts a striking line in Alexandria’s skyline.

Finding a new place to live in Alexandria might not be as hard as you think.  If you are looking for something new and fresh then the Carlyle district might be a great option.  This area is located next to Old Town Alexandria but doesn’t take away from the flavor and charm of city living.  It includes condos and high rises that are complete with office buildings, restaurants and metro access.

Several local businesses are located off of John Carlyle which in include Grant Thornton & the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  The options for transportation couldn’t better with easy access to bus stops and the metro.  This neighborhood gives access to all the things many commuters and business professionals find important.  The dining options are endless and you don’t have to go far.  Many of them are a few steps away.  I enjoyed walking the streets and often felt as if I was in the middle of rush hour on foot.  The streets were lined with business men and women walking from one destination to the other.

The great thing about living here is that if you ever have company you can have comfort and knowing that there are hotels minutes away and includes a number of local sites to take them to.  If you are interested in finding a new hip, modern, and classy location, you should consider Carlyle.  A few locations to check out would be Carlyle Towers, Carlyle Square, and Royalton Condos.

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Northern Virginia = Great Healthcare

When it comes to selecting a home, there are a number of things that families and individuals consider.  Most will say that location, good schools, shopping centers, parks, and safety are all important factors when buying a home.  Subsequently, many people also consider access to good healthcare.  The Northern Virginia area is a great place that encompasses all of these options.

Fairfax County is home to one of the best school systems in the country.  There is plenty of access to great shopping and it is in a great location with Washington D.C. being less than thirty minutes away, minus the traffic of course.  Another bonus is that it houses some of the best medical care available.  Inova Fairfax Hospital is ranked among the best hospitals in the country and is a default trauma center for most surrounding medical centers.  They have the ability to handle the most complicated cases and have the updated facilities to treat their patients with cutting edge technology and the best medical treatment.

After experiencing my own personal crisis and being hospitalized for over a month, I was transported by ambulance to Fairfax.  Although I not previously considered this fact when moving to the area, I was most certainly thankful that I had the option of receiving the caliber of treatment I received during my stay.  Great Healthcare most certainly would be at the top of my list if I ever planned on moving to another area, but I don’t.

The Villas

Affordable Townhouses in Woodbridge VA

The Villas is located in Woodbridge, VA, right off of Old Bridge Road, in Prince William County. Its convenient for commuters because its close to I-95 and route 1. The townhouses are about mid-sized. They’re not very well kept. You cant see most of the front of the houses because of fences in the front yard. The neighborhood seemed pretty quiet. Their is a playground in the community for the children.

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