Tysons, VA

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Since quarantine hit, Facebook stalking has been my new (okay, fine, continued) source of entertainment research.

Anything “new” to make the day more exciting and something to look forward to. Recently I stumbled upon a feature where you can request these 2 dessert trucks to come to your neighborhood and deliver treats to you and your neighbors.

Scoops2U: Ice Cream

Follow their Facebook page for details on where the truck will be. You can visit their website for updates as well and see the flavors. There you can request a visit to your part of town.

Kona Ice: Shaved Ice

Follow this Facebook page (there are many as there are trucks all over NoVA). You can see where they’ll be and at what time. We placed an order online, paid online, and then my kids got to pick their flavor when the truck rolled up in front of my house. A great way to chat on our lawn with our neighbors.

It was a small treat that was affordable as well as exciting!

If you want other options, don’t forget that these places are all doing contact-less pick up:

Ben & Jerry’s Vienna

Kiln & Co Custard

Rita’s Window

Lazy Mike’s

Bruster’s in Dunn Loring

Lil City Creamery

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

This past week was one of the hardest for me during this pandemic.

It seems no matter how many times we took my kids outside to play, or activities we tried, the walls just seemed to cave in on me. I decided it was time to venture out of our home for a safe adventure. While not everyone will feel safe leaving their homes, for my family, my kids wore masks and we stayed far apart from everyone else we saw on our recent adventure to pick strawberries.

It was a really small piece of normalcy for my kids (who yelled “this is the best day ever!” when we told them the deal — masks for berry picking), and a nice change of scenery for the adults. There’s a great website that lists all of the farms in the area that allow for a “pick your own” experience, but I wanted to highlight a few favorites that are an easy drive from Northern Virginia.

Messick’s Farm in Bealton, Virginia. Check their Facebook page for updates on the availability of u-pick. There are so many rows of strawberries, we were far away from other people. While Messick’s has their own custard and availability of treats, we drove about 3 miles down the road to the famous Moo Thru — an ice cream drive through which was so good (coffee ice cream was delicious).

Wegmeyer Farms has 3 locations in Hamilton, Aldie and Leesburg, Virginia. They have strawberry picking by appointment, which opens up the night before and fills up fast. Make sure you follow them on Facebook as well for the most up to date information. Don’t miss their donuts!

Leesburg Animal Park has reopened as a drive thru experience where you get to stay in your car to maintain social distancing — Friday through Sunday. Tickets must be purchased online ahead of time.

Roer’s Zoofari in Reston also has opened as a safari drive thru and they are open daily.

Remember things might have a line, but really, where else do you need to be right now?

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Many know the brewery and restaurant located on the W&OD trail, Caboose Brewing, which is a Vienna favorite for beer.

Like most businesses during COVID-19, they’ve also had to pivot their business model during this time. There are many restaurants doing grocery packs right now, but the ability to also buy a meal for your neighbors is a reason to celebrate this local company.

Grocery and Beer Pickup or Delivery:

  • They have many staples including steak, beef, poultry, seafood, fruits, veggies, dairy, meal kits and toilet paper (!), along with cocktails and beer. You can customize the delivery you want.

Donations:

  • You can pay $35 for a food pack they’ll deliver to community members in need of food, through InovaCares Clinics for Women and Children, FCPS and Food for Others.
  • You can pay $8 for a meal for INOVA staff.

If you want food take out or coffee, the Caboose Commons in Mosaic is also offering curbside pick up.

To follow more ways to give back to the community through food donations, or learn about new restaurants and the ways they’re conducting business right now, make sure you join the Vienna Foodies group on Facebook.

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Teacher Appreciation Week

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

This week marks the start of the annual Teacher Appreciation Week.

Boy, oh boy… do we appreciate them now more than ever! This year it’s also a lot harder to do things for them to say thank you or have the kids make something for them. So I asked my husband, who is an LCPS teacher, for some ideas on what to do this year:

  1. Have the kids and/or adults write a truly heartfelt thank you email or letter. It doesn’t need to be a general one, write a thank you for something specific they’ve done for your child. That way they know you actually mean it! Did they write letters of recommendation? Did they help them find a job? Did they spend extra time teaching them to read? All great reasons to give an extra thank you.
  2. E-Gift Cards. If you’re feeling generous and want to show them your appreciation with a gift, you can always send an e-gift card (bonus points for limiting physical touching of items!). Teachers talk to the kids a lot, so ask your child if they have any idea what the teacher’s favorite store is.
  3. Videos, drawings, etc can also be sent to the teacher. You can ask the teacher if they’re comfortable giving out their address for you to mail the item to their homes, otherwise, you can mail it to the school and let them know it’s there!

Regardless of what you do, I think we can all agree everyone will come out of COVID-19 with more appreciation for our educators!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10th — just 2 weeks away!

This year, there will sadly be no handmade gifts sent home from school or teacher assisted poems, which leaves you on your own to celebrate the women in your life who are still lucky to be with you! Now, some of the women may be like me — literally just dying for a few hours alone! — but if they’re not, here’s an easy resource for putting together some thoughtful ways to show your love and appreciation.

Local contact-free flower delivery, skip the trip to the grocery store or the online shipping fees:

Gift cards are also always welcome, and especially helpful right now to small businesses like spa’s, nail salons or her favorite restaurant.

There are some really funny questionnaires to ask kids especially if they’re under 5. You can find a free one here.

I anticipate many of the restaurants will have Mother’s Day special take out option, so remember to check back for her favorite breakfast.

And most of all, just remember to be grateful if you’re healthy, safe and comfortable. Wishing all of my fellow mom’s a Happy Mother’s Day. Hope your day is tantrum free, dishes free, and full of warmth and sunshine.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

As we embark on week 6 of stay-at-home orders, you may be looking for something to change things up. Need some new puzzles? What about a science kit to do with your kids? Maybe it’s time to introduce them to Monopoly?

Or maybe you have no idea what they’d like but could use some input. As many small businesses pivot to new business ideas in this pandemic, the local toy stores are doing the same. You can shop over the phone, pay over the phone and they’ll deliver it to your car — contact free. In addition, you’ll also be helping a small business survive:

Child’s Play in McLean

The store has “Virtual Concierge Shopping” appointments, where they can make recommendations and you can shop the full store. They’ll deliver within 6 miles of the store for orders over $40, or you can do curbside pickup. They do have a mini shop online where you can browse a specific selection of toys.

Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church

The store is offering curbside pickup and you can shop both online and over the phone with one of their sales consultants. I actually sent them a Facebook message asking for puzzle options and they sent back 3 photos of the current inventory. So I was able to pick which ones I wanted, pay over the phone, and then do curbside pickup.

Bard’s Alley in Vienna

Also offering curbside pickup and Bike Pedalers delivery service, they offer games and books, plus wine, snacks and cards. You can call the store and ask for book suggestions — both adult and kids. If they don’t have it in store, they’re able to order it for you.

Freeman Historic Gift Shop in Vienna

You probably wouldn’t immediately think of the Freeman Store, but they do carry a unique gift store filled with puzzles, toys and other unique Vienna specific items. There’s a great blanket with specific Vienna spots embroidered.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

It took 5 years and a pandemic for my family to find random short cuts to the W&OD Trail, which have led to other great discoveries.

I’ve also noticed the W&OD Trail is getting really crowded, especially on great weather days, so I am sharing some of my favorite places to explore for a walk, kid friendly hike, or our personal favorite — places to throw rocks into water. Given the CDC guidance right now on walking or biking to these places, please share other hidden paths with us in the comments so others might explore their own neighborhoods as well!

  1. Wildwood Park: Access points at the end of Mashie Drive near OLGC, the end of Delano/Alma, the end of Valley, and from the intersection of Fellini Ct/W&OD Trail — short path with lots of places to jump on rocks, see deer and throw stones into the water. I’ve seen people fishing in this water, but I have yet to see any actual fish.
  2. Northside Park: The current location for the “LOVE” letter installation — access at the end of Glyndon, Talisman Drive or the W&OD Trail.
  3. Foxstone Park: Paved and gravel paths along with a stream. Access at the end of Druid Hill Rd NE, John Marshall Dr NE and Ridge Lane.
  4. Wolftrap Stream Valley Park: Includes a basketball court, paved path, and a stream. Access behind Cardinal Hill Swim Club or Talisman Drive.
  5. Daniels Run Park: Many easy access points along Old Lee Highway side streets (Heritage, Parklane, Embassy, Queen Anne and St Andrews) located next to Army Navy Country Club. Gravel paths, stream and easy hill climb.
  6. Difficult Run: Begins in Great Falls/McLean and has a 9 mile loop trail that ends by Colvin Run Road; there’s also a Difficult Run Stream Valley Park in Oakton which runs along Difficult Run River.
  7. Peterson Lane Park: We discovered this hidden path when we first moved to Vienna — there’s an access point on Riviera Drive as well as the main access on Vale. There are basketball hoops, as well as a trail with streams.

If none of these are easily accessible to you, you can use Trail Buddy on the Fairfax County website so explore other paths near you. We have found this to be a great way to get the kids outside and burn off some energy with the walk there and home.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Originally opened in 1948, McLean Hardware has been an institution in McLean for over 70 years.

It is located in the Total Wine Plaza across from Giant at 1445 Chain Bridge Road. The store carries most products that you’ll need on a day to day basis: cleaning products, plumbing, electrical, tools, paint, parts, etc. They also offer keys, sharpening services, Rug Doctor Rentals and more.

For a full list of supplies, visit their website.

During this COVID-19 shift, they’re also adapting and offering call ahead ordering with curb-side pick up.

Their hours are Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., for now. Regular store hours are Monday thru Friday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

If staying home has you looking at doing home maintenance projects, check out my April maintenance reminders and call McLean Hardware if you need anything!

Image via McLean Hardware Facebook

They also have some décor items like outside solar lighting for your walkway, your favorite sports team flag or outdoor décor, and more. Call ahead for availability or check their Facebook page, but they are still stocking Colorx wipes and other essential cleaning supplies during the pandemic.

April Maintenance Reminders:

  • Have your HVAC spring service done
  • Stain your deck, replace any rotten boards
  • Repair caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows
  • Seal tile grout, caulk tubs and showers
  • Turn water on to winterized hose bibs
  • Fertilize your lawn
  • If you have a sprinkler system, now is a good time to get them to turn it back on if it’s been winterized
  • Clean out refrigerator and freezer coils; change your water filter
  • Clean bathroom vents
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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

As we begin week 3 of this fight against the Coronavirus, I wanted to take a moment and express my sympathy for everyone impacted by this horrendous circumstance.

I know this hasn’t been easy in so many different ways, for so many different people, but hopefully we’ll all be able to go back to normal life soon(ish) and get everyone back on their feet. In the meantime, if you are able to, there are many ways you can support our local community. If I don’t mention your organization, PLEASE add it to the comment section below to get the word out.

Meals for Those on the Front Line (Nurses, Firefighters, EMT, Doctors): This helps support the local restaurants all while donating meals to those who deserve extra thanks right.

  • Social Burger + Sandwich Shop: A partnership to drop off 900 meals to INOVA Fairfax over the next 3 weeks. Meals are $12 + tax, and will be donated to ER, respiratory, laboratory, surgical and several other departments. Order on the Social Burger site, look for “Frontline and First Responder Meals“.
  • CrossFit Mill Street is joining this partnership and hosting ZOOM Fitness Sessions (check out the times on their Facebook page). For everyone who attends, they’ll donate $2 per person towards a meal through Social Burger + Sandwich Shop.
  • INCA Social: Delivering 50 meals 2 days a week to the INOVA Critical Care Unit at $8 a meal. You can order on their app or website: Order Now -> Delivery -> Choose Items -> Buy a Nurse a Meal (at the bottom).
  • Vienna Inn + Church Street Pizza: Providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the Vienna Fire Department and Vienna Police Department. You can sign up for a slot here.
  • A Shout out to Clarity in Vienna for delivering their Focaccia Pizza to some medical workers and emergency personnel last week on their own.

Also don’t forget about the BRAWS Organization in Vienna. Not only do they support women directly, they support other organizations like Women Giving BackDonate money, new undergarments or menstrual supplies here.

There are also multiple signs up for helping people directly impacted:

Last but not least — I know for my family, talking about where we’re going to get take out or delivery can infuse some small bit of normalcy into our day, all while supporting our local businesses to help them weather this storm. The Vienna Foodies group has put together a spreadsheet to help identify places that are open, their operating schedules, and how you can get the food.

Some things we’ve done are take my kids for a walk to get ice cream at Rita’s or Kiln & Co, grab sandwiches at Sandwich Shop, or go try a new restaurant we normally wouldn’t get a chance to. A positive note is that there’s no traffic — so it’s a quick drive to anywhere to get take out from a new place.

Last night we actually got Peter Chang’s in Arlington, we got Liberty BBQ one night in Falls Church… you can see where my savings in gas money has gone these past 2 weeks. If you’re worried about how they’re handling the food — call and ask. For example, Kiln and Co has free toppings, but nobody should be sharing a spoon… so the smart people there are packaging the toppings to go so there’s no contact.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

It’s hard to believe, but agents are still out showing homes for now.

It looks a lot different: gloves, sanitizer, Clorox wipes, or maybe a FaceTime showing, but people are still buying and selling homes in Vienna. My company, McEnearney Associates, has cancelled all public and broker open houses for the remainder of the month (and probably longer), however individual showings are still happening.

In the past 10 days, as of this writing, there were 70 new properties listed for sale in all of Vienna (including a bunch that were listed as “coming soon”). During those 10 days, 34 homes have gone under contract.

Believe it or not, I think any impact on the housing market will be short lived, and it’ll mostly look like lower or paused inventory, especially if our state is put on shut down. Talks of a recession don’t resemble the housing market crash of 2008, mostly because most of the people who own a home right now, were actually qualified to buy it instead of the bad loans given out during 2005-2006.

Unemployment will certainly have an impact on mortgage, but there’s also talks of suspending mortgage payments for a year on Fannie or Freddie mac loans, so I don’t expect there to be a sudden influx of distressed properties when this is done.

My educated guess is that in May or June when we get the “mostly clear” to resume activities, you’ll see all of the homes that would have been listed during March/April hit the market at once. Our low inventory issue may suddenly be temporarily solved.

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