HERE COMES THE SUN

If you’ve lived in D.C. for more than a year or two, you know that the first days of spring usually arrive sometime in February. Residents originating from colder climes find this puzzling and somewhat disconcerting at first. But then they get used to it, and they realize that they must keep all their clothing — heavy coats, rain boots, bathing suits, etc. — handy at all times, because you never know when you’re going to need one of them here. In fact, you might need all three in one day. HERE COMES THE SUN

CAN YOU ADOPT? YES

A recent Washington Post story revealed how the process of adopting a pet is becoming almost as involved as the process of adopting a child. Restrictions are mounting, to the point where the president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was ruled unfit to adopt a dog.

Although policies are becoming tougher, most government-run animal shelters do not place unreasonable restrictions on potential adopters. After all, the animals need homes. At the same time, careful vetting of potential adopters helps cut down on animal returns, since shelter workers can better match pets with appropriate homes when they have the right information. CAN YOU ADOPT? YES

CABIN ESCAPES WITHIN DC’S REACH

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I know the start of the new year is supposed to be invigorating, inspiring, and energizing, but I can’t be the only one that struggles to slog through January and February. More often than not, the start of the year feels like a grind. We’re deep in the midst of winter’s wrath, sick with cabin fever (and maybe something else if you didn’t get this year’s flu shot), and really ready for spring to get sprung already so we can complain about the fact that it’s hot while sitting in the sunshine! (There’s nothing better). CABIN ESCAPES WITHIN DC’S REACH

WHERE TO FIND MARDI GRAS PARTIES IN DC

Mardi Gras is almost here. And as they say in New Orleans, it’s a time to “laissez les bon temps rouler” for a night of eating, drinking, and cheer. Fat Tuesday falls on February 13 this year (yes, that’s the day before Valentine’s Day) and D.C. is always down for an excuse to party. So break out the beads and make a plan for a day of Louisiana-inspired cocktails, food, and music.

No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a traditional king cake. The colorful and sweet cake is the favorite dessert for the occasion–just watch out for the small toy baby baked inside. Finding it in your slice is said to be good luck. WHERE TO FIND MARDI GRAS PARTIES IN DC

IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

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Outside the Raven in Mount Pleasant last week, I had a sudden urge to smoke a cigarette and I offered a smoker on the sidewalk a dollar for a smoke. He looked into his pack, counted his remaining cigarettes, and said no. Consider that for that same dollar, which apparently can’t even buy a single cigarette here in America, I could buy an entire authentic Italian house in the picturesque town of Ollolai, on the island of Sardinia. I blame the Federal Reserve. (I have no idea what the Federal Reserve is or does.) IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

THE MARK ZUCKERBERG OF THE 90s IS SELLING HIS RIDICULOUSLY PALATIAL FLORIDA ESTATE

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James Clark is a former high school dropout from Texas who became a billionaire after he founded the companies behind Netscape, the first mainstream internet browser, and WebMD, the first mainstream website to make you break out in a cold sweat at 3AM by convincing you that your headache is caused by a brain tumor.  Although Netscape failed and WebMD is pretty much garbage, Clark is still a billionaire because, well, that’s how Silicon Valley works.  Clark races yachts (of course he does), married a Victoria’s Secret model (of course he did!), and owns some of the finest properties in the world, from Bunny Mellon’s New York City townhouse, to this historic Palm Beach oceanfront property, which is now for sale.  Interested?  It’s listed at $95,000,000.  You couldn’t even afford the pool cleaning fees.  Looking at photos is still free though (pending the repeal of net neutrality). THE MARK ZUCKERBERG OF THE 90s IS SELLING HIS RIDICULOUSLY PALATIAL FLORIDA ESTATE

5 BARS WHERE IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE SUMMER

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Let’s all take a minute to appreciate that we just survived one of the roughest stretches of arctic weather in D.C. in recent memory. Whether you spent the past days huddled at home or in one of the city’s cozy restaurants, I think everyone is glad it’s over! (I certainly didn’t decide to live in this place because of the cold.)

So now that it’s finally warmer-ish outside, consider hanging out somewhere that brings vibes of sun and warmth. Being cozy is great, but so is escaping winter altogether, however briefly. Here are some picks for bars and restaurants where it always feels a little more like summer. 5 BARS WHERE IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE SUMMER