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Seminary Valley

Just back from a great trip to Athens and Mykonos with the whole family and my sister Elisa (who hails from Edgewood, N.M.) in a pre-celebration of a birthday that ends with a "0". If you are still looking to plan an overseas vacation, we can’t recommend Greece enough. We really were not affected by demonstrations or strikes and pretty much had the new Acropolis Museum to ourselves. Don’t let the news reports deter you. We had a lovely time!

The pool in Mykonos was almost as nice as our own Dowden Terrace pool right here in Alexandria. We celebrated the 4th there and watched a lovely (if brief) parade of patriotic youth march down an adjacent street. One memorable entry included Misses Kaylee Zack and Tori and Katherine Atkinson drenched in red, white and blue body paint.

A big congratulations to neighbor Stephanie Clayton, who received Scholarship Fund of Alexandria’s annual Patron Saint Award for her many years of exemplary service as a member of the SFA's Board of Trustees and as Chair of the SFA's Spring Gala. A 1985 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, Stephanie has raised untold thousands of dollars for T.C. seniors needing some financial assistance while they pursue their post-high school education. Stephanie and her dog, Eddie are a fixture in our neighborhood; you can usually catch them on an early morning walk.

And a well-deserved shout-out to the Cox sisters, Abby and Colleen, who have broken some Dowden Terrace swim team records early in the summer swim season. Colleen demolished the record in the 11-12 50-meter freestyle race, and Abby erased the record in the 15-18 Girls’ Individual 100-meter medley.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Aug. 9 for one of our neighborhood’s signature gatherings. The Neighborhood Night Out will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Polk Elementary School. This is a great way to enhance awareness of neighborhood crime and also catch up with your neighbors. See you there!

If your vacation is over and you are looking for a local diversion, look no further than Green Springs Garden Park on Little River Turnpike. The park, which is also a historical site, offers numerous programs to children and adults. July and August feature chocolate, tea and fruit tastings and garden strolls and tea. Tours of the historic home are also available. Call 703-941-7487 for more information. Fees and reservations are required for some events.

— Mia Jones