Friday, July 21, 2023

Candytopia with My Sister C!

My sister C was in town, so we decided to visit Candytopia, a pop-up candy-themed experience in Tysons. One of the hardest things about the Foreign Service for me is being so far away from my sister. She's my best friend, and I try to soak up as much time as possible with her when I can.

Growing up in northern Virginia, Tysons Corner Center mall was a place I've been to countless times. It sure has changed, though, from the days when I would hang out with my high school friends and do the rounds of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, PacSun, H&M, Forever21, and the list goes on. Now I'll only go if I have a specific need or craving or want to meet up with a friend for a stroller walk when the weather's not great.

We were on the fence about visiting Candytopia but decided to check it out, especially since we thought it might be fun for baby S and he's young enough that his admission was free. S loved the sculptures the most, like this fox made of candy corn, a candy that divides our household and my office. (For the record, I'm anti-candy corn.) S is in a phase where every animal is "dog," so as soon as he saw the candy corn fox he jumped with excitement and exclaimed, "Dog!"

My favorite part of Candytopia was the really creative and painstaking candy art. Just look at this delectable take on Starry Night! These candy artists have some amazing talent. (I wonder how one becomes a professional candy artist?)

Although we couldn't lick the candy art or sculptures for obvious sanitary reasons, we were allowed to touch the pieces. Moreover, each room had unlimited free candies available for guests to eat, which was M's favorite part of the experience. (That should surprise no one.)

I think C's favorite room was the one near the end: a pit of toy marshmallows we could jump in. We ended up having a "marshmallow fight" and throwing marshmallows at each other until we were laughing so hard we had to stop. I love that something like this exists for kids and kids-at-heart alike.

There's a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world right now, and sometimes it's good to take a step back and just enjoy a few moments with the people you love. Joy and rest are such an important part of taking care of ourselves and replenishing our energy so we can get back to doing the hard, necessary work later. If you're reading this, I'm wishing you joy and rest with your loved ones, too.

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