April 14th, 2019

In an odd turnabout, I was home this week and John was out of town –  he got to go to West Virginia to our counter-threat training (the fun one with the crazy driving class). I had lunch out several days with friends in from out of town for other classes, which was lots of fun (Marcy, Cathy, and Brian). Thursday night I met my boss from Islamabad, Nomi, for dinner in Georgetown, and we had a great time catching up.

Last night, we had Laura, Roger, and Ayse over for one of John’s great dinners. Laura and Roger were our bosses in Juarez back in the day. We had a great time and laughed a lot. Good times!

Cherry blossoms 2019

April 7th, 2019

Cherry blossoms

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom this week! My friend Pam and I took a lunchtime stroll to see them, and they were glorious!

With my good friend Pam B.

Last Sunday, James and Marybeth did sightseeing on the National Mall during the day, then we all enjoyed a really great dinner prepared by John. He really outdid himself with a gorgeous rack of lamb (I love his new hobby!).  John and I went back to work Monday while they did more sightseeing, and we had dinner at District Commons. We sure enjoyed getting to see them!

With James & Marybeth

Hall of Flags, State Department with James

Our good friend Mary from Little Rock arrived on Thursday. I teleworkers that morning with several conference calls, then took the rest of the week off.  She and I walked down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms – they are just so pretty! We went by the Martin Luther King, Korean, WW2, and FDR memorials, and topped off the day with a delish dinner with John at Ris.

With Mary

Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossoms

John at Ris, looking handsome

Friday Mary and I went to Main State to walk around a bit (our tour of the diplomatic reception rooms was preempted by the NATO conference – boo), then to the Renwick Gallery and Old Ebbitts Grill for lunch at the bar. We topped off the day with an incredible throat singing performance at the Kennedy Center by Tanya Tagaq – wow!

Incredible Tanya Tagaq

Saturday, Jimmi joined us for an encore trip to Glenstone Museum in Maryland (where we went last weekend with James and Marybeth). It was just as beautful and inspiring, and I think Mary and Jimmi enjoyed it. We were so pooped from walking that we collapsed in front of a movie at home (“The Favourite”) and pizza.

Jeff Koons, “Split Rocker” close-up – in spring it will be covered in blooms

Glenstone, forest boardwalk

With Jimmi, Mary, & John

Checking out the acoustics inside a cool work of art

Today Mary and I walked through Georgetown, up to Dumbarton Oaks Museum (we hoped to see the gardens, but they didn’t open until much later). It was fun walking through the historic neighborhood, stopping for brunch at a little French cafe, and making our way home in time to get Mary to her plane and John to his shuttle to West Virginia for his crash-bang training this week!

Tiny pre-Columbian figures at Dumbarton Museum

Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown (there are deer!)


On the National Mall. You can lead a horse to water…


To Curaçao and back

March 31st, 2019

With Derek, Danice, and Sady

So I left last Sunday morning for Curaçao – such a pretty place! I stayed at my usual hotel, and wandered around downtown a bit every night.  It was great to see the consulate staff down there, including my buddy Derek who I worked with a bit in Mexico. They took me out for a yummy seafood lunch by the water on Monday.

Lovely Curaçao Harbor

I hate driving over this bridge every day!

Miss Moneypenny, the consulate’s resident pup

I returned late Wednesday night, and had to come in to Baltimore airport, due to some rerouting for the 737 Max problem.  I took an Uber home (the first time I called one for myself!), and got home in the wee hours of the morning.

The next afternoon, my cousins James and Marybeth from San Antonio flew in to see us and do some sightseeing.  We have had several great meals already, including Ris, Aperto’s, and Il Canale.  On Friday, they met John and me at the State Department and we did a neat tour of seven diplomatic reception rooms – very fancy and interesting. Afterward, we had lunch in the Van Buren Dining Room on the 8th floor – kind of a treat.

Clock in diplomatic reception room – the eyes move!

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed our outing to the Glenstone Museum in Maryland – WOW, what a cool place! It’s just amazing. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos inside, but we saw some amazing modern art, including my new fave Cy Twombly, Keith Haring, Warhol, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, etc. The architecture is just out of this world! And they had a really neat audio instillation in the forest. Just an amazing place!

At Glenstone Museum

Glenstone Museum

Jeff Koons

Glenstone Museum

Lovely Asuncion

March 24th, 2019

Lovely Asunción

I always enjoy going to Asuncion, even though it is super-hard to get to. It takes me a good 24 hours to get there, and slightly longer to get back, but it’s worth it. It’s a small but nice embassy, and I love the staff. Plus, I get to see Elise from my Juarez days, and Kathy from Guadalajara! We had our “girls’ night” on Wednesday at Elise’s house, and, of course, Karen the consular chief joins in. It’s just altogether a pleasant trip!

John was back in Fayetteville visiting Pete and Ginger when I got home Saturday morning. I had a nail appointment, then just did laundry…and re-packed for this week’s trip! I had less than 24 hours on the ground but it was worth it to have clean clothes, see Flavia, and sleep in my own bed for a night!

John and I actually passed each other at Reagan National Airport this morning, but we were in different terminals, so we just chatted by phone later in the day.

I’m off again – you’ll see where next Sunday!

Paraguayan clay figure

Paraguayan busses




March 17th, 2019

First boat ride of the season!

I made a quick trip to Hot Springs this week to see David and Alison – I arrived late Sunday night and left at the crack of dawn Wednesday.  We had a great visit! The lake came back up while I was there, so we were able to take the boat out for the first ride of the season – a little chilly, but nice! I also was able to spend Tuesday evening with Chuck – we started with drinks at the Vault (I had absinthe!), took a stroll down Bathhouse Row, and ended with a glass of wine at 501. It’s always fun to see him and hear about cool things he’s doing.

With Chuck at the Vault

Thursday night, John took me to see Kinky Friedman at the Birchmere – we had a good time, enjoyed our great seats, and laughed a lot.


Yesterday John took Flavia to the vet to start getting her vaccines and paperwork in order for our big adventure this summer! John really out-did himself last night – he made a great Moroccan chicken in his new Dutch oven – it was amazing!