Back to Guyana

February 17th, 2019

Guyana hotel view (the ocean was muddy)

I flew to Guyana last Sunday to work, and returned on Friday. I always enjoy going there: I like the people, there’s a nice lounge at the Marriott overlooking the ocean where I have breakfast and dinner, I can walk to work, and there’s a small cafeteria where I can eat inside the embassy. It’s the small things. And parrots fly overhead at morning and dusk. I was there on Valentine’s Day. We had cake in the morning, and in the afternoon, the local international school choir serenaded me (they do singing Valentine’s as a fund-raiser). I spent two evenings in the lounge visiting with a retired Foreign Service Officer who was there working in the consular section – very nice. Monday night I worked out  during Marine boot camp – my legs hurt the rest of the week from squats!

Last night we went to RT’s for Cajun food with Rick and Claire – it’s one of our favorites. I had she-crab soup and pecan-crusted haddock – yum!

Somehow during my travel last Sunday, I completely forgot to blog! I was in town the previous week. I went to happy hour one night with Tammy, Amy, and Donna, which is always fun. Otherwise it was pretty quiet!

John and worked a jigsaw puzzle this weekend, and I’ve been playing online Scrabble some – fun!

While at the Admirals Club in Miami, I got a selfie with Bob Cranston, who was sitting in my little reading nook – he’s credited with creating the first frequent flyer programs. Thanks to that, I flew business class on the way down, so I wanted to tell him thanks!

With Bob Cranston

 

Morning at the Miami Airport

I got this nice little email from our housekeeper in Islamabad after I sent him birthday greetings. I miss people calling me “madam,” haha!

From Saleem

It has dawned on me that I am beginning to look more and more like my mother. She would have turned 94 this past Wednesday.

Any resemblance?

Mom with Tiger as a kitten

Bermuda Fairyland

February 4th, 2019

Hotel view

The weekend saw the end of the government shutdown, and I managed to push through a trip to Bermuda at the last minute.  I had good reason to go, but was very happy to avoid the polar vortex that gripped D.C. in my absence!

Beach walk

I had a great visit to the consular section, returning home on Saturday. I am always amazed at how lovely Bermuda is – it’s really like a fairy land. The residents complained of the cold there, but a high of 65 degrees was just fine by me! Thanks to my friend and colleague Marcy for a great visit! Click to see my Bermuda photos!

Sunday we had our good friends Rick and Claire over for lunch and some fun afternoon gaming!

No winter blues here

January 27th, 2019

John with Jimmi, Scott, and Sarah

We’ve continued our streak of spending time with friends this week. Yesterday we met about 20 A-100 friends and their kids at a pizza place in Clarendon. We all joined the foreign service together almost 12 years ago and I’m glad we’ve managed to stay in touch since then. As we were starting to think about leaving, we started smelling smoke and then fire trucks pulled up and evacuated us! A little excitement to end our meal.

Help has arrived!

Group shot of some of the evacuees

With Baby Theo and Sarah (and he didn’t cry while I held him!)

 

With Ben

Monday (the holiday) I met Tammy and Wendy and their spouses at the Living Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. We spent a cozy afternoon enjoying their fireplace and a glass of wine.

Thursday evening, Thomas brought one of his friends over for Crippen happy hour/tortilla soup & grilled cheese dinner. I’ll be working with his friend on one of my posts, so it was nice to meet him first in a more social setting.

Friday I went to lunch with John, Thomas, and Adrian to celebrate Thomas’s birthday – it was fun to get away from sad desk lunch!

We were happy to hear of the continuing resolution that will put us back to work – hopefully I can resume some of my travel.

With great sadness we attended the funeral for the husband of our friend and mentor, Laura, on Thursday. Our thoughts are with her and her family.

More time with little Midnight

Good friends and food

January 21st, 2019

Flavia basking in the sun

John and I saw several friends this week – Rick spent Saturday with us, eating chili and playing a board game (Viticulture…and yes, I did learn how to play it and I like it!). We had a great time sitting around the table yakking and enjoying being warm inside.

Earlier in the week, we went to Lucien and Kelly’s for dinner (and met their cute kids). Lucien and John used to work together at Alltel back in the 90s. When we lived in Costa Rica, Lucien and Jackie (another good friend and Alltel/Systematics co-worker) were down in Lima, so they used to come up to see us. We had some great tortilla soup (and saw an Instapot in action) and loved being in their cool, art-filled home.

And last but not least, we braved the cold and met Chuck and Susan in Georgetown. (Chuck and I graduated high school together.) He and Susan used to live in Naples, and they heartily approve of the authentic Napolese pizza at Il Canale (it was good!).

This week was Restaurant Week in DC, where restaurants offer fixed price menus at a discount. We took advantage of it and went to Ris twice. It’s become one of favorite places and luckily it’s only a block away.

Due to last week’s snow, we worked from home on Monday. John was recalled to work (without pay) the rest of the week. State found some coins under the sofa seat and the entire Department will return to work Monday – at least for one pay period. Hopefully Congress can get a budget passed soon – I’m getting itchy feet not being able to travel and do my job.

Last night we stayed up to see the Super Blood Moon – it was amazing! Luckily we could see it from the window in our apartment and didn’t have to stand outside – we opened up the window and stuck our heads out, so at least half of our bodies were warm. It was worth it!

Ornamental cabbage in a planter downtown DC

 

Snow + Furlough = Snurlough

January 13th, 2019

View across the street

The partial government shutdown continues. John was furloughed last week, while I went back to work (my funding comes from a difference source). I have to say that I have enjoyed coming home to dinner on the table every night, thanks to John!

John perfected a nice lamb dinner menu this week. We tried it out on our good friend Jimmi Sunday night, then again with Scott and Tammy last night. Delish! And we thoroughly enjoyed both evenings with good friends!

With Jimmi’s pup, Midnight

Earlier in the week, I had dinner in Georgetown with my former boss in Pakistan – she and talked non-stop for four hours, and could kept going had we not gotten so sleepy!