Me encanta, Bolivia!

February 24th, 2018
Gosssiping

Gosssiping

OK, I give! I am enchanted with Bolivia! I have seen only a fraction of the city – much less the country – but oh my goodness. Terrible traffic and narrow streets, but warm, lovely people and gorgeous textiles.

I took meds for the altitude before coming, and haven’t had any issues at all with the altitude. Work has been good – the people at the office are delightful.

I went on the teleferico this morning to the top, El Alto. They have several lines, like a subway, and the locals use it just as a way to get around. While I was freaking out from the height, everyone else was just looking at their cell phones!

I am not so sure about being up so high!

I am not so sure about being up so high!

Teleferico

Teleferico

Teleferico to 12,000 ft

Teleferico to 12,000 ft

Afterward I took a taxi to the San Francisco church where there are a lot of touristy shops. Tucked amongst the tacky shops are some lovely fair-trade stores that carry incredible alpaca wool items…I have to admit I splurged a wee bit, but I think I will enjoy these things for years to come.

My small boutique hotel has been lovely with wonderful service and a spa, which I have taken advantage of. It’s a short walk to the embassy and just lovely.

I’m off tonight for my next destination – you’ll have to wait to see where that is!

My only regret at being in Bolivia this week is that I’m missing my anniversary celebration with my husband of 22 years! And they said it wouldn’t last!!! Happy anniversary!

Mother and daughter

Mother and daughter

Evo lives!

Evo lives!

Ice cream man

Ice cream man

Hot and cold

February 18th, 2018

D.C. weather is just as crazy as the Arkansas weather I grew up with. Yesterday I went to the office to work for the afternoon – when I walked out of the building at 5:30, it was snowing. This afternoon it’s in the 60s and sunny. Go figure.

This was a stressful week work-wise, just trying to get ready for upcoming trips. I have to juggle passports, visas, and flight schedules and some days things just don’t want to come together! By the end of the week, I was feeling a bit calmer, thank goodness. And there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done!

Otherwise the week was pretty calm and low-key. John took me out for an old school prime rib dinner at a fancy D.C. place – it was our pre-anniversary dinner (since I’m going to be out of the country on our actual anniversary)>

John had a good visit with Pete and Ginger last weekend, and got home Sunday morning. I went out that morning to Arlington to meet my good friend Wendy and her husband, who were in town from Virginia. Good to see her and finally meet her hubby!

I’m off for a two-week trip this afternoon, so wish me luck!

Change of scenery

February 11th, 2018

I was in leadership training at FSI this week, so I got a bit of a change in scenery. It was a good class and I enjoyed my classmates. We had a couple of late starts: once due to a weather delay and another due to the short-lived government shutdown. I was able to see a few friends out there, too, which was nice.

Jimmi and I went to dinner and then to the Kennedy Center Tuesday night to see the Alvin Ailey dance troupe – just wow! They are so wonderful.

The next night I saw Jimmi again at happy hour at the Hive, along with Suzanne Y. and John at our mini A-100 get-together.

Friday night I met Amy, Tammy, and Barb for a fun happy hour at Woodward Table – they are so fun to visit and laugh with! Good tonic for whatever ails you!

I braved the rain to go to Maryland yesterday afternoon for a baby shower for Rachel in our office – another chance to visit with some old friends and meet some new ones!

I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite Hendrix professors passed away this week, Stephen Kerr. He was just a wonderfully kind, gentle, smart, and funny man. He had been battling Parkinson’s for several years. Rest in Peace, Mr. Kerr.

With Mr. Kerr last year

With Mr. Kerr last year

Grenada

February 4th, 2018
Beach view by hotel

Beach view by hotel

I drove Ann up to Baltimore Sunday morning – it was so nice to get to visit with her!

Monday morning at 4AM I was off again, this time to Grenada, a tiny island in the eastern Caribbean. The embassy there is one of our smallest in the world, with only one American officer and five local staff. There is a large community of U.S. students there, many of them attending vet or medical school.

Goat in cemetery

Goat in cemetery

I had a good week, but like always, little time to do any sightseeing. I stayed at a nice hotel on the beach and enjoyed listening to the waves at night. Click to see my photos from the trip.

Ale “Petit” came to spend the weekend with us, and we’ve so enjoyed seeing her! We’ve served with her in Juarez, Tel Aviv, and Pakistan. And we had a bonus visit from Alex J., who we also worked with in Juarez – he’s in town on his way to Kabul! So good to connect with old friends!

The “Nice and Dandy” burger shack with “rebellious” burgers

The “Nice and Dandy” burger shack with “rebellious” burgers

Grenada mailbox

Grenada mailbox

Ann’s here!

January 28th, 2018
Ford Theatre with Ann

Ford Theatre with Ann

My BFF Ann flew in Thursday afternoon for the weekend, and we’ve had a blast. I took Friday off from work, and we goofed off all day, then met John for a nice dinner at The Hamilton, followed by seeing “Jefferson’s Garden” at Ford’s Theatre. The play was good, and it was so interesting (or spooky) to be in the theatre where President Lincoln was assassinated.

With Einstein

With Einstein

Saturday afternoon we walked down to the Mall to see a few memorials: Lincoln, MLK, and FDR. It was a beautiful day and the monuments were gorgeous. I had not see MLK before, and was particularly struck by it.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial

We ended the day by meeting John for a delicious dinner at Georgia Brown where I ate way too much (biscuits, cornbread, Mac-n-cheese, crab stuffed shrimp – yum!)

Earlier in the week, I met Tammy and Amy at the Renwick to see the murder dioramas, followed by happy hour at Off the Record. We had so much fun looking at the murder scenes and finding clues. They’re both so funny and smart.

With Tammy at the Renwick

With Tammy at the Renwick

John had one day of government shutdown last Monday, but I was exempt (due to how my job is funded). Of course, it was all over by the following day. I hope we don’t have a repeat of this in a couple of weeks!

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Tidal Basin with Jefferson Memorial in background

Tidal Basin with Jefferson Memorial in background