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

Suriname

January 21st, 2018
Canal living, Paramaribo

Canal living, Paramaribo

I left town at the crack o’ dawn Monday morning to go to Suriname. It’s not easy to get there…D.C. to Miami to Trinidad to there. I left the apartment at 4AM on the holiday and arrived at the hotel in Suriname at 1AM the next morning. My boss Ian went with me on this trip and we had a great time together. He’s funny and smart, and we laughed a lot – plus I learned a lot, as well.

I flew back to D.C. on Saturday, and arrived in the late afternoon (after the government shutdown). John took me out for a nice dinner at District Commons. This morning we walked over to Georgetown for a morning movie – “Phantom Thread.” It was wonderful – one of the few movies I’ve seen where I immediately wanted to watch it again.

I spent the rest of the day making soup and relaxing. The temps hit 60 degrees today – it felt like spring outside!

Click here to see my photos from Suriname!

Walking to plane, Suriname.

Walking to plane, Suriname.

Thawing out

January 14th, 2018
Washington Circle, on my way to work

Washington Circle, on my way to work

D.C. thawed out a bit this week, and even got up in the 60s on Friday! We’re supposed to be back in the teens tomorrow, so it is still winter!

 

 

Thomas, John, and Adrian

Thomas, John, and Adrian

John’s work friends Thomas and Adrian came over on Tuesday night – we cooked burgers and generally had a good time. They are such nice guys!

I had coffee this week with Mamie from Islamabad. She was a big supporter of the C’Attaches there, and I was happy to see her as she passed through town. She works with the Army Corps of Engineers on her way to help rehab a dam for a foreign partner. What a smart and nice woman.

John and I went to see one of his idols Friday night, Sam Harris. He was interviewing Andrew Sullivan and David Frum – interesting! We went out to dinner beforehand at a Brazilian steakhouse that we enjoyed.

Happy birthday this week to the best mother-in-law, Ginger! I hope you had a great day. Also this week would have been my father’s 94th birthday.

Flavia helping John with War College studying

Flavia helping John with War College studying