Archive for September, 2008

Go bowling – why not?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

John and I went bowling together for the first time yesterday and had a blast. It was an organized Consulate event, and we had about 45 people – lots of fun, but we are sore today! The name of the bowling alley here is “Bol Bol,” appropriately enough. (I wished I had had my thrift store bowling shirt that I wore throughout college that had the slogan above on it.)

We did several things with the TDYers this week. Last Sunday, Cathy and I went to lunch in El Paso, then shopped at the outlet mall. Mid-week, we went to dinner at Frida’s (where we were happy to see more fellow diners than during our previous visit – maybe due to the fact that the parking lot guards are now armed?), and then wrapped up Friday afternoon with an early dinner with them at Los Bichis before the (yawn) presidential debate.

We also had an impromptu neighborhood happy hour at our house last Sunday night to welcome our newest addition, Meghan. She’s quite fun and interesting, and we look forward to having her in the ‘hood.

John and I watched several episodes of “The Wire” this week and liked it. We have the next set of episodes in our Netflix queue.

I spent an inordinate amount of time this weekend looking for our camera (including going through the dirty clothes hamper at 2AM this morning). It seemed to have disappeared into thin air, but I finally found it in a drawer with some blouses I had unpacked after my trip to Hot Springs. I was just glad it wasn’t in the refrigerator…where I found the ClingWrap a few weeks ago.

The weather here is fabulous right now – John and I had our coffee outside this morning and it was almost chilly. (Speaking of, he is roasting really incredible coffee, and I am totally dependent on his lattes every day!) The only sad thing about the change in the weather is that it looks like the hummingbirds have gone south – we haven’t seen any in a couple of days. We really enjoyed their near-constant company this summer.

Digging Carlsbad Caverns

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Wow! Yesterday John and I joined about 35 other Consulate employees and their families and went to Carlsbad Caverns – it was so wonderful, and really exceeded my expectations. I loved walking around in the cool (literally) underground and seeing the beautiful formations.

We stayed until sunset and watched the hundreds of thousands of bats come out of their cave – supercool!

It was a long day – we left the house at 6:45 AM to go pick up the visiting TDYers, and didn’t get home until 11 PM or so, but it was definitely worth it.

I flew back from Hot Springs on Tuesday (after finally getting a haircut at Mike’s before I left). After the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through, the weather was wonderful – nice, dry and cool. I had a really good massage at Sun Bay Resort while I was there – I hadn’t had one in ages and my shoulder and neck are really stiff. She did a great job and I felt tons better afterwards.

I had a fun lunch with Mary last Sunday at Rolando’s for Equadorian food – I had goat cheese and chicken quesadillas – yummy. Mom and I got to visit with Alison over dinner that night, and ran into Julie and Jack while we were out. I also got to have lunch with Leslie in Little Rock before I caught my plane on Tuesday.

I picked up the Volvo from the mechanic’s on the way back to Juarez Tuesday night – he did a tune up, replaced the brakes, etc., so the car seems to be good to go!

It was back to work on Wednesday – I’m re-assigned to the non-immigrant visa section again, so that’s a change of pace.

Friday afternoon, we brought our friend Cathy, a TDYer, home with us for happy hour on the patio and dinner. Always good to catch up with friends.

Off again

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

This week I was off to Hot Springs to visit Mom – John and I aren’t planning to take any time off from work over the holidays, so I figured I should take advantage of a Mexican holiday and make it a four-day weekend. Last night I had a great visit and dinner with Dail and Nancy – we sure do miss them!

Hurricane Ike blew through Hot Springs last night – I saw three trees down during my morning walk today.

Last Sunday, several TDYers arrived in Juarez, including our A-100 classmate, Cathy. John and I picked her up in El Paso, then had everyone over for dinner that night. They are all from border towns, too, so it was fun to compare stories. Cathy and I also had dinner together later in the week at Corralito’s.

Work was fine this week – no big whoop. We had a couple of brown bag lunches, and lots of applicants, as usual.

Loving San Diego

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

We really had a great time visiting Huey and Suzanne (and the doggies!) in San Diego last weekend! They were such wonderful hosts. Last Monday I started the day with a nice walk, followed by a manicure/pedicure, then we drove to Encinitas for lunch and a walk through a gorgeous garden overlooking the ocean. We topped off our visit with a wonderful meal on the beach at sunset – perfect! Click here to see a couple more photos.

We returned to Ciudad Juarez on Tuesday. It was a busy week because we sponsored a newly arrived officer, so we spent some time getting him settled in his new house, taking him to work and making introductions, etc. It’s hard to believe that after only 6 months here, we’re considered old hands, more or less!

Thursday night we went to the Consul General’s house to meet some of our Mexican Foreign Service counterparts, who work at the Mexican Consulate in El Paso.

We had a yummy Mexican dinner on Friday night with our neighbors Lara and Ryan. Lara is originally from Chiapas, Mexico, and is a great cook.

Yesterday was a nice break for us – we spent the whole day relaxing and had a movie-fest. We watched one really good movie, “In Bruges,” plus “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” a National Geographic documentary-ish movie about a camel and a family in Mongolia. Sounds odd, but we enjoyed it. Then we watched “Border Town,” about the Juarez femicides. (You’ll be happy to know that Jennifer Lopez solved the mystery!)

Here’s a photo with Huey and Suzanne’s doggies.