Archive for September, 2010

Hebrew, check! Next stop, Tel Aviv!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Flavie studied Hebrew, too

I had my Hebrew test on Friday…after 31 weeks of study, I made it! I think the tests are pretty grueling – it’s two hours of speaking and reading in the target language. I was especially happy because I needed a 2/2 and got a 3/2+ – it was a nice way to end the course! We celebrated that night with a wonderful dinner at Smith and Wollensky’s in DC.

The rest of the week was deliberately calm. Last Sunday morning, John took me to see “Salt,” which was really fun. Monday, Flavie went for her last check up at the vet, and I FedEx’d her papers to the USDA for approval. Tuesday, I had a good visit over tea with my friend and neighbor Deb.

We’re also watching the second season of “Fringe,” a fun TV show that we rented through Netflix.

We are in the process of getting everything organized for the movers, who come tomorrow, so the apartment is in a state of controlled chaos right now.

We’ve also been enjoying John’s wonderful lattes again – we finally rescued his Miss Sylvia espresso machine from repairs.

Congrats to Ann, who opened her very own play with the Hendrix Players this week!

The End of an Era

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Kay and Annette head for Arkansas in the B-Mobile

After 20 years with the Volvo, she went home to Arkansas to live in the country with Kay. I’m so happy that she will have a good home, but it was so hard to let her go! What a great car…I bought her in January 1991. I was having lunch with my friend David S. in Little Rock at the Oyster Bar one day and told him I was looking for a Volvo. He told me that just the day before, he learned that a friend of his was selling a Volvo, and that was that.

The B-Mobile got John and me up and down icy hills during several snow storms in Little Rock. She was quite cool in 1993 with a big ol’ “car phone” installed. She waited patiently in storage for me while we were in Costa Rica in the ’90s. She drove John, me and two cats to DC when we joined the Foreign Service, then to Mexico and back (unfortunately without Noodle on the return trip). I couldn’t have asked for a better car! For more photos, click here.

Before Kay wrenched the keys from my hand, she and Annette and I had another busy and fun day of sightseeing. Annette went to the Holocaust Museum while Kay and I went to the National Art Gallery. We met up at the American History Museum where we saw the ruby red slippers and Julia Child’s kitchen. For photos from their visit, click here.

Monday night we had a Juarez happy hour with some CJ friends who were in DC for training. Tuesday night, I met my friend Pam for a nice dinner at Harry’s.

We went back to Harry’s Thursday night with our friend Marilyn from Little Rock, and had a great visit with her (wish Julia and Lucy could have been there, too!). What a treat! Marilyn reports that little Lucy is growing up to be sweet and beautiful, as evidenced by her photos of her.

Friday night we met Richard, Carolyn and Konstantin at the Blue Duck for a good-bye dinner, followed by a good visit on Richard’s patio. Richard is off for Colombia the day after we leave for Tel Aviv. Carolyn and Konstantin will be off to Ukraine in October.

Saturday night, we had a fun Mexican dinner with Pam, TFran and Miguel, followed by coffee at an outdoor cafe – the cooler evenings are perfect these days.

We’re sure going to miss our friends and family, but have been so lucky to spend time with them between assignments!

With Marilyn at Harry's

With Richard, Carolyn and Konstantin

Family comes to visit

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

With Kay and Annette, overlooking DC from Arlington Cemetery

Cousins Kay and Annette flew out on Friday afternoon for the weekend. We’ve done a whirlwind tour of DC since they arrived and it’s been so fun. We didn’t waste a minute, and got started soon after they arrived. We’ve walked all over DC to see many of the memorials and museums. One of the highlights was Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday morning, where we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns – a very moving experience.

Saturday night, after a nice dinner at Harry’s, John took us on a night tour of DC where we saw the White House beautifully lit up.

During the day, we’ve been to the Capitol, the Native American Museum, National Gallery of Art, Natural History Museum, monuments and more! And more to come today…!

We also had a great time with Phillip, Michele, Alise and Andrew last weekend. We met them near Union Station for dinner last Sunday night at Capitol City Brewing Company. Monday night we drove into Georgetown for a dinner at a great Italian restaurant. For photos, click here.

All of our visitors have laughed with us at the phenomenon of Georgetown Cupcake, a cupcake shop in Georgetown, where every time we drive by, there are hoards of people in a line well out the door, waiting to buy…yes, cupcakes.

During the week, John and I had our formal celebration of his Hebrew success with a nice dinner at Smith and Wollensky’s.

On Friday, I met our Hebrew teachers and students at a synagogue in Rockville, Maryland, for their new year’s service. It was fun to hear the Hebrew, and I had Wolfe Blitzer sitting just a few rows ahead of me.

John vs. Hebrew – John scores!

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

At the Natural History Museum

The week ended with a bang when John passed his final Hebrew test! Talk about stressed out (me, not John!). He did great, and can now move on to his political/econ training class for our last three weeks here.

Also on Friday, Phillip, Michele, Alise and Andrew arrived for a Labor Day visit. We had dinner with them Friday night, then did some sightseeing on Saturday at the Natural History Museum. After that, we walked to Old Ebbitt’s Grill for dinner, then walked across the street to the White House. Great to get to see the family!

We kept pretty quiet the rest of the week, in anticipation of John’s test. I’m working to get the Volvo cleaned up – it’s me vs. pine sap!