Archive for January, 2019

No winter blues here

Sunday, 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

Monday, 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

Sunday, 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!

Welcome 2019!

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year at our friend Amy’s house with a nice small gathering. We met some interesting new folks and had a great time – we even stayed up past midnight, believe it or not!  New Year’s Day we went to my friend Matthew’s house for an afternoon drop-in, with lots of Foreign Service folks.

With Amy and Donna

Amy’s kitty Monty with his party hat

I was off on vacation this week, while John is still furloughed. Wednesday, I met my friend Wendy for lunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, a cute restaurant that donates part of its profits to animal rescue (it’s on the same block as their sister restaurant, the Stray Cat Cafe).  Later on Wednesday, Brett, Lara, and Claire came over for board games (we went to Brett and Lara’s wedding in Chicago in November).

John and I had shopping day on Thursday, plus went to the car dealership to pick up a new battery for the 4Runner. I’m on a kick to find a new laptop and have spent way too much time poring over the specs and prices, haha.

Yesterday we drove out to Middleburg, Virginia, to have lunch at the Salamander Resort. Middleburg is a quaint little town in the middle of upscale horse country. We poked around a couple of shops after lunch – nice to get out of the city a little bit!


A sloth’s HNY

Flavie doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.