Archive for March, 2019

To Curaçao and back

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

With Derek, Danice, and Sady

So I left last Sunday morning for Curaçao – such a pretty place! I stayed at my usual hotel, and wandered around downtown a bit every night.  It was great to see the consulate staff down there, including my buddy Derek who I worked with a bit in Mexico. They took me out for a yummy seafood lunch by the water on Monday.

Lovely Curaçao Harbor

I hate driving over this bridge every day!

Miss Moneypenny, the consulate’s resident pup

I returned late Wednesday night, and had to come in to Baltimore airport, due to some rerouting for the 737 Max problem.  I took an Uber home (the first time I called one for myself!), and got home in the wee hours of the morning.

The next afternoon, my cousins James and Marybeth from San Antonio flew in to see us and do some sightseeing.  We have had several great meals already, including Ris, Aperto’s, and Il Canale.  On Friday, they met John and me at the State Department and we did a neat tour of seven diplomatic reception rooms – very fancy and interesting. Afterward, we had lunch in the Van Buren Dining Room on the 8th floor – kind of a treat.

Clock in diplomatic reception room – the eyes move!

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed our outing to the Glenstone Museum in Maryland – WOW, what a cool place! It’s just amazing. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos inside, but we saw some amazing modern art, including my new fave Cy Twombly, Keith Haring, Warhol, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, etc. The architecture is just out of this world! And they had a really neat audio instillation in the forest. Just an amazing place!

At Glenstone Museum

Glenstone Museum

Jeff Koons

Glenstone Museum

Lovely Asuncion

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Lovely Asunción

I always enjoy going to Asuncion, even though it is super-hard to get to. It takes me a good 24 hours to get there, and slightly longer to get back, but it’s worth it. It’s a small but nice embassy, and I love the staff. Plus, I get to see Elise from my Juarez days, and Kathy from Guadalajara! We had our “girls’ night” on Wednesday at Elise’s house, and, of course, Karen the consular chief joins in. It’s just altogether a pleasant trip!

John was back in Fayetteville visiting Pete and Ginger when I got home Saturday morning. I had a nail appointment, then just did laundry…and re-packed for this week’s trip! I had less than 24 hours on the ground but it was worth it to have clean clothes, see Flavia, and sleep in my own bed for a night!

John and I actually passed each other at Reagan National Airport this morning, but we were in different terminals, so we just chatted by phone later in the day.

I’m off again – you’ll see where next Sunday!

Paraguayan clay figure

Paraguayan busses




Sunday, March 17th, 2019

First boat ride of the season!

I made a quick trip to Hot Springs this week to see David and Alison – I arrived late Sunday night and left at the crack of dawn Wednesday.  We had a great visit! The lake came back up while I was there, so we were able to take the boat out for the first ride of the season – a little chilly, but nice! I also was able to spend Tuesday evening with Chuck – we started with drinks at the Vault (I had absinthe!), took a stroll down Bathhouse Row, and ended with a glass of wine at 501. It’s always fun to see him and hear about cool things he’s doing.

With Chuck at the Vault

Thursday night, John took me to see Kinky Friedman at the Birchmere – we had a good time, enjoyed our great seats, and laughed a lot.


Yesterday John took Flavia to the vet to start getting her vaccines and paperwork in order for our big adventure this summer! John really out-did himself last night – he made a great Moroccan chicken in his new Dutch oven – it was amazing!


Sunday, March 10th, 2019

On the case!

The highlight of this very cold, cold week was yesterday’s outing with Wendy, Nick, Tammy, and Scott, et al for CluedUpp DC.  To solve a murder mystery, your team downloads the app on your phone to see where your virtual witnesses are located…the phone uses the GPS and alerts you when you successfully find them. Once you find them, you read their witness statements and can ask them questions or get a hint. Because the witnesses are all over the mall (and some of them run away and you have to chase them), we got a ton of exercise!

With Wendy and Tammy

Costumes are encouraged, and while ours were pretty low key (except for a group photo with masks), other groups were definitely in the swing of it. After almost three hours of walking all over the Mall, we finally decided we had to stop for lunch and “detective juice,” and we solved the mystery from the comfort of a pub. Big fun – leave it to my friend Tammy to organize us for somethinglike this! Click to see all of my photos.

We finished watching “True Detective” this week; it was fun to see Arkansas landmarks and actors we know. We also enjoyed “The Wife,” with Glenn Close – she is amazing.

I had lunch with an aspiring Foreign Service Officer this week; she tests later this month – good luck!

Nick and Wendy

Finding clues with Wendy and Nick

With Wendy at the Hirshhorn Museum

Back to the high life

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Love the bowler hats

I traveled to Bolivia this past week – and by “high life,” I mean the altitude! I did not partake of the abundant coca leaves while there (it’s really popular in tea and purports to help with the altitude). My boss’s boss went with me on this trip; we got along great and it was wonderful to have her along. And, turns out she likes to shop as much as I do!

We arrived Sunday morning via Miami and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We got lucky and caught an earlier flight into La Paz, so we were able to take a nap, then go out for a walk and shopping before our co-worker Mike came to pick us up for dinner. We took the teleferico to the cool Zone Sur part of town, where we met Mike’s wife, and Julie and her husband at a swanky restaurant with cool Bolivian art.

Julie took us back to the Zona Sur Tuesday night to hit some higher-end stores, then we went to a great Italian restaurant.

Thursday after work we flew to Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia. It was like night and day – La Paz is high altitude and a bit chilly, while Santa Cruz is hot and humid. We visited the consular agency there on Friday. After lunch with the two ladies who work in the agency, we went shopping again, and found more treasures we couldn’t live without. Saturday morning, we flew home (with more airport shopping!) – I got home around 11PM, so it was a long travel day. Nice to be home!

Click to see all my photos.

Choclo (corn)

Hotel view – you can see the teleferico near the bottom of the photo

Old trunk in a shop, addressed to US Embassy La Paz

Napping between customers