Week Two in DC

For Week Two in DC, I had a consular class in the new consular office building, which has consolidated the consular mothership into one building, not too far from Main State. It’s great to have everyone under one roof. Our class was for mid-level officers (like me) who are going to work in the American Citizen Services sections at post. Lucky for me, my good friend Jim was also in the class, so I had a built-in seat mate and lunch buddy. Lots of good information, and a reminder that ACS work can be very, very hard. Since no two cases are ever the same, you have to rely on your knowledge of the law and good judgement, for the most part.

The socializing also continued! Monday night we met George and Melissa at our favorite restaurant, RT’s in Alexandria. They had taken us there the last time we were in town, and we loved it! She-crab soup and pecan-crusted halibut for me, please. It was wonderful to catch up with George and Melissa; they are doing great.

Tuesday after work, Cathy and I went to Jim’s cool condo and sat on the roof – lovely! Beautiful view, nice wine and cheese, and the chance to finally meet Jim’s partner, who is really cool. The weather was glorious.

Wednesday evening, we braved the rain and went to Lorton for dinner at Ray and Patty’s house. Ray was the principal officer when we were in Juarez. The kids are getting all grown up, and it felt like we had just seen Ray and Patty yesterday. (I loved seeing Patty’s sign on the door when we arrived: “Ran to pick up the kids from school – come on in!”)

Thursday we spent a much-needed night near home; I drove to one of my old haunts for a mani-pedi, then we just relaxed with a little TV. We did pretty much the same thing on Friday after a drop in at happy hour nearby with some friends – afterwards we put our feet up with a glass of wine and watched “Hannah and Her Sisters” at home.

Yesterday morning we grabbed our umbrellas and drove to Eastern Market so John could visit his favorite used book store and a gaming store. I love poking around the market – and was delighted to run into our old neighbors Katie and Charlie from Tel Aviv. Hard to believe that Katie was pregnant when I last saw her and now has a darling toddler.

In the late afternoon, we drove to Springfield to see TFran and Miguel’s new house. Meghan and two of their cousins were also there; we had yummy pizza and yakked for a few hours. And it was great to see their dog Jasper, who is all grown up now (he was a puppy in Juarez with big ol’ ears).

This morning we went to Scott and Laura’s for brunch with Nathan (who I knew in Islamabad) and Jacob (who I knew in Tel Aviv). Scott was a close co-worker and daily lunch buddy in Islamabad, so it was great to see him and Laura in their super-cool new house. After stuffing ourselves with homemade migas and peach cobbler, we headed up to Silver Spring, MD, to see Cathy’s new place – also lovely with the added bonus of hardwood floors and old growth trees.

Last Sunday we did some shopping at Tyson’s Corner and watched “A Most Wanted Man” with the now-deceased Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

All in all a good week! The only real downer is that our other two pieces of luggage have not turned up. My hope is flagging, but I am trying to remain optimistic that they will show up. Unfortunately, my bag had several things that just can’t be replaced (like my medical records). Keep your fingers crossed!





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