Saturday, December 20, 2014


It's Friday. 

After a long week at work. 

That's all I can say. 

Friday, December 19, 2014


Today we got a Christmas card in the mail from Leo's groomers. 

I opened the card and found a calendar with the most handsome dog model ever. 

How clever is this company to send a personalized calendar to its customers with a cute photo of their very own dog?!?!?  

Brilliant marketing strategy. 

I wasn't all that happy with them after the last haircut, but now, of course, I love them. 


Jimmy made his most delicious shrimp and grits, but I fear the appeal of it was lost on our British houseguest, who said the grits was like "savory porridge". 

"Shrimp and grits" has a nicer ring than "shrimp and savory porridge".  


We're latecomers to the party, but we're now full-fledged backers of District Taco. 

Which means we eat there once a week. 

District Taco used to be a food truck but they now have multiple locations in the area, one of which is conveniently located near both of the schools where Mac practices basketball. 

Which means we can get a fix on Tuesday and/or Friday night with no problem. 

We went tonight and let me to you two things:

1. I dream about the carnitas this place serves. They are the best ever. Seriously. 

2.  Jimmy had the fish tacos tonight and he said they were the best fish tacos he'd ever eaten. Mac gasped and asked, "Even better than the food truck in Hawaii?"  Jimmy said, "Yes."  

Wait. There's a third thing. 

3. They have the best tortilla chips ever. They might be laced with a drug that makes you addicted and you.can't.stop.eating.them. Seriously. 

And this might be a 4th thing or it might be a subpart of 3.  The guacamole is outstanding. Fresh and chunky. And perfect for the chips. 

Oh and they have several types of salsa that range from a little hot to your lips are falling off hot. So good. 

Hats off to District Taco. I wish we'd found you a year earlier. 


We went to ZooLights at the National Zoo tonight, and it was perfect:  no crowds and not freezing cold. (Last year it was about 20 degrees and packed.). 

The best part was running into a schoolteacher and church friend from Brasilia days who we haven't seen in over 7 years.  We were sitting on a bench in the dark while Mac ate a funnel cake, and Laura recognized Mac! 

When we last saw Laura, she was a single teacher (but dating her now-husband). Now she's married with 2 young children and a third on the way. She's still as cute and energetic as ever. It was the best serendipitous Christmas treat to run into her. 

I told Jimmy it's time for us to move now. When we start running into people we know at the grocery store or park or restaurants overseas, that usually means we're near the end of our tour somewhere and have built enough relationships to make running into people regularly possible. 

Is it too soon to pack my suitcase for Rio?


Mac's second grade teacher in Bogota, an Englishman named Ian, became a great family friend during our time in Bogota. His Christmas vacation started Friday and he's spending part of it on a 3-city visit to the US. 

He flew into DC last night, and we had a full day today. First stop was lunch and shopping in Georgetown. After that we caught the 5:30 performance of the Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker with other dear friends, Monique and Caitlin. 

Thankful for friends near and far, and especially for far who become near if only for a few days every so often. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Late this afternoon we headed wayyyy out of DC to attend a friend's Christmas party. When I say way out, I mean it felt like we were driving to West Virginia. 

It was 43 miles away from our apartment. That's a long way.

This friend and his wife commute everyday to DC. If there's no traffic, it takes them an hour and 17 minutes. If you've traveled recently on I-66, you know there's always traffic. 

These folks live in a gorgeous and humongous home. Beautiful artwork and furniture. Huge piece of land with big sunsets. 

(On the road leading to the house)

There are moments when I think we're going to burst out of our little apartment. When I think of how it would be nice to spread out a little. To use a bathroom that's not right next to where everybody is. 

In this house, there's lot of room to spread out and there are probably multiple bathrooms on every floor. 

But there's also a lot to clean, a lot to dust, a lot to vacuum and mop.  They certainly can't plug the vacuum in one outlet and vacuum an entire floor, much less the whole house.  There's a lot of grass to mow. So much grass they had to buy a tractor. And they definitely don't walk out the door to eat at great restaurants or to grab a cup of coffee. They don't have any Metro access. 

All things considered, I'll take my teeny apartment with the quick commute, good restaurants nearby, and no yard work and just dream of one day having privacy in the bathroom.