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.
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.
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.