Well, Friday was my last day at Embassy Ottawa. Just like that, my (not quite) two year tour is over. It’s bittersweet, because there are a lot of things that I’ll miss about Canada, Ottawa, and my time there, but also exciting because I’m looking forward to reconnecting to friends, family, and Mexican food on home leave, the Econ course and reconnecting with friends in the DC area, and then eventually to Frankfurt. So, there’s a lot to look forward to.
My last week at work was spent mostly wrapping up loose ends at work, working through the massive checkout list, and seeing friends one last time. I also got to see Mosaika, a light show they do on Parliament Hill each summer. I saw it when I first arrived, and now again right before I left. Seems fitting.
It’s quite a bit to write out, but actually leaving Ottawa was not without some excitement. The night before I left, the fire alarm at the hotel went off around midnight. I was actually putting some things in my car in the parking garage when the alarm went off and had to dash up 14 flights of stairs to try to get to the cat, because the elevators were out of service due to the alarm. Of course, with all the noise from the alarm, the cat had hidden herself and I couldn’t find her anywhere and so I worried that she’d left the room when I left with my hands full to take things ot the car. Fortunately, she eventually came out of her hidey spot and they eventually said that the fire alarm was a false alarm. And, on top of that, the elevator from the lobby down to the parking garage was out of service, so that made for many trips up and down those stairs to load the car. But, Saturday morning, I eventually made it out of Ottawa.
So, now I’m in a hotel in Ohio with the Diplocat and we’ll keep chugging along until we get home to Texas. She’s been serenading me almost the whole way both days. It’s so thoughtful of her to think that I might not like the music on the radio and to come up with her own mew-sic. Anyone know if you can FedEx a cat from Ohio to Texas? Asking for a friend, of course. 😉
Filed under Austin, Canada, Diplocat, Family, Frankfurt, Friends, FSI, Germany, Home, Home Leave, Moving, Ohio, Ottawa, Texas, Transfer, Travel, Washington DC
Well, packout has come and gone. Three strangers came and took 98% of my stuff and I was actually happy about it. It all seemed to go smoothly enough and my preparation of putting a lot of things in to bags and totes seems to have speeded things along. We’ll see how everything fares and how things turn up when I get my stuff in DC. Whenever I start worrying about that, though, I repeat to myself “It’s just stuff and you got the good insurance.”
I didn’t do anything super-exciting for Canada Day, since I was in full-on packout prep mode, but a friend did invite me over and it was nice to relax for a bit and spend a couple hours with her and a few of her friends.
The 4th of July party went really well, as far as I could tell. There was a great turnout and the weather was wonderful. People seemed to have a really good time and I got to see a lot of the people I wanted to see, though it was such a big party, it was hard to find everyone.
I also neglected to mention in my previous entry that my friends L & S visited a couple of weeks ago. We were all in Ciudad Juarez together, and now they’re posted in Northern Africa and were on an R&R trip to the U.S. and Canada. It was really great to catch up with them and we did some fun things like see the actual RCMP Musical Ride performance and go to the Museum of Civilization. Mostly though, it was just really great to catch up with them. Going through an experience like CDJ forges some pretty close bonds and then it’s hard when your really good friends are spread out around the world and you see them so infrequently. Fortunately, modern communication technologies make it easier to stay in touch than in the past, but they still don’t replace the face to face time. So, anyhoo, it was great to see them.
And, since my apartment is now empty, I’ve moved in to a hotel for the rest of my time in Ottawa and will spend the next while sorting out things at work and getting everything ready to make the transition to my successor as easy as possible. Then, I start the epic trip back to the Austin-area for home leave followed by another trek back to Washington, DC to start the econ course at FSI. The Diplocat has handled the transition to the hotel well but little does she know about the epic road trip that awaits her. 😉
Hope all’s well in the blogosphere. 🙂
Filed under 4th of July, Austin, Canada, Canada Day, Diplocat, Friends, FSI, Home, Home Leave, Moving, Ottawa, RCMP, Texas, Transfer, Washington DC