Sooooo, as you might have guessed from the title, this is a happy entry! I just got back from a great long weekend in the DC-area. Now, why was I there? So see my excellent friends L & S get married! L is a Foreign Service Officer and was posted in Ciudad Juarez with me and she met S while living there and one thing led to another and now they’ve gotten hitched before heading off to Morocco for L’s second post.
Since the wedding was actually about an hour outside of DC and I wanted to do a bunch of shopping while I was down there, including getting some liquids, I decided to drive instead of fly. It’s about 10 hours of driving to get from Ottawa to DC, which is doable in one day. However, Mother Nature decided to make the drive down a bit of a challenge. First, Ottawa was forecast to get 5-8 inches of snow on Friday, the day I left. So, I left at 0-dark-thirty to try to avoid it. I succeeded in avoiding the snow, but managed to drive through about an hour of freezing rain. By the time I crossed the border in to New York, my car was covered in ice. Not only was it covered in ice, but when I stopped to get gas in the car there, the gas nozzle was covered in ice. Have I mentioned that this is in APRIL? Yes? Ok, then.
After Ogdensburg, it changed to regular rain and rained on my for another 3-4 hours. Then it cleared up for a bit, but I wasn’t in the clear yet. In Pennsylvania, I ran in to bad fog, where I could only see about 100-200 feet in front of me. That obviously slowed me down a bit.
Finally, it cleared up and I made the rest of the drive to Maryland. When I finally got to the hotel, I stepped outside and just basked in the glorious 78F sunshine for a few minutes. It felt sooooo good to stand outside in the nice, warm sun.
The wedding on Saturday was wonderful! It was outside at a nice vineyard and the weather was beautiful. The ceremony really reflected L & S and was super fun. The reception at the vineyard was also really nice. The company was especially wonderful. I saw several other friends from Ciudad Juarez and it was wonderful to be reunited with them for a bit. My time in Juarez was definitely tough, but I’m really lucky to have come away with some really good friends from my time there and spending time with them made me realize just how much I miss them. There was much laughing, much fun, and even some dancing. And, of course, L & S got married. 🙂
On Sunday, I ran a bunch of errands, returning things I’d ordered online, buying new things, and so on. I got a lot done and then finally checked in to my hotel closer to DC. I also met up with some of the same and some different Ciudad Juarez friends for a nice dinner. Again, it was really fun to hang out with them for a few hours before we all had to go our separate ways. Several of them are wrapping up language training before heading out to their second posts. One was on R&R from her second post and I’d driven down from Canada. While we used to see each other every day, we’ll now see each other less and less and will almost certainly never all serve at the same post again. So, it was nice to be able to get together before everyone heads off to their new posts.
On Monday, I ran more errands, and finally finished stocking up on all the stuff I was after. Between shopping in Ottawa and in New York, I can find almost everything I want, but there are a few things like Shiner Bock beer* and whatnot that I can’t find. So, now I have all the peach salsa, pepper jelly, frozen enchiladas, and so on! Nom, nom, nom.
Finally, I drove home today. The drive home was much less eventful than the drive down. It was smooth sailing. There was some rain, but not too much and it didn’t slow me down too much. The Diplokitten was happy to see me and all the frozen stuff I got actually fit in my freezer here.
Tomorrow, I go back to work and will have to hit the ground running since this is a busy time. Also, on top of the busy-ness, I now have to do an Employee Evaluation Report (EER) because I found out last Wednesday evening that I got TENURED! Tenure in the Foreign Service is sort of like academic tenure. It’s a decision to keep you around and it means that it’ll be harder to fire you. Mwahahaha! 😉 Kidding. Still, it’s an important step and nice to have out of the way.
So, that’s been my last week or so. A very happy one for a lot of reasons. 🙂