Category: Washington DC

Thoughts from the airport

I’m currently in Dallas Fort Worth airport waiting for my flight to Salt Lake City. The sun is setting through the windows and I’ve found a quiet corner to while the time away. Airports are kind of funny places in someways, at once so transient and yet always there watching people come and go, seeing the emotions, the ups, downs and everything in between. That and the fact that quite often you get stuck in them for more hours than you might care to be and have the time to think, dream and switch off from day to day life.

I’ve been in DC since Wednesday, working and catching up with friends. It’s funny, everyone asks me if I’ve missed it and the truth is, not that much. The people yes, very much so, but living in DC I don’t really miss. It was odd going back though, at once so familiar and yet no longer mine.

I was nervous before coming over, I wasn’t quite sure why but there was definitely an unsettled feeling which came over me a few days before flying. It was fun though and nice to be back. It really is a lovely city and right now at it’s most beautiful. I’m looking forward to returning again with J, hopefully in the summer, a trip longer than 2 nights when we can really enjoy being back.

And now on to Salt Lake City, the home of the Mormons, the Rocky Mountains and apparently a lovely city. I’m looking forward to exploring somewhere new. Those itchy feet of mine have been on familiar soil for too long it would seem.

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Change, change, change

With the move is coming a lot of change. We’ve done this before, admittedly only once, but this time although the same some things are slightly different. As much as change is exciting it is also unsettling. I’m mixed, one day excited the next mildly panicked. Work, housing, friendships, finances all of these things are whirling around and around. I know it will work out in the end somehow and things are falling into place slowly. Things will work out. I’m learning again that I need to bite piece by piece and work on things a little bit at a time. I’m also learning again how important it is to talk about everything. Poor J is having his ear chewed far too much. I process by talking, it helps me work out what I do or don’t want, even if it means I go round and round in circles far too often. Lots to write about once I organise my thoughts.

Return journey

The time has come for us to return to London. We move back in January. Two months. In total we will have lived in the US for 27 months, during which we have experienced some of our toughest times and some absolutely wonderful times, we’ve met many amazing people who I hope will be lasting friends. It was absolutely the right decision to move here and experience this and now it feels like the right time to do the return journey.

There’s a lot to think about of course. Moving country is not easy, as we have learnt, even if you’ve lived there before. We’re going through another period of pretty big change and trying to work it all out again. We’re going back to something which is so familiar and yet viewed through a new perspective and I imagine possibly also so changed from what we left. I’m excited though, the new opportunities this brings, the friendships we can re-kindle, the city I love I get to live in again. London here we come…

Hurricane Sandy

21:40, things have got worse as the day has gone on. The lights are flickering, the streets are quiet and still the rain comes. I’m constantly checking Twitter to see what’s happening. Which is also making me think I should perhaps ease off the Twitter checks to reduce anxiety. We’ll be okay, somehow. Now to watch TV while we have power, enjoy a glass of wine and truly appreciate being at home safe with my husband.

It’s 13:30 and I’m sat on my sofa working from home. Work is closed today because of what is potentially going to be the biggest storm the East Coast of the US has seen for 100 years.

It is an odd feeling, sitting in a warm house, electricity working, water running and seeming calm outside, yet knowing that the worst is yet to come.

When everyone at work started worrying about the Hurricane on Friday I was to be honest a little flippant. Assuming it would be fine, comparing it to Hurricane Irene which was a bit of a non-event in DC last summer, not though for Vermont and Massachusetts Irene left lasting damage which is still being repaired. However as the time passes and the weather reports flow in I am more aware that this one is big.

Time will tell what the effects will be, for now I am just praying that as many as possible stay safe and that Sandy doesn’t wreak as much havoc as expected.

Herbs

We used to have window boxes in London where we grew herbs and flowers and I loved them dearly. It cheered me up to see the greenery and know that I had grown it! It also saved a fortune in fresh herbs once they got going, the basil especially grew like gangbusters during the summer.

So when we moved to DC one of the first things I noticed about our flat was the lack of window boxes or opportunities to grow anything. All the windows have fly screens to keep the mosquitoes out and I would rather have no mosquitoes than plants.

Then last weekend our church was having a flower mart and they had lots of herbs on sale so I decided that now was the time to invest. We then had to get something to put our indoor window boxes on and chose a red Ikea bench which if needed can also be used as an actual bench rather than just a place for our plants.

I love seeing them in our living room! Tending to them and checking them for how they are doing. Our basil, thyme and parsley are all looking very happy in their new homes. Our coriander on the other hand is taking a little longer to settle in but I’m sure it will get there eventually.

Washington DC Cherry Blossom 2012

Springtime in Washington, D.C. really is glorious. This year especially. We’ve had about six days in a row with temperatures in the twenties (Celcius that is), which has meant that the cherry blossoms are out early. They were due at the end of March but we went down to see them this weekend and they were already looking wonderful.

Below is a new type of cherry tree for me, the weeping cherry tree, it has the most beautiful branches fir to bursting with blossom which dust down to the ground and sway gently in the wind.

And finally, some gentle pink amongst the white. It would seem that the pinker blossomed trees flower later than the white blossom ones as when we were out and about most of the trees were white. This one though was tinged pink and looked ever so pretty.

Walking again

The temperature dropped today, suddenly it’s cool. Which has been rather wonderful. This evening as I left work and stormed along I suddenly remembered how much I love walking. In London I walked to and from work, about 35-40 minutes each way. It kept me sane and vaguely slim.

Then I moved here, winter was fine, J and I traipsed everywhere, got to know the new city and generally explored. Until the summer hit. When you walk a few steps and are sweating, more than a lady should, more than you feel comfortable and so you resort to air conditioned buses, not going for weekend strolls and generally hiding from the heat and humidity.

Tonight it was back. That release of joy that I get from charging along the pavement. The sanity that walking for half an hour brings and hopefully the calories it burns (of which currently there are a lot to be burnt).

I’m looking forward to the cooler days. To walking home from work again and to having that time all to myself to think, process and enjoy the city.

Long weekend

It’s been a long weekend here and it’s been wonderful. We’ve had friends visiting which has been lovely. Starting with a trip to the Baseball on Friday night followed by fireworks, huge beautiful fireworks. Then walking round the city, followed by a wonderful night with old and new friends.

Yesterday we went to Arlington, for green and the peace and calm of the cemetery. It’s so beautiful out there, although summer is not giving up just yet and these last two days have been humid (very, very humid).

Today, lazy, my first trip to the Capitol. A huge lunch then the pouring rain, meaning the walk we were hoping to take didn’t happen. The walk I needed to take.

And now, now we prepare for a trip home. A chance to see friends and family, to enjoy London again and to come back refreshed.

Tomatoes

J and I went to Whole Foods today, it is quite possibly one of my favourite places in DC. The range and quality of the produce is amazing. We weren’t quite sure what we were after, just that it was going to be fresh and ideally seasonal. Look what we found!

Amazing, beautiful heirloom tomatoes… Yummy too once sliced, a sprinkle of salt, some dried oregano and a generous drizzle of olive oil had been added. Mmmmm, happy summer days.

Going up the Washington monument

J’s cousin is visiting us (hence some of my quietness, hosting takes up quite a lot of time) and in an inspired organised moment I booked tickets in March to go up the Washington monument in July. It was amazing and I’m so glad we went. Not only are the views spectacular but the building itself is stunning. Despite being 123 years old it looks very new, has a super whizzy elevator and it awe-inspiring once inside.

The Jefferson memorial, Reagan National Airport and looking out into Virginia.

The White House! You can also see here how green it is still, I imagine in a few weeks these lawns will be a lot browner…

The World War II and the Lincoln memorial. Such a shame they are working on the reflecting pool at the moment, does rather ruin the view. Although you can see how huge the Lincoln memorial is and I have to say it’s even better in real life. Of all the memorials the Lincoln really is the best and most amazing (in my opinion anyhow…)