So I’ve taken radio silence to an all new level. Sorry about that.
Fall has arrived here in the UK, and it’s been really pleasant so far. The weather has been great, and we’ve been enjoying ourselves and enjoying the city. We had two of my besties come visit for a week, and it was wonderful to have them. We walked for about 3 days straight. Exhausting, but fun and always the best way to see a city. It also decided not to rain for the whole week, so that was a huge bonus.
Amongst all of this, we have also started the countdown to leaving for DC. It may seem insane, but as M started getting the first parts of his travel orders for Bangkok, we realized that before we knew it, our time in London would be up. So that’s resulted in us planning, planning, and did I say – planning?
Besides friends visiting, we’ve been back to the States for another bestie’s wedding, have finally gone on the London Eye, had a friend of M’s visit for a few days, said goodbye to good friends here who were part of the summer departures that so plague Foreign Service life, saw Jessie Jackson speak at the embassy, had a new ambassador arrive, gone to see the one man show by this guy (So wonderful! Check out his show if it’s ever back in the U.S.), witnessed (sorta) the first same-sex spouse U.S. immigrant visa issuance, gone to another NFL football game in London, and celebrated an early halloween. Phew. To add onto all of that, I’ve been taking horseback riding lessons off and on, working like crazy, and have been keeping my status as a valued member of our local wine club going. Ahem.
So far, we’ve gotten our housing booked for when we arrive back in DC, and I’m SO excited for where we’ll be staying when we’re back for 9 months. State Department has a pretty decent lodging program that just got even better in the past few months or so. They added a bunch of properties to the program (also known as PCS lodging), and at least one of them was brand new. When I was back in DC for training last winter, I stayed at the Marriott in Rosslyn, which had many perks. One – breakfast was served every morning and two – it was about a 3 minute walk to the shuttle stop/bus that went straight to FSI, which meant no trekking on the DC Metro was required, which, if you’ve lived in DC, you know that that is priceless. The only downside was the noisy construction across the street. Well, it turns out that the construction was for a brand new apartment complex that is now complete, AND part of the lodging program, AND has a rooftop pool, AND accepts pets. All of this = really happy Lisa.
Besides that, we’re planning our home leave, which is the 4 weeks of leave that you’re required to take after a 2 year tour. We leave London July 22nd, and we’ll immediately head to Florida to visit M’s family for a few days and drop off our crazy cats, then travel to CA to visit my parents and do some traveling along the west coast. Really looking forward to that. After that trip, we’ll head to FL to grab the kitties before moving into our apartment at the end of August, and then language training starts! If all goes well, I’ll also be in a language class, attempting to speak Thai.
So that’s been life lately. We’re planning to have Thanksgiving with some embassy friends the Saturday before Thanksgiving and then spend 4 days in Iceland over the actual Thanksgiving weekend. The few days before Christmas will be spent in Berlin, with us spending Christmas Day and New Years in London. Then starts a busy new year! We’re headed to Spain in March, California in May (yay weddings!), Paris in May/June, and who knows where else. Have I mentioned we’ve been planning?