Saturday, November 5, 2011

October recap

Here in Washington D.C. fall ticks on. We had a freak showing of snow last weekend, but this weekend the sun is back shining and the remaining leaves are still clinging colorfully to increasingly bare branches. I've been busy during these past 5 weeks of not getting on an airplane to anywhere, doing some hiking, getting out on the bike, schmoozing away at work, mentally preparing myself to take on the oral part of the foreign service exam in about a week, and partaking in some general silliness to fill in the gaps.

Getting outside of the "beltway" is a must for sanity and clarity at all times of the year, but the colors and rolling Virginia hills are particularly soothing to the soul in the fall. I ended up on a path less travel in the Shenendoah Valley, a rare event indeed, and was able to enjoy some truly spectacular views with only a handful of other exiles.

Work has also been busy, fun, challenging, and everything I hoped for when I came to DC to work on environmental policy. I was part of a group that received a major Conservation Award, complete with a reception at the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB for those West Wing buffs out there) and a very official cake. A few weeks after that I was involved in the planning and hosting of a big, fancy international meeting. The highlight was a reception on one of the big wig balconies overlooking the National Mall. Sorry, no pictures, DC paranoia prevents me from putting anything that combines wine and political appointees on a website. 

I was also able to tick off one item on my 30 for 30 list by attending the Baltimore City Roller Girls a couple weeks back (#9). It was interesting, but not the heart-pounding thrill a minute that I was hoping to experience. And I don't think I'll be signing up to be a roller girl anytime soon, in case any friends and family out there were worrying about me going through some sort of 30 crisis. A month in I've only crossed off one item, so I'm really going to have to focus to make this one happen. 

And no DC pre-halloween festivities are complete without the running of the high drag race, celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. Tens of thousands of fans lined the streets of Dupont to cheer on their favorite topically dressed drag queen. My personal favorites were the Royal Wedding Party, seen below, and the Pan Am Stewardesses who gave the crowd a pre-flight demonstration that topped anything I've ever had on United. 

So I think that wraps up October pretty well. November will center around my foreign service exam, which for good or for bad will be over by next Tuesday. I'm really quite chill about it, being that I have a great job, amazing friends, and pretty busy/crazy/silly life. Until next time. 

A lesson in chilling - thanks Ruby!

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