Monthly Archives: September 2010

…Cairo

We made it to Cairo, one bag lighter (Mr. A’s got lost in a re-booking snafu), and very tired. We’ve seen the Egyptian Museum and the Churches and Synagogues of Old Cairo today, we’ll post more soon. We’re desperate for some dinner… at a rooftop pool bar overlooking the Nile at one of the nicest hotels in town.

Here’s to doing a honeymoon right!

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…The Big Apple

We’re in New York for 2 days before we head out of the country. Mr. Adventure has to work, and Mrs. A is resting up in anticipation of the intense adventuring we’ll be doing in Egypt later this week. The flights there include one 14 hour trip and one 3 hour trip, with a 9 hour layover in between. We’re not sure how that’s going to work out sleep-wise… 🙂

Last night we walked around the Times Square neighborhood; we’re staying at a hotel in the theater district. There was some kind of Broadway flea-market going on, and one of the streets near our hotel was blocked off and the local theaters were selling old costumes, props and mementos from tables all along the street. There was also a not-so-silent auction being held that we could hear all the way up in our hotel room. (heaps of cheering and jeering) The two most common questions from the touts? “Wanna see a free taping for Comedy Central?” and “Are you Jewish?”

Pretty much we were just killing some time so that we could go see the Empire State Building’s observation deck around sunset, and the timing worked out just right, even though one of the elevators was broken and the lines were consequently long.

Last night’s “color theme” for the ESB was yellow, red, and black, in honor of Steuben Day (?). But, for some reason they didn’t turn the lights on at dusk, but about an hour late, so we didn’t see them from the upper stories, only from the ground. It was still a great view though, even if I did get a little vertigo at the end when Mr. A started pointing out things to look at down on the ground below. In the distance, you could make out the lights of one of the airports, and see people playing soccer at the Chelsea piers. It was very cold and windy up there.

On the way home, we walked along Broadway, dodging rickshaws and taxis in practice for Dhaka.

This morning, we stopped for breakfast at Junior’s which is apparently famous for its cheesecake, but should not be famous for its breakfast. Mr. A liked his Salmon Benedict, but my omelette was bleh and my potatoes were raw. I was completely unenthused. And… they didn’t refill our hot water in our tea. There seemed to be as many waitstaff as customers there, but the service was pretty mediocre. Oh well, we’ll look for a different diner for tomorrow’s breakfast.

We’re seeing a new show tonight, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, an emo-musical take on that president’s term in office. It’s supposed to be very funny. I’ll let you know.

Otherwise, all is well, and we’re mostly looking forward to finally shipping out, it seems like the last year has been all about anticipating this move, and not actually doing it.

…broken glass

You knew it had to happen.

The moving coordinator asked me to unpack all our wedding glasses, dishes and breakables so that the movers could repack it all for the move. I laid them all carefully on the dining room table, which is currently pushed up against the wall. Every was just peachy, until I decided I needed just a little bit more room to fit something else, and promptly broke one of our new glasses. Figures. Unpack them to keep them safe. Right.

🙂

Luckily I didn’t injure myself like I did in college. That time, I was just moving into a new dorm room and pushed one of the big heavy pieces of furniture towards another wall. Underneath was a sneaky surprise–a whole bunch of broken glass. I was in bare feet and stepped right onto it. Yelping, I had to hop on one leg down to the bathroom, so that I could run some water over it to see well enough to remove all the shards. What a mess that was.

No injuries today, the glass broke into infinitesimal pieces, though, so who knows what may lurk down on the carpet still.

In other news, we had dinner last night with one of the officers at Mr. A’s future post. She gave us the run down on current weather, the situation in the local markets, how to get stuff tailored, and the kinds of places people tend to congregate at. It was at a Thai restaurant in the Courthouse area of Arlington, and I had a Thai dish I’d never had before, a crispy shrimp in a very light chili-fish sauce. I loved it.

Our plans for the rest of the week? Eating the strange combinations of foods left in the kitchen (sweet potato fries, green beans, taco seasoning, bread, shrimp, jerk sauce, oatmeal, beans….) is first on the list, but we’re also planning to hit up a few of our favorite restaurants and sights before we leave too. On Saturday we’ll definitely be going to the National Museum of American History because I really want to see Julia Child’s kitchen. It wasn’t here when I lived here last, and I really enjoyed reading her autobiography of her life before the show, so I am really looking forward to going. Besides that, the day is open, perhaps we’ll go to some other museums?

…countdown

It’s countdown time:

36 hours until the movers come
6 days until we head to the airport
9 or 10 days until we’re in Cairo depending on how you look at the time zone difference (seems like a long flight, but we’re really making a stop on the way!)
and 2.5 weeks until we’re in Dhaka.

I wonder how long it will take our air baggage to get there, and our boat shipment.

We weighed out everything we’d planed for the air shipment yesterday, and found we’d used less than half our allowance. So we added a bunch of stuff that we weren’t desperate to have, but we thought we might like. Any suggestions for additional stuff we might like?

…Racecars

As a last minute hurrah before we ship off, I bought both of us Adventures a day driving Nascars at the Richmond International Raceway. We started off the day with an introduction to shifting and turning to the left and then continued with a ride around the track in an SUV so we could learn the “line.”

Mr and Mrs Adventure in front of the Jeff Gordon car

After that we took laps around the track with an instructor who helped us know when to “push it” and when to slow down. It was pretty fun, even though neither of us know very much about Nascar. The sheer thrill of feeling the pull of the engine as you went around the curves and accelerated into the straights was awesome.

Perhaps we’ll get to do a driver school at VIR’s road track some day, because both Mr A and I are more excited by the possibilities of twisties than ovals.

Our course was with Speed Tech based in North Carolina.

…Saying Goodbyes

Yesterday I had a good day out with a friend and her two wonderful children (some of the best kids ever, in my expert opinion!). We headed to the Tysons Corner play place, which is themed after healthy food and being environmentally friendly. (Here’s a local NoVa mommy blog which goes into more detail). We had a great lunch, way too much ice cream, and a good chat about so many different things.

I called a friend earlier this week, and let her know that I wouldn’t be able to see her before we left, due to being rescheduled by my work-life. Bleh. It was more upsetting than I thought, at least on my part, left a bitter feeling in me all week.

I said goodbye to my family members slowly over the course of the last few months, as I saw each of them throughout the summer. Some of us had spoken of throwing a going away party, but it never happened in all the other chaos of summer travels, so we didn’t get to say goodbye.

I suppose the FS life is always about saying hello and goodbye, but I am going to have to learn how to do them without getting all emotional. After all, most of these aren’t goodbyes forever. It’s not like we don’t have access to Skype and such. It’s not 1890 when a diplomatic posting to Asia meant we’d not see each other for 5 years or more… but when I’m doing it, it seems to feel so final, like we know how different all of us will be before we get together again, and how much of the little things we’ll all miss in each others’ lives.

So, when I said goodbye yesterday, I had to remind myself that it might be as soon as next summer that we see each other again, and in my life, that’s actually a pretty good track record.

…Williamsburg

In our whirlwind last few weeks of packing, shipping, selling and buying, we took some time last week to vacation with the family, parts of both our families actually. We had my relatives and Mr. A’s relatives, but no one brought any pets, not even any Corgis. (a recent theme in our lives)
Governor's Palace
Williamsburg was lovely, the weather was nice, the amusement parks, boats, walks and pools were all wonderful and fun. I had two of the best “tours” of my touristic life (I highly recommend the Williamsburg Winery tour, my best winery tour ever), and I got to spend a lot of quality time with the in-laws.

Of course, I spent the whole week forgetting about the real life pile o’stuff awaiting me back in our apartment, and arrived back slightly unenthused to finish it all. Yet, the sorting must go on. This week, I’ve taken 4 bags of clothes, books and random stuff to the thrift store, and have started a new pile of stuff to go. I’ve sold my car (a MINI, to a wonderful couple who I am sure will get as much fun from it as I did). I’ve seen some friends and bought a ton of toilet paper (and then heard I don’t really need it), and arranged and weighed my honeymoon bags. Until next week when we take all the stuff from the cupboards and set it out for the movers to pack, I feel mostly done with the household chores. Now for the fiddly little things that I always leave until the last minute.

…The View!

It’s horribly hazy out there today, but I wanted to tell you all that we have a great temporary apartment, even if it is decorated in blah. Why?? Because we have a view of the Washington Monument, the White House, and the Tidal Basin. I can see the lights on the upper floor of the White House from my pillow, they go to bed a lot later than I do.

…travel products

Mr. A has been researching noise-cancelling headphones for our upcoming 36+ hours of flying, and I’ve been squirreling away various mini-sized bottles of potions and tonics (i.e. shampoo, etc.), and trying to strike a balance between weight and comfort in my luggage.

This morning I found a great site for tiny travel things: Minimus.biz

Minimus has got tiny sized bottles of all sorts of stuff, from generic to fancy-organic quality, and the prices are comparable to the mini-section in a drugstore or dollar store. They sell individual packets of things like salad dressing or hot sauce, in case you want to pack your meal to bring on the plane. They’ve got compact “flight comfort” sets, with eye masks and ear plugs, etc. And, for the minimalist survivalist types, you can buy tiny 3-day survival packs, in case of disasters while traveling.

Previously I had seen this site, 3floz.com For those people who are slightly more …posh(?) than I am, 3floz.com is amazingly full of travel sized versions of high end salon and spa products. Prices are, of course, comparable to buying something in a salon.

Here’s a few other “travel sized” product sites:

Standard drugstore products:
Alltravelsizes.com
Traveltoiletrykits.com
Cheaptravelsizes.com
Drugstore.com

High-end salon or spa quality:
Sephora.com
Salonsavings.com
Beauty.com

Of course, this doesn’t include all those other things you might want to make your trip pleasant, like ultra-light luggage, anti-theft wallets, inflatable pillows, or whatever other inventions they’ve devised. For those, the classic site is www.magellans.com But, you might also look into www.protravelgear.com