Oh gosh, I'm pretty behind here- let's catch up! So I got back from San Francisco still fuming from the Delta fiasco, but had no time to dilly dally as by then I only had six weeks to get ready to move. Hence, it was straight up to New Hampshire to claim some of my things from the storage room in my sister's house. As has been documented in past posts, I freakin' love it up there. This time was just as awesome, mostly because we went snow tubing. Which is perhaps the most fun thing EVER. I've never skied or anything, and despite going to Syracuse (or perhaps BECAUSE I went to Syracuse), I'm not really interested in snow. Until now. Now that I've discovered snow tubing, you can count me in for every ski trip you've got coming up and I will happily tube the days away. Amazing.
On my way back from New Hampshire, it seemed only right that I should make a pit-stop in another city home to many lovely people in my life- Boston. This time I visited my dear lady friend Natalie (she of birthday party in Sonoma fame, many blog posts ago), recently relocated from San Fran. We had a fabulous evening of wine, pizza and intense girlie chat, followed in the morning by coffee, brunch and even more chat. Brilliant.
Once back in Darien, I launched into an intense regime of babysitting, New York-ing and gyming- interspersed with some 'Ladies Who Lunch'-ing with my good friend Kerry, who had ironically just moved back to the area from London in search of a job. The plan was to save some dough for my arrival in London (as is widely known, things are NOT cheap here!), but that darn St. Patrick came along and ruined my plans, as did several other totally awesome social engagements. It was all worth it, but I remained completely broke!
With both dwindling time and funds, I decided I'd better hurry up and get to DC to visit Broseph, my good friend from college Kim, and one of my best chums from high school Stephanie. I arrived on a rainy (never!) Thursday afternoon, and moseyed around some galleries and things to stay dry (oh, and to absorb the culture, bien sur) until my brother was free. We then strolled past the Washington monument and other such landmarks to the George Washington University campus where Joseph was able to show me where he takes classes and whatnot. In the evening I took the metro out to the 'burbs in Maryland where Kim and her husband Dan treated me to fabulous Italian dinner, after which I stayed over at their super cute apartment in North Potomac and got to meet Fozzie- see below and don't shriek over his cuteness I like did- you'll scare the neighbors.
The following day was a real treat- Joseph spent his last two semesters as an intern for Senator Max Baucus of Montana. A big part of his job was giving tours of the Capitol to constituents, and for friends and family he's able to do the same. He therefore was able to spend a few hours taking me on a FANTASTIC tour of the Senate and the Capitol building. We skipped lines, went ways the tourists couldn't go, listened to someone speak in the gallery, rode the little underground train thingy for the lazy folk who can't walk the three feet between the buildings, ate at one of the cafes (tax free!). Excellent, and Joseph is super duper well-informed. I mean, did YOU know that if you were to put the Statue of Liberty inside the Capitol's rotunda, there would be NINETEEN feet from the tip of her torch to the ceiling?! Top trivia! (Take note, Roguers!)
After that I hopped the metro again to Stephanie's adorable one-bedroom apartment in Columbia Heights. She's a bartender and had to work that night, but that was fine because I joined her at the bar and enjoyed a complimentary tipple or two with my friend Josh, an old coworker who lives in DC now.
The following morning I was up early to meet Joseph again. We had brunch right around the corner from the White House, then went for a stroll through the city (which included getting caught in a flash downpour, of course) towards the Newseum, a huge, recently opened museum all about news! (Sorry, that was probably obvious.) As a PR person and media junkie, I thought this museum was fabulous. All about the history of news, and how huge events in the US like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were covered, down to the second. Joseph and I even honed our journalistic skills by recording a little news story live from Capitol hill. I was reminded why those who can't do, teach!
That evening, it was back to Steph's to get ready for a night out. First we hit a 90s dance party at a bar she frequents- excellent. Nothing says good times like a little Skee-Lo. She then took me to another of her places of employment, where further drinks were doled out free of charge. Result. Tipsily, we made it home sometime in the early morning, which was good because the next day was nothing short of epic! We rounded up some of Steph's friends and headed to brunch around 1pm. Standard for a hungover Sunday. We ordered food and mimosas- hair of the dog is always good. We ate our food and ordered more mimosas- we were starting to feel better. Then we had some more. Aaaand more. We ended up being at brunch for not one, not two, not even three...but SIX AND A HALF HOURS. Brilliant. An evolving group of seven to ten people at any one time managed to order FIFTY mimosas (or something). Legendary.
It was back to Connecticut the following day (after a quick dinner with my tres chic Parisian friend Isabelle, visiting from France), and good thing because my dear mother and I had a goodbye party to prepare for! My mom is known around Fairfield County (and beyond, I dare say, certainly across the Atlantic) for her top party throwing skills, and this one proved to be no different. We had an absolutely ridiculous amount of food, not one but TWO live bands and a never-ending supply of drink! The best moment of the night was me and my mom making little toasts to each other and to my siblings (both who came up/down for the occasion), and to conclude hers she had a friend sing me a song, dedicated to me via Scott Allison (CEO of my company). It was, "Take Good Care of My Baby" by Bobby Vinton. Super appropriate and totally awesome. I don't know what time I got to bed, but when I woke up, I realized I had something like 19 hours to get ready for London and my room still looked like a bomb site.
Still, I did it somehow and at 5am the next morning my dad hauled me off to JFK. And I was off. Watch this space: since I've arrived there have been travel buddy reunions, four-day weekends, Royal Weddings (well, just one of those), general London shenanigans and, oh yes, my job! As will soon become clear, I'm loving it!