Well, we have officially lived here for a week and things are starting to get a bit easier.  We've learned how to navigate the Metro (subway) as well as the streets of DC.  We've tried several restaurants and I found a yoga studio.  We've also visited two churches in town and learned that A) there is a Mass any time that works for you (last Sunday we went at 7:30pm) and B) if we can make it to the 11 AM Mass at the church right by our house, it is well worth it!  Not only is the church beautiful (and on the National Register of Historic Places), the music is incredible.  The cantor this morning had such a powerful and gorgeous voice that after he performed a solo during the offertory, the congregation erupted in applause.  Following Communion, he and another man performed a duet of "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" that gave me goosebumps.  Apparently it gave everyone else goosebumps too because the duo received a standing ovation. 

We've also learned that two cars and one parking spot do not work whatsoever.  The Eos has been on Craigslist since we got here, but with only one low-ball offer so far, its been sitting in our parking spot.  As a result, Joey has been driving the Volvo to and from work every day and then parking it on the street at night.  Well on Friday Joey worked at the Main State building in Foggy Bottom, which does not have parking, which meant I had to watch the car and move it every two hours.  Not a problem in the morning, but that afternoon I was scheduled to meet him at work so I could sit in on one of the sessions about bidding, which precluded me from moving the car.  I would have parked it in the all day lot, but you have to be out of that by 6:30 and since there was a happy hour following the afternoon session, I didn't know if we'd make it back in time to get the car out of the lot.  Ironically, we got home about 7:30 and there was still no ticket on the car, so we didn't move it (even though the sign says til 8:30).  So of course we woke up to a $30 ticket - first noticed at 4:45 and noticed again at 7:45 (which meant we could have moved it and avoided the ticket).  Figures.

Saturday we went to the Eastern Market by the Capitol in the morning for breakfast and farmer's market.  I couldn't believe the selection and the food was so cheap!  You would think coming from a place like Iowa you wouldn't be able to match the selection and the price but it's just amazing here - we bought green beans, snap peas, sweet potatoes, peppers, garlic, lemon, eggplant, and heirloom tomatoes for $20!   We also waited in line for about an hour to get the famous "blue/buck" pancakes, which absolutely were worth the wait. 

A framed article on the wall at the Eastern Market

So since we had some errands to run, we stopped home to drop off the groceries and let the dogs out.  We plugged the meter ($4/hr on Saturday) for an hour and just missed it.  An hour and one minute later we passed the meter maid on our way back to the car and found a $25 ticket waiting for us.  So after $55 in parking tickets in two days we spent the rest of yesterday afternoon at car lots in Virginia trying to sell one or the other.  We put the Volvo on Craigslist this morning and it appears as though it will sell much easier than the EOS and since the cost to sell the EOS is the same as the carrying cost for the next nine months, it looks like I get to hang on to my beloved convertible a little bit longer.

The dogs (and I) saw their first Presidential motorcade last night.  After we got home from a long day at the car lots, we hooked the dogs up for a walk and saw another bevy of police cars at the end of our street (much like two nights before when the First Lady had been there).  So we walked down and there was a little crowd of people waiting.  When we asked what was going on, we were told the President would be speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus and that he was coming this way.  So we waited, dogs and all, with everyone to see his motorcade drive by.  It was pretty neat to see all the motorcycles, limos, SUVs, ambulances and armory drive by but I was a little disappointed you can't even make out a wave from the guy.

We found a mini dog park just around the corner from our house.  It's a vacant lot, but its fenced in and we're told the woman who owns it tried to get it zoned to build a home, couldn't, and since she loves dogs so much decided to leave it open for the neighborhood.  We took the dogs Saturday afternoon which they seemed to enjoy.  We enjoyed sleeping through the night last night.

Tonight we went out for dinner with two other guys from Joey's class.  It was really nice to get to know them in a more personal setting - it turns out one of them is from Iowa!  He grew up in Mason City but much of his family lives in Des Moines now.  The other guy is the grandson of a former FSO - his grandfather's last post was as Ambassador to Rome.  Wow.  And in true Italian fashion, we concluded a lovely dinner with a trip to the gelato shop (actually Argentinian gelato) next door, which was just as good as the gelato in Italy.  I can't think of a better way to end a weekend.