Tomorrow is Flag Day!

Wow I've been kind of slacking on my blog.  I suppose that's a good thing since it means I've been keeping busy with things other than blogging, Facebook and John Stewart reruns.  Hmm where should I start...first of all, a very happy and belated birthday to my beautiful godson, Levi.  On your birthday, last Monday, I thought about you all day and then this happened:

and I was overwhelmingly sidetracked.  As excited as I was for my coats, Ugg boots and hangers, I didn't realize exactly how much of everything else there was.  400 lbs of stuff doesn't seem like a lot when they pack it from your 1800 sq ft apartment but when they deliver it to your 900 sq ft apartment it seems like more than a lot.  So after three days of procrastinating, I finally went at it the way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.  Now my living room looks like this:
and the second bedroom is full of boxes....

Friday night our friend James introduced us to the coolest bar, The Gibson.  Its a prohibition-style speakeasy and if you were walking down the street you would never be able to find it.  Standing outside of what looks like a completely abandoned storefront was a man in a tie with a notepad.  James asked the man if he had room for two and the man sent someone inside to check.  We were in luck, and so the man in the tie escorted Joey and me (James had another engagement) into a hallway and then through another door to the coolest bar I've ever seen.  It was completely candlelit with black walls and glass tables and dark leather booths with little red accents everywhere - we were led through the bar to this fabulous patio with strung lights, little round tables and more candles.  Then there was the menu.  Though we're talking major DC cocktail prices here (hello $15 for a drink), I found the holy grail of cocktails: ALCOHOL AND GELATO FLOATS.  There was a whole section of drinks made with homemade gelato - and wow they actually tasted better than they sounded.  So two drinks each later, we waited in line with several other slightly inebriated yuppies at Ben's Chili Bowl (apparently one of Obama's favorites - as evidenced by the sign on the register that read "The only people that eat free here are Bill Cosby and the Obama Family), a U Street favorite since 1958, so Joey could get a chili dog and chili cheese fries (I ate the fries that didn't get coated in chili - ew).

Saturday morning joined several other members of Joey's class at the Black Ankle Winery in Maryland for a wine tasting.  

The day was so beautiful we decided it should be spent sampling all of the wines Maryland had to offer, so along with one of his classmates, Danye, we went to three or four other wineries in the area.  Danye interned with State three times before officially joining the foreign service, so while we drove between wineries she told us about her stays in Thailand and Japan (her third was in DC).  She also introduced me to a phrase that I think will become part of my vernacular: "that's my fat girl heaven" (in reference to cheesecake and ice cream).  I'm not sure what isn't my fat girl heaven, but gelato is definitely on the list. 

Saturday night we decided to check out the Moroccan restaurant by our house.  When we got there, starving, I almost ate Joey's hand because the restaurant has no windows and the big, forboding wooden door says "By Reservation Only."  Luckily for Joey's hand, there was a valet station next door, so Joey asked the guy if they'd let us in and he said we should just try and knock.  So after knocking on the door, a petite Middle-Eastern woman dressed in a long tunic opens the door to a tile mosaiced wall complete with three faucets and running water and a curtain, behind which we're told is a seven course meal.  Done.

A waiter, garbed in Harem pants, shiny vest and fez, took us to a corner of a low couch in a dim, yet warmly lit room, where after our hands were washed (no utensils here), we settled into pillows and chowed down.  It was a really unique dining experience and I'm happy to report that Moroccan food does not taste like Ethiopian food. (By the way Ethiopia is on the bid list and if we get that tomorrow I am going to binge until I get there).

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with other members of Joey's class, trying to assuage our fears of flag day with alcohol.  We ended our gathering last night in the best way possible: with a trip to Dolcezza, a delicious DC gelateri.  I had dark chocolate (70% cacao) and lemon ricotta.  YUM.

Tomorrow is the big day where we finally figure out everything - where we're going, when we're going, what language we're learning, when language school is - we can finally plan the next two-three years of our life - finally!  Apparently every few flag days see some theatrics from FSOs or their spouses who really didn't grasp the whole overseas portion of the job - so I'm hoping that A) that's not me and B) someone provides some entertainment.  Is that bad?

That pretty much sums up lately, so here's a gratuitous picture of Joey for you all.  Poor guy's been working his butt off lately and is absolutely exhausted.  He really fell asleep this way and didn't even notice when I took his picture. And I know, Mom, I should have made my bed.