We are moving to Malibu!

The Malibu housing complex in Abuja, that is.  Pictures to come.
On the balcony of the Newseum

We had a great time this last weekend with Mallory and Steve - I think the highlight was our use of the Capital Bike Share program - we biked all around the city - from the Eastern Market past the Supreme Court and Capitol to the Newseum to the White House to the Washington Monument to the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial  - we saw a ton and it was a lot of fun too!  Plus I know Mallory and Steve wanted to see my mad skills on the segway but I'm pretty sure my graceful way of riding a bike sufficed.
At Arlington National Cemetery
Mal and me at The Gibson for drinks Sunday night

So much going on right now!  We have a little over a month left in town and it already feels like we are running out of time!  Busy busy busy!  Fun things to look forward to:

1. Lizz is coming for Thanksgiving!

2. Just bought tickets to the Joffrey Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center!

3. Lauren is coming the first weekend in December!

4. A tentative trip to New York City with some friends, including a possible visit to our friend Tom's family home, which given his fabulous New-Yorker accent and attitude should be an experience in and of itself.

5. Bought my ticket home for Christmas!  Flying home the 17th so I imagine that by the time the 26th rolls around my family and I will be ready for me to move to Nigeria.

Not so fun things to look forward to:

1. Rabies #s 2 and 3, Meningitis, and Polio vaccinations (Last Tuesday I got Yellow Fever and this Tuesday I got Rabies #1).  I did get Polio as a child, but since Nigeria is like one of two countries where Polio is rampant I have to get a booster.  And while I got the Meningitis vaccine before college, it only lasts for 4 years so I have to get another.  And this doesn't count the Typhoid pills that I have to take next week (apparently they make you sick as a dog but are worth trying to get through because they last for five years and the shot is only good for two), or the Malaria pills that Joey and I will have to take every week in Nigeria.

2.  Multiple vet visits wit the dogs.  George got his new Rabies vaccination Wednesday, Max gets his Monday and Moe gets his Tuesday.  Each dog also has to be seen in December too, 48 hours prior to our departure.  Not sure how that's going to work, what with Joey and me both returning from Des Moines the 26th, packing out the 27th and flying the 28th, and we probably won't even have a car then - but we'll figure it out. 

3. Spending money like its going out of style.  Oh my God, seriously.  We had dinner on Tuesday night with John and his wife, who just returned from Abuja.  John was the GSO there and now they are moving to Colombia (their first choice).  John told us we will save a ton of money living in Abuja (they saved enough for their son's college in two years), but we have to plan it right because everything there is so expensive.  This means we have to buy every consumable we think we will use for the next two years now and the government will ship it over for us.  So huge outlay of cash now (think all the shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, beer, dog food, the list goes on forever, that you use in two years), but that is basically all there is to spend your money on in Abuja.  Not many restaurants, not much shopp
ing, so I guess it is what it is.  Not to mention that we had to buy the dogs new kennels (airline approved for each of them) and the new car (because my Eos just isn't going to cut it in Nigeria) and about a million other things...

Anyway, back to our dinner the other night with the couple that just got back from Abuja - they said they really liked it there.  That they knew the guy who wrote all the nasty post reports and that he went in with a bad attitude and really didn't make friends.  They said they had a great experience and that sometimes they actually miss it.  So that was very reassuring!  They also offered answers to our million questions, which was so helpful. 

Since Joey got yesterday off for Veteran's Day (got to love working for the government), we decided to take a day trip to Annapolis.  The weather was crisp and sunny and the trees were in their full fall splendor - bright, candy apple red, burgundy, pumpkin orange and warm gold, yellow mixed in with pine trees - it was just gorgeous.  We wandered around town all day, explored the Naval Academy, and even met some of our friends for a lunch of fresh blue crabs.  All in all I would say it was a perfect day.  Thanks to all you Veterans, especially you, Papa, for your sacrifice so that we all can enjoy days like that.

The darling row of Captains' houses at the Naval Academy

Joey and his crabs at lunch

The Fleet Reserve put on a little ceremony yesterday at 11 AM (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) for Veteran's Day.  I didn't realize it when I took this picture but that poor Marine marched around a whole traffic circle with his face accidentally enshrouded in the flag.  A testament to his marching skills I suppose.