25 May, 2007

...Some highlights of May so far...

- My sister being here.

We did the normal tourist things: Walking the Mall, the Monuments, Air and Space, taking a tour at the Kennedy Center. She also came to my church, and met some of my friends. On Saturday we (with my roommate) went to a winery in western Virginia (not WV). Even though it was an overcast, drizzly day we had a wonderful time. I have never done the winery thing before, but I have wanted to for a while. I would like to take a tour at some point, since I am so not a wine expert. It was great to have her here, a late b-day present I'm glad she enjoyed.

- Big Bro

Growing up (since I was around 6) there was a guy who worked at the Ranch, named John. Well, we always got along really well, and I became known as his "Lil Sis." Even after he left the ranch we stayed in touch through letters. Well he got married and two sons and while we have kept in-touch through e-mail I haven't seen him since 1999 when he was riding his motorcycle across the US. Long story short, he and his family were in DC and we had lunch together. I got to meet his wonderful wife and sons. It was a great time.

In my life there is this amazing group of people who I have seriously known since I was a child. They are all married now, and most have kids, but they stay in touch with me, and while I haven't seen many of them in years, that still impact my life. Big Bro is one of these people. My best friend, Karen, is another. They are spread out through out the U.S. and like I said we only really communicate through e-mail – but I wouldn't be who I am without them and I am really grateful I haven't lost contact with them in the last twenty years.

- National Symphony Orchestra

We have a group here right now from all over the world (literally!) and as a cultural event we sent them to the National Symphony Orchestra, "Serious Fun" with American Music conducted by Leonard Slatkin. It was AMAZING! We sat in the balcony in this astoundingly beautiful theater. I think any time you can see people truly enjoying their craft you should take advantage of it. The NSO is one of the top (if not the top) orchestras in the country – and to see them having fun, and being able to make us laugh through only music was truly unique. Even though the pieces were difficult it was obvious they were enjoying themselves. The visitors enjoyed it, and now I can say I've been inside the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for a performance.

-Europe in DC

On May 12th several of the European Embassies opened their doors to the general public. The point (according to their website: http://www.europe-in-dc.com/) was to "put both the diversity of Europe and the unity of Europe on display", says German Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, whose embassy is overseeing the planning of the event under the aegis of Germany's six-month presidency of the European Union. The 27-member union recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which launched the process of European integration.

Most had food or wine or something cultural specific to their country. We made it to Slovakia, Austria , and Belgium. And I am happy to report there were a lot of people out and about and there were long lines at many of the embassies (why we didn't see more). So there was a wine tasting in Austria, and free beer in Belgium . A couple friends tagged along with my roomie and I. Making it a really fun and unique day.

"Paddling Around the Reflection Pool"

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© Amanda Lunday