Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Our first two weeks here were quite a whirlwind. After our arrival, we set up shop in Arlington and hit all of the essentials: the local farmer's market, Costco, IKEA, and Whole Foods. The movers arrived a day late and we camped out until they delivered our furniture and other possessions late Saturday afternoon.
Erik started at the NSF on Monday after our arrival and has been busy orienting himself. Lea and Carter have enjoyed several excursions to the American History Museum, Natural History Museum, and monuments. In addition to unpacking, we spent time enjoying old school entertainment as the Verizon strike prevented us from getting any Internet or television at home. It was nice to play games, read books, and see the sights. We are finally connected - an essential component of Lea's telecommute - and can begin posting here again.
On our first weekend following relocation, we visited the National Archives. Not only did we want to see the country's most important founding documents, but also the special exhibit: "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" We had heard quite a bit about this temporary display covering food policy and practices over the years and were eager to peruse the collection. Carter tolerated Lea and Erik's interest in the display, and even he enjoyed the brochure and letters extolling the nutritional and patriotic value of doughnuts. Unfortunately, the Archives forbids photography, so we can't show you the fabulous posters and objects on display. Following our foray to the archives, we took a spin around the Sculpture Garden until our reservation at the companion restaurant - America Eats! - was scheduled. We had a fantastic meal based on traditional American foods. Carter was especially excited to eat the precursor to mac and cheese - a pudding of cheese and vermicelli from 1802.
Our second week began with a bang - or a shake - with a temblor on Tuesday. Erik was on the 9th floor at the NSF when the ground started to undulate. He had never experienced anything quite like it. While west coast dwellers might scoff at a 5.8 magnitude quake, it shut down the NSF and pretty much everything else for the day.
Lea and Carter didn't feel the quake, but knew something was up when Erik called, and helicopters started to circle the Washington Monument. They were taking the day to visit several memorials around the National Mall, including the new Martin Luther King, Jr. site located by the FDR and Jefferson memorials. Their trek back to the apartment was slow and uncomfortable as all public transportation was crowded and metro trains were traveling at a measured pace while inspectors checked the tracks for any damage.
We thought the excitement was over. But, now we are battening the hatches for Hurricane Irene. Next come the locusts...

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