We’ve been back in DC for thirteen days now. It’s strange and wonderful, and despite all the crazy and stress, we’ve made the most of it.
[Rooftop view at our new apartment building with views of the Monument AND the scaffolded Capital. In DC, there will always be a crane or two to ruin the moment]
I realized I kind of glossed over the move home, probably because it’s all a blur to look back on. We had so much fun during those last few days in São Paulo that we were a bit sad to leave, but in truth, we’d been missing DC like crazy and were really glad to get back.
Our flights home were relatively uneventful. I was able to doze off and on during the red-eye from Brazil to Newark, until the bumpy final hour when my very minor flying jitters were put to the test. In Newark, Ashton sailed through customs – all that paperwork and barely a glance, figures.
Our flight to Baltimore was delayed an hour, so we used one time passes to access the United club lounge for free breakfast and wi-fi. After that it was one slightly unnerving 40-minute prop plane ride and we were home for good.
We didn’t schedule any downtime into our return. We got home, showered, and went straight to DC to see the apartment in Navy Yard that we’d rented sight unseen. Luckily, we love it! We downsized a lot from our last two apartments since we were able to get rid of so much stuff before leaving for Brazil. Storage space has been a bit of an issue, but that will just encourage us not to keep accumulating a bunch of crap we don’t need.
Later that night, we drove back to Virginia to Tom’s parents for a beautifully spicy Thai dinner with his family. The next morning, we were up early to move into our apartment. The movers we hired worked freakishly fast, and three hours later we found ourselves in our new place, surrounded by boxes of stuff we had no memory of packing. The weekend was spent in a frenzy of unpacking, Target and Ikea shopping until we literally couldn’t stand anymore and fell into coma-esque sleep each night.
I typically consider myself a master of packing and unpacking, but this whole international moving process threw me for a loop. What to keep versus what to throw out? Where would I have thought to put that five months ago? Did we keep those glasses or throw them away? It’s been a bit of a mess.
We’re finally all unpacked, but have one more cabinet/shelf to assemble before we can put everything in its proper place. Then we have to hang everything on the walls, decorate, get some rugs, hang curtains (the worst of all moving chores!) and all will be settled.
Unusually for me though, I’m not freaking out too much over the disorder. I think living in Brazil broke me of some of my former habits. I’m not as OCD with cleaning as I was before we left. There are still no dishes lying around or socks on the floor, but I’m okay when the throw pillows aren’t perfectly aligned. It’s not my favorite, but I’m okay with it. (Okay, I just went and aligned the throw pillows. All better now.)
As much as I’d like to wake up to a magically transformed West Elm style apartment with everything in its place in all of its feng shui glory, I know that it’s ultimately not that important. And we’ve found more than enough to do outside of the apartment. So much so that it’s left little time for lamenting our bare walls.
We’ve gone for lots of walks in our new neighborhood, which I love. We’re a few blocks away from Yards Park and the Anacostia River, which is far from the most scenic waterfront in the world but loads better than no water at all, since my ultimate goal is to live somewhere with a water view. Even if it’s a shack in the woods overlooking a little stream. Although that probably wouldn’t happen because there are too many spiders in the woods. But you never know.
We’ve also taken advantage of some of the great restaurants in our area (more on that to come) and I love that the area is safe enough that we can take an after dinner stroll before heading back home.
The metro is a little more crowded when coming back from the office, but there’s another stop a ten minute walk away that works if I don’t feel like battling the masses. The street traffic really isn’t bad at all, and we’ve noticed no noise from the fans on the streets or the games themselves.
We’ve gone to one game so far and even though the Nats’ season has taken a turn for the worse (and even though I’m far from a baseball fan), we hope to go to at least one more before it’s over. It’s just so darn convenient.
We’ve even had our first getaway already, having spent this past Sunday in Virginia wine country.
I’ve also already made time to catch up with old friends, and new, for happy hours and dinners such as this one at Masseria, which was epic, as I’m sure you can tell by the fact that we’re toasting with cheese. This is how every meal should start.
Stay tuned for some new restaurant reviews and other fun posts as I continue to explore my new neighborhood and the rest of the city to see what I’ve been missing all summer.