I was a bit surprised to see that my last blog was from nearly two weeks ago. A bit surprised, but not totally. See my team had this big review in DC and we have been working literally night and day to prepare for it. Since I defended my dissertation, this may be the most important presentation I (actually we) have ever made in my career to date. We did it! We got compliments! We were successful in conveying our information! Phew!
While in DC I had hoped to connect up with good friends who moved there recently. Unfortunately it just didn't work out. On conference travel a person is a bit more free to wander around and meet up. But when meeting with a client for two days, the constraints are greater. But that's not to say that I didn't think about them often while there.
I really like Washington DC a lot. I have been there three times in the past year alone and I don't see this visit schedule declining at all in the coming months. I enjoy the Metro and moving through the city easily. I absolutely love the history and the museums and monuments. And I love the good food.
All these are things, I remind myself, that as a resident of a city you don't necessarily view as positively. The Metro probably gets tiring - a friend of mine who recently returned from an offsite assignment in DC cited that everything was hard. Getting groceries was hard, taking kids to a park was hard. That we don't know how easy we have it in a rural region where you hop in the car and drive a mile (if that) to the grocery store. I can see this. I have been in big cities to know that the convenience of public transit as a visitor translates into limitations as a resident.
The museums and monuments? Well just as I don't spend my time in wineries all the time (contrary to popular belief, of course), we wouldn't spend all our time learning through immersion. Same with the food - a different cuisine experience each night is fine while on travel, but not realistic as a family.
I wondered what it would be like to pick up and move? Ok, not the whole logistics aspect - that's a pain and my friends who moved in August are still living this pain. But picking up and starting over in a new town where establishing friendships starts at square one, getting to know the area, the endless options... it all seems somewhat romantic I guess! An adventure!
On the way home we flew into Atlanta. This is a part of the country that I have never been in. I didn't order iced tea at lunch out of fear it would be sweetened. There was lots of big hair and people I had trouble understanding. But it was different! And gorgeous as we flew in and out and saw all the trees. What would it be like to live in the South?
Oh then the mountains of Colorado, we flew right over those and I could identify the ski areas from the sky. And the snow. I love the snow. I miss the snow. Maybe we will get some this year.
Then I thought about the area my children were growing up in - very little snow, very little history I want to share with them at this age, though maybe when they are older they will appreciate growing up in the area that produced the first plutonium for the atomic bombs... no scratch that. Nevermind. Very little recent history, though a significant amount of interesting geological history. Yes, that is what they will learn!
I was a bit down as I ran to my flight in SLC. My poor kids, growing up in an uncool place. Sure, it is great for raising families, but at what cost?
Then we started approaching Southeast Washington and I was filled with fondness. AB and I both have very good jobs. I love what I do - I am very lucky in that aspect. Look at all the crops out there finishing up the remainder of the season. Wow, we are lucky to live in a place with access to fresh fruits and vegetables. And our friends.
I am not sure we would ever find friends like those we have made here. Not to mention, the schools! How could I forget about the high quality schools we have?
Snow? We can drive to that. Museums make for a fun vacation. Eating out? So we don't do it much here, but my kids will grow up to be great cooks and to know good food from the ground to the table.
Wanderlust? Nevermind. I am fine here.