Thursday, August 16, 2012

On The Move Again!

We left Miami on Saturday, July 28th and returned to Virginia for the final ten (+/-) days of our vacation.  We packed a lot of activities into those days...

A fun visit with Jan's sisters and their families as well as "Molly" who took a shine to Christopher.
Caitlynne made delicious berry shortcakes for dessert one evening.
Jim and Kevin's annual indulgence (with a special request for LOTS of icing).
We took advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoyed a BBQ and dinner on the deck one evening.
Jan made "Panzanella" (Italian Bread Salad) with homegrown tomatoes, red onion and fresh basil.  It was delicious and the serving bowl was all but licked clean.
We also had grilled steak and portabello mushrooms.
At a recent charity auction, Jan was the high bidder for a card making workshop to be held at The Paper Source at the Reston Town Center.  She invited Caitlynne and two of her friends (and me) to go along for the afternoon class.  

First we went to lunch - after all, creativity needs to be well nourished!  Caitlynne and the two girls with her in the photo below have been friends since pre-school.  Over the years, they have  kept in contact with Caitlynne via email and we see them every summer when we are visiting in Fairfax.  Caitlynne is so excited to begin high school with them next year when we move back to Fairfax! 
After lunch, we walked over to The Paper Source to begin the workshop. The girls were so creative and we made some really nice cards.  It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
A hydrangea in Jan's garden.
Jim and Jan took the kids to Kings Dominion (a water/amusement park right outside of Richmond) for a day. This is turning into another annual event. Christopher was 2-2 on the basketball throw.  Not sure how we will get those basketballs back to Bangkok!  
To shake things up a little, instead of running one morning, I tagged along with Jan to a Bikram Yoga class. Also known as "hot" yoga, Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. The classes run 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises practiced in a very hot room. I think Jan said the temperature in our room that morning was 112 degrees. Practicing yoga in the heat is thought to help achieve deeper stretching and prevent injury while also reducing stress and tension. I had never done Bikram Yoga before and the yoga instructor told me that my only goal for the class was to stay in the room for the entire 90 minutes. Since I am accustomed to exercising in extreme heat and high humidity, I had no problem making it through the 90 minutes. I tried to do all of the postures as best I could and thought I did reasonably well on that front.  Because I was unfamiliar with the postures (as well as being very uncoordinated), it was hard for me to listen to the instructor, visualize her directions and then get into the posture  correctly - all before she moved on to the next one.  I always felt like I was a step or two behind the rest of the class.  I really should have gone to another class to see if the postures came any easier to me after having experienced the series once.  However, I was also trying to run as much as I could because the weather was so beautiful and I just didn't have a free morning to go again. Next year.  

We did a lot of shopping and, in fact, had to purchase another suitcase so we could carry all of our loot back to Bangkok.  Kevin likes to travel as light as possible and was not at all happy to see the traveler:suitcase ratio exceed 1:1.  Oops!  Fortunately, he has premier status with United Airlines so we were allowed 6 "free" checked bags and were also able to exceed the standard weight limit of 50 lbs. on three of those bags. Believe it or not, even with those  very generous allowances, Caitlynne and I still struggled with our packing.  

It was so much fun seeing the kids together with their friends again. They went to the movies, the mall, the pool, out to lunch and there were a few sleepovers as well.  I was able to catch up with a few of my friends - not as many as I hoped to but between chauffeuring the kids around,  completing a few work projects and taking care of some personal business, the days and weeks quickly flew by.  As much as I love living overseas and being able to travel as much as we do, I really do miss living in the Washington DC area so much.  The ridiculous traffic, high cost of living, the transiency... it doesn't matter to me at all!  It is truly my home and I was so happy to be able to tell my friends that we will be moving back there in less than one year.  

Have a great Thursday!

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