an all-American fourth
This year was the first that we have celebrated July 4th together in the United States. The last two years, of course, not only were we abroad, but we were also working the Fourth of July events hosted by the Embassy. The year before that we were apart because S spent the summer doing research in Rwanda. And the summer before that, we just realized, was before we had started dating.
In addition to S’s parents, who visited this week, we also got to spend the weekend with a close friend of D’s from college, who came down to DC from Philadelphia. She had asked when would be a good weekend to visit. We made a mental rundown of the handful of weekends we have left in the States and realized there was no “good” time — we already had plans for every remaining weekend, so July 4th was as good a time as any.
It took us a while to get going, but we did eventually make it to a BBQ hosted by one of D’s Peace Corps friends. Once the other guests scattered we returned to our place in Foggy Bottom, which offered a great rooftop view of the evening fireworks shows. The government stayed open on July 5th, so we did not get a four-day weekend, but the mid-week break was almost as good. Going to work after celebrating the night before is a lot more palatable when one knows that the actual weekend is just around the corner.
There was quite a lot going on this weekend — among other things, the Smithsonian hosted a tripartite folk festival on the Mall — but it was way too hot to spend time wandering around outside. We sought refuge from the sun in the air-conditioned museums instead, spending a couple of hours at the Ballets Russes exhibition at the National Gallery of Art before crossing the Mall to have lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe in the American Indian museum, which features both traditional indigenous American cuisine and contemporary dishes that put a modern twist on the ancestral recipes.
Now that our guests have departed, we have gone back to our to-do lists, which do not seem to be growing commensurably shorter as our time in the States quickly runs out. Already, three weeks of D’s training have flown by, leaving us with exactly one month before we depart DC for Moldova.