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Posts tagged ‘United States’

dog days of summer

We’re both adventurers at heart, always seeking out new terrain to explore. We caught the travel bug young and clearly haven’t shaken it yet, but given our nomadic lifestyle, there is something inherently appealing – even comforting – about returning to the same place year after year. At least S feels that way. Three summers ago, she spent a week with her family on Deer Isle – an idyllic spot on the Maine coast – and has returned two of the last three years despite the fact that D has yet to be able to join or even make up his mind about the annual tradition.

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frame by frame

For all the stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountains, it is often the little details that prove the most memorable: an otherwise mundane photograph that unlocks a story, an image of a strikingly colorful flower or equally colorful character…With that in mind, here is a companion piece to yesterday’s panorama post – a collection of smaller images that for one reason or another stir D’s memory of his Colorado adventures.

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panoply of panoramas

Prior to departing the United States, we did a tiny bit of travel. S took Munchkin up to Maine for her family’s annual trip to Deer Isle. D, meanwhile, flew out to Colorado to celebrate the Fourth of July with a short camping trip. In the scramble of packing, moving, and resettling, we have had scant time to look at the pictures from those trips, and D just now has gotten around to sorting some of them. The landscapes in Colorado were so stunning that one picture usually failed to do the scenery justice, so D made a lot of panorama shots.

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a healthy dose of Americana

Serving overseas, the Fourth of July is a big deal. It is the Embassy’s largest public event – an opportunity to showcase our culture and celebrate our nation’s independence. Given how much work goes into putting the fete together, one forgets sometimes how the holiday is an even bigger deal back home. Parades in even the smallest of rural towns, fireworks displays, jets flying overhead. Being back in the United States to celebrate the Fourth of July for the first time in several years not only gave us a much greater appreciation for Independence Day, but also enabled us to steep ourselves in American culture in a way that is all but impossible overseas.

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casual birding in the District

Eight and a half months in the Washington DC area seemed like an eternity considering how little time we had spent Stateside during our first two tours with the State Department. We made lofty goals of exploring the District’s green spaces, as neither of us had spent much time in the area before. S bought a couple of hiking books that were replete with enticing trails, which unfortunately we never found time to explore. We did make it out to two parks on our list, both of which proved excellent birding destinations.

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five years in the books

This week marks the 5th anniversary of D’s entry into the Foreign Service. While our first two tours flew by at breakneck speed, with hardly a break between them, the last half-year of language training has offered a measure of calm. Emerging from a long winter and even longer break in our travels, we are looking forward to the new adventures that await. Rwanda beckons this summer, and before we turn our attention to Africa there is also an overseas language immersion trip in our more immediate future.

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DC in bloom

The Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington, D.C.’s worst kept secret, drawing well over a million visitors each year. This is the first time we have been in the nation’s capital at the same time that the cherry trees blossomed. Despite our general aversion to large crowds, we decided to join the throngs of festival-goers this weekend, the peak of this year’s bloom. Here are a few of our favorite shots.

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the best of the southwest

It took us three months to recap our three-week road trip through the Southwest, the memories of our adventures sustaining us through the cold winter months in DC. Having just made it through a record-setting snowstorm, we are preparing to hibernate indoors once more this weekend. While the weather service warns of “life-threatening” Arctic chills, we’ll warm up with one last look at the highlights from our trip. This post is an index of sorts, a “best of” list of our travels.

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into the valley of fire

Vegas, baby! VEGAS!! The Holy Grail for gamblers and 90’s cult movie fans, and the final destination of our Southwest road trip. En route to Sin City, we stopped by the Valley of Fire, a small Nevada state park that packs a lot of punch. In fact, we had to strike a balance between seeing all of its highlights and reaching Vegas at a reasonable time.

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American safari, part two

Our first road trip out West, we saw coyotes and foxes, in addition to various other more commonplace animals. Part of the joy of spending time outdoors, of course, is encountering animals in their natural habitats. Although no predators deigned to show themselves during our recent road trip through the American Southwest, the wildlife encounters we did have – some a little too close for comfort, even – left us feeling incredibly fortunate.

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