Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Catching Up

Yea, it's been a while.

We've been living in Panama for about a year now.  Aaron more continuously than myself, though.  He got here at the end of November 2012.  My first arrival in Panama was January 2013 (we spent that Christmas in the US).

A month after my arrival, I found out that I was pregnant.  We immediately made the decision to medevac back to DC to have the baby.  So when August 2013 came around, Augie and I made our way back to DC to await the arrival of little baby Tess.  Aaron met us in September 2013, and Tess was born October 5, only a few days after my birthday and 3 weeks after Augie's 4th birthday.

We spent Thanksgiving 2013 with my family in DC, and arrived back in Panama in early December.  We're supposed to leave here in November 2014, a.k.a. in less than 10 months.  So, Aaron is in the midst of bidding on mid-level positions for the first time.

As I am not the employee, I don't know everything that goes into bidding.  But here's what I do know - bidding winter cycle SUCKS.  And, also, perhaps I shouldn't have assured my friends and family that "there's a 99% chance we'll be back in DC for our next tour" because with each passing day, I'm becoming less and less convinced that we'll actually be able to live up to that.  Next time, I will make sure to be more careful with my words when people start asking us "Where do you think you'll go next?"...why is it that people seem to ask that immediately after you get to a place?  I swear, 2 weeks into Panama we were getting that question.  And another question I've been getting since about 12 hours after Tess was born: "So do you think you'll have another one?" the crap should I know?  I'm still trying to get used to the TWO I do have!

Anyhoo, yes, DC is our desired next assignment.  But it seems like there are a lot of jobs on the winter bid list that aren't *actually* on the winter bid list - they are *supposed* to be on the summer bid list, but for some reason they appear on the winter bid list and get the hopes up of people who have been suckered into bidding winter!  Note that these are just jobs at Aaron's level, in Aaron's cone, and in his desired bureau(s).  But out of 5 DC jobs listed on the bid list in which he's expressed interest, 4 of them aren't actually supposed to be on there, so he's not allowed to bid on them.  

So now there's a chance we could go overseas again.  I mean, it's not the worst situation, many of the overseas options aren't too shabby.  But I was hoping for a DC tour, partly to be near family and friends again if even for a short time.  Also, partly because I'd like to try to get a civil service job with State - one that might be transferable overseas after a couple years at Main State.  Going back overseas immediately means my options at whatever Embassy we're at are limited to things like fingerprinting visa applicants, doing secretarial work, etc.  I've done these things, and they're fine, but not what I'm looking for anymore.  I want something more substantive where I'm teleworking for an office and reporting back to them directly. 

But we'll see.  Who knows what will happen, we still have to wait almost another two months before handshakes are offered.  For now, I'm just going to sit back and wait, and hope that all of these overseas jobs aren't mis-labeled too.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


One of my favorite things about Guangzhou is leaving it.  Ouch, hope I didn't hurt Guangzhou's feelings.  But it's true, and living here has given us the chance to see many other awesome places that we otherwise may not have been able to see.  There's only one place we've visited that I haven't totally loved, and that probably had more to do with the fact that I brought a sick baby to that place and had to spend most of the time in our hotel room.  If I went back to that place with a healthy child, I'd probably think it was pretty neat.

I'm not going to elaborate too much on our travels, but here (in order of visitation) are pictures of the places we've seen in the year we've been here:

Labor Day weekend, 2010: Our very first trip to Hong Kong

China National Day, October 1-8 2010: Seoul, South Korea

October 11-30, 2010: TDY to Shanghai, China

My parents and I visited Hong Kong (without Aaron and Augie) December 26-27, 2010.  Don't appear to have a picture of this at the moment though.

We flew to Guilin, China, with my parents December 31, 2010 - January 3, 2011 

Aaron and I got to take a trip to Macau by ourselves from January 4-6, 2011

We took TWO back-to-back trips to Hong Kong during Lunar New Year in February 2011.  We had planned the first one already when we found out that a good friend of ours was coming to Hong Kong just a few days later, so we decided to go back.  Yes it was cheaper that way.

We decided to take a day-trip to Hong Kong once again (without Augie though) in February on President's Day to see a movie.  I don't have a picture from that though.

Our trip with a sick toddler commenced the weekend of April 29-May 1.  We went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and didn't realize our child was sick until we got there.  We saw as much as we could though!

On Memorial Day, Aaron and I went for the day to Macau in order to celebrate his birthday (May 31). 

 Then from June 9-July 4/5 we went for R&R in the US.  We went to Seattle, Spokane (Washington), Dallas, and Oklahoma City.

We do have a few planned trips for this autumn.  

Over the Mid-Autumn festival, Sept 9-12, we will be going to Xi'an, China, which is supposed to be really awesome.  It's the old capital of the country so it is full of historical sites, including the terracotta warriors that everyone has heard about.  So we are looking forward to that!

Also, for this year's October holiday (Oct. 1-8) we are going to Thailand!  We'll be starting in Bangkok for 4 days, and then spending the rest of the week in Koh Samui, which is an island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand.  Hopefully it won't rain the entire time!

That won't be the end of our travels in Asia, but so far nothing else is definitely planned.  We had planned to go to New Zealand in January, but have since decided that we'd rather save our money for some upcoming expenses next summer.  We'll definitely go somewhere (cheaper) though, since Aaron has 4 days off! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bi-annual update, or something like that

I haven't written a goddamn thing on this blog this year.  Sorry!  Part of the reason for that is my desire to whine less, publicly anyway.  Actually it's pretty much summed up in the comment section of my previous blog post.  I received an unexpected comment on that blog post in June, and just now noticed it, so I decided to post a reply, and then decided that maybe I should post an actual blog entry.  So here I am!  I know, interesting story.

Anyway, so the other part of my lack of posting is that I started working part-time at the Consulate in January!  So that's cool, it fills up half of my week and kind of makes time go by a little more quickly.  Plus we're making a little more money, which is always nifty.  

So wtf else have I been doing?  Well. I try to fill up the half of the week that I don't work with meaningful activities.  I'm really bad at hobbies because I lose interest pretty quickly (as evidenced by this blog), so I just try to set really, really short-term goals.  Maybe I have ADD, I'm not sure.  But just this past week I started and finished Pride & Prejudice, which was a fantastic story (I'm not sure if italicizing the title of the book is grammatically correct, sorry if it isn't).  A few weeks ago I read Tina Fey's new book Bossypants (again, sorry if my italicization of the title offends anyone), which was hilarious as expected.  Months ago I read Snakehead.  If you are going to be serving in China, especially as a Consular Officer, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING READ THIS BOOK, IT'S REALLY FREAKING IMPORTANT.  (I wasn't really yelling, just emphasizing, but it's funny how capitalizing letters gives the effect of yelling.)  Anyway the book is about smuggling rings in China.  Very interesting stuff.

I also work out a few times every week.  The Oakwood here has a decent gym, so I try to make use of it, plus  it fills up time.  I'm not sure if I've actually lost any weight (I gained 10lbs after I got married...then another 40 while I was pregnant.  I lost the 40lbs of pregnancy weight 6 months after giving birth, and have since lost another 5 - 7lbs, but it's more fluctuating weight than anything) but I'm probably in the best shape I've been in since college, or maybe even high school.  So that's cool.  

Augie loves his ayi/nanny. We love her too, she's the best.  She talks to him in Chinese, which was the main reason we even wanted an ayi to begin with.  He's almost 2, and he talks a LOT.  But the talking is mostly incomprehensible.  He knows both English and Chinese, and says many words in both languages that we CAN understand, so I'm just wondering if the words/sentences/paragraphs that we can't understand are some hybrid-Engrish/Chinglish language that just makes sense to him, or if it's just normal jibberish that any almost-2-year-old would be speaking.  Whatever it is, he sure has a LOT to say.  

We did just recently complete our R&R trip back to the US.  It was amazing.  The sky was blue, the air was clean, the drivers obeyed rules, and we could even have good US beef (hard to find here, they import most of their beef from Australia or New Zealand, it's not as good).  Plus it was really great to see Aaron's family, my parents, and some of our friends.  Augie had the opportunity to play with his 2 cousins who are his age (one is 9 months older than him and the other is 9 months younger than him).  He enjoyed every second of it!

I was really sad to come back here after spending almost a whole month in the beautiful US, especially since for the next week or two after we got back to Guangzhou it rained and looked generally post-apocalyptic outside.  No one wants to go outside in that mess.  The summer is definitely the worst time of year to be here though.  Last November was beautiful (or, beautiful for Guangzhou anyway).  That's what I'm holding out for, a beautiful November!

So July marks our 1-year anniversary in Guangzhou...which means only one more year to go!  It also means that we have bid and received our next post.  We'll be heading to Panama City, Panama in November 2012!  Although it's not Athens (which was our #1 pick) or anywhere in Europe, I'm quite excited.  It seems like the one of the most desirable posts in Latin America, and especially in Central America.  I already know a LOT of Spanish, so I may actually be able to have real conversations w/ people in Spanish when we get there.  I also plan to go to Spanish training at FSI if they'll let me so that I can polish it off.  Plus Panama is WAY closer to the US than China, so we might be able to see our friends and family more than once every year or two.  That's very important to me now, I hate having to fly 16-24 hours to see people.  I'm definitely counting down towards our departure!

As for future China tours... well it'd be a pity for Aaron to waste the Chinese training he's received, so it's definitely something we will consider.  But our current decision is to wait until we have no children under the age of 3 because of the longass flight.  Traveling that far with a toddler(s) is sucktastic (I did just make that word up), and I really only want to do it one more time, and that's on our trip from Guangzhou to Seattle for home leave next July.  We're planning to have at least one more kid, possibly 2, so it could very well be another 10ish years before we come back to this side of the world.  I'm hoping for Shanghai or Hong Kong if it happens, or possibly Taipei.  One thing is for certain, I do not forsee another tour in Guangzhou.  Two years is enough for me (well...if we're being honest, one year is enough, but this coming year should be better than last so I can deal with it)!

So that's my random update.  Yippee!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I could have added a couple more positive things about Guangzhou in that last post.  Like how many freaking restaurants there are here, and how a large majority of them have really cool interior designs.  It's like they go above and beyond expectations with their decor, adding anything from real trees with swings attached to them as the seats at your table, to koi ponds all over the place and small bridges to walk over.  I'm really impressed with their restaurants. 

And the food is good too! 

I've probably been to more Western restaurants than Chinese since arriving here, but the food has mostly been excellent (in my opinion).  I have only been to two Chinese restaurants to which I would consider going back.  I went to one of those Chinese restaurants for the first time last night.  I'm not sure what its actual name is, but it was a Tibetan Chinese restaurant, and it. was. AWESOME.  Now, I can be picky with the type of meat I'll eat - basically, if it's seafood, I'm probably not going to eat it...and don't try to make me.  If it's a land animal, I'll try it, as long as it's not some organs or stomach lining.  So when I saw that the menu was full of dishes made from Yak and Sheep meat, I was a little nervous.  Luckily two other people went ahead and ordered for us.  I'm glad they did, because otherwise I would have probably tried to find the only chicken dish on the menu, and I would have neglected to try the DELICIOUS yak steak and sheep/lamb leg.  I definitely recommend yak!

Along with our amazing food, we got to experience the very colorful decor (a bit different from normal Chinese decor, ...kind of reminded me of Latin America) and a singing/dancing show in which some of us took part (including me).  It was so much fun.  I can't wait to take visitors there.  I'm so excited to have found an actual Chinese restaurant that I'm excited about, even if it is representative of another part of China, far from where we're living right now, and a part of China that I probably won't ever get to visit due to restrictions by the Chinese government.  Bummer about that, but at least we can experience the food whenever we like!


I know it's been a bajillion years since my last post.  Not going to make excuses though.  I mean, the rest of June and most of July were pretty busy,... but since then things have really mellowed out.  So I really have no excuse for not posting.  I guess I was just nervous to, because despite how many times I say in public that I'm adjusting well to living in Guangzhou, the truth is that I don't really love it here.  By the way, I hate it when people ask me how I'm adjusting.  What am I supposed to say?  "This place sucks, I want to leave my husband here to finish his tour while I go back to the U.S. with our kid and look like the most selfish person on the face of the planet"?  Yea, I'd rather just lie.

I honestly am trying to figure out if it's a matter of culture shock, or if it's Guangzhou.  I'm hoping that going to Hong Kong this weekend will help me figure that out.  I feel like the fact that I have a degree in Anthropology and have spent time in other countries would help me a little bit with the culture shock thing since my whole degree is based on the fact that other cultures are cool.  I mean, I literally fell in LOVE with Quito when I spent 10 days there 3 years ago.  But of course, the other countries I learned about and visited were almost exclusively Latin American, and Italy.  None of which come close to matching Chinese culture, unless you count rice and noodles as food staples (I guess since the Italians got the idea for noodles from China, that counts a little bit).

Anyway. I currently believe that I might like almost any other Chinese post besides this one.  For one thing, it's humid and hot everyday.  And with the humidity comes mosquitoes, which I have always attracted in large quantities.  It's summer here, so that is to be expected.  But, I heard that the humidity doesn't really go away, and it stays pretty hot most of the year.  It's a tropical city though.  I'm a huge fan of Autumn, so that's kind of a bummer for me.  Also, they are doing shit-tons of construction right now while they get ready for the Asian Games in November (apparently the 2nd largest sporting event IN THE WORLD... second only to the Summer Olympics...and I bet you United States-ians have never heard of it, have you?  Yea, me either, until I moved here.).  Construction is really making the city look fugly, especially when they tear up curbs and sidewalks...this also makes it difficult to leave the house with a stroller-child.  But, maybe once the construction ban goes into effect on Sept 30, it will be better here.  Then there is the pollution, which is INSANE.  I've never seen anything like it.  It literally blocks out the sun some days.  I actually have a theory that the reason I haven't gotten sunburned here is because the pollution blocks out UV rays THAT well.  I haven't used any sunblock whenever I've gone outside and spent huge amounts of time in the sun.  Usually that's a big deal for me since I'm really pastey white and always burn, but I really think those UV rays are blocked by the pollution!  I guess that's good, but on the flipside, think of how much pollution there has to be for me not to get sunburned.  But again, once the construction ban is on and the Asian Games are about to start, the pollution will probably go down for about a month, so that will be nice.

I think the biggest thing I dislike about here is that I'm so far from old friends and family, and it's going to be so long before I see them again, even if I do see them on Skype.  But, I discussed my desire to move to Dallas and live out my last days amongst those friends in my last post.

There are a number of cool things about Guangzhou, but I feel like the cool things would be true for every Chinese post, and probably many Asian posts in general.  For one thing, salon and spa services are like 1/4-1/8 the price of what they would cost in the U.S.  For instance, I got a mani/pedi for $11 USD, and an 80-minute massage for $20 USD.  Those things are usually about $55 and $100 respectively back in the U.S. (well, not sure about the massage, but definitely sure about the mani/pedi!)!!  So that's awesome.  Also, we have household help.  Our ayi is just awesome.  She's playing with my son right now while I write this post.  She's so inexpensive too, and I think we pay her more than most families here pay their ayis... and she's still so cheap to have around!  It's so worth it to have her, because leaving the house here with a baby is SO difficult.  I already described why strollers are a pain in the ass.  The other pain in the ass parts of taking a child anywhere are:

1) You get swarmed by Chinese people who act like they've never seen a baby before (perhaps they've never seen a white baby?) and want to take pictures with him and touch him everywhere and hold him.

2) High-chairs in restaurants are not too common, so you either have to keep him in the stroller (which he hates unless he's moving or sleeping), or hold him on your lap (where he can reach EVERYTHING and wave it all around dangerously).

3) U.S. sized carseats generally don't fit in cabs here (nor do strollers that are bigger than an umbrella stroller), so we have to hold him on our laps (for dear life) when we take him places.  Aside from the obvious safety issues, we have a baby bouncing and crawling all over us the entire trip to wherever we're going.  He doesn't sit still, so it's really a huge pain in the ass to have to sit with him on my lap.

Anyway.  I don't like to be a downer, so I'll add to this that, despite my inability to speak Chinese, I'm not finding the whole language barrier thing to be tooooo terrible.  It's definitely not one of the reasons I dislike being here.  I've picked up a few phrases - I've learned how to direct a cab and say "I don't understand" whenever they ask me follow-up questions.  I use Google Translate to communicate with our ayi (even though she does know a little bit of English!).  And I'm planning to take some language classes sometime in the near future.

So I hope to enjoy it here soon, but I need to take it at my own pace.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bye Friends

Can I just take this opportunity to proclaim to the world (or... to the one or two people who actually read this) how much I love my friends?  Specifically, the friends I made in college and one I made before.

So our "goodbye tour" kind of started back in April when we went up to see our friend Chris in NYC.  Chris is in med school and currently doing rotations at a hospital in Brooklyn.  I've known OF Chris my entire life, at least since starting elementary school.  We went to the same church, same elementary school, and same high school (not the same middle school though).  He was a year ahead of me so we didn't become friends until my sophomore year of high school.  However, since becoming friends in 10th grade, we have remained incredibly close.  Aaron met him through church and school in 11th grade, and they pretty much hit it off as good friends from the start.  In fact, Chris was Aaron's Best Man in our wedding, and I would probably have had to make him my Maid of Honor if he wasn't the Best Man.  It's pretty much impossible to NOT like Chris though, and anyone who doesn't like him must just hate everyone and probably has a very sad existence.  Ahem.

But anyway, I expected to see him again after our trip to NYC before actually leaving for China, since his family lives about an hour from where we're currently living, and I figured he'd be back down to see them before July.  However, it's now exactly three weeks out from our departure date, and I still have no idea if we'll be seeing him again.  I hope we do, but, either way, our trip up to see him in NYC was just plain awesome.  I would recount it, but that would make this post even longer than it will probably end up being, so here's a picture from that trip:

I am so glad we got to take this trip up to see him.  We had been putting off going to NYC for years just because of how expensive it is to stay there, but knowing that we were about to move out of the country and knowing that Chris was living up there made us finally make the plunge, even though we had the added complication of having a 7-month-old accompany us.  But everything with Chris is so much fun!

So that was in April.  We held off on any more trips until the beginning of June, where, so far, we have taken two trips (and won't be taking any more until our journey to China begins).  Our first June trip was to Virginia Beach to visit our dear friends (who are Augie's Godparents), Bibi and Eddie.  We didn't actually go to the beach for more than 10 minutes, which is probably good since this is the reaction we got from Augie in those 10 minutes: 

He doesn't like the sound the waves make.  Maybe when he gets older!  So we spent our day there at Eddie's mom's house, and Augie got to swim in her pool, which he loved.


Augie had a great time visiting his Madrina and Padrino.  We had a great time too, and it was very sad to leave them knowing that we probably won't see them again for at least a year.  On average we see them about twice or three times a year, so we rarely go more than 6-months without seeing them.  But this time it's for longer.  I'm hoping that by the time we get back to DC, they will have moved up to the DC area since a lot of Bibi's interests lie in government-type work.  Aaron has known Bibi since high school, and I got to know her when I transferred to OU.  She's truly a special person in a great way, and she picked out one of the nicest people possible to be her husband, too.  We met Eddie a few months after they started dating, and we really had no problems accepting him as a friend, he is so funny and so much fun to be around.  Definitely can see how they ended up together, they are a perfect match!  So we love them both a lot (as evidenced by, if in no other way, the fact that we made them our son's Godparents) and hate to say goodbye to them for over a year.  But it is what it is.

Our second and last June trip was to Dallas this past weekend.  We did not bring Augie to this one, which sucks since these friends haven't met him yet, but it would have been too hard to have him with us.  We have four main friends in Dallas who we met in college.  Listed in order of meeting them - Josh, Sergio, Derek, and Heather.  These are the people we spent most of our time in college hanging out with and partying with.  Sergio and Aaron lived in a house together in Oklahoma, Josh stayed at this house often because there were many parties there and he and Sergio are best friends.  At one time or another Josh and I almost lived together (as friends, I was dating Aaron all through college), but unfortunately he ended up having to move back to Dallas before that could happen.  Derek, Aaron, and I met on a college mission trip our Junior year, and Aaron and I convinced Derek to move into this house (where Sergio was still living, but unfortunately Josh had already moved back to Dallas at that time).  Derek introduced us to Heather (his girlfriend at the time)after the mission trip, and Aaron and I went out often with Derek and Heather, and we all partied together very often.  In fact, Derek and Heather were both in our wedding as a Groomsman and were Josh and Sergio as ushers.  Later on after Aaron and I had graduated, Derek and Sergio moved in together, and then all of last year Derek and Josh lived together.  So the six of us are very interconnected, and very close friends.  I'm just as close with the guys as Aaron is to them, if not closer.  I've just always had an easier time making friends with guys than girls, which I hope does not get me into any drama one day now that I'm hanging around a lot of married people!  Everything is totally platonic though, always has been.  Making friends with Heather was easy though, which is why I know she's a very awesome and special person, and one reason why I value her friendship so much.  It's not always that easy for me to make friends with girls!

So our reason for being in Dallas this past weekend was Derek and Heather's wedding.  I think I mentioned this was happening in earlier blog posts.  Aaron and I were in this wedding (as were the other two friends, Josh and Sergio).  It was so beautiful, I am honestly made of stone but this wedding made me cry a lot.  I didn't shed a tear at my own wedding, but this one had me bawling for a few minutes.  We also had so much fun hanging out with our friends.  We always do though.

 Josh, Sergio, and Aaron

Derek, Heather, and Me

If I could chose to live in one place in the world, I would chose Dallas or as close to Dallas as we could get (I was really hoping that we'd get posted to a border town, but I guess it's safer that we didn't), just because of how many close friends we have there.  I'd seriously move there to be near them, that is how much they mean to me.  I think Aaron thinks similarly but doesn't like to think about it since it can't happen.  I hated saying goodbye to these guys, but I'm told that at least Derek, Heather, and Josh will try really really hard to come visit us in China.  So I hope that works out.  Either way, it's going to be at least a year before we see these guys again, which is longer than ever in the past (usually we see them two or three times per year).

It really sucks to be in long-distance friendships with basically all of our close friends, but I know that is a reality of the Foreign Service.  I just wish we hadn't had to start that reality 2 years before joining; we've been doing this since graduating from college, so we're really pros at this and had plenty of time to grow tired of it before A-100 started.  But we do love all of them, including the ones I didn't mention here because we didn't get to see them so they didn't fit into my "Goodbye Tour" theme.  And we can't wait to see them again, in 1 or 2 years.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Wow.  Is it really June?  I can't believe how quickly the months have gone by.  It seems like time was really dragging for a while, but now it's picking up at 4x the speed.  In exactly 5 weeks, we will be packing out.  In 5 weeks and 2 days we'll be heading to Seattle, and in exactly 6 weeks (and a few hours) we'll be boarding a plane in San Francisco headed for Guangzhou (via Shanghai). 

Mentally I'm as ready as I could possibly be.  However in most other aspects, not so much.  We have taken care of tenants for our apartment... well, the lease isn't signed yet, but they seem committed.  I'm going to assume that's going to work out, because I try to be optimistic (hopefully I didn't just jinx myself).  We will need to sell my car soon.  Maybe we can start that process after our trip to VA Beach this weekend.  Oh yea, and we'll need to categorize our crap and start packing.  Ugh, didn't I JUST do that?  At least I'm not pregnant this time.

Of course, finding the time and motivation to do all this will be the challenge.  We literally have something planned for every weekend until the weekend before we move.  Not that I need to save this stuff for weekends, but some of the plans for our weekends are going to take some prep time during the week, so that's where my motivation to prep for China is lost.  For instance, this weekend we're going to the beach.  Augie doesn't have a bathing suit yet, so I need to get him one.  And I need to wash clothes and pack for that.  Next weekend we're going to Dallas for our friends' wedding, so I'll need to unpack from the beach and repack for Dallas.  After that, we're not traveling again until we go to Seattle, so I guess it's safe to say that very little China prep will be done before we go to Dallas.  Hopefully the pressure of being less than a month away from leaving will be a good enough motivator for me/us by that time!

At least this past weekend was a pretty good and relaxing one.  Yesterday was Aaron's birthday, so I arranged for my parents to watch Augie on both Saturday and Sunday nights so that we could have a nice baby-free weekend.  (Sidenote: I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my parents live in MD during the summer and AZ during the winter.. anyway, they are back in MD for the summer so they're only 45 min away.)  Saturday night, we ate dinner at Macaroni Grill (trying to hit up some American chains before we go to China), which I always enjoy, probably my favorite of the Italian-food chains.  Then, we went to see "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.  I thought it was pretty good, definitely worth seeing.  I'm not sure it's worth seeing in a theater, but quite honestly, I only think action movies w/ crazy special-effects are worth seeing in a theater because of the big screen (I generally don't like to spend $11/person to see a movie if it's not worth seeing on a big screen...).  Although, one could argue that "Date Night" is an action comedy.  Anyway, I love both Tina Fey and Steve Carrell  so I'd definitely watch it again (at home).

After the movie, Aaron decided he wanted Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for dessert.  And he decided he wanted to go to the one in Clarendon.  But he parked in Ballston, thinking that it was in Ballston.  So we walked for about 45 minutes between Ballston and Clarendon (which isn't so bad if you're not wearing heels like I was...I seem to frequently make bad shoe choices).  At least we walked off some of our cheesecake before eating it!  The cheesecake was great, of course.  We did take the metro back to Ballston, my feet were not going to take another 45 minute walk back.   

On Sunday, we got up and went to church.  Then we just relaxed until about 4, when we went to see another movie, "Iron Man 2."  Before having Augie, we weren't frequent movie-goers, we'd usually see one in a theater every 6-8 months.  We've always rented a lot of movies, but rarely did we actually go to the movies since it's so freaking expensive.  Anyway, now that we have a baby and are barred from taking him to the movies (or at least, it's not something I'd ever attempt, I can't trust him to be quiet the whole time), we go see as many movies as we can fit into the time that he's being watched by my parents.  So we went to see movie #2, "Iron Man 2."  I liked it (of course anything with Robert Downy Jr. is great).  Aaron said he was disappointed and liked the first one better.  He said he liked "Date Night" a lot better than "Iron Man 2."  I don't know, I think he got his hopes up too much and expected more out of it.  I thought it was entertaining enough, so I am glad we saw it.

After the movie, we went to the other place we can't go with a baby - a bar!  We met up with a few people at The Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring, which is a bar w/ a great beer list, decent food, and good service.  It was a really good time, and I'm really glad people were able to come out.  I hope we can go back to that bar before we leave, but I am not sure it will be possible. 

Yesterday, on Aaron's actual birthday, I made him a cookie-cake (which ended up being more icing than cookie, but the icing was really good so I think he forgave me).  My parents brought Augie back around dinner time.  We had Filet Mignon steaks for dinner, made on our electric grill, followed by the cookie cake for dessert.  All in all,  I think Aaron was pleased with his birthday weekend (it was much better than last year, I have to say).  I know I had a good time!