Bucket List

Jumping back in to the January blog-a-day (I told you I wouldn’t hit every day… I might miss the next few days too), today’s topic is “Bucket List”. I’ve never given this much thought before. Turns out most of mine center around travel experiences. No surprise there.

The fun part was, as I was thinking through possibilities, several of the things that came to mind were things I’ve already been incredibly blessed with doing. I guess I’m off to a good start.

Watching the sun rise over the Grand Canal in Venice in 2002.

Already checked off the list:
Watch the sun rise over the Grand Canal in Venice Continue reading


Travel is Good for the Soul

(In front of the continental divide in Costa Rica.)

Travel is good for the soul.

Getting back from our 10-day trip through Costa Rica, I am already wondering where we can go next. There’s something about travel (especially international travel) that I find kind of addicting. It started for me when I studied abroad in Spain almost 10 years ago, and I’ve never been the same. My worldview was blown wide open and I’m very grateful.

There’s something that changes in you when you can experience the world through a different lens. When you explore new landscapes, foods, and experiences. When you interact with different types of people. When you let go & get out of your comfort zone. Continue reading

Hello DC!

King Street in Old Town Alexandria, a couple miles from our place.

My last post was Farewell Nashville. My goodbye to the city that’s been my home for the last 6.5 years. This post is Hello DC! We have been catapulted into another life and this post is to celebrate some of the things we look forward to in the N. VA./DC area.

It has been 3 weeks since we moved here. It’s been a lot of adjusting, unpacking, settling, etc. In some ways, I feel like I’m just now getting my head back above water. I have plenty that I want to be writing about, but need to get back to it. So first up is this fun post.

Granted, I grew up only an hour from here. 45 minutes north of DC. But I really lived there from birth to 18 years old when I went off to college. We came to DC for school field trips and to go sightseeing when someone came to visit from out of town. But it’s so different now being in the area (& much closer to DC) as an independent adult.

This new life is ripe with possibilities of endless exploration. We are a couple miles from DC. (9 miles from the White House, for a little perspective.) It is a 7 minute walk from our condo to the nearest metro station, which gives us some wonderfully easy access. From my office I can see the Pentagon and the Washington monument. It’s really surreal some days to look out and go, “oh, look, there’s the Pentagon.”

So in no particular order, here are some of the things I’m really excited about:

  • Old Town Alexandria is 2 miles away. It’s a super cute little downtown area, filled with all of the cute boutiques and restaurants you could ever want. For our Nashville friends, it’s kind of like Franklin times 10.
  • The endless supply of museums, monuments, and historical sites that are only a short metro ride away. Many of these I’ve probably been to in my growing up years, but I hardly remember some of them (Mt. Vernon, getting a tour of the White House, etc). It will take years to explore the plethora of these.
  • Miscellaneous cultural events, like Passport DC, which is happening in May. It’s where all of the embassies host open houses & events that you can just bounce around to.
  • The National Cherry Blossom Festival, in March/April. This is something else I’m sure I’ve been to, but I really don’t remember it.
  • A whole new world of potential weekend trips – Williamsburg, Philadelphia, New York City, etc. It’s nice to have more options than just Chattanooga now!
  • Riding the metro to work. Without the stress of navigating traffic, I’ll be able to read a book or something, and get some walking in on either end. I’ll start this up March 1st.
  • Restaurants, restaurants, restaurants. Any type of food you could ever want to find. And I love international cuisine. Now I just need to be able to finance my eating habit!

It’s kind of invigorating to be thrust into a very different world. We’ve already had plenty of “we’re-not-in-kansasnashville-anymore” moments. Like the fact that it took us 15 minutes to drive 3 miles south to a nearby shopping center yesterday [the traffic is definitely something to get used to]. Or how this area is so diverse – by income, ethnicity, age, etc. There are pockets of super nice housing 2 blocks away from really rundown areas, and there are people of every ethnicity (way more than the places we’d  frequent most in Nashville).

A huge bonus to being here – the proximity to so many members of my family. My parents are an hour away. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins are 30-40 minutes. Other grandparents are 2 hours. Brother, sister-in-law, 2 nephews are 4 hours north (which is an amazing difference from what we were before). And next summer, my other brother will be about an hour away. This is huge! We can be around for birthdays, to go to dinner, to see my cousin play football. I don’t even know what that’s like!

I think I’m starting to decide that I want to set a goal for us, so that we don’t get trapped into what feels too comfortable and not get out and about. Maybe something like exploring/doing 3 new things a month. We’ve already purchased a deal to do a walking restaurant tour in Georgetown. I can’t wait! Now we just need to set a date.

So Hello DC! We sure have some exploring to do!

Last Monday, we wandered over to the President's Day parade in Alexandria. So much fun!