Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Final Quarter Begins...almost...but first some tacos

It’s after 10:00 PM, I’m exhausted and yet I feel like I just cannot let another day pass without blogging. We have been so, so busy, it’s difficult to find even a few minutes to get things down. We’ve had the normal busy stuff – a visit from the in-laws, a three-year-old with a broken arm (with two boys and an accident prone husband, such injuries can be categorized as “normal” for us) and loads of work (I am organizing a national conference and my husband has just moved to his final rotation – American Citizens Services).

Plus, we’re now within days of officially entering our final 6 months. This has hit me in ways I hadn’t expected. For instances, if something is frustrating at work, it’s hard to focus – I see myself almost out the door. And, if I find myself in a meeting with the super amazing local professionals on my conference planning committee I think, “How can I leave this?” Then, I see the boys whizzing away with their amazing Spanish and I think about how they’re going to lose it in a sea of French and Malagasy. I imagine a few years from now saying, “When we left the DR they were fluent in Spanish.” We’re seeing new friends make their way here and “old” ones prepare to leave. Our closest friends from the 144th will be heading off to China and El Salvador – to me this seems like a guaranteed minimum two-year separation. That makes me sad. And then again, what a reunion we will all have for a few months in DC!

All this has left me feeling emotional and reflective and sometimes anxious and other times really impatient to get on with the show. On a daily basis I have found myself feeling alternately more in love with my island than ever and seriously frustrated. This weekend I finally just gave myself a good kick in the ass and decided to get over it. The goodbyes will suck. They will suck now and next year and the next and the next. But, they will get easier and I believe a million times over that it’s better to live an adventurous life with the crappy moments than a dull one of perfect ease. And nothing can change the incredible experiences we have had here – the ways in which we have grown, our boys have grown and the way a small decade-long dream has turned into a reality. We still pinch ourselves.

Of course, all this mushy happiness doesn’t change the fact that I am giddy with excitement of spending Semana Santa in Austin! In just a few short days we will be touching down. I am already eating every meal here knowing that these old beans and rice have nothing on my Austin food heaven. I have figured up that we will be spending approximately 187 hours in Austin over the next week. How much can I eat in that span of time? WHAT can I eat in that time frame?

Admittedly, we probably eat better here – more basic food, closer to the Earth. We have both slimmed down quite a bit. We eat out less. It’s good for us, BUT man do I get sick of it. Sometimes I look down at a plate of roasted chicken and white rice and I dream of a huge plate of Indian or Thai or Ethiopian or, of course, Tex-Mex. Sometimes I just want a dinner of chips and salsa and beer – GOOD chips and salsa and beer. It’s food for the soul and I’m eagerly awaiting the recharge.

I’m not really one to stuff myself, but I can fill every moment with my favorite food and drink with absolutely no problem. So, if you have ever wondered what one person could eat in Austin within 187 hours (‘cause I’m sure you have, right?), stay tuned. I’m gonna’ food diary our trip. ETA four days. Stay tuned.


  1. Awesome! Enjoy Austin. I was impressed by all the great food there. Can't wait to read your dairy. It might convince me to take another jaunt there.

  2. Lots of new good places to eat in town! Hit up the old faves for sure, but I recommend looking around at some of the new and exciting places, too. If you have a little extra dough to spend for a special vacation treat, there's Uchi, Uchiko, Carillon, Fino, Perla's, and Olivia that I can recommend from personal experience. There is also a new Tex-Mex place near us that ain't bad, Paco's Tacos--terrible name and strange location, but a nice outdoor space and good food! Hope to say hi to guys while you're in town... I know Nicole will work out some kind of visit between our clans. Enjoy your trip! --Ryan