I arrived in Washington, DC on Thursday afternoon after an uneventful 22 hour journey. It feels great to
be back in the USA. As wonderful and interesting as my life in Vietnam is, it's nice to take a break from being a stranger in a strange land and reconnect with family and good friends. I read a quote by Sir Walter Scott in a newspaper story on the plane that spoke to me. It was:
“Breathes there a man with soul so dead that never to himself has said, this is my own, my native land.”
I know in my heart that that no matter where I go or how comfortable I become overseas, like the priest in the story the USA shall always be "my own, my native land."
Thursday evening I fought through the jet lag and went out with Katie and Hank to the rooftop bar at Clarendon Ballroom. Clarendon Ballroom is quite a scene and Hank had a great time chatting up some of the young ladies. He number closed a few hotties. Hank, you smoothie!
Friday I had lunch with Joe and Jane, the parents of a former colleague of mine. They've done a lot of importing and exporting between the US and Asia, and now they're interested in Vietnam. Joe is planning a trip to Vietnam in October. They entertained me with import/export stories, such as finding and exporting red-colored contact lenses for chickens in Japan (absurd-sounding, yes, but between chuckles they assured me it was true.)
On Friday night I met some business school chums out for a few drinks and dinner at my favorite Arlington restaurant, Harry's. Pictured below from left to right are my good friends Jim C, Jim S, Vanessa, Andrea and yours truly. Yes, the bump on Vanessa's belly is a result of more than Andrea's Italian cooking. She's due on September 7! Very exciting, guys.
Jim C and I shared the thrills of victory and the agonies of defeat all through first year of b-school on the same "learning team." Jim S and I were roomies for two years (he knows all my bad habits, and I know his). Andrea and I commuted and worked together at AOL. He entertained me with funny stories each morning in his crazy Italian accent. Ah, good times, good times.... Great to catch up with them and share a few laughs.
I'm in Naples, Florida now visiting my father and his wife, Marty. My sister Dawn (aka Dawner, Dawnold, the Dawninator) is here too. Just stuffed myself silly on Marty's cooking. Life is good.