It took us 11 hours, rather than the 9 hours the GPS promised us, to get from Boston to DC, from winter to spring, from work and chores to vacation.

Axel did most of the driving. I am good for getting us into and out of cities but can’t handle the long monotony of turnpikes – I would fall asleep. We shortened the time by listening to what our friend Edith calls ‘a cozy mystery’ but there were too many names and characters to remember so I cannot retell the story. For the ride back we have a Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor and Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger, each about 6 or 7 hours of narration. We will have to choose.

Wednesday was a workday, but an easy one – mostly hanging out with colleagues from our projects in Africa and Asia – some people I knew well and others that required introductions.

Thursday was the first vacation day which I started with a sleep-in till 12:30 PM – I don’t think I have slept that long in a decade. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the metro going to and from Alexandria’s torpedo factory where our friend Ruth has a gallery of fiber and glass art.

It is warm and balmy here – people wear summer clothes – the kind I only wear on trips abroad it seems. If only this weather would stay, and not get hotter, DC would be a fine place to live.

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