Girl from Ipanema

photo 2

Stunning. And Instagram filtered. Follow me for more photos!

Rio is gorgeous. We know this. But sometimes I have to stop and just take it all in and remind myself of where I am. The husband and I are pretty lucky to be here together. This is one of those photos that I like to look at when I need a reminder to be grateful. I think we’ve decided a canvas print of it is going to be our Rio souvenir.  Continue reading

Introducing…an NFL fan?

For the first time in my memory, Los Angeles has an NFL team. I know, I know – the Raiders AND the Rams were in LA until 1994 (thank you Wikipedia) but was I watching football then? Well, maybe, but it was college football, and I definitely don’t remember it. We weren’t pro fans in our household.

I married into a Packers family. If you’re from Wisconsin and you aren’t a Packers fan, I think you lose your “real Wisconsinite” card or something. And I got on board that train because Aaron Rodgers. Go Bears. And marriage.

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Brazil’s Impeachment Process

There is some stuff going on down here in Brazil. And by stuff, I mean major political happenings. Since we arrived, there have been mutterings and rumors about corruption, which turned into investigations and major judicial actions. The President, Vice President and almost all of the cabinet is implicated in one way or another. Impeachment talk has been going on just as long, but no one really thought it would make it to the floor of the Senate.

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Olympic Gymnastics

Gymnastics is one of the hardest events at the Olympics to get tickets for. Every little girl loves gymnastics – I still remember watching Kerri Strug make her final vault on a bad leg during the 1996 Olympics.

Tickets for gymnastics this summer are basically sold out – ones and twos will come available here and there, but you have to be on the website ready to pounce on them, and I don’t have time for that. However! We are lucky enough to be living in Rio during the lead up to the Games, and guess what test event just took place!?

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Santa Ana


Any child of Southern California remembers the Santa Ana winds that would blow up and make your AYSO soccer games so miserable in the early fall. The dry heat and blustery winds fueled the brush fires that burned across the state at the end of summer. So why are the winds here in Rio?! I feel like I should be packing my backpack for the first day of school, not getting dressed for work! It is a flashback of the weirdest kind. One of my fellow SoCal colleagues even stopped by my office with the same thoughts going through her head.

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Reading Goals

I read. A lot. It is an expensive habit. My Kindle, which I bought in 2010 right after joining the Foreign Service, is still going strong. But it makes it a wee bit too easy to buy new books. Finished the first in a series? Click here to buy the next installment! And while you’re at it, here are some handy recommendations of things you’ll also probably like! I think I have at least 100 books on my Amazon wishlist. Ouch.

I also, unsurprisingly, continue to collect paperbacks too. Not on purpose, of course – who needs the weight in their HHE? But here and there I’ve borrowed, been given, bought for a book club, etc… And I haven’t read them all! Nor have I read everything that is actually on my Kindle, either…

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The Other White House


View from the Hassan II Mosque Plaza

Casablanca was neat. We were tired and jet lagged and only had about 12 waking hours on the ground there so we did not explore all that much, but what little we saw, I liked. And obviously, we went to Rick’s Cafe. It was great. And fun fact! Apparently the restaurant is owned by a former American diplomat who retired to Morocco after working there. She opened it because everyone came to Casablanca to see it and it didn’t. actually. exist. And there wasn’t a good place to take visiting delegations. Go figure. Way to corner a market.

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