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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

To round out the end of my visit to the US, my family took the opportunity to celebrate all of the June family birthdays; me, my brother Robbie and my Dad, by going into the city for a Washington Nationals baseball game. The Nationals beautiful new field just opened in 2007 and is located at the Navy Yard Metro stop off of the Green line. We went on Sunday afternoon for the "Battle of the Beltways", the Nationals vs. the Orioles. We looked into buying tickets ahead of time through the Nationals Website, but we get to the checkout and had over $25.00 worth of "convenience fees" for five tickets - so we tried our luck and bought seats at the stadium. We ended up saving some money this way, but next time we'll make sure that someone has a stadium seating chart handy before we purchase. We ended up with tickets in center field, directly below the enormous jumbo-tron that this stadium is famous for. Lucky for us, the newly engaged Sarah and Josh had much better seats and the stadium was only 50% full, so they invited us to join them in their section. The good news about our tickets was that each of them came with a $20 food, drink and merchandise voucher - and we drained our vouchers quickly. At $7.00 per brat and $8.00 per beer, it was pretty easy to rack up a $20 per person. Not only did the weather cooperate and it turned into a perfect baseball-game watching day, but the Nats pulled off a win in the 10th inning with a walk off home run. Mom and I even had the rare opportunity to catch George Washington for a quick photo shoot before the game.

After the game, we stopped for a bite at Guapos, a new restaurant that took the place of Don Paublos in the Fair Lakes Shopping area in Fairfax. Don Paublos has a special place in the hearts of my family because my mom worked there for a few months 15 years ago. The place went totally downhill after she left, we don't think it was a coincidence. Guapos was a great new addition too - the service was pleasant, accurate and prompt and the food was really good. If you're headed to Guapos without children, you may want to arrive at dinner after the 7 o'clock hour, it was pretty kid-packed when we first arrived but calmed down quickly.

Back home, we had our cake and presents part of the day, complete with a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake (it was highly debated whether Baskin Robbins or Dairy Queen was better). A great day was had by all.

So I'm headed back to the Southern Hemisphere after a pretty long hiatus from home. I'm still thankful for United's overnight direct flight from DC, and their checked bag policy of two 50 pound bags per person. I am also thankful for the flight agent that let me get away with two 51 pound bags and for my brothers that covertly snuck my heavy items back into my already overweight bag when no one was looking. I really needed that body wash and hot sauce :) It was a wonderful trip home - I had a jam packed 3 weeks. As I head back to Argentina, I want to take note of another long distance trip that happened this weekend. My brave cousin Mark just safely returned from a tour in Afghanistan. We are all so thankful for his safe return home! WELCOME HOME MARK!!!!!

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