Sunday, May 13, 2012

a diplomatic pub crawl

First, happy mother's day to this lovely lady!

Second, happy embassy open house weekend! Yes, that's right, I just made that a thing. Try to control your jealousy over my overt cool-ness.  

But really, if you live in DC and haven't heard of, or haven't been to, the embassies' open houses, you're really missing out. As we overheard one man say, it's like a diplomatic pub crawl! One of my friends introduced me to the concept last weekend when the non-EU embassies hosted anyone who cared to stop by. 

In the spirit of acquiring hobbies that don't involve baking desserts that call for more than two sticks of butter or meeting all the wrong men, I agreed to join her. Also, I'm preternaturally curious, and especially now that I live near a hand full of the gorgeous buildings, I've only become more interested in seeing the interiors of the many, many embassies that call DC home.

This weekend, a whole slew of the EU embassies opened their doors all over the District, and we covered many, many miles, making it to Belgium, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Croatia, France, Germany, Denmark and at least one other that I'm forgetting. It seems to be a bit of a competition amongst the staffers, which works out to the visitors' advantage. 

I'm now the owner of half a dozen cloth grocery bags, pens, brochures, and key chains bearing countries' touristy slogans. And my friend and I needed neither cocktails nor lunch for all the free food and drinks the embassies were offering visitors to show off their countries' various claims to fame (think Belgian beer and waffles, British whiskey, etc). Given that there's no admission cost, it's pretty much an overall win. Even if the hidden cost is a touch of sunburn for this pale embassy hopper. 

Anyways, I was too busy nosily checking out the decor and gulping free snacks that I pretty much fully failed on the picture-taking front. But, here are a few from the UK embassy, which has some of the most expansive, impressive grounds I've ever seen within the boundaries of the District.    

British ambassador's home. I know. 

Diplomatic pub crawl aside, I also had a non-mother's day brunch with my friend Neha, who, like me, sadly couldn't be with her Mom today. But more on that later (spoiler alert: it involves that two stick of butter hobby of mine).

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