Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Home Stretch

We got back on Sunday after spending a long weekend in the DC area looking for apartments and meeting my new research group.

The weather was bad Thursday and Friday, but we had a wonderful time sightseeing in downtown DC on Saturday and at the Nats game Saturday night. Dean, by nature a little pessimistic, was nearly distraught about the rain all day Thursday and Friday. Even though he was dead on his feet Thursday, having flown back from Minneapolis the previous night, he had wanted to go to a minor league game in Frederick that was rained out. I, the eternal optimist, pointed out that the more perfect and picturesque the trip was, the more difficult the two and a half months before we actually got to move would be.

I took a bunch of pictures, but didn't load them onto my computer yet. Besides, how often can you look at someone else's pictures of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial? So we'll see if I post them at all. The bad news is that apartments in suburban Washington, DC are f-ing expensive as hell. The good news is that we can afford it now. But that doesn't necessarily mean I want to spend that kind of money on rent. However, I do believe in getting what one pays for. I love our apartment now, it is cute and old and quirky and the rent is cheap because we live in a run-down neighborhood. Apartments by my new work are spacious, luxurious with modern appliances and amenities, and in a safe neighborhood minutes from the metro.

Speaking of the metro...ohmygod I love it. It's so easy and gets you so close to where ever you want to go. And it's clean with normal people who ride it, unlike some of the other public transportation I've been on.

Nationals Stadium is literally a half a block from the metro stop, which also was incredible. I love Fenway park, but my disdain for the Red Sox has made it impossible for me to feel like anything but an outsider there. Even though I don't follow the Nats religiously, I feel like I could go to several games there and fit right in. Plus, like Tampa, the DC area is full of transplants and we sensed there much more tolerance for people with other team allegiances. Not to mention the ballpark, in only its second season, was beautiful, clean and GREEN!

My research group seems pretty cool, even though I already new my future boss and the group leader from conferences and networking. But everyone else seemed nice and a tour of the facilities revealed a cornucopia of exciting toys and state of the art measurement systems including a one of a kind ultra high precision magnetometer and a top of the line high field magnet sporting a serial number 9, out of 12 currently in existence. To put it mildly, I was totally geeking out. I also saw an old friend who has been working there (in a different department) for a year. We competed for the same grant to work at the lab. Initilaly he got it and I didn't. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with him, and Dean was thrilled to see a familiar face from Tampa. I think he will thrive there as well, he seemed to hit it off with my co-workers and prety much everyone in the town we'll be living in is either a scientist or relocated there because they are married to one.

I don't have much else to share about the trip. We are still deciding between two apartments and will start the application process for one or the other in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, it's back to work and counting down until the next big move. One of these days, we'll stay put.

8 comments:

fermicat said...

Disdain for the Red Sox? Oh my, my. You are otherwise so likeable. ;-)

Sounds like things are looking up for you and Dean. I am excited for you. It will be so stimulating to be in a challenging job and to live near like-minded folks that you can relate to.

The Metro must be more like the T in Boston and not like the MARTA train in Atlanta. I always felt far more comfortable and at ease riding the T (and it actually gets you places that you want to go). Here in the ATL, I only ride MARTA to the airport (and only during daylight hours), and definitely have had some scary rides. One time a fight broke out right in front of me. Holy crap!

dr sardonicus said...

I'm glad to see things looking up for both of you. The Nats are of course transplants as well, not to mention one of the most hopeless franchises in MLB.

Hot4Teacha said...

I am so pumped for you Nat! I absolutely love DC - my #1 city to visit (been there 4 times).

Yes, the public transport rocks, yes, the city is very clean (except there were lots of homeless there the last time I visited), and yes, you can't beat the historical impact of all those sites and buildings and stuff.

And yes, I WILL be visiting once you guys get settled in!!

Natalie said...

fermi,
I thought you were a Braves fan! My main beef (and I actually have a few) is that the Sox still see themselves as lovable losers who happen to have a gigantic payroll and two championships in the past 5 years and continue to dominate the AL East. Sorry, you can't have it both ways.

Yes, the Metro is very much like the T, which I enjoy as well. In fact, the maps of the layouts of the two are similar as well (because I'm a map geek).

dr. s,
I like that the Nats are transplants and their record makes the games not very crowded. Very much like the Rays games when we first moved to Tampa. Of course up until last year, people said they were hopeless as well...

hot4teacha,
Yay! You are welcome anytime. But I must warn you, Wrigley is coming with us. To be honest, I'm a little excited to be a suburbanite. I've never been and DC isn't a city where I want to necessarily explore every nook and cranny. But nevertheless, I am digging the public transportation.

fermicat said...

The Braves are definitely my top team in baseball, but Boston is my favorite AL team. They are a close second. I'll be there in a few weeks when the two teams play in Atlanta. It's going to be a girl's night out!

Red said...

YEA, your blogging again! Is METRO like these Electric Rail things in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston? Sorry, I have never lived in a major city and I'm not familiar with the transit.

See now, the benefit of becoming a RED SOX fan would be... Oh.. Ben Aflec is an owner now! Hee Hee.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like D.C. will be a great place for you and Dean to settle in. Good luck with the new job. And... regarding having babies... well, plan way longer than 18 years to raise one.
Catsfursure

Natalie said...

fermi,
Have fun at the game it should be a great time, especially as a girls night out! I don't like when my two top teams play, it stresses me out. I end up just kind of rooting for everybody.

Red,
Yes, the Metro is like a rail thing. :P The call the trains different things in different places - in Chicago it's the "L", Boston it's the "T", New York it's the subway. Mass transit is phenomenal if done properly. All the cities I have lived in have had horrible public transportation. I wanted to cry when I saw that the Metro ran like every 7 minutes. The bus that takes me home from work runs once an hour.

anon,
I am fine taking longer than 18 years to raise them. But I'd hope that by 18 they could at least have an intelligent conversation! Maybe that's too much to want. Anyway, I'm over the incident that inspired the tweet and have decided to resume assuming I can be Wonder Woman when I finally procreate.