I will do other catching up soon, but I wanted to write up some recent short travels.Embassy of Lithuania:
Technically, embassies are foreign territory, so my evening at the Embassy of Lithuania counts as travel, despite just requiring a trip to the border of Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. The building is actually one of the oldest embassies in the District, since it was opened in the 1920's. This was a typical MIT Club of Washington event, with an entertaining talk by the Deputy Chief of Mission, who focused largely on economics. I am, of course, interested in Lithuania since my father's family is from there. I am sad to say that the food was not very impressive and the beer was definitely not to my taste. Frequent Traveler University:
This edition of FTU was in Tampa, which is an easy flight from Washington. I'm not going to write up what got said in any detail, but I will note that this is the first time that there was actually any material on actual travel, rather than frequent flyer programs. There was still a lot about credit cards and various ways of using them to get lots of points and miles. But there were a couple of sessions by Stefan Krasowski (of Rapid Travel Chai
which talked about finding flights and hotels in less traveled parts of the world and so on. I am well-traveled, but I learned a few things I hadn't already known. There was also a session on getting what you're entitled to without being a jerk. I like to think I didn't need that one, but ...
My favorite quote of the weekend was from Seth Miller. To wit (in the context of stretching the rules for transit visas in China and why not to), "there is no real upside to being detained, deported or arrested." I thoroughly agree.
I was also able to take advantage of being down that way to have dinner with an old friend, who I hadn't seen in 20+ years. Tracy took me to dinner at an excellent sushi place in Clearwater (known as Charlie's, though it has a more sushi-ish real name). And we had a lovely wide-ranging conversation, including topics as far afield as home schooling and Maltese fireworks.McCormick 50th Anniversary:
Finally, I went up to Boston this past weekend for the 50th anniversary of McCormick Hall, the dorm I lived in at MIT. The weekend included two brunches, a symposium (in which I learned a lot about Katherine Dexter McCormick, whose donation was responsible for the building, which, in turn, enabled MIT to admit more women by having somewhere to house them), a reception, and dinner. There were also tours of the building, which still looks quite good after all these years. By my day, there were several co-ed dorms and I will admit having chosen to live in McCormick largely because of it being physically nicer than many of the others. I only realized later on that, had I not lived there, I would have known maybe three other women.
But the real highlight was, of course, seeing people. Other attendees included one of my suitemates and a friend from Hillel, as well as the housemasters from throughout the years and Norma, the house manager who all of us who worked desk at the dorm were terrified of. It was also great meeting other women from throughout the years. And what do bright intellingent women talk about? Knitting, of course! (Actually, there was lots of conversation about what we studied, what we did now, and how we got from there to here.) All in all, it was a fun event and definitely worth the trip.