Home Leave | Washington & Fredericksburg


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home leave, national harbor, marylandKail and I went to the U.S. on home leave over the summer. Jordan is our first four-year assignment (technically two two-year assignments), and it was the first time we took home leave in the middle of a tour, as opposed to in between assignments.In some ways, middle-of-tour home leave is less relaxing, because Kail is still tethered to the same job and needs to be somewhat plugged in to what’s happening, whereas in between assignments, he’s left one position and hasn’t started the next, so no work really carries over. In my case, my contract ended right before home leave so I was no longer working. I was pretty relaxed.uab, home leave, packout, shipmentSome of our UAB shipment.In other ways, middle-of-tour home leave is more relaxing, because there are fewer shipments, moving logistics, and other PCS (permanent change of station) details to take care of. We did opt to send a UAB shipment back to Jordan, but we didn’t have to buy a car, and while we were living out of suitcases for several weeks, we didn’t have to pack for transitioning from one post, through home leave, to another post.This home leave was also the longest one we’ve ever taken — about six and a half weeks for Kail and eight weeks for me, including our stop in Paris (technically not part of “home leave,” which must be spent in the U.S.) and some consultation days for Kail in Washington and Frankfurt. As far as I was concerned, I was on vacation the entire time. It my first visit to the U.S. since Christmas 2015, when we spent the holidays with my in-laws in Michigan.home leave, falls church, virginia, friendsTodd.After Paris, the U.S. part of our trip started in Washington, where Kail had a couple days of meetings. I took the opportunity to hang around and catch up with some friends — both pre-Foreign-Service-Life and folks we’ve met along the way in San Salvador, Kabul, and Amman.It was fun sharing the news of my pregnancy with friends in person. I was just at the end of my first trimester when we arrived to the States, and we had waited to tell almost everyone — including our parents — in person.After two days in Washington, we spent one day with my friend Todd and her family in Falls Church. We then headed to Fredericksburg for a week to spend some time with my parents, whom I hadn’t seen since before we moved to Jordan in September 2015.fredericksburg, virginia, old town, fredericksburg baptist church, kenmore innFredericksburg.In addition to spending some good old quality time with the grandparents-to-be, Kail and I hit up all our favorite big box and grocery stores (Costco, Target, Wegman’s) to stock up for our UAB shipment. It was also nice to be able to peruse some baby stores and familiarize ourselves with all the gear and baby essentials we’ll soon need.As is tradition on every trip back to Fredericksburg, we ran our favorite 5k loop along the Rappahannock River, visited the church where we got married and bed and breakfast where we celebrated afterwards, and tried to decide how many times we could eat at our favorite barbecue restaurant without alarming the staff. It’s difficult not to gain weight during home leave — due to both the difficulty of sticking to our regular exercise routine and the temptation of all the deliciousness that is America.This trip was a little different for me, because I was pregnant. I was less concerned about gaining weight and more focused on healthy eating habits (barbecue notwithstanding) and exercising regularly, no matter where we were.Next up: Michigan.Where did you travel over the summer?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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