sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Surprise visit and a new job!

So I have been quite busy in the last couple of months.  After spending some of winter in Australia, I headed back to Dubai for some uber heat and a bit of World Cup Football before packing up for a surprise trip to the USA!  
 World Cup Fever DXB Style...
Keeping Operation Surprise the Fam under wraps was pretty difficult, but with a little help from Sara VanAernum and Aunt Judy, I pulled it off brilliantly.  To get in a bit of holiday time myself, I spent a week in DC.  I hadn't been in years.  It still is a fabulous place to visit while in the USA, and being in town for the 4th was amazing.  
Sara VA's Condo complete with her 5 Emmys
The DC Metro
Me at the White House
The Washington Monument (so I got into the selfie a bit too much)
My stroll through the fabulous Georgetown
JFK's House when he was a Senator
The Exorcist Staircase
The Oldest House in Georgetown
The hat Lincoln was wearing when he was shot
The car from Bonnie and Clyde at the Crime Museum - I solved the 'case' while I was there!
Lucky for a us, some friends of mine were in town working on the Capitol Fourth concert.  So Sara and I got to go along.  It was great.  We saw some fabulous acts including Frankie Valli, Patti Labelle and even the Muppets.  The fireworks on the Mall were fun as well. 
Sara and I
The Amazing Fozzie Bear
The fireworks
Then it was onto Ohio to surprise the parents and Grandma Rita.  Gallipolis, OH always hosts their fireworks the Saturday after the 4th, so on that Sat morning, I drove 6 hours to meet them.  Aunt Judy made sure Mom and Dad would be in town, but much to my surprise, when I turned up at Grandma's they had walked down to the supermarket.  So Grandma was surprised.  Then when Mom and Dad came back and I answered the door, they were totally shocked.  It was a great day.  
All of us together
I got to spend a bit of time at Mom and Dad's place doing usual Springfield things as well.  We went to see Griffin House again like last summer, hung out at the Country Club, spent time with The Esteps and all of the other Grubbs and even had a visit from Paul Collison, who was in Ohio with Walking with Dinosaurs.  It was lovely. 
At the concert with Mom and Dad
And Uncle Jack
Griffin House
Dad let PC drive the Prowler
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to hang out as long as last summer as I had to pack up to head to the new gig in Baku, Azerbaijan.  The city will host the 1st European Games in June 2015.  I am working with the Ceremonies Team.  I managed to have a day in London hanging out with Dawn and Roni - and lunching at Raymond Blanc's place!  And unbelievably, it was beautiful, sunny and 28 degrees C.
Blanc Brasserie
Lovely London
So I arrived in Baku and pretty much got straight to work.  Our days are pretty much standard hours at the moment as we have a while to go.  We are getting out and seeing as much as we can.  It is a lovely city.  The team is great.  Much more to learn and see....
The Azerbaijan Flag
Nizami Street at Night (the High Street)
Fountain Square
We have already found the Brewery
They love fountains here
Our Office
Zirka, Tom & Paddy have a go at the shooting game on the Bulvar
My apartment building
The view from my balcony at night
My jogging park....with fountains
Thank goodness for my Word Lens App for translation....
 We have already been to see a mosque
 We also went to see some petroglyphs..
And Fire Mountain where naturally occurring gas is constantly burning....
And of course we found the beach club
So far it is going really well.  I am enjoying it.  I will head back to Minnesota for a bit of a holiday soon to see the entire Grubb family and meet the newest member, little Nora Lee.  Brock and Amber have sent some photos of her in the lovely outfits I have purchased her.  Can't wait to buy more so she stays stylish!  And of course, we GoogleChat... 
 The Gymboree Travel Outfit - obviously loving it!
 Her Hip Newtown Onesie - it fits now!
I am looking forward to the year ahead.  No thoughts about what is next, but for now, I will enjoy this new city and project.  We already hit up the Four Seasons brunch, and I am sure there will be many more brunches!  A lot of the usual suspects are here and more to come.  I have a lovely sofa bed in my apartment for anyone wanting to come for a visit.  It's a quick trip from Dubai and not too far from the UK.  Haven't locked in what to do for Christmas either, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!  
And Minnesotans -- the Grubbs are coming to MPLS!  Get in touch if you want to have a beer or cookies and milk at the State Fair towards the end of August!  Yay summer.  State Fair Supreme. 
Lots of love,
Sarah xo


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