Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Friday, July 29, 2011

"For UT Team"

Our favorite "junior intern" drew the UT Team a beautiful picture!  Thanks, Tyler!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Having trouble sleeping?  Check out this article about ten foods that help you sleep better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The world's skinniest house?

This house makes hooches look spacious!  I guess it would inspire you to stick to your diet...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Save us from the heat dome!

With 45% of the US population under a heat advisory, here are some tips to stay cool from CDC.

FYI,  it is supposed to be 114 tomorrow is Baghdad, 113 in Basrah, 105 in Mazar-I-Sharif, 94 in Kabul, 97 in Islamabad, 90 in Karachi, 95 in Monterray, and 85 in Juba... I guess we aren't the only ones feeling the heat

Some silly jokes to make you smile...

It was so hot that I saw a bumblebee back its stinger into a Popsicle.

It’s so hot…

The robins are laying their eggs sunny side up.

All the water buffalo at the zoo have evaporated.

The birds had to pick up the worms with potholders.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.

Don't you want to just jump right in?
Have a fun and safe weekend! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Four Afghan women make history...

... as the first female pilots from their country.  "We should show the world that the women of Afghanistan are strong," said Lt. Sourya.

The women are also the first to attend the Defense Language Institute's general English course, where they will not only perfect their English skills, but also learn about U.S. history and culture.  "What a fantastic opportunity for us and the wing to build coalition and bilateral partnerships across the world," said Col. Eric Axelbank, the 37th Training Wing commander. The Institute represents 85 countries with over 1,100 students. 

Check out the full story and see pictures here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Are you in DC/VA?  You get a free pizza from Papa John's if you register below!  

Click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Wandering Drays...United.

Fellow Foreign Service blogger, Heather, eloquently describes all her anticipation and excitement as her husband returns from a year long tour in Iraq...

"Finally. Just One Week.

I'm feeling melancholy tonight, thinking back over my husband's unaccompanied Baghdad assignment.  It's been nearly 1 1/2 years since Jason started the seemingly never-ending journey to Iraq.  Six months in D.C. for training; nearly a year in Baghdad.  And now, we have just a week. 
One teensy weensy week.  But the longest week.  Ever.  To get through.

In just one week...Jason will be home.  And I won't have to look forward to NOT looking forward to him heading back to Iraq.

Come to think about it, in just one week...

I alone won't have to bandage up boo-boos and wipe away tears when the kids fall and get hurt.  And I alone won't fail at mending broken hearts when friends hurt the kids' feelings.

There will be a real cook in the house.  One who makes meals.  That actually taste good.

Someone else will be here to carry the never-ending mountains of laundry down two flights of stairs to the basement.

I won't have to eat lunch alone in a restaurant reading a newspaper.

I won't have to walk through the house with the cell phone hoping for great reception in a room that won't dump our call into the black hole abyss of dropped calls.  Or hold my free hand over one ear while squishing the cell phone up to my other ear as tightly as possible so I can hear him better.  Because even a call that I can barely hear him is better than no call at all.

I'll be able to get mad at someone else, other than the kids, for using up all the hot water just before my shower.  Or for using my towel.  Or for forgetting to put a new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom on the dispenser.

We'll watch the kids as they catch fireflies with the sun drifting off into the horizon.  We'll both hear the baby as he tries to say new words and watch as he climbs into things he has no business climbing into.

We'll stay up late and talk about our dreams and plans.  And listen to the kids giggling upstairs as they pretend to fall asleep.

I won't go to sleep every night feeling all alone in a house full of sleeping children.

We'll be a family again.  All together, as we should be.  What a journey we've made to get back to exactly where we belong."

Thank you, Heather, for letting us share this on our blog.  
To follow Heather's blog and read more about her experiences during the UT, click here.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend...and remember...

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.  ~John Shirley


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't forget...

We will conduct an interactive in-person and virtual "Orientation Session" with MHN tomorrow at 09:00 AM EDT in the FLO office.  Participants may call in to participate virtually.

Please email FLOaskUT@state.gov for details.

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July!

Are you a foodie?

If so...
 check out this Washington Post's Blog: All We Can Eat for the food-obsessed living in D.C. 

(I took this pic at a new restaurant in Chinatown!  Yum.)

Friday, July 1, 2011


Our new summer intern sent me the link to this website:  Dear Photograph.  It is amazing!  So what is it?  Well, we all have photos from years ago---maybe photos of our parents traveling through Europe when they were young or photos of the family reunion in front of the grandparent's house during the holidays.  So these photographers took those old photos and matched them up perfectly with a present day photo, in the exact same location.  They then imposed the old photo as an overlay.  The website describes the technique as "taking a picture, of a picture, from the past, in the present."  Actually, this would be a great hobby for Foreign Service families as you travel the world---I think it'd be fun and a great way to preserve memories. 

Happy Friday!

Thanks, D!