Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Well. I think we all had more or less the same 2020, didn’t we? We stayed home a lot. We drank more than usual. We explored old and new hobbies. We watched a bit of Netflix. We teleworked. We loved and hated spending more time with our kids.
The year 2020 will always be remembered for the worldwide spread of COVID-19 and how some countries got it under control much faster than others. I spent time in two countries that didn’t manage to curb the spread: the US and Germany.
Life was still normal. I saw a Shakespeare play in a small, packed theater. We also spent five glorious days with friends in Miami.
Life was still normal. My hilarious sister-in-law and her wife came over from Boise. I remember going to fun, crowded places like an oyster bar, Turkish restaurant, and vodka bar.
FSI closed so I had to study German from home. I lost my sense of taste (for about a week) and my sense of smell (for about two months). It’s very likely I had COVID-19 because two months later I tested positive for antibodies.
Schools and daycares closed and suddenly the kids were home all day. We lived in a small apartment so I explored every park in NoVa with the kids.
Feeling pretty suffocated we broke our pattern of home-park-home with four socially distanced beach trips: Virginia Beach (twice), Ocean City in Maryland, and Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Another hilarious sister-in-law and her wife came to DC. We visited Mount Vernon and walked around the Mall. My son got hurt playing in the fountain of the WW2 memorial and got six stitches in his leg. We moved to Berlin, Germany, where we spent two weeks in quarantine that I used to paint and decorate the new house.
I started my first gig as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. I learned who to approve for a visa and who, unfortunately, doesn’t qualify.
We enjoyed typical Berlin summer activities like swimming in the Schlachtensee and going to biergartens.
Sensing that a severe lockdown was coming we afforded ourselves a weekend trip to Leipzig and a day at Tropical Islands—the airport hangar swimming paradise—so we’d seen a little bit more of Germany before being tied down again.
With the lockdown in place we cancelled most visa appointments and drew down staffing. We refocused our efforts on American citizen services, which I quickly had to learn how to do.
We spent two weeks in the Netherlands where I finally saw my youngest family member (8 weeks) and my oldest (my awesome 95-yo grandma).