Thursday, November 8, 2012


Six of my co-workers and Fort Worth best friends spent four days in DC this week. We got back last night (bumping up our flight several hours to avoid the snow storm that was headed to the East coast) and it was easily the best, most fun work trip I've ever taken.


First, it was with the six people who have started at the Fort Worth regional office of the SEC after I did. I genuinely really like all of them and feel so lucky to get to work with them. I just learned we are referred to as "the kiddos" by the rest of the office. I don't think I've ever been part of a named gang before, but they are all super smart, fun, awesome people, we are all about the same age and have all made the same general life/money/family decisions in leaving our BigLaw firms and joining the SEC. We laughed so hard at dinner on Monday that my abs were sore the rest of the trip.


Second, one of my co-worker's best friends and old law school roomates is a legislative aide for Senator Mitch McConnell, minority leader of the Senate, and she took us on a 3-hour all access backstage tour of the Capitol Building. It was amazing. Amazing. At several points I nearly hyperventilated (like walking around on the Senate floor) and one time I heard a co-worker muttering under his breath, "just be cool, just be cool." The four of us are political, legal, West-Wing junkies and omg, getting to go through the Senate cloakroom and touring the Senators' lounge and Vice President's office and walk around the House and Senate and blow past signs saying "Corridor Closed". Just amazing. The history: "oh this fireplace is where the fire started that nearly burnt down the Capital building in 1814, see the crack in the marble?", "this secret back staircase is where troops stormed in the War of 1812- see the bullet holes?," "this is Daniel Webster's desk from his time in the Senate in 1850 and here's his signature scratched in the drawer." OMG. So much history, so much power, and it's not like walking around an old church in Europe- it's our history and our government. We could have flown home right then and called the trip a success.


Third, food. I met up with one of my best friends from law school on Sunday night for a delicious dinner at Cork. Avocado toast, wood roasted goat on polenta, sheep's milk ricotta gnudi (and wine, obviously) and fabulous conversation. One of my co-workers worked in DC for 10 years before joining the Commission so she made the reservations for Monday and Tuesday night. Monday was The Pig and it was amazing. I'm not as adventurous as some of my co-workers (crispy pig ear salad? brain porchetta appetizer? no.), but my wild boar ragu and charred belly with apple cider glaze were both fantastic. But Tuesday was our winner at Birch and Barley: seasonal autumn salad, ricotta cavatelli, and the BEST complimentary bread tray I've ever had in my entire life. Mini pretzel rolls, kalamata rolls, and creme freche biscuits. I could have eaten two trays of bread and been done. And the best part was that because I don't eat breakfast and went cheap on lunch, my federal government per diem covered my fancy dinners just fine. It was such a treat and so much fun.

Fourth, Election night!! I am a political junkie. The first thing I do every day is read about 10 different websites and blogs from staffers and election corespondents. I am a passionate Democrat and literally yelled at the Bar when CNN called the election around 11 Tuesday night. It was awesome to be in DC- horns honking, fireworks going off everywhere, everyone glued to TVs in Bars drinking election night bar specials. A few of us stayed up for all the speeches and it was so amazing to observe our peaceful transfer of power (or non-transfer as it turned out to be) and know the White House was right down the street. Very special night.


I do love DC. I miss having the reason to get up there to visit JP's parents. On Monday morning I woke up early and couldn't sleep so I texted my closest co-worker to see if he wanted to walk to the White House. It was a little over a mile on a lovely morning and as a walked we both talked about how we wonder what other paths we could or should have taken as attorneys. We're both happy where we are, but it's hard not to be tempted by the lawyer capital of the US. And it was great to be in the Home Office and meet the other new enforcement attorneys and staff from DC and the other regions (the point of this trip was 2.5 days of enforcement training, which was actually a really good program even if it did involve 20 hours in a windowless basement room).

mother ship

One downside of my love of city walking (and staying in fun DuPont while working/touring near Union Station and Capitol Hill) was that I destroyed my black boots. The heels are wrecked and I screwed up the top of my foot so badly I had to wear my brown riding boots under my black suit pants on the last day. I was pretty horrified by the combo but there was no hope for it. And then after a long day in those I took of my socks last night to find blood on both feet from even my comfortable non-matching shoes! I think I walked about 12 miles in 3 days.


The trip ended with pulling up in the driveway and surprising JP and the kids by getting home before bedtime, bloodied feet and all, with Pez dispensers in my bag for the kiddos (free from the hotel; the kids were amazed at the candy technology) and lots of hugs.

(JP gave Landon a fancy new haircut; he loves it, I'm adjusting)

Now it's back to the grind. A happy grind, with just the slightest bit of wistfulness for the city where eating lunch in the Senate building cafeteria next to the SEC HQ and walking past historic buildings is an everyday event.


  1. Find a shoe repair place- they can do wonders sometimes in bringing a favorite pair of shoes back to life!

    Sounds like a lovely trip!

  2. Sounds like an awesome trip. So jealous!

  3. Those boots look fixable. I live in DC, spent 10 years working in the Senate, and have destroyed more shoes than I can count walking around that part of the city. Those stone sidewalk things are brutal on shoes.

    Everything you describe hits the nail on the head as to why I still live here (over 20 years since moving here) and love it most everyday.

    It's a shame to hear your training was in a windowless basement room. I've had reason to meet with SEC staff and Commissioners a number of times. The conference rooms on the top floor are gorgeous, but some of the lower ones are nice, at least with windows. :)

  4. So jealous! Every year I have a work conference in DC that runs late Oct - early Nov. I went last year, so this year someone else from my office went. I was so jealous that I didn't get to go during an election year! Also, I love Landon's hair. Better to enjoy the fun hair now than 20 years from now!

  5. Wow, it sounds awesome! I didn't know JPs parents lived up there. I just assumed they were near you. Did you guys used to go back and forth a lot?

  6. That sounds incredible!! I am a total politics junkie too and that would have been amazing. I love DC too! Everyone is incredibly smart and well-informed. You learn things just standing in line at Starbucks!

  7. I second what the others have said: those heels look fixable. A good shoe-repair place should be able to take care of it.

  8. Miss DC with a serious ache. If it wasn't for how much I know the schooling here is better for B, I'd be back there in a heartbeat. So cool to be there on election night, lucky! Glad you are having fun and your agency is properly training you. :-) Finally, totally cool that your hotel handed out free Pez for the kids.