Friday night there was an official 4th of July party at the Ambassador’s residence for very important people. Because we are not very important, and somehow JR lucked out and did not have to work at the event, we were invited to attend after 9pm. This worked out well, because if we had arrived at 5, I would have been ready to go home at 10.
The Ambassador’s residence was newly renovated and beautiful. They had great food, fun decorations, and an awesome band. There was this cake:
For a half a second (or maybe a half a minute – but who’s counting?), I thought it was in the shape of Texas. Oops. The cake was still in tact when we arrived and we think nobody wanted to be the first to cut into it because it looked so nice. In fact, I’m not sure the cake was ever actually served!
We danced and we sang and we danced some more. The singer was fantastic, and she is apparently competing in a European version of The Voice (or American Idol/X Factor/something else). We cheered for an encore, and to my ABSOLUTE DELIGHT, she sang “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” (Fun fact, I walked down the aisle to that song, performed by two violinists.) Once the band was done, we switched to various people plugging in their iPods and taking turns as DJ. The Ambassador was getting ready to play the Prince song “When Doves Cry”, but after looking at the list of available songs JR told her if she wanted for people to dance to Prince, it needed to be “Raspberry Beret.” She was a bit skeptical (and maybe surprised that he fancied himself a Prince expert) but let him play the song. The dance floor loved it. The Ambassador told him he made the right call, and asked him to continue DJing, a responsibility he took quite seriously. (Fun Fact #2, when JR and I were in law school he enjoyed playing music and half-jokingly referred to himself as DJ JD.)
On Saturday we had a trip planned to visit a fruit farm and food processing plant outside of the city. The event was part of a week-long visit from a group from Iowa, who were in town to sign a Sister City and Sister State agreement in Kosovo. (You can read some more about it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/13/iowa-kosovo-sister-state-deal/2420239/ and here: http://oskynews.org/?p=57290.) We were treated to a great lunch and then given a tour of the farm and the plant. It brought back memories of my time working in the factory at Smucker’s. (It was a short term job – I’m not really cut out for manual labor. But I did have fun there and I’m VERY proud of my hometown and Smucker’s connections!) We also took a walking tour of the orchards.
Oh and I finally learned how to take a panoramic picture on my iPhone. All in all, a very successful weekend!