4th of July Embassy Party

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

(Disclaimer: I downloaded the following photos from the Embassy website)

When I accepted this internship in November, I remember my boss told me over the phone, "The summer term is the best time to intern. I think you'll really enjoy the events. The 4th of July celebration, for instance, is the social highlight of the year. It's a big production". That is an understatement. Quite an understatement.

I was sent to the Ambassador's Residence (where the party was held, of course) the day of the party, to help decorate. I had to be at the Embassy at 7:20 for the Embassy car to drive us to the Ambassador's Residence, which, in case you didn't know, is early for me. Once we made it all the way out to the Residence, I somehow became known as "the bow expert".

I think it's because I have tied a lot of bows in my lifetime, whether wrapping gifts professionally (at Mitchell's Jewelry, where I think I once wrapped 3,098 gifts in one day) to tying bows in my hair, to tying bows around my waist (I'm the girl who wears a belt with 78% of my outfits...because as I once told Sally and Julie, "I'm always looking for something to tie around my waist"...which they quoted almost daily in our Sunset house), to tying bows around outfits for Luna Lyn(n)....I just feel like I've tied a lot of bows in my life. So, when the Ambassador's wife saw the first bow that I tied, I became known as "the one who ties all the bows". At first I thought this was so cool because the Ambassador's wife liked my decorating abilities. Then after I had tied over 100 bows in 1 hour, I found it a little less cool. Then after I stood in the sun tying millions of red, white and blue bows around all the tent poles, I started to semi-resent the bow-tying talent.

...But then I saw all the decorations come together and I was so proud of my contributions and so excited for the evening's festivities.

(the entrance to the Residence)

(an example of my bow-tying and ribbon-draping ...and I have no idea why there is a Segway there)
(just in case any guests forgot....this is America we're celebrating)
(The best part of the event...all the food! There were so many restaurants who had set up booths at the Residence. TGI Fridays had set up a booth....Starbucks had an entire cafe set up...you could order anything you wanted...there were dozens of booths - It was like Taste of Norman but free! Amazing..)
(This was taken before the guests arrived...pretty soon the Residence was so crowded with over 1,300 guests in attendance)
(It was so weird walking up to this booth and ordering a frappacino... they literally had their entire menu available...and again, free - free - free!)
(Speaking of frappacino's....that's me drinking one and talking to Manfred!)
(They were serving hamburgers and hotdogs...
I opted for a very delicious Caesar Salad...so good!)
(With over 1,300 people in attendance...that's a lot of hamburgers and hotdogs.)

(That's me and Erica in the background with some other interns!)
(They had beer, wine, champagne, etc. ...like a wedding, but with beer steins.)
(Photo opportunities with the Ambassador before the event.)
(The Ambassador and Mrs. Eacho - she is so classy and the nicest woman
...and she loves my bows. This was during his speech which gave me chills. I've asked Erica of Public Affairs to send me a copy.)
(The Marines)
(This somehow reminded me of a very extravagant Good Morning Monroe assembly... something that only my mom/Maddie will laugh at.)

(And at the end of the night there was a fireworks show,
and the band played America the Beautiful,
and I thought of the movie The Sandlot,
and I thought of how much I love, love, love
the United States of America
and I love working for the Embassy,
and how my country is my favorite country in the world
and that's the end.)

Oh -- and here are some photos from my camera:

This is me and Robee, who works with me.
Hannes calls her "The heart of the Department"
and I couldn't agree more.
She is really fun
and one of the sweetest people I have ever met
and her husband is so nice.
He drives her to work every morning
and picks her up every evening
and even brings her lunch sometimes
when his work schedule will allow it.
I've loved getting to know those two
and I am dreading the 2 weeks in August
when she is on vacation leave!!!

And then of course there's Manfred.
Enough said.

I have spent the majority of my 4th of Julys in Sapulpa, Oklahoma on a farm with a house full of cousins, aunts, uncles, my Grandma and Grandpa, shooting off fireworks, smoke balls, snap pops, eating cherry pie and drinking Grape Soda.
This 4th of July was spent in Vienna, Austria at the Ambassador's Residence, which included a house full of photos of Ambassador Eacho and his good friend Barack Obama, a yard full of diplomats and Foreign Service Officers, all types of Armed Forces, a million dollars' worth of gourmet cuisine and a little bit of fireworks, too.
Ironically, last year's 4th of July, I spent crying because I had moved home from Austria the day before and didn't know what to do with my life that next year.
I think my life turned out okay.
We'll see what happens next.
Jan said...

Oh my gosh, this was the best post yet on your blog. I wish I had been there at that party. I've never seen so much food. Your decorations were great, I bet that was so fun. That's sweet that you thought of Good Morning Morning Monroe at an Embassy Party!! I'm glad you love America and that you're becoming a political nerd!!

Kaitlyn said...

this is my favorite post too! i'm so proud of you, jennifer.

DiamondGirl said...

You are AMAZING! And I KNOW you tie the very best bows!! I am so proud of you Jennifer. I will never forget seeing you drive up at the fireworks stand with Maddie... I will always think of that on the Fourth of July and now I will think of you in this post and know that you are in your element. WOW!

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