What a long strange trip it’s been…

This post may seem a little disjointed but my thoughts are a little scattered these days as a lot of things have happened recently that are a little overwhelming.

As you all may remember, in Feb of 2013, I opted to leave the NASA and move over to the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian and I have had some good times. We have known each other for a really long time. My mom and dad used to bring me to the Smithsonian when I was little (the museums were free and could keep kids like me and my brother entertained for hours)! Getting the opportunity to work in a childhood pasttime favorite of mine was a dream come true!

The main entrance at Natural History, from staff floor!

I was really lucky to grow up in the DC metro area as I got to experience all of the awesome things DC had to offer on a regular basis, the Smithsonian museums being just a few of those things. My parents, being the scientists and nerds that they are and were, enjoyed the outdoors. My pop would always want to go out to wildlife refuges and take pictures and this would be ok with my mom and brother because they both liked looking around by ponds and in dirt for random creatures. Me…. not so much (prolly had to do with my brother making me eat mud and sand pies).

So when we would go to the local area wildlife refuges or national parks (Mason Neck, Great Falls, etc), everyone would kind of disperse and do their own thing. My pop would set up in a chair with his camera equipment and wait for birds, my brother would wander off, sometimes with me sometimes not, to play near the water or look for salamanders and I would generally follow a hiking trail to one place or another, checking back in occasionally. My pop was always in the same spot. We generally wouldn’t leave for hours. So these trips composed large parts of my childhood, as well as adulthood — example being when my pop and I went down to Florida to see MAVEN launch in November of 2013… the Merritt Wildlife
Refuge is right outside of Kennedy Space Center (KSC)


and so of course we had to go there and walk around and check out all of the birds, gators, and other animals we could see. It was a ton of fun!

Pop at Merritt Wildlife Refuge


We wandered around for over three hours just looking at stuff and goofing off.

I don’t think my family has ever had a BAD time at a wildlife refuge.



Anyway, I grew up learning stuff about space (so NASA was a great and amazing place to work), going to the Smithsonian (working here has been kick ass) and going to wildlife refuges… which brings me to my GIGANTIC AMAZING NEWS!!! 

I have gotten a new job and am transferring to Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges!!! I am REALLY excited! I type this on my last day here at Natural History, before anyone has gotten in to work, and before I have had coffee; but I really couldn’t be more thrilled.

desk friends
My desk friends are moving!!!! They are at home in a box, waiting for their new home!

Fish and Wildlife has their headquarters in VA, closer to my house, so the commute will be shorter (dunno if I can call it better) but I won’t be coming downtown every day anymore, so I will miss parts of the job here of course. The people are awesome and I got to do and participate in a lot of neat projects and events!

Reveal of the T-Rex skull
Reveal of the T-Rex skull


Carousel time -  free rides every week for staff!!!
Carousel time – free rides every week for staff!!!

This is only a handful of the stuff we got to do as Smithsonian  employees, not including folk life staff picnic every year, all of the exhibit previews, seeing bao bao debut and many others!

I have had a good run here at the Smithsonian and my husband and I couldn’t be more excited as we embark on this next part of our lives with my new job! He thinks he will get me to go camping more 🙂 — Dunno about this, but I love hiking and we do that regularly already, we just may start traveling further out for our hikes!

6:30am in the morning before I walked in, I took a final day selfie in the back parking lot!  

Last day smiles!
Last day, all smiles before we head into the building at 6:30am!

All I can say is “What a long strange trip it’s been…” and I am excited for my next one!

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1 Comment

  1. Shannyn says

    Congrats!! That’s great news!! Enjoy this new adventure!

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