Living in Falls Church, VA, I feel kind of isolated. Back home, we are the proud owners of a craftsman home located within walking distance (a pleasant one hour walk) from downtown Orlando. On the weekends we were able to walk downtown and catch a movie at the Plaza Cinema Cafe, or feed the ducks on Lake Eola, or have brunch at The Breakfast Club, or have a drink at Pulse.
In Falls Church, I could walk for an hour in any direction, and I think I'd still have to call a cab to get anywhere interesting. That's the price we pay for being pet owners. Much like parents have to give up certain freedoms when they decide to have children, pet owners have to give up certain luxuries when they join the Foreign Service.
The Foreign Service offers housing within DC, but with two dogs and a secret kitty (nobody knows she's here....shhhh!) we don't quite meet the requirements for in-District lodging.
We don't mind (too much), though. We love our babies and would never give them up for a nicer apartment.
Looking at the beautiful houses in the Dupont Circle area, however, does make one consider the notion of purchasing a second home.
Within walking distance, we could have drinks at JR's or Cobalt. We could have brunch (or a really late dinner) at Annie's. There is a dog park nearby. Whatever we chose to do, we wouldn't be at the complete mercy of the Metro.
Given the fact that at some point in his career TJ will be required to do a US-based tour, and that he will likely have to return to DC for further language training before being posted in a non-English or -Spanish speaking country, there is a pretty solid case for looking at real estate.
Not right now. One mortgage is enough.
But maybe one day.