Weekly Updates: ClassPass, Dogwood Festival, Trip Planning

It’s been over a week since I did a life update! How did you all live without knowing what was going on in my life?!?! Kidding!

Remember how I ended up with my crown falling out and a UTI? After spending all week feeling nauseous and having a sore throat, I broke out in hives on Friday! I was having a serious wtf is going on with my body moment! I managed to get some steroids from work the next day and that helped immensely and by the end of the day, I was better. But really, I think I had an immune system crash.

Last Friday night, Jon and I went to the Braves Home Opener! I’d like to say I got some fun pictures from the night, but honestly, after breaking out in hives, taking Benadryl before the game, and then having a two hour rain delay (which also dropped the temp and I was freezing), I was not really feeling super ecstatic about being there! We left after the 5th inning since it was late and I was so tired from the Benadryl! I’m actually super excited about it being baseball season though and going to some more games! It’s a little sad going to games, since 1/2 the team has been traded since last season and we no longer have Kimbrel as our closer, but I’m sure it’ll still be a lot of fun! I’m trying to soak in Turner Field while I can since the stadium is moving in 2017!

On Saturday, Jon and I went to the Dogwood Festival (a big art festival) with Crista and Billy! I’ve gone plenty of times in the past, but this year was crazy! It was miserably crowded and it was actually really hot out! Unfortunately, since we met up with friends, we didn’t get to browse through the art tents like I was hoping to do. Instead, we walked around a bunch and then found some chairs to sit in and people watch.

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Piedmont Park, Atlanta. Love my city.

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After we finished with our festivities, we had Mexican food and then Crista and I went and sat by her pool after getting back to her apartment. It was a seriously beautiful night out and I was so happy to just be sitting outside.

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Sunday morning, I went to a MissFits class (a ladies only CrossFit-esque class) via ClassPass. It was a really good workout and I really enjoyed it! That afternoon, Jon and I stopped by my parent’s house and started some planning for our Eurotrip and then headed to our friend Andreina’s baby shower! I had a really good time there and have enjoyed meeting a few of her friends at the last few things she’s had at her house! Very nice girls! After the baby shower, we came home to jump into some more trip planning!

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This past week has been a busy one! I worked Monday, ran errands and cleaned up on Tuesday, did another ClassPass class at Hard Exercise Works (CrossFit type workout), worked Wednesday, spent the night with my parent’s on Wednesday cause Jon has a friend in town, worked Thursday till 4ish and went to CrossFit last night, and now it’s Friday morning!

I went to another MissFits class today and now my upper body is smoked after two days of big upper body CrossFit stuff!

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#tokenbootyshortgirl

I had planned on doing my favorite Cardio Muscle Mix tomorrow, but I don’t know if my upper body can take it! I think I may end up canceling and going to have a leg day at LA Fitness! I’m meeting up with Kassie and Gina in the morning for a bridesmaids dress shopping day and hopefully we’ll all spend some more time together in the afternoon! Definitely can’t wait to have some time with my girls!

Anyway, my plans for the day are boring. GTL. I kid. I’m going to run to LA Fitness to cancel Jon’s membership, hit up Costco for some more protein powder, and then head to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Jon’s friend is still in town and they’re going out tonight for some dinner and drinks, so I’m thinking I may just have a low key night at home. I’m deciding if I want to make an effort to go out and do anything this evening, but it’s dreary and a night on the couch with my cats sounds nice!

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I know it’s not healthy to be fat, but this Tom Tom breathes so loud 24/7, probably cause his fat is squishing his trachea, and it just melts my little heart to listen to his kitty grunts all the time. #crazycatlady

Octane Coffee & Travel Nurse Friends

Happy Thursday everybody! I was so happy to be off today after a busy last three days at work! Since I went to bed so early last night, I was up before 8! Doesn’t happen much on my days off! Especially not without a ClassPass class to go to! I was motivated to get up early so I could lay on the couch and catch up on some TV shows before Jon got out of bed. Productive use of my morning, I’d say!

Jon woke up just as my shows were ending, so I napped for about an hour while he made me breakfast like a sweet husband should 🙂 After we chowed down on some hash browns and eggs, we decided to head to Octane for some coffee! We hadn’t been there but it’s really well known in Atlanta. I was not disappointed at all! I had a vanilla latte and it was really good! I’ll definitely be going back there.

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Jon and I headed to Nordstrom Rack to just kill time together since it was way too cold to hang out outside today. While we were in there, I saw on my Facebook Travel Nurse group that a girl was in Atlanta looking for housing and hadn’t found anything! She looked about my age in her photo, so I sent her a message that said she could come crash with us until she found a place.

Thankfully, my wonderful husband was agreeable to this since I offered it to her while I was using the bathroom and hadn’t even discussed it with him. I’m so glad he’s more easygoing than I am! I would totally not be okay with him extending an invite to our house without discussing it with me first.

Anyway, we ended up heading over to another coffee shop so that we could meet up with Haley, the girl who was going to be possibly staying with us! I ended up getting a turkey and gouda sandwich without the bread (I was going to work out soon and bread would have been too much). Haley was super nice so of course, we told her she could head to our house if she wanted!

We all came back to the house and I made some pancakes for work mornings and hung out for a bit before heading to CrossFit! I ended up picking out an On Ramp class off ClassPass (it wasn’t specified), so I showed up and it was a bunch of first timers! No big deal! We just did a super easy workout and I stepped it up a few notches from what they were doing and stayed after for some rope climbing and pull ups. It was still a good workout!

I made a quick stop for some eggs at Costco and came home to some pork chops and broccoli that Jon made us for dinner (he’s killing it with the meals, apparently!). We cleaned up the house some more since Haley was gone and I was slacking on cleaning the toilets and just needed to pick up a bit in general.

I’m about to head to bed and read. I have a STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction- aka: heart attack) conference lasting all day tomorrow and then I’m headed straight to have dinner with a bunch of travel nurses in the Atlanta area. And then bright and early on Saturday, I’m going wedding dress shopping with Kassie and fellow bridesmaids! I can’t wait! It’s so much more fun doing wedding stuff for somebody else’s wedding!

I’m headed off to bed! Have a good night, guys!

Hashbrown Crust Breakfast Pie

I had a pretty fantastic Thursday off work with Jon today! I’m hoping he ends up with a full time gig soon, so I’m trying to enjoy our midweek days off! We slept in a bit today and once we rolled out of bed, I decided to try making the breakfast pie I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks! It was a major success!

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I basically heated up about 4 cups of frozen hash browns on the stove, then smashed the excess water out and lined a buttered pie bowl with the hash browns. I baked the crust at 450 for about 20 minutes until it was a little browned on the edges. While that was in the oven, I had Jon cut up my veggies and sautéed 1/2 a white onion with 8oz of chopped up baby bellas, and then I added in a couple of handfuls of spinach at the end and wilted that. Jon cut up and cooked about 6 slices of bacon. We added all of that to a bowl and mixed in 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 chopped up roma tomato that we smashed the excess water out of also. Add some cheese (maybe 1/2 cup) and as much pepper as you want and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes! (Like how fancy my “recipes” are?)

Seriously, this was the shit. And I made it all up on my own. I was pretty proud of myself! I think this is going to end up becoming a breakfast staple and I have a feeling the leftovers (though there aren’t many) will make a nice morning snack at work tomorrow!

After our breakfast, we worked on adding me to Jon’s new insurance plan so now we have decent coverage again with Coventry and if I get pregnant now, it won’t be the end of the world! Hallelujah!

We headed out for our routine coffee date and enjoyed our nice cup of joe. Then we looked at some more Jeeps and found a fairly decent price on one! Once Jon gets a new full time job, the new Jeep will be a done deal! We walked around downtown Roswell for a bit after and enjoyed the sunny (but cold) day!

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We ended up going home after our little walk and then it was time for me to go meet up with Crista for some PM coffee! I had already had some, so I just stuck with a hot chocolate that was seriously delicious!

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They had a pretty killer sugar free carrot cupcake that Crista enjoyed! It was really nice to have some one on one time with her since I’ve only hung out with her and our guys since I’ve been home! We can’t really catch up 100% in the company of the guys. Hopefully this will happen more often so she works so close to our house! I don’t think she realized how close we are to each other!

After coffee, I came home and then Jon and I headed out for our nightly driving lessons! I’m definitely getting much better at driving his Jeep! I learned a trick to manage hills without rolling back so much and I even drove on one of the “main” roads to go take out our trash (we missed trash day today). Our lesson lasted about 45 minutes tonight, which is longer than we’ve been able to go so far. I tend to get stressed out easily when cars are around because I’m really not used to driving a manual yet, but it’s getting way easier now! Luckily the road we live on is really calm at night and has plenty of hills and side streets to practice on, so we’re able to get a good lesson in without going far!

This was the first day off work in a long time that I skipped the gym! I had a pretty killer CrossFit workout last night, including 150 back squats and 150 hand release push ups and a 2000m row (I despise rowing). I only used a 35# barbell on the squats and definitely couldn’t go down as far as I’d like. I also noticed that I leaned to the left since that’s my uninjured side. But I had no increase in pain today so that’s a relief! I may add in squats to my normal workouts, but still at a really low weight and low reps until my form is able to improve again. Today I wasn’t feeling the gym at all and took it as a sign. Besides, I have been wanting to let my hip get a little more rest, and I’m going to ClassPass classes on Saturday and Sunday morning so I think having 2 days off the gym totally will probably be good.

Alright, time to go wind down before bed. I took 50mg of benadryl almost 2 hours ago and am still not tired. WTF. I need to go to sleep for work tomorrow! Ahhhh!

Trip Home: San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Death Valley, Vegas, Oklahoma City

Back to the last of my travel updates!

After we did the Redwoods, Jon and I decided we’d spend a night in Napa Valley and then spend the next morning wine tasting! We ended up only visiting one winery, Castello di Amorosa. Jon liked their merlot a lot and I loved their La Fantasia! Hands down my favorite wine ever! They only sell wine through the winery or website though, but so worth it! I would order it and pay S&H for that!

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We headed into San Francisco after that! Come to find out, I almost disliked San Fran as much as I disliked NYC and am so glad we didn’t make a whole trip to San Fran alone (we have talked about it in the past)! It was pretty but a pain to drive around and due to how steep all the streets are, I would have no desire to walk around there either! We actually booked a hotel there for the night and ended up canceling because of how crazy the area was! Pier 39 was nice but just too crowded for me to really enjoy! I was blown away by the Golden Gate bridge though! We only saw it from the north end of the bridge, but I didn’t mind! I also convinced Jon to see the Full House houses too (we saw the original one too, which is a mile down the road from the park) and then I had the best hot chocolate of my entire life at Ghirardelli! I think it’s the whipped cream that does it!

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We ended up heading down to Maggie’s in Pacific Grove for a few nights! She is best friends with one of my good friends from nursing school and she’s on an assignment in California! She has a spare room so it worked out perfectly and we got along really well!

The next morning, Jon and I woke up to pouring rain. We had a completely lazy day other than dinner in Monterey and visiting a brewery! It was actually really nice to have a “zero” day where we did absolutely nothing exciting! I stayed up late chatting with Maggie that night about travel nursing and definitely enjoyed having some girl time with another nurse!

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Jon and I woke up early the next morning in hopes of beating the rain storm that was supposed to hit and headed down to Big Sur! The whole drive was absolutely beautiful! It makes me want to live in California, but that state is out due to their gun laws (Jon immediately rules out any state where he can’t concealed carry). We both could sit and watch waves forever (and did watch them for a long time at a lot of these stops)! They’re just so big on the west coast and the beaches are so much better than the east coast beaches!

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(We FINALLY dug the tripod out of the trunk!)

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(One of the few waterfalls that flows into the ocean in the US.)

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(Bixby Bridge. Also one of the most photographed bridges in the US.)

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After our Big Sur experiences, we started along the 17 Mile Drive that goes right up by Maggie’s house! Unfortunately, it started raining less than halfway into it, but we did get to see this beach! I assume it’s Pebble Beach, even though Jon tried to convince me that Pebble Beach is just the name of the golf course.

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The next day we decided to explore Carmel and Monterey early in the morning before making the drive over to a small town outside of Death Valley! We were in love with the beach area in Carmel and all the rich wives were out with their billions of dogs! I could seriously live that life. I don’t even have to be a rich wife! I can be a poor wife and I’d be happy to wake up to the beaches all the time!

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(This one is Monterey.)

After an afternoon of driving and a night in a ghetto hotel, we woke up for the longest day of our trip: Death Valley and Vegas. Death Valley was gorgeous but I would really not recommend it in any of the hotter months! My poor Civic was struggling with all of the elevation changes! The park was way more mountainous that I’d have ever expected but I am so glad we made it there!

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(Sand dunes. Also, I woke up and my hair looked like that. Why can’t that happen every day?!)

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(The area where they used to do borax mining.)

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(Salt flats.)

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(Natural arch.)

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(Artist’s Palette.)

After Death Valley, the sun set and we headed out to Vegas! Off season rates in Vegas are awesome and the rooms and spectacular! Go! It was definitely fun to go there, but we walked around from 7-1am and then got a whopping 3 hours of sleep before having to wake up for a full day of driving! The Bellagio fountain was probably my favorite part, followed by the New York area.

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The next day was spent driving! We had an 18 hour day (including two stops for sit down meals) and got into Oklahoma City around 1am! The next day, we met up with Cari, Jon’s coworker and my best buddy/gym buddy from Iraq! We had brunch at Kitchen No 324 (SO GOOD) and then went to an osteology museum. The highlight for me was the Oklahoma City National Memorial from the OKC bombing. If you ever go, definitely go to the museum. It was incredibly well done. Jon and I hit up a brewery while Cari was with her son and then all met up for dinner and a walk around the canal!

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The last day was another full day driving home! Sorry for the super long post, but I just wanted to get all the updates done and move on with my regularly scheduled blog posts (kidding- none are scheduled).

The End of Portland!

Well, my time in Portland is almost up! I just worked 11a-11p tonight (I got off a little early) and tomorrow night, I work my last shift up here! I’m doing 7p-7a, which will be my first night shift ever, aside from when I was in Iraq!

I wish I could make an “overall” statement about Portland! I guess I would say that this assignment has overall been a pretty good one! I really loved my job here! I can’t stress that enough. I would come back to work at this hospital full time in a heartbeat. The doctors and the staff were fun! The ER is actually pretty well organized and similar to how we did things in Georgia. I felt like things were safe and effective, and honestly, I loved the slower pace! I could keep doing ER if I had a pace like that all the time! We had a max of three rooms no matter what the assignment is, which was the best thing ever! Great job. Great ER. Great people.

I only wish the weather had been better in my time here and that Jess could have come to this assignment with me! I think I would have enjoyed it so much more if either one of those had happened, but I’m still really glad that I came out here. I definitely feel like I’m growing as a nurse and even though I may not be getting all the critical care experience that I was getting in Georgia (and therefore feel a bit behind when I head back to such a busy trauma center), but I know that I’m becoming much more well rounded. I still find the differences to be so interesting, in management, patients, and just nursing stuff like the medications used.

I also have been getting so much better at IV sticks lately! Maybe better isn’t even the right word- but more confident. In general, ER nurses have to be pretty good at them. I put in anywhere from 2-10 on an average day. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me here to get a hard stick for them and go in and get it without any real problems on my first try. We had a respiratory patient the other day that I was told how hard they were to get a line and went and popped in two IVs without any difficulty, although I could see why he would have been a harder stick. I went and stuck one in this guy’s hand, and then it was pulled out in CT and the guy ended up with a central line cause nobody else could get one in (I wish I could have gone back to try again, but I was tied up). Perhaps I should just be thankful now, where the hard sticks actually still have veins, as opposed to when I get back to dialysis land in Georgia where their veins really are shit. But I used to always think, “Well, if you can’t get an IV, then I definitely can’t!” Now I know that I might actually be able to get it (and almost always do) when somebody else can’t!

I think that this assignment has made mine and Jon’s marriage much stronger. I feel like the first one tore us down a bit. I felt distanced from him and although I was still excited to be with him, I felt much more independent of him. I had a really hard time adjusting to being with him when I was back in town. I may still have some little hiccups in adjusting to being at home, but I really have grown so much more appreciative of Jon and so much more excited to spend time with him. I still wouldn’t quit traveling for good to stay at home with him (yet), but I’m excited to maybe spend a little more than 1-2 weeks with him in the next few months! It’ll be good to be by his side a little more often! We argued maybe a handful of times, and those arguments were extremely minor. When I was in Massachusetts, we had much more frequent arguments! Not even sure why, but we did! Over just about anything! I just miss him too much to not enjoy our time talking!

So that’s the end of assignment #2! Jon will be here in less than 48 hours (AHHHH!) and after 1 1/2 days in Portland, we’ll be headed down south through California for our trip home! Can’t wait! I’ll keep you guys updated with some beautiful coastlines over the next week or so!

Pittock Mansion & Portland

After tossing and turning for hours last night, I got out of bed at 11:45 so that I could spend my very last free day in Portland doing something better than laying around! I headed out the door to see the Pittock Mansion, which I’ve heard has good views of the city and was all decorated for Christmas! The mansion was built in 1914 by a couple who basically helped develop Portland as a city!

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The mansion was beautiful on the outside but no Christmas decorations! I was really expecting some Christmas lights on the outside or something! It was pretty neat though because all the snow was blowing off the trees, so it felt like it was snowing outside!

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You all know I love me some Mt Hood! Not only that, but I could see Mt St Helen’s and Mt Adam’s as well! My phone wouldn’t have captured them and I haven’t uploaded the photos yet from my camera, but this was the good one! Apparently Mt Rainier is visible on clear days as well!

The mansion was only $10, but I was really disappointed in it! The actual mansion itself was really neat, but the Christmas decorations were so gaudy! I wish I had taken one on my phone! In on of the bathrooms, they stuck two gigantic gingerbread houses that literally took up the entire bathroom so you weren’t able to see any of the original features. Strange. But I still enjoyed the afternoon! It was definitely much quicker than I had planned!

I headed into Portland to see the Ira Keller Fountain but all the water was drained for the winter! I was so bummed! I probably should have snapped a few photos of it empty, but it just looked like a bunch of cement blocks! I did buy a new scarf from H&M and get to walk around the cute streets of Portland again though!

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I ran by work to grab my daily planner (I was lost without it and so worried I’d mess up my work days) and then headed to Whole Foods for some groceries. I threw together some stuff to take to work and then headed out to the gym! I ended up doing a mile run (I made it to 6.2 with no pain!) and then walked 3/4 of a mile at an incline. I get so much more tired doing that than running right now (since I’m still watching my pace till my hip is 100%) and I’m kind of liking the different challenge. I had planned on doing some legs, but a bunch of bros were taking up my leg area so I just did a few leg presses and a few planks and moved on with my night!

Not that I’m a foodie blogger, I figured I’d snap a quick picture of my dinner tonight (that I ate at 10:30pm)! I found some pretty good peppered deli turkey at Whole Foods and got some salami for my protein. I really would have liked some cheese on that spaghetti squash and on my meats, but I thought I had a lot left so I didn’t buy any when I went grocery shopping. Come to find out, I barely even have enough for my hash browns these next few mornings! Ah well. And I had more grapes but dropped them on the floor, and since the floor here is lived on by a 2 year old, I decided to just let those ones go.

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I’m going to chill for a bit and I’m really hoping to get to sleep around 1am! I’ve been relying on Benadryl for sleep a lot more lately and I really want to try to go without it, but I just don’t do well swapping back and forth so much with the hours that I sleep! I notice that I’ve been tossing and turning a whole lot more lately than I ever used to!

Tomorrow marks one week until Jon gets here and 9 days till I leave Portland!

Yummy Recipes, Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park, and Bye Bye IG and FB!

I’m now 3 full days back to healthier eating and I already feel so much better! I’ve actually ended up cutting coffee out for these three days as well but I don’t plan on that going on much longer! I’m already feeling an urge to get all the Dutch Bros and Peet’s in that I can before I leave Portland in less than 2 weeks!

It helps that I made the best dish ever though…

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I know the picture sucks because it was night time and it’s super dark in the house, but for real- so good. I bought a bag of frozen, cubed sweet potatoes and one of butternut squash and stuck them in the oven at 400 while I cubed 2 apples. I also had walnuts cooking on the stove in maple syrup and cinnamon on medium heat. Once the walnuts seemed like they were all glazed and yummy, I added everything to the dish and threw on some nutmeg and cinnamon to all the rest of the stuff and put it back in the oven till everything was somewhat soft. I’m pretty sure this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. And thanks to the freezer section, it was also really simple.

Pretty sure that has helped me stay sane on this no bread/sugar kick (I’m not counting maple syrup) because it’s just so delicious.

Yesterday I headed out to the coast to Oswald West State Park! It was a little snowy going through the north end of the Tillamook National Forest and the snow makes me so nervous! I did get an awesome view of Mt St Helen’s though! It’s kind of cool cause while I was getting a photo, a woman asked if it was Mt Hood or Mt St Helen’s. You really do get to know what they look like though! Mt Hood is much pointier and the summit leans to the north. Mt St Helen’s is a lot more flat!

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You can see some of the snow that was on the trees right in the front. Mt St Helen’s is gorgeous too, but just doesn’t have the same appeal as Mt Hood for me! I’m still dying to see Mt Rainier though! I bet it’s magnificent (I can’t believe I used that word, but that’s what I picture!)

The drive put me out just north of Cannon Beach, so I decided to make a quick pit stop! The rocks were just massive coming out of the water! I stayed away from them for the most part since it just looked really crowded up close, but it was still beautiful! The town of Cannon Beach was adorable too! I wish I had decided to spend the night there!

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I kept heading down to Oswald West but over the side of the road saw a little area that looked really awesome! The next few photos are from Hug Point!

Hug Point

Hug Point

I almost went back to my car but decided to walk up the beach a little! So glad I did, cause I found this waterfall!

Hug Point

Hug Point

I finally made it down to Oswald West and started out on the Cape Falcon hike! It seemed easy and the elevation gain was under 200 ft, but it was 5 miles round trip! I decided I didn’t want to get sucked into a 5 mile hike since I was already seeing such amazing places and my daylight was getting limited, so I walked back to the car and drove on. I came to this very short hike next, which led me to some breathtaking views! Reminded me of Australia!

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park

I just sat out there and enjoyed the view for awhile. It was just absolutely amazing to see the ocean from up so high and all the rocks and whirlpools! I love the PNW! I love being near the water and love being near the mountains and I tell Jon all the time that we need to live near one or the other in the future, but you win living up here! (Except for the m’f’ing RAIN!) After my mini hike, I drove further down the coast and saw another beautiful view!

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After getting back in the car and making one more quick stop in the town of Manzanita (also cute, but not as cute as Cannon Beach), I decided to head home! I was getting nervous about the roads icing over at night even though it hadn’t rained at all, but the roads were still wet in the mountains because of the shade. Instead of heading back north to where I came from, I headed way south in hopes of roads with no snow! Good call- I made it, despite an added hour of driving time! And I got to enjoy some new views as well!

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Today I headed to the Japanese Garden in Portland. I’m sure it’s beautiful in the summer, but all the leaves were gone and it was a bit of a disappointment! The Lan Su Chinese Garden wins for my Portland gardens!

I managed to get a great upper body workout in tonight and 16 or 17 minutes of going backwards on the elliptical (gotta work that butt sometimes). My hip only bothers me rarely these days, but still am not pushing the lower body workouts! Although I can’t wait for some leg workouts that just fatigue my muscles again! These baby leg workouts will do for now though.

And for my last news, I decided last night to deactivate my Facebook temporarily! I also deleted Instagram off my phone. I’m sure both of them will come back sooner than later, but I’m going to try to keep off of them until Jon and I head back on our road trip at least. It feels strange not picking up my phone and browsing through there, but I find Facebook to be kind of boring anyway and it’s just a time filler. I do like posting what I do cause I know mine and Jon’s parents follow it so it’s fun for them to connect with me while I’m away, but I won’t be doing anything other than working over the next week anyway! It’s probably good to disconnect for a bit and I’m hoping to start filling my time more productively for a little while and break the habit of just getting on Facebook out of boredom. What did I do before my iPhone, anyway?!

This was definitely long enough! Have a good night, everybody!

Seattle Trip

My trip to Seattle wasn’t exactly beyond thrilling, but I am definitely glad I got to see part of the city! I got into the city around 1pm and decided to head to the Space Needle first! Seems to be the biggest tourist thing to do in Seattle so I figured I might as well! If anybody ever goes, there’s a public parking lot right at the base of the Space Needle (well, really close), but outside the lot and down the street is free 2 hour parking!

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I paid $22 (I think) to go up, but you could pay $32 for a day and night trip. I was tempted, but wasn’t really sure how much time I’d have to do it at night again! I stood in line behind by some really obnoxious children, sweated through my winter clothes, and wished desperately that Jon was traveling with me!

I made it to the top and I must say, it was pretty awesome! I love being up high in cities and being able to look down!

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Just kidding! That photo was taken at the bottom and superimposed! They could have at least superimposed it onto an entire city shot instead of having that big white half moon thing there!

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Awesome city views! The only unfortunate part was that Mt Rainier was fogged out and I would have loved to see it in the background! I might have cried, that’s how much I love volcanoes!

Once I had my fill of the cityscape, I decided to head down to the Pike Place Market! I took a quick detour to try and see some of the waterfront, but it was a lot of highway down there!

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After that, I finally made my way into the market!

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It was a cute market! Lots of stuff! I ended up getting some Greek yogurt from a vendor that reminded me so much of the real Greek yogurt in Greece! It was so thick and creamy! Then I got a crepe that was delicious! Savory crepes are the best! After that, it was getting dark and starting to rain! I made one stop by the first Starbuck’s ever and decided there was no way I was waiting in line for coffee that I don’t even like! Neat to see it though!

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Next I stumbled upon the famous gum wall that was started in the early 90s and was really disgusting! I hate gum anyway cause I think it’s so gross to repeatedly chew on your own spit, but I thought I’d snap some photos since it’s well known!

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There were a ton of really cute alleys and little shops! Our closest couple friends may move there and I’m tempted to try and take an assignment there in the summer! I would love to explore the mountains up there and I’d still be close to Oregon!

The rest of the evening (till my meltdown over the ferry and not having my husband) was spent at Starbuck’s, just killing time. I wish they had other coffee shops, but I went down by the ferry terminal and there weren’t many options! I had the new praline latte or whatever it is- disappointing. Starbuck’s sucks.

And that’s it for Seattle!

Mt Hood: Mirror Lake and Trillium Lake in November

I finally made it to Mt Hood yesterday! I’ve been some awesome places, but nothing amazes me like volcanoes! I just want to see all of them! I ended up checking online to view the roads on the webcams that are set up at the national parks up here and the roads were looking free of snow, so I headed on out!

I didn’t do anything particularly crazy or exciting, but I made my first stop at Trillium Lake! I actually went to the DMV for a Sno Park Pass (I wasn’t about to get another ticket after my last $100 lesson) thinking that I’d need it to park while at the park. I didn’t need it once. I suppose because it wasn’t snowing, they allowed parking all over the place. At least that’s what it looked like!

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It was beautiful there! I definitely would have loved some calm waters to make for an amazing reflection, but it was far too winy! As a matter of fact, it was a bit miserably cold! The wind was painful on any bare skin that I had!

After my stop at Trillium Lake (which I was able to park right at), I decided to head to see the Timberline Lodge from The Shining. Everybody says you have to! I find a lot of these roads a bit eerie in the winter since so few cars pass by and I’m already terrified of getting stuck in the middle of horrendous weather and not being able to get my car off a mountain! The clear skies eased my mind, but still!

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You get up close and personal with Mt Hood from the Timberline Lodge! It was definitely much closer to the summit than I was expecting!

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I wasn’t able to walk out to see many views, just cause the parking lot was so incredibly icy and I wasn’t about to bust my butt out there! I already have a hurt hip- can’t be doing that! I should have gone into the lodge, but I was anxious to start my Mirror Lake hike!

I headed back down to Mirror Lake and got a nice parking spot! I can see how parking would be difficult in the nicer months! The “parking lot” was right off the highway and allowed for about 10 cars total. I actually read that the parking would close on Nov 1 so was really worried about that, but it ended up being almost full at the parking area.

I headed out on a total of a 3.9 mile hike (I think)! It was all uphill to start so I was definitely working up a sweat in all my layers! Never wear a down vest hiking! Lesson learned!

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I was absolutely freezing by the end of my stop at Mirror Lake! I cooled off from that hike in no time and then my hands and face became unbearably cold! I was the only one at the lake and got a little scared when I realized I had no idea which trail I took into the lake! I started on the Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail (I really want to do this hike- but it’s 7 miles and I definitely didn’t have the time or stamina in that weather!) and realized it pretty quickly and made my way back to the right trail!

I was starving by then, so headed to a place in Portland to eat (Blossoming Lotus)! I got bibimap and it was totally weird. I was not a fan! I don’t get why vegetarian places need to put soy in every dish! Do people still think soy is good for you?! Weird. And it didn’t taste good. It’s hard to believe I was a vegetarian for 14 years and actually liked that type of food.

I skipped the gym again last night due to hip irritation still. I feel like it’s not improving anymore now and that it actually seems to be getting worse! I think the insurance dilemma will be worked out sooner than later though, so I’m hoping maybe an MRI is in my near future. But I’m at the 5 week point now, so if it’s a sprain of some sort, then it’s still well within the healing range. And if I really did some damage, a few months is normal. Still not sure what good an MRI will really do unless it was surgical, which I’m doubting. So, maybe I don’t even care about an MRI. I don’t know. I’m clearly back and forth with it.

I’m now snowed into work! About to go to sleep in my Hotel Ortho. I hurried out the door early today when snow started accumulating in Washington! It was quick to cover the roads (it went from 0 to this in about 30 minutes) and it was slick getting out! I’ve never actually driven in much snow (aside from Crater Lake) so I was really hesitant to get on the road!

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Since I’m back to work tomorrow anyway and my roommate said Washington roads are still pretty bad, I’m camping out on the ortho floor at the hospital! I’m one of two, since Portland really isn’t too bad and most people working here live in Oregon!

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Time for me to go sleep tight before another day of work tomorrow! I’m hoping to wake up in time to finally go get brunch from a Portland breakfast place since I’m downtown!

Drift Creek Falls and a Quick Update

This past weekend I went out to see Ben and Kaitlin at their beach house again. I got there on Sunday afternoon and we headed out to hike Drift Creek Falls! It was a really easy hike (maybe 3 miles total?) and had a beautiful waterfall at the end! I’ve done a lot of waterfall hikes and this was actually probably one of my favorite falls I’ve seen! There was a lot of water coming down that fall! And the suspension bridge going over the little gorge area was so fun! We climbed up all the rocks to get back on the trail and my butt has been so sore! I suppose that’s what happens when you can’t squat anymore!

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I left around noon on Monday to go to Pheasant Creek Falls, but after not passing any cars for miles and off roading to the trailhead, I was a bit creeped out. I’m sure it would have been completely fine, but I was worried that random forest creatures would get me! It was only a mile to the fall and it had great reviews, so I was really a bit annoyed with myself for getting too creeped out to hike it and now am convinced that I have to go back. (By the way, this is where I’m really glad my car didn’t break down!)

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Despite skipping the hike, I still saw some beautiful scenery! All the trees in the woods are covered in moss and I’m still catching the end of the colorful leaves!

We reviewed my Terrible Tuesday already! Today is shaping up to be better than yesterday! (Not hard to do.) I woke up at 9:30 and headed out to the gym for a bit. I was only there for about 40 minutes and then came home to shower and make breakfast! I’m feeling a bit sluggish (as usual) before work and would love to lay down for a nap, but I have to head out shortly. I tend to wake up once I have my coffee and actually get in the hospital. Can’t see all the dreary weather then!

That’s really about it! Just dropping in for a quick hello and to share a few pictures of the hike!