The last day, one more time!

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My last day (I know what you’re thinking- wasn’t this morning’s post already her last day post?!)! It was a beautiful day, as most days have been so far! I enjoyed an hour long walk along the canal and can’t believe that I haven’t been enjoying it all along! It’s only about 15 minutes from where I have been living!

Jess texted me while I was out walking around, so I went to meet up with her for breakfast. I enjoyed some french toast (one day I’ll get back to eating Paleo) with her. I’m sad she isn’t coming to Portland with me, but we’re set on meeting back up in January for our New Mexico adventure! Can’t wait to meet back up and keep traveling with her! She has made this assignment so much better! It’ll be hard to stay sane without my travel buddy!

After our lunch, I managed to talk myself into going to the gym despite really wanting to skip it! I’m glad I went because I actually had a really good workout!

I did sumo deadlifts, which I have found to be more effective for me than regular deadlifts when it comes to really strengthening my hamstrings. I did some more legs and then did an upper body workout! Felt great! There was a girl in there doing legs and the usual guys, and then there were 3 younger guys. They were so young that they were taking pictures of themselves at the gym. Probably to put on Facebook or Instagram with lots of hashtags. Anyway, while I was between sets of ring dips, the girl came up and said it was so funny to watch the younger guys follow me around. Then she went on to tell me what great legs (and what a great body in general!) I have! We chatted for a bit about CrossFit and she kept saying how I must be so young. I told her that I’m 28 and she was shocked! She thought 22. And then she said the guys should get on it and get my digits (sarcastically, I’m sure- they were babies) since I had mentioned it was my last day in town. Then I said I was married and really threw her off (I never wear rings to the gym). She was so sweet and it was nice to hear such positive words about all my hard work! And I felt like my legs had gotten so skinny when I quit working out with my thumb injury and I feel like it has taken so long to even start coming back! I have felt them getting somewhat bigger but Jon can never tell, so they really must be!

This evening I packed my whole room up! I brought SO much underwear! I didn’t even realize how many pairs I brought but I guess I thought I’d never do laundry! How many thongs can I need?! I also have tons of clothes since I was expecting to actually get dressed up more often and was expecting a bigger change in weather… Definitely could have left tons at home! I have no clue how Jon is going to fit his suitcase in my car! I also have my huge painting from Rhode Island to fit too! Ahh! Other than that, all that’s left is a backpack, my camera, and a computer! Not too shabby! I stopped by work to drop Jessie’s Keurig off and left some munchkins (all about the DD here) and a thank you note for my coworkers! Already miss them! They were great!

Time to head to bed! I plan on leaving around 6:15ish tomorrow! I thought about going to the gym at 5, but let’s be real… I need to sleep! And we’re going to be hiking for two days so it’s not that important!

Boston Weekend!

Since we have impending storms for the day and I’m sick again, I’m wasting one of my last two day off stretches being lazy and not traveling! Womp womp. Feeling a little guilty about that, but I have about 0 motivation (I am still going to make myself go to the gym right after this, though).

Back to a quick weekend of my girls’ weekend! I must say, it really was fantastic to have my friends in Boston with me! I got off work at 9 on Friday night and went to pick them up at the airport. We came back to Plymouth and spent the night where I live. We stayed up talking about the high school reunion and telling stories and it was totally a fun little sleepover.

We got up early on Saturday and drove around Plymouth a bit (they loved it here) before heading to Boston! We checked into our hotel and then ended up driving back down to the train station. We got into Boston around 1pm and went straight for the Public Garden and Boston Commons (the oldest park in the US). This is by far one of my favorite areas in Boston (followed by the Charles River). It is just beautiful!

Boston Commons & Public Garden

Boston Commons & Public Garden

We spent quite a bit of time in the parks and I think I could have sat down and spent an entire afternoon there. I’m secretly hoping for a gorgeous fall day before I leave so that I can head back to Boston and just sit at the park for an entire afternoon. I am going to miss Boston a ton when I leave!

Parish Cafe

After exploring for a bit, we settled on Parish Cafe  for lunch since somebody had recommended it to Kass! Hands down, the best food I’ve had since I’ve been in New England (we all know I’m not a big fan of the food here though)! I had some turkey and brie sandwich with a cranberry sauce. It was heavenly. I wish it was more convenient to me because I would eat there again every day if I could! This even beat The Skinny Pancake from Vermont!

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We spent the majority of our afternoon walking along the Freedom Trail. You can download an app on your phone and then you follow a brick path that takes you by historical landmarks! This building was where the Declaration of Independence was first read and also the site of the Boston Massacre. One of the things I love about Boston is the historical aspect mixed in with new buildings (see the tall building peeking out overhead?). Atlanta doesn’t have much history because of the fire and I really think it’s just so awesome being surrounded by some of the most historical stuff in the US, as well as insanely tall glass buildings!

Boston

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We went in search of famous cannolis for quite awhile! The whole North End is basically Little Italy, but it was insanely crowded there! So much that I didn’t enjoy it at all! We stood in line for about 20-30 minutes to get our cannolis from Mike’s Pastry and then sat by the water to enjoy them. Unfortunately, I found that I’m not a huge cannoli person, but they did have a really awesome amaretto one. I would recommend trying it if you’re in the area. We asked a guy to take the photo above of us and were so happy a good one came out! It’s the only good one we have of the entire weekend! (By the way, left to right is me, Gina, Kassie.)

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Our night ended at the Harpoon Brewery, where we enjoyed plenty of beer! Well, I enjoyed one big one and two little ones since I had to drive home later that night! I was pleased to see that it was not nearly as busy late at night as when Jon and I went last time! We were close to the last to leave there and then headed back to our hotel room for the night!

Sunday morning we ended up wandering around Cambridge since it was also recommended to Kassie. I don’t think we found the right area, but we did enjoy a nice little breakfast and then crossed the Charles River. Unfortunately, it was really humid out and kind of miserable in the morning! Once we crossed the river, we ended up going in and out of shops for awhile to cool off! Kassie’s goal for the day was to find Chinatown, which we eventually made it to!

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Bubble tea was huge in China (Kass and Gina lived in China for 4 months teaching English, and Laura and I went for a 2.5 week visit a few years back while they were there!) so they were so excited to see an authentic bubble tea place! I got a coconut one that was seriously delicious! I have no idea what it was called (probably a Chinese symbol since everything was in Chinese), but I’d definitely go back! (Also, I skip the bubbles because they’re disgusting.)

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We ended up walking around the shopping streets in Boston and going to look at random articles of clothing. I bought a really plain sweater from H&M and then talked myself out of spending any money on clothes! We went to UNO for dinner and enjoyed some air conditioning since we weren’t sure when the rain was supposed to start! They had awesome pizza and a really awesome salad with goat cheese and walnuts! I’m not a big salad person but I loved it (and later got it in Providence too).

After dinner, we decided to head to the Top of the Hub so they could enjoy some scenery from above the city. They enjoyed drinks and I enjoyed an espresso creme brûlée! So good!

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 Kass really wanted to go out for drinks afterwards and get a taste of the Boston nightlife! I was so ready for bed, and on our walk to the train station we got poured on! So we called it a night and headed back to the hotel, where we all crashed before having to wake up at 5:45 to take Kass and Gina back to the airport after way too short of a weekend!

Vermont & Camel’s Hump!

I’m back from Vermont, SADLY! I love Vermont! I loved Maine too, but I think they might be tied for #1 state (I hope I feel like this about all the states I explore!). Vermont was so peaceful and so amazing! I think that’s the first time in weeks that I’ve just had absolutely 0 stress! We got into Burlington around 5pm after some serious detours since Jess is a poor navigator, but we loved our detours so no big deal!

Burlington was adorable! It was such a hippie town (that part doesn’t impress me). People were so incredibly nice! We saw a guy carrying a kitten on a leash and he came and talked to us and I got to play with his kitten! We watched the sunset over Lake Champlain!

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Church St, Burlington.

We ended up enjoying a beer on a rooftop bar that night and then stayed at the Hilton Burlington for only $70 and it was in a great location! Jess and I already loved everything about Vermont but it really only got better!

We got up on the second day fairly late. We had plans of hiking but instead decided to go on the tour of Cabot cheese, Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain coffee, a cider mill, and a chocolate factory. All the brochures say the tours are all within 4 miles of each other. We started at Green Mountain and had breakfast right near there. Turns out, it’s not a tour. The factory is right there but you can’t go in, so we just drank our coffee (delicious) and were on our way… only to be further disappointed because ONLY Ben & Jerry’s was actually a tour! The rest were shops! Bummer! But it was still a good day!

We went to Little River State Park after to set up camp! We got out tent up in no time and went out to buy camp/hiking food! It didn’t take long and we went back to roast hotdogs and relax before hiking the next day!

We hiked Camel’s Hump the following day! We definitely didn’t get an early start and enjoyed a breakfast in Waterbury first! The drive out to Camel’s Hump wasn’t quite like a drive I’ve experienced before! It was very far out and was basically a dirt mountain road with a parking lot at the end. Thankfully, we made a bit of an ascent before parking since Camel’s Hump is a 4,000 footer.

The hike was fairly difficult. I think it was 2.7 miles up to the summit, but it was straight up almost the entire time, rocky, and there was no scenery along the way at all! I hate hikes where you look at trees for hours, so I was getting a bit bored with the hike. But the summit was so worth it!

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We hung out at the top for a bit and then decided to head down. The real reason we wanted to hike Camel’s Hump was because our friend from Burlington with the leashed kitten had told us to do this hike so we could see a plane that had crashed into the summit! Apparently back during WWII, a B24 bomber was on a training flight and crashed into the summit. Only one soldier made it out alive and the rest died. Most of the wreckage was recovered, but part of it was still there. We were discouraged because nobody on the summit had heard of it and one lady said that it was really difficult to find anymore, but we were determined!

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Starting that descent was a bit daunting since it’s basically straight down huge rocks! It was also close to the edge! But then it turned back into a normal trail (a very wet, very rocky, very slippery trail)! I happened to find the plane because I thought part of a dark root might have been metal, and then I saw the light metal in the background! It was really eery coming up on it, hidden in the woods, but once we were near it, it wasn’t nearly as bad! We were told by a pilot that this is part of the wing, but I’m really not sure what it was! Very cool to be near that though!

The hike took about 4.5 hours total and we went about 6 miles after taking the detour to see the plane. I would say it was a somewhat difficult hike and shoes with good traction are needed for the slippery rocks! But I really loved the summit! It was absolutely amazing!

We stopped at a local inn on our way back (Mad River Barn) for some dinner! It was so cute inside and aside from the screaming children, we loved it! The inn was adorable too and I would love to stay there! They said they get crazy busy in winter since that’s a big ski area!

After dinner, it was back to camp to build a fire and relax! After our hike, we were just so happy to be out in the wilderness for another night with our campfire and tent! I never wanted to leave! I think I could have camped for an entire week and decided that for my health, I probably should try to camp more often! I think my cortisol levels decreased by 500% on that trip! I’m definitely a nature girl!

Yesterday morning was the last day! We took down camp and then headed out to try and find Heady Topper (the cases- we had the beer in Burlington but apparently it’s really sought after) for some people we work with. We had lunch in Montpelier which was so tiny! Then we walked around to find the coop with the beer. It was sold out and apparently there are lines to buy it when it gets delivered.

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As big as the streets get in the capitol city!

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The capitol building!

Next we went to Barre to try another package store, only to have the same experience! We decided to hit up some covered bridges on our way out of Vermont because they have tons of them and we hadn’t seen any! We drove through some beautiful areas and I just stayed in love with Vermont the whole time! Still amazed by what a beautiful state it is and would absolutely love to take a travel assignment there!

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An old mill we found!

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Two covered bridges! From the 1700s.

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The third covered bridge, just down the road from the other two. Also from the 1700s.

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Fourth bridge.

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The fifth bridge! My personal favorite! It was super cute!

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That concludes the Vermont trip! Hope you enjoyed! Today it’s back to work!

Boston Day! Top of the Hub and Duck Boat Tours!

Yesterday was another awesome day with Jessica (and Christina, for the first half of our day!). I barely managed to drag myself out of bed at 11am, after receiving a call from my scheduler at work at 8:30 in the morning after not getting off until 11:30 the night before. Makes no sense, just like everything else at this job. I won’t even get into our conversation, but I will just say that I am so thankful for what an awesome scheduler we have at my home hospital.

Jess and I headed out to pick up Christina and take the T into Boston just after noon. We decided our first stop would be the Skywalk  at the Prudential Tower! I have been dying to do this as I absolutely love the Sun Dial in Atlanta! We got there and the Skywalk was closed, so we opted for the Top of the Hub, which is the restaurant at the top of the Prudential Tower. We decided to get a table and enjoy a drink, which ended up being a mistake because Jess and I were so tired the rest of the day! What old women.

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Too bad the reflection shows up in the sky! Ah well! Absolutely love this city! I think Jess and I talked about that a million times yesterday! I am so incredibly grateful to be living in this amazing area for 13 weeks! Even with the lack of real Mexican food and sushi, I still love it. Cities with water are my absolute favorite!

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Christina, Jess, and me! (Got that shift for $5 at Charlotte Russe the other day- hollaaaaa- love a good deal). We enjoyed some Kobe beef sliders and decided to be on our merry way! At the bottom of the Prudential Tower is a Cheesecake Factory so we decided to enjoy some cheesecake outside on such a beautiful day!

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We were pretty psyched to walk outside and see that fountain to sit by! After our cheesecake, Jess and I fell asleep for a few minutes sitting outside. It was so nice outside! Christina headed off to meet up with her boyfriend and Jessica and I decided to do a Duck Boat tour!

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These boats drive on land and go in water! I’ve seen them all over the place and have been wanting to do them so we were actually pretty excited about it! Sadly, our guide was extremely difficult to understand because he mumbled a lot, so I really have no idea what he was telling us about Boston. It was nice to sit down and enjoy the ride though. We definitely saw some areas that we want to go to next time we make it to Boston. Hopefully next time we wake up earlier and get a nice, early start on our day. Oops.

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I really love being on the Charles River! I loved our Charles River tour when Rachel and I did it and this was awesome too! The sun was setting and I wish we could have just stayed out on the water the entire time! How can somebody not love this city?!

Our tour ended and then Jess and I headed back to Plymouth! We had to eat at Burger King on the way back (I don’t even know the last time I had fast food- Jon and I didn’t even get it on our entire road trip that we took a few weeks ago). It was disgusting and we waited forever, but we found that nothing is open at 10pm aside from bars, and neither of us wanted to spend a long time eating.

I’m just getting ready now to go to work! I work today, tomorrow, and Monday. Tomorrow will be my first 12 hour shift at this hospital and I’m dreading it a bit, but at least I didn’t have to add an extra day at work to hit my 40 hour mark for this week! I definitely needed my day off yesterday and it was so nice to have a day off where I got to spend time with people! My excitement for travel nursing has been renewed a bit! I just have to have the time to go exploring or else I get too down with how much this job sucks! Jessica and I have been talking about our travels after this assignment (we’re going to NYC right after this assignment ends for a few days!) and I am super excited to start seeing some more new places! There really is just nothing more amazing than seeing new places! I still absolutely love that my career (/temporary career- until I go back to grad school) allows me to do this and I also am glad that I fully take advantage of this opportunity and am constantly exploring on my days off!

(Sometimes I need to talk about how grateful I am for doing this so when my job sucks and I’m near tears at the end of a day because of how rude the doctors are here, I have something positive to look back on and remember why I’m doing this.)

 

Newport, RI and Roomie Hangouts

finally got to spend time with Jessica this week! After living together for two weeks now, I figured it was bound to happen at some point! Sunday we headed out to Newport, RI in the early afternoon. We didn’t really have any plans and didn’t stay for all that long, but we want to head back and do a tour of the mansions there.

We started the day with breakfast at the White Horse Tavern– the oldest tavern in the US. (There she is below.)

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I had cranberry and pecan french toast that was pretty decent but way too sweet for me! I barely finished two pieces! The breakfast there was pretty pricey too and there really weren’t all that many options. I’m also a big eggs and bacon kind of girl and they didn’t have an option to just add a scrambled egg. They did have an $8 egg breakfast but ain’t nobody paying that much for eggs. I could have bought 32 eggs at the store for that price. The tavern was really cute on the inside though and the service was great.

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After breakfast, Jess and I spent the afternoon walking around Newport! It was super cute and for the most part, there was a nice breeze! I also found an art store that was closing out and bought this beauty!

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I was so excited about how cheap it was (still expensive- but for an original painting WITH a frame, it was a really good deal for art in the US- European paintings are always way cheaper). I can’t wait to take it home in September and find a place to hang it! Pretty much everything I have in my house is from my travels somewhere and I was looking to find a piece out here, so glad I was able to get this already!

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We also got our very first picture together! Awwwww, roomie love (my Mac just changed that to rookie love). And yes, I was holding my hair for the picture because it was windy out. Don’t hate. I ended up googling things to do in the area and found Ft Adam’s State Park, so we headed over. It was on the water (as all the forts are) and did some walking around.

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Pretty amazing views there! I love the water up here. I still have only had one beach day where I have spent some time sitting on a towel, but I don’t feel like I need it. I’ve been to beaches and got my tan on in my previous, non-travel nursing life. I just want to walk around and see all the rocky beaches and wharfs and marinas. And there are so many in Massachusetts so I’m pretty much happy no matter where I go. Even the most ghetto areas have coastlines that I like.

On our way back, we decided to get dinner at a Chinese place in Fall River, MA. We yelped it and found a place with 4 1/2 stars and 6 really good reviews. It was totally in the ghetto and served ghetto quality food (for the record, I’m really good at finding places to go in the ghetto- it’s becoming my new thing, which is also how I know that I like the coastline in ghetto areas). I can’t even remember what it was called now but if any of you ever go to Fall River (which you should probably just avoid), avoid their Chinese. If that one had great reviews, I can’t imagine what the other Chinese in the area is like.

Back on track now. So, I lazed around Sunday night and then Monday morning, Jess and I had our hospital orientation which was soooo boring. We were done by noon though so we had time for lunch in Plymouth before I had to go to work. We actually had breakfast for lunch (we both love breakfast- we’re a match made in heaven) and then went to see Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower from afar.

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The Mayflower. In our scrubs, because we’re totally awesome nurses. And because I was totally working right after this picture was taken. Thankfully I only had to work 4 hours. They were busy hours but easy (I don’t think my old job has ever had a Monday that good).

After work, Jess and I headed down to Cape Cod for a Mexican dinner. I’ve realized that Mexican food is just really not all that great when you’re so far from Mexico. The Mexicans making my food (maybe they weren’t Mexican, but they looked like it) didn’t even speak Spanish. They didn’t even have queso. WHAT KIND OF MEXICAN IS THAT?! Clearly not. But my burrito was actually really good for the fake Cape Cod Mexican that it was.

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Definitely had a good time with this girl. We walked around and ate ice cream and I imparted all the wisdom I’ve gained in my 28 years on this planet. But really, we did have good talks and I’m really glad we ended up finding each other on match.com (/allnurses.com).

Anyway, this was pretty lengthy, but all I did today was go to CrossFit and then head to Salem and Gloucester. I ended the day with lots of traffic and a trip to Whole Foods. Salem was alright, but not good enough to write a whole blog post on right now. Maybe if I’m bored later and am impressed with any of my pictures. And now I’m about to FaceTime Jon and sit in wet misery because the humidity has come back in Plymouth and we’ve already established that nobody in Massachusetts believes in air conditioning.

Alrighty, have a good night everybody!

Charles River Tour in Boston

Today ended up being a pretty fantastic day! I didn’t end up waking up in time to go to the gym, but hey, after 3 nights at work, I’m just going to let it slide! I got ready for the day in Boston and then headed out to meet up with Rachel, one of the girls who is now traveling up here that worked with me down in Atlanta.

I was venturing onto the T for the first time since being here (it’s their mass transit, sort of like our MARTA but a lot more expansive) so I headed up to the southernmost station and the parking lot was full! I attempted to head to the next station that was only 3 miles away and somehow got lost in a parking lot. Seriously. My iPhone kept telling me to turn onto named streets in 50 feet while I was smack dab in the middle of the parking lot. I don’t even know where my phone thought I was and I was about to throw the thing out the window but know that I obviously can’t live in a city that I don’t know without my iPhone. iPhone saved. I did make it to the next station eventually…

And then I sat on the T and thought my train was going to come off the tracks. It bounces up and down and makes such horrific noises! But really, how can a train bounce up and down and not come off the tracks? I think I was sweating.

If I wasn’t sweating enough on the train, I got all my sweating in down in Boston! I also left my camera at home since it was supposed to storm today (spoiler alert: it didn’t- and I didn’t get any pictures of the awesome things we saw other than on my cheapo iPhone). I was actually so glad to be meeting up with Rachel! A familiar face is nice! Since Jessica and I work such opposite days, my interaction with people has been mostly limited to people I see at work and that’s just not the same as friend time.

We ended up eating pretty quickly after I got there at Zuma Tex-Mex Grill. The food was pretty decent and we spent the time catching up about how horrible my new job is and what she has in store for her (she starts her travel assignment on Monday). We decided to head over to do a Charles River tour after lunch!

Guys, it was hot today in Boston! We were sweating like crazy. I’m pretty sure we spent half of our walk talking about how much we were sweating and by the time we got down by the ticket area for the tour, our clothes were soaked. We sat inside a mall and enjoyed the cooler weather until our 4:15 take off time.

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My hair was down and looked good to start with… And then we sweated and I couldn’t take it anymore! I just can’t look good in the summer! It’s too hot for this wavy haired girl! The tour was actually really pretty awesome. It lasted about an hour and really didn’t take us super far, but we got to sightsee from the middle of the river, so I liked it!

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After we did our tour, we decided to get some dinner and head towards the 4th of July festivities (it was moved to today because of storms tomorrow). We ended up having pizza for dinner and having plenty of time left, so followed that by some ice cream. I’m pretty sure I consumed a year’s worth of sugar today between an iced milky way coffee, ice cream, pizza, garlic bread, and a vitamin water. Whatever. Thankfully that’s not my normal diet.

We got down near the festivities and realized that the crowds were just absolutely insane. We decided just to head across the river and view the fireworks from the other side and figured we’d be able to hear the band playing from over there too. Once we got to the bridge, we realized it was closed. It was another mile to the next bridge so we decided to just step it out and make it across the river to hear the bands. Another five gallons of sweat later, we made it to the festivities on the other side of the river! We couldn’t really hear the band and it was super crowded, so we sat down on a little bridge and hung out. We got to looking at train schedules and decided maybe we couldn’t stay till 11pm when the fireworks were supposed to end (she had to take a commuter train and the last departure time was around midnight, plus she had to switch on the T three different times).

We headed off to the T around 10pm and made our way through the crowds. At 10:10, they started the fireworks! A whole 20 minutes early! People were running down the streets to see them! We managed to see a few over the buildings but hearing fireworks from between city buildings was something else! It was so loud and the sound was resonating between all the buildings! We could also see the fireworks on most of the glass windows! I sort of wished we had stayed to see the show since it’s supposed to be number one in the country, but not enough to want to fight the crowds on the T after they ended.

I had a nice quiet ride home aside from thinking the train was about to derail and got a nice quick shower in. I’m about to edit some photos for a few minutes and head to bed. I work 11p-1a tomorrow (I picked up 2 extra hours) and Jessica has been texting me all night tonight about how horrible it is so I’m dreading it. I also have no food to eat tomorrow, so I need to go to the grocery store in the morning. The gym is closed for the 4th, so that’s off the morning schedule.

I’m looking forward to Sunday. Jessica and I are going to go have brunch at the oldest bar in the US (White Horse Tavern) in Providence and do some exploring in Rhode Island! Although I still miss Jon, I am loving my days off and taking advantage of the traveling that we are able to do! I’m also off at 7 on Monday night since we have hospital orientation early on during the day, so her and I are going to hang out after I get off work too. I’m definitely looking forward to actually getting to spend some time with her since we haven’t spent much time together other than a trip to Whole Foods last week!