Happenings of Home Life

We are FINALLY getting some beautiful weather in Georgia! A cold spell is on its way in, but I don’t even care! As long as it’s sunny, I’m happy!

Yesterday morning I lazed around and stayed in bed reading until 11:30! It felt so good. With all the traveling and working I’ve done in the last month, I really haven’t spent a ton of time relaxing (other than nightly Netflix documentaries with Jon). I really enjoyed just staying in my warm bed with my cats snoring next to me!

I ended up getting called into work as soon as I got up though, which was a bummer. I had planned on it happening but was still less than excited to get the call from my supervisor! So I headed into work for a few short hours and then as soon as I left work, I found out Jon was off early!

We decided to go try to enjoy the last bit of daylight and get in a Stone Mountain hike!

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I love the skyline from the top of Stone Mountain! And it was beautiful with the sun setting too! The skyline looks so small and far away in the picture, but it really is much bigger looking in person! My iPhone couldn’t capture Mt Hood either. Shame.

We ended up heading out to a new Whole Foods that I’ve heard good reviews about and had a quick dinner there. Then we hung out on the couch for the rest of the evening with the fireplace going! I can’t tell you all enough how much I love being home and relaxing on the couch with my husband and cats on a nightly basis!

Jon was off work today and I had my “intro” gym session since I just rejoined at LA Fitness, so we both headed out around 9am. I’m really trying to get him to be more active and thanks to all our Netflix documentaries about the food in the US, he’s on a much healthier eating kick too! (Side note: We have found that Costco actually has quite a bit of organic food for much cheaper, along with coconut oil and maple syrup for super cheap and it’s the good kind! Been cutting way down on our Whole Foods bill- although I still buy my meat from Whole Foods.)

My gym session was nice. I was surprised that I could still do 33 pushups in a row, especially after not working out for a full month. We did a lot of TRX type squats which took the weight off my hip and I could actually do! Unfortunately, you have to do the personal training there to be able to use the TRX stuff, but now I’m considering looking into TRX classes (I know it’s not cheap, but since I can’t do CrossFit right now, maybe it’s a good alternative). After being back in the gym finally, I see a huge regression in the healing of my hip after that road trip so that was a huge let down. I’m actually thinking I may need to go to rehab for it, but I’m obviously going to wait till I have a diagnosis from an MRI- which should hopefully happen in the beginning of February.

Jon and I decided to enjoy the beautiful day after the gym! We headed down to the Beltline  (a 10 mile paved trail) in Midtown and went for a walk and then headed out to get some coffee! Now we’re home and I’m about to shower and get ready.

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I’m volunteering tonight (one of the nurse practitioners at work told me I have to before grad school- she also does interviews for programs at Georgia State and is writing my recommendation letter- so I’ll do what she says) at a health clinic. I am less than excited about it and have no clue what my role will be there. Hopefully something simple like handing out clipboards and checking vital signs! It should last from about 5:30-8:30 and then I imagine I’ll be watching another documentary with Jon tonight or reading a book by the fire!

Have a great day, everybody!

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!

Downsides of Travel Nursing

I remember talking to Jon last winter right after we got married and telling him that we’d see how this next winter goes with my mood. I’ve told him before that I think that the older I’ve gotten, that I have seasonal affective disorder now (instead of just being depressed all the time). Last winter was tough, and you’d think right after an engagement and a secret courthouse wedding, we’d be happy! But I struggled.

I had a fantastic summer and I’m having a rough winter! This assignment isn’t quite like Massachusetts. Mass was awesome! The weather was wonderful, it was prime hiking season so all the hikes I did alone still felt safe due to having a fair amount of people any day of the week, I was really able to explore on almost every day off, minus a few rainy days here and there, and all the parks were very easily accessible. Portland isn’t the same. The sunny days are a rarity. I find the rain forest to be a bit scary to hike in alone, especially since it’s the off season and nobody is out hiking during the week. The state parks have all kinds of crazy rules about parking around here, and since I live on the Oregon/Washington border, I need separate types of passes in both states.

Despite all of that, I know I’m still unbelievably lucky to be traveling. I got to see so many things on the drive out here and Jon and I are about to drive down the California coast and back to Georgia together! I love the job I have out here. I am glad to be living with a friend from college! I still see some beautiful sights out here and still get to explore, even if not as often as I’d like!

But I’m just feeling kind of flat lately. I wouldn’t say depressed necessarily. I still feel more positive than negative overall, but I guess that “positive” is really just more like “even.” Not depressed. Not really happy, just not depressed. I miss Jon like crazy and am dying to see him right about now! I feel lonely. I’m tired of traveling for right now. (Side note: I know that this is a temporary feeling and I am not giving up on travel nursing.) I am so ready to be at home with Jon, cuddled up on our couch with him and the kitties, going to my own gym, making dinner for both of us, and hanging out with my friends. I miss Atlanta. I miss knowing where the hell I’m going and where I can park! I miss my life at home.

I was supposed to go to Vashon Island to see my sister today. I spent the day exploring Seattle since her flight didn’t land till way later in the evening, and then decided to get to the ferry terminal early since I read there was no parking lot at the ferry terminal (seriously, wtf). I couldn’t find anywhere that would let me park overnight! I mean, I did, but 2 miles away. I didn’t want to pay to take my car over to the island because I had no reason to pay for it. I just wanted to park my car and not have to walk back 2 miles tomorrow, up and down hills, through the constant drizzle! My sister told me that she landed (from Texas) and by that point, I was so frustrated with the whole thing! I was going to go stay with her and her fiancé’s family, but I was just getting so bummed out and I didn’t feel like dealing with parking or taking a ferry or walking back to my car tomorrow!

Finally, I just asked if she’d be upset if I went back to Portland (this was at 9:45pm). She said she really wanted to see me but understood. I feel so bad for letting my mood get in the way of seeing my family, especially since I only see her once a year usually, but I’m just over this! I’m tired of traveling, tired of being without my husband, tired of not having my cats, tired of looking for parking, tired of always paying to park, tired of exploring alone, tired of not having friends to hang out with… And I’m not somebody who wants to hang out with people when I feel down. Actually, I would have been fine with seeing my sister and wish I could have, but I didn’t want to deal with family members I hadn’t met before and the pain in the ass ferry.

So I called Jon and I cried. Thank god for my husband that answers my phone calls no matter what time I call him (I am not such a good wife- I get really annoyed when he calls me when I’m sleeping but I can’t help that I’m a grumpy sleeper!). I cried for a good 30 minutes about how much I miss him. I can’t wait for the next 14 days to fly by. I miss him so incredibly much. Then I had to get gas and looked at my reflection in the window (in the dark) and thought I didn’t look too bad! So I walked inside and made lots of eye contact with the guy working there while I tried to figure out if the door marked “Employees Only” was the bathroom (it was), only to find out I was looking like a hot mess when I saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Jeebus.

I’m home now (well, to my Washington home). I feel okay now. Still just ready to get home (to my Georgia home). I still would not trade travel for anything and am still so glad that I’m doing it. I’m not the type of person that needs to have her husband around all the time (clearly, I’ve left him at home for the last 6 months) at all… I think with this weather and the season (ugh, dang season) and all this birth control mess (and now getting my period back- pretty much exactly on time too), I’m just needing some comfort, and there sure isn’t much comfort when you’re traveling alone! I’ve been fairly isolated from anybody close to me for about 6 months and I’m really looking forward to an end to that, at least temporarily.

(Also, I promise I’m not just posting this to complain publicly! But I post tons of awesome pictures of my life and it makes it look like travel nursing is the best thing ever- which it kind of is- but there are days that aren’t so awesome too and since other travelers can read this, I’m just keeping it real!)

Kids, kids, kids!

I’M SICK! Ah, wtf. Not miserably. But I have that thing going on in my throat that needs to be surgically removed and it got infected again this week. I’m on antibiotics for it and that part feels better, but now my entire throat hurts. Can’t win! I’m feeling pretty run down after 39 hours of work in the last 3 days and staying up so late every night, but I’m beyond excited to have today off work (and the next 5 days!). I slept till 1pm and am now eating, about to shower, and then go check out the gym. I’m holding off on working out today cause of feeling under the weather and lacking motivation, but tomorrow I’ll get it together.

I was super excited to talk to Jon for an hour after waking up! There may be some changes in our household (not pregnant!) coming up, so I’m looking forward to that! I’ll make some announcements after final decisions are made, but I will say, I am rooting for change! Yeah, definitely no babies.

But speaking of babies, Jon has said he’s pretty sure we’ll have kids, which means that I have to have kids. Although I don’t know that I want them, I will have them if he does (and I’m sure I’ll love them too). Now that I know they’re probably in my somewhat near future, I’m feeling like I’m living my very last days. It’s kind of like I’m dying… Because my no-kid days are coming to an end, and I really love my life without kids. I’ll be honest, I think on a daily basis how awesome my life is and how incredibly lucky I am to be TRAVELING FOR A LIVING! I’m dying to get to Iceland pre-kid (I WILL NOT HAVE KIDS IF I HAVE NOT GONE TO ICELAND!), Germany, the Netherlands, Machu Picchu, the Swiss Alps, and all these places just can’t happen once we start poppin’ them babies out! Life as I know it will be o.v.e.r. and that is really a scary and depressing thought. But I know that I will adjust to mom-life and be so glad I had kids one day (at least I really hope so, but how many parents say they really wish they didn’t have kids? that’s the only thought that keeps me going). What if these are my last 2-3 childless years?! THAT’S SO SHORT! Guys, it’s already the end of October! I don’t even know where this year has gone! Two years will just fly by and then I’ll be a giganto pregnant lady wearing children’s maternity clothing! I need to stop before I have a panic attack.

That was totally not the point of this. I didn’t even plan on talking about kids.

I found these awesome snacks at Whole Foods! They do have cane sugar in them (I believe) so they aren’t totally healthy, but they are seriously delicious:

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And alas, a Tom picture, cause he’s so adorable and it melts my heart when Jon sends me adorable cat pictures!

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Time to go shower, clean the kitchen, and head out to get some Dutch Bros coffee and go take a look at the gym I plan on joining! I may try to find an outdoor store so I can look for some hiking boots since the ground here is always so wet! Since I have 6 days off, I’m taking today easy and just catching up my energy so that I can start a day of exploring tomorrow! I’ll have to head east in hopes of finding some sunny skies tomorrow!

Last Georgia Weekend (again)

It has definitely been a busy last few days! I’ll start with my last weekend in Georgia, just because it was actually a pretty fun one! On Friday, our new bedroom furniture was delivered! I am so excited about how it looks and I love it!

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I feel like we’re real adults now that we have such a fancy bedroom set! I also love how it fills up the space in our room! Unfortunately, we had a lot of cleaning up to do after the furniture was delivered since almost everything from our bedroom was in the living room, so we spent the next 4-5 hours getting organized and taking stuff to Goodwill!

I did manage to fit in a trip to CrossFit:

Strength:
Hang Power Clean- 2 TNG EMOM @80-83% x 10 min (I used 85#)

WOD: (103 reps total)
4 min AMRAP @77% of Power Clean 1RM (75#, 36 reps)
Rest 2 min
4 min AMRAP: (12# ball cause I hate wall balls, 60 reps)
Wallball-20/14#
Rest 2 min
4 min AMRAP: (7 rope climbs)
Rope Climb-15″

After getting everything together for the weekend, Jon and I headed to my parent’s cabin in Blairsville. We got in pretty late and headed to bed shortly after getting there.

We woke up to some brisk weather on Saturday- perfect for a fall day at the cabin! We had planned on doing a hike but Jon was getting impatient about breakfast, so we had to go grab a bite to eat first. Over breakfast, we decided not to hike and to have a fall day! I was so excited because my favorite view in Blairsville is right by the Southern Tree Plantation and they always have pumpkins out in the fall!

We headed out to the Plantation, only to find that there were no fall festivities this year! Bummer! We decided to check out a local winery instead- Odom Springs Vineyards.

The winery was only about 20 minutes from the cabin and it was so adorable! They had a little bonfire going and we were the only people there. To top this place off, they had a cat! And this cat was the sweetest cat ever, so of course it’s my favorite winery now. We did a tasting of 6 wines. I really liked the rose, but the others were dryer than I prefer. We decided to each get a glass and sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and the cat.

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We spent some time hanging out by the fire and walking around. I’m a lightweight, so by the time we finished that tasting, I felt a little bit buzzed! So of course, another wine tasting seemed to be in order!

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Odom Springs told us about a few other good wineries in the area so we headed up to Nottely. It was a little farther away but I really liked the location! Very picturesque.

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It was a really minimal winery- outhouses instead of real bathroom type of thing. The guy doing the tasting was great! Very educational, which I really like because I like learning more about wines! Unfortunately, after the first tasting and some more wine from this one, I don’t remember many of the fun facts he taught us…

We headed out from that winery to go to a third, but then we came to a sign for Chattanooga and Jon mentioned never having been there. I love Chattanooga and I was drunk so I said he should go if he wanted to! We grabbed some sushi as soon as we got there at Sushi Nabe since they do the Delta Skymiles Dining program and you might as well make bank on those points cause sushi is never a cheap meal! They had nice outdoor seating that we really enjoyed! They also had a pumpkin roll (I added cream cheese) that was awesome! Their sweet potato tempura roll was one of my least favorite sweet potato rolls I’ve had, but the pumpkin made up for it. I was pleased.

After dinner, we walked around Coolidge Park and then crossed the river via the pedestrian bridge. We enjoyed the downtown area and then decided we should probably head back since it’s a 2 hour drive back to the cabin!

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We slept by the fire that night (love real wood fire places) and then woke up early on Sunday to head back! It was another beautiful day and I would have liked to enjoy the weather outside, but I had packing since I had to leave for my road trip on Monday!

As soon as we got home, I started doing laundry and packing. My parents came by to say goodbye for a bit and so did Laura. Packing took quite awhile (as expected) and was harder than I thought it would be since the weather is still in the 70s-80s! I was expecting all cold weather! Totally messed me up! But I took way less for this assignment than the last one, so I’d call it a success!

I talked Jon into going for a run before it got dark out! I hadn’t gone for a “real” run in awhile (I’d done a few shorter ones with other stuff mixed in) so I was curious as to how it would go! We went about a mile together and he was ready to head back but I was feeling great so I kept going! I did another two miles but have no idea how long it took. I didn’t use my MapMyRun cause I thought it’d just be a short run, but I’d be curious about my time! It was my old 3 mile go to from last year! I must say, I really enjoyed my run! I may have to get back into doing a few short runs a week!

Jon and I headed to bed around 11 on Sunday night. I really didn’t wan to go to bed and kept bugging him since I knew when we woke up, it’d be time for me to leave! I was super bummed about having to leave him since I enjoyed my time at home with him so much! And I always hate leaving Tom and Kitty too!

Tuesday Update! Nursing BS, Dinner with Friends, Markets!

Last night I ended up meeting up with Kassie, Carly, and Billy in Atlanta! Traffic was surprisingly not too bad (score!) so I was super pleased! We met at 10th & Piedmont for happy hour and got our food for super cheap! We had a few glasses of wine and then Billy decided to go home and study (he’s in law school- no time for fun) while the girls went to another little bar in Midtown.

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I ended up leaving around 9pm so Jon and I could see each other for  a little while! I was super excited to find out that Nashville is on episode 3 of this season so we watched the first episode last night! Then we headed to bed after he gave me a nice massage! I think that’s what I miss the most when I’m traveling! Massages for my sore muscles!

I’m enjoying my nice fine Tuesday by completely all this nursing BS. I have never missed a skills day ever in my life, but since I was traveling, of course I missed it. And now I have to provide documentation of all these scenarios when I haven’t even had any of these patients in how long? Months. It’s been 13 weeks since I’ve worked and in the last few days, I did help in a code, but it wasn’t my patient or my documentation. And most of the critical patients have paper charting since we don’t have time to use the computer in critical situations! So I’m just typing up stuff about whatever and hoping it’s okay. Waste of time. Because writing BS papers about my job means I’m competent. Okay.

I actually did have a decent morning. Jon and I went to IKEA first thing to look for a dresser for the guest bedroom, but decided their furniture is too cheaply made and walked out empty handed. I had been wanting to go to this market downtown that people keep talking about. It’s apparently some hidden gem that’s been there for awhile and is actually right next to where Jon has class! It’s the Municipal Market, or the Sweet Auburn Market.

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It was super cute! They had produce and a bunch of food bars. I had an arepa and some fried plantains even though I was full from breakfast! I would definitely go back and try some of the other vendors that they had there! I’m surprised it wasn’t more packed too, but I did get there around 11 so it may have been too early for the lunch crowd.

I dropped Jon off at class and then went and sat at CVS for the longest time waiting on a flu shot. It’s required by the Portland job but my hospital here hasn’t started giving them yet. I got home and faxed in a bunch of documents and now I’m doing my skills packet. I just remembered that I need to get my emissions tested because my tag fee is due on the 24th of this month (my mom is the primary signer so I get to pay the money on her birthday instead of mine- I never want to be the primary signer on my car now). I feel like the list keeps piling up of things that I need to do! (Also, renewing my GA nursing license- I need to add that to my list too.)

I skipped the gym at noon since I had things to get done. I may go at 4:30 or 5:30 but am considering going for a run and just going some bodyweight stuff along the way and then doing a quick shoulder workout when I get home since all I have is 10# weights here. Tomorrow and Thursday are back to work and then it’s my last weekend before heading out to Portland!

Time to get back to this work so I have some time to get my workout in while it’s still light out today! Anybody else notice how early it seems to get dark these days?! I’m dying to go to Stone Mountain but I don’t think I’ll make it before traffic and I really need to get this done so they don’t suspend me from working!

 

Gym Time & Portland

I had to work 7a-7p yesterday (always a bummer going into work when Jon is cuddled up in bed). Luckily, it wasn’t awful. My first 8 hours was easy and the last 4 were busy, but I can do anything for 4 hours! I met up with Laura afterwards for some Mexican and then headed home. Jon was sound asleep when I got home at 9pm, so I hung out for a bit and then spent an hour (literally) watching the cats kill a cockroach. Such little killers. I headed to bed after the excitement ended with Tom eating half of the unfortunate nasty little fellow.

Holy smokes, I slept until 11:45 today! I woke up at 9 and was feeling somewhat motivated to get up, but then noticed Tom sleeping at the end of the bed. I got up for a minute and decided laying back down sounded even better than starting my day. It was dreary (I think I forgot how rainy Georgia is- at least Portland shouldn’t seem so miserable after this weather) and a perfect sleeping morning!

I barely managed to get up at 11:45 but decided I needed to get the gym in or would risk missing it completely today. I was completely unmotivated at the gym and was starving, but I didn’t wake up in time to eat. Fail.

Strength:
Squat Clean- 3 reps @70%, 2@75%, 2@80%, 1@85%, 1@90%, 1@90% perform reps every 90 seconds (I have no idea what I did, but I ended up at 90#, which was really surprising since that’s 90% of my bodyweight and I don’t even try to lift heavy these days)

WOD: (Finished in 7:53)
21-15-9
OHS-115# (I did front squats at 65# since I don’t do OHS because of my thumb)
Toes to Bar

Midline: (I did one round of this and then left since it was 1:10 and I had things to do)
A. 60 second Front Leaning Raise (Leaning onto rings)
Rest 60 seconds
B. 60 seconds of Hollow Rocks
Rest 60 seconds
X 3

It was a good workout and I was glad I made it! Afterwards, I had to head to the grocery store in the rain and traffic was so bad! I forgot how I always seem to time my grocery shopping perfectly with the rainy days, too (although, when it rains 75% of the time, I guess that’s easy to do). I ran into Whole Foods and grabbed some stuff and made a mad dash back home. I threw together some eggs and bananas and ate some squash from the WF bar, and then headed out to my eye appointment.

My eyes are still getting worse! No need to repeat my Lasik yet since they get worse every year still. I was tempted to get another pair of glasses with my new prescription, but they were a little pricey and since I only wear my glasses for driving and TV watching, I decided against it.

I’m home now, eating some dinner (bacon, maple sweet potatoes, and apples sautéed in coconut oil and cinnamon) and then probably heading down to see Kassie, Carly (Kassie’s friend from Spain- she lives in Cali now), and Gina. It’s always fun to see Carly when she comes in town so I’m excited about it, but I won’t lie- I’m tempted to stay at home in this rainy weather and just have a movie night/paper writing party (for my missed skills day at work) with Jon. Traffic is awful in the rain and I already heard a bunch of accidents on the radio report, so not looking forward to heading into the city. And I’m just sleepy and lazy after spending too much time in bed last night.

Oh, and last bit of news! Portland is a go! The hospital said they really wanted me and switched me back to evenings. I’m glad this is working out since it really would have messed up my plans had it not (with mine and Jon’s Cali trip and with the next assignment with Jessica), but I’m getting really sad to leave Jon on Monday. I hate that I have to leave him and it feels so good to be home for these two weeks. Part of me just wants to call it a day and end the traveling,  but I know I’m not ready yet. I need to save more money for grad school still and I’m not ready to be back at my job here for good yet. Still need more of a break! Once I get out there, I’ll be happy! But right now, leaving Jon is looming overhead!

Roadtrip- Boston to Atlanta

I’M HOME! I’ve actually been home. I should add to my list of things to blog about: Why I’m such a horrible wife and how long it takes me to adjust to having my husband around again and why travel nursing is hard on marriages. But that doesn’t sound like any fun. I will just assure you all that it took me until halfway through the day yesterday to recollect myself and stop actin’ a fool, and now Jon and I can continue on as a happily married couple. We’ll be an even happier married couple in a few hours once I clean the bathrooms and the floors (since they haven’t been cleaned in 13 weeks).

Anyway, so Friday afternoon, Jon and I met in Beacon, NY. Our plan was to head to the Catskills for some camping but partially due to my bad attitude and having to run back and forth to get keys to drop our stuff off, we decided to just stay in Beacon and head to do a hike the next day!

We spent our afternoon walking around a park and driving around the cute little town of Beacon!

Beacon, NY

It was super cute and we walked around and enjoyed some nice weather! After walking around for the afternoon, we headed back to Paul and Sonya’s (Jon’s old coworkers who are dating and now live in Beacon) so that we could grab some dinner with them!

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We headed out to the Newburgh Brewing Co and had a few drinks (I actually had a few cups of water) and then went to a fancy seafood dinner that took forever, but they warned us when we got there so it was no big deal! Jon and I were exhausted when we got back so we headed to bed!

Saturday we woke up fairly early and headed out for our Catskills hike! I used this website to find our hike, for anybody who is considering Catskills hiking! It was a great site! My goal for the day was to see a plane that crashed into the mountains in 1983, and the trail is listed on there! The hike said it was 3-4 hours and just under 6 miles! So we head out onto our hike thinking it’d be no big deal! The beginning of the hike was just annoying because you are stepping over roots and rocks nonstop but it wasn’t challenging at all. The trail was very clearly marked and we started our ascent. The ascent only had two spots where you had to actually climb up the rocks so it wasn’t bad at all. Also not very steep.

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The views at the top were fairly decent but not quite as breathtaking as some of the other hikes I did in New England! However, this hike was easy peasy so I wasn’t expecting anything too crazy! And the fog obviously clouded our view (heeey-o). We continued on with our hike, expecting that the plane would be around the corner. I had never noticed that the trail directions don’t say anything about Stoppel Point (where the plane crash is) and none of the signs along the trail were to Stoppel Point. After hiking about 5 miles, we almost headed back since it was getting later in the day. We decided to go another 30 minutes before heading back. (At that point, we had figured out that the website was only reviewing the loop- which is the 6 miles- finding the plane is additional.)

Thankfully we did, because not even 1/4 mile later, we hit the plane!

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My new goal in life is  to find all the plane crashes in the mountains. I have 2 under my belt. I think they’re fascinating! Anyway, we headed back and had what we think was a 9-10 mile hike in about 4 hours. Not bad at all!

That night, Jon and I grabbed a quick dinner and ate some delicious cupcakes!

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I’m not even a huge cake person but was craving cupcakes! And they were delicious! We ended up just heading to bed early on Saturday night since we were heading to NYC the next day and we were tired after our day of hiking!

Sunday morning, Jon, Paul, Sonya, and I headed to NYC! We took the train in from Beacon. Our first stop in NYC was the Chrysler building but it was closed.  We ended up going to an Irish pub for breakfast since Paul and Sonya were going to watch the soccer game there while Jon and I explored. Breakfast was iffy. I hate bar food so a bar breakfast was really not the highlight of my day, especially cause we walked by a Paleo restaurant like 30 minutes later (with PUMPKIN PANCAKES!).

Jon and I started our adventure by heading to the Financial District. It was about a 4 mile walk but we went by Ground Zero.

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I was glad to see it but I have a hard time getting into memorials. I think they’re awesome but I just have a hard time feeling compassion over water going into a hole in the ground. I have to actually see people upset in order for my feelings to get involved (which is why dead people in Iraq never bothered me- we never had to see the family!). Historical stuff is the same way- cool to see but I can’t imagine people being there so long ago, so it’s hard for me to be amazed. I’m amazed by scenery and nature or really awesome architecture.

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Our next stop was Hoboken and Lady Liberty! It was too foggy and we were too far to get a good shot of the statue. But the water was pretty! I actually have way more NYC pictures but I haven’t put them on my computer yet, so all you’re getting is the few iPhone pictures!

We met up with Paul and Sonya afterwards to explore two bars that Paul really likes. I had a serious bout of nausea for some reason right before we all met up so I wasn’t partaking in the beer, but it was still nice to hang out and sit down for awhile! We ended up heading towards Times Square afterwards and we decided to get a taxi. By the time we hailed a taxi, we were only 2 miles from Times Square. I rally when I travel. I prefer to just walk places, regardless of how many miles it is. I had no interest in the taxi, but then after spending 40 minutes and $35 to go ONE MILE in the taxi, I was beyond over it! We decided to just walk the last mile and ended up in swarms of people.

Jon and I both hate crowds. I had already expressed my lack of interest in NYC (which is a bummer cause I’ve wanted to go there for years) and my inability to understand why anybody would actually like NYC, but at that point, I was just over the whole thing. I can almost guarantee that we will never go back to NYC again. Why go sit in traffic and have to weave in and out of people when I could just go to Lake Tahoe?!

Paul and Sonya decided to go grab dinner but I really wanted to see Times Square during the day. We all split up again and Jon and I went on our way to do some exploring. We walked down the streets and then headed to Central Park.

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By then, it was getting dark. Jon and I were arguing about everything (or just not speaking) and we were both hungry. I found a place on Yelp and we ate a quick $50 way-too-expensive-for-what-it-was meal, and then he took me to see Times Square at night!

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The night ended up fine and I did enjoy my day in NYC, but like I said, no desire to go back! After hiking 9-10 miles on Saturday and walking at least 10 miles on Sunday, I was beat! I got into bed and didn’t want to move at all on Sunday night!

Monday Jon and I road tripped back! It was a beautiful fall day and I loved the weather! We made very frequent stops in the morning to get out and walk around. Both of us were so tired and I don’t want blood clots either! Once we started getting through the day, we stopped much less! We ended up going through Shenandoah for a quick detour.

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Then we stopped in Charlotte for dinner and saw this amazing sunset when we were leaving!

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And that was our weekend! We got home around 11 on Monday night and I’ve been loving being home! I’ll update you all on the rest tomorrow, but for now, it’s time to go clean the house!

Mt Katahdin, Cape Arundel Inn, & HotelTonight.com

Back to some traveling posts! I don’t remember exactly where I was in the last post, so I’m going to just talk about my favorite day that we had! Hiking Mt Katahdin! We ended up staying in this really ghetto hotel on Wednesday night since the bugs in central Maine were just insanely horrible! We opted out of camping, which was kind of a bummer since the weather was so perfect for it and we had a good time camping at Acadia! When we woke up early the next morning, we got into the rental car to find that we were supposed to pull over cause our engine was too hot! I’ll probably get into this in another post (make a nice review on the Hertz in Portland, ME), but it ended up delaying our day by about 3 hours since we had to wait on Hertz to bring us another car. We did end up getting a nice breakfast at a local place and having some time to repack the car and organize our camping stuff.

I think we got to Katahdin around 11 and started our hike around 11:30. We had been told that it can take 8-12 hours to hike it (by the way, Katahdin is the northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail, and since we have the southernmost point in Georgia and have been there frequently, Jon really wanted to do this hike) and figured that we could probably make it in 8 since we’re fairly in shape.

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There I am, in shape. The guy at the information booth had told us that there were two trails to hike to the top and that both were similar in difficulty. He actually told us this the day before and he told us we could hike out to a waterfall near the Abol campground and that it would be a good indication of how difficult the trail would be.

We got to the waterfall without any real issues (from the Abol campground). Jon has a really hard time with inclines because his heart rate increases so much and he loses energy (he’s actually been to a doctor for it), so we had a few breaks, but nothing major. We hit our first mile in 22 minutes and thought we were golden!

IMG_2141_2(That picture is actually on the way down, but that was the waterfall.) We kept on hiking and realized that it was getting harder and we ended up taking way more breaks for Jon. We passed a few people going up who were asking us how much longer it was which I didn’t really get since we were clearly on the ascent as well. Most of them never caught back up and we never passed them going down, so I assume they turned around.

As we kept going, Jon and I were just amazed by some of the rocks to climb.

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I’m only 5′ tall, so some of the rocks to climb up were just ridiculous! We were walking through small streams and scaling rocks. It was absolutely nothing like the easy peasy hike to that first waterfall! Our second mile took us about an hour and 15 minutes and we honestly thought it couldn’t get much harder! We kept waiting for it to get easier and Jon had told me that the last 2 miles were above the tree line so I assumed that they would be easier!

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After I took this picture (in which Jon lifted me up to the rocks because it was was so high), we ran into a man and his kid and asked if the trail was about to get any easier. He looked at us in all seriousness and said, “It’s going to get way harder. Good thing you’re small (he was looking at me, obviously), because it’ll be easier to get through some of the areas when you’re small.” I don’t even know what that means. We could tell we were almost to the tree line though, so we kept on going.

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And then we saw this. And we both kind of looked at each other and thought about if we should keep going. At the same time that we were deciding, we were absolutely freezing our asses off because the wind above the tree line was so intense! There’s still snow at the top of Katahdin in some areas, so think about how cold it must have been. We stopped and ate some sandwiches and I tried to curl up underneath Jon’s legs and by his body somehow and my body hurt from my muscles being so tense from shivering/shaking so much.

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We decided to just snap some pictures where we ended and that making it all the way to the summit wasn’t that important. At this point, we were over 3 hours in, meaning each subsequent mile after numero uno was over an hour long, and I had been telling Jon all along how hard this trail was going to be to go back down due to how steep the rocks were. So, somewhere around three miles in, we turned back. Mt Katahdin won. And then I continued to absolutely freeze for probably the next mile back down. Our knees were killing us and we joked about how old we are now and then the inflammation set in and our knees finally felt better.

We did get some awesome views heading down though.

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We reached the end after almost seven hours. Our time down took almost the full three hours that it took to go up, which really wasn’t surprising. I felt like I was going much slower on the way down than we did on the way up. We were both pretty happy when our hike was over, especially since I ate two PB&Js at our turnaround point and was having some serious bathroom issues towards the end (this is the real world, people).  I think I ran to that nasty outhouse with flies everywhere and it seriously looked like a golden throne by that point.

On our way out, we stopped by this gem:

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After that, we headed back to Kennebunkport to try and stay at Cape Arundel Inn, where we had stayed a few nights prior and absolutely loved. Come to find out, they put an ad on Hotel Tonight for Cape Arundel Inn but were putting guests at their sister hotel that didn’t have a beach view (after we drove a few hours for this specific hotel and were paying $130 for the room which was way more than we wanted to spend- but we LOVED it the first time). We thought this was shady business, so cancelled that night. Let me just say, if you ever need to book a hotel on the day of, use Hotel Tonight! They have good deals and were seriously awesome in handling the whole fiasco with Cape Arundel Inn! We got a real person on the phone after a short hold and then when she had to go to call Cape Arundel Inn, she called me back to keep me updated despite not hearing back from the manager, but she didn’t want to keep us waiting. They were unable to fix the situation so they ended up refunding our room at Cape Arundel Inn so we could book at a place down the road (and they have a “no refunds” policy) and then gave us an additional $50 for booking whenever we want since we had to go through all that trouble! And that wasn’t even their fault- they had no idea Cape Arundel Inn was booking people for their sister hotel! Jon and I were both amazed at what a great job Hotel Tonight did getting everything taken care of and they were so nice about it! I have a feeling we’ll be booking everything on there from here on out. (This is NOT a paid advertisement, obviously, cause who would pay somebody with like, 5 readers for an advertisement?)

Anyway, off to bed. I just finished up three nights at work in a row and have tomorrow off. I’m meeting a girl from my old job in Boston tomorrow since she just came up here for a travel assignment closer to the actual Boston area. I’m pretty excited, but the weather looks pretty crappy for tomorrow. Bummer.

The Love of a Husband and Wife

I changed my mind for this post but I can do that cause it’s my blog! But really… I did make it through the pictures I wanted to get through and will post them soon.

Today I went to New Hampshire with ehvid. We had planned on some hiking or whatever but mostly just drove around the White Mountains and did some sightseeing! I’m absolutely loving all the sightseeing up here! Amazing sights! After I dropped her back off, I stopped by Whole Foods and was so excited to find that it was the one that Jon and I went to that had fried plantains and strawberry shortcake! So of course, I ate my dinner!

But I was just lonely tonight. I don’t know if my two days of exploring without him got to me. I’ve always been very independent and have always taken trips without him and we used to be long distance! We even broke up for over a year! I knew that I’d miss him terribly while I’m traveling for work, but I think I’m surprised at how much. It’s hard for me to really define what I mean by “missing” him. I don’t miss him like I’ve missed him or my ex boyfriends in the past. I miss him in an entirely different way.

I still am grateful to be living this life that I have. This is what I love to do. I love to travel. I love seeing new places and exploring new things. I never cared about getting married but I have wanted to see the world since I took my first trip to Italy in 2007. If there is one thing I’m passionate about, this would be it. I believe that marriage is making sure your partner fulfills his goals (I’m using his cause I feel this way about Jon) and that he doesn’t grow old wishing he had done something differently or feel that his marriage held him back.

Tonight Jon told me that this is what I chose to do, so missing him was basically my choice. Was it? Absolutely. I did choose this. I chose to continue down the path that I wanted for my life, knowing that at the end of this fork in the road, the roads will meet back up. I knew I’d be leaving my husband at home while I work in other cities. I know that everything you do in life is technically a choice, but I also think that what you love sometimes just presents itself. I was never raised in a family that travels and I never really cared to travel much growing up. But, on a whim, my friend asked me if I wanted to go to Italy with her before I deployed and I said yes. I was hooked. If I take one trip, I’m hungry for another. It’s what I absolutely love. Would I rather enjoy painting? Yes. Traveling breaks the bank and it takes a lot of time from work. It’s hard to do with a big girl job and big girl bills. But I can’t make myself want to just stay at home and stop exploring.

When he was telling me that I chose this (and I believe he said that it was hard to be supportive of me missing him), I know he wasn’t being angry or harsh or anything, but it just seems careless. I have always supported his dreams of med school (though he isn’t there), and know that if I still have my house or just get a new job, I will be staying in Georgia while he goes to med school. It’s the sacrifice that I feel you make in a marriage to ensure than your spouse is happy in their life too. But Jon and I do have very different views of marriage because we were raised with very different examples of what a marriage should be (maybe another post- maybe not).

Anyway, to get back on topic… I really just missed him. I wanted to drive home and see him and just hang out at home with him and the cats and watch a movie together. I wanted to be in a familiar place and go get dinner together. When I think about this week or next week without him, it’s fine. But when I think about having another 8 weeks or more before I see him, it’s a long time. And then I know that I’ll be packing up again to go across the country without him to do this all over again. (Plans may change.) Life just isn’t the same without him here.

The love I have for him as my husband is completely different than the love I had for him as my boyfriend. I can’t explain why, but it is. And I’m sure if we had kids, the love I’d have for him as the father of my children would be different too. But we may never make it there!