Sunday, September 25, 2011


 My sister (in the white UGA uniform) is a bada&$.   
I got to go to one of her soccer games on my way back from 
Florida to Vermont.
You see, right after this picture was taken,
the girl in the blue was on the ground and 
Jenna was on her feet like no big deal.
I got to spend 2 blissful weeks in Vermont.
I felt better the minute I walked off that plane and smelled the pastures.
It's amazing how you don't realize you're just surviving,
until you get to a place where you thrive.


Now, I'm in Maine starting my Family Medicine rotation tomorrow.
This is not a picture of Maine.
But I wanted to leave you with a beautiful picture
while I update/redesign the blog.
Or at least try to.
The plan is to come back bigger and better!
But I'm not even sure how to get the header to be centered anymore (anyone??),
so this make take a while.
Hopefully sparkly gowns last you as long as they last me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Flow Riders

Third year of a medical school is a weird thing.
We bounce from place to place, speciality to speciality.
It's like having to move, learning to work at a new full time job every 6 weeks, new responsibilities, new people, new policies,
and go to school at the same time.
So we definitely have to go with the flow.

The flow has taken me to South Florida this time,
a GLORIOUS step up from Connecticut.
But still not somewhere that necessarily jives with my lifestyle.
we're just going with it and soaking up the good stuff.

 The good stuff includes beautiful, beautiful beaches.
Hello sunshine!  Where have you been all my life?

Long lunch break walk on the beach?  Don't mind if I do!

I felt like such a rebel back at the office with sand still in my shoes.
 South Florida is a weird mix extreme luxury, emphasis on appearances, and lots of people struggling with addiction.
We checked out the extreme luxury at the Breakers hotel.
 And courtesy of my dad, pretended we weren't struggling medical students for a night.
 It was decadently wonderful.
 We even made up new identities of being an artist, owning a dance studio, and being a recent divorcee from a professional cyclist.
 Unfortunately nobody asked.
 But it was fun to pretend for a night.
 Pretty gorgeous no?
 This past weekend my roommate Mayo and I decided to explore some of the less manicured parts of Florida:
The Everglades
Key West
 I had a liter of blood sucked out of me by mosquitoes while jumping out of the car for 5 seconds to take this picture.  
I have never seen such swarms, (swarms I tell you!), of mosquitoes.
Made it feel like much more of an adventure though, 
especially since we were sleeping here:

More proof:  Mayo RUNNING on one of the paths to the mosquitoes at bay.

We made it to the bay at the end of the park and jumped on a boat ride.
We saw manatees (or at least their tails) before we even left the marina!
AND we were surrounded by a bunch of dolphins!
The captain turned off the engine and we just floated out in the bay with the dolphin fins cutting through the water and the only sound coming from the dolphin blowholes.
Absolutely magical.

Cielo, our potbellied naturalist guide, also pointed out all kinds of birds.

Rainstorms come every afternoon in Florida in August.
And you can usually see them a coming.

We took advantage of some real Mexican food just outside of the Everglades park,
before we return to the Mexican-food-less North!

The next morning we went to walk the Anahinga path which we were told would be the best place to see alligators.
(Mayo's biggest Florida wish.)
I was pretty sure we'd already cashed in all our wildlife-spotting luck the previous day.
But about 50 yards from the trailhead, I heard Mayo gasp "Oh god!"
"What?" I asked whipping my head around to see that I'd just walked past a 11 foot alligator on the side of the path.
Dear god!
I was convinced there was no way it could be real.
Must be planted there to please the tourists, right??
So we squatted down to get a better look (and you know, get closer to the 11 foot alligator) and sure enough, 
it was breathing.
Oh hey, Mr. Alligator.
  We saw so many alligators on that walk.
Like 9 of them!
Can you spot the alligator in this picture?

 We also saw this adorably ugly turtle. Ackkk! Cuteness.
 More blog photo hunt:
Can you spot where the alligator is in this one??
 Photo shoots aren't harassment right??
 The mangroves were pretty spectacular too.
 But I know you really want to see that 11 foot alligator again don't you?
It was still there on the way out.
And this time started opening its mouth.
We took that as our sign to leave.
Then, we stopped by a local joint and ATE some alligator.
It was delicious, and I imagine you can get a lot of meat from one alligator (see above photo).
 We also stopped at this fruit stand.
I got an amazing mango smoothie and Mayo got a dragon fruit.
Have you ever tried a dragon fruit?
You should because they're delicious and hot pink!
Oh, and in case you were wondering...
Robert was there.

Next stop:  Key West
Where we immediately discovered what we want our mailboxes to look like when we're grown ups.

We made it to the Southern most point in the United States.
 Cooled off with some pineapple shaved ice.
 Marveled at the beautiful houses.
 And rampant flowers (compared to the square hedges of Palm Beach).
We ate delicious seafood while contemplating living on boat.
 Then we drank like pirates with bikers and tourists and rugby players.
 It's been a good ride, Florida.
You're a funny place, but it's been real.
Sunday, I'm moving to Florida's polar opposite:  Maine,
to start my new job as a Family Medicine medical student.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. 
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.