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Livin’ the dream

Wow. I thought it was bad when I neglected writing in this blog for 5 weeks, and then I proceeded to ignore it for an entire summer. Whoops!

But with good reason. I have been living “my best life.” This summer has been a whirlwind! I have been lucky to have so many visitors from near and far, and all corners of my life, come to experience a little slice of New England. I guess I have been experiencing life rather than writing about it! But, I’ll try to provide a small synopsis.

I had guests nearly every weekend from  June 23rd until  August 26th, with the exception of leaving the island twice. It was AWESOME. From Texas, to Rhode Island, to Massachusetts… I had people from all parts of my life travel and spend quality time with me. With every guest I hosted, I got to explore a little more of Nantucket.

I’ve also made some great friends out here! From fellow travelers, to year- rounders… I’ve met some awesome people. I’ve shared beautiful sunsets, and laughs on the beach, and drinks at the brewery.

It hasn’t been without it’s bumps in the road…. I injured my back, while at work, back in July. While I was obviously physically hurting, I was so embarrassed because… well, duh. A physical therapist should be the person to not hurt their back…. but, well, life happens. It taught me a few lessons. 1) Empathy. I can understand pain better, because now I’ve experienced it, and sought help for it. 2) I am not invincible. I really didn’t think I was, but now I know. My body and my health, is my lifeline and career. If I don’t have that, I am in big trouble. 3) Physical therapists who really understand manual techniques, are amazing. My fellow traveler literally fixed me, with hands on manual techniques- and I learned so much from that! As a therapist and a patient.

Now it’s September, supposedly ” the best time in Nantucket.” The summer people are gone, the weather is still beautiful, there is so much less traffic!!!! I extended my contract until October 6th, so I have about a month of soaking in New England left before whatever comes next. (Hint: think west)!

‘Til next time, here’s a few Nantucket photos. Thanks for reading!

 

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Mom and Aunt Peg- Brant Point Light
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Fire on the beach at sunset
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Wood shingle house, sunset, sea grass
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I feel like a bad mother…

I mean, I created this little blog… and have completely NEGLECTED it for the past…. 5 weeks or so.  All the shame emoji happening right now.

I want to update those who read this thing on my #ACKventures and #ACKsploring (so proud of my little puns!), but first, I wanted to touch upon a topic that’s been on my brain.

When I started out even thinking and brainstorming and talking about trying travel PT, I was greeted with nothing but support. Friends, family, coworkers… everyone was so uber supportive. Even now, 9 months into this journey (HOLY MOLY), people are still super supportive, excited to hear about things, and incredibly understanding when I can’t be present for an event. And man…. have I missed things. Saying “YES” to one opportunity certainly means you end up inevitably saying “NO” to another (or a whole bunch of others).

I’ve missed holidays, birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s day, acting performances, soccer games, first baby steps, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, WEDDINGS… the list goes on. For every “YES” I’ve grabbed ahold of, I’ve had to say an awful lot of nos. I don’t like to say no. Each no feels like I am personally letting someone else down. Yet, not even ONCE has anyone in my life given me flack. “You know Ashley, the flight isn’t that long…” or “This is super important to me, and I’m really disappointed.” Nothing.  For that, each and every single person in my life deserves a big fat

THANK YOU. 

Seriously. Thank you. I am so unbelievably thankful for every single person’s support, and love, and friendship, and understanding. I know I joke about being #hashtagblessed, but I actually am incredibly blessed to have all of you amazing, wonderful, supportive and beautiful people in my life.

SO. Summer in Nantucket. Sounds like a dream, right? I’d be lying if I said it was all rainbows, butterflies, and cobblestones right from the get go (Well, the cobblestones have been and will always be true). I struggled a bit when I first got here. I mean, leaving 90 degree and sunny Charleston, SC and coming to 50-60 degree (if you’re lucky) and mostly grey Nantucket left me feeling a little lackluster. Then add in totally new setting/vibe/type of PT… I was floundering. Thankfully, I feel like I’ve finally got my feet underneath me a bit. I’ve got some great coworkers-turned-friends here, and the weather is FINALLY forecasted to be 70+ from here on out (yes, I am excited about 70. I realize the irony of me talking about warm weather all winter and now I’m excited about 70 degrees).

I’m beginning to see the magic in this little rock. Sure, I miss the absolute BANANAS out of Target, and my car could use a good highway drive, but who can complain when you’re two miles from the beach? Literally… hopped on my bike and rode to the beach yesterday.  Or, how can I be mad when I’m playing softball while seeing waves crash? Or, walking in ‘Sconset on the bluffwalk, seeing gorgeous homes and watching seals play in the water? Real life, y’all. Real. Life.

I just finished a wonderful weekend with sweet Katilee – my friend I made in Dallas. How awesome is it that I made friends with some amazing people who are willing to get on a place and come visit me in new destinations, just a few short months after meeting them?! This travel PT thing is pretty great.

I’m looking forward to more adventures this summer. My new goal is to spend as much time outside as possible while I’m here, so I’m sitting in a dilapidated lawn chair outside of my house, watching the sun go down and typing this blog. I have a slew of guests lined up for the rest of the summer (Welcome to #hotelAshley). Can’t wait to share more adventures (‘scuse me, #ACKventures) with you all. Til next time…..

 

Life on a rock

Yo! What’s up? Friday night blog time. Drinkin’ wine. Feelin’ fine. I’m outta rhymezzzzz (see what I did there?!).

What a whirlwind two weeks.I have survived my two “orientation weeks” and made it out on the other side. It is AMAZING what a difference there is between inpatient and outpatient. I mean, on every level. From diagnoses and treatment, to documentation and billing and insurance…. I have had multiple nights where I finished work with my eyes crossed eye and the feeling of a tornado in my brain.

Thankfully, and I said it before, everyone has been super accommodating and helpful and willing to teach me. I’ve practiced a lot of techniques and had crazy flashbacks to PT school labs… and lab practicals.

In other news, being back in New England, but not being in New England is strange feeling. First of all, it’s freezing. Like… 47 degrees freezing. What the hell?! I left Charleston and 90 degree weather for THAT!? Garbage. I can’t wait for the nice weather.

I thought I had so much more to say, but realizing how tired I am, and how I’m still kind of processing my new outpatient PT life… and life on a rock. I’ll write more… when I have more to say.

 

Til then, peace out.

All I’ve heard from people is the beginning of that joke about that man and Nantucket…

If any of y’all can finish that for me, go right ahead! Haha!

 

Helllllooo after a bit of a hiatus. Like I said in my last post (if anyone out there is watching), it was gonna be a minute between posts. Between visitors and driving and seeing family and moving to my next spot and starting my job… well, I’m exhausted.

I’ll try to keep it short but I know how long winded I can be.

I spent an awesome weekend with my beautiful Texas friend, Alex. I may have mentioned here in recapping Dallas before, but she is an OT that I worked with down in Dallas. We got to be quite close, and hung out all the time. You know those moments when you find a kindred spirit, and you just “click?” That was Alex and I. We even just hung out on “the bean” and my sparse apartment, laughing and watching TV. She came in on Thursday night, and we spent Friday totally just lounging, hit a yoga class, explored some downtown and hit the brewery. I also had to say goodbye to Kim that day as she was headed on a great vacation. (Sidenote: I am SO grateful to Kim for opening up her home and life to me in Charleston!) We ended the night with a great dinner. Saturday was a GLORIOUS beach day… ahhh, and some nighttime rooftop bar hopping. Sunday was Easter, and she was my Easter date! We shared a great brunch, and then wandered the city until it was time for her to catch a plane back to Texas. I feel INCREDIBLY grateful that I made such wonderful connections in a short period of time in Texas, and for friends who come from far away to visit and make your life brighter. 🙂

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Grateful for great friends ❤

Monday kicked off the last “work week” of my time in Charleston. It also meant the arrival of Rachel for her Spring Break. She stayed in a hotel downtown as 1) we expected I’d have patients and that would be more central and B) I was packing and organizing my life to move back up North. Let me just say… Rach and I did EVERYTHING. I squeezed every last second out of Charleston. We walked the bridge, hit the brewery again (Holy City I miss you!), went to Shem Creek and walked the park, took a ride on the Palmetto Breeze, experienced downtown shopping and bar hopping and amazing dinners. We finished the week off with a visit to the Angel Oak on Friday before Rachel’s flight and my road trip to the Northeast. It was a very fun, very full 5 days and the perfect ending to Charleston.

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How can I summarize Charleston ? Honestly… it wasn’t what I expected, but it was wonderful. The job ended up being … well, a vacation really. I had so much time to explore and I really, really loved being in a warm climate with tons to do, friendly people and a beautiful coastal view. Now, if I could convince everyone I know to move down there, we’d be golden. 😉

Friday 4/24, I hopped in the car around 3:30pm and hit the open road. Driving the open road, by yourself, always proves to be an interesting experience. I definitely should have planned my gas stops better (hello North Carolina backwoods in the middle of nowhere). I made it to slightly north of Richmond, VA and spent the night in the hotel. The following day, I drove in the rain all darn day to Morristown, NJ to finally see Jamie for her birthday. (Sidenote: VA only has 2 radio genres: Christian music and hip hop. That’s all.)  My good friend Amanda and her hubby Kiel also came down from New York to celebrate Jamie’s birthday. It’s been a few years since we were all together, so it was wonderful to see them!

The following day I finally made it back to Rhode Island. My sister, nieces, brother-in-law and dog-nephew Oliver came over for a cookout in the sunshine. I left my phone inside, and just enjoyed the afternoon/evening hanging out and relaxing on the patio, with the fire going. That was sadly Ollie-Bear’s last outing- he has now crossed the rainbow bridge and is waiting over there happy and healthy again.

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The week was spent at home, unpacking and repacking. Organizing and sorting and preparing. I spent as much time with family as possible and geared up for Nantucket. Honestly…. I’ve been excited but also equally as anxious for Nantucket to start. First of all…. it’s a mix of outpatient and inpatient therapy. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I have never wanted to do outpatient. It’s a different world! A different way of thinking. But… when this opportunity came up, I realized it would be the perfect way to dip my toes in, get the experience, gain some skill and maybe see if I could challenge myself and grow.

Saturday came and it was the big moving day. Mom and I packed up the car(s) (thanks to my amazing Mom for taking my bike on for me!), drove the 1.5 hours to the ferry and took the 90 minute ferry ride. Suddenly… here I was. In the quintessential New England community of Nantucket. Downtown is EXACTLY what you would picture… cobblestones and all. The funniest part to me initially is how all of the houses look the same- it’s actually a town ordinance!

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Thus far, I have done some exploring… but there is still so much more to see and do! Thankfully, my friend Dawn is one of those crazy year-round residents here (hehe) and she has been wonderful in giving advice and tours. My biggest challenge, this assignment, is going to be the job. It is a very humbling experience to go from feeling confident in your abilities as a therapist (though still learning!) to feeling like a novice. I actually feel a bit like a student. Learning and feeling like a fish out of water. Thankfully, so far all of the other therapists have been more than accommodating and willing to share their knowledge…. but I have a feeling it’s going to be a wild ride! I continue to remember my neuro supervisor in Boston telling me to ” fake it til you make it” during a moment I was feeling less than confident in my abilities. Those words has stuck with me and saved me multiple times, and I honestly think changed my entire practice as a therapist (thank you, KP!). I know my knowledge base is strong, it’s just a matter of getting my feet under me and expanding my skill set and confidence.

Overall, after a 5+ week “paid vacation,” 8 hour workdays are killing me, plus the mental strain. I am exhausted and ready for bed! I know this isn’t my best writing or blog post, but it is an accurate portrayal of where I am at. I’m looking forward to sharing all of my trials and tribulations, as well as my adventures with you all! I’ll leave you with a perfect quote that I’m feeling these days….

 

” A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd

Cooper River Bridge Run and Savannah Galavanting… plus my next assisgnment

Yikes, you would think with all of my free time I would have more time to be updating this blog! But, every time I see it’s a gorgeous 80 degree day outside, with the sun shining and the birds chirping, I lose all motivation to park it on my butt in front of a computer to write, and instead feel compelled to go enjoy the sunshine and the weather.

Last blog post I updated about the whirlwind awesome week my parents and I had. It left me happy (and sad) and exhausted .But, that Saturday morning April 1st, I woke up nice and early (ahem, 4:45 alarm that didn’t actually go off) to participate in the 40th annual Cooper River Bridge Run.  It is the third largest 10k in the United States with average of 40,000 participants… for my home pals, that’s more participants than the Boston Marathon! It involves a 4.8% grade elevation- ouch. When I first came to Charleston, I was hoping to train and run it. However, since I actually decided to use my knowledge and common sense and work on rehabbing my chronic ankle/foot injury, I had to stop running. That didn’t stop me from deciding to WALK it, though!

I signed up to walk with two co-workers, Sara and Pam. My roommate Kim and her friend Stefani were running it. Sara and I Ubered downtown with Kim and Stefani, and jumped on the shuttle bus by 6am to take us over the bridge to Mount Pleasant, where the race was set to start. Sara and I were in corral K… aka the last one, aka 1.5 miles BACK from the start line. We said goodbye to Kim and Stefani and settled in for the long wait.

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Pam, Sara and I waiting to take off!

The race went off around 8:30, but we didn’t actually get to the start line until 49 minutes later… yup, we had to walk the additional 1.5 miles to the start. Meaning the entire event we ended up walking closer to 9 miles! Thankfully, there was plenty of entertainment leading up to the start and throughout the race. I think the race features ~ 30 bands along the course! Having live music to blast along with crowds cheering you on definitely helps give you motivated. We had to make 1 rest room stop (we waited for a few hours before the race even began, and you know we didn’t skip the coffee or the water!) which took some time from us, but we hauled butt to catch back up to the people we knew we started with.

All in all, we enjoyed the crowds, the bands, and the atmosphere. I was able to lightly jog to cross the finish line (hence one of my finish photos). For walking 6+ miles, we all finished under 2 hours which I was pretty impressed by! Afterwards, we had to scavenge for food and water (the “after party” location definitely left some things to be desired, considering some people were walking off with boxes of fruit and water and leaving none for the rest of us).  We headed over to a local bar to enjoy a brew, and I called it a day with Kim after and head home where we enjoyed post shower couch naps! Thankfully, all of my walking and yoga must be helping, because I felt an appropriate amount sore and tight, but nothing abnormal! Was still able to walk the next day which is the true sign!

This past weekend, Sara and I packed up the car and headed 2 hours south to beautiful Savannah, Georgia! It was on my list to see when I knew I was headed to this area- and I realized I was down to only ONE weekend in which to go! We left Charleston a little after 8am and got into Savannah around 10am. We checked out where our Air B&B was and then headed downtown, and parked. We spent the day wandering River street, checking out the City Market, and seeing the parks! Lots and lots and lots of walking. We had such beautiful weather. The funniest thing to me about Savannah is you can drink on the street- so bars and restaurants offer you “to-go” cups! We noticed other people already walking around with their libations bright and early, but Sara and I waited until we were sufficiently hot and sweaty to indulge in a Wet Willy’s frozen daiquiri. While fun, I probably wouldn’t drink another one unless I wanted to go into a sugar-coma.

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Frozen Daiquiri

We ended up finding the local Moon River Brewery (of course we did) and split a flight and a salad. Of course, their flight is a sampler of ALL NINE of their beers on tap- so thank goodness we were already planning on sharing it. Afterwards, we walked further into downtown to walk off our meal and drinks to see beautiful Forsyth Park. Saturday’s are obviously a popular wedding time (As we saw I think 5 brides and wedding parties getting photos taken), but there was also a gaggle of high schoolers dressed for prom taking photos in the park. We felt very underdressed. Good news, though- dress styles are looking more like what I wore to prom, so I guess it’s already time to have fashions cycling back to the early 2000’s (sweat on brow emoji).

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View of the river, bridge and Georgia Queen
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Forsyth park with high school prom goers behind the fountain
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Spanish moss is beautiful
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Forsyth Park

That night, after a quick rest at our Air B&B, we headed back out where we had a completely awful dinner ( a Yelp fail), and met up with my friend Lauren’s brother JP and his fiancé Lauren. We went to a bar called Abe’s on Lincoln, which is a complete dive establishment, full of hand drawn portraits of Abe Lincoln on napkins that are stapled to the ceiling. So fun to look at! We enjoyed a drink and some conversation, and then Lauren let us know she “had a key” if we wanted to check out an authentic Savannah speakeasy. UHHHH, is that even a question!? I had read that Savannah had a few underground speakeasy’s that you couldn’t get into without a key, which made me immediately want to go. When we got there, it felt pretty authentic (as authentic as an establishment replicating the 1920’s can when filled with people on their smart phones in 2017).

After a drink and a quick game of pool, we said goodbye to Lauren and JP and Sara and I headed upstairs to a dueling piano bar. Sara had never been to one, and I always love how fun they are! It was appropriately filled with tons of people who were drinking way too much, and about 12 bachelorette parties and countless birthdays… all of this leading to very entertaining people watching. We ended up snagging some seats with some nice ladies from Jacksonville, FL, after bonding over how rude people can be when they stand in front of your table (hashtag old lady). Sara and I shared our New England love and had a message written up behind the piano which rendered a few “boos” (we forgot we were in Georgia aka Atlanta Falcon’s territory aka Superbowl losers… but we didn’t care).  The night ended and we headed back to our Air B+B for a night’s rest before exploring all the next day.

We spent Sunday getting countless steps, trying the world-famous Leopold’s ice cream, checking out ALL THE PARKS, and driving to see Bonaventure Cemetery (Which is famous for being haunted as well as the sculptures and artistic gravestones).  We headed back to Charleston exhausted, happy and in love with Savannah.

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Gracie sculpture- Bonaventure cemetery
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Bonaventure cemetery
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Chippewa Square- Forrest Gump sat on his bench telling his story here
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Lavender ice cream at Leopold’s

I can’t believe I have only a little over a week left in the beautiful Charleston area. I’ve been reflecting a lot on my experience. There was a lot of anxiety initially, given how unclear my job seemed and just being in a new environment. While I get frustrated with myself for being anxious, it thankfully has also turned into a learning experience to RELAX and just go with it. This assignment has NOT been what I expected (have I mentioned I haven’t actually seen a patient in a MONTH!?!?!), but it’s given me time to explore, relax, and really soak up fun. I am nervous I am going to be  EXHAUSTED at my next job and feel overworked now, but I have a feeling none of my friends or family will let me complain, now that I’ve had it so easy for the last month.

That being said, I can officially announce that I am headed back to the Northeast for the summer to beautiful Nantucket, MA! This is exciting for a number of reasons! First of all, summer in New England is the BEST time to be there (in my opinion), and my favorite place is the beach. I will be closer to friends and family to visit. I’ll also be back in the same network as my Boston hospital, so I’ll be back to a somewhat familiar work environment. The thing I am nervous about; however, are that it will be mostly outpatient with some inpatient. I haven’t worked in outpatient….ever… as a professional, so I have been doing some reading and studying from my musculoskel days in school. On a positive spin, this will expand my skill set and be an additional resume builder, which is always a good thing. Just because it’s an adventure doesn’t always mean it’s going to be easy!

This weekend, my Texas pal Alex is coming for a visit so I’m sure we are going to squeeze in everything we possibly can of Charleston! On Monday, Rachel arrives to Charleston so more adventures will be had! I probably won’t be able to update until I’m back in the Northeast.  Until then….. thanks for reading. Xo

Catch up time!

Helllllllooooooo interwebs! It’s been a little bit since an update, because my parents were visiting for the last week! Do you want to long version, or the cliff-notes version? Too bad, long one a-comin’!

My parents arrived on Friday the 24th after driving 15+ hours (through a forest fire!) to get down to Charleston. They checked into their hotel (apparently, known as the “beer can” to the locals due to it’s cylinder shape visible for miles). I took them downtown for dinner (thus starting our epic week of EATING ALL THE THINGS). Dinner, a little walk downtown by the city market, and finished with dessert at Kaminsky’s (ermergerd).

The next day we headed downtown and saw everything and walked everywhere. My poor mom wore flip flops (for the first time in months) and got blisters on her blisters. We saw the Charleston City Market, King St., and probably put 5 miles on our feet. After a quick lie down at the hotel, we headed out to Edmund’s Oast- the place I had my birthday dinner surprise. Hands down, they remain the best meal I’ve had in Charleston, now twice over.

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Good words to live by
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Hanger steak – so stinking delicious

Sunday took us to Folly Beach and the Lost Dog cafe for breakfast. I love this place because they have framed photos of dogs COVERING every inch of wall space, and they’re obviously dog friendly. Lot’s of puppy pets that day! We got to spend a few hours in the sunshine, dipping our toes in the sea. We walked along the pier, and got a drink at the new Pier 101 restaurant. We ended our day at Shem Creek, eating dinner and walking along the water and marsh watching the sunset.

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See the bridge in the background?

Monday we headed off to Magnolia plantation. It was GORGEOUS. Beautiful gardens and interesting history about the beginning of Charleston. Mom and I enjoyed the tour of the house, and Dad wandered the grounds while we were in there. We spent a few hours exploring the gardens.

flowermagnoliaThe former owner back in the 1800’s planted these lush gardens per doctor’s orders reminiscent of what he had seen in Europe, and they are still in existence. We also spotted a few alligators off the banks of the Ashley River. I love that there is a river named after me ;).

ashleyashleyriverAfter the plantation, we decided to check out Sullivan’s Island and eat at Poe’s, where we had amazing burgers and excellent service. A walk on the beach wrapped up our day. That night, we checked out the Gin Joint where you can order a drink based on two adjectives (see my previous birthday post). It’s like a fun science experiment not knowing what you’re going to get!

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Mine, Dad’s and Mom’s drinks at the Gin Joint

Tuesday we decided to do a harbor tour which was the BEST way to get some history, some sunshine and a cool breeze in Charleston. We started the day with a gluten free breakfast fail, poor Mom. We then enjoyed a 90 minute tour with a local Charlestonian tour guide, learning about Charleston’s history and current exports. We followed up with a great lunch at Bay St. Biergarten – my favorite part was learning that they have “self-serve” taps that you can pre-load a card with money, and then use them and serve yourself by the ounce- honestly, genius idea. After rolling out of there, we took a bit of a stroll, enjoyed some famous Jeni’s Ice cream (are you realizing how I definitely gained 2398293721 pounds while my parents were here!?) and wandered King St. Post a little nap, we headed back out to enjoy Revelry Brewery rooftop and Charles Towne fermentory, another small brewery in Avondale section of town. Long, filling, awesome day!

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Rooftop sunset

Wednesday was our designated beach day! We started out FINALLY getting Mom’s gluten free crepes (amazing) and headed back to Folly beach. We enjoyed some naps on the sand, and a great lunch at Pier 101 again where we learned- EVERYTHING there (with a few minor exceptions) is gluten free! Mom got to enjoy crab cakes for the first time in years. The excitement was palpable. From there, we headed WAAAYYYYY out to the Firefly distillery where Mom and Dad did a liquor tasting and I did a wine tasting at there adjacent winery. The only local winery in Charleston! We learned a lot about the process of the wine making, and it was absolutely gorgeous out there. Faceinhole

I believe dinner this night was at Basil, the downtown Thai restaurant. Kim was able to join us this night. From there, we wandered down to Carmella’s and enjoyed coffee and I had an adult milkshake- at this point, I was rolled home.

Thursday was our last full day together, and it ended up being our only day of bad(ish) weather. We drove out to Isle of Palms and ate a delicious breakfast. From there, we enjoyed a beach walk (to burn off my sweet potato maple french toast- I can’t), and then drove around looking at the GORGEOUS homes. By this point, it started to rain so we headed out to the Tanger outlets in North Charleston. Poor Dad is not a shopper, but he was a trooper. We took him to Holy City brewery after shopping, where he enjoyed trying a few samples of local brews, and we enjoyed people watching. We also received some great dinner suggestions from the bartender and decided on Smoke BBQ for dinner. We hit the Old City Jail tour where we got sufficiently creeped out by the flying orbs seen on our cameras, and learned some history of the jail itself.

Then we headed out to Smoke BBQ. WE WERE SO GLAD WE DID. Best chicken wings of our lives. I’ve never had chicken fall off the bone like this. Our waiter that evening was also super entertaining and slightly abrasive (New Yorker, haha), but in a funny way. We finished off with a Starbucks nightcap and then just hung out at the Holiday Inn to relax.

Friday was an early morning breakfast, and then a parking lot goodbye. I knew before the week started that it was going to fly by, and it certainly did. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such amazing parents. When is the last time I was able to spend an entire week one on one with them? I honestly don’t remember. It’s a blessing that I didn’t have any patients and we got to spend so much uninterrupted time together. I kept telling myself all week to just be present in the moment and enjoy it, because this is what memories are made of. I didn’t spend time looking through my phone or getting distracted while they were around, and just spent the time talking and laughing and EATING (all the things) with them. I know they were exhausted (I was exhausted as well) after, but so happy to have had that time together.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but I can’t believe how lucky I am to have the support from my parents, family and friends like I do. Having two people who will drive 15+ hours to visit me, and support my adventures is priceless. I love you, Mom and Dad. Thanks for supporting me, and for a stupendous week!

Stay tuned for my next entry, where I talk about the local 10k I walked in, and what’s next on the adventure docket. For now, I’m off to enjoy my patient-less Tuesday, with a spin class and some brushing up for my next assignment! Thanks for reading!

 

Chit chat and love letters

How’s everyone doing out there? Had a good week? It was St. Patrick’s Day week, lots of celebrations in the Charleston area. I enjoyed a green beer myself, and counted my lucky shamrocks for all of my blessings in my life.  Yeah, that sounded corny, I know.

One of the things that I have focused on in general as I get older, but especially with this experience, is communication. Trying to maintain relationships with important people in my life is something that is of the utmost priority. That’s actually part of the reason I started this blog. Even though it’s indirect, it’s a way for people to read and know what’s happening in my life, and it’s another channel of communication that opens up. It’s been wonderful to have people from all parts of my life reach out and say hi, because they read my blog. That has been awesome! Even though I’m still learning the ins and outs of writing and blogging, it’s been such a great learning experience for me.

I have always, always, always loved picking out greeting cards and mailing them to people for fun. I mean, who DOESN’T love getting mail? I know I do! Seriously, sometimes I consider ordering things off Amazon just to get mail. I don’t. Usually. It’s been something I’ve really enjoyed doing since being away from home. Going to Trader Joe’s, picking out a few cards and holding onto them until the mood strikes to write out a few lines to whomever is on my mind.

I also try to be mindful with sending texts and calling people. I consider myself fortunate to have friends all over the country, and from all different times of my life. High school, softball, college, clinicals… and now this! Each and every one of these people has touched my life and shaped it in some way. The way I see it, the least I can do to try to keep in contact and let these people know they mean the world to me.

One aof my New Year’s resolutions ( written in my “lattes and a dream” notebook thank you very much Stacey!) was to be more mindful of other people. I often get so wrapped up in my own life and thoughts, that I forget to be mindful of other people’s lives and experiences. I also want to be mindful of what people need from me at a given moment. When friends or family talk to me about a problem or an issue, I tend to offer solutions instead of just being a listener. It’s not always easy to turn off my instinct to “solve,” but it’s been a focus.

Sometimes, I think I feel things stronger than other people, and love deeper. I know this is my own selfishness and absolutely untrue, but there are times I am overwhelmed with how much I love the people in my life and care for them. I almost worry that I’m not showing them I care enough. This is a driving force in my life to try to always do and be better. A better friend, better at communicating, better at understanding. I used to wonder if this was a bad thing, but now I know it’s a GREAT thing. Striving for constant self improvement is what life is about. Because as we improve our own lives, I think we help to improve the lives of those around us.

So, moral of my story tonight is keep putting in the effort. Keep reaching out. The people in your life are shaping your world, and every effort, no matter how minuscule it may seem to send the text or make the call, write the email or the letter… do it! The people in your life will appreciate it so much! Imma keep picking out crazy, fun, ridiculous greeting cards (it’s a talent).

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend, and starts the new week with the FIRST DAY OF SPRING right around the corner! My parents are coming down on Friday, and I am SO EXCITED! I haven’t seen them from Christmas ( yep, 3 months ago) and they’re going to be here for an entire week which is amazing. I can’t wait to do all sorts of Charlestony things with them and just hang out with them.  Catch y’all on the flip side.