Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friends and Fruit

My weekend has been amazing. I can't say I have done anything extremely exciting (and I am a little behind on studying), but I am just so elated right now and I think I know why.

On Friday I started school at 11:00am, which is a great improvement from my 8am classes. When I walked into my neuro lab we were doing arts n' craft projects...Making a thalamus (the executive assistant of the brain) out of a potato. Loves it.
My personal thalamic potato

My lab class and our thalamic potatoes.
It was just a really great way to start the day.

That afternoon I trekked up (it only took 1hr and 45mins to go 40 miles) to the expansive city of LA to visit close friends from elementary school. I made one of my New Years resolutions to be a better communicator with friends and so far and I am doing much better than before. I think it is ridiculous that many of my best friends live so close to me and I rarely see them. And every time I see them I am so happy for the next few days. So obviously I need to make visiting them a more regular thing.

The night in LA started out in Silverlake at my friend Em's house. We drank wine and caught up on life. It was perfect. Later we met up with some more peps from Mercer Island High School (mini high school reunion) at a restaurant in Santa Monica, Areal. I had so much fun chatting and drinking wine that we left at 1am and I didn't even realize that it was so late.
My wonderful high school friends!
The next morning a few of us headed to breakfast at LaMill in Silverlake. The food, coffee and company was wonderful, but it was possible to buy a cup of coffee for $18. Ridiculous! 

I had an omelet with goat cheese and asparagus. It was delicious. And my cup of coffee only cost $6.

I headed home around 1pm and studied frantically (not really) until about 6pm when I put down my book and met up with some school friends for Laotian food. This restaurant is literally a whole in the wall, but the prices were right and the food was awesome. I might have eaten an extremely hot chili which caused my mouth to burn for about 10 mins (and my tummy still hurts), but it was worth it.

After dinner, we went to an Asian market across the street where they had some interesting fruit.
Lauren holding a really big fruit

Heart shaped fruit

It looks like a weapon and apparently smells horrible, but is suppose to taste great
The weekend was just a perfect combination of friends and eats. Although it is Saturday night and I am about to study instead of going out, I still would consider this a successfully fun weekend.

I hope your weekend was fabulous!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Little Brother Graduates

Last weekend I was in hot hot hot Tucson Arizona for my little brother's graduation from the University of Arizona. I felt like I was in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Since I waited till the last minute to book my flight, the only reasonably priced flight was from LAX to Phoenix. So I had to drive to Los Angeles (which is about an hour from where I live), sit on a plane for an hour and a half, then a 2 hour shuttle ride from Phoenix to Tucson. It was a long day of traveling, but completely worth it to see my boo and family.

Glass of wine to start my vacation off right
Getting into Tucson after 10 hours of traveling, I checked into my hotel (with Chris) and fell asleep.

The next morning was the Big Day

The beautiful cacti in Az

The family at McKale Center

There he is. All ready to graduate

It official. Ben's name is in the pamphlet

The podium

The family after graduation
After graduation, my family and Chris and I parted ways. Chris and I studied in our hotel room (how fun) while everyone else had fun at a graduation pool party.

We all met up for dinner at Old Pueblo Grille around 8pm to finish celebrating Ben's graduation.
Celebration shots

After dinner, some of us made it out to the infamous Dirt Bags. A bar that all the U of A kids go to. I had to see this bar for my self. Ben and Shelly have talked it up so much and in the 5 years that one of my siblings have been living in Tucson, I never got to experience Dirt Bags. I knew this might be my last opportunity for a while.

Chris and Ben at the famous Dirt Bags

The trip to Tucson was too fast. It was really great to see my family and I was so excited to see Ben graduate.

Now it is back to real life. I had a neuroanatomy midterm (which we will just have to wait and see how I did) and then 1,000,000 (okay just a slight exaggeration) of exams and projects in the next three weeks. Of course I am being really productive right now by writing this blog and watching House concurrently (but watching House is just like studying).

One more thing before I start being productive again (ha ha that is kind of a joke).

I have my first 2 week clinical experience starting June 16th. I am nervous and excited. And... I get to do it up in Seattle. So friends up there, watch out, cause I am filling up your time with hanging out with ME :)
My name tag for the clinic. So fancy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My

This weekend was definitely a busy and interesting one. It really started Thursday night when I couldn't stop sneezing. I thought my allergies were just flared up, but it turns out I have bronchitis. Now this wouldn't have been such a big deal but I had the San Diego Safari Half Marathon on Sunday. On top of that Rebecca (one of my best friends) came into town on Friday night and my sister joined us for dinner. Friday was not very fun (although I thoroughly enjoyed the company), I felt horrible and was questioning my ability to sit up straight let alone run 13.1 miles. I knew I was going to go down to San Diego no matter what, so Saturday morning, Rebecca and I picked up Kathryn and headed down to classy San Diego to meet up with Kelsey to pick up our race packets. Once my race packet was in my hand I knew I was participating in the event. I titrated cold medications all day and drank lots of water to try and make myself feel a little better.

After picking up our bibs and race t-shirts we headed to our hotel when I realized that I had left my entire toiletry bag at home. Again, it would seem to not be such a big deal (I can buy a toothbrush at the store), except I need contacts or glasses to see and my contacts are one day disposables. It was too late to buy new contacts, so I problem solved and got contact solution, soaked my contacts in the solution over night and prayed that they didn'r rip. Luckily the contact disaster was averted. It was an early night, but I think we all needed that.

The Start of the race

We woke up at 4:55am, ate our bagels and headed to the starting line around 5:30am. My voice was almost completely gone and I didn't feel 100%, but at least I wasn't tired.
Crossing the finish line
We did it, at the end of the race
There were some big hills and I definitely was not at full capacity, but I felt pretty good (as good as one can feel running 13.1 miles while having bronchitis) but there is no other feeling than crossing the finish line knowing that you just accomplished something all on your own. When I got my race packet the day before, as crappy as I felt, as soon as I saw my t-shirt, bib and race chip a sudden rush of energy ran through my body and I knew I was not backing down from this race.
Checking out the wildlife 

These kids just met. First love? I think so.

You know, just some rhinos and giraffes

Cute Meer cats

Our celebration Margaritas

They were buy 1 get 1 free
The whole weekend was amazing. It definitely was not smooth sailing, but I had a great time. I am a little (and by a little, I mean a lot) sore, but hey, that is what you get for running a half marathon with only 5 weeks to train. But the bling makes it all worth it.

So here is to my 23rd half marathon but the first race I have done sick. Next up: Tucson for my little brother's graduation from college.