A Visit from my Parents

Hey, internet world! Happy May, how the heck did we get here already?

As you may have seen, I’ve been taking a break from blogging (and many of my typical hobbies, actually) because I’ve been needing to focus on work and my work/life balance…which is continuing. It’s a work in process. Happily, I seem to be getting a little better at balancing the work part and taking some breaks, which is helpful.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some photos from when my parents visited me last week. They flew in from Colorado last Wednesday, and of course I managed to get really *really* sick on Wednesday (I could barely swallow water because my throat was so sore and swollen). So I ended up spending Thursday and Friday in bed sleeping while my parents entertained themselves. Just my luck, am I right? Luckily I felt well enough on Saturday to take a drive with them up to the North Bay area.

We tried to drive to Muir Woods, an idea I now realize was insane on a summery Saturday. It took a crazy long time to drive up there with the traffic, and there wasn’t even any parking when we arrived. Yikes, Bay Area. That’s the one thing I’m not loving about you, the crowds and the traffic. It seems hard to get away from all of that hustle-bustle business. Anyway, we managed to get a parking spot at Muir Beach and ended up just admiring the ocean for a while before lunch. The ocean is definitely my happy place, I think I could live next to it and never tire of it.

Muir Beach // Imperfect Chevron

Muir Beach // Imperfect Chevron

After that, we drove to Sausalito and enjoyed a brief walk around the town and looked at all the cool boats. That town was also pretty hustle-bustle on the day we were there, but it seemed like a fun place. Definitely more boutiques and fancy little cafes and bistros than dives and hole-in-the-wall places, but it was pretty to drive up that huge hill through the neighborhood and get to see such an amazing view!

Sausalito // Imperfect Chevron

Sausalito // Imperfect Chevron

On our way back to the East Bay, we drove over the Golden Gate bridge, which was really worth it. It was beautiful! I’d actually like to walk or bike over the bridge this summer, but we’ll see if I get to it this year. San Francisco is really the coolest city, I wish I lived a little closer to it!

Golden Gate Bridge // Imperfect Chevron

It was so nice to see my parents, and get to spend a little time with them last week. I’m still really happy about my decision to move to California, but I do miss my family and Colorado. Hoping to see my parents again soon!

xo

 

NC Mountain Getaway

It’s no secret that my time here in NC has been a bit stressful. New city, a challenging FW rotation, spending every free moment studying…it all builds up over the course of 12 weeks. Luckily, I have some amazing cousins close by that I’ve spent a lot of time with and have grown really close to this year (you guys, I’m going to cry so hard when I leave soon!). My amazing cousins took me up to the NC mountains for Memorial Day weekend to get some much needed R&R in the fresh mountain air. I want to share some of the photos from our little weekend getaway near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

Now, I’m a Colorado girl raised loving the Rocky Mountains, so let me start by saying that these mountains were very different than what I’m used to. But the lush trees and gorgeous views won me over. North Carolina, you are something special, and I’m so glad I got to live here for a little while.

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

The back porch; I’m a sucker for an A-frame

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

My favorite seat in the house

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

From the top of Mt. Craig. The highest peak east of the Mississippi is Mt. Mitchell (right next to Mt. Craig) and is 6683′

NC Mountain Trip via Imperfect Chevron

I mean, how can you not fall in love with that view? Major heart-eyes. The weekend was so relaxing and fun. We walked to the summit at Mt. Mitchell, and then took a short hike to Mt. Craig and Mt. Tom. We spent lots of time in the Eno hammocks (have you seen these? I had never heard of them but I am in love with them now! I’m going to have to get me one of these for sure) and just watching the clouds roll by on the back deck. It was such a wonderful weekend with my cousins, they mean so much to me and I’m so thankful to have them. This little weekend getaway is one I certainly won’t forget.

xo

Road Trip

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, you guys. Happy 2016!

It’s been pretty busy around here with lots of exploring and driving and eating and driving (road trips, am I right?). My brother and dad helped me drive the 30-35 hour trip from Colorado to Florida last week, and yes, we hit all of those crazy storms along the way. It was a lot of fun, and I’m so thankful they were able to come along for the ride.

I want to share some photos from our trip in my little corner of the internet today:

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New Mexico looked gorgeous from the backseat…adding it to my travel to-do list!

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At a gas station in Dalhart, TX

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A neato statue in Houston, TX as we drove past

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This bridge in Baton Rouge, LA made me go all heart-eyed emoji

mississippi

This is a major photo fail…a combination of sitting in the backseat + being super scared because of the scariest storms we were driving through. Maybe my resolution should be to learn how to take better photos! lol

alabama

Alabama looked like a pretty cool place, except we were driving through tornado warnings the whole time. Not good.

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We stopped in Panama City Beach, FL for an afternoon on the way down. It was a beautiful beach!

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PoFolks chicken + dumplings and cornbread. Amazing. Callaway, FL.

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The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park was a great way to spend an afternoon. Lots of amazing animals in very natural cages (the hippo was just in his eating area, don’t worry, he has a nice big pond and looked very happy). Fun for adults and kids!

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My brother is the best (:

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I love the beach!

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That sunset though…paradise.

xo.

Life Update

December has been a month filled with late nights and tears (I was taking my finals last week), leaving Pittsburgh, and prepping for my big road trip to move to Florida for my first clinical rotation. Oh, and the holidays!

While it’s been busy, I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family and pets this week. It’s always so good to be home. Here are some photos from life lately:

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So proud of my classmates for finishing our finals! Now we’re all headed off to our clinical rotations. MOT Class of 2016!

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A snapshot of my last walk in Schenley Park.

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Not the best picture, but flying home was the prettiest.

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Elouise and Ben.

Our annual Christmas cookies…we use zoo animal cutters.

Hope your holiday season is filled with love and joy!

xo.

Fishing Trip

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I love fishing; it’s one tradition in my family that I’m so glad I “grew into.” My parents and I headed up into the high country this weekend to get some quality time with our fishing poles and enjoy some fresh mountain air. We went to a couple of different lakes ponds, ending up at our favorite little lesser-known spot for a good part of the day. As soon as my line hit the water, I had a fish! We had amazing luck, we caught (and released) 18 fish between the three of us. It was such a fun day!

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These mountains just take my breath away. I’ve lived here for 18 years and I’m still totally head over heels.

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One of the bigger fish I caught. Don’t worry, we released him right after this photo was taken!

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Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

xo.

Spring Break 2015

I’m back in Pittsburgh after an amazing week on a Florida beach, and I’m happy to say that it was the most relaxing spring break I’ve ever had. I thought I’d share a little bit about my trip with all of you (and myself, since I’m still crying that I had to leave that magical place!). Here’s the day-by-day of my Spring Break 2015.

Saturday

I met my parents in the Orlando airport after both our flights arrived within 20 minutes of each other (fist pump!). Lots of hugs and lunch in the airport. The weather was in the 60s and rainy/cloudy, and the beach was pretty cold. But it didn’t really matter since we spent pretty much the whole day traveling and settling in to the condo.

Sunday

Beautiful Beach

We woke up without alarm clocks (sooooooooo nice) and hit the beach for a long walk. We walked at least 3 miles down the beach and then 3 miles back. Sunburn city. But so worth it! After lunch we headed back to the beach for some quality time in the sunshine.

Monday

Blue Springs State Park blue springs 4

We decided to head inland to Blue Springs State Park, which was so cool! I love getting to see inland Florida parks; they are completely unique. We saw at least 10 manatee in the springs, a big alligator swimming, and lots of turtles. It was so fun to be able to see the manatee in the water, which was crystal clear. I would highly recommend checking out this park in the winter or early spring — they boast that in the winter, hundreds of manatee flock to the springs to escape the cold waters. The springs stay at around 70 degrees year round, which the manatee like during the winter. Then we drove back and spent the afternoon at the beach (yay!).

Tuesday

Kayaking

We headed out early to rent some kayaks and spent the morning on the river searching for dolphin and manatee. We didn’t see any manatee (this time of year is still a little bit early for manatee to come back to the river, apparently), but we saw a mama and baby dolphin, which was pretty much the sweetest thing ever. We also saw two dolphins fishing in a little cove; it’s pretty amazing to watch them swim in circles rounding the fish up and then swim through as fast as they can to catch them. The cove that the dolphins are (almost) always in is part of a little park that has a great boardwalk — we spent a lot of time daily on that boardwalk watching the dolphins. After we were finished kayaking, we spent the rest of the day at the beach, getting some much needed sun!

Wednesday

Meritt Island armadillo meritt island dock

I woke up with the same cold I’d just gotten over a couple of weeks ago (ugh), but I guess it just wouldn’t be a vacation if somebody didn’t get sick 😛 We decided to drive over to Meritt Island, which is a natural wildlife preserve and a pretty awesome place to visit. They have a couple of really good manatee spots, and we saw at least 20 manatee feeding in the river. I could have stayed there watching them all day long! Then we drove through the Wildlife drive, and spotted 9 alligators! I saw some baby alligators, too, with their mama lurking nearby. That was pretty special! If you go through the wildlife drive, just take your time and keep your eyes open. A lot of cars missed the alligators when we were driving through! But it is so worth it and so amazing to see them in the wild.

Thursday

hula hoop

I was so tired and feeling cruddy, so we decided to spend the whole day lounging at the beach (oh, darn, what a shame). We played with a hula hoop, built some sand creatures, and soaked up as much sun as we could. It was pretty great! In the early evening, we headed to the boardwalk to see the dolphins, and had a huge surprise: we saw 2 manatee in the river! It was exciting, because they hadn’t been back yet for the season. It was a sign that spring is on its way.

Friday

kayak 2 pelican snagglefin

We rented some more kayaks Friday morning and went searching for more dolphins. We spent some time up close and personal with the dolphin fishing in the little cove — it was kind of scary at times because you can’t see them, and they just shoot through the water randomly and they swim so fast. All of a sudden, they’ll just jump out of the water right next to you and it startles you! But they’re such beautiful, smart animals. Really fun to watch them in their natural habitat. We spent the rest of the day lounging at the beach, since it was our last day.

Saturday

We had to get up early to get to the airport. It was a truly amazing week, and I was so sad to leave. It’s been such a long, hard winter for me with no sun, and it felt so good to be on a beach, warm and happy for a week. Plus, I loved spending the week with my parents! It really was the best spring break I’ve ever had, and I feel so lucky to have been able to take the vacation this year.

sunrise

Now that I’m back in Pittsburgh, at least I have something to look forwards to. Spring (and Summer!) is on its way, and I know the days are going to get warmer and the weather is going to get nicer. We may even start to see the sunshine every now and then! And I can’t wait for that.

xo.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you all have the best weekend, spent with family or friends (or your favorite ice cream, that would be great, too!).

I have a lot of homework and group projects to get done this weekend, and I’m going to try to catch up on sleep. Last week was a doozy, and I kind of felt like a chicken running around without my head. So I’m hoping to just have a relaxing, catch-up-on-life, kind of weekend.

xo.