M1 spring break is one for the books! Michelle and I met up in Iceland for a week and explored the Southern and Western parts of the country. I was unable to fulfill my compulsive planning habits on account of school and therefore didn’t plan much of an itinerary before the trip. We booked hostels and a car in advance, but did everything else on the fly. It was pretty fun and way less stress-inducing than I originally thought it would be. On my next trip to Iceland, I’m definitely going to book a 4 wheel drive car though. Side note: Iceland is expensive!! Hostel beds, groceries, eating out, gas, etc. required “multilevel” money! And, Icelandic people don’t wear shoes in the house. My kind of people!
Life has been so good these past two weeks. My small group came over for dinner on Friday night, friends came over for homemade yogurt on Saturday, I FINALLY climbed at Stone Summit, went on some runs (the weather is a bit cooler in the AM), heard the Vega Quartet play Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 and (last but not least) spent some quality time with Neil Gaiman on Friday and Saturday night.
But that’s not what I want to focus on for the rest of the blog post. I want to rewind to last weekend. I’ve been itching to write about last weekend’s trip to Bryson City, NC where I went whitewater kayaking with some other med students. Seven M1s and two M2s went on the trip. Right after our exam, we left for NC. Three hours later, we pulled up to our cabin. That night, Maddie and I slept in her tent. It was a wonderfully clear night so we didn’t put the fly up and we could see the sky and stars.
I drove out to Cochran Shoals, a state park bordering the Chattahoochee River, on Sunday morning. I got to the parking lot at 7:10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. there were tons of trail runners and cyclists. The temperature had cooled down, but a mile into the run and I was hot and sticky and drenched in sweat. Although the humidity was still miserable, the temperature was (ever so) slightly cooler–I could almost imagine the crispness in the air. My thoughts drifted to apple cider and cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It drifted to cold, gray mornings in Paris that were nevertheless magical because the gray was punctuated by glimmering golden orbs of light glowing from cafes and apartments and tree branches. My mind drifted to the colorful lights swimming in the water around the Montreux Christmas Market. To memories of bundling up under sweaters and scarves and gloves, ready to brace the sharpness of the air, but feeling warm and happy from the lights, window displays, colorful candies, hot fondue, and roasting chestnuts. It drifted to the beautiful red, orange, and yellow foliage and to a feeling of rejuvenation. More thoughts on fall are sure to come.
NYC was a whirlwind of reunions! I’m feeling refreshed and full of joy as I enjoy my last week at home.
I got in Friday afternoon and made my way to Hersh’s apartment in Chelsea where I dropped off my stuff. I met Ang and we made our way to the High Line. After, we went to the Chobani store for yogurt. Not quite as good as The Yogurt Shop in Copenhagen, but still delish. We met Hersh for dinner (Italian food was soooo good) before Ang went back uptown and Hersh and I went the Chelsea Pier driving range. Y’all, everything in NY is open super late. Like who plays golf until midnight?? Apparently New Yorkers.
Guess what!? One of the Swiss Misses became a Mrs. this past weekend! My heart fills with joy that I got to celebrate Char and Emil on their wedding day!
Party till the cows come home
On Saturday, I met Emily and Nick at the hotel. After checking in, we went to CREAM, which is a delicious little spot that makes ice cream sandwiches. Yum! After getting ready, we took Em and Nick’s little red Fiat (SO Euro) rental car to the wedding. The venue was absolutely gorgeous. I particularly loved their table seating chart, which was a map of the world with tables labeled as different cities/countries. Each table featured a picture of the lovely bride and groom in that city/country.
I’m currently reading Blue Mind by Wallace Nichols, which is about “how being near, in, on, or under water” affects the brain. I didn’t find the beginning interesting, but towards the end, Nichols talks about how people feel when they “connect” with nature. Some of these passages really resonated with me. I’m putting them here because I sometimes cannot find the words to describe how full (emotionally?) I feel when I come back from trips, from daily runs to multi-day trips, in nature.
While at the bank last week, I picked up a copy of Travel + Leisure. (At least I think it was that travel magazine. Can’t remember if it was the April or May 2016 issue.) There was an entire spread on traveling eco-friendly. I took a picture and am posting it here. Hopefully this doesn’t violate copyright laws…